AKB48 Sells 1.6 Million CDs to Rule Japan Hot 100 With Biggest First-Week Sales of 2019

Courtesy of Billboard Japan


AKB48's "Sustainable" debuts at No. 1 on the latest Billboard Japan Hot 100, dated Sept. 16 to 22, marking this year's best first-week sales for a single with 1,628,184 copies sold.

The 56th single by the J-pop girl group sold over 200,000 copies more than its previous release, "Jiwaru Days" (1,404,936), and while it didn't reach the extraordinary level of "Teacher Teacher" from last year -- those CDs came with serial numbers to be used in the "global general election" that determined the group's next lineup, and sold 2,662,760 copies, the group's best-selling single to date -- it did top "Sentimental Train" (1,614,316), showing off the group's continual, overwhelming physical sales power.

Kenshi Yonezu's "Uma to Shika" slips to No. 2, but sold 27,714 CDs in its second week and quickly sailed past the 450,000 mark (458,984 copies total). The singer-songwriter's long-running hit song "Lemon," which holds at No. 9 on the Japan Hot 100 for the third week, sold 3,269 copies this week and now totals 598,465 copies to date (the CD was released in March 2018).

"Uma to Shika" stays at No. 1 for downloads for the sixth week and radio airplay for the second, while also topping video views for the first time. It finally surpassed "HandClap" by Fitz and the Tantrums, currently enjoying its TikTok moment in Japan. Yonezu's latest single also debuted at No. 19 for the karaoke metric this week, and is expected to stay in the upper ranks of the Japan Hot 100 for some time.

Meanwhile, Official HIGE DANdism breaks into the top 10 at No. 6 with "Yesterday," the four-man band's lead single off its upcoming first major label album, Traveler. The song comes in at No. 2 for radio, No. 3 for streaming, and No. 4 for downloads, proving the piano-pop group's current breakout popularity. The band now has three songs charting in the top 10.

Aimyon also snags another top 10 single with "Sora no aosa wo shiru hito yo," the theme of an animated movie by the same name. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter's latest release comes in at No. 3 for downloads and radio, and No. 8 for streaming, joining the long-running hit song "Marigold" as it logs its 40th week in the Japan Hot 100 top 10.

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, RecMusic provided by Gfk Japan, as well as dHits and Uta Pass, and karaoke data from Daiichikosho and XING.

Billboard Japan Hot 100 Top 10 (dated Sept. 16 to 22)
1. [-] Sustainable / AKB48 (1,628,184 copies / none / none)
2. [1] Uma to Shika / Kenshi Yonezu (27,714 copies / 72,228 downloads / none)
3. [3] Pretender / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 12,955 downloads / 5,688,496 streams)
4. [7] Shukumei / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 9,188 downloads / 3,983,912 streams)
5. [1] BRAVE / Arashi (26,079 copies / none / none)
6. [13] Yesterday / Official HIGE DANdism (none / 15,813 downloads / 3,157,088 streams)
7. [8] Marigold / Aimyon (none / 8,935 downloads / 2,883,964 streams)
8. [5] Yoake made tsuyogara nakutemo ii / Nogizaka46 (26,838 copies / 3,154 downloads / 877,381 streams)
9. [9] Lemon / Kenshi Yonezu (3,269 copies / 13,326 downloads / none)
10. [14] Sora no aosa wo shiru hito yo / Aimyon (none / 18,009 downloads / 2,242,507 streams)

[ ]: Position last week
( ): Physical sales / downloads / streams (Top 50 only)