a page of madness

film writing by nicholas vroman

Namae no nai Onnatachi / 名前のない女たち / Love and Loathing and Lulu and Ayano

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Despite being directed by perverse and prolific Hisayasu Satou, one of the 1990s Four Heavenly Kings of Pink (pinku shitenno) – a group of directors who re-vivified the wilting pinku genre –  Namae no nai Onnatachi is a surprisingly flat insider’s look at the inner workings of Japan’s sex movie industry. The melodrama involves the naïve Junko (Norie Yasui), conned into working on a pinku film, but soon finding her inner idoru as a cosplay Lousie Brooks bobbed blue-haired Lulu. A mandatory rivalry between her and the sex scene savvy Ayano (Mayu Sakuma) turns into a quasi-lesbian camaraderie.  The cast is drawn from well know idoru (Aya Kiguchi, Natsumi Kamata) and tarento (Ryunosuke Kawai). Even the usually brilliant Makiko Watanabe phones in a role as Lulu’s mom.  But despite it all Namae no nai Onnatachi trades in well-worn clichés and two-bit psychology. The subplot with a bit of legs is a sick comic interlude involving a fat otaku stalker. It unfortunately gets thrown away in a Grand Guignol bloodbath that is as gratuitous as it is silly.

Published in EL Magazine, September 2010

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