[news] How exactly is Big Bang doing in Japan?

Earlier this year, YG announced big plans of sending Big Bang to Japan. "Gara Gara Go" was released, it hit #2, they got invited to perform all over the place, Daesung got in a car accident, Big Bang group activities were put on a hold for a while and now that everything's back to normal I can't help but think, are they actually doing any well in Japan compared to the other Korean-turned-Japanese market serving boyband?

If you look at DBSK's career in Japan, you'll see that it took quite some time for them to one, actually enter the top 10 of the Oricon Weekly Charts and two, get a number one single - both statistical indications of success. The single record from their first Japanese album Heart, Mind and Soul was 37-14-16-22-22, not very good if you look at it from any point of view. Five In The Black was rolled out and they did moderately better with the singles - 15-6-3-7-9. However T was the era that saw then dominate Japan to the extent that their success there almost matched what they had in Korea - singles went in at 2-2-2-4-3-1. By the time the last single, "Purple Line" took the top spot in early 2008 they were insanely big stars in Japan already and had several top 10 singles under their belts. It was only until promotions for The Secret Code were started though that they began getting the # 1 singles by the truckload - their chart record for the album was 1-1-1-3-1-2.

Now we look at Big Bang. "My Heaven" and "Gara Gara Go" peaked within the top 3 of the Weekly charts - DBSK debuted at 37. To say that they're doing exceptionally well would be an understatement because you look at how gigantic DBSK are in Japan right now and then you look at their history - if it took them more than a year from their Japanese debut to get into the top 3 and it took Big Bang a matter of weeks/months, these guys must be doing something even more effective than what SM+Rhythm Zone were doing for DBSK.

So it got me thinking (again), does their chart success have anything to do with the song itself? "Gara Gara Go" in my opinion is one of those songs that artists use to break other territories but I fear for because they're not what the industry of that other market is looking for at that very moment. There are two things that could happen with songs like these - either they fail miserably (and I mean really miserably) or become the biggest thing since anything. Thankfully, the latter option happened to Big Bang on both occasions so far.

What I personally find a little strange though is how "Gara Gara Go" is not only breaking Japan but other markets as well. Here in the Philippines you'll hear the song playing at least thrice a day on any of the 3 music channels they have on basic cable and we're known for being extremely biased towards whatever hits it big in the US, not anywhere else. If Big Bang can not only break where they intend to succeed but an industry like the one here that's as late and ignorant as it is, then they're really doing this right.

So based on the chart data and the comparisons in one of the world's biggest music industries, can we make a prediction? Yes. But keep in mind that you can never tell how a single performs on the charts - the music industry is like a confused little kid who changes his/her mind every three seconds.

"Let Me Hear Your Voice" is out and in the vain of "Gara Gara Go", it will either fail badly or succeed massively - those are the only two options. If chart and sales history are anything to say about predicting which way the single will go, then it will be big, chart-wise. That can change though so until we actually see their name on the Oricon Charts, everything is still a big IF.

cr: omgkpop

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