The DVD for the musical 「Lilium ~Girls' Purity Musical~」 starring selected members of idol groups Morning Musume '14 and S/mileage of Hello! Project has marked its entry on the Oricon DVD Weekly Rankings at 9th spot for the week of October 6th, 2014.
The Oricon Weekly Ranking takes the combined sales of various genres of DVDs ranging from movies, anime, TV shows and concerts, encompassing the whole market to reflect on the overall sales ranking. For Lilium to have entered the ranks of the top 10, it had had to contend with the likes of movies and anime to make the list.
"It's common for Johnny's related stageplay DVDs to enter the top 10 of the Oricon DVD charts, but it's rare for any other stage productions to even rank in. In the first place, most stage productions don't ever see a DVD release to begin with, but even taking that into account, Lilium has been the most unusual hit to emerge." (Source: Ongaku Rider)
Girls' Drama Club Musical 「Lilium ~Girls' Purity Musical~」stars a cast of 16 members drawn solely from Hello! Project, featuring 7 members from Morning Musume '14, all of S/mileage, and three members from the Hello! Project Trainees. The entire cast take the stage as vampires, in the setting of a quiet sanatorium located deep within the woods, as a dark fantasy of a tale of love and hate unfolds. This is the explanation Geinou Rider, who is familar with idol productions, gave us.
"While there are comical elements, as a whole a dark atmosphere permeates the entire work, and cruel elements are far from uncommon. For a musical starring idols, it can be considered extremely challenging content. During the musical's run in June, the reviews and opinions pouring in for places like Twitter led fans of theater who were not Hello!Project fans to attend the shows, leading to same-day ticket sales to sell fast. As a direct result, the prequel to Lilium, the D-Stage 12th DVD 「Trump」(whose scriptwriter was Suemitsu Kenichi, who also wrote Lilium) experienced a rapid surge in sales, leading to low stocks on Amazon Japan."
Lilium was quite the hot topic from when it first hit the stage. It seems quite a natural conclusion for its DVD to have been a hit if so, but it appears that a number of retailers sold out on their stock completely on release date, and there were many fans who couldn't even lay hands on a copy even if they wanted to.
"For Lilium to have received so many positive reviews beforehand, they had to have prepared greater numbers for first press release compared to other Hello! Project stage DVDs, but even then they must have underestimated the popularity as supply failed to meet the demand. If they had prepared more stock beforehand, it is entirely possible that their Oricon ranking would have been even higher, but even with this current situation, the company must find this a happy problem to be facing." (Source: Ongaku Rider)
After the DVD release, such views were seen on Twitter:
"Watching Lilium at the start of the day, the content's depressing but it feels great"
"Watched Lilium. It was amazing. Really awesome."
"I watched Lilium again. I love it so much I cried."
These are just some of the opinions expressed, with continual praise being posted regularly. It seems like the popularity for this will continue spreading at this rate.
In other news, the scriptwriter Suemitsu Kenichi (who wrote Lilium), is also involved in another musical starring S/mileage that begins October 4th -- Girls Drama Club, S/mileage's JUKEBOX MUSICAL 「SMILE FANTASY」at Zenrosai Hall Space Zero, until October 13th. Said to be a direct contrast to the darkness of Lilium, this musical promises to be a cute and pop-like musical.