Smartphone messaging program LINE is one of the most popular apps in Japan. So, when the company asked its vast user base to tell them who their favorite male and female idol groups - this is kind of a contentious classification, “girl groups” might be better - were, the results would actually be quite telling. The results are in, with electro-pop trio Perfume taking the top spot for women, and Arashi climbing to the top for men.
This year marked the tenth anniversary of Perfume’s breakthrough into the mainstream with the still-dazzling “Polyrhythm.” A decade on, the Hiroshima three-piece might be more popular than ever. They have proven well suited for the YouTube era of pop music, and as they prepare to drop a new single today, their music seems just as popular as ever. Coming in at one overall on LINE’s survey drives this even further home.
Right behind them are unabashed-idol-outfit Nogizaka46, while affiliated outfits AKB48 (5th) and Keyakizaka46 (6th) aren’t far behind. Momoiro Clover Z rest in third place, followed by E-Girls. K-pop blockbusters TWICE come in at an impressive seventh, just ahead of BABYMETAL. Men in general preferred the biggie-sized 48 and 46 outfits, but women pushed Perfume to the top spot. See a full list here, and watch a special performance of new single “If you wanna” and “Everday” below.
On the dude side, Arashi pretty easily took the number one spot. They are easily the nation’s most popular male outfit, and this list captures that accordingly. They are followed up by TOKIO and Sandaime J Soul Brothers. The most interesting wrinkles in the top ten come via BIGBANG, landing in at seventh, and the very persistent Tohoshinki, at eighth. They are the only two non-Japanese names here, placing just ahead of V6 and Kis-My-Ft2. See the whole list here.
Arashi’s 2017 - their first full year of being the nation’s uncontested top male group - has been slightly muted by their standards, at least so far. They’ve released two singles, both of which topped the Oricon charts, yet no album is in site...yet. They do have a big nationwide tour coming up, bound to be one of the year’s hottest tickets. And that might be your best chance to experience Arashi’s music, since they don’t share anything online. Grab your tickets now!
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