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Girl bands and pop music permeate Japanese life. Tokyo Idols gets at the heart of a cultural phenomenon driven by an obsession with young female sexuality and internet popularity.

Meet Ri Ri: a bona fide Tokyo Idol who takes us on her journey toward fame. Now meet her “brothers”: a group of adult male superfans who devote their lives to following her—in the virtual world and in real life. Once considered to be on the fringes of society, the brothers who gave up salaried jobs to pursue an interest in female idol culture have since become mainstream via the internet, illuminating the growing disconnect between men and women in hypermodern societies.

With her provocative look into the Japanese pop music industry and its focus on traditional beauty ideals, filmmaker Kyoko Miyake confronts the nature of gender power dynamics at work. As the female idols become younger and younger, Miyake offers a critique on the veil of internet fame and the new terms of engagement that are playing out IRL around the globe.

YEAR 2017


COUNTRY United Kingdom/Canada

RUN TIME 88 min


SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

EMAIL kyoko@brakeless.net; kyoko.miyake@me.com


Director Of Photography
Sound Designer
Line Producer
Post Production Supervisors
Executive Producers

Artist Bio

Kyoko Miyake

Born in Japan, Kyoko Miyake studied history at Tokyo University and then moved to Britain to research the history of witchcraft at Oxford. Her film Brakeless won a Peabody Award after airing on PBS and BBC. Her first film, My Atomic Aunt, was supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, BBC, WDR, and NHK, and it was recently broadcast on PBS. Hackney Lullabies won the Berlin Today Award at the 2011 Berlinale and screened at the BFI London and Sydney Film Festivals.