The Koda Kumi Rate PART I: The End. Onto the next part we go

Since I do not know her or her music that well... What am I exactly missing?
Well, basically one is a forgotten classic, that was a best album exclusive and the other one is a cover version of an anime song that became one of Kumi's signature songs.
Then again it would be full circle if I lowscored the winning song as @evilsin did in my Solange rate.
I gave it a nice 6 and nice comment about soaring up into the sky, didn't I?
Well, basically one is a forgotten classic, that was a best album exclusive and the other one is a cover version of an anime song that became one of Kumi's signature songs.

I gave it a nice 6 and nice comment about soaring up into the sky, didn't I?
We love a diverse queen.

Yes. To be fair. I am much worse or evil and a sinner than you as a matter of fact.
Yes. To be fair. I am much worse or evil and a sinner than you as a matter of fact.
Are you saying you're naughty as well?
I guess I am? Kumi did that.
Kumi has that effect on people, yes. Let yourself free, hun.
Alright, highkey I don't get to say shit about scores because I didn't vote but also GENTLE WORDS NOT EVEN IN THE TOP 20? anyways I'm catching up now, @evilsin get ready for some likes.
I know, right? You tell 'em.
Me looking at all the likes you give:

did you just threaten my dad
yas, fight!
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3 (2 track tie) Selfish
Average: 8,75

Highest score: 11x1 (@GhettoPrincess), 10x5 (@Sprockrooster, @lalaclairi_, @RUNAWAY, @Weslicious, @Remorque)
Lowest score: 7x3 (@send photo, ha revenge! @Eskiath, @ThisIsRogue)
My score: 9

And thus secret managed to have 2 of its songs in the Top 3! Which was expected, really. Selfish was produced and written by the producer extraordinaire Watanabe Miki, who delivered not only her first proper rock-influenced song, but one of her best as well. Truthfully, rock chick Kumi is pretty much 50/50 for me, even though I do believe that she can certainly sing those kind of songs. This is probably due to the fact that I generally prefer more poppier or R'n'B-tinged sounds, so you can just dismiss my ramblings. At the time of the release the track was so different and daring for Kumi that it's no wonder people loved it so much. I still remember how the fans were still raving about it when I discovered Kuu. Let's appreciate what appears to be one of the most powerful middle 8's of Kumi's discography as well. It doesn't even have words! The vampiric music video is probably one of the most striking of hers, with the whole choreography and outfits and stuff. Lyrically the track is about getting free in general and from a relationship:​

You just kept abusing me

Do you know how much that hurt me?
"I'm selfish, I'll be kind now"
Don't screw with me!

Since you've lost me, it's too late
For regrets

I just want to get away, you surely
Can't shine without me
Now's the moment, today for sure
I'll make you kneel in front of me
(c) @otenkiame

Man hating queen, yas!

We go in with @Monkey0 (8) referencing Tyra, I imagine, "Make it rock but sexy!" And she did it effortlessly with flying colors. @lalaclairi_ is having a blast, "My favorite of all the rock-Kumi singles. It's relentless from the first few seconds; truly a powerhouse of a song." It doesn't let you get bored, that's for sure. @Sprockrooster was planning his next visit to the wig shop, "A heavy guitar track. QUEEN! With adlibs? WIG!" Was it chilly after? @RUNAWAY reveals one of his favorite places for finding backdoor music, "now this is the kind of Kuu I love. Rock-Kumi is the best. One of my first experiences with Kuu is accidentally finding this video on Vimeo back in like 2008 and LIVING. I love her so much." And I love that you love her. Did I comment this already? Maybe. We finish this elimination with @GhettoPrincess, who gave her precious 11 to this, "Loving the pop/rock vibe in this one, great choreography and music video too. Definitely the song that stood out the most to me".​

Kumi rarely performs Selfish nowadays, but we still can get a live here an there.

I didn’t vote but fuck you all.
I thought No Tricks would be out at number 5 and that it would be a Real Emotion vs Cutie Honey battle. My money's on Cutie Honey.

After Love Across the Ocean, Selfish was my next real favourite Kumi song in my early fan days.
So here we go.



Nah, I'm just fucking with ya!




2 Cutie Honey
Average: 8,96

Highest score: 11x2 (@ThisIsRogue, @Remorque), 10x5 (@send photo, @Monkey0, @Sprockrooster, @RUNAWAY, @me!)
Lowest score: 5x1 (@GhettoPrincess, uh-oh)
My score: lookie above

Yes, yes and yes. The undisputed dark horse of Kumi's discography and, judging by your reactions, of the rate as well has won. But first, let's give floor to our runner-up.

Cutie Honey is the last track from secret to fall and deservingly so it pushed through almost to the top. Produced by Watanabe Takeo and written by Claude Q, the track, as you already know, was firstly used as an opening theme for the anime of the same name that ran in 1973 and 1974 and was sung by Maekawa Yoko. Several iterations of the song were later created for different side projects related to Cutie Honey, still all of them fade into oblivion in front of the Kumi's. Her ability to make the song sound like it was initially hers is certainly commendable. This ability was the key in turning an old song into a proper hit. The modernized arrangement done by h-wonder helped quite a bit as well. When Kuu would later dabble into the cover album craze and release a couple, the same ability and the brand-new arrangements would be the two crucial factors that would make me actually enjoy them. You see, the Japanese artists looove their cover version, but all of them sound exactly the same except for the singer who's doing the deed. As far as I understand, their adoration for the tradition that is rooted in their worldview and culture is the main reason they opt to preserve the original sound of the track. Hence the plethora of cover albums that all have the same 30 classic hits that sound the same. Well, looks like Kuu thought about all that cover business and said, "Fuck that", and revamped most of the tracks on her two cover albums.

All this talk of the covers is to show that Cutie Honey didn't become a hit and one of Kumi's trademark just because it was a cover of a well-known song. It achieved all this because Kumi worked on this track and plastered a new coat of paint on it with some added polish on top. Of course being released in the midsts of ero-kakkoi boom the song had to get a saucy music video and it did. Not to mention the "outfits" that were more akin to sexy lingerie that Kuu wore for quite a few of TV performances, and thus with the added controversy the Japanese public were finally hers. The iconic song cemented Kumi's position in the showbiz and became a staple in her concert tours ever since.

The track itself is a 3 minute perfection from starting notes of the sassy double bass and right to the explosion in the end. The persistent percussion, warm wet claps and whimsical guitar and strings all add so much flavor that the final product is so sweet we all still licking it like the most delicious lollipop there ever was. Lyrical content is... something else. You be the judge.​

I'm a popular girl right now
A girl with a small butt
Look my way, honey
But for some reason
You're all "But, but"

Please, please, don't hurt me
My heart
Is fluttering
No, no, no, don't look at me!
Honey flash!

I'm a popular girl right now
A girl with massive boobs
Look my way, honey
But for some reason
You're all "But, but"

Please, please, don't come closer
My nose
Is twitching
No, no, no, don't look at me!
Honey flash!

I’m a popular girl right now
A girl with skin like a kitten’s
Look my way, honey
But for some reason
You're all "But, but"

Please, please, don't chase me
My eyes
Are burning
No, no, no, don't look at me!
Honey flash!

(c) kiwi-musume

So what did you all have to say for this beloved ditty? @Sprockrooster was a bit confused once again, but it's a theme, you know, so... "Bopping, but then I found out it was the intro. EAUX. But it is followed by another stellar track. Love the production elements in this. Very chaotic, but that is the state of mind currently, so very relatable." Glad you appreciated the production, h-wonder went all out with the renewed arrangement. @RUNAWAY was once again gushing, not that I mind, "YES!! this song has always been one of my faves of Kuu's. Even though it's a cover of a retro song, the recording still holds up. It's still such a jam today." Yes, there is certain quality to Kumi's version that makes it sound timeless. And @Monkey0 was probably drooling from different orifices, "She transformed anime opening into full on sex anthem!!! See any performance of this song and be amazed. Orgasms guaranteed."​

Speaking of those over-the-top performances, let's have a look at one.
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Average: 9,00

Highest score: 10x7 (@GhettoPrincess, @Monkey0, @Ceir, @Eskiath, @RUNAWAY , @Weslicious, @me!)
Lowest score: 5x1 (@Sprockrooster, get him, girls!)
My score: look just a bit above

Yes, people, the winner has no crown! Meaning NO TRICKS didn't get a single 11, but look at this fucking trooper climbing up the ranks of high profile singles and fan favorites. I did know this will do good, even great, but I 100% didn't expect it to win when I just started this thread and put the famous "booty jumping like a toad" line in the title. A true dark horse of the races. People tend to forget this amazing track mainly because it was exclusive to Best ~first things~ and furthermore due to the amount of amazing bops that followed this release. That's why I believe this is PopJustice, that this forgotten gem has once again shined in your eyes and ears and came out with a triumph.

NO TRICKS was produced by Daisuke "D.I." Imai and written by him and Kumi. I really want to say that this is one of the most daring D.I.'s productions, as he tends to go for that mellow mid-tempo style more often, but I love how his work with Kumi pushed him into this more aggressive sound. I still stand by my opinion, that this period was his best, despite the fact that I adore his contributions to BENI and I'm usually a sucker for a good mid-tempo with a nice hard beat. Sonically the track envelops you in a barrage of bass, chimes and gritty synths right from the dancefloors of the hottest clubs. I remember how this kind of songs, the one that has this darker edge to them, had some truly weird and magical effect on me. I still find myself perplexed by these right-in-your-face bops that are explicit in their nature and have similar sultry undertones and rougher electronic sound. Honestly, lyrics for this one confuse me. I get that it's about scoring oneself a hot guy and being a self-sufficient independent woman, but the intricasies escape me.​

I say, it's pretty bad how you guys
Try to force
Your selfish ideals on women
Who do you think you are?

I say, we don't know when something will happen
That's why there are people who enjoy that
But can you guys realize that?
Do you see what I see?

You think everything will go well
You can't even notice the approaching shadow
Don't talk so tough
Don't ever talk that way

Before you give excuses to me,
Hurry up and show me
You can do anything, right?
If so, show me

Bounce with me bounce no tricks around me
I like your freaky style so let's get up on me
Booty jumpin' like a toad, do me like you just want it
Let me see your sexy body bring it on

I say, we've got a new game
Started, however
Don't take us lightly like those guys
You know what time it is?

I say, if you get a little better at lying,
I'll go out on the floor with you
The time limit is approaching
3, 2, 1 countdown

A very tight life in the future...
Falling into an eternal loop
I won't do it

With this music in my head,
Wanna try to shuffle? Feel so good
Try to bounce with me
Let's hurry and become one, right?

Come my baby I hit your hot spot
I can get on your SL drop top
Say oh oh oh wah
Say oh oh oh wah

(c) @otenkiame

In the end I really hope this eulogy is enough for this amazing song. Unfortunately I don't have some significant event that could have been linked to this and would eventually provide for a better and fuller write-up, but the fact that this is still one of the hottest Kumi songs is undeniable.

So what did you have to say about our winner? @send photo (7) was true to himself until the very end, "NO TRICKS (IVF)" But... but... what about the fun part of making babies? @lalaclairi_ (8) says, "I'm grateful to this rate for bringing "Booty jumping like a toad" to my attention." You're welcome, just doing God's work. @RUNAWAY shares my sentiment for the last time in this rate, "absolutely ICONIC. can't believe how underrated and forgotten this song is. It's FABULOUS." NOT ANYMORE! IT WON! Sexy bops are clearly to @GhettoPrincess' liking, "A sexy bop, I'm always here for those when they are done right and it's definitely the case here." When it's right, it's right. And @Monkey0 says, "Together with Hot Stuff and SHAKE IT it's Golde Trinity of Middle Eastern Sex Jams." Okay, but where are Middle Eastern influences in this one? I don't hear a single sound, hun. We end this all with @Weslicious, who once again proves, that Kumi is a woman of many things, "Queen of English, Empress of amphibian butts, Goddess of being done like you just want it!"​

Kumi performed NO TRICKS live like twice, but I did manage to find a nice one for you.

Kii at Heat being here as well.
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