YOASOBI’s Oshi No ko Song makes history with 400 Million Streams

“Idol,” YOASOBI’s opening theme song of Oshi no Ko anime, has been streamed 403,127,806 times making it the fastest song to reach 400 million streams and also the 100, 200 and 300 million streams. The song was streamed 16,618,575 times in the past week alone. It also ranked number one on the cart for 19 consecutive weeks since April, according to Oricon’s weekly streaming ranking chart.

It was released as a standalone single on April 12, 2023, through Sony Music Entertainment Japan. The song served as the opening theme of the Japanese anime series Oshi no Ko. Written by Ayase and based on Aka Akasaka’s short story 45510, “Idol” is a pop track with hip-hop elements, depicting the two-faced nature of a star in the Japanese idol industry, as well as various perspectives on the anime’s character Ai Hoshino from her fans, her fictional idol group B-Komachi bandmates, and herself. Naoya Nakayama directed the animated accompanying music video for “Idol”, which premiered on April 13 and exceeded 100 million views in a month, the fastest among Japanese acts.

Music critics praised “Idol” as a “perfect” representation of Hoshino and the best song of 2023. Commercially, one of Yoasobi’s most successful songs, the song topped the Oricon Combined Singles Chart and Billboard Japan Hot 100—the second after their debut single “Yoru ni Kakeru”—the latter for 18 consecutive weeks, making it the longest-running number-one song in the chart history. It became the highest-charted Japanese act on the Billboard Global 200 at number seven, and the first J-pop song to top the Global Excl. US. “Idol” broke the record for the fastest song to earn 100 million streams in Japan within five weeks and was certified platinum for downloads and two-time platinum for streaming by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ).

Yoasobi is a Japanese music duo formed in 2019 by Sony Music Entertainment Japan, composed of Vocaloid producer Ayase, and singer-songwriter Ikura. Represented by the slogan “novel into music”, the duo originally released songs based on selected short stories posted on Monogatary.com [ja], a social media website about creative writing and illustrations operated by their label. Each stories were later also sourced from various media like stories written by professional authors, books, letters, and plays.

After going viral on social media, Yoasobi’s debut single, “Yoru ni Kakeru”, gave them their breakthrough by reaching atop the Billboard Japan Hot 100 for six non-consecutive weeks and the 2020 year-end chart, and becoming the first song in the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) history to be certified diamond for streaming. It was followed by several successful singles, such as Blue Period-inspired “Gunjō”, and anime series themes “Kaibutsu” and “Yasashii Suisei” for Beastars, “Shukufuku” for Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury, and “Idol” for Oshi no Ko; the latter topped the Japan Hot 100 for 18 consecutive weeks, the longest-running number one, and the Billboard Global Excl. US, the first Japanese act to do so.

Oshi no Ko is a Japanese manga series written by Aka Akasaka and illustrated by Mengo Yokoyari. It has been serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Young Jump since April 2020, with its chapters collected in twelve tankōbon volumes as of July 2023. It has been published by Shueisha on their Manga Plus platform. It follows a doctor and his recently deceased patient who were reborn as twins to a famous Japanese pop idol and navigate the highs and lows of the country’s entertainment industry as they grow up together through their lives.

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