If you know anything about the idol pop industry in Japan, you’d know that boy band Arashi and monster girl group AKB48 have had it out for each other for ages. Whenever an AKB single releases, the webiverse is quick to scan for a nearby Arashi release, ready to compare the two groups’ sales. It’s hard to tell if the rivalry for Japan’s ultimate idol group was formed by the groups themselves or the fans…
This rivalry is pretty interesting. Considering all the Arashi members are in their 30’s, you’d think they would have left the idol business behind like most female idols do in their mid-20’s. But this is not the case at all for the males. There is such a divide between the two idol genders in Japan. On one hand, you have females who usually retire by 26, aren’t allowed to date, and must maintain this flower child purity nonsense image. Meanwhile, the males are bound to be popular forever, can date anyone they want, and are even encouraged to have that “bad boy” persona. Why is this? I’m certain it has to do with gender preference stereotypes. Girls go for the older, “bad boy,” while guys like the younger, “innocent” chick. It’s worked wonders thus far.
Oricon’s year ends the first or second week in December, so this may not be the final chart. AKB48 are set to release their extremely long titled Janken single on December 11th, so I’m not sure if that counts towards this year for Oricon. The second column(“Singles”), you can see that AKB clearly outshine Arashi, so if that single counts toward this year, AKB will definitely be able to tack on another one million. Other notable names on the list are Momoiro Clover Z, NMB48, and Perfume. Momoiro Clover Z have quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the past year or so. Their single sales are pretty measly considering they’ve only released one single this year, but their album sales(third column) were able to hold them high. I’m surprised by NMB48’s rank over the used-to-be-almost-as-good-as-AKB48 SKE48. NMB have really stepped up their game this year, surpassing the second 48 group ever formed. Lastly, we have the mighty Perfume at number 18. None of their sales passed one billion, but they did have a successful year. Speaking of Yasutaka Nakata… where’s Kyary?
I’d say that Arashi better hope they don’t get beat out the third year in a row by that Janken single. It’s all up to that now. Watch out, Arashi. Mayuyu is around to crush the competition.