Replica of popular swimsuit model/actress means we never have to bathe or drink alone.

Our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma has been spending a lot of time in the bath recently. Cleanliness is important, after all, and it’s not like he’s had a whole lot else to do while staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak.

But the more time he spends in the tub, the more he thinks there might be ways to improve his enjoyment of his soaking sessions. Recently, for example, he upgraded his bathtub into a super-cheap, super-crazy one-man sauna dome. Still, though, he can’t help but feel like something was missing…and that thing turned out to be a robot version of one of Japan’s most popular swimsuit model/actresses to pour drinks for him while he’s in the tub.

The Oshaku Paradise Shaku Oshaku (yes, “shaku” appears three times in the product name) is made for fans of Yumiko Shaku, and the inspiration for the Oshaku Paradise seems to have come when toymaker Bandai noticed that Shaku’s family name is pronounced just like the Japanese word shaku which means “to pour an alcoholic drink.”

Shaku is also the spokesmodel for Shimane Prefecture’s Pokémon manhole covers, thanks to manhole-related memes involving her role in the Kamen Rider tokusatsu franchise. The Oshaku Paradise Shaku Oshaku comes from earlier in her career, however, and was sold back in the early 2000s. Masanuki found his, a 2002 model, on Yahoo! Japan Auctions, where he paid 2,500 yen (US$23) for it.

The device comes preloaded with over 100 lines of dialogue voiced by Shaku herself, which can be heard as the large mechanical arm pours a drink from whatever can you’ve inserted into your glass. In the center there’s a pair of circles that form a single button with kanji that read “Shaku Shaku,” and which you push to start pouring your drink into the glass you put in front of the Robo Yumiko.

However, the Oshaku Paradise Shaku Oshaku isn’t actually designed as a bath toy, and the manufacturer makes no claims about water-proofing or shock safety. It also doesn’t have any suction cups or a floating base, so Masanuki had to figure out how he was going to play with it in the tub. After a quick trip to the 100 yen store, he had his solution in the form of a corner shelf platform which he placed at the edge of his bathtub.

And with that, it was time to pour himself a cold one!

“OK, I’m gonna start pouring!” said Robo Yumiko, and sure enough, the arm flipped the can over and began pouring Masanuki’s beverage. Ostensibly you’re supposed to use the Oshaku Paradise Shaku Oshaku with beer or canned cocktails, but Masanuki is too responsible to get liquored up during his shift (unlike some of his coworkers), so instead he enjoyed a nice Aquarius sports drink.

▼ By the way, since Robo Yumiko doesn’t know how big your glass is, there’s also a red button at the base of the unit which you press to make the machine stop pouring.

“How ‘bout another round?” asked Robo Yumiko as she poured the last of his Aquarius, so as soon as he’d finished, Masanuki replaced the empty can with another.

▼ How could he say no to that face?

This is usually where we’d tell you where you can order your own Oshaku Paradise Shaku Oshaku, but unfortunately they’re currently out of production. As consolation, please enjoy this surprisingly long promotional video for the product, which opens with Shaku unabashedly calling out to the target market with “Middle-aged guys! Hey, you middle-aged guys over there!”

As for Masanuki, between this and his stay at that hotel where the whole world could watch what he was doing while he was in his room, we’re starting to think that the guy just doesn’t like being alone very much.

Pokémon manhole image: PR Times
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[ Read in Japanese ]