Japanese hitmaker Kenshi Yonezu, whose latest single “Lemon” topped the Billboard Japan 2018 mid-year charts, hits a new milestone with his music video of the long-running hit: exceeding 100 million views. It’s his second video to surpass this number following his 2014 song “Eine Kleine,” and his third counting his hit collab with DAOKO, “Uchiage Hanabi.”
“Lemon” was written as the theme song for the TBS TV series Unnatural, the award-winning social drama revolving around a group of medical examiners and the often mysterious deaths they unravel. The poignant song served as a kind of requiem reflecting the themes of death and loss sincerely depicted in the drama, and captured the hearts of viewers from before the song actually went on sale.
Released digitally on Feb. 12 and physically on Mar. 14, the single became an unprecedented hit that lasted long after the drama ended. It soared past a million downloads in April and was certified by the Recording Industry Association of Japan on Apr. 30, 2018 as the song to surpass a million downloads the fastest, breaking the record held by “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen.
“Lemon” bowed at No. 2 on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 dated Feb. 12 to 18 and remained in the top 4 for 15 weeks in a row. It hit No.1 for two weeks and topped the mid-year tally with over twice the points of the follow-up song.
The music video for “Lemon” was released on Feb. 27 and amassed over a million views in just 13 hours on YouTube. The view count has been increasing at an extraordinary rate and reached the 100 million mark on June 5, 105 days after its release.
Access from overseas has also been accelerating and the song dominated three main categories - artist, music video, and song - of the YouTube chart that launched on May 14. “Lemon” topped the YouTube song ranking for two consecutive weeks, demonstrating its growing popularity outside of Japan.
Fans of “Lemon” are apparently going through Yonezu’s back catalog as well - - downloads and video views for his past hits including “Loser,” “Peace Sign,” and “Haiiro to Ao featuring Masaki Suda” have shot up recently. The 27-year-old multi-talented artist has accumulated over a billion views on YouTube with his highly acclaimed music videos.