Born Yukie Yamamura, Kou Shibasaki (her stage name is taken from a popular manga) began acting in manga-related films during 2000, quickly garnering acclaim in both action and dramatic roles. In 2002, Shibasaki began a singing career with the singles "Trust My Feelings" and "Tsuki No Shizunu," the latter proving to be a massive hit on the Japanese charts in 2003; her music could frequently be heard in soundtracks and commercials thereafter. Unlike most Japanese idols, Shibasaki took on the challenge of writing most of her own lyrics. Her first full-length album, 2004's Mitsu, quickly charted and sold 400,000 copies. After a less successful sophomore effort, 2007's Kiki marked a return to popularity with a brief number one chart position and Kou's first live concerts. In early 2008, two best-of compilations were released, Single Best (A-side hits) and Back Best (B-side hits), attaining the number one and number three slots on the Oricon charts, respectively, and outselling the majority of Shibasaki's previous albums.
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