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Love & Pop (1998)

Cast: Tadanobu Asano, Megumi Hayashibara, Akira Ishida
Director: Hideaki Anno, Hideaki Anno
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Studio: Kino
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Japan
Running Time: 110 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
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Following up on his wildly successful 1997 feature-length anime Neo Genesis Evangelion, Hideaki Anno takes digital camcorder in hand and makes his live-action directorial debut with this day-in-the-life drama about a quartet of enjo kosai (school girls) who make big bucks selling their services to middle-aged perverts with money to burn. Though frequently weird and exotic, their dates rarely request anything close to plain old vanilla sex. One geezer takes the four to sing karaoke. After belting out a few, he reaches into his bag and pulls out a bag of grapes. He asks that each lass bite into the fruit just enough to break the skin. Once that's done, he puts each grape in its own individual baggie and labels it. Other patrons are just as pitiful if less bizarre. The film focuses particularly on Hiromi (Asumi Miwa), who is trying to make enough money to buy a topaz ring and hide her right hand, which she thinks is ugly. Hiromi comes from a normal -- if blithely obtuse -- family and is not your typical portrait of an enjo kosai. Yet she hustles with her more street-smart friends and learns about her newfound profession's dangers and degradations the hard way. This film was based on a book by Ryu Murakami. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Hideaki Anno's live action debut by GodEmperorAyato November 6, 2005 - 11:18 PM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Based on the popular book by Ryu Murakami (Who also wrote the novels which Audition and Tokyo Decadence are based on), Love and Pop is about the world of enjo-kosai (compensated dating) in Japan. The subject matter is similar to Bounce Ko Gals which was released a year earlier, but in my opinion this is a slightly better film. Bounce Ko Gals is a more mainstream affair while Love and Pop is much more genuine and emotionally involving. Recommended viewing for Asian movie buffs and Hideaki Anno fans.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.76)
33 Votes
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Japanese Psychotronic
Outlandish Japanese cinema

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