Apr 17 2013
These, my friends, are good times.
As someone who has been a fan of Morning Musume since “Ai Araba It’s All Right”, I entered the fandom around the time that the group began their gradual slide down the Oricon charts. Popular members were graduating left and right. Regular Oricon Number 1 positions were a thing of the past. Sales figures bounced up and down a bit, but the overall trend was lower and lower. With each new single or graduation, people would shriek “Morning Musme is dooomed! Over. Done with”. But I stuck with them. I was in Japan during most of the “Platinum Era”, what could be considered the group’s lowest point, popularity-wise, and I enjoyed every second I spent at their concerts. Not to say I’m special, because I know that a large core group of fans stuck with them as well. For all people wailed and gnashed their teeth, sales figures were never really dismal. In fact, they were always quite good by most standards. Just not as good as they used to be. And if the downward trend continued, eventually they may have fallen into truly worrisome territory.
But then, things begun to change. The stable, and sorry to say, stale, lineup experienced some graduations. 9th gen joined, quickly followed by 10th gen, bringing fresh, young blood and new vitality to the group. Regular auditions became a feature once more.The musical style and dance performance underwent a dramatic shift, and promotion finally started to increase to keep pace better with the other top idol groups. And the sales responded to these changes in a big way. Finally, we entered an upswing! “One Two Three” became Morning Musume’s first single to break 100,000 copies sold since “Ai Araba It’s All Right” in 2004. Yes, the very song that brought me into Morning Musume. “Wakuteka Take a Chance” continued the strong sales trend, and “Help Me!” hit number 1 on the Oricon charts!
And now “Brainstorming/Kimi Sae” has surpassed the first day sales of all three of those very successful most recent songs with 65,915 copies sold just on day one! Amazingly, the trend is continuing in the upward direction. They’re so far ahead of the current weekly number 2 song that baring a truly epic turn-around, this will mark their first time having two consecutive weekly number one singles since “Souda! We’re Alive” and “Mr. Moonlight” in 2001/2002. That’s over ten years!
I hope that everyone involved is proud of this fantastic accomplishment. A true comeback, consisting of many songs in a row more than doubling previous sales figures, is rarely seen in this industry. Even if the group never hits another million seller, I think they have already done what many of even their most loyal fans thought was impossible. It’s been a bumpy ride, but it’s one that I’m glad to be on.