Love & Pop

A forum for discussion of other Gainax works, people belonging or related to Gainax and the non-Eva projects they've worked on, media that reference or have distinct parallels to Eva, etc.

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Love & Pop

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Postby The Eva Monkey » Thu Jun 24, 2004 12:04 pm

As I reported previously, Hideaki Anno's first major live action directorial work is being released by Kino Video in July. I managed to finagle a prescreener from them. I should have it in a couple of days.

I know very little about this film, its about highschool girls prostituting themselves. Some say it was a decent film which laid the foundation for Shiki-jitsu (Ritual/Ceremonial Day) which some consider to be one of his better works by far.

In any case, I'll have a full review of the film in a couple days.
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Postby Crazyman42 » Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:48 pm

I just ordered it on Netflix, should arrive a couple days after it releases. Also, did anyone see the angel Wildarms posted on our site? That is great use of a wide angel lense.
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Postby Super Mega Ultra Deluxe » Fri Jun 25, 2004 1:39 am

Somethin I've been wanting to see. I tried ordering it a coupla months agofrom the place I go rent anime from (mostly imports), but to no avail. Guess now I know why :P

Glad it's being released, looking forward to the review if I can't get my hands on it before then.

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Postby MantiCore » Fri Jun 25, 2004 2:47 am

Anno's live action works thus far have been pretty decent (even the recent live action Cutie Honey works on a certain, shallow level). Anno really improved in nearly all filming techniques and methods and distinguishes himself as a filmaker with Shiki-Jitsu, his second film (from 2000), but Love&Pop is certainly a strong first effort.

While the "exploring/introduction to a sexual underworld" theme is a very common one, but Love&Pop does it well and keeps things interesting (though clocking in just under 2 hours, any more and the pacing of the film would've been grating).

The cinematography and overall feel of Love & Pop is very shaky and amateur, you'll be reminded of the live action theatre and street shots from EOE. Interesting and solid, but no scene really stands out beyond the rest. Very limited.

Anno does a decent job adapting Ryu Muramaki's novel, but I feel the author did a better job adapting another one of his own works, Topâzu (both works are similar in theme, but the tone of Topâzu is much darker).

I look forward to picking up Kino's release as soon as it becomes available.

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Postby NAveryW » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:41 pm

Love & Pop is Anno's most disturbing film IMO because it's the most grounded in reality.

I loved the creative camera angles and such, though they'd probably be considered the most "pretentious" thing Anno's ever done.

Somewhat annoying was the censorship bleep that (and it took me a while to figure this out) bleeped out not offensive language, but copyrighted names. Disney World became D-(bleep) World, and Fuzzball became F(bleep)ball. It took me much longer than it should have that they weren't talking about Dickworld and Fuckball.

Also, the subtitles were sometimes rather amusing. Case in point:

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And this was on the official DVD.
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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:26 am

The only way Anno could've made that scene more disgustingly fascinating is if Mr. Masturbator was wearing a big ole' Evangelion T-Shirt.

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Postby Noriko is my wife » Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:30 pm

I figured this might be worth reviving this thread for.

Love & Pop gets a rather good write up for what's purportedly a review of Bounce KoGals in "The MidnightEye Guide To New Japanese film" (http://www.midnighteye.com/features/the-midnight-eye-guide-to-new-japanese-film/)

In 1997, Ryu Murakami's novel Love & Pop was published. Released under the sub-title of Topazu 2, it was a sequel in name and theme only to his earlier work, Topazu, which was a bleak portrait of the mental decline of a call girl specializing in S/M acts against the emotionally sterile backdrop of Tokyo at the peak of its economic boom in the late '80s. Introducing new characters, relocating its milieu and radically altering its dramatic focus but otherwise sticking with the same concerns, Love & Pop was a watershed: the first work of fiction to dwell on the world of high school prostitution, or enjo kosai, an expression that literally translates as "paid companionship. "

With their loose white socks, pink lipstick, mobile phones, and neatly starched uniforms, these ko gyaru (high school girl) call girls offering a quick turn on the karaoke machine to straight-laced, middle-aged salarymen for the price of a Gucci handbag proved a sensational hook. In a country whose economy seemed now set in a terminal downward tailspin, Love & Pop portrayed a world in which consumerism had gone mad, where Japan's lost generation roamed the streets of Shibuya in search of sugar daddies, and where love and emotional fulfillment were reduced to a mere economic transaction.

Enjo kosai became an immediate media talking point, and suddenly everyone began to wonder exactly what their daughters were up to whilst they were away at the office twelve hours a day. Undoubtedly the reality was exaggerated by the media, but at the very least, the furor served the purpose of casting some light on the prevalence of Japan's rori-kon (Lolita complex), the fetishization of fresh-faced young girls as validated in literally hundreds of manga comics and aidoru (idol) videos of bikini-clad teens. Murakami's novel also opened the way for a number of non-pornographic films vicariously centered around the Japanese sex industry, ranging from the gritty Scoutman to the vapid soap opera melodrama of Platonic Sex (Masako Matsuura, 2001), a fictionalized biopic reveling in all of the cliches of this new subgenre, based on the life of the AV starlet Ai Iijima.

Murakami himself had directed the film of Topazu (better known to Western viewers as Tokyo Decadence), which was released in 1992, but the guiding hand behind the camera for Love & Pop seemed an even more bizarre choice. For his first live-action feature, Hideaki Anno, a director better known for his work in the field of animation with the 1990 TV series The Secret of Blue Water (Fushigi no Umi no Nadia) and the Neon Genesis Evangelion (Shin Seiki Evangelion) series during the latter half of the '90s, brought a radically unorthodox slant to his material.

Anno's debut-he later made Ritual (Shikijitsu) starring Love Letter director Shunji Iwai in 2000-is a magnificent accomplishment, and one of the great overlooked works of Japanese cinema of the late '90s. Taking the format of a video diary following 24 hours in the life of 17 -year-old Hiromi (whose soulless voiceover narration is provided by Suzaku director Naomi Kawase) and the exploits of her classmates, and shot entirely on digital camcorder, Anno's film utilizes a frenetic, MTV-inspired style, totally in keeping with the giddy, artificial milieu the girls inhabit. With the majority of shots seldom lasting longer than a second, his dizzying approach treats us to a parade of jagged edits, distorted fisheye lenses, split screens, and a baffling multitude of perspectives-for example, shooting from the bottom of a bowl of soup, gliding at roof level tracking slowly behind the girls as they walk through a tunnel, and such strange POV shots as one taken pointing down from beneath Hiromi's skirt as she pulls on her white school socks in the morning. Yet for all its technical artifice, Love & Pop retains a degree of street level rawness and moral ambivalence all but absent from other takes on the subject.

Love & Pop was released in Japan at the beginning of 1998, but it was just beaten to it by Masato Harada's better known, bigger budgeted, and more mainstream-oriented Bounce KoGals, released at the tail end of 1997.

[here follows the main text which is about Bounce KoGals. Then the final sentence.]

The end result certainly provides enough food for thought, and the drama is never boring, but Bounce KoGals is probably best viewed as a piece of fin-de-siecle zeitgeist, an opportunistic morality tale lacking both the skewed insight of Love & Pop and the veracity that made Scoutman such painful viewing.

a magnificent accomplishment, and one of the great overlooked works of Japanese cinema of the late '90s
Nice. So why couldn't they have made Love & Pop the main subject instead of a film they consider to be less accomplished? It could have gone a long way to give the film some exposure.

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Postby Xard » Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:12 pm

It's a pity Anno's two arthouse live action features linger in relative obscurity (although it's entirely understandable). I think I've hunted internet down for every review of Love & Pop and Shiki Jitsu over time and they're all very positive (perhaps esp. for latter since L&P's radicalness can be bit of a turnoff) and the films even took couple of awards in Japanese film festivals. Combine that with the pedigree of Anno's animated output enjoys and surprising popularity of his Cutey Honey film and one would think some western distributors would be much eager to bring and promote the two films in west too.

Anyway, good writeup and I agree with author and Noriko's comments on text completely. The comparison may be bit too obvious but for me Love & Pop is Anno's Vivre sa Vie - and Vivre sa Vie just might be my favourite Godard.


Midnight Eye reminds me of their somewhat misleading articles on Jissouji's Buddhist trilogy. Do you know if anyone ever churned out subs for final part of it, Poem? I've seen other two (Mujo is similarly to L&P one of the criminally overlooked masterpieces of Japanese cinema and Mandala was fairly nice too) and would love to see the final entry.
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Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby Noriko is my wife » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:37 pm

I really like Mandala mostly because it's such a gorgeous looking film. I assume you noticed the use of a certain type of sound to indicate something "disturbing"? That was also cool.

There are no real subs for Poem as far as I know but some of Jissoji's other films like his Rampo adaptations (written Akio Satsukawa!) have English releases and are worth seeing.

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Postby Xard » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:54 pm

View Original PostNoriko is my wife wrote:I really like Mandala mostly because it's such a gorgeous looking film. I assume you noticed the use of a certain type of sound to indicate something "disturbing"? That was also cool.


I gotta admit either I missed that or forgot about it after watching. :lol:

I loved (unsurprisingly) visuals of Mandala a lot in general but I preferred the ridiculously stark, borderline underlit darkness of Mujo's black and white cinematography and I felt Mandala's script was more rambling so I prefer the first entry.

View Original PostNoriko is my wife wrote:There are no real subs for Poem as far as I know but some of Jissoji's other films like his Rampo adaptations (written Akio Satsukawa!) have English releases and are worth seeing.


Yeahh, I think I can do without subs (admittedly I've only watched anime films raw so far but...) Poem but the thing is it's really hard to find Japanese films on, uhh, internet if no one bothered to sub them.

Case in point I only last week finally managed to track down Okamoto's Blue Christmas (haven't yet watched it).
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Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby Noriko is my wife » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:00 pm

View Original PostXard wrote:it's really hard to find Japanese films on, uhh, internet if no one bothered to sub them.
.

I know. Which is why the fourth ATG film by Jissoji is nowhere to be seen while Poem can still be found complete with nonsense subs.

But if you could find Blue Christmas you should probably be able to find Poem I think :chinscratch:

Otherwise send me a PM.

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Postby Gendo'sPapa » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:41 am

If only petitions worked... cause I'd fight to get Love & Pop into the Criterion Collection. If the awful "Tiny Furniture" can do it than any film can!


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