Tokyo Pop is a 1988 “music-centered-love-story” kind of movie, but with an appealing twist. The movie’s entice is on its main characters of two different cultures, the west and the east, “American girl meets Tokyo boy” thing, that brings out a contrast on Tokyo’s way of life and the American customs; the outcome is an enjoyable and enlightening film that provides a great insight on how cultures can be bridged.
The story of Tokyo Pop revolves around a Jersey girl, Wendy Reed, who gets tired of her ‘back-up-singer’ job for a punk band, and looks to explore more opportunities; coincidentally, a girlfriend sends her a postcard from Japan, and assures her that Japan is the perfect place to be for singers as the country is packed with bands that need singers, particularly American ones.
Taking the advice of her friend, Wendy Reed goes to Japan and finds herself lost in a foreign nation where sushi’s abundant but good careers are few. However, things start to get better with her meeting a Japanese aspiring-rocker Hiro, who takes her in his band as a lead singer. As the movie advances, Wendy and Hiro fall in love at the same time as becoming Tokyo Pop stars; realizing that being a Tokyo Pop star is not her dream, Wendy decides to go home despite the love she has for Hiro. At home, she finds herself become a real American rockstar. The story is ended with a weepy duet between Wendy and Hiro, where Wendy sings a love song in a US studio and Hiro sings on Japanese stage similarly responding.
The lead role of Wendy Reed is played by Carrie Hamilton who played the role quite well with her great singing voice; Hiro Yamaguchi is played by Diamond Yukai. Other actors of the movie include Tetsuro Tamba, Hiroshi Sugita, Satoshi Kanai, Hiroshi Kobayashi, and Gina Belafonte; Fran Rubel Kuzui directed the movie. Also, ninety-five percent of the scenes of the movie Tokyo Pop were actually shot in Tokyo, and the band members of Hiro were played by the real X band members (later X Japan).
Tokyo Pop, regardless of its being a somewhat vague movie, has a fresh and different approach. The quirky punk zest adds to the movies spice, as well as the movie realistically portraying the kind of life and adjustments a typical American would have from their western customs to the eastern culture.