So TWICE actually appears to be legit in Japan after all, even beyond worthless fandom hype and media play. While nothing is official yet, their debut weekly sales on Oricon with ‘#TWICE‘ will be around 130,549, which is impressive because it would’ve already ranked them at #33 on last year’s album sales year-end chart and would definitely cement them among the top K-pop acts in Japan.
— ? (@_pengjeongnam) July 3, 2017
Beyond that, much to my surprise, they’ve also done decently well on Recochoku digital downloads and LINE streaming (former much more relevant).
Again, we’ll know more when the weekly charts are out, but it seems certain that TWICE not only have a sizeable fandom but some relevance in the ear of the music listening public as well (which I did not expect).
You don’t want to get ahead of yourself, but along with BTS, if they both keep it up and drop quality Japanese-language releases, they really could be the new leaders of a new, now-smaller Hallyu Wave.
Anyway, TWICE are apparently already the 8th best selling K-pop girl group in Japan. Eventually, I could easily see them slotting behind KARA and SNSD, but they’ll likely never surpass them (especially in terms of mainstream recognition) barring a miracle for factors out of their control, like the geopolitical climate and K-pop no longer being the trend.