We finally made it boys and girls! I thought we would never make it, or that we would make it here someday… but no, we are finally at the end of the single series!
Capping off the 12 Singles of Christmas is the series’ only double A-side single, ‘Someday / Boys♥Girls’, though Someday was promoted with a music video over the other (and interestingly caps off the movie series that the singles had in place). The concept art is also, fittingly, Kuu in Japanese garments, representing Japan in the finale. Now that we are at the end, we have to ponder, was this an appropriate single to end the series, or have we already reached it prior to?
We are nearly done! Having gone through ten singles already, we now land at the eleventh single of the series (and if you haven’t already read the previous ten reviews, what are you doing?!). Titled ‘WIND’, this single takes Kuu into a more conventional J-pop territory, and her concept art goes for an Italian feel.
Let’s keep our question short and simple: is this wind a much-needed breeze from the last single or are we in for stormy weather?
We are nearly done with the series; we’re now at number ten, and this time, Koda Kumi enlists the help of Japanese crooner Ishii Tatuya, who some anime fans may be familiar with via Gundam SEED. However, this track has no anime tie-in… instead, we’ve got the makings of a love song!
Contrasting this is the Hawaiian concept art, which has Kuu wearing a garment from Hawaii. While we were given a wintry break-up ballad in the form of ‘you’, the series’ first single, will KAMEN make us fall in love in a heated, sensual love song? Read on!
I’m going to go against the grain here and say upfront already: this is my favorite of the twelve. Nine singles in, and I’m already revealing it in the introduction? Why, touki, why?!
Because I’m going to gush in this review. That’s all I’m going to do. There really is no surprise here (if you follow my YouTube channel at ‘toukimeiki’, I have a video that shows why). So what makes this, out of all the twelve, where Kuu goes to a French ballet for her concept art theme, and Kuu goes downtown in what is uniquely the only ‘Kuu-does-a-cover’ single of the series, the BEST? I mean… did I put it that way? Read on!
Tying itself in with the anime, Ueki no Housoku (or otherwise known as The Law of Ueki), as an opening, Kuu takes this project into another unique direction. Here, the concept art is that of Persia, wearing a Persian garment with fierceness. Musically, the song has the exact feel of what you may hear in anime music, though with some slight differences. Is this worthy of its status as an opener, or is this song never to be found on top anisong lists all over YouTube?
Number seven in the 12 Singles of Christmas series is ‘Candy feat. Mr.Blistah’, the second collaboration for the series overall. Here, Koda Kumi, ero-kakkoii songstress and legend, takes us on a magical carpet ride to Africa with the cover art for the single, and then drops us right off to the sultry sands of Egypt for its song. But is this a trip worth taking, or are we going to be begging for water to cool us down from uncomfortable disappointment?
Next up on the list is ‘feel’. Continuing with R&B for genres as we go through the list, ‘feel’ is what Kanye West and Jamie Foxx would call a ‘slow jam’. Complimenting this is the cover art concept, taking us to Spain with her garments and color scheme. Interestingly, the song is the first of Kuu’s to feature entirely in English, and the single itself is her second #1 single of her career. So how does the song hold up? Does it have the ‘feel’ to make it a number-one hit?
Following ‘Shake It Up’ is the dark and purple tones of ‘Lies’, the fifth single of the 12 Singles of Christmas series released by Koda Kumi in 2005 (in case this is the first you’re hearing about this, of which I ask, have you been living under a rock?). It is also here that she continues the worldly garment theme, taking influence from China in a sleek blue/purple-ish outfit complete with a (shade) fan (thworp) and Chinese headdress.
‘Lies’ takes the project into a different direction, but one that is vastly more familiar for Koda Kumi fans. A heavier R&B track with a side of bitterness, ‘Lies’ aims to give Kuu a brooding edge to her music. How will this sound fare after three already fabulous songs?
The fourth single of the twelve in Koda Kumi’s 12 Singles of Christmas series is a worldly entry, tackling on the influences of Brazil for its ‘world countries and garments’ cover art concept, as well as going for a sound that is familiar but is bound to shake up your hearing senses.
We’ve come this far after three singles… how is Kuu going to shake it up this time?