Tokyo Metro’s TV commercials have always fascinated me ever since the company was rebranded. I don’t know, I guess there’s a power play of influences that keeps my eyes peeled every season. There’s definitely a romanticism in the portrayal of the city – they manage to capture the very essence of Tokyo all while not imagining an illusion of fantasy, and I like that. It’s real, and while the commercials’ tone changes every year, it highlights a different aspect of this very multi-faceted megalopolis.
Anne Watanabe, the spokesperson and ambassador for the 2011 campaign titled “Tokyo Wonderground”, for some reason, just didn’t resonate well with, well, anybody. The campaign on the hole, was literally, too dark. Focusing on the nightlife, the images and commercials were shot with too dark of a tint, and the darkness made the trains and stations look cold and unfeeling. To make matters worse, the heavy rock music supplied by Ringo Shiina’s band, Tokyo Jihen sealed the campaign’s fate, deemed inaccessible to regular commuters. This year’s campaign sees a return to a softer approach pioneered by 2010’s Yui Aragaki campaign, albeit not as girly, which was the intention then. Riding on the popularity of the Liar Game franchise films, its female protagonist played by Emi Takei, has been chosen as the “image character”.