Archive for July, 2013

While not quite as packed with interesting releases as July, there’s plenty in August keep the Oricon numbers interesting every week.

This list has 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  – 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).

August 7th

Southern All Stars – Peace & Hi-lite

Akanishi Jin – Hey What’s Up?

Acid Black Cherry – Greed Greed Greed

Nishino Kana – Namida Iro

IDOLING!!! – Summer Lion

Yusuke – Tomorokoshi/Earth Child

August 14th

Kis-My-Ft2 – Kimi tono Kiseki

UVERworld – Fight for Liberty/Wizard CLUB

Dream5 – We are Dreamer

SCANDAL – Kagen no Tsuki

The Second from EXILE – Survivors feat. DJ MAKIDAI

An Cafe – ROMAN-Let’s make precious love

SONAR POCKET – Senko Hanabi – 8 Gatsu no Yakusoku

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Just in case you’re wondering why I don’t make posts predicting these numbers ahead of time, last week in a reply to ryusenkai’s report (the extensive comment ryusenkai contributes regularly to these Oricon ranking posts) I said that I thought Kobukuro would do better than KARA in the singles, but Super Junior was more likely to beat Ikimonogakari on the album side. I was wrong on both predictions so . . . yeah – that’s why I don’t make prediction posts.

But first, SKE48′s “Utsukushii Inazuma” took #1 among last week’s singles, selling 94,577 more copies to bring its two week’s total to 605,250. This is way above expectations (a 10% second week for a -48 family group is spectacular, and this is close to 20%), so I’m sure there’s some story behind this result.

KARA took #2 as “Thank You Summer Love” (サンキュー サマーラブ) sold 69,416 copies. That’s roughly in-line with their last two singles, though a steady improvement over both, so it looks like they’ve found a new consistent range between 60k and 75k.

Kobukuro’s “One Song From Two Hearts/Diamond” ended up right behind with 63,734 copies sold. I think the top spot was stolen from them and I’m sticking to that story, so there!

At #4, “DARK RIVER/Eternally/Tokei” from GLAY saw 42,040 copies sold.

In its third week, Linked Horizon’s “Jiyuu e no Shingeki” continued to do well, taking #10 and selling an additional 13,922 to bring its total to 172,779.

“Girls Rule” from Nogizaka46 was at #11, now with a four-week total of 381,066.

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In the May 27th episode of Kis-My-BUSAIKU (キスマイ ブサイク), the members of the idol group Kis-My-Ft2 had to purchase underwear for a pretend girlfriend and have their approach and choice critiqued by a panel of 100 female judges around their age. That was a pretty good episode, though I couldn’t assess their efforts independently and I griped about what amounted to two underwear advertisements during the show.

The reason I mention that episode is because this one is very similar – except this time they have to pick out swimsuits for their pretend girlfriends. Is it perhaps too soon to try such a similar situation? Well, I’ll let that one pass for now in favor of a different question – will their experiences with the underwear lead them to better results with the swimsuits?

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We once again get the same sort of icon in the bottom left corner as we had in the underwear iteration:

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The guest was Nanao-san (菜々緒). She’s the least familiar/famous guest who has been on so far, but there’s a good reason for her to be on for this episode in particular. You see, she’s a fashion model who would certainly be up on the latest trends and be able to critique their approaches. And I’ll just say up front that she was very good about talking about how they did, commenting avidly during the videos.

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As usual, they revealed the rankings in 3-2-4-5-6-1-7 order, but I’ll go through the members in alphabetical order to avoid giving the results away.

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At the end of the last episode of Kamen Teacher (仮面ティーチャー), Kusanagi Keigo (Jesse) hinted that he knew that Araki Gota (Fujigaya Taisuke) was the Kamen Teacher, but he didn’t make it conclusive. With the continuation of that conversation at the start of this half-hour, there’s some reason to believe Kusanagi will only state what he knows if he finds some clear advantage in it – perhaps to blackmail Araki. You see, if a Kamen Teacher’s identity is exposed, that’s the end of their role in the program – they’re basically fired.

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That’s not the only problem on Araki’s mind. Last time, we thought he had set Kotaro (Maeda Goki) straight, but it might have been too straight, since Kotaro now doesn’t fight back when his former followers beat him up. Those followers certainly have a reason to be unhappy after what Kotaro did to them, but why doesn’t he fight back?

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In the staff room, there’s no indication at all that Kotaro is being assaulted by fellow students – the teachers simply say that the Kamen Teacher is taking care of Kotaro. Have I mentioned that Araki has to do something to fix this faculty, too?

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Arashi ni Shiyagare (嵐にしやがれ) is an hour-long variety show that features Arashi and famous guests from a range of backgrounds who share their expertise with the five hosts. And this time, the show did not begin with the Tokyo Ii Mise Kudoi Mise segment (hallelujah!), jumping right into the action with the main guest.

However, judging from this graphic at the start of the show, I started to doubt whether this would be my kind of episode:

2013.07.20 Arashi ni Shiyagare 000

That’s . . . a lot of hearts. From the looks of it, the soccer player guest is something of a heart-throb whose relationships are avidly tracked. Unfortunately, I’m not particularly interested in another guy’s relationships, so . . . yeah. At least the Arashi guys are looking cool in black:

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They start off talking about how hot it is (well, then black is the wrong color to wear, right?), which really struck home because it’s been painfully hot around here as well. In fact, I spotted a story that SMAP’s Nakai-san was filming in California recently and got caught in one of our blistering heatwaves. I don’t know which one because it’s impossible to tell when one heat wave ends and the next one starts – it’s like one day when the temperature is finally less than a 90 degree (Fahrenheit) high, then it goes right back into the triple digits.

But I digress. Here’s the guest – soccer player Uchida Atsuto-san (内田 篤人).

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I don’t know if his soccer play justifies this kind of reception – he’s a right back with one goal in sixty games in his international record. Tough to say with a defenseman, though.

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