For the past years, the yearly Oricon rankings have been overtaken by super group AKB46 and Johnny's Entertainment group Arashi and 2012 is no different with both groups charting high and taking the top positions again.
But what we are going through the rankings for isn't necessarily the Japanese pop artists, but the Japanese releases by Korean artists instead. And even though there are loads of them nearly each week, only a few break the amount of sales necessary to get into the top 100 of the Oricon album and single rankings.
The first Korean artist in the single ranking is Kim Hyunjoong with his single "Heat." He arrived at a 31st place after selling 202,672 copies of his single. Following closely with 184,469 copies sold, we find Super Junior and their May release "Opera." Labelmate TVXQ got to a 40th place with 175,544 units of "Android" while 2PM is at the 47th spot with "Beautiful." "Beautiful" sold 163,463 copies. TVXQ's "Still" (160,791) got just one place lower while the first girl group in the ranking, KARA, can be found at the 49th spot with "Speed Up/Girls Power." Another 2PM release is at 52, the group's latest single "Masquerade" which sold an amount of 151,227 since its release last November. Girls' Generation's "Paparazzi" is at the 58th place, with Super Junior following just behind them. The group's Japanese "Sexy, Free and Single" release got to a 59th spot. The singles sold 136,181 and 123,140 copies respectively. At 61, there's space for 121,547 copies of Kim Hyunjoong's other single, "Kiss Kiss/Lucky Guy." SHINee's "Dazzling Girl" took a 71st spot, breaking the 100k number with 110,230 copies sold, while Girls' Generation closes the single rankings for Korean artists with "Oh!" at 92 with an amount of 84,814 albums.
The yearly album rankings, on the other hand, show fewer releases yet the same groups return with the addition of T-ara, Big Bang and solo artist/actor Jang Geunsuk. KARA takes the lead for Korean artists with "Super Girl" at the 18th spot. It sold 295,651 copies since its release. With 229,043 albums sold in 2012, Girls' Generation follows them 7 spots lower at 25, interestingly, with their 2011 album "Girls' Generation." Big Bang's "Alive" can be found at 31 with 187,865 copies sold, while Girls' Generation's second full length made it to the 41st place with 141,259 copies. Actor and solo artist Jang Geunsuk ends at 59 with sales of 112,276 "Just Crazy" albums. After him, it's all about the girl groups as T-ara's "Jewelry Box" was good for a 65th place. KARA's two latest releases, "Girls Forever" and "KARA Collection", are at 66 and 99 respectively.
Which was your favorite Japanese release of the year? Are you surprised by the ones that made it into the top 100?
31. Kim Hyunjoong - Heat (07/04) 202,672 copies
35. Super Junior - Opera (05/09) 184,469 copies
40. TVXQ - Android (07/11) 175,544 copies
47. 2PM - Beautiful (06/06) 163,463 copies
48. TVXQ - Still (03/14) 160,791 copies
49. KARA - Speed Up/Girls Power (03/21) 158,613 copies
52. 2PM - Masquerade (11/14) 151,227 copies
58. Girls' Generation - Paparazzi (06/27) 136,181 copies
59. Super Junior - Sexy, Free and Single (08/22) 123,140 copies
61. Kim Hyunjoong - Kiss Kiss/Lucky Guy (01/25) 121,547 copies
71. SHINee - Dazzling Girl (10/10) 110,230 copies
92. Girls' Generation - Oh! (09/26) 84,814 copies
18. KARA - Super Girl (11/23) 295,651 copies
25. Girls' Generation - Girls' Generation (06/01) 229,043 copies, 2011 release
31. Big Bang - Alive (03/28) 187,865 copies
41. Girls' Generation - Girls' Generation 2 ~Girls & Peace~ (11/28) 141,259 copies
59. Jang Geunsuk - Just Crazy (05/30) 112,276 copies
65. T-ara - Jewelry Box (06/06) 104,478 copies
66. KARA - Girls Forever (11/14) 101,947 copies
99. KARA - KARA Collection (09/05) 70,542 copies