Published on December 1st,2012 at 7:29 AM
By >Ike

Japan music update: November 2012

Already November, a few weeks away from Christmas & New Year and that’s clearly showing in this month’s music charts. Quite obviously every girl group, boys band or sole performer out there wants to release their new album right now, a perfect strategy to guarantee solid sales during the holiday season.

We took a look at the music and video items on the Japanese high streets and inquired who the big sellers are this time of the year. Let’s have a look who’s doing great.


In the singles division (of this week, numbers are averages):


1)    Our shine – Watanabe Mayu – (ヒカルものたち – 渡辺麻友 )

Single does not have a specific English name, relative translation used.
Miss Watanabe is a Team-A member of the girls group AKB48, this single is her 3rd studio recording. With over 92 000 copies sold, she is doing pretty on release week.

2)    Farewell, my dear sorrow – Momoiro Clover Z (サラバ、愛しき悲しみたちよ – ももいろクローバーZ )

Single does not have a specific english name, relative translation used.

With over 74 000 copies sold the pink girls from Momoiro Clover Z are back in the game. The girls band has been around since 2008; this year they really took the lid off their career. Let’s hope they can continue on this cloud.


Yes, this is actually the original Japanese “english” title.

Generations is a derivate of the massively popular boys band EXILE (Avex productions). These new guys from the block are set to take on the same quality standards. It seems the hard labor paid off, 72 000 singles sold for this week alone.

4)    V.I.P. – Sid ( V.I.P – シド )

Sid is popular rock band, they’ve been around since 2003. Although lately it has been fairly calm around Sid it seems Aki, Mao, Shinji & Yuuya amped up the guitars and really mean to push it with V.I.P.  By the end of the week they’ll be nearing the 35 000 copies sold.

5)    FLOWER POWER – Girls Generation (FLOWER POWER – 少女時代 )

This one doesn’t really require the intro I assume…  Yes we’re talking about Korea’s K-pop wonder: Girls Generation. Their full album should be available right now in your local Japanese shop. The girls managed to sell close to 30 000 copies this week, but those “low results” should be taken with a grain of salt since most buyers are holding on for their anticipated full album.



The overall top sellers for the whole month are not released before the 2nd of December. But our best estimate for a month’s top 3 would be:


  • UZA – AKB48 (sold over 1.1 million copies last month, and that particular single was released only the 31st of last month; sold about 10x better than the nr 2 back then, says enough really).


  • Kenji Kitagawa – NMB48 ( 北川謙二 – NMB48 ) as a sister group of AKB48 and selling over 320 000 singles in the first week of this month, it’s a safe bet to include them.


  • Love for the beat – Kis-My-Ft2 ( アイノビート – Kis-My-Ft2 ) <translation: ai no beat>. They are one of the most popular Japanese boys bands around, selling over 260 000 in the 2nd week of this month.


In the albums division (numbers are averages):

Unlike singles, it’s difficult to predict the final outcome of the top selling albums before the end of the month (statistics close the 2nd of December).

So we’ll going to give you our top 5, based on the highest ranked album per week.


1)    BEST STORY ~Life stories~ – JUJU

Juju is a Japanese Jazz singer, currently residing in New York. She performed live in New York’ famous JAZZ MUSICIAL, and has been establishing her own sound in the center of music of the world with influeces such as R&B, HIP HOP, SOUL, LATIN and HOUSE, besides Jazz. This album is 1 of 2 albums released, a special way for an artist to release 2 different albums, but hey this is Japan and everything is possible. Sales of “Life stories” are around 35 000 sold copies and rising.

2)    BEST STORY ~Lo ve stories~ – JUJU

This is the 2nd album of Juju’s “Best of” series, Sales of “Love stories”    are on average 30 000 sold copies and rising.

3)    Popcorn – Arashi (Popcorn – 嵐 )

Last month they shot the prize bird of over 702 000 albums sold. Excellent results for the boys band for an album released the final day of last month.  This release is their eleventh studio album. Expected to be selling in very high numbers during the holiday season.

4)    Girls Forever – KARA (ガールズ フォーエバー – KARA )

The South Korean pop group KARA had an excellent run the second week of this month, we expect this album to pick up more copies as the end results flow in.

5) Girls & Peace – Girls Generation (GIRLS’ GENERATION Ⅱ ~Girls & Peace~ )

This is the 2nd Japanese album of the South Korean girls group Girls Generation. The album has only launched today, but ‘as of today’ it is the 2nd best selling album of the day, and not every store had stock (those who had sold out the very instant this morning). Expect this album to score very high in December’s chart too.


The music industry is doing excellent in Japan, even if we take a peek in the DVD/Bu-Ray section the top sellers this month have all been music DVDs;  dominated by artists like KARA, Eikichi Yazawa, KAT-TUN and Kazumasa Oda.

Today the live DVD/Blu-Ray of AKB48’s Tokyo Dome concert called “1830m” was released to the public. 1830m represents the distance of the Akihabara Theatre (AKB’s home base) to the prestigious Tokyo Dome building. Regarding the statistics most stores sold out on day 1, leaving aside the ten thousands of preorders on Amazon Japan or HMV (Lawson’s Music).

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Category Offbeat
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