Naniwa Danshi Fans Race to Get Group to 1 Million Sales to Secure “Kohaku” Spot

The year is coming to a close, and this year’s “NHK Kohaku Uta Gassen” is approaching. Given the Johnny Kitagawa abuse scandal that has dominated the year, whether or not acts from Johnny & Associates will appear on the show is in doubt. The newest rumor, courtesy of Yukan Fuji, is that the company will only receive two spots on this year’s show, compared to their normal number of about six.

After Johnny’s October 2 press conference, each of the six TV networks released statements in response to the press conference in regards to their relationship with the company. All of the networks took the stance that their hiring of Johnny’s talent will be revised as the company’s situation improves, with some, such as NTV, saying that a certain amount of progress had already been made.

In the press conference, the company also laid out its new agency model, with allow companies to sign the talent directly, as opposed to the longstanding model of the company where companies have to sign the talent through the company. According to an entertainment reporter, TV networks are now taking steps to “completely lift” the current ban on hiring of Johnny’s talent. It is only a matter of time before this happens, according to the writer.

In terms of Johnny’s acts on “Kohaku”, the entertainment writer said, “NHK has revealed that the selection criteria for ‘Kohaku’ are ‘activity during the year’ and ‘public opinion.’ If there are only two spots for Johnny’s, I think that priority will be given to groups that are superior in terms of visible numbers, like CD sales. That being said, recently, fans of Naniwa Danshi, known as ‘Nani-Fam’, are making some interesting movies. They are calling on each other on X (Twitter) to buy more copies of the group’s debut single, November 2021’s ‘Ubu LOVE’, so that it can hit a million copies sold.”

In August, group member Daigo Nishihata had a dating scandal. The following month, his groupmate Kento Nagao also had a dating scandal. This has caused the sales numbers for the group’s September single, “Make Up Day / Missing”, to come under scrutiny.

The entertainment writer says since Naniwa Danshi is under the label J Storm, which is under the Johnny’s umbrella company, there is fear among fans that the label will be dissolved, which is unsubstantiated. During this termination, they believe that the sales numbers for “Ubu LOVE” will also be reset, so they would like to get the sales to one million before that can happen.

Nani-Fam are currently on social media saying things like, “If 80,000 people buy ‘Ubu LOVE’ or if 27,000 people use Tower Records’ 20% off bulk purchase discount and buy three copies, then they’ll hit a million! Now is the time to show Nani-Fam’s unity!”, “Bulk purchase of ‘Ubu LOVE’ on Tower Records’ website costs less than ¥3,000 for three copies! I want to see ‘Ubu LOVE’ hit a million!”, and “Naniwa Danshi’s ‘Ubu LOVE’ is about to hit the million mark! It’s easy to buy three copies at once at Tower Records, so be sure to check it out!”

Along with spreading information about the sale at Tower Records, there are a lot of fans encouraging each other the bulk buy. But why is hitting a million copies so important? The entertainment writer says there is more to this story.

“Achieveing a million in sales is a universal goal for musicians, but in 2023, two groups from Johnny’s have done this: King & Prince and Snow Man.”

Snow Man has had extremely high record sales since their 2020 debut, with them selling a million copies every year. On the other hand, King & Prince’s sales increased rapidly after the November 2022 announcement that of the Yuta Kishi, Sho Hirano, and Yuta Jinguji were leaving the group. The announcement coincided with the release of their single, “Tsukiyomi / Irodori.” That single ended up being the year’s only million selling single. In 2023, the releases before the group members left, the single “Life goes on / We are young” and the best album “Mr.5”, both sold a million copies. This increase in buying among King & Prince fans also resulted in their debut single, 2018’s “Cinderella Girl”, selling a million copies.

Fans of other Johnny’s groups criticized this increase in buying, including Naniwa Danshi fans, saying that the fans were “boosting sales due to withdrawl.” They said that King & Prince’s newly increased sales were just a celebratory gift, and that their favorite groups were actually more popular.

According to the entertainment writer, “Naniwa Danshi was in a close race with King & Prince in terms of CD sales before they announced the member withdrawal, so their fans probably want to reach the million mark even more. Currently, Snow Man and SixTONES are the two likely candidates for Johnny’s two spots at ‘Kohaku’, but if they hit a million copies sold, it will prove that Naniwa Danshi has more sales than SixTONES.”

As is said, the numbers don’t lie…


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