You can read Part 0 here!
Greetings, Citizens of the Universe!
How has your week been? Over the past week, I joined Instagram. I mostly post WIPs of the comic project I’m working on (which I’m almost finished with btw) so if you’re into that, give me a follow. (I do intend to post a sketch of a Fukuda Kanon tribute that’s been in the back of my mind since May. Her grad and grad single are coming, meaning the inevitable related posts are as well. In fact, it’s why I’m doing this to begin with! Speaking of which, Chuu!Sugoi!Idol announced their own tribute plans. Be sure to spread the word! You know I am.)
On another note, the following is related as well:
Anyway, all this graduation talk has sparked the following ponderings:
…is there a correlation between graduations and high sales? Rather, the question would be “What effect do graduations have upon overall sales?“
Well, last week, I began to discuss my fascination with the correlation between graduations and sales, using Morning Musume as an example. This week, I will begin to take a deeper and chronological look starting with the first 9 graduation singles and their respective departees: Fukuda Asuka, Ishiguro Aya, Ichii Sayaka, Nakazawa Yuko, Goto Maki, Yasuda Kei, Abe Natsumi, Tsuji Nozomi & Kago Ai, and Iida Kaori.
First off, let’s look at the chart below.
Click on the chart for a full view.
The data and associated charts (eheh ^^;) can be found in this spreadsheet. The source of the data is generasia and the Hello! Project Wikia. Also, as you might notice, some singles only have their total sales numbers listed, leaving their first week sales to be known to those who do….
Certainly quite a mix, yes? As some classic material is covered here, we should expect some heavy hitting. Plus, it’s a relatively more even set-up than the chart from last week.
Allow me to analyze the facts:
By First Week Sales
By Total Sales
Note: Sales data for Do It! Now and Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT is unavailable.
For first week sales, the average is 231,161 and the sum is 1,618,127. For total sales, the average is 526,998 and the sum is 4,742,980.
Now that we’re done here, let’s go into detail with our question by examining…
The Individual Grads!
Graduation Single: Memory Seishun no Hikari
Between Ai no Tane and Daite HOLD ON ME!, there were an average of 103,808 first week sales with a sum of 415,230. In terms of total sales, the average would be 291,310 with a sum of 1,165,240. (This is close to the amount of total reported sales for Koi no Dance Site, a post-grad/pre-grad single.)
Fukuda Asuka announced her graduation months after the release of Daite HOLD ON ME so the margin for this first graduation period will be relatively short. The difference between the first week sales of Daite HOLD ON ME and Memory Seishun no Hikari is an increase of approximately 6.659%. However, the total reported sales decreased by approximately 17.354%.
The sales of its successor single, Manatsu no Kousen, was a decrease of approximately 37.354% for its first week and approximately 42.799% overall.
Graduation Single: LOVE Machine
Ishiguro Aya’s graduation was held on January 2000, months after LOVE Machine‘s release.
Between Ai no Tane and Furusato, there were an average of 119,473 first week sales with a sum of 836,310. In terms of total sales, the average would be 283110 with a sum of 1,981,770. (This is obviously well above the sales of LOVE Machine. Needless to say, this added to the total.)
I was unable to find out when Ishiguro Aya announced her departure so I’ll compare it to Furusato. The difference between that and LOVE Machine is an increase of approximately 135.075% for first week sales and approximately 864.803% in overall sales.
The sales of its successor single, Koi no Dance Site, was an increase of approximately 148.762% for its first week, but an approximate 25.304% decrease for total sales.
Graduation Single: Happy Summer Wedding
Ichii Sayaka announced her graduation on April 2000, a month before the release of Happy Summer Wedding.
Between Summer Night Town and Koi no Dance Site, there were an average of 219,930 first week sales with a sum of 1,533,650. In terms of total sales, the average would be 658,226 with a sum of 4,607,580.
The difference between Koi no Dance Site and Happy Summer Wedding is an decrease of approximately 21.567% for first week sales and approximately 19.433% in overall sales.
The sales of its successor single, I WISH, was a decrease of approximately 13.563% for its first week and approximate 33.938% for total sales.
Graduation Single: Renai Revolution 21
Nakazawa Yuko, Morning Musume’s first leader, graduated on April 15, 2001. I liked her voice and her impact was widely felt.
Between Ai no Tane and I WISH, there were an average of 232,485 first week sales with a sum of 2,557,330. In terms of total sales, the average would be 591,269 with a sum of 6,503,960.
The difference between I WISH and Renai Revolution 21 is an increase of approximately 26.547% for first week sales and approximately 50.623% in overall sales.
The sales of its successor single, The Peace, was a decrease of approximately 39.706% for its first week and approximate 30.802% for total sales.
Graduation Single: Do It! Now
Ah, Gomaki. Morning Musume’s legendary 3rd Gen member with a solo career and legacy to match. Every time a single girl embodies a generation, she will always be compared to Maki, especially if she had marketing baggage attached. (Koharu had that “Miracle” bit to her and Sakura had that “Suppin Utahime” bit from the name of her audition. Both additions have been “controversial” for their own reasons: the former is a very polarizing figure while the latter had one among the Western fanbase due to the “lack of televised footage.”)
Maki’s graduation was announced on July 31, 2002, occurring on September 23.
On another note: Remember when I said that some singles are without “first week sales” data? Do It! Now is one of those singles so the data will be somewhat affected.
Between LOVE Machine and Souda! WE’RE ALIVE, there were an average of 391,151 first week sales with a sum of 3,129,210. In terms of total sales, the average would be 893,440 with a sum of 7,147,520.
As previously mentioned, the first week sales data for Maki’s grad single is unavailable so the sales comparisons directly relating to it will deal with the total sales. As such, the difference between Souda! WE’RE ALIVE and Do It! Now is a decrease of approximately 29.987% in overall sales. The sales of its successor single, Koko ni Iruzee!, was a decrease of approximately 26.420% for total sales.
Graduation Single: AS FOR ONE DAY
Kei’s graduation was announced on July 31, 2002 (alongside Maki’s), occuring on May 5, 2003.
Between Summer Night Town and Morning Musume no Hyokkori Hyoutanjima, there were an average of 268,808 first week sales with a sum of 4,032,124. In terms of total sales, the average would be 598,062 with a sum of 9,568,984.
The difference between Hyokkori Hyoutanjima and AS FOR ONE DAY is an increase of approximately 16.058% for first week sales, but a decrease of approximately 14.173% in overall sales.
The sales of its successor single, Shabondama, was an increase of approximately 16.352% for its first week and approximate 16.330% for total sales. (This helps in that this was the debut of the now legendary 6th Gen.)
Graduating Single: Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT
Note: Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT is one of the singles that lacks first week sales data.
Ah, Nacchi. Back when I looked to YesAsia as a source of what’s what in the H!P fandom (I was quite the noobish newbie), I was a bit surprised to hear of her graduation. I was a little perplexed to hear that she was also leaving and had been the “Face of Morning Musume” for a long time. At the time, I was still getting used to hearing their voices, especially since my “entry” song (Go Girl ~ Koi no Victory) had no solos. (“Shabondama,” my technical entry song, actually does. Like I said, it still took me a while before I was able to recognize everyone vocally. (It was years before I started watching PVs proper and the first one I followed the promotion cycle of was Kanashimi Twilight.)
Between Ai no Tane and Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~, there were an average of 487,910 total sales with a sum of 10,246,111. (The first week sales data for Do it! Now and Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT is not available.)
The difference between Go Girl ~Koi no Victory~ and Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT is a decrease approximately 25.438% in overall sales.
The sales of its successor single, Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~, was a decrease of approximately 19.483% for total sales. (Roman is the third single to lack first week sales data.)
Tsuji Nozomi and Kago Ai
Graduating Single: Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari
Note: See previous section’s last paragraph in regards to their penultimate single.
TsujiKago were the ultimate BFFs of Morning Musume. Their graduation had to do with their activities with W, which had a bittersweet ending when Kago was FRIDAYed. (There’s going to be a full explanation on the term in the next part of this series, but in Kago’s case, she was caught smoking underage and later dating a far older man. These scandals caused her to be unceremoniously dropped from the agency and is why Kago is a… polarizing figure in the fandom.)
On Tsuji’s end, she’s happily embraced motherhood and now matches
Ishiguro Yamada Aya for most kids at 3.
Between Happy Summer Wedding and Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~, there was an average of 398,812 total sales and a sum of 5,583,364.
The difference between Roman ~MY DEAR BOY~ and Joshi Kashimashi Monogatari is an increase of approximately 5.198% in overall sales.
The sales of its successor single, Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago, was a decrease of approximately 28.234% for total sales. (Namida ga… is the fourth single to lack first week sales data.)
Graduation Single: THE Manpower!!!
Iida was one other member I enjoyed. It was tough, but also expected to see her go. I liked her solo work (as momentary as it was) and she’s oozes of elegance. Now, her record as member has been crushed by some members who have experienced her leadership: Takahashi Ai, Niigaki Risa, Kamei Eri, Tanaka Reina, and Michishige Sayumi.
Between Ai no Tane and Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago, there were an average of 423,976 total sales with a sum of 10,599,396.
The difference between Namida ga Tomaranai Houkago and THE Manpower!!! is an increase of approximately 3.016% in overall sales.
The sales of its successor single, Osaka Koi no Uta, was a decrease of approximately 15.505% for total sales.
And that’s not all…
Like I said, Morning Musume’s graduation history is so vast that Google Drive (and WordPress) just couldn’t handle the girl power. Tune in next week for the later 9 grads and their singles in Part 2: Osaka Love Songs for Looking-Back Beauties.
Somewhat appropriately, the current M3 Mystery is fandom whims and desires (using a “fairy godmother” motif). Like graduations, I know this is a strong topic for many of you so feel free to leave your opinions (and even facts!). (In fact, said topic was inspired by the fact it was a strong topic for the fandom.)
Until next time!