Hiromi is a countryside girl from Saitama who dreams of becoming an actress. Young, cute and determined, she finds a job at an airport in Tokyo and has a dull life in an apartment with her boyfriend from high school. The next in the story is a sequence of steps that eventually takes her to star in AV, i.e., porn movies.
Japan is a contradictory country when it comes to porn and sex in general. In some aspects, it’s so liberal that it could surprise a Western neophyte: transgressive adult magazines and videos are available at any 24-hour shop; love hotels can be counted in tens close to any train station, and prostitution is easily accessible through Internet, cell-phones or pink saloons. But on the other side, there tends to be an interest in suppressing explicit reference to real sex, as a way of justifying themselves, even though it’s obvious that it is there. One example is the blurred images of sex organs in magazines and videos. Another example is the issue that this movie tries to deal with: the contradiction of a society that condones and consumes porn massively but at the same rejects those ones who produce it.
One of the plot lines of this film shows how easy is for a Japanese young women to enter that AV world, but the theme is not treated in a Manichaean way of black and white, good and evil ones: everything is blurry, as some images in the Japanese AV movies. Hiromi has a dream and gradually realizes that she needs to adjust her aspirations for them to become true. She pays a price but in the end she is happy with what she has: actually she becomes a famous actress, although a porn one (this is not a spoiler, in the movie it is shown at the beginning). The price she must pay is the rejection of the society she has been part of before her new occupation. Family, friends, boyfriend, all of them eventually vanish from her life, who is filled by the morally ambiguous manager Enomoto San, character convincingly played by Mitsuishi Ken. Maybe the saddest moment is the break-up with her twin soul and best female friend Saya chan. Her school friend represents her childhood and attachment to society conventions. Told by common male friends, Saya rents one of Hiromi’s video and cries for hours in fetal position. But that separation is necessary for Hiromi –now Mihiro, her artistic name and the new person she eventually becomes- to find her own path in a world of onanists in search of the ideal female idol. The film’s music, matching the tone of the story, its artistic and sometimes silent shooting that shows Hiromi’s evasion from reality, and Watanabe Naoko’s fresh and moving performance, rounds off this indispensable movie.