Destiny Line – Ai no Matador –

Posts Tagged ‘Oricon Year 2003 Singles

Otsuka Ai’s 2nd single, entitled さくらんぼ, was released on 12.17.03. Credited as being her breakout hit single, the song was used as the opening theme song  for TBS’s UNDERCOUNTDOWN TV and the ending theme for Fuji’s TV’s Mecha2 Iketeruu!

さくらんぼ is a fun and exciting song that shows off what Ai can do. Opening the song is a couple of lines, sung in a very hushed voice until the title of the song is sung. After a nice and uptempo instrumental, the first verse begins. Her vocals here are very nice and have a certain cuteness that carry the song’s lyrical meaning. As the verse comes to a close, the instrumentation becomes slightly more varied in time for the chorus. With a little more energy and a fun feeling, the chorus stands out to the listener, particularly the final word, the title of the song. The pure instrumental section nicely shows off those rock tints that pop very nicely.

帰り道 is a sweet slow song. The song begins with a slow and sweet sound that catches the listener’s attention. The first verse begins and Ai’s vocals sound very cute here and move with the music very well. As the verse goes on, Ai shows off a little more vocal strength, hitting the higher notes well. The chorus sounds nice and smooth, really showing off that cute flare from Ai. The pure instrumental section sounds wonderful as the beauty of the instrumentation is spotlighted before Ai comes back in with strong vocals. Ai sings her way out by repeating “la la la la” until the end of the song. The B-side is definitely A-side material and is worth checking out.

In order to promote the single, a PV for さくらんぼ was made. The video has the cuteness of the song and really represents the song. Scenes of the video include Ai rocking out with her band, Ai riding on a bike with her boyfriend, Ai doing activities in an all pink room and a close-up scene of Ai singing in front of a red background. The PV definitely brings out the energy of the song very well.

Single Ranking: A

Otsuka Ai’s 2nd single features a nice combination of two songs. The A-side is a cute number that shows off Ai’s fun vocals and her true energy. The B-side sounds absolutely fantastic, channelling a softer sound while still holding onto that cute element. Both songs show off just what Ai can really do.


Otsuka Ai’s debut single, entitled 桃ノ花ビラ, was released on 09.09.03. The title track was used as the opening theme song for Nihon TV Network’s drama entitled Suika.

桃ノ花ビラ is a cute song that really catches the listener’s ear. The song begins with a sweet instrumental before the first verse starts. Ai’s vocals sound great here and the repeating words really stand out to the listener. The chorus has that energy that makes it so adorable and addictive. The instrumentation becomes a little more varied as more traditional Japanese instruments help enhance the instrumental. The pure instrumental sequence sounds great as those Japanese instruments are spotlighted nicely and then a few lines are sung before the chorus. These lines show off Ai’s vocals strength with the final line in particular as she reaches a little higher. Sweet instrumentation brings the song to a perfect finish. 桃ノ花ビラ is a wonderful song that shows off Ai’s adorable side and hooks the listener from first listen.

向日葵, a fun and relaxing poppy number, is the single’s B-side. A sweet instrumental starts off the song and soon the beat really comes in with a certain cuteness to it. When the song’s true sound comes in, the listener becomes intrigued and then the first verse starts. Ai’s vocals sound very nice, holding that cuteness that she pulls off well. The chorus sounds very nice and is notable as Ai hits the higher notes with good power. The pure instrumental section is absolutely fantastic and really makes the sound of the song stick out in the listener’s mind. Pure instrumentation brings the song to a nice close along with some nice vocalizing from Ai on the way. This B-side is definitely memorable and is a strong compliment to 桃ノ花ビラ.

In order to promote the single, a PV for 桃ノ花ビラ was made. The video is pretty simple, featuring Ai in the forest with animated creatures to really bring out that cute element established by the song. Although it isn’t very eventful, it’s a very nice visual representation of the song.

Single Ranking: A +

Otsuka Ai’s debut single is definitely a strong way to introduce the world to her talent. The A-side is an adorable song that shows off Ai’s vocal talents very nicely. The B-side takes a more relaxing approach while still showing off that cute flare. Both songs are definitely some of Ai’s strongest.