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OriUp’d Vol2

Last week’s Oricon top 5:

  1. KARA – Jet Coaster Love (122,820)
  2. Tsuyoshi Domoto – Eni o yuite ( 90,685)
  3. SDN48 – Ai, Juseyo (64,020)
  4. UVERworld – MONDO PIECE (45,668)
  5. Morning Musume – Maji desu ka SKA! (33,686)

A rather predictable week from day 2, to be honest, but it’s surprising to see sales back to normal levels after such devastation problems in Japan.  KARA have also had most epic sales of their singles, and as a Brit, it’s traditional to love under dogs, so anyone who outsells an AKB group always gets a thumbs up.

This week is a no brainer number 1, as the B’z release single number 48,  “Sayonara Kizu Darake no Hibi yo” – and I have to admit, it’s fantastic.  I only got into B’z a couple of years ago (through their Ichibu to Zenbu / DIVE double A-side) and it’s actually quite cool how such a veteran rock act can make music which still sounds contemporary enough to chart.  Rock on B’z – I’m not even going to dispute this one is yours.

Above the squabble for fourth, Nana Mizuki has released two separate singles this week which are both selling pretty similarly – “SCARLET KNIGHT” and “POP MASTER“.  SCARLET KNIGHT (anisong for Dog Days)is a more traditional Nana/voice actress single with emotional vocals and a climatic chorus, and is also pushing out its competitor – maybe it’s also got something to do with the single having PV (which the other doesn’t) and features Nana dressed as a nun POP MASTER is a little bit more funky and upbeat than it’s rival.  I can’t really decide which single I like better, it’s a bit like trying to decide whether I like cheese or jam on bread as they’re both pretty different songs by the same artist, but still predictably within her range.

Amid the mass of AKB, KARA, JE and, yes, still, Maximum the Hormone (oh how I love the Japanese music chart), relatively few new acts are jostling for top 10 places this week, including The Birthday with Naze ka kyou wa, Hideaki Tokunaga andAki Toyosaki, who we probably know better as Yui from K-ON, with a sticky sweeet ballad “Haru Kaze SHUN PU” (no, I have no idea what a SHUN PU is either?) who has a long way to go before she can sell like the almighty Nana Mizuki.

So predictable week is predictable?  My favourite new single has to go to B’z, but the PV is boring, so have Nana Mizuki as a nun and “Haru Kaze SHUN PU” because it sounds funny…


OriUp’d Vol. 1

Last weeks top 5:

  1. maximum the hormone – Greatest The Hits 2011 – 2011 (28,981)
  2. Not yet – Shuumatsu Not Yet (17,528)
  3. the BAWDIES – Love you, need you feat. AI (9,139)
  4. SKE48 – Banzai Venus (7,428)
  5. AKB48 – Sakura no ki ni narou (5,987)

Last week, Maximum the Hormone held on to the #1 spot for the second week in a row, a hard feat for any artist, especially considering the slump in sales since the Tohoku Earthquake. Congratulations to them.  Other than the Bawdies, the rest of the top 5 was made up of previously released AKB48 and sub-unit singles, and also, all sales are still low.  Luckily for us, this week sees the first wave of singles pushed back due to the Earthquake released.

What’s making me interested this week is who will be #1, which looks set to be KARA with Jet Coaster Love.  I have to admit, I’m becoming more inamoured every day with the Hallyu wave, and KARA have gone from the butt thrusting of Mister to something we’re probably a bit more used to seeing in the Japanese market.

Not only that, but they’ve managed to joust SDN48 from the top spot… or rather, this member of the xxx48 team has fallen from their pedistall.  Considering AKB48s popularity, it seems odd that a subunit would tumble so far down after first day sales, rather than maintaining a constant position.  Their ranking so far has been 1, 6, 8, 7 – which I’ve never seen before from someone who’s made #1 on the first day.  Maybe fans were a bit more embarrised about buying the raunchy single in store, or maybe it is just something to do with the earthquakes…  I have to admit, Ai, Juseyo is one of the most raunchy singles I’ve ever seen in Japan, making the Heavy Rotation bath shots look completely innocent, and the girls dancing around in their knickers covering their top half – they make Kumi Koda look like a nun!

Surprisingly, Tsuyoshi Domoto, UVERworld and, yes, Morning Musume have been able to keep up pretty constant positions, and should, respectively, all manage to to get in the top 5.  Ah, that’s what I like to see, good old predictability!

Other than that, Hiroshi Kamiya and YUKI also have new releases this week with Nijiiro Chou Chou and himitsu respectively.  They’ve been holding slightly more erratic positions so far, but maybe we’ll be seeing them in the top 10.

So what’s my favourite single this week… well you don’t even have to ask… but I’ll leave Jet Coaster Love and Ai, Juseyo below as it’s interesting to see how KARA have got it so right and SDN48 may be a little off the mark:

Hopefully I’ll have time to give my rubbish Oricon analysis for next week, and we’ll see if anything I’ve posted here holds any credibility.

And remember kids, the Oricon doesn’t mean everything!

Oricon Top 10 – 2010/03/10

  1. Arashi – Troublemaker (542,334) NEW
  2. Sid – sleep (41,440) NEW
  3. Berryz Kobo – Otakebi Boy WAO! / Tomodachi ni Tomodachi nanda! (25,197) NEW
  4. Mai Kuraki – Eien Yori Nagaku / Drive me crazy (23,240) NEW
  5. Hey! Say! Jump – Hitomi no Screen (22,930) DOWN
  6. Hannya, Fruits Punch – Onara Hazukashikunai yo / Pirameki tasou (11,577) DOWN
  7. AKB48 – Sakura no Shiroi (10,545) DOWN
  8. Kana Nishino – Best Friend (10,502) DOWN
  9. Anzenchitai – Aoi Bara/Wine Red no Kokoro (2010 version) (9,995) NEW
  10. KAT-TUN – Love yourself ~ kimi ga kirai na kimi ga suki~ (9,452) DOWN

 I know, it’s late – I use this for my on reference hence why I post it 🙂  Berryz Kobo achieve their first #3 (their highest position in the Oricon), with a lot of other singles holding in there.  Arashi smash through the 500k mark with their new single – not even a double A side! Sid come in a deservid second – real high sales for a VK band!

AKB48 Winning Me Over

To avoid turning this into the typical AKB48 vs. H!P post / argument / whine, I am not going to mention H!P ~ and nor am I going to use this space to compare AKB48 to them.

A few weeks ago, when we had our fortmonthly (is that a word?  I’m doubting it but I can’t think of what’s correct here) H!P / idol meet, a lot of AKB48 was sung at karaoke.  I think a lot to do with music is exposure to it – you may not like a song the first time you hear it, but here it 100 times on commercials, radio and TV shows and ~ well I can’t find any other way to put it than it grinds you down into liking it, if only for the familiarity.

I wont note my current liking of AKB48 quite as harsh as that.  I was a fan of Oogoe Diamond and I have browsed through a number of their tracks with varied enthusiasm over the last 18 months.  Why the turning point was at this event, was probably due to how fun some of the songs were (“Aitakatta” in particular) as well as the ease at which you can pick them up and sing along.

In fact, it was through this that I began to remember why I liked idol music – it was fun, energetic and not overly complicated in the vocal department.  I still haven’t quite got used to AKB48s choir-like group singing, which is probably why the karaoke bought out the better side to the songs for me.  So walking away from that event, much to the disgust of some of my fellow wota friends (who like a particular other idol company I stated I wouldn’t mention), gave those songs another listen.  On replay, a second realisation to why I was liking AKB48s music hit me: instruments!

Yes, you can actually hear guitars pumping out the tunes, strong drum beats.  There are fewer synths than a lot of modern Japanese pop music, making it sound less complicated, with large group vocals pading out the songs instead.

On reflection, the music isn’t the only reason to get into AKB48, as we all know they have accessibility to Western fans.  They came over for the Paris Expo and have appeared in the US, giving me more of a reason to follow them.  Relatively few J-Pop acts come close enough to the UK for us to ever see them (Halko Momoi and UTADA are obviously excused from this accusation) – and although my French is terrible, if AKB48 were to reappear, I would seriously consider seeing them!

However, there are still a few concerns of mine which prevent me from changing from intermittent listener full-fledged wota.  I’m still not really into this singing in unison and I still can’t name one individual member of the group.  At the moment I’m having a bit of a problem finding out more about AKB48 – mainly because I’m too lazy to look, and also that my work PC doesn’t seem to like to load International Wota which always seems to have links to cool AKB articles.

However my infatuation with some of their singles over the last few weeks (such as River and Iwake Maybe) is making me want to look for more stuff.

Therefor, if you have any suggestions of websites, dramas or other AKB48 related things which you think I should check out, please recommend! We’ll see if this new interest blossoms or just falters to the side.

Oricon Top 10 24/02/2010

  1. AKB48 – Sakura no Shiroi (317,828) NEW
  2. KAT-TUN – Love yourself ~ kimi ga kirai na kimi ga suki~ (39,419) DOWN
  3. Hannya, Fruits Punch – Onara Hazukashikunai yo / Pirameki tasou (39,143) DOWN
  4. fripSide – LEVEL5 – judgement- (30,738) NEW
  5. YUKI – Ureshikutte Dakiau yo (17,829) NEW
  6. Saataaangikii (New hexagon Unit) – Yanbarukeina ga tonnda (10,420) DOWN
  7. Nana Mizuki – Silent Bible (9,572) DOWN
  8. Ebisco Muscat – Banana Mango Highschool / 12 no 34 de naite with Yoshimai (9,127) NEW
  9. Angelo – Hikari no Kioku (8,858) NEW
  10. Yuya Matsushita – Trust Me (7,557) NEW

Wow!  AKB48 have really, really notched up their sales with their latest single.  We’ll definitely be seeing this in the top-selling singles of 2010!  KAT-TUN rock up in second for their second week charting, along with Hannya, Fruits Punch, Hexagon Unit and Nana Mizuki. 6 new entries in the top 10 this week.