Kanjani8 grabbed the top spot this week with their single “愛でして” (Medeshite) selling 262,044, which is above the critical 250,000 level. Seeing the title, I would have probably read it “Aideshite” because 愛 is “ai” nine times out of ten, but thanks to the Rikaichan toolbar for Firefox, I was saved that mistake. Thank you Rikaichan!

Arashi’s “Your Eyes” moved into number two, with 42,755 copies sold in week two, for a total of 520,575. Arashi’s other single, “Face Down” held #21, now at a total of 605,597.

The Korean pop group 2PM continued to go relatively strong, with “Beautiful” scoring 18,855 for a 160,091 two-week total. Anytime when the second week nabs more than 10% of the sales of the first week, I consider it a good sign for the group in question. That’s positive buzz/promotion.

In our special coverage of album sales, NEWS took the number one spot with “NEWS BEST” selling 109,172, above the gold certification level of 100,000. For a best-of album, that’s fairly weak, pointing to some tentativeness among all but the more solid NEWS fans. Again, I really think we’ll get a better feel for the new NEWS after we see them in concert, but until then, I don’t know if they’ll be able to match up with their peers. Have NEWS been out there promoting this album heavily? I haven’t seen much promotion, but maybe I’m watching the wrong shows. Tegoshi-kun seems to be spending more time promoting his new movie (which is perfectly understandable, of course).

Behind NEWS on the album charts was the prince of enka, Hikawa Kiyoshi, at number two, and then Mr. Children with their best-of albums at #3 and #4 (I lost track of the sales figures after each of them broke 1 million).

Hey! Say! Jump’s new album took a surprisingly large hit, down to #8 with only 12,011 sales after week one’s 126,578, for a total of 138,589. Again, it’s definitely underperforming their first album, which is pretty much expected, but I can’t help but feel that a bit more promotion could have been helpful. It’s unfortunate that they couldn’t use Yan Yan Jump more effectively, for instance.

And, finally, the ???48 family. Back to singles, AKB48 remains in the top ten, with “Manatsu no Sounds Good!” now totaling 1,790,786. I’d be surprised if their next single didn’t break 2 million. I think we’d have to call anything less than two million a disappointment (I’m joking, in case it’s not clear).

Some of the lesser sisters of the family also held on. Not Yet’s “Suika Baby” was at #13 in its third week, selling 7,143 for a total of 159,489. Nogizaka46’s “Oide Shampoo” burst back into the top 30 at #17, a remarkable development since the single was released a month and a half ago, but because they were out of it last week, I lost track of their totals. SKE48 held on right behind them at #18, with the total reaching 548,656. The game right now is to make sure Arashi’s “Your Eyes” beats out this single, or we might risk having two ???48 family members at the top and, again, I prefer diversity. NMB48 was mysteriously out of the top 30 even though it had managed #5 last week.