Billboard’s sister organization Billboard Japan released its 2018 year-end charts Friday (Dec. 7), and the No. 1 song of the year on the Japan Hot 100 is Kenshi Yonezu’s “Lemon,” while Namie Amuro’s Finally rules the Hot Albums chart for the second consecutive year.
The Billboard Japan Hot 100 tally combines seven metrics such as physical sales, downloads, airplay, streaming, look-ups, Twitter mentions and video views. Yonezu’s “Lemon” topped four of these metrics: downloads, look-ups, Twitter mentions, and video views. The J-pop singer-songwriter landed eight songs on the year-end Japan Hot 100, including his long-running hit collaboration with DAOKO “Uchiage Hanabi,” and is incontestably one of this year’s leading hitmakers in the Japanese music scene.
The song at No. 2 is DA PUMP’s “U.S.A.” The music video accompanying the dance and vocal group’s comeback single went viral on social media, and the song became one of this year’s longest running hits through streaming and downloads. The domestic view count for videos using this single totaled over 180 million views.
Looking at albums, Japanese R&B diva Namie Amuro’s last greatest hits collection Finally tops the year-end Hot Albums chart, becoming the first-ever album to lead the tally for two years straight.
The J-pop icon’s label spokesperson who worked on the album commented on her behalf, as she retired from music in September: “We are greatly honored that Finally, which revisits Namie Amuro’s 25-year career, received the support of so many. We truly hope that her works continue to remain close to your lives from now on as well.”
Kenshi Yonezu follows at No. 2 with his latest album BOOTLEG, while also landing all of his past works released under his real name in the top 100.
The top five of the albums chart also included new releases by seasoned artists, with J-pop singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada’s Hatsukoi at No. 3 and veteran pop band Southern All Stars’ Umi No Oh, Yeah!! coming in at No. 4.
Many songs that became hits in 2018 followed the pattern of first gaining popularity through the digital metrics such as downloads, streaming, and video views, which then led to increased physical sales and look-ups (the number of times a CD is ripped to a computer).
Beginning from the chart dated Dec. 10, karaoke data - - which acutely responds to current music trends - - has been added as the eighth metric of the chart methodology.
The Billboard Japan charts, through its various metrics, reflect not only the present but also the past and future states of the music scene. Popular music has always mirrored the state of society and still does; Billboard Japan will continue providing charts that stay up-to-date with trends in the year 2019.
Billboard Japan Hot 100 of the Year 2018 Top 10
1. Lemon / Kenshi Yonezu
2. U.S.A. / DA PUMP
3. Glass Wo Ware! / Keyakizaka46
4. Uchiage Hanabi / DAOKO X Kenshi Yonezu
5. Doraemon / Gen Hoshino
6. Synchronicity / Nogizaka 46
7. Jikochu De Iko! / Nogizaka46
8. Candy Pop / TWICE
9. Sayonara Elegy / Masaki Suda
10. Teacher Teacher / AKB48
Billboard Japan Hot Albums of the Year 2018 Top 10
1. Finally / Namie Amuro
2. BOOTLEG / Kenshi Yonezu
3. Hatsukoi / Hikaru Utada
4. Umi No Oh, Yeah!! / Southern All Stars
5. The Greatest Showman: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
6. Bokutachi Ha, Ano Hi No Yoake Wo Shitteiru/ AKB48
7. Everybody!! / WANIMA
8. Juuryoku To Kokyuu / Mr.Children
9. FACE YOURSELF / BTS
10. DINOSAUR / B’z
Billboard Japan Hot Overseas of the Year 2018 Top 10
1. Shape of You / Ed Sheeran
2. This Is Me / Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble
3. Havana (feat. Young Thug) / Camila Cabello
4. Stay / Zedd, Alessia Cara
5. No Tears Left To Cry / Ariana Grande
6. The Middle / Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey
7. Finesse (feat. Cardi B) / Bruno Mars
8. Symphony (feat. Zara Larsson) / Clean Bandit
9. See You Again (feat. Charlie Puth) / Wiz Khalifa
10. Closer (feat. Halsey) / The Chainsmokers
Billboard Japan Hot Animation of the Year 2018 Top 10
1. Uchiage Hanabi / DAOKO x Kenshi Yonezu
2. Doraemon / Gen Hoshino
3. Peace Sign / Kenshi Yonezu
4. Topaz Love / KinKi Kids
5. ZERO / Masaharu Fukuyama
6. Long Hope Philia / Masaki Suda
7. Fanfare / sumika
8. Defiance / Jae Joong
9. ADAMAS/ LiSA
10. ODD FUTURE / UVERworld
Billboard Japan Top Artists of the Year 2018 Top 10
1. Kenshi Yonezu
4. Nogizaka 46
6. Namie Amuro
9. Hikaru Utada
10. Gen Hoshino
Text: Billboard JAPAN / Photo: Courtesy Photo