The Koda Kumi Rate: Part III, COMPLETE. See you in Q1 2020

Which short track / interlude deserved a full version?

  • Prologue to Dejavu

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Interlude to Dejavu

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Introduction ~JAPONESQUE~

    Votes: 3 33.3%
  • Interlude ~JAPONESQUE~

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Introduction ~Bon Voyage~

    Votes: 1 11.1%
  • Let's show tonight

    Votes: 2 22.2%
  • Interlude ~Bon Voyage~

    Votes: 3 33.3%

  • Total voters
I'm sorry for the wait, the birthdays were a blast, dddd.

Will it be another ballad or another cute track?

Who placed their bets on a cute track?



Average: 6,75
Highest scorers: 10x1 (@RUNAWAY), 9,5x1 (@vague)
Lowest scorers: 2x1 (@Eskiath), 4x1 (@Osiris)
My score: 7

5 voters: #70, 6,10 avg.
10 voters: #78, 5,85 avg.
15 voters: #77, 6,47
18 voters: #70, 6,75 avg.

Oh wow, @Music Is Life is not one of the highest scorers for something. "JAPONESQUE" comes back to get another dose of reality. Written by Kumi and my lovely HIRO of ("TABOO", "Amai Wana", "Your Love") and produced by the latter, the song is one of the new tracks that appeared on the album. As with every other track on it, this got a music video. It's a cute little R'n'B piece that is done by the number. There is nothing thrilling or interesting about it, so I'm not that surprised to see it go now. Even "Your Love", another subpar HIRO production, had more going on about it than this. I love HIRO, he's one of my favorite producers ever, but this is not it, fam. I wanted a lot more from this, maybe a bit more engaging melodies? I got a little of it in the middle 8, but that's it. Oh well. At least Kumi sounds nice and I liked the music video. It also reminds me of Crystal Kay's "SUGAR RAIN" and BENI's "a million jewels" due to the trickling flourishes here and there. Weirdly enough, the high-pitched "oh, oh" bits at the end of the chorus sound just like those in "Himitsu"... Anyway, the lyrical contest is all about being together no matter the weather:​

I feel like I can speak honestly now

Putting words on this song,
there are things I want to tell you
Always always
you support me alone
But I want to help you too

If you get uneasy,
let's talk a lot about our dreams together
I'm sure you'll walk happily
Like you're family I always care for you
(c) @otenkiame

Let see what do you think about all this weather.

Starting with @Weslicious (5), who thinks this is on a filler side, "If this song (and one other) was cut, Japonesque would be filler free." That shade towards "All for you", though. It's already dead, let it go.

@Cutlery (6,5) thinks "Everyday" got lost, "This feels a little... there. Like it was meant to stay merely a B-side but somehow made it into the main tracklist"

While @abael (7) doesn't mind this, "It's nice, not groundbreaking, but an enjoyable album addition."

As most times, @otenkiame (7,5) deconstructs the song, "Cute Kuu is here again with some sugary sweet vocals. So why do I enjoy this track anyway? It probably has to do with the fact that HIRO composed it. He knows how to make these light and fluffy R&B tracks work so well. Though, that's not fair to Kuu: Her cute vocals actually work so well here." This is a thorough analysis I came here for!

@Music Is Life (8,5) isn't as talkative about this one, "This is a cute, sweet bop."

Full mark scorer @RUNAWAY (10) feels like a classic was born in this track, "I really adore J-pop because bright and breezy songs like this exist. This is such a fantastic song. It feels like a 90s throwback in some ways and I’m living for it." Yeah, it isn't "Heat" after all.​

For some reason Kumi decided not to perform this during the "JAPONESQUE Tour", but performed this during her next one, the "Bon Voyage Tour". Can't find the video of the performance online, unfortunately.
Did anyone order another tie?

Ah... damn...


Comes Up

Average: 6,79
Highest scorers: 9,25x1 (@vague), 9x1 (@Music Is Life)
Lowest scorers: 1x1 (@Eskiath), 5x2 (@Osiris, @Weslicious)
My score: 7

5 voters: #65, 6,40 avg.
10 voters: #72, 5,95 avg.
15 voters: #74, 6,53 avg.
18 voters: #68, 6,79 avg.

Another "UNIVERSE" album track is going out. Written by Kumi and Odagiri Yuuki, a.k.a YUUKI (BRIGHT's "Ichinen ni kagetsu hatsuka" and "KIRAI... Demo Suki ~AISHITERU~"), and composed by YUUKI, the track is a poppy R'n'B affair. I'm totally okay with this. Just get it out of your system, Kuu. I mean, I like the bouncy cheerful beat, but at the same sime it's a tad too audible and drowns Kumi a bit. It's also pretty catchy, I'll give it that. What still shocks me, is that Kumi swears 2 times in this with those quiet "ah, damn" bits in the verses. It works with the message, but not with the overall feeling of the song for me. So yeah, the message - it's about finding the strength to go forward:​

A cleared up sky without a single cloud is really pleasant

Let's go to that cloud just like this
Yes, we fly, fall, and cry at times
but humans still hope, and reach out to the sky and imagine
I'm sure, I'm sure

C'mon, let's walk without stopping
There are a lot of nights I want to cry, but
I've gotta be strong... I've gotta face ahead...
So, I believe, I believe, I believe

(c) @otenkiame

Do you believe in yourself no matter what? I don't.

Despite not enjoying the track, @Eskiath (1) boast their Kumi knowledge, "Omg stop. My favourite thing is I think I remember this song was called 'Believe' at first, as though she forgot she already had a song called that." Yeah, it was confusing for the long-standing fans, when the tracklist was revealed for the first time.

Meanwhile @Weslicious (5) shows us his punny chops, "Filler. More of a 'Come Down'." A bop by Kylie Minogue.

If this continues in Part IV, we'll have to officially dub @otenkiame (6) 'a voice of reason', "A fluffy and lighthearted cute track that, while nothing spectacular or out of this world, does a nice job regardless. I mean, yeah, Kuu's cute vocals don't sit well with me completely, but they're acceptable. Plus, I can't deny that the sparkling hooks are pretty infectious."

@Cutlery (7) nails it as well, "Another feel good cute bop. The flute is almost a bit too much but Kuu doesn't overdo it with squeaky vocals, fortunately. However I do recognize it's a bit of a retread from songs like Koi no Tsubomi" a.k.a. 'the best cute song' on par with "Love Technique".

@abael (8) enjoys the light soundscape of the track, "Both KK and the production team step it up on the track. A varied approach by both keeps things vibrant and light throughout."

@Music Is Life (9) provides a cute little comment, "What a cute little bop."​

Somehow this track resonated with the fans and Kumi kept performing it closer to the end of her shows throughout the years. Naturally some crying ensues!


0-ji Mae no Tsunderella

Average: 6,79
Highest scorers: 10x2 (@vague, @Music Is Life), 8,5x2 (@RUNAWAY and @me!)
Lowest scorers: 2x1 (@Ana Raquel), 4x1 (@Yeziirl)
My score: lookie above

5 voters: #54, 6,80 avg.
10 voters: #68, 6,00 avg.
15 voters: #71, 6,62 avg.
18 voters: #68, 6,79 avg.

The time has come to say goodbye to our first cover song. Written by misono, Kumi's sister, and produced by Ihashi Naruya (Hamasaki Ayumi's "It was", hitomi's "steady"), the track was first released in May of 2010 as a b-side to misono's "...suki XXX" single, which was also composed by Ihashi Naruya. This one was a piano version, with a standard version with added guitars coming in June on misono's 3rd studio album "Me". Kumi loved the track so much, that she decided to include her rendition on her first cover album "ETERNITY ~Love & Songs~", which was released only a couple months after misono's album in Ocotober of the same year. I remember reading something along the lines of Kumi enjoying misono's writing, especially after they collaborated on "It's all Love". So basically this was a gesture of love and respect for her little sister. Aww. Since I have a brother myself, who I love immensely, this kind of stuff gets me. Not to mention the melodies in the pre-chorus and chorus are gorgeous and Kumi sounds prestine on this minimalistic piano-led opus. I love that half key change that happens in each chorus. The lyrics refer to the Japanese "tsundere" term, which means someone, who is cold and distant on the outside, but warm and lovely on the inside. Therefore, there is a pun with "tsundere" and "Cinderella" in the title of the song. So the main point of the song is that misono or Kumi or whoever sings this is not okay with the relationship ending, yet they ready to do what it takes to end it, due to their nature:​

It's okay if it's a lie, you can deceive me

I wanted something like "I alone am special"
Even when I wake in the morning, I still love you
Tonight I'll sleep thinking about you more than yesterday
I don't need presents or for you to return my feelings

It's okay if it doesn't come true, it's okay if it's not eternal
I'll even give you an excuse to end it
I don't need "more than this" for my time limit
I'll leave my glass shoes behind even though they fit so well

Never again will a princess like me appear before you

(c) @otenkiame

So... anyone left a glass slipper at midnight?

@Weslicious (5) was feeling nostalgic listening to this, "Remember that few weeks, in like 2006, when misono was kinda good... This is not from that time. Dull." I do, but I'll save my musing for another elimination.

At the same time @otenkiame (6) basked in the glory of Kumi's vocals, "I'll keep it real: I cannot stand misono's voice at all, so I never would've known this song exists if not for Kuu. Anyway, emotional seems to not even hit the surface of this piano-only number. Kuu does a wonderful job, and shows she can do just fine with only a piano. Still, I'm not 100% sold on this. Sorry."

@Cutlery (7) was a little little touched, "This is quite bare bare bones and those lyrics need a bit of work, but somehow I like it for its simplicity. It's cute how she covered her lil sis' song"

This elimination reveals that @abael (8) was a fan of Kumi covers, "She just sounds so good on Eternity, I can't not like all of it."

And @RUNAWAY (8,5) decided to state the obvious, "better than misono, sorry sis. That’s just sad." What is sad exactly? The fact that Kumi sang it better?

Lastly, @Music Is Life (10) cracked the code, "Just absolutely beautiful. Her voice works so well with the piano."​

Kumi performed this live quite a few times on tours actually. Guess she really does love this.

And you can listen to misono's version here, when she was at OC Japan Fair in Costa Mesa in 2018, Jesus. Kii at the host mentioning Kumi and misono cosplaying as Hatsune Miku.