The results are out. Let’s see how well IU did on her first Japanese debut.
IU released her Japanese debut single, “Good Day” On March 21. In the first week of the release, her single sold 21,283 copies and placed #6 on the Oricon Chart. Around the same time, Kara released their single, “Speed Up,” which sold 99,236 copies and placed #2 on the Oricon Chart.
But this comparatively less successful week is nothing that IU should be discouraged by. When Kara released their first single, “Mister,” in August 2010, the single sold 29,000 copies and debuted #5 on the Oricon Chart. Comparing to Kara’s debut and their huge success that followed, IU has every reason to be optimistic.
A representative from IU’s agency, LOEN Entertainment stated, “IU was never concerned about the numbers. She did not go to Japan to make money. She made her Japanese debut in order to strengthen her musical skills. IU will continue her activities in Japan step by step, as if she’s starting from the beginning.”
From the beginning, IU took a different promotional path from the other idol groups. IU is partnered with EMI Music Japan which also produced famous singers such as Utada Hikaru and Ringo Sheena. Also, IU’s first showcase was held at the Orchard Hall, a classical music venue. Many of IU’s performances feature her vocal abilities and not focus on visual performance. Through this promotional path, IU hopes to establish herself as an artist, not just an idol star.
There are great expectations for IU to have a great breakthrough in Japan as a solo female artist, which we haven’t seen since BoA. IU will resume her Japanese activities in April.
Check out IU’s “Last Fantasy” performance at the Orchard Hall, Japan.