Ken is a mild-mannered man in his mid-twenties who, like many his age, has interests that stopped developing during adolescence. On a visit to a local toy collectorís shop, he acquires a rare alien action figure. Unexpectedly, Ken's world is turned inside out as the somewhat silly-looking toy alters his life by benevolently giving him everything he has ever dreamed of, and then callously taking it all back!
The first film of longtime Fangoria collaborator Norman England, The iDol is a satirical look at the world of "otaku" and the mass marketing of media culture, so prevalent in Japan, that creates these legion of obsessed fanboys. The film features impressive production values that seem to mock its meager $25,000 budget. Englandís crew, in a way, made sure to make the most of the budget limitations, as it is a whoís who of the hottest names in Japanese genre cinema (and a virtual trip through Fantasiaís past success stories). The clever script was co-written with Jiro (Zero Woman) Kaneko, the music is by Kow (Pyrokinesis, the Gamera series) Otani, the outstanding visual FX are by artist Hajime (Ringu) Matsumoto, the creature-suit effects by Kakusei (Godzilla Final Wars) Fujiwara, and director Takeshi (Returner) Yamazaki provided help on the script, concept designs and special effects. Fantasia regulars will also recognize familiar faces, like actor Yukijiro Hotaru from the Gamera series and actress Takako Fuji, who played creepy Kayako in the Ju-On films. If ever a film was made for the Fantasia fans of Japanese genre films, itís this one.
—Eric Lavoie (translated by Eric Lavoie)
Hosted by writer/director Norman England
Director: Norman England
Screenplay: Norman England
Cast: Jin Sasaki, Erina Hayase, Mitsu Katahira, Masayasu Nakanishi, Takako Fuji, Yukijiro Hotaru
Producers: Shinako Sudo, Norman England
2006 | 62 min
Japanese language, English subtitles