Recent request for better idol singer fan hygiene prompts preparation of nearly 50,000 body wipe sheets.

Japan has been experiencing an intense heat in the second half of August, with daytime highs in Tokyo hitting 36 degrees Celsius (96.7 degrees Fahrenheit) and temperatures hardly dipping below 30 even after the sun goes down. Against this perspiration-producing backdrop, Kaori Matsumura, a member of idol singer unit SKE48, recently made a public plea for the group’s fans to step-up their hygiene by making sure to use deodorant when coming to the group’s meet-and-greet handshake events.

It wasn’t just the warm weather that prompted the request from Matsumura (known to fans as “Kao-tan”), but also the fact that SKE48 had a handshake event scheduled for last Saturday to promote its 2017 summer anthem “Igai ni Mango.” Given Matsumura’s popularity, no doubt some of the fans gave their armpits a spritz of deodorant before coming to the venue, but for those who hadn’t, the organizers had a stockpile of free deodorant sprays and body wipes at the entrance.

In her request to fans, Matsumura went so far as to recommend two specific toiletry brands, CBIC and Shiseido. But it was Mandom, makers of the Gatsby line of men’s grooming products, that stepped up and supplied the freebies, including 48,000 body wipes (or 1,000 per member of SKE48).

The products were arrayed at a booth next to where SKE48 merchandise was being sold, and was promoted through the group’s official Twitter account which said “Those of you lining up for handshakes, give yourself a wipe and a spray.”

▼ Music video for “Igai ni Mango”

Online commenters applauded Mandom’s gesture, saying:

“Handshake events often confiscate spray bottles when they check your bags, so having deodorant on hand for fans like this is a big help.”

“Thank you, Mandom!”

“I got some spray and used it as soon as I arrived at the event.”

“Kao-tan is amazing, She’s got the power to make large corporations spring into action.”

“If they’d sold the deodorant in special mango-colored packages, they probably could’ve made a ton of money.”

The last commenter has got a definite point. With all the commemorative trinkets that idol fans are willing to drop large amounts of cash on, Gatsby likely would have had no problems selling huge quantities of deodorant in special SKE48 packaging. Instead, they made the generous decision simply to contribute to the greater good (smell), and with the complex codes of etiquette among idol otaku communities, maybe this will be the start of a trend that leads to SKE48’s fans earning a reputation for their pleasing scent.

Source: Jin, Twitter/@ske48official