Open Post

Hey, Arama! Japan! It’s Friday, so it’s Open Post time! Feel free to chat with your fellow readers about whatever you like! Enjoy!

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    • Question of the week: So Koda Kumi’s new album hit #1, making it her ninth studio album to do so. This is a new record and her fans are bragging about it. But it is really something to brag about, seeing as how Avex releases her albums on dead weeks and her sales are piss poor now? The first week sales for those nine #1 albums:

      2006 – Black Cherry: 502,426
      2008 – Kingdom: 421,302
      2009 – TRICK: 253,346
      2010 – UNIVERSE (combined with a best album): 221,887
      2011 – Dejavu: 138,005
      2012 – JAPONESQUE: 93,835
      2014 – Bon Voyage: 46,091
      2015 – WALK OF MY LIFE: 39,346
      2017 – W FACE ~outside~: 20,246

      • Guest~

        Well, when you put into this perspective, ouch. She didn’t even have an album that came back to at least the 100,000 sale mark. That’s unfortunate. I mean, we should let them have it because it seems like her fans only have this left to hold on to. She must have robbed an empty house then to have gotten #1 this week.

        • Her albums hover around 50k total now, but I doubt these new ones will reach that. Her sales literally halved in 2 years. And she’s always robbing empty houses.

      • HyperMoot .

        interesting perspective but I think things should be compared from 2010/2011 till now. Though CD sales remain fairly strong in Japan if compared with other countries, the market was totally different in 2006

        • Even looking at 2010 to now, it’s still a drop of over 90%.

          • HyperMoot .

            correct, I’m not disputing that :)

      • Mr.Taxi™

        The dragging of the Kum rag continues

      • rshina

        but if I remember correctly, W FACE have 2 version right? outside and inside?
        maybe that’s why the sales is low? the sales split between the 2 version

        • The sales are basically the same (for physical and digital), indicating that the same people mostly like bought both albums.

          • Himi Tsu

            Does that mean ~20,000 each ? Then that would mean that she sold better than 2015 xD

            • Thomas

              Yes, about 20’000 each but I don’t think she really did better than 2015. Maybe more CDs were sold but I don’t think more PEOPLE bought it.

          • rshina

            you mean those people that buy inside ver. also buy outside ver.?
            well, it’s possible…

      • Himi Tsu

        Wahoo :/ I’m not following her but this is a huge drop since her first. Are her single the same ?

        • Yes, that’s the problem. There’s no growth. Times have changed, but she hasn’t.

      • Ryusei

        you answered your own question

      • club_banger

        Well, at least “this is the first time in 47 years that two studio albums by a solo female artist have occupied the Top 2 on the charts”. She’s okay. Touring gives her money. It’s better to be #1 in a dead week, then to be #20 in an active week. C’mon, she’s diva. That would hurt image a lot. avex does media play. Nothing’s wrong with that. Only haters like you can’t stay calm.

        • Her image is already in the trash so…

          • club_banger

            How rude of you.

      • club_banger

        It’s better to do this, than do like Mai Kuraki. Releasing singles on Blu-ray/DVD only to save a Top-10 singles’ record.

        • honey girl

          Mai Kuraki also has the highest 1st week sales for a debut album and 1 of 2 solo artists to have a studio album in the top 10 best selling albums in a Japan. Not even Ayu has that. Kuu…has nothing at all. Her records can be so easily broken that someone like Kana could shatter them if she wanted too. No one in the industry is that desperate tho…no one but Kuu.

          And sweetie…keeping a top 10 singles record is much more praise worthy than strategic release week #1 albums especially seeing as physical single sales for solo female artists are at all-time low. Hence, avex not even bothering to release any singles for their era for her.

          • Ash

            Yeah but who the hell is Mai Kuraki

          • club_banger

            Well, Mai Kuraki had their own strategy week, too.

      • yacchaitai

        I remember how they moved the release date of one of her albums because someone slightly popular announced a release for the same week. They know her old hits, self proclaimed queen of live title, and this record streak are the only things keeping her from promoting pachinko machines full time.

      • honey girl

        None of the records that Kuu has are praise worthy at all. I can’t @ her stans really getting happy about that double album/#1 streaks records. Like she doesnt even have any records that she specifically created on her own. Just strategy records that could be broken by any other solo artist but not wanting to because its cheap and carries no real notoriety.

        Her fanbase keeps disappearing left and right and she’s having to do smaller and smaller halls. It’s just a matter of time before she starts writing ultimatums on her albums begging 10,000 fans to support her release. The ol’ pooch is over.

        • rshina

          yeah, it actually kinda sad because I like a few of her song. but her recent song just not that good….

        • That shout out to her sister!

      • Yg

        My question of the week to you Ronald:
        Where’s the arama!japan awards results? March is almost over now

    • Fatima

      Anyone else feeling like this, I cant get over B.I. Shadow not debuting, ok i know it’s been years after sexy zone debut but i just cant seem to like the remaining 3 members of sexy zone, i dont hate them but i just dont like them, i have tried many times but i cant, I was a big b.i.shadow fan so when they broke up i was so upset, like where the other 3 kids came from anyway, for those who dont know b.i.shadow was a Johnny’s jr group so if anyone feels like me please do tell me, I just cant stop feeling like this, and i only support fumaken in sexy zone so i feel bad at times….. anyway xD i just needed to get this out of my system……

      • Himi Tsu

        I was also sad about them breaking B.I.Shadow, however I feel like Hokuto and Kouchi are much better now in 6TONES. True they didn’t debut yet (…. what is Johnny’s waiting for btw ? >< It's been SO long since the last new Johnny's group and that they're waiting…), but I find more harmony between the members of 6TONES than I've ever seen in B.I.Shadow :D

        • Guest~

          After KAT-TUN’s ordeal, I feel like harmony between members is SO important now. We can’t have a group that will constantly have arguments over stupid things and I feel like sixtones manages to not have that. But same, I have no clue what Johnny’s is waiting for.

        • Fatima

          i hope they debut soon, all 6tones members they deserve it

      • rshina

        I’m with you,not hating but can’t like Sexy Zone.
        But I actually like 6tones better than b.i.shadow, so right now I’m just hoping they’ll be able to debut

        • Fatima

          yes like i say i hope they can debut 6tones all together like they did with johnny’s west,

      • yamakita

        Sexy Zone’s debut was very forced. And putting an 11-year-old in a group called “Sexy Zone”…, only Johnny’s can get away with it.

    • Song suggestion…

      • HyperMoot .

        don’t know them, at all, nice, I like the atmosphere and the guitars, will explore

        • I found them in a Spotify playlist “J-Rock Now” and love at first listen.

    • Dave

      Maybe I’m wrong but there seems to be an influx of these types of girl groups, so who’s gonna come out on top?


      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TnE_Oy0llg

      • FAKY for me. And yeah, fortunately we are starting to have more and more non-idol girl groups. I wonder if there will be any that becomes as popular as MAX and SPEED were back on their days.

        • Ash

          How are these not idol groups?

          • hhhh

            They’re not marketed that way, and have nothing of what paying customers want in idols, and their music doesn’t follow the structure of idols’ songs. Idol groups aren’t just what it’s called when you have two or more female singers together, they’re a specific genre of entertainment with its own subculture. I think it’s harder for even saleable idols to find favour with consumers outside of that culture, which is exactly what these groups are aiming to do – better for them to avoid being typecast from the beginning.

            Instead, these groups are attempts at following the success of Korean and Western music in Japan: I don’t think it’s a complete coincidence that one of the Bananalemon members is wearing some cheap Ariana Grande cosplay, while the melody of FAKY’s “Surrender” is a little too close to Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”.

            (As an aside, FAKY is arguably the most successful of these acts, but even so, the events they’ve been performing at are roughly the same size as those of barely relevant idols – they must be extremely unprofitable, and I wonder how much longer Avex is going to keep dragging them out like this.)

      • Fatima

        really like the last 2 groups you mention :D

      • Nikki ok

        what’s up with those names tho, like I can deal with “faky” and “def will” but “bananalemon” is a bit too much lol why

        • King Hide

          lol same

        • Dave

          Yeah I’m not into BANANALEMON, but I was curious what other people thought. They seem way to corny

      • i just call these bitch music. some of them are great!

        • Dave

          FEMM ruins FAMM’IN for me. They been doing the same shit for too long

    • Thomas

      I’m in love with Hayley Kiyoko’s new song and video!

      • Fatima

        not gonna lie, i was a bit shocked xD when i saw the video just now

    • ran

      I keep listening to this ever since it came out!

    • aisasami

      Anyone’s a fan of 女王蜂 (Jyoubachi)?

    • hasawa

      Am i the only one ridiculously excited by Bersek season 2 opening?

      I’m glad 9mm Parabellum Bullet is giving out good ass shit again! When they have announced as making the new OP i already knew the would never top “Inferno” but “Sacrifice” sounds really great! Looking forward April 7th!!

    • Chel

      Anyone think Keyakizaka46 ripped off Morning Musume’14’s concept? I say ’14’ because ’14 became pushed and the media started talking about their formation dance, the ‘cool’ vibe, Riho being the cool center, etc. Now the media is praising Keyaki for those same things.

      I prefer Keyaki’s music but I thought Morning Musume’14’s dances were more inspired and while Hirate has that popular sub-culture look that’s popular now Riho was more fun to watch. Between their music sounding more messy and the lack of a cool ‘absolute’ center, Morning Musume’17 lacks charisma and that’s why Keyakizaka46 has pushed them out of their spot by ripping their concept off.

      • nanchan

        i’m a fan of MM and i think keyakizaka46 does it better imo. they’re more sleek even if morning musume’s choreographies during ’14 were more involved.

      • Yg

        I would think of Nogi rather than Keyaki who’re sort of emulating MM style.

      • yamakita

        All idol groups are a copy of a copy of a copy…

        • Kkkk

          yes but morning musume’s concept was refreshing because they were different from aki-p groups. no longer refreshing. and it shows by their declining sales.

        • hhhh

          Yes, in the same way that all bands with guitars are actively engaging in plagiarism, and that all people with brown hair are copying each other.

    • Icom85

      Did I missed the 2016 Arama Award winners list? Kindly provide the link. Thanks.

      • Yg

        They never posted it. Readers been asking almost every week on Open Posts but Ronald is ignoring it it seems.

        • Nikki ok

          chill, maybe consider the fact that contributers have a life

          • Yg

            I did consider it but things have been business as usual lately (and I see your upvote Ronald).

          • Icom85

            The awards is just for fun of course, I’m just really interested to know the winners in some of the categories haha

        • Icom85

          Thanks for the info.

    • Fatima

      anyone else feels like johnny’s is trying to make a new version of arashi with sexy zone? or is it just me who thinks it?? ok i know it sounds crazy but i have watched variety shows and read interviews and sexy zone totally gives me arashi vibes, i gave my opinion on this before but some i believe sexy zone fangirls weren’t too pleased with my opinion so If anyone here with a open mind has an opinion on this please share it with me, It’s been killing me lol

      • Nikki ok

        I thought kis my ft2 will be the next arashi or kanjani because they’re more popular, even hey say jump seems to have more of a chance to be the next arashi because in sexy zone there are only 3 members people actually know of and I feel like to be the next arashi it has to be a group where all members have more or less equal presence in the group but who knows

        • jiji

          I always thought Johnny’s might push HSJ as the next Arashi because they have that same cutesy, cheesy style. But there’s just so damn many of them it would be more difficult to control and ‘package’ them way they have done with Arashi. I quite like Kis-my-ft2 but the whole sub unit thing is something that may work against them. Kanjani8 continue to grow in popularity but they pretty much do their own thing and again, this makes it harder to package and market them.

          Sexy Zone has 5 members, maybe Johnny’s could work their marketing magic with them too. But if, as you say, some members are promoted more than others, this is recipe for disaster.

          • Kenty

            “But there’s just so damn many of them it would be more difficult to control and ‘package’ them way they have done with Arashi.”
            I think that’s not an accurate perception when it comes to Arashi’s success. Its not about control but simply for each members acknowledgement they get to do their individual work because of the group and being with their groupmates are their home. That’s what unified Arashi. Just look at the range and variety of work Arashi members managed to reel in in 2006. Jun’s Hanadan might started the ball rolling but the other members weren’t idling away.
            HSJ has so much potential and they have strength in numbers, even if some members like Takaki seems useless.

            • jiji

              I don’t think you understood what I meant by ‘control and package’. Of all the Johnny’s groups Arashi is by far the most perfect ‘product’. Arashi is like going to McDonald’s. You pretty much know what you’re going to get before you order and you know it’s going to taste pretty much the same as what you had last time. It’s safe and predictable and people like that. Johnny’s likes it because it brings in mega bucks for them.

              The point I was making is the other groups mentioned could pose difficulties for the jimusho in that they are less predictable and have aspects about them which may make it harder to craft the perfect marketing image.

              • Kenty

                But in order for them to be consistent (predictable) and pleasing the status quo (safe), each of the members are conscious of their roles to retain this image they’ve build themselves. J&A are managing their careers but Arashi decision to stick with their roles lie on the members shoulders. There are also other groups like SMAP & TOKIO who are defiant of the box they got served on and yet like Arashi, they are pretty clear with their (predictable) roles and consciously moving the group forward utilising the same platform.
                Not saying you were wrong though. That McDonald analogy was pretty spot on.

        • Fatima

          thats true whenever i think of sexy zone i can only remember 3 of them, i keep forgeting the other guy besides marius name, maybe because like they say somewhere in here, sexy zone seems pretty much force lol but to me kismy could be more like kat-tun they have that aura kat-tun has. But anything can happen, anyway I think HSJ is doing really good these past few year and this year too, I don’t think we want them to be the new arashi like @jiji says theres too many of them, i dont think johnnys would be able to controll them like they do with arashi, also i dont see kanjani as arashi at all, remember most of them were together as juniors so it would be weird for them to be the new arashi… I could never see them like the new arashi, kanjani has their own style and have more of a comedy style

          • Kenty

            Arashi rise to fame wasn’t mainly caused by Johnny’s control though. While Jun did get Hanadan with JnA influence, his memorable performance was due to his own skills. So was Nino landing his role in Iwo Jima or Sho who actually proposed to the jimusho that he wanted to do news reporting before ZERO offered. Sho also influenced Ohno to approach j&a about his art exhibit. More than the control, its the members initiative that made Arashi.

      • rshina

        well, it’s true that I feel sexy zone is being pushed right now, but I don’t they’ll be the next arashi, I think kis my ft2 will be the one.
        HSJ is in the middle of gaining popularity too, so it’s possible for them too

        • Fatima

          i dont think kismy or hsj can be the new arashi because the feeling we get from them is totally not what arashi is also, kismy could become like kat-tun, they always give me that kattun vibe, fire beat is the example of it lol but hey its just me thinking to much i guess lol

          • rshina

            if we’re talking about kat-tun vibe, I’m getting that kind of feels more from 6tones. but it could be because I like them so much :D
            and even if johnnys try to make a new arashi from sexy zone, it’ll be hard because sexy zone isn’t strong enough right now. I can’t even name half of the member.

          • Kenty

            As an arashi fan I feel like HSJ has more of an arashi vibe than Sexy Zone. 5 members in a group is ideal but even with 9, the style and image (friendly, cheery, colourful, ready to be bullied, some college education, some witty members, some actors, a lot of idiots) fit what arashi has. I think the most important quality when it comes to having arashivibe is under-selling themselves. HSJ can be Arashi’s successor if they have more than 2 members gaining significant projects in a year (arashi had hanadan, iwo jima, ZERO, shimura within a year’s span).

            Sexy Zone don’t quite fit arashi’s formula especially with confident characters like Nakajima Kento, Fuma and Marius. I do like Sexy Zone too but they are not that humble when describing themselves or their skills. Personally I don’t find the members have enough acting talents compared to HSJ, and we all know acting is the gateway to success for a Johnny’s group. I can see them succeeding in the future but they will carve their own way.

      • yamakita

        Now you mentioned it, is SixTONES the new KAT-TUN? And they need to do better with the names…

        • Fatima

          never thought about that, i dont really get any vibes from kat-tun tho, more like kismyft2 is the new kat-tun

      • Kenty

        I’ve seen Sexy Zone on Arashi ni Shiyagare and they did try to compare themselves with Arashi. They only hit some points like Shori looking like Matsujun’s little brother, Fuma being a Keio grad, and them having 5 members. The vibe was totally different image wise imo. SZ members hamming up their “sexy” tagline (despite their young age) is far from Arashi boy-next-door approach. All I could think when it comes to other groups using this technique was in Kattun (Kame/Koki/Jin), NEWS’s Tegoshi and maybe Kisumai.

        I’m not sure how SZ interact with each members. They look great working together in general but not sure if they have member pairing chemistry. One thing arashi is famous for are their member pairings chemistry and the compatibility are interchangeable. With most Johnny’s the pairing compatibility aren’t interchangeable. I feel like HSJ has stronger pairing chemistry vibe compared to SZ.

    • it feels so right listening to this song. :D
      2003

    • OhNana

      Anyone listened to OOR’s mini album, Skyfall?