Right off the bat, a new version of Ayu’s “NEVER EVER” Kirin Supli commercial began airing at the beginning of April. It’s not majorly different in mood or concept, but it shows Ayu in a more empowered & less dazed state.
This was a big month for Ayu’s Tu-Ka endorsements, as well. The company’s new print campaign included Ayu in her new favorite fabric pattern, camoflage, putting to rest any concerns that Ayu’s Tu-Ka deal was over. On April 5th, Tu-Ka put an autographed A MODEL phone up for auction on Yahoo! Auctions Japan with all proceeds benefitting UNHCR, a UN refugee aid organization. The amount it sold for was never disclosed, however.
On April 8th, Ayu’s DOME TOUR 2001 preparations were well underway, and the morning news program ASAYAN began broadcasting dancer auditions for the tour. Some of ayu’s longtime dance ensemble members (like Yoneda Aki) and friends (like Urata Naoya, now a member of pop group AAA) would be discovered over the course of these auditions.
Mid-month saw some more commercials from Ayu, one of which was the newest Hi-Chew ad with Mr. Ito from Tokyo Purin – this time, he tries to make a forced portmanteau of “Hi Chew” and “Cheese!” for Ayu to say while taking a photo. Ayu ignores him entirely and plays with a bubble pipe toy instead.
The other major TV commercial that aired on April 15th was Ayu’s newest Kose Visee commercial, for their Kirari Natsu Ayu cosmetic line. This commercial used a new remix of “vogue,” the song that launched Ayu’s Visee spokespersonship a year before. This remix was very calm, quirky, and cute, and well-suited to the adorable mermaid princess image given to Ayu for this promotion.
The remix had thus far never been released or formally announced, but we all hoped it would appear on a future release.
TV drama “Mukashi no Otoko” began airing on April 13th, with a new song from Ayu – “Endless sorrow” – as its opening theme. The single’s cover photo had already been shot on as of April 2nd, and TeamAyu posted a photo from the shoot of herself and nail artist/stand-in Kanako Miura on April 23rd. The photo was autographed, and would be a gift to a randomly chosen TeamAyu member.
The latter half of the month was largely uneventful, which was good because it gave us time to breathe and enjoy all the magazine photo shoots that had continued to be released in the first half of the month!