Last week was both surprising and rather unsurprising at the same time. AKB48’s latest offering “Give Me Five!” sold over a million copies in its first week of sales, an accomplishment that I’m sure all of us saw coming. The more important factoid to take note of from last week however is that Sakura Gakuin actually outsold Dream Morning Musume in first day sales. Naturally their numbers dropped away dramatically as the week wore on, after the diehard fans had had their fill but it should still cause some eyebrows to be raised in the fan community.
All this news is so last week though, it’s time to look ahead to what’s coming out this week so read on after the break as I break things down.
Berryz Koubou – “Ai no Album 8”
We’re kicking things off with Hello!Project idol group Berryz Koubou and their album “Ai no Album 8”. As the title suggests, this is Berryz’s 8th studio album and it pretty much follows the same formula as the C-ute album I discussed a few weeks back. The album features singles “Ai no Dangan” and “Aa, Yo ga Akeru” along with their collaboration single with C-ute “Amazuppai Haru ni Sakura Saku”. Also included are a number of new songs to give the avid fans a reason to buy what would otherwise simply be a compilation of the music Berryz have released in the last twelve or so months. Like with the C-ute album, this isn’t exactly the best place to be starting if you’re just getting into Berryz but if you really don’t want to take the time to explore their older releases at this point in time then this album should hopefully be enough of a taster to get you to do so at some point in the future.
Mano Erina – “DokiDoki Baby / Tasogare Kousaten”
Continuing on with the Hello!Project theme we have Mano Erina up next with her double a-side single “DokiDoki Baby / Tasogare Kousaten”. Now I personally find Mano Erina’s work to be pretty hit or miss so when I was presented with “DokiDoki Baby” I was pretty happy to hear a (albeit a bit quirky) high energy pop song that was pretty damn catchy. “Tasogare Kousaten” is a slower and less showy affair by comparison but I feel like the two songs work well together and it balances the single out rather nicely. If you’ve never listened to any of Mano Erina’s music before, give this release a shot if you get the chance. She’s definitely not suited to everyone’s tastes but hopefully some of you will check her out and decide for yourselves.
Nogizaka46 – “Guru Guru Curtain”
Rounding out the week we have Nogizaka46 and their debut single “Guru Guru Curtain”. You’ve probably heard of Nogizaka46 being referred to as the rivals of AKB48, well now is the time to see if they deserve that title. Just to be clear, no one for a second believes this single will sell anywhere close to a million copies in its first week. It should at least hope to sell a few hundred thousand though so the potential is at least there for the future. The song itself is about as standard as an idol song comes unfortunately. “Guru Guru Curtain” isn’t a bad song though, it’s just a song that’s hard to get excited about which is not exactly the start to this group’s career that we were all hoping for. Even if “Guru Guru Curtain” isn’t for you, this release is still worth checking out for the b-side re-imagining of AKB48’s “Aitakatta” if nothing else. Nogizaka46 are going places, it just remains to be seen how quickly.
That’s all for this week folks. Leave us a comment and let us know how you think Nogizaka46 will do this week and also let us know if you’re looking forward to any of the other releases mentioned. We’ll be back next week for what looks like being a rather short “This Week in Music” so perhaps I’ll give some analysis on Nogizaka46’s first week sales performance to tide us over.