A 14 year-old Tokyo boy's whole life is dominated by the eponymous pop idol and the misdemeanours of a classmate.
Adapted from an interactive novel by director Shunji Iwai, this film is a searing insight into the mindset of high school kids growing up in Japan's pop-cyber culture.
Iwai portrays a generation that's becoming incapable of experiencing genuine emotion in a world of electronic communication which promises greater interaction, but instead fosters isolation.
Built around an extended flashback, the action centres on 14 year-old Hayato Ichihara, whose life is dominated by the eponymous pop idol and the misdemeanours of classmate Shugo Oshinari - who not only pimps for Y¹ Aoi, but also abuses Ayumi Ito, whose musical prowess enchants Ichihara. It's a convoluted scenario, but the film's power lies in its understanding of the universal juvenile need for acceptance.
This enigmatic film hits teenage alienation dead centre.