A New Love in Tokyo (1994) from Tuna

Ai No Shinsekai was a sensation in Japan, and was the first official film to show female public hair. In fact, the film more or less exists just for the purpose of showing off both star Sawa Suzuki, and the actress who plays her best friend, Reiko Kataoka. Both women show the full monty for the first time in mainstream Japanese theaters. Sawa Suzuki won numerous awards for this film, basically for being seriously cute and a natural in front of the camera. Reiko is not hard on the eyes either.

Both play characters employed in the sex industry, with Sawa working as a dominatrix, and Reiko as a call girl. As both women make very good money, they can afford what they want.  They meet on their way to engagements, since they both work out of the same district in Tokyo. Sawa is a serious acting student, and also specializes in having fun, which includes sleeping with each male member of her acting group. Reiko wants to marry a lawyer, but the best she can do so far is someone who keeps failing the yearly entrance exam for law school.

The film is shot in a pseudo-documentary style, showing their daily lives, including VD, a mean customer, an in-depth view of female domination, and more than a little insight into actors' workshops in Japan. That combination of elements makes for an odd production which it is made even odder by the insertion of art stills of Sawa Suzuki throughout the film.  (These were actually shot by a famous photographer named Araki Nobuyoshi.)

If I had to grade this based on the story, I am afraid it would be hard to give good marks. As a sexy mockumentary, however, I found it interesting with much to enjoy.



  • There are complementary subtitles, one translating the dialogue, the other providing background information.



Nudity is the point of the movie. See the main commentary

The Critics Vote ...

  • There are no English-language reviews on file


The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.5/10, which is very high for a sex film
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

Our own guideline:

  • A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre.
  • B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. In order to rate at least a B-, a film should be both a critical and commercial success. Exceptions: (1) We will occasionally rate a film B- with good popular acceptance and bad reviews, if we believe the critics have severely underrated a film. (2) We may also assign a B- or better to a well-reviewed film which did not do well at the box office if we feel that the fault lay in the marketing of the film, and that the film might have been a hit if people had known about it. (Like, for example, The Waterdance.)
  • C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by people who enjoy this kind of movie. If this is your kind of movie, a C+ and an A are indistinguishable to you.
  • C means it is competent, but uninspired genre fare. People who like this kind of movie will think it satisfactory. Others probably will not.
  • C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie, but genre addicts find it watchable. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film, but films with this rating should be approached with caution by mainstream audiences, who may find them incompetent or repulsive or both. If this is NOT your kind of movie, a C- and an E are indistinguishable to you.
  • D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-. Films rated below C- generally have both bad reviews and poor popular acceptance.
  • E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre.
  • F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.


Based on this description, this film is a C, solid genre fare, noteworthy as a landmark in Japanese cinema.

Return to the Movie House home page