Black Cherry (Koda Kumi album)

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Black Cherry
Blackcherrycover (CD).jpg
Studio album by Kumi Koda
Released December 20, 2006 (2006-12-20)
Recorded 2005-2006
Genre
Label Rhythm Zone
RZCD-45506/B~C (Japan, CD+2DVD)
RZCD-45507/B (Japan, CD+DVD)
RZCD-45508 (Japan, CD)
Producer Kumi Koda
Kumi Koda chronology
Best: Second Session
(2006)
Black Cherry
(2006)
Best: Bounce & Lovers
(2007)
Singles from Black Cherry
  1. "Koi no Tsubomi"
    Released: May 24, 2006
  2. "4 Hot Wave"
    Released: July 26, 2006
  3. "Yume no Uta/Futari de..."
    Released: October 18, 2006
  4. "Won't Be Long"
    Released: November 21, 2006
  5. "Cherry Girl/Unmei"
    Released: December 6, 2006

Black Cherry is Koda Kumi's fifth studio album and first original album since secret (2005). It charted at #1 on Oricon, continuing the artist's streak and staying at #1 for one month. It remained on the charts for sixty weeks. It was released in CD, CD+DVD and CD+2DVD, with the latter being a limited edition that carried her movie debut Cherry Girl.[1] The entire film's score was from the album.[2]

Information[edit]

Black Cherry is Japanese singer-songwriter Koda Kumi's fifth studio album and eigth album overall. While it was only a year since her last studio album, secret, two compilation albums and a remix album were released between secret and Black Cherry: Best ~first things~ (2005), Best ~second session~ (2006) and the limited digital album Koda Kumi Remix Album (2006). The album became her third consecutive album to chart at #1 on the Oricon Albums Charts, where it remained for one full month, charted for sixty-seven consecutive weeks.[3]

It was released in CD, CD+DVD and a limited CD+2DVD. Each version contained different album artwork with Kumi donning different classical outfits on each cover. First press editions of the album carried three bonus tracks: an English solo version of "Twinkle" (the original version was on the Amazing Nuts! soundtrack - Taiwanese singer Show Lo also carried an English version featuring Kumi on his album SPESHOW), the 2006 theme for the Crayon Shin-chan film "GO WAY!!", and two solo renditions of "Won't Be Long", which Kumi had originally collaborated for with EXILE).[4][5] The limited editions also contained an access code to Koda Kumi's playroom, a chance to win album goods and a bonus behind-the-scenes making of the music videos on the DVD.

The limited CD+2DVD editions held the short film Cherry Girl, which was Koda Kumi's debut acting role. The film was produced by the same team who created the drama Busu no Hitomi ni Koishiteru (ブスの瞳に恋してる / In Love with the Eyes of an Ugly Girl), which Koda Kumi had performed the theme "Koi no Tsubomi" (2006).

The track "Milk Tea" (ミルクティー / Miruku Tii) was the first time Kumi wrote and composed a song that was featured on an album. The album's introduction was later given a full version on her 2008 studio album, Kingdom.

Packaging[edit]

Black Cherry was released in three editions, with each edition containing different cover art: CD, CD+DVD and a limited CD+2DVD edition.

The standard editions all contained fifteen tracks on the CD portion, including the a-sides from her singles 4 hot wave and Cherry Girl/Unmei. Despite being a promotional track, the song "futari de..." from Yume no Uta/Futari de... failed to make it to the album, while "Yume no Uta" was placed as track #4. The DVD housed every music video released after her compilation album Best ~second session~ up until Black Cherry, sans "futari de...", which was omitted.

The second DVD, which was only available as a limited edition, housed the film Cherry Girl, which was Kumi's debut acting role. The film was heavily inspired by Charlie's Angels.

Limited editions of all versions contained three bonus tracks on the CD: an English version of "Twinkle", the song "Go Way!!" (stylized as GO WAY!!) from the Crayon Shin-chan film, and an alternate version of "Won't Be Long". The limited DVD editions carried the making videos for all of the music videos, along with the music video for the English version of "Twinkle", which Kumi performed with Taiwanese singer SHOW.

Promotional advertisements[edit]

To help promote the album, several songs were utilized as promotional tracks.

"Get Up & Move!!" was used for a Suzuki Chevrolet commercial.[6] A music video to this song was later released on her third compilation album, Best ~Bounce & Lovers~. "Tsuki to Taiyou" was used to advertise the jewellery store GemCerey.[7] While Koda Kumi was their spokesperson for a few years, she lost the position after her 2008 controversy.

The song "Puppy" was used for KOSE's Rush Escalation under their Viseé line[8], while "Candle Light" was used to advertise Morinaga's Weider protein bar.[9] "Go Way!!" was used as the ending theme song for the 2006 Crayon Shin-chan film.[10]

Cherry Girl Movie[edit]

Cherry Girl
Directed by Shuta Takahata
Produced by Max Matsuura
Chiba Ryuhei
Araki Takashi
Hayashi Shinji
Nagata Yoshihisa
Written by Osamu Suzuki
Starring Kumi Koda
MEGUMI
Yuko Ito
Music by Kumi Koda
Distributed by Rhythm Zone
Avex Entertainment
Release date
  • December 20, 2006 (2006-12-20) (Japan)
Language Japanese

Cherry Girl is a Japanese action/drama film featuring Koda Kumi and actresses MEGUMI and Yuko Ito. The film was scored by Koda Kumi's album Black Cherry and the score was featured on the second DVD of the album.[11]

The film was inspired by Charlie's Angels, which could be seen with its action scenes and with the three women given orders by via telephone.[12]

Koda Kumi, the main focus of the film, released a music video centered around the film's theme on her Cherry Girl/Unmei single.[13]

Plot[edit]

Cherry Girl centers around three female bartenders, who use the bar to run a private detective agency. Kumi (Koda Kumi), Meg (MEGUMI) and Yu (Yuko Ito) play agents who work as private investigators for an unseen man named Goro (Goro Inagaki). He contacts the three women via Vodafone cell phone to give them job orders.

The film opens with a bar scene of the women serving the customers, alongside a conversation Kumi, Yu and Meg are having, talking about past love interests. Kumi tells them that during one of her relationships, she had found a hair in the man's bed, which did not belong to her and broke up with the man a week later. The scene is played back-to-back with the bar scene and an action scene of the trio. Meg alerts the other two of a suspicious character entering the bar, who they find had a pocket knife.

Later, as the women are getting massages, Goro gives the trio a job order by a woman named Mari, played by Mari Hoshino, who believes her fiance, M. Hotta, played by Jai West, is having affairs with multiple people and wants the women to get him to stop the affairs before they are married. She says how she is mainly suspicious of Hotta's secretary, Ishida Fumiko.

Kumi watches Hotta and Fumiko exit an office building, relaying the information to Meg and Yu. She sends a picture via cellphone as Hotta sits in the back seat and Fumiko takes a seat in the front. She takes on several disguises as she follows the duo, failing to come up with evidence of him cheating. Failing to gain any information over the course of a week, the trio discusses the case, now believing Hotta to be "perfect." Still wanting to please their customer, Mari, the trio decide to crash a party Hotta will be attending, which will host many celebrities.

Kumi and Yu stake out the event and see Hotta enter with Fumiko. Kumi begins a conversation with Hotta, during which Yu bumps into him and drops her hand bag. As she and Hotta exchange apologies, she takes the opportunity to swipe his cell phone and his wallet. Afterwards, Kumi meets Takeda (Shinji Takeda). Once the trio return to the bar, Kumi tells Meg and Yu that it was "love at first sight" and he gave her a token to remember him. The other women are skeptical, but Kumi defends her feelings. Goro calls then calls, asking if there has been any success with Mari's investigation, to which they admit they have not found anything. Before he hangs up, Kumi asks him what he thinks about true love, where he tells her that a meeting is controlled by destiny. It is then revealed that Kumi had met Goro when she had an investigator investigate a past love interest. When the P.I rejected her, not believing her boyfriend to be having an affair, Goro overheard and offered her information and a job opportunity.

Afterwards, Kumi sees Mari and Takeda out in public together and Meg is curious as to why Takeda, Hotta's vice president, would take Mari to Hotta's office. After the trio discover Mari and Takeda are trying take over the company, they talk to Hotta, who asks them to find the truth to save his company. When they break into Hotta's office, they find Takeda and Mari. Mari tries to escape, but Yu stops her and mocks the fact that Mari thought her manipulation would work. The trio fight Takeda and, after he falls, Mari places herself over him to protect him. She explains that, as Hotta's company grew, Takeda was pushed off to the side, so she tried to frame Hotta as having multiple lovers so he would have to give up the company due to bad publicity. Kumi tells her that, by manipulating both Hotta and Takeda, she is hurting Takeda and it would be best to tell the truth.

The trio is then shown at their bar with Goro congratulating them on a job well done. After they say goodbye, the trio talk about the job and Goro. As they talk, a scene is shown where Fumiko encountered Goro, who, at the time, did not know her, but who she seemed interested in. It is then learned Hotta knew the girls were following him and of the tracking devices they were using to target him due to his secretary (Fumiko) relaying the information to him each time. As it had turned out, everyone, sans the trio and Goro, was in on the scheme. The girls had been set up and, while they were in Hotta's office, a bomb was placed in their vehicle, which exploded as they approached after leaving the job.[14][15]

Cast[edit]

  • Koda Kumi as Kumi, one of the investigators who works for Goro. She tends to make judgements based on how she feels, rather than logic.
  • MEGUMI as Meg, one of the investigators who works for Goro. She is usually the one to give Kumi the hard truth, rather than allow her to live in naivete.
  • Yuko Ito as Yu, one of the investigators who works for Goro. She is quiet, but also the most technologically advanced of the trio, being able to hack multiple types of systems.
  • Goro Inagaki as Goro, the boss. He is the one who gives Kumi, Meg and Yu orders and the one who accepts the clients the trip investigate.
  • Mari Hoshino as Mari, the client Goro accepts and the fiance of Hotta, the CEO of the Roppungi company.
  • Jai West as Hotta, the CEO of the Roppungi company and the fiance of Mari.
  • Ishida Fumiko as Fumiko, M. Hotta's secretary and the woman Mari believes he is having an affair with.
  • Shinji Takeda as Takeda, the vice president to Hotta's company and the love interest of Kumi.

Soundtrack[edit]

The film was scored by Koda Kumi's sixth studio album, Black Cherry. The film was released on the second DVD to the album. Kumi worked alongside arrangers and producers Daisuke "D.I" Imai, h-wonder, Octopussy (who most notably worked with Soulhead), alongside others.[16]

Some of the a-sides used in the album were "Juicy", "Cherry Girl" and "Won't Be Long."

Release[edit]

The film made its debut on Kumi's album Black Cherry around the holiday season on December 20, 2006. It never received a television or theatrical release. The total sales reached over one million, however.

Critical reception[edit]

Cherry Girl received generally positive reviews upon its release from fans. On IMDb, the film has an 8/10 from thirteen reviewers.[17] Some fans critiqued the film for being too similar to Charlie's Angels and the hokey acting, while others said it was an "enjoyable flick, though there are no subtitles."[18]

Music videos[edit]

Though new material was placed on the album, there was only one new music video: the English version of "Twinkle," which featured Taiwanese singer/actor Show Lo. The CD, however, carried Kumi's solo version of the song, also performed in English.

The music video was originally on Show Lo's album Speshow, in which he featured Kumi (November 17, 2006). The Japanese version was released on the Amazing Nuts! album three weeks prior to Black Cherry on December 6, 2006.[19] Two years later, Koda Kumi would release a solo version of the music video on her two DVD set for her Live Tour 2007 ~Black Cherry~ Special Final in Tokyo Dome.

The music video for "Koi no Tsubomi" was inspired by Koda Kumi's younger sister's, misono, video "Kojin Jugyō" (個人授業 / Private Lessons), which was also a different take on the classic fairy tale Cinderella. The videos' similarities start with both sisters having their own little fairy, who is able to transform their appearance. However, where "Kojin Jugyo" ends with the spell wearing off and returning misono to her original state, "Koi no Tsubomi" ends with the transformations staying and each girl affected to thank the fairy.

The music videos from 4 hot wave entertwined and were all placed on the album. "Juicy" was the first video in the story, showing Kumi with her crew seducing a group of men in a bar, who have a treasure map. In the end of the video, the men realize the women stole the map. "With your smile" has Kumi trying to outrun the men. The music video shows a race through the desert. "I'll be there" is the video showing where the map led. In the video, Kumi is seen on a beach in Morocco, relaxing while enjoying the weather. The video ends with her finding the treasure. "Ningyo-hime" shows what the treasure led to. Its theme has Kumi being controlled by a doctor, who is notorious for fusing parts of dolls together. While "ningyo hime" can translate to "mermaid princess," it can also translate to "doll princess," which is what the music video depicts.

"Yume no Uta" was a story of a woman, played by Kumi, walking downtown to meet up with her lover. While walking, she thinks about their happy moments. When she sees her lover across the street, she runs towards him, but is hit by an oncoming vehicle. While her lover holds her, another woman, also played by Kumi, sees the scene before walking off. The music video for "Cherry Girl" was composed of scenes from Kumi's film of the same name, along with her singing while wearing her initial outfit worn in the film's opening scene. "Unmei" carried a theme of love, telling the story of two people separated by fate. "Twinkle" was an upbeat video with a green screen backdrop.

Track listing[edit]

CD
No.TitleLyricsMusicarrangementLength
1."Introduction"Daisuke "D.I" ImaiDaisuke "D.I" ImaiDaisuke "D.I" Imai1:24
2."Get Up & Move!!"Daisuke "D.I" ImaiDaisuke "D.I" Imai • Ice MikeDaisuke "D.I" Imai3:22
3."Ningyo-Hime"Kumi KodaMiki WatanabeMiki Watanabe4:25
4."Yume no Uta"Kumi KodaHiroo YamaguchiTohru Watanabe4:43
5."Tsuki to Taiyou (月と太陽/Moon and Sun)"Kumi Koda • Yoko KuzuyaOctopussy • Yoko KuzuyaOctopussy4:01
6."Puppy"Kumi KodaMiki WatanabeMiki Watanabe4:03
7."Koi no Tsubomi"Kumi KodaYusuke KatoYusuke Kato4:06
8."WON'T BE LONG [Black Cherry Version]"Bro. KornBro. Kornh-wonder4:29
9."JUICY"Yo TairaSTYSTY4:29
10."Candle Light"Kumi KodaYoko KuzuyaTohru Watanabe3:16
11."Cherry Girl"Kumi KodaCurtis A.RichardsonCharlene Gilliam • Andreao "Fanatic" Heard & Sherrod BarnesAndreao "Fanatic" Heard • The Conglomerate3:55
12."I'll Be There"Kumi KodaShintaro Hagiwaratasuku4:15
13."Unmei"Kumi KodaHirofumi HibinoMasaki Iehara4:21
14."With your smile"Kumi KodaTohru WatanabeTohru Watanabe4:15
15."Milk Tea (ミルクティー)"Kumi KodaKumi Kodah-wonder2:35
16."Twinkle [English Version]"Kumi Koda • Sachi Bennetth-wonderh-wonder3:52
17."GO WAY!!"Kumi KodaHiroshi KomatsuHiroshi Komatsu4:30
18."WON'T BE LONG [Red Cherry Version]"Bro. KornBro. Kornh-wonder5:11
DVD1
No.TitleLength
1."Koi no Tsubomi" (Music Video) 
2."JUICY" (Music Video) 
3."With your smile" (Music Video) 
4."I'll be there" (Music Video) 
5."Ningyo-Hime" (Music Video) 
6."Yume no Uta" (Music Video) 
7."Cherry Girl" (Music Video) 
8."Unmei" (Music Video) 
9."Twinkle feat. SHOW [English Version]" (Music Video) 
10."Premium Making Video" 
DVD2
No.TitleLength
1."Cherry Girl" (Movie) 

Charts[edit]

Oricon Sales Chart (Japan)

Release Chart Peak position First week sales Sales total
December 20, 2006 Oricon Daily Charts 1
Oricon Weekly Charts 1 502,426 1,031,408
Oricon Monthly Charts 1
Oricon Yearly Charts 2 1,031,408  
Date Title Peak position Weeks Sales
May 24, 2005 "恋のつぼみ" 2 20 weeks 273,060
July 26, 2006 "4 Hot Wave" 2 16 weeks 390,685
October 18, 2006 "Yume no Uta/Futari de..." 1 16 weeks 301,169
December 6, 2006 "Cherry Girl/Unmei" 3 10 weeks 100,275

Alternate versions[edit]

Twinkle

  1. Twinkle feat. Koda Kumi [English Version]: Found on Show Lo album SPESHOW (2006)
  2. Twinkle [English Version]: Found on the album (2006)
  3. Twinkle: Found on Amazing Nuts! (2006)[20]
  4. Twinkle [R-midwest Remix]: Found on Beach Mix (2012)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Black Cherry (ALBUM+2DVD)(Japan Version)". YesAsia. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  2. ^ "Cherry Girl (Drama)(Spanish Subtitle)". DailyMotion. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  3. ^ "Black Cherry / KODA KUMI / ORICON STYLE". Oricon. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Amazing Nuts! (ALBUM+DVD)(Japan Version)". YesAsia. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  5. ^ "Black Cherry (First Press Limited Edition)(Hong Kong Version)". YesAsia. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "Get Up & Move!! MV-CM". KASI TIME. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  7. ^ "GemCerey月と太陽". DailyMotion. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  8. ^ "Viseé Kose". DailyMotion. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  9. ^ "MORINAGA". DailyMotion. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  10. ^ "【Crayon☆Movie ★ Surging!Dance!Friends!】 GO WAY!". YouTube. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  11. ^ "Black Cherry (ALBUM+2DVD)(Japan Version)". YesAsia. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  12. ^ "Cherry Girl (2006) (V)". IMDB. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  13. ^ "Cherry Girl/Unmei (SINGLE+DVD)(Japan Version)". YesAsia. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "KODA KUMI – Cherry Girl [Eng Sub]". YouTube. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
  16. ^ "Koda Kumi - Black Cherry (CD, Album)". Discogs. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  17. ^ "Cherry Girl (Video 2006)". IMDb. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  18. ^ "Black Cherry [Jacket A / w/ 2DVD] Reviews". CDJapan. Retrieved May 10, 2016.
  19. ^ "RAM RIDER, Koda Kumi, mink m-flo loves DOPING PANDA, m-flo loves DOPING PANDA, mink: Amazing Nuts! (with DVD)". Amazon Japan. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  20. ^ "Amazing Nuts! (ALBUM+DVD)". YesAsia. Retrieved February 18, 2016.