Rule/Sparkle

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"Rule/Sparkle"
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: electronica, Industrial
Label Avex Trax
Writer(s) Ayumi Hamasaki (lyrics)
Miki Watanabe (music)
Kazuhiro Hara (music)
Producer(s) Max Matsuura
Ayumi Hamasaki singles chronology
"Days/Green"
(2008)
"Rule/Sparkle"
(2009)
"Sunrise/Sunset (Love Is All)"
(2009)

"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.[1] "Sparkle" is used in advertisements for the Honda Zest Spark.[2] 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.[3] It is also her 32nd number-one single on the Oricon weekly charts.[4]

The single is certified Gold for shipment of 100,000 copies.

Information[edit]

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.[5] 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.

Music video[edit]

The director for Rule was Ishii Takahide and the director of Sparkle were Kazuyoshi Shimomura.

The PV for Rule features Ayumi as a mistress of a martial arts dojo. It begins with a scne of bells ringing, then male students, wearing black-colored masks are running to the class, Ayumi dances with her students. In the bridge of the song, the students are shown with Devil masks. She then dances with them again and creates a storm, which reveals their masks one more time. There were intercut close-up scenes of her wearing a silver dress.

The PV for Sparkle begins with a chart of her past hit songs such as Blue Bird, Talkin 2 Myself, Days, finally concluding Sparkle as the number one single, 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 (red, purple and black) with a scene of her and six male seductive back-up dancers in red enclosed PVC catsuits with gas masks. The video ends as the seductive images of Ayu fade away and she reverts to her old sweet self.

Track listing[edit]

CD+DVD (Version A)
No. Title Length
1. "Rule"   4:08
2. "Sparkle"   4:35
3. "Rule (80kidz's "No More Rule" mix)"   4:49
4. "Rule (Remo-con "tech dance" remix)"   6:42
5. "Rule (Instrumental)"   4:07
6. "Sparkle (Instrumental)"   4:30
DVD (Version A Only)
No. Title Length
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)
No. Title Length
1. "Rule"   4:08
2. "Sparkle"   4:35
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
7. "Rule (Instrumental)"   4:07
8. "Sparkle (Instrumental)"   4:30

All lyrics written by Ayumi Hamasaki. "Rule" music by Miki Watanabe. "Sparkle" music by Kazuhiro Hara. "Green" music by Tetsuya Yukumi. 

CD (Version C)
No. Title Length
1. "Rule"   4:08
2. "Sparkle"   4:35
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
7. "Rule (Instrumental)"   4:08
8. "Sparkle (Instrumental)"   4:35

Live performances[edit]

  1. Music Station Haru Special (Rule) - 27 March 2009
  2. 60th NHK Kōhaku Uta Gassen (Rule) - 31 December 2009

Charts[edit]

Oricon sales chart[edit]

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[edit]

Release Chart Peak Position
February 25, 2009 Billboard Japan Hot 100 1
Billboard Japan Hot Singles Sales 1

Digital sales charts[edit]

Chart Peak
position
Recochoku Chaku-Uta 2
Recochoku Chaku-Uta Melody[6] 1
Recochoku Chaku-Uta Movies[7] 1
Recochoku Chaku-Uta Video Clip[8] 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
USEN 1