Time is marching on...and I can believe this since it's been over 20 years since Tomomi Kahala（華原朋美）debuted on the scene. I recently saw her on an episode of "Uta Kon" (うたコン) and she happened to perform her old hit "I Believe".
Now for me, Kahala grabbed my attention when she released her 3rd single "I'm Proud" but according to J-Wiki, it was her 2nd single from October 1995 "I Believe" that marked her breakthrough. To be honest, I didn't quite believe when I first heard it through commercials and TV appearances but then hearing it again on "Uta Kon" years later and then on YouTube, I'm actually starting to finally enjoy the arrangement by Tetsuya Komuro（小室哲哉）. I think the one thing that had me reluctant initially was the wobbliness of Kahala's vocals.
However I think over the years, her voice has gotten stronger so "I Believe" and her other hits have gotten better in delivery. And I'm sure Kahala must have been very grateful for the chance since it had originally meant to have been sung by another entity under the Komuro umbrella, her mentor's band globe. But the Urayasu native got the assignment and the rest is history.
"I Believe" went all the way up to No. 4 and became a million-seller. In fact, although it was the 86th-ranked single for 1995, it climbed further up for the annual sales in 1996, reaching No. 38. And on the Oricon karaoke rankings, it was the 4th-most popular song. Kinda too bad that I couldn't find the original music video, though.