Wednesday, July 4, 2012


After releasing several indie songs, PASSPO☆ debuted with Shojo Hikou on May 4th of last year. It debuted at #1, setting a record. It was an amazing debut for an idol group. Not long after, PASSPO☆ had their second single, Vivi Natsu, which sold around the same as Shojo Hikou did. (40-50k)

After Vivi Natsu, the girls released their second album, CHECK-IN. It didn't do too well. But I wasn't worried since albums usually sell badly anyway. After CHECK-IN, PASSPO☆ released their third single this year in March, Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru. It sold in the 12k range.

I was not surprised at the sales because the It was a very idol cliche-ish, and kind of bland song. Even though the single was kind of bad, I didn't expect the number to be so low. Usually when a group releases a "bad" song, sales are lower, however, in PASSPO☆'s case, I think for a bad song, sales were too low. Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru should have at least gotten to 20k, in my opinion. The song is growing on me, and it's not so bad after all!

Then most recently, when PASSPO☆ released their fourth single, NEXT FLIGHT, I was shocked. NEXT FLIGHT was an outstanding single. The song and PV were amazing. Even the b-sides were really good. But it only reached 8k, even worse than Kimi wa Boku wo Suki ni Naru. I tried to think of everything that they could have done wrong. But I soon realized that this problem was more than a case of bad promotion.

Here are some posts from the PASSPO☆ forum  These quotes are from what  アドレナリン said.  (I'm sorry, I took out and added some things to make it shorter)

"As you know Kaho left Passpo at the end of last year. But did you know that the staff has been changed too? Erina-chan (manager I think) has left and another important man has left too (now he's managing another band)

First, after Kaho's graduation, it has been decided that Passpo wont be doing much events next year. They did too many events, that's why in the future the number of events will decrease. Passpo trained too much, and it begins to be hard for them to continue to repeat and dance that much. I thought that Kaho's injury may have appeared because they repeat a lot and push their body beyond its capabilities.

Second, Passpo used to be an idol group who's really really near of passengers (PASSPO☆ fans). During events, everyone can speak, take pictures with members and talk a lot with them. But the Passpo direcetor is a cold man, and isn't really appreciate of the passengers. He has changed his mind and it seems this proximity has been lost. (during handshake session staff are really strict with passengers) 

Passengers can't see Passpo as often as they want and as they used to. For instance during the Golden Week no event was held. Passengers feel really bad, even Passpo members begins to complain (on Yukimi's blog we can read that she really want to meet Passengers and make flight)"

So as you can see, the decrease in sales is probably because there has been a negative change in the way management deals with PASSPO☆. Groups like AKB48 and Arashi, of course, must restrict contact between fans and the members because of their popularity. But smaller groups like PASSPO☆ and indie groups' are really fun, because theres usually no strict rules, and fans are free to interact with members without it being too strict.

It's not so much the sales that I'm worried about, because I'll still be a Passenger no matter what PASSPO☆ sells. I'm just worried that interest will decline so much, that PASSPO☆ will have to disband or something. They're one of my favorite groups, and I'd be crushed if they stopped performing. Hopefully, some things change with management, so PASSPO☆ and Passengers won't be upset anymore.

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