Sexy Zone Bows at No. 1 as Queen Lands 8 Songs on Japan Hot 100

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Phil Dent/Redferns/Courtesy of Billboard Japan
Freddie Mercury and Brian May of Queen 

J-pop boy band Sexy Zone debuts at No. 1 on this week's Billboard Japan Hot 100 dated Dec. 3 to 9 with "Karakuri Darake No Tenderness," selling 166,179 copies in its first week.

The theme song of the drama series Doro Kei starring member Kento Nakajima ruled three metrics of the chart's measurement this week: physical sales, look-ups and Twitter mentions. The single also fared relatively well in the radio airplay metric (No. 32), suggesting that the loyal support by the popular boy band's fans helped propel the song to the top.

Kenshi Yonezu's "Lemon," Billboard Japan's 2018 song of the year, drops 2-5 this week. Although the track still excels in certain metrics (No. 1 for karaoke, No. 2 for video views, No. 3 for downloads), physical sales have slowed down, and the overall total wasn't enough to stave off the four new singles released during this chart week.

Likewise, DA PUMP's "U.S.A.," the No. 2 song of 2018, slips 3-6 for similar reasons. The song is currently at No. 1 for video views and No. 2 for karaoke and streaming, but lacked the momentum to hold onto the top five.

December is here, and so are the holiday staples that return to the Japan charts around this time every year. Christmas songs both Japanese and Western are climbing up the radio airplay, downloads, streaming and karaoke metrics, pushing such seasonal tracks as back number's "Christmas Song" (No. 19), Sukima Switch's "Christmas Ga Yattekuru" (No. 24), BoA's "Meri Kuri" (No. 40), Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (No. 41), Tatsuro Yamashita's "Christmas Eve" (No. 45), Wham!'s "Last Christmas" (No. 94), and Pentatonix's "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (No. 98) back into the Japan Hot 100.

In addition to the resurgence of holiday numbers, this week's Japan Hot 100 reflects another current trend, with eight songs by Queen charting for two consecutive weeks, fueled by the hit of the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, now showing in Japanese theaters.

The Billboard Japan Hot 100 combines physical and digital sales, radio airplay, Twitter mentions, YouTube and GYAO! video views, Gracenote look-ups and audio streams from Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, AWA, Google Play Music, KKBOX, LINE MUSIC, Rakuten Music, Recochoku provided by Gfk Japan, streaming counts based on lyrics displayed on PetitLyrics, and karaoke data from Daiichikosho and XING.

Billboard Japan Hot 100 Top 20 (dated Dec. 3 to 9)
1. Karakuri Darake No Tenderness / Sexy Zone
2. Gatten Shake! / Matsuri nine.
3. OVER DRIVE / FANTASTICS from EXILE TRIBE
4. stereo future / BiSH
5. Lemon / Kenshi Yonezu
6. U.S.A. / DA PUMP
7. Flamingo / Kenshi Yonezu
8. Prologue / Uru
9. Konya Konomama / Aimyon
10. Reimei / Sayuri × MY FIRST STORY
11. Kaerimichi Ha Toomawari Shitakunaru / Nogizaka46
12. Old Fashion / back number
13. Bohemian Rhapsody / Queen
14. Ai Shika Buki Ga Nai / Last Idol
15. Stand Out Fit In / ONE OK ROCK
16. YES or YES / TWICE
17. Egao No Loop / AAA
18. Marigold / Aimyon
19. Christmas Song / back number
20. NO WAY MAN / AKB48

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