AKB48 is now apparently Japan’s best selling female group ever, after Sayonara Crawl’s release took them to nearly 22 million singles sold.
According to Oricon, with a total of 21.85 million singles sold AKB48 is now Japan’s best selling female “artist” ever, beating Ayumi Hamasaki’s record of 21.46 million.
AKB48’s latest single “Sayonara Crawl” also reportedly shipped 1.76 million copies in its first week, another record-breaking performance – beating their previous record of 1.62 million last year with “Manatsu no Sounds Good!”.
Sayonara Crawl in all its glory:
Whilst AKB otaku, the group’s owners and their mysterious backers are all doubtless celebrating this achievement, online there seems not to be much enthusiasm for Japan’s music industry having been reduced to an idol marketing machine, and plenty of controversy over the role their infamous handshaking event tickets and voting system have played in securing such a record:
“Japan has gone mad…”
“It’s a religion.”
“The success of their ticket marketing is amazing really.”
“Of that 1.76 million, 1.7 million probably ended up in the trash.”
“If they were lucky about 50,000 of those discs were actually listened to.”
“This is discs shipped, not necessarily the same thing as discs sold. I thought someone shipped 2 million copies last year actually though…”
“These are handshaking event tickets with bonus CDs, not music singles.”
“Don’t know whether to applaud them for keeping the economy going or condemn them for filling our landfills in the process.”
“They are surely accelerating the destruction of the music industry though…”
“All those singles sold and not a single actual hit song.”
“As long as it isn’t the government buying them. It is legal, just ordinary people buying them after all.”
“AKB must be the only group to keep churning out million selling hit singles nobody has actually ever heard of. If you consider an average of 15 copies sold per fan that would be, in effect, real sales of only 70,000 – that sounds more believable.”