And suddenly the rankings are packed with familiar names . . .

Number one this week was “Virginity” (ヴァージニティー) from NMB48, selling 315,205. While this is short of the 375,785 they posted in the first week of “Nagaiichi”, it’s in roughly the same ballpark.

At #2 was the third generation of J Soul Brothers (三代目 J Soul Brothers), an Exile offshoot, with “O~Zero~(花火/(You Shine)The World/Kiss You Tonight/ Let’s Party)” which sold 101,236. That’s pretty typical for an Exile single, considering that their fanbase tends to prefer the albums. Exile’s three-week-old “Bow & Arrows” remained in the top 30 at #26, now with a total of 108,892.

V6 was at number three with “kEEP oN.” selling 56,047. I don’t have good numbers to compare this to, but I expect that singles sales don’t define V6’s activities very well.

Speaking of which, SMAP‘s “Moment” came in at #8, adding a very strong 29,911 for a two-week total of 160,638. At the same time, SMAP scored the #1 album of the week, with “Gift of SMAP” selling 210,407. I hope to see “Gift of SMAP” go platinum (250,000 sold).

This was a Johnny’s-heavy week in the rankings, so let’s round out the rest:

“ER” from Eight Rangers/Kanjani8 took #19, now with a total of 358,054.

NEWS‘ comeback single “Chankapaana” held #25, selling 278,444 altogether.

Back to everyone else, there were a lot of familiar names in the rankings that haven’t cracked 100,000:

Yuzu were at #7 with “Mata Ashita” (また明日) selling 33,421.

“Bright Stream” from Mizuki Nana was at #15 in its second week with 87,532 total.

AKB-subgroup No Name’s “Kibou ni Tsuite” was at #21, nabbing a two-week total of 53,690.
In albums, behind SMAP’s “Gift of SMAP” mentioned earlier was Hamasaki Ayumi’s “A Summer Best”, which sold 83,363. For one of Hamasaki-san’s compilation albums, this seems remarkably weak. Her previous compilation albums have all sold over 750,000 copies, and this drop is also evident in her regular album sales. Unlike relative contemporary Amuro Namie, she hasn’t done enough to revitalize her image. I have a number of Hamasaki-san’s songs in my work playlist, and it so happens that “Born to Be . . .” is playing while I’m writing this.

Kuwata Keisuke’s “I Love You -now & forever-” dropped to number three, adding 40,157 for a grand total of 653,790.