Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kana Uemura single Toilet no Kamisama top Oricon Charts

Kana Uemura Toilet no Kamisama

Singer-songwriter Kana Uemura recently made her first appearance on NHK's year-end music show Kouhaku Uta Gassen. Her latest song, "Toilet no Kamisama," has been receiving a lot of attention since then. Due to the so-called "Kouhaku effect," the song not only reached #1 on the download charts, but it sold 11,000 copies this past week to achieve #1 on Oricon's single sales rankings, marking Uemura's first time ever at the top of the charts.

"Toilet no Kamisama" was first released as part of Uemura's mini-album "Watashi no Kakeratachi" in March 2010. The song became popular as a digital download later that year, and she released it as her 10th CD single on November 24. However, the song debuted at #12 and never broke the Top 10 before this past week.

The last time that a single rose to #1 from a spot outside the Top 10 in the preceding week was in 2004, when Kanjani8's "Naniwa Iroha Bushi" started out as a Kansai-only release and then began selling nationwide.

Also thanks to the Kouhaku effect, idol group AKB48 saw their singles climb the rankings to place four of them in the Top 10. "Chance no Junban" and "Heavy Rotation" were already in the Top 10 in the previous week but rose to #2 and #3 (from #3 and #8), while "Beginner" and "Ponytail to Chou-chou" jumped to #5 and #9 (from #11 and #25). This is the first time that a female group has had four singles rank in the weekly Top 10. Including female solo artists, they are only the second to achieve that, tying with Hikaru Utada's record from 1999.

Many other artists' singles benefited from appearances on Kouhaku or other music shows at the end of the year. These included SNSD's "Gee" (#13 to #6), EXILE's "I Wish For You" (#20 to #7), Ikimono Gakari's "Arigatou" (#40 to #15), KARA's "Mister" (#33 to #18), and Fuyumi Sakamoto's "Mata Kimi ni Koishiteru" (#48 to #29).

On the album charts, AKB48 sub-unit No Sleeves (no3b) achieved their first #1 album. The self-titled "no3b," released on January 1, sold 59,000 copies to top the rankings. Like Uemura, this is their first number-one release.

The last sub-unit of a female music group to have a #1 album was Morning Musume's Petitmoni in 2002.

Meanwhile, Ikimono Gakari's best album "Ikimono Bakari ~Members BEST Selection~" officially reached 1 million in actual sales, after nine weeks on store shelves. The album has now sold a total of 1.04 million copies. This is the first million-selling album by a group with female vocals since Russian duo t.A.T.u. in 2003.