Monday, July 19, 2010

SKE48 Becomes #2 Idol Group

SKE48 new single Gomen ne Summer sold 62,078 copies in it`s first week [EDIT 75,934 after 2 wks] , making them second behind AKB48 ,this promotion cycle in terms of overall sales as reported by Oricon. SKE48 replaces Morning Musume as the # 2-idol unit behind AKB48 by a margin of 21,213 CDs .With reports that the single shipped 150,000 units; SKE48 looks set to join their big sisters AKB48 as the two dominate groups in the genre now. I say that they replaced Morning Musume and not AKB48`s Watarirouka Hashiritai at number #2, because while Watarirouka had already passed Morning Musume for #2 in sales this cycle. ,they are a sub unit and not a regular unit such as Morning Musume ,who up till this point had no other unit out sell them that was not named AKB48. Besides the general media opinion was that Morning Musume, up to this point was the #2 female unit behind AKB48.

How long SKE48 can hold on to this position, will remain to be scene as overall, the genre is in a healthy place at this time. Overall sales are increasing for all agencies large and small with the exception of Hello! Project, which besides for S/mileage has seemed to have reached it`s peak and dropping in terms of sales, popularity and overall importance for industry success. The 48`s and the new wave of idols have stepped up to lead the genre. There are a number of reasons for that, which maybe addressed at another time.

As I said, how long can SKE48 hold on to the coveted #2 position, remains to be seen. Idoling!!! , is rising in sales and almost themselves managed the upset and grab the number two spot. Unless Morning Musume can regroup and rebound. Which seems unlikely as they are in the member age range ,were they will either have to become an non idol pop group like Speed [which would not be a bad idea] or graduate the six over twenty members for teenage members to stay a true idol unit ,that wotas will support long term . With that support now going to S/mileage, them Idoling!!! , Momoiro Clover and Scandal who had a down seller, but should rebound can threaten SKE48 for #2.

However with the relationship that the 48`s have with each other, it`s going to be hard for anyone to break their dominance of the genre for sometime.

While this new reality may excite some fans and anger others, it`s the truth and is easier to accept with open eyes that can see this truth. Japanese idol genre is in a healthy growth and in the early stages of a neo-generation shift that is seeing sales increase for the neo-generation idols, Idol television shows are increasing in number and more units being created at all levels. The 80`s idols opened the door for Morning Musume, H!P and the 90`s idols ,they in turn opened the door for the neo-generation idols and an exciting battle for positioning is underway today between them.

Will SKE48 be a one hit wonder? Will they continue to rise to challenge AKB48? Will someone else rise up tomorrow? Only time will tell, however, for now SKE48 can rejoice in their accomplishment.

My review of SKE48`s single and videos in June

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