Story By: Simon Glover, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report
This is the bizarre moment two members of a Japanese girl band share a bath before putting the water on sale to fans at a price of 700 GBP a bottle so they could “feel like (they’re) taking a bath together with the idols.”
Asuka Rei and Tenka no Chanyuki, two of the four members of the Banana Monkeys ‘idol’ pop group, were filmed in the tub to prove the bathwater was genuine.
The footage shows the girls, bizarrely both wearing jeans and t-shirts, laughing and taking pictures of each other in the bath together with their smartphones.
The bathwater, which their bath salts had turned purple, was later put on sale on the Mercari e-commerce site for an astonishing 100,000 JPY (700 GBP) per small bottle.
However, the listing was later deleted leaving it unclear whether the water had all been sold or whether it had been a publicity stunt all along.
The Banana Monkeys had recommended that fans pour a little of the water into their own tubs so they could feel like they were sharing a bath with them.
The band joked on Twitter the bath salts the girls had used was so expensive they had been forced into the stunt to cover the cost.
They said: “It’s water that idols soaked in, so it’s definitely clean. You can drink it or add a little to your own tub and feel like you’re taking a bath together with the idols.”
In Japanese pop culture, ‘idol’ refers to young manufactured starlets who are selected primarily for their cuteness and who are expected to be role models for young people.
They release albums and perform live, like more mainstream pop acts, but a large proportion of their income comes from associated merchandise such as badges and posters.
Picture Credit: AsiaWire & AsiaWire/@info_banamon