Nikkei Entertainment ranks the hits & trends of 2009 in its January 2010 issue.
It's been said for a long time now that "National hits have disappeared". It is true that nowadays, there are rarely hit songs that sell over a million copies and tv shows with viewership ratings exceeding 30%. Also from the effects of the economic crisis since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, 2009 was a year where the willingness to spend has cooled. Even with the downturn of events, there are still many works that have charmed the hearts of the people. For the hit rankings, in addition to [Degree of breakthrough] as seen by industry-watchers, [Societal influence] that shows attention from the media etc. has been added. This will show who/which are the Hits that [Sales] alone cannot determine.
(Note: Last year's Hits (Top 5) were EXILE, Quiz!Hexagon II, Ponyo on the Cliff, Bakushou Red Carpet & Atsuhime, in that order.)
1. Arashi(ranked 6th last year)
Music sales moved a notch up, variety shows on the right track, economic impact of over 20 billion yen (US$224 Million) this year
Sales: Album exceeded a million copies in sales, DVD is the first music DVD ever to exceed 500,000 in sales in Japan, all released singles ranked in the top 5 of the yearly charts. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: One of their variety shows got upgraded into Golden Timeslot. TV viewership ratings also headed in right direction. First ever to hold 3-day concert at National Stadium. Degree of societal influence: Corporate campaign economic effect of 4500 million yen (this refers to the House Foods + DisneySea campaign). Tickets for this campaign went up at online auctions for up to 450,000 yen per pair.
2. ROOKIES ~Sotsugyo~ (ROOKIES ranked 18th last year) No.1 Box-Office takings for movies released in 2009, advertising campaign by TBS gathered much attention too
Sales: Box office takings reached 8500 million yen (US$96.1 million) ranking in #1 for 2009. Theme song of the movie sold 140,000 physical Single CD copies, and approximately 1 million in chaku-uta full sales. Novelty: Tie-ups with Toyota and Lion plus over 100 other goods, a revolutionary method of promotion started. Degree of societal influence: The promotional blitz by TBS became a hot conversational topic. Prominent part of the 'Warumen' Boom. (Warumen meaning 'bad boy' as opposed to the good-looking 'ikemen'. Other warumen movies include the Crows Zero & Gokusen series)
3. EXILE (ranked 1st last year) Surprise of expansion to 14 members, variety show and individual activities headed in right direction
Sales: Their 3 singles released had a combined sales of 800,000 copies (as of November 25th). Their album released in December looks set to sell over a million copies. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: Became a 14-member group, individual activities became easier to do and the number of shows and CMs that they appeared in increased by leaps and bounds. Degree of societal influence: Performed at the 20th Anniversary celebrations of the Emperor of Japan, cementing their status as a National Artiste.
4. Dragon Quest IX Wi-fi communicative game functions used to appeal to new gamers, 4 million people embarked on an exciting adventure
Sales: Sold over 4 million copies after its release on the 11th of July, compared to the top-selling game of the first half of the year which sold just over 600,000 copies. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: Incoporated communicative functions which effectively targeted the light user Degree of societal influence: Wi-fi communication allows for 3 players to easily and quickly link up even in a crowded shopping district. People can be seen playing the game everywhere.
5. Michael Jackson The Eternal Superstar that left too soon and was mourned throughout the world
Sales: Limited edition-jacket CD kept on running out of stock. Movie box-office takings reached 4000 million yen after only 4 weeks of release. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: Continuous media coverage and commemorative specials on TV exposed him to a legion of young people who were not familiar with his activities. Degree of societal influence: Movie played to a full-house at theaters everywhere. Related events also gathered extremely large crowds.
6. 1Q84 Exceeded 2 million in sales within 6 weeks of release. The single book that became a society "issue".
Sales: Book 1 sold 1.23 million copies, Book 2 sold a million copies. In this current time where book sales have reached low levels, the books sold extremely well for a pure literary work. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: With rumors of receiving a Nobel Prize in Literature, news of foreign accolades for Murakami Haruki poured into Japan. Degree of societal influence: With the author's acceptance speech made in February when he received The Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society, his words have become noticed by people around the world.
7. Odori Advanced rapidly to become 2nd in "Most-liked celebrity", with hugely-expanding popularity came 7 CM appearances
Sales: After winning [M-1] in late 2008, they have increased in popularity over the past year, been Regulars in 6 variety shows, and appeared in commercials for 7 different companies. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: Their new act of 'Zure Manzai' is in the spotlight. They did many things for the first time including releasing a DVD, and becoming seiyuus. Degree of societal influence: Their newly-created gag 'Tuusu' (トゥ－ス) was nominated for the Popular Word awards.
8. Kato Seishiro A child who was a virtual unknown a year ago, whose face is now recognized by the whole country, active in CMs,CDs and books
Sales: His chaku-voice (ringtone featuring his voice) attained No.1 on the Recochoku chart. His book and CD were also hot topics. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: Appeared in dramas like 'Tenchijin', 'Voice' and 'Ninkyo Helper'. Degree of societal influence: Appearing in Toyota's CMs as the immensely popular Child Shopkeeper. Event gathered as many as 1000 people.
9. Tohoshinki First Tokyo Dome concert a huge success, group whose name was most-searched celebrity keyword
Sales: Single 'Share The World' and Album 'The Secret Code' ranked in the #20s in the Yearly charts. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: Made as many as 20 variety appearances in one of the months. Their concert tour which included their first Tokyo Dome concert was attended by 300,000 people in total. Degree of societal influence: After their Dome concert, uproar over possibility of disbanding emerged. At search engine Goo's celebrity search ranking, rose above Arashi to become most-searched celebrity of the year.
10. Hannya Nationwide's rest-time taken up by them, Goods Celebrity of The Year Sales: Their chaku-voice became #1 for more than half of the year. Amongst Yoshimoto celebrities, Hannya goods sold the most. Novelty & degree of breakthrough: Since Spring, the number of variety shows they host increased by 3. The former late-night show 'THE THREE THEATER' moved to the Golden Timeslot. Degree of societal influence: Became the image character for PARCO Grand Bazaar. Their 'Piramekino' routine became popular amongst children.