Tokyo Pop

Watch Tokyo Pop

"Young female rock singer goes to Japan to try her success."
  • R
  • 1988
  • 6.8  (300)

Tokyo Pop is a classic 1980s movie that tells the story of Wendy Reed, an American teenager who travels to Japan in search of her estranged rock star mother, who left her behind as a child. The film has a distinct indie feel and captures the essence of Tokyo in the 80s with its neon lights, crowded streets, and alien culture, as seen through the eyes of a young woman trying to navigate her way in this new and foreign world.

Carrie Hamilton plays Wendy Reed, a punk rock-loving teenager who is desperate to find her mother, who she believes is still alive and living in Japan. She brings with her a suitcase full of records, which she plans to use as a means of finding her mother, who was a famous musician in Japan before disappearing from the scene.

In Tokyo, Wendy meets a young Japanese man named Hiro, played by Diamond Yukai, who is a huge fan of her mother's music. Despite the language barrier, the two become friends and Hiro agrees to help Wendy find her mother. This leads them on a journey through Tokyo's music scene, as they visit clubs and bars in search of any leads on Wendy's mother.

As they search for Wendy's mother, they encounter a cast of eccentric characters, including Taiji Tonoyama, who plays a flamboyant drag queen cabaret singer. Tonoyama's character helps Wendy and Hiro in their quest, offering them advice and guidance, and even performing a few songs along the way.

Through it all, Wendy remains determined to find her mother, despite the many setbacks and obstacles she encounters along the way. As she immerses herself in Japanese culture, she begins to form a new understanding of herself and her identity, learning to appreciate the differences between her American upbringing and the culture of Japan.

As the film progresses, Tokyo Pop becomes more than just a story of a young woman searching for her mother. It becomes a love letter to Tokyo itself, as seen through the eyes of a young person experiencing it for the first time. The film captures the vibrant energy of the city's music scene, the colorful characters that populate its streets, and the sense of adventure and possibility that comes with exploring an unknown world.

In the end, Wendy's search for her mother leads her to a surprising conclusion, one that she could never have imagined when she first set foot in Japan. Tokyo Pop is a heartwarming and inspiring movie that captures the spirit of the 1980s, while also shining a light on the beauty and complexity of Japanese culture. For anyone who has ever felt lost or alone in a new and foreign place, this film is a reminder that there is always hope and adventure to be found, if you are willing to look for it.

Tokyo Pop is a 1988 comedy. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8.

Tokyo Pop
Where to Watch Tokyo Pop
Tokyo Pop is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Tokyo Pop for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
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  • MPAA Rating
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  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (300)