On the topic of why I track the Oricon charts, I think my primary interest (though I can come up with all sorts of reasons) is how each group does compared to their own earlier releases. You’ll often notice in these posts that I hold different groups to different standards (I expect 500,000 from Arashi, but 250,000 from Kanjani8, for instance), and that’s because I want to see them outdo themselves and increase their fan base. Comparing one group or artist against another is often a case of comparing apples and oranges, because each artist has a different style. So, Arashi can’t be compared to AKB48, and any comment I make that suggests otherwise should be taken as humor. For various reasons, these charts are not a good measure of the overall popularity or quality of the actual songs.

That said, the top single for this week is Tohoshinki‘s (東方神起) “Android”, which sold 152,412. This is average for Tohoshinki’s Japanese releases, and their fans seem to go for the albums more than the singles.

Scandal’s “太陽スキャンダラス” (Taiyou Scandalous) was number two with 31,583, and number three was flumpool with “Because . . . I am” with 28,128 sold.

Yamashita Tomohisa’s “Love Chase” took number five with 11,951 copies sold for a two-week total of 130,932. That was a good 10% second week.

Shoujo Jidai grabbed #8 with their “Paparazzi” selling 9,547 for a total of 116,300.

Right behind them at #9 was Kim Hyun-joong’s “Heat”, which managed only 6,916 in its second week after a very strong first week, for a total of 190,394. I think that speaks to a severe lack of buzz.

Morning Musume’s “One-Two-Three / The 摩天楼ショー (The Matenrou/Skyscraper Show)” was at #12, for a two week total of 106,321.

And that’s it. Amazingly, all the big name artists from previous weeks – AKB48, Arashi, Exile, Kanjani8, KAT-TUN, SKE48, and Maeda Atsuko – dropped out of the top 30 in the same week! How did that happen? Was it “try something new” week in Japan, or something? Just out of curiosity, I took a peek at #31-40 and, sure enough, they were all there! All seven could be found just beyond the line I had drawn. Oh, well.

I guess this means it’s about time for the 48 family to start a new flurry of releases, right?