Oricon Singles Overview- 28/7/13

There’s once again no escape from the J-pop machine of one Akimoto Yasushi as another of his super-groups makes it to the top of the chart for the 8th time. A solo singer celebrates 15 years on the J-music scene, whilst several of the stars of last week’s chart simply refuse to leave. Unsurprisingly, another anime which is massive at the moment sees it’s theme song debut in the top 10- have a guess which one! So here’s how the Oricon Weekly Singles Ranking is looking:

(PS: Don’t worry, I know it’s not Sunday, but I’ve had a bit of a hectic couple of days!)

1. Utsukushii Inazuma- SKE48
2. Loveletter/Shigatsu no Ame- aiko
3. Jiyuu e no Jingeki (Guren no Yumiya/Jiyuu no Tsubasa/Moshi Kono Kabe no Naka ga Ikken no Ie Dato Shitara)- Linked Horizon
4. Senki Zesshou Symphogear G Character Song 1 (Fushichou no Flamme)- Maria x Kazanari Tsubasa (CV: Hikasa Yoko x Mizuki Nana)
5. Girls Rule- Nogizaka 46
6. Rage on- OLDCODEX
7. Starlight- Ultra Choutokkyuu
8. BURNING UP- EXILE TRIBE (Sandaime J Soul Brothers VS GENERATIONS)
9. Egao- Ikimonogakari
10. Rappa Renshuuchuu- Watanabe Mayu

If you feel like buying the regular edition of “Utsukushii Inazuma” (“Beautiful Lightning”) by SKE48 (this week’s number one, having sold over 500,000 copies), then you’ll be treated to a “cooking battle” on the enclosed DVD. If that’s not enough to entice you to buy it you’re clearly nuts then no matter; Akimoto Yasushi’s second venture into “48″ projects, who debuted back in 2009, have been growing and growing in popularity. Golden girl Matsui Jurina may be busy with her concurrent activities in AKB48, but SKE (From Sakae in Nagoya don’t ya know) have been busy too. They’ve already had a number one this year with “Choco no Dorei” (“Slave of Chocolate”), a sugary-sweet Valentines Day single, and if that’s anything to go by, we’ll see the more punchy Utsukushii Inazuma staying in the charts for weeks to come. If I could sum up the PV in one word it would be…intense. You can watch a short version below:

At number two is aiko, with double A-side single “Loveletter/Shigatsu no Ame” (“Loveletter/April Showers”). She’s had a bit of a break since her last single in 2011, but even more significantly, this one has been released 15 years to the day from the release of her debut single “Ashita” (“Tomorrow”), which managed the less than impressive chart position of 89 way back in 1998. But aiko has been a mainstay of the Oricon for a while now, and it’s easy to see why. Shigatsu no Ame is a beautiful, mellow hymn to a lost love, whereas Loveletter is a more guitar-driven pop song, but I think the former has a little more soul to it. You can listen to both on the aikoOfficial YouTube channel, but for now, here’s Shigatsu no Ame:

No surprises as Linked Horizon’s Attack on Titan themed EP is only down by one place in this week’s chart; but at number 4 is another anime-related track, and this time comes in the form of the “character song”; which as any otaku will know, is when the voice actors in an anime record songs “in character”. This has recently proved an exceptionally lucrative format for music-related animes such as “Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%”. In the anime Senki Zesshō Symphogear G, from which this week’s number 4 is taken, the protagonists must use the power of song to switch on the power of their armour, making “Fushichou no Flamme” (“Flame of the Phoenix”) sung by in-character voice actors Hikasa Yoko and Mizuki Nana, a pretty surefire hit. At number 5, Nogizaka 46 have in fact gone UP in the charts for their third week with “Girls Rule” (witchcraft…).

The band behind number 6 is OLDCODEX (aka the reason your media player isn’t working…probably), led by voice actor Suzuki Tatsuhisa, and many of you will no doubt recognise “Rage On” as the theme song to currently airing anime “Free!”, in which Suzuki Tatsuhisa himself voices the character of swimming club captain Tachibana Makoto. Surprise, surprise, the ending theme of Free! is sung by the cast, and a series of character songs is planned for release in the next two months. Rage On is, as you would guess, not the only song attached to an anime in some way that OLDCODEX have recorded; the second “Kuroko no Basuke” ending was their work too. Rage On is full of energy, and sounds like a classic shounen anime theme song- even if “Free!” isn’t exactly a shounen anime!

Stardust Promotions, the agency behind Momoiro Clover Z have recently debuted a new special male unit called “Ultra Choutokyuu” (That’s “Ultra Super Express” to you) to sing the ending theme to Tokusatsu series “Ultraman Galaxy”. It’s absolutely as cheesy as you’d expect, but in a thouroughly enjoyable way, and is this week’s number 7. Otherwise, numbers 8, 9 and 10 are remnants of last week’s Oricon Weekly Single Ranking; so the Japanese public clearly can’t get enough of EXILE TRIBE, Ikimonogakari, and Watanabe Mayu.

See you next week for a (hopefully on time) look at how the Oricon Charts have changed!

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