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Promotional Consideration: Ms. Yanagihara

Promotional Consideration: Ms. Yanagihara
Eric Caoili
Eric Caoili|December 16, 2007 4:00 PM

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

Shipped out to stores in Japan just last week, Fujimori Midori no Let's Tarot performs virtual tarot readings while teaching its users how to interpret the cards themselves. It's an interesting title, one that we could picture possibly being a small success if ever brought to the states, occupying the New Age shelves of bookstores.

Also interesting is who publisher Bitway chose to promote the fortunetelling trainer, opting for a celebrity face, Kanako Yanagihara, instead of Fujimori Midori, the medium who lent her name and likeness to the game. Read on for some of Kanako Yanagihara's previous work.

Sparkles of light. Hands raised. Big smile.

Before we take you through a cavalcade of Kanako Yanagihara's commercials, we'd like to point out the great artwork on the cards that come with each copy of Let's Tarot. In spite of the bundled deck, the game is listed for only $48.90 on Play Asia -- still high-priced, but not any more expensive than other new release imports. The cards' illustrations and style really justify the pricing for this light piece of casual software.

Now, on to Kanako Yanagihara -- she's a 21-year-old comedian and actress in Japan, mostly popular for her impressions of everyday characters, like shop assistants and high school girls. She has also been contracted for several endorsements, the latest being a short spot for Let's Tarot, in which she takes the game's predictions into her own hands. Speaking of hands, get a look at the pearls decorating her fingernails (they appear for a brief moment at the five-second mark)!

You can see her playing her well-known saleslady role in this recent spot for Toyota.

Likely due to her having a body-type resemblance with Hairspray's Tracy Turnblad, Yanagihara was also hired to promote and provide her voice to the 2007 remake's release in Japan. This was a good year for her in terms of finding work.

Yanagihara doesn't actually appear in these last commercials, but that's her providing the voiceovers in all of them. Also, they're so nutty, we had to include them.

In the first ad, in which the man laments his malfunctioning DVD player, there's a visible box of tissues readied right next to the television. Was he anticipating his woeful incompetency with the electronics, or was he planning something else? Gross, we know! The latter half of the above clip is even more ridiculous, showing two men having trouble transferring music from their CDs to their MP3 players. Check out that wicked zebra-patterned wallpaper.

This second spot just further proves that Japan not only gets much better commercials, but much more fantastic wallpapers as well!
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