I think Every Little Thing's 17th single from New Year's Day 2001, "fragile" has one of the best intros I have ever heard in a J-Pop song. That mysterious and haunting synthesizer series of notes that starts off the song just puts that introspective mood into me: Who have I hurt in my life? What did I do wrong? And then there is that guitar crash right after the synthesizer and at the beginning of the refrain that hits the message home.
The words of despair and hope in a relationship were written by vocalist Kaori Mochida （持田香織）and lyricist Kazuhito Kikuchi （菊池一仁）while guitarist Ichiro Ito （伊藤一朗）came up with the melody. It was one of those songs that seemed to stick around throughout the year, no doubt partially in thanks to that synth intro. And then there was the music video for "fragile" which was just Part One of a drama that extended into the band's video for the following single, "Graceful World". The rushed taxi ride, the rain and Mochida & Ito hovering over the scene like a couple of dark angels made for a pretty atmospheric mood, but again it was the beginning when Mochida appeared and seemingly came down from the heavens like a Harbinger itself while those eerie opening notes were played that made the video for me. There was also something about that very scene which almost resembled an opening credits sequence from a James Bond movie.
"fragile" quickly reached No. 1 and went Triple Platinum, becoming the 13th-ranked song of 2001, selling just under 830,000 copies and winning a Gold Prize at the Japan Record Awards. It also got ELT its 5th invitation to the Kohaku Utagassen.