Let’s say you’ve built a giant robot exoskeleton for a commercial market and you want to unveil it to potential consumers. Who would you have wearing it in all of your marketing? A U.S. company would probably cast a buff, 20-something soldier-type — probably male, too, unless the advertising execs are big fans of the movie Aliens. In Japan, however, your only real option is to feature a cool-looking Japanese schoolgirl. That’s what Sagawa Electronics has done with their advertisements for the Powered Jacket MK3, at least, and I applaud them for it.
As the promotional video for the Powered Jacket shows, the suit is able to walk and run fairly seamlessly and can even pick up small objects. While all the action shots have a guy behind the wheel — er, robot skeleton — the bulk of the video features an incredibly surreal exchange between “Kawako,” a school girl who’s preparing for some unknown combat, and fictional company man “Scarface Santaro,” who is covered in grotesque scars for… reasons. Seriously, if you’re squicked out by gushing wounds, you might want to skip on through:
Granted, the video also claims that the exoskeleton has the ability to make the high school girls cuter than they actually are, so it’s not totally perfect as far as celebrating girl power goes. Still, teenage girls are one of the most powerful consumer bases in pop culture today, and they get treated pretty badly for it most of the time — “fangirl” is still an insult in most circles here, unfortunately. So I appreciate the intense marketing power that the stereotypical Japanese schoolgirl is able to wield.
The suit weighs about 55 pounds and stands roughly seven feet tall, and will sell for $123,000 to a limited audience next month. Too bad actual teenagers probably won’t be able to afford it, because this would definitely be a great asset to those of us who wanted to fight crime in high school but weren’t born with either vampire slayer or magical girl powers.
- Speaking of which, Kawako should team up with that psychic girl
- This is definitely cooler than ASIMO, at least
- But a lot less adorable than Japan’s robot astronaut