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Sunday, May 15, 2011

CHANNEL SURF

'Broken Heart Insurance'; cute archetypes; CM of the week: Shiseido Ag+

In the drama series "Shitsuren Hoken" ("Broken Heart Insurance"; Nihon TV, Thurs., 11:58 p.m.), the fictional Yotsuba Shrine offers the titular insurance to anyone in love who isn't sure if the object of their desire is constant. If the significant other breaks off the relationship, the policy holder receives benefits.

It is thus important for the shrine to make sure love blooms, and the greedy head priest, Torako (Arata Furuta), uses behavioral scientist Luke (Yu Shirota) to ensure that happens with the help of Maru (Saki Fukuda), an employee at the shrine.

In this week's episode, a young woman named Yuki takes out a policy. Luke finds out and tells Maru that Yuki happens to be his sister and he doesn't feel right manipulating her feelings.

This week on NHK's regular street fashion program, "Tokyo Kawaii TV" (Tokyo Cute TV; NHK-G, Sat., 11 p.m.), several nationwide style trends are examined, including mori hea ("volume hair," or hairstyles that really pile on the tresses), hime-kei fasshon ("princess fashion," which favors frills and every shade of pink), and bimajo ("beautiful witches," or highly glamorous women in their 40s and 50s).

All of these trends originated in Nagoya, and reporters on the show visit female students in the Chubu region capital to find out how they create their own "girls' culture."

CM of the week: Shiseido Ag+

While snuggling up to a pretty young woman, a handsome man sticks his nose in her underarm area and emerges with a clothespin on his nose. The letters Ag are written on it, the chemical designation for silver.

>Odorologist Betsy Lyons, dressed in a lab coat, appears and says "donkan" in her flat American accent. "Donkan" means "insensitive," meaning that people aren't always aware of the smells emanating from their own bodies, though others are. Lyons has been the "CM character" for Shiseido's deodorants for years, conveying a mixture of technical expertise and Yankee practicality, the implication being that non-Japanese know more about body odor since, as everyone knows, foreigners give off more of a reek. The beautiful young couple in the ad are not Japanese.

But the CM itself is aimed at Japanese women, a demographic that may be paranoid about being sniffed but isn't as likely to stink as the average salaryman, who wouldn't wear deodorant if you paid him.



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