I believe I mentioned in a recent article on actress Ryoko Hirosue（広末涼子）about It Girls...those breakout ladies who suddenly cannot be avoided anywhere in the mass media. The same goes with singers whether it be Morning Musume（モーニング娘。）or Seiko Matsuda（松田聖子）. Last decade, I remember one of those young singers being Osaka-born Ai Otsuka（大塚愛）.
With her breakthrough (second) single, "Sakuranbo" (Cherries) from December 2003, Otsuka was popping up everywhere on the music shows and then commercials. She just seemed so bubbly and friendly with an infectious giggle (I got to see her laughing up a storm on "HEY!HEY!HEY! Music Champ"). And of course, the music video was getting heavy rotation with her dancing around on that guitar and singing in that high-pitched voice (especially with the "Yea!").
Otsuka took care of both music and lyrics for "Sakuranbo", which was about her cheerfully relating about the ups and downs of her relationship with her beau. With all that's happened, the two are just cherries joined at the stem. The song peaked at No. 5 on Oricon and later became the 16th-ranked song for 2004, and hung around even longer to be the 86th-ranked song for 2005. The singer-songwriter also won Newcomer of the Year honours at the Japan Record Awards and also got that invitation to the Kohaku Utagassen on New Year's Eve 2004.
|No cherries, I'm afraid.|