The first two weeks of May are a bit light as far as releases are concerned, but things get a bit more interesting in the middle of the month. I guess there’s not much thirst to put records out during Golden Week.

As always, these are selected single and album releases for the month, not all of them (i.e. releases from groups that I’m interested in tracking). My apologies if I missed a significant release (particularly those likely to sell 50k or more) – please mention the artist and title in a comment and I’ll update the list.

More complete listings are available on merchant websites (I use CD Japan’s list).

May 1st

Sexy Zone – Real Sexy! / BAD BOYS

EXILE ATSUSHI & Nobuyuki Tsujii – Soredemo, Ikiteyuku

Yuzu – Land

May 8th

Domoto Tsuyoshi – Kaba (album)

Tomomi Kasai – Mine

May’n – Run Real Run

May 15th

KAT-TUN – FACE to face

Generations from EXILE TRIBE – Love You More

GReeeeN – Heroes

T.M. Revolution x Nana Mizuki – “Valverave the Liberator” Intro Theme: Preserved Roses

Dream5 – Hop! Step! Dance

Naoto Inti Raymi – Nice Catch the Moment! (album)

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – Invader Invader

May 22nd

AKB48 – Sayonara Crawl

Tegomasu – Neko Chudoku

Nagabuchi Tsuyoshi – Mirai

Perfume – Magic of Love

Ieiri Leo – Message

Nakashima Mika – Ai kotoba

Ketsumeishi – Tsuki to Taiyo

SCANDAL – Awanai tsumori no, Genki de ne

S/mileage – New CD: Title TBA (album)

May 29th

Arashi – Endless Game

Kitano Kii – Donda!

Alice Nine – Shooting Star

Dream – Only You

June 5th

SMAP – Joy!!

Momoiro Clover – Iriguchi no Nai Deguchi

Ikimonogakari – 1 2 3 – Koi ga Hajimaru

Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku – Te wo Tsunago / Kindan no Karma

Lots to talk about when it comes to this month.

First, of course, we have the Sexy Zone thing. After hearing both songs and singing them performed on Shounen Club, I was considering supporting the group again in the hope that they would do more songs like these (especially like “BAD BOYS”) and less like their last single. With these two songs, there was a good chance this would be their bounce-back single. But then, I saw the covers for the various editions, and those gave me serious pause. Even a fan who is dismissive of the younger two members and prefers the elder three would have to look at those covers and find them a bit mean in the way they either make Marius-kun and Sou-kun blend into the juniors or disappear completely. Seems to be management is hell-bent on making mistake after mistake. So here’s the question: will the number of fans dismayed by the way the younger two members are being treated outweigh the ones who favor this direction for SZ?

Will KAT-TUN once again get their usual number – around 150k – on this single, or will this finally be the release on which they do better?

As always, I’m looking forward to seeing the choreography on the new Dream5 release.

The title of the AKB48 release sure is ominous – I had to do a double-take on it. I guess because this single has the voting ballots in, it’ll do well, but what sort of a song is it with at title like that? I must admit, they’ve got my curiosity.

I suppose Tegomasu will put up a number in their usual range. Has there been much attempt by management to promote either NEWS or this sub-unit? Along with KAT-TUN, they seem to be getting short-shrift. Well, at least they have single releases – pretty soon, we will have passed the one year mark since HSJ got a record release of any kind (their album release was on June 6th of last year and we’ve had nothing since).

Ieiri Leo got a lot of buzz around her album release, so I wonder how she does here. Could she be a contender against Tegomasu?

Right after AKB48, the other heavyweight – Arashi – get their next shot. Since this single only has one tie-in (as far as I know), I suppose the numbers will go back to their usual range after the spike for “Calling/Breathless”, but what if it doesn’t . . . .