A commercial promoting the Laforet Grand Bazar winter sale in Harajuku (January 20-24) features a mob of people with flickering LED-illuminated smiles who overrun a dramatic love scene reminiscent of a popular '90s-era TV show.
The ad -- entitled "Geee / Harajuku Love Story" -- makes use of wirelessly-controlled Mouth LED technology developed by artists Daito Manabe and Motoi Ishibashi.
Here is a rough translation of the dialogue that takes place as the smiling mob approaches.
[Man]: We can make it work. I'll do my best. [Woman]: Will you come to see me if I get lonely at night, no matter what? [Man]: I will go immediately. I'll fly. [Woman]: Will you come and pick me up if I call you from Mt. Everest? [Man]: I'll fly there right away. [Woman]: Will you bring me hot nabe soup if I ask for it? [Man]: I will. I'll bring a year's worth. [Woman]: What if I asked you to take me to the moon? [Man]: That might be difficult... [Woman]: That's not good enough. [Man]: But I can make you happy.
The commercial appears to have been inspired by an earlier project by Manabe and Ishibashi entitled "Party in the Mouth," which featured a mob of women with glowing LED smiles wandering the streets of Tokyo at night.
Calne Ca (a.k.a. Calcium) -- a mechanically modified version of the Hatsune Miku virtual idol created by freelance 3D graphic designer Deino -- stars in a pair of music videos set in a chaotic post-human future.
This video presented by the Enoshima Aquarium shows the bioluminescent mantle of a flame scallop (Ctenoides ales, a.k.a. noble file clam or electric eye scallop), a bivalve mollusk found around reefs in shallow tropical waters. The purpose of the flashing lips remains a mystery.
1:00 - The boat approaches the tunnel entrance, located on the Kanda River next to Mansei-bashi Bridge near Akihabara. The drainage tunnel -- known as the Ochanomizu Diversion Channel -- runs 1.3 kilometers and rejoins the river upstream near JR Suidobashi station. The tunnel is not designed for boat traffic.
2:10 - Tamori tests the echo inside the tunnel.
2:25 - The painted numbers indicate the distance in meters from the entrance.
2:35 - The tunnel measures about 8 meters from floor to ceiling. The water level easily reaches the ceiling after a heavy rain.
3:00 - The boat approaches a round section of tunnel dug with a shield machine. This portion of the tunnel is 8.8 meters in diameter and 760 meters long.
3:50 - The passengers view the rails of a ceiling-mounted crane system used during construction. The crane was used to erect a water barrier to keep the construction area dry.
4:00 - The boat passes a floodgate tunnel on the left.
5:00 - The boat passes a sign reading "Eidan Ochanomizu Station." This type of sign was placed in the tunnel during construction to indicate the nearby infrastructure. Due to its proximity to the subway station, this part of the tunnel is built with extra reinforcements.
5:30 - The boat passes a similar sign for Ochanomizu-bashi Bridge.
5:55 - The boat passes a similar sign for Century Tower, a 19-floor office building.
6:00 - A smaller tunnel branches off to the right. The tunnel is too small for a boat, and the guide is not sure where it leads.
6:50 - The round section of tunnel opens up into a large chamber. During construction, this was a vertical shaft used to lower the shield machine underground. The rails of a ceiling-mounted crane system are visible overhead. A ladder leads up to a manhole on the street.
7:50 - The exit comes into view. Another tunnel continues past the exit for another 1.6 kilometers.
8:30 - The boat exits the tunnel and continues up the Kanda River.
9:30 - The boat passes a pipe pumping water out of the leaky Suidobashi subway station (Mita line).
11:00 - The boat enters another tunnel (Suidobashi Diversion Channel No.2), which runs for 500 meters.
The performance, called "Dance Robot LIVE! - HRP-4C Cybernetic Human," is the culmination of a year-long effort to teach the humanoid to dance. The routine was produced by renowned dancer/choreographer SAM-san (a member of the popular music group TRF who has worked with numerous well-known artists like SMAP and BoA), and the lip-synced song is a Vocaloid version of "Deatta Koro no Yō ni" by Kaori Mochida (Every Little Thing).