Cherry Girl

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Cherry Girl
Koda Kumi - Cherry Girl (DVD cover).jpg
Directed by Shuta Takahata
Produced by Max Matsuura
Chiba Ryuhei
Araki Takashi
Hayashi Shinji
Nagata Yoshihisa
Written by Osamu Suzuki
Starring Kumi Koda
MEGUMI
Yuko Ito
Music by Kumi Koda
Distributed by Rhythm Zone
Avex Entertainment
Release dates
December 20, 2006 (Japan)
Language Japanese

Cherry Girl is a Japanese action/drama film featuring Japanese singer-songwriter Kumi Koda and actresses MEGUMI and Yuko Ito. It was directed by Shuta Takahata (The Hotel Venus) and is written by Osamu Suzuki (Love Com, Hito Ni Yasashiku and smaSTATION). The film was scored by Koda Kumi's studio album Black Cherry and was featured on the second DVD of the album.[1]

The film was inspired by Charlie's Angels, which could be seen with its action scenes and with the three women given orders by via telephone.[2]

Kumi Koda, the main focus of the film, released a music video centered around the film's theme on her Cherry Girl/Unmei single.[3]

Plot[edit]

Cherry Girl centers around three female bartenders, who use the bar to run a private detective agency. Kumi (Kumi Koda), Meg (MEGUMI) and Yu (Yuko Ito) play agents who work as private investigators for an unseen man named Goro (Goro Inagaki). He contacts the three women via Vodafone cell phone to give them job orders.

The film opens with a bar scene of the women serving the customers, alongside a conversation Kumi, Yu and Meg are having, talking about past love interests. Kumi tells them that during one of her relationships, she had found a hair in the man's bed, which did not belong to her and broke up with the man a week later. The scene is played back-to-back with the bar scene and an action scene of the trio. Meg alerts the other two of a suspicious character entering the bar, who they find had a pocket knife.

Later, as the women are getting massages, Goro gives the trio a job order by a woman named Mari, played by Mari Hoshino, who believes her fiance, M. Hotta, is having affairs with multiple people and wants the women to get him to stop the affairs before they are married. She says how she is mainly suspicious of Hotta's secretary, Ishida Fumiko.

Kumi watches Hotta and Fumiko exit an office building, relaying the information to Meg and Yu. She sends a picture via cellphone as Hotta sits in the back seat and Fumiko takes a seat in the front. She takes on several disguises as she follows the duo, failing to come up with evidence of him cheating. Failing to gain any information over the course of a week, the trio discusses the case, now believing Hotta to be "perfect." Still wanting to please their customer, Mari, the trio decide to crash a party Hotta will be attending, which will host many celebrities.

Kumi and Yu stake out the event and see Hotta enter with Fumiko. Kumi begins a conversation with Hotta, during which Yu bumps into him and drops her hand bag. As she and Hotta exchange apologies, she takes the opportunity to swipe his cell phone and his wallet. Afterwards, Kumi meets Takeda (Shinji Takeda). Once the trio return to the bar, Kumi tells Meg and Yu that it was "love at first sight" and he gave her a token to remember him. The other women are skeptical, but Kumi defends her feelings. Goro calls then calls, asking if there has been any success with Mari's investigation, to which they admit they have not found anything. Before he hangs up, Kumi asks him what he thinks about true love, where he tells her that a meeting is controlled by destiny. It is then revealed that Kumi had met Goro when she had an investigator investigate a past love interest. When the P.I rejected her, not believing her boyfriend to be having an affair, Goro overheard and offered her information and a job opportunity.

Afterwards, Kumi sees Mari and Takeda out in public together and Meg is curious as to why Takeda, Hotta's vice president, would take Mari to Hotta's office. After the trio discover Mari and Takeda are trying take over the company, they talk to Hotta, who asks them to find the truth to save his company. When they break into Hotta's office, they find Takeda and Mari. Mari tries to escape, but Yu stops her and mocks the fact that Mari thought her manipulation would work. The trio fight Takeda and, after he falls, Mari places herself over him to protect him. She explains that, as Hotta's company grew, Takeda was pushed off to the side, so she tried to frame Hotta as having multiple lovers so he would have to give up the company due to bad publicity. Kumi tells her that, by manipulating both Hotta and Takeda, she is hurting Takeda and it would be best to tell the truth.

The trio returns to running their and Goro congratulates them on a job well done. After they say goodbye, the trio talk about the job and Goro. As they talk, a scene is shown where Fumiko runs into Goro, with him only recognizing her after she has walked away. It is learned that Hotta knew the girls were following him and of the tracking devices they were using to target him due to his secretary (Fumiko) relaying the information to him each time. As it had turned out, everyone, sans the trio and Goro, was in the scheme. The girls had been set up and while they were in Hotta's office, an IED (bomb) was placed in their vehicle, which exploded as they approached.[4][5]

Cast[edit]

  • Kumi Koda as Kumi, one of the investigators who works for Goro. She tends to make judgements based on how she feels, rather than logic.
  • MEGUMI as Meg, one of the investigators who works for Goro. She is usually the one to give Kumi the hard truth, rather than allow her to live in naivete.
  • Yuko Ito as Yu, one of the investigators who works for Goro. She is quiet, but also the most technologically advanced of the trio, being able to hack multiple types of systems.
  • Goro Inagaki as Goro, the boss. He is the one who gives Kumi, Meg and Yu orders and the one who accepts the clients the trip investigate.
  • Mari Hoshino as Mari, the client Goro accepts and the fiance of Hotta, the CEO of the Roppungi company.
  • M. Hotta as Hotta, the CEO of the Roppungi company and the fiance of Mari.
  • Ishida Fumiko as herself, M. Hotta's secretary and the woman Mari believes he is having an affair with.
  • Shinji Takeda as Takeda, the vice president to Hotta's company and the love interest of Kumi.

Soundtrack[edit]

The film was scored by Kumi Koda's sixth studio album, Black Cherry. The film was released on the second DVD to the album. Kumi Koda worked alongside arrangers and producers Daisuke "D.I" Imai, h-wonder, Octopussy (who most notably worked with Soulhead), alongside others.[6]

Some of the a-sides used in the album were Juicy, Cherry Girl and Won't Be Long.

Release[edit]

The film made its debut on Kumi Koda's album Black Cherry around the holiday season on December 20, 2006. It never received a television or theatrical release. The total sales reached over one million, however.[7]

Critical Reception[edit]

Cherry Girl received generally positive reviews upon its release from fans. On IMDb, the film has an 8/10 from thirteen reviewers.[8] Some fans critiqued the film for being too similar to Charlie's Angels and the hokey acting, while others said it was an "enjoyable flick, though there are no subtitles."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Black Cherry (ALBUM+2DVD)(Japan Version)". YesAsia. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Cherry Girl (2006) (V)". IMDB. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Cherry Girl/Unmei (SINGLE+DVD)(Japan Version)". YesAsia. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  4. ^ "KODA KUMI – Cherry Girl [Eng Sub]". YouTube. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  5. ^ http://www.rhythmzone.net/koda/cherry/
  6. ^ "Koda Kumi - Black Cherry (CD, Album)". Discogs. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Black Cherry (CD+2DVD) / KODA KUMI / ORICON STYLE". Oricon. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Cherry Girl (Video 2006)". IMDb. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Black Cherry [Jacket A / w/ 2DVD] Reviews". CDJapan. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 

External links[edit]