The number one single this week was “Chankapaana” (チャンカパーナ) – the comeback single from NEWS – which sold 244,710. NEWS singles tend to hover around the Platinum line (250,000), and since this looks like it’ll break that line easily next week, it’s a very good showing. I don’t know if it will break 300,000, but if it does, it will be their first single since “weeeek” to do so. It’s already a good bounce-back from the horrid failure of “Fighting Man”, which didn’t break 200,000.  Congratulations to NEWS for coming through the hard times. I’m still looking forward to the first concert DVD.

Number two was “Romance Privacy” (ロマンス・プライバシー) from AKB48 subunit French Kiss (フレンチ・キス) with 85,011. I don’t know how that measures against this group’s prior singles, but I would guess it’s about on par. We’ll see if this single can break 100,000 in the coming weeks.

Tohoshinki‘s “Android” held onto #10, selling 8,458 for a two-week total of 160,870. This is a fairly disappointing second week, and is reminiscent of the trajectory of Kim Hyun-joong‘s “Heat” last week. Incidentally, in just its third week, “Heat” doesn’t appear in the top fifty at all. It looks like, for Kim Hyun-joong, his dedicated fans came out in the first week, but he didn’t generate any buzz. We’ll see if Tohoshinki suffers the same fate, or whether they have more staying power.

Shoujo Jidai sales follow a more favorable curve, with “Paparazzi” holding #12 in its third week, selling 6,286 for a total of 122,586.

Yamashita Tomohisa‘s “Love Chase” held onto a Top 30 position, taking #22 in week 3 for a total tally of 134,456.

Aside from NEWS, the real story this week came in album sales, where the #1 was the legendary Kuwata Keisuke (桑田 佳祐)’s “I Love You -now & forever-” sold a remarkable 431,683. Kuwata-san’s sales figures have been all over the place in his long career – from below 100,000 to pushing 3 million – so there’s no way to say how this measures. I would love to see it break 500,000 in the coming weeks, though. It’s always great when someone whose first album was a real record – only available in vinyl – is still so popular after all these years. And with his inventiveness, Kuwata-san certainly deserves all the success he gets.

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