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Tokyo Idols

With a compassionate but nonetheless critical frame, Miyake turns her lens on the world of the pop idols of Tokyo, where school-aged girls vie for the attentions and adoration of their dedicated fan base—mostly much older men—as they pursue dreams of becoming singers, dancers, and performers. The earnestness of the girls’ ambitions to perform, combined with the necessity of wish fulfillment for men seeking non-threatening idols, laces the film with a palpable tension. We follow several groups and fans, centering on idol Rio Hiiragi, who is aging out of the system (at 19) as she races to make the most of her youth and launch herself out of the idol world into her ultimate goal of being a singer. In Japanese with English subtitles.

Appears in: Japanese Currents

Genres: Documentary