Original article [here].


[Oricon] AKB48 breaks records for highest initial sales at 1.763 million and overall bestselling female artiste at 21.85 million copies sold
28 May 2013. 04:00

Popular idol group AKB48’s 31st single “Sayonara Crawl” (released 22 May) broke the Oricon record for the highest first week sales with 1.763 million copies sold, and made its debut as No.1 on the weekly rankings for the week of 3 June. The previous record was also held by AKB48’s single, “Manatsu no Sounds good!” (released May last year), with first week sales of 1.617 million, 0.146 lower than this new record. Adding up sales for this current single, the group’s total sales reached 21.85 million copies. This has surpassed the previous record holder, Hamasaki Ayumi’s 21.416 million, to take the title of overall bestselling female artiste. This record has come 7 years 4 months after their debut in February 2006.

This new single is the 13th consecutive release to reach the million sales mark, starting with “Sakura no ki ni narou” (released February 2011). As female artistes, they also hold the record for “highest number of consecutive million releases” and “highest number of overall million releases”. Counting all artistes, they still lose out to B’z, who holds 13 consecutive million releases and 15 overall million releases. As for their record of No.1 singles, this latest release in the 18th consecutive one, starting from “RIVER” (released October 2009). This has given them the titles “highest number of consecutive No.1 singles” and “highest number of overall No.1 singles” in the female group category.

When member Takahashi Minami (22) heard the news that “Sayonara Crawl” has broken the record for the highest first week sales, she felt immensely proud. She expressed humble thanks to all the fans who have been supporting the group all this while. She also announced that AKB48 will be proud to hold this record, and will continue to work hard to bring energy and courage to all their fans.

This single contains a serial number voting card to allow fans to decide who gets to be centre in their “AKB48 32nd single general elections” (vote counting to be held on 8 June at Yokohama Nissan Stadium). The four contenders are Watanabe Mayu (19), Shimazaki Haruka (19), Ooshima Yuuko (24) and Itano Tomomi (21). The 16 members with the highest votes will be selected to sing the cover song for their next release (to be released in August).

■ Overall bestselling artiste for singles (Female) TOP 3
1. AKB48… 21.85 million (Manatsu no Sounds good! / 1.822 million)
2. Hamasaki Ayumi… 21.416 million (monochrome / 1.631 million)
3. Amuro Namie… 16.558 million (CAN YOU CELEBRATE? / 2.296 million)