Just a quick Japanese television commercial post as I’ve been loving this one just recently. Done in the style of a retro action TV series opening montage, it features Japanese women’s wrestling star Saori Yoshida as all 3 members of the Alsok Security Squadron! It may seem trivial to most, but this is one of the reasons I live in Japan. This style of advertising for a mainstream service like home security blows my mind!
This is a new anime that I’ve been watching recently, and it’s hilarious. It’s about a guy in ancient Rome called Lucius who is an architect responsible for designing the empire’s public hot spa baths. He gets criticized by the emperor for having ran out of ideas and inspiration for how to develop the bathing culture further and reflects on this during a hot bath when suddenly he’s pulled underwater by a mysterious force. When he resurfaces he finds he has warped to present-day Japan and finds himself either in a Sento (public bath) or an Onsen (natural hot spring) or some other location particular to the Japanese bathing culture, depending on the episode.
During his short time there he picks up ideas and is routinely astounded at the technological advancements he sees. After warping back to Rome he employs the ideas in Roman baths and becomes the toast of the empire. For each episode, rinse and repeat!
NOTE: As of writing this post, you can watch episodes on Dailymotion.com.
A couple of TV advertisements have been showing in Japan just recently featuring some major stars from the west. First up, we’ve got an incredible spot featuring non other than Jean Reno as Doraemon! This one’s for Toyota I think.
To follow that, we’ve got Bruce Willis promoting the Daihatsu Mira e:s, which we are led to believe is a car. How the stars actually entice you to buy one of their cars isn’t clear to me, but they get people talking, and they end up going slightly viral, or ending up on blogs like this one.
I’m a little upset about this, because I just got back from a visit to the UK, and it looks like I’m going to miss Micro Men, the new BBC Four drama series telling the story of the life and inventions of the legendary ZX Spectrum creator, Sir Clive Sinclair. I had a ZX Spectrum 128k when I was a kid (that was to be my second computer, the Oric 1 was my first) and it was important in cultivating my love for electronics. I also know that Clive Sinclair was an erratic megalomaniac and genius, so with all the retro technological geekery piled on, this looks set to be an unmissable show.
UPDATE: Maybe you can watch it in BBC’s iPlayer (only supposed to be available to people in the UK) if you’re a wizzkid.
With the grueling Japanese working day being what it is, every second of sleep counts. Here’s how to extend your rest period at the expense of having only 5 minutes in which to change out of your pyjamas, cook and eat breakfast, don your business apparel and get out the door, shoes on feet and briefcase in hand. This is from a recent Japanese TV show – enjoy the special techniques employed by the pros. Kakkoii!
I’m watching TV on my mobile phone right now – just because I can. I can’t do this in the UK, and so it’s a big novelty for me! It kills my battery though. My new phone is a Sony Ericsson and so it uses Sony’s Bravia screen technology, but I can’t see how it makes much difference on the small screen and with 1seg bandwidth being what it is. It comes in handy if you’re out of the house and there’s something on the TV you don’t want to miss which is rare for me in Japan (although the World Baseball Classic has been sucking me in recently).
Darling wa Gaikokujin (ダーリンは外国人), which roughly translates as My Darling is a Foreigner, is a manga series that deals with the author Saori Oguri’s life as a Japanese woman married to an American man living in Japan. The reason I’m writing about it is that I’ve been watching an animated version on the JR line trains just recently, and the animation style is really nice. The animation has been on the trains since last year. In the most recent installment the couple have a baby. Watch out for it if you’re on the Yamanote line in Tokyo anytime soon.
The Motoman SDA10 is a Japanese robot manufactured by Yaskawa Electric’s robotics division. It seems to be really versatile, as it can handle a number of different tasks without any problems – even fiddly jobs like putting a disposable camera back together out of lots of tiny individual parts! It’s amazing how fast it moves from position to position during the assembly process, and I can totally see robots taking over the world in the next 100 years. Taken from Fuji TV’s The Best House 1-2-3, a popular Japanese TV show.
This is a pretty funny clip via Japan Probe, that shows a section from the Japanese show TV Champion, where mascots from all over Japan take part in a battle for supremacy. In this round, they go head to head in a soccer match to the death.