|Single by Ayumi Hamasaki|
|from the album Next Level|
|Released||February 25, 2009|
|Format||Maxi Single, digital single|
|Recorded||December 2008 to January 2009|
|Genre||Rule: Hard rock, power pop
Sparkle: Dance-pop, electronica
|Writer(s)||Ayumi Hamasaki (lyrics)
Miki Watanabe (music)
Kazuhiro Hara (music)
|Ayumi Hamasaki singles chronology|
"Rule/Sparkle" is Japanese singer Ayumi Hamasaki's forty-fifth single (forty-sixth overall) and it was released on February 25, 2009. The song "Rule" was used as the international theme song for Dragonball Evolution. "Sparkle" is used in advertisements for the Honda Zest Spark. The single became Hamasaki's 20th consecutive single to debut at number-one position since her 2002 single "Free & Easy" on the Oricon weekly charts, making her the first solo artist and the female artist to have 20 consecutive singles to debut at number-one position. It is also her 32nd number-one single on the Oricon weekly charts.
The single is certified Gold for shipment of 100,000 copies.
Rule/Sparkle is released with 3 different covers, one for the CD+DVD version of the single and two others to be used for the CD only versions. Akira Toriyama, the creator and manga artist behind Dragon Ball, was commissioned by Avex Trax to draw an illustration of Hamasaki. The first pressing of the single features his illustration of Ayumi as the character Son Goku printed on the CD and the DVD. This is her first single since "No Way to Say" to feature more than two alternate versions or remixes of any tracks. Sparkle is described as a having modern techno-dance style, a new sound to Hamasaki at the time.
Background and synopsis
Rule was filmed in January 2009, Because the music video of Sparkle was not featured on the DVD of the single, it was filmed a little bit late. The director of Sparkle were Kazuyoshi Shimomura and the director for Rule was Ishii Takahide, some back-up dancers were in both videos. The making of sparkle was leaked online on the 23, March 2009. The teaser for Rule aired February 3, 2009 and the teaser for Sparkle aired March 13, 2009. The full music video for Rule premiered Saturday, February 14, 2009 and Sparkle premiered Monday, March 16, 2009.
The PV for Rule features Ayumi as a mistress of a martial arts dojo. It begins with bells ringing, Then, it shows men students running to the Dojo class, then, ayumi is opens a door to let herself in and she dances with her students, the next scene shows ayumi sitting down on a chair, in the room of the Dojo. In her verses, it also shown a scene where ayumi is in a silver dress in a silver room. In the last verse, students try to escape, but then it changes the scene where the male students with devil mask on, She then dances with her students, then Ayumi makes a storm hit on the male dancers revealing their devil mask one more time and making them fade away, Then it only shows her and her normal six male dancers.
The PV for Sparkle begins with a chart of her old hit songs such as Blue Bird, Talkin 2 Myself and Days then the last song says Sparkle, then it starts off as Ayumi sings for a crowd wearing a sweet lolita dress. As the song progresses, Ayu's sweet image disappears and she transforms into a raven-haired seductive dominatrix wearing different colored catsuits, she starts in a red catsuit, in the chorus, it shown ayumi in a purple catsuit, with six male, seductive back-up dancers in red PVC catsuits, who were wearing gas masks, even PVC gloves and socks, also as the first verse ended the gas masked dancers were shown. The next verse shown Ayumi in her purple catsuit wearing glasses or her eyes are red, then, it shows her, in a black-tight catsuit spinning and with a red background. The next chorus shows Ayumi in her red catsuit in a black room. Also, there were random scenes of the dancers in the black room and red room, The video ends as the seductive images of Ayu fade away and she reverts to her old sweet self.
|CD+DVD (Version A)|
|3.||"Rule (80kidz's "No More Rule" mix)"||4:49|
|4.||"Rule (Remo-con "tech dance" remix)"||6:42|
|DVD (Version A Only)|
|1.||"Rule (Music clip)"|
|2.||"Rule (Making clip)"|
All lyrics written by Ayumi Hamasaki. "Rule" music by Miki Watanabe. "Sparkle" music by Kazuhiro Hara. "Days" music by Kunio Tago.
|CD (Version B)|
|3.||"Days (8-bits of tears YMCK remix)"||4:22|
|4.||"Days (Acoustic Orchestra version)"||5:18|
|5.||"Rule (80kidz's "No More Rule" mix)"||4:49|
|6.||"Rule (Remo-con "tech dance" remix)"||6:42|
All lyrics written by Ayumi Hamasaki. "Rule" music by Miki Watanabe. "Sparkle" music by Kazuhiro Hara. "Green" music by Tetsuya Yukumi.
|CD (Version C)|
|3.||"Green (CMJK Spring Storm mix)"||5:46|
|4.||"Green (Acoustic Orchestra version)"||4:57|
|5.||"Rule (80kidz's "No More Rule" mix)"||4:52|
|6.||"Rule (Remo-con "tech dance" remix)"||6:45|
- Music Station Haru Special (Rule) - 27 March 2009
- 60th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen (Rule) - 31 December 2009
Oricon sales chart
|Chart||Peak Position||First Week Sales||Sales Total||Chart Run|
|Oricon Daily Singles Chart||1||9 Weeks|
|Oricon Weekly Singles Chart||1||95,309||130,816|
|Oricon Monthly Singles Chart||4|
|Oricon Yearly Singles Chart||43||130,816|
Billboard Japan / worldwide sales chart
|February 25, 2009||Billboard Japan Hot 100||1|
|Billboard Japan Hot Singles Sales||1|
Digital sales charts
|Recochoku Chaku-Uta Melody||1|
|Recochoku Chaku-Uta Movies||1|
|Recochoku Chaku-Uta Video Clip||1|
|Recochoku Chaku-Uta - Ranking all||1|
|Mu-mo Song Download Chart||1|
|Dwango Truetone Ringtones (Chaku Uta)||1|
|Dwango Polyphonic Ringtones (Chaku Mero)||1|