October 18, 2010

Three good reasons to watch NHK

Sometimes the picture really is worth a thousand words of entertainment value. And the stories are good too! But the additional pleasures of watching an attractive woman act them out is undeniable.

Yeah, I know, it's not terribly "realistic." When it comes to art, "reality" need not be "real." Just as the most "natural" food isn't at all "natural." It's painstakingly created by experts in ways that nature never intended, with a singular, sensory objective.

Now and then I do have to wonder why--other than a million years of evolution and social conditioning--my brain gets off on something so abstract. Not just attractive women, but attractive women in evolutionarily novel contexts, and the less "made-up" the better.

Satoshi Kanazawa argues that the more intelligent you are, the more you are drawn to "evolutionarily novel" things.

Following Kanazawa's thesis (which could rationalize just about anything), evolutionarily "familiar" fashion is simply a way of accentuating primitive mating cues. So appreciating an "un-dolled-up" look requires more brains. Hey, I can be an evolutionary psychologist too!

Or in Aya Ueto's case, she sports a "young urban professional" look (evolutionarily unique) that's actually "professional." Her character in the flash-forwards is more Cosmo. But we're supposed to assume she's become more dissolute. Ah, stereotypes make for such good shorthand.

Google these three young women and you'll find oodles of cheesecake. But nothing that looks half as good as the "plainer" versions. The best contemporary photo of Yoko Maki I could find is the one below taken for a magazine interview. A little goes a long way in my book.

1. Aya Ueto (上戸彩)

As Rika Onozawa, an earnest young editorial assistant, in the romantic dramedy, I'll Still Love You in Ten Years. Co-star Seiyou Uchino plays the geeky physicist who loves her, loses her, and then uses a time machine to make things right.

2. Yui Ichikawa (市川由衣)

As Dr. Katsura in the period melodrama, Chizuru Katsura's Casebook, about an Edo Period woman doctor. Her chopsocky's good enough to not make you furiously roll your eyes (though, seriously, any man could hoist her by the scruff of her neck).

3. Yoko Maki (真木よう子)

As Ryo Narasaki, the gun-toting wife of Ryoma Sakamoto, hero of the Meiji Restoration, in the historical drama, Ryomaden. Sakamoto wore western-style boots and carried a Smith & Wesson. There's no evidence his wife did, but it's a fun thought.

Related posts

The ears have it
Japan's got talent
Timeless fashion

Labels: , , , , , , ,