Koda Kumi – 7 SPIRITS

review - 05.27.2009 11:11

Koda Kumi's 7 SPIRITS is her first collection of promotional videos from her early singles.

When Koda Kumi started her career, her singles didn't exactly top the charts, but it wasn't because of the artist’s lack of vocal skill. These singles just didn't appeal to the Japanese audience's tastes, though they were successful on the US charts. With some time and perspective, people's opinions of them might change, but the promotional videos for these singles are worth taking a look at!

TAKE BACK, Koda's debut single from 2000, is a very pleasant song of soft pop and R&B. Young Koda Kumi, who has long, black hair, presents herself in this PV in two different images. In the first, though wearing a leather dress, she looks natural, gentle and pretty. In the second, she has disheveled hair with strange things plaited in it, but despite that, with her enthusiasm flowing out from screen, she still very much attracts the viewer's attention. The video doesn't tell a story and the backgrounds are simple: there are only three dancers with the singer, and it probably wouldn't distinguish from other PVs of the same era. However, at the end there is a moment with a naked Koda Kumi lying on red Ferrari. It's enough to make you want to see what she comes out with next.

Five months later, Koda Kumi released her second single, Trust Your Love. This song is based on electronic sound; the beginning seems to be heavy, and the video's dark scenery heightens that atmosphere. Yet when the refrain starts, it makes you to want dance. Unfortunately, this PV doesn't gain much attention with its dark, and at some points boring, scenes. Even Kumi dancing between glaciers can't rescue it. The song itself is great, but the PV just doesn't fit with the mood of the song. This was probably the biggest reason why this song wasn't successful in Japan.

COLOR OF SOUL is a great song for dancing with a strange, abstract PV. Kumi has short blond hair in the video. Aside from her, there are a few other characters - fortune tellers. The fortune tellers give the PV an intriguing start, but there is one thing that goes wrong with the premise: the abstract use of them gets to be tiring after a while. Despite the nice song and the cute, fair-haired Kumi, chances are the promotional video of COLOR OF SOUL isn't one you'd watch more than once.

The first single Kumi released in 2002 is So Into You. The song kept the style used in previous songs, with plenty of electronic noise and a simple beat. The PV for this song is absolutely gorgeous. Kumi, her hair long and blond, dances and sings in a temple with a set of unusual backup dancers - they are painted entirely black! Her dance moves are really great, and she looks sexy in every shot. Undoubtedly, the video for So Into You is the greatest PV of her career at the time. Shortly after the release of this single, Koda Kumi released her first album.

love across the ocean is the first single that promoted Kumi's second album. Kumi personally felt that this song was her greatest work. The song, as well as the PV, start very fast, and the viewer is cast into bewilderment with the artist's new image. However, after the intro, the video comes together. The entire video features only Kumi, who charms with her attire, dance and strong voice. Thanks to her, the viewer doesn't get bored of the video and will want to watch it all the time. love across the ocean is the birth of the Koda Kumi we know today - energetic, self-confident and sexy in every way.

Koda Kumi released m・a・z・e at the end of 2002. From the success of the song and the PV, it's clear that she has found her way in music. Kumi's very attractive appearance, the interesting scenery and hot story are enough to make for a great PV. There are some love scenes in the video, but - to the disappointment of many fans - they do not feature Kumi.

The last video is of her most well known song, the one that helped her make it big: real Emotion. It was used as a theme song for the popular video game, "Final Fantasy X-2." In the PV, game footage and shots of Kumi dancing the same choreography as the characters from game are interchanged. Although the video promotes the game, Kumi definitely isn't a background character; she dominates the video with her electric personality.

There is also bonus footage included on the DVD - backstage scenes and footage from the making of all seven music videos. In almost every shot, Kumi is smiling, and it makes the viewer want to smile right back. Moreover, the commercials for the singles are included, which is a very nice addition. Plus, the DVD was released with a booklet which contains photos of Kumi.

Without a doubt, 7 SPIRITS is a must have for Koda Kumi's fans. It shows her beginnings in the music scene, and the ways she has changed and improved, both in appearance and sound.
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