[Claire] “TOBE” Release Date of New Songs Coincides with the Old Johnny’s Release Date | FRIDAY DIGITAL

[Claire] “TOBE” Release Date of New Songs Coincides with the Old Johnny’s Release Date

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The release of songs by the office is unnatural, but is this intentional?

On March 27, in the “Download Songs” chart published by Billboard JAPAN, the 7-member group Travis Japan from STARTO ENTERTAINMENT shone at the top with “T.G.I. Friday Night”.

In second place, a song performed by an artist under TOBE, a talent agency led by Mr. Hideaki Takizawa, ranked. Both songs were released on the same day (March 18), but this time Travis Japan surpassed the TOBE artists to reign at the top.

Travis Japan’s “T.G.I. Friday Night” was released in two versions: Original Ver. (English lyrics) and Japanese Ver. (Japanese lyrics). According to Billboard JAPAN’s website, “T.G.I. Friday Night” itself sold 75,135 downloads (DL), securing the top spot with authority.

Following closely was the theme song “Be on Your side” (20,300 DL) for the support project “to HEROes Project -Act for HOPE-” launched by TOBE in response to the Noto Peninsula Earthquake of Reiwa 6. Thirteen artists under TOBE (Ken Miyake, Hiromitsu Kitayama, Number_i, IMP., Ryota Ohkubo) performed the song, with lyrics written by Number_i’s Yuta Kishi, Yuta Kamijou, and Shota Hirano.

“‘Be on Your side’ is scheduled for CD release on May 1 following its digital release on March 18. CDs were available for pre-order at the TOBE OFFICIAL STORE from March 18 to 31,” shared an entertainment writer.

Incidentally, in the “Oricon Weekly Digital Single (Individual)” ranking announced on March 27, Travis Japan’s “T.G.I. Friday Night” (Original Ver.) recorded 44,319 DL in its first week, claiming the top spot. The Japanese Ver. followed with 37,126 DL, allowing Travis Japan to dominate the first and second positions. In this ranking, “Be on Your side” secured third place with 21,332 DL.

“Both in Billboard JAPAN and Oricon rankings, TOBE artists lost to Travis Japan. Because they were released on the same day, a clear winner emerged. However, ‘Be on Your side’ is also a work aimed at the ‘box push’ fans who support TOBE artists overall. Despite the members contributing to the lyrics, perhaps the urgency to ‘boost the DL count’ wasn’t as high among Number_i fans for this release,” commented the same source.

However, in terms of YouTube views, TOBE isn’t lagging behind. They held a concert titled ‘to HEROes ~TOBE 1st Super Live~’ at Tokyo Dome from March 14 to 17. On March 18, Miya, Kitayama, Number_i, and IMP. uploaded a video titled “to HEROes – Be on Your side (Official Music Video)” featuring their performance at the Dome.

Particularly, Number_i, considered the most popular within TOBE, garnered over 3.53 million views (as of April 15, the same below). Along with IMP. (around 410k views), Kitayama (around 240k views), and Miya (around 220k views), the “Be on Your side” MV has accumulated over 4.4 million views.

In contrast, Travis Japan’s “T.G.I. Friday Night” MV (released on March 18) has reached 2.4 million views, falling below the number of views for Number_i. The performance video “Travis Japan – ‘T.G.I. Friday Night’ -Performance Video-” (released on February 22) has 870,000 views, while the dance practice video “Travis Japan – ‘T.G.I. Friday Night’ – Dance Practice Day-1 -” (released on March 22) has 410,000 views, totaling approximately 3.68 million views. Although the download count for “Be on Your side” hasn’t seen significant growth, videos featuring the members themselves on YouTube seem to be doing well.


Moreover, not only this time but in the past, there have been instances where the release dates of singles from TOBE and STARTO ENTERTAINMENT (formerly Johnny & Associates) artists have coincided.


“For example, on November 8th last year, IMP.’s ‘CRUISIN’/IMP.’ and King & Prince’s ‘Ai ni Ikiru Koto / MAGIC WORD’ clashed. Also, on March 6th this year, Sexy Zone’s ‘puzzle’ and Number_i’s ‘GOAT’ were released on the same day. Although primarily fans from the STARTO side view this negatively, TOBE’s products are generally not available in regular CD shops but are sold through the TOBE OFFICIAL STORE,” as mentioned earlier.

Furthermore, while the CD release date for TOBE’s “Be on Your side” is May 1st, it coincides with SixTONES’ single “Sound.” May 1st marks the anniversary of SixTONES’ formation, making it a special release for fans. Because of this, on social media,

“SixTONES releasing a single on their formation anniversary, May 1st, is amazing. But it makes no sense for TOBE to overlap the release date.”

“Travis Japan and TOBE released on the same day, but I’m relieved Travis Japan made it to the top. Hoping for SixTONES’ ‘Sound’ to also reach number one with this momentum.”

“TOBE overlapping release dates again? I’ll go pre-order ‘Sound’.”

Negative reactions towards TOBE are evident. However, as mentioned earlier, TOBE follows a limited sales model on their website, and as the writer mentioned, “It’s likely excluded from the Oricon rankings. Since the songs are already available for download, there may not be significant growth in download numbers.”

It seems SixTONES fans don’t have much to worry about after all.

  • PHOTO Makoto Kuwata

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