Filed under: Arashi, Japan, Johnny's Entertainment, Opinion | Tags: Arashi, Oricon
If there’s one thing we all know about Japan, it’s that Japan is insane and however integrated and educated of their pop culture we are or think we are, we’re still all dumb gaijin and will never really know what they like nowadays.
Sure, we know that Johnny’s fangirls have cash to burn, Koda Kumi albums will always top the charts, KinKi Kids will get #1 on Oricon. These are expected. If anything changes (KinKi’s record of number 1 singles finally stops, people actually really start to dislike Koda Kumi’s music) it’d be shocking.
But did anyone anticipate that a temporary duo formed for a school drama with two Johnny’s idols that integrated Spanish into cheesy lyrics (Shuji to Akira’s “Seishun Amigo”) would become one of the country’s top singles, two years in a row? Would you have bet good money that, after years of the top yearly single being pop artists like SMAP, KAT-TUN, Hirai Ken, and Ayumi Hamasaki, that 2007’s top selling single (“Sen no Kaze ni Natte”) would be classical, from a tenor?
When Arashi’s “Step and Go” PV went out, foreign fans were all generally pretty blase about it; the music video was simple and cheesy, the song was old school, aww no way that this is as good as “Love So Sweet,” at least they still have the rainbows.
Then Japan goes and adores the single; in one week, it’s sold 324,223 copies. That’s the highest first week sales they’ve had for years, even the incredible “Love so Sweet”; that’s higher than the total sales of a lot of their singles; heck, who in Johnny’s tops 300k first week now besides KAT-TUN? Who tops 300k first week at all? Does Japan really like retro pop? Do they really like the C1000 CM song? Were they finally completely drawn in by the rainbows?
I’m glad that Arashi’s single is so successful; I just wish I knew why.
Still, congrats to Arashi!
(Unfortunately, I predicted that NEWS’ “Taiyou no Namida” wasn’t as great as their other singles… and it’s turning out to be true. 😦 Go buy, fangirls, buy!)
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