PW 0

It’s one of the all-time classic scene setups of Japanese girls’ comics. Our heroine finds herself in a secluded hallway of her school, alone with a handsome but mysterious male classmate. He turns to her and dramatically pounds the wall behind her, executing a perfect kabe-don before leaning in close to tell her a secret.

So what’s the dramatic line going to be this time? “I love you?” “We actually met years ago and were childhood friends before you lost your memories?” “Don’t hug me, or I’ll transform into a dog?”

How about, “Don’t you know how important protecting your smartphone password is?”

Tokyo’s Harajuku can be divided into three major sections. Omotesando, the neighborhood’s widest and longest boulevard, is where you’ll find the flagship stores of major international fashion brands. On the side streets that branch off from Omotesando is Ura Harajuku, or Inner Harajuku, a collection of less mainstream yet no less stylish up-and-coming boutiques.

Finally, there’s Takeshita-dori, a narrow street that parallels Omotesando for a few blocks. Filled with trendy yet inexpensive clothing shops, Takeshita-dori is a mecca for Tokyo teens. As such a critical center of youth culture, Harajuku Station sometimes devotes its billboards near the Takeshita-dori exit to public service messages related to socially or culturally significant topics, a periodic event called the Harajuku Fashion Joyboard Cultural Exhibition.

With the use of smartphones and other Internet connected devices rapidly trickling down to teens in Japan, the current theme is the importance of choosing a proper password and keeping it secure. Of course, since Harajuku is almost completely an entertainment district, kids stepping off the train are in no mood to stop and read a lengthy, billboard-size treatise on the value of IT security. So instead, the sponsoring Information Technology Promotion Agency of Japan decided on something eye-catching and succinct: this series of shojo manga-style single-panel messages.

Let’s take a look at the whole collection.

▼ “Taking your password this lightly is dangerous, m’lady.”

PW 1

▼ “Such a simple, easy to crack password just doesn’t suit you.”

PW 5

▼ “Don’t you know? Your password is the only one who’s really looking out for you.”

PW 10

The guys aren’t always on a slow, cool burn, either. Some of them are overcome with the raw emotion of the provocative subject matter.

▼ “Look, you’ve got to have more respect for your password!”

PW 12

▼ “Get rid of that simple password! If you don’t, you’re definitely going to regret it someday!”

PW 3

▼ “I’ll be waiting for you, waiting until the day you rethink your password!”

PW 2

▼ “I, I just want to protect you…as much as your password does!”

PW 8

Not everyone has the hots for our heroine, though. As a matter of fact, sometimes we see her getting her heart broken.

▼ “Hey, what was it that made my password not good enough?”

PW 6

▼ “Oh my God…everyone was using my password…”

PW 9

Other times, though, she’s the one calling the shots and fending off the guys.

▼ “No…! My password…that’s the one secret I can’t tell anyone…”

PW 7

▼ “Is it cool if I use your birthday as my password?” he asks.
“What’s the point of having that sort of password?” she fires back.

PW 11

Of course, sometimes the sad truth is that you have to break things off with your old password before you can be together with a better one.

▼ “On that day, I said goodbye to my short, simple password.”

PW 13

▼ “Goodbye, Password…He was a short, simple guy…”

PW 4

But still, sometimes that’s the price you have to pay before finding your happy ending.

▼ “I’ll take my password more seriously♡”

PW 14

▼ “I’m so happy I chose a strong password!”

PW 15

Wow, she looks so happy that we can hardly bring ourselves to tell her that experts recommend, no matter how smitten she may be, that she dump her password for yet another new one in a few months’ time. (Sigh)…Young love is always bittersweet, isn’t it?

Source: Information Technology Promotion Agency of Japan via Jin
Images: Information Technology Promotion Agency of Japan