Well, it’s all about AKB48 and friends this week. Honestly, I haven’t heard “Manatsu no Sounds Good!” (真夏のSounds Good!) yet. Does that make me a bad person? Probably. I mean, 1,616,795 copies of it were sold in its first week – how could I have possibly missed hearing it? I must not be watching enough Japanese TV. I should watch AKBINGO (the mainline AKB48 variety show) as penance.

The rest of the AKB family continued in the top 30 as well. In its second week, SKE48 held #4 with “Aishite Raburu!” selling 49,031 for a total of 521,358. Those second week sales are stronger than what Arashi managed with “Face Down” in week 2, but SKE might be riding some AKB coattails. NMB48’s “Nagiichi” has a total of 404,505 in three weeks, at #14 this week. Nogizaka46 actually ticked up to #16 with “Oide Shampoo” scoring a total of 193,583. So, the AKB family of groups (not counting solo acts) sold 2,736,241 copies in May by my calculations (which could be off).

Significantly, that’s only a bit ahead of Mr. Children‘s combined album and single sales for the month, with their best-of albums pushing 2 million copies sold combined and their single still in the top 30 at #29 in its sixth week. Apparently, rock lives.

NYC‘s “Haina” (ハイナ!) sold a respectable 91,082 in its first week, taking number two behind the AKB48 behemoth. It looks puny by comparison, but consider who behind them at #3 and #5: Glay and Yuzu (ゆず). For those who don’t know, Glay and Yuzu are two of the most popular rock groups in Japan, each with many songs in my regular playlist, so seeing Glay’s “Bible” sell 49,323 and Yuzu’s “with you” sell 34,544, both in their first week as well, gives me more of an appreciation of what NYC managed. NYC sold more than both Glay and Yuzu combined! Also keep in mind that NYC released on Friday rather than Wednesday, so that might skew the stats somewhat. I’m hoping that this turns out to beat “Wonderful Cupid” (108,435) and “Yoku Asobi Yoku Manabe” (118,000) at least. I don’t think it’ll take out NYC’s top hit since leaving B.I.Shadow behind – “Yume Tamago” (148,218).

Arashi’s “Face Down” held #8 in its third week with 20,643 sold for a total of 586,164. I think it’s safe to say that it’ll stay ahead of SKE48 for the year-end chart, but you never know.

And that’s it. This has really been a month of heavyweights on the charts. Arashi will be back again on June 6th with “Your Eyes,” but it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting another AKB flurry, though Maeda Atsuko‘s single will be coming out in the middle of the month. Maybe the merely human groups will get a chance to take #1 in June.

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