Love & Pop is simply a mind blowing flick with lots to say. To start with Hideaki Anno is without a doubt an artistic genius, Neon Genesis Evangelion leaves no doubt about it. In here Hideaki Anno takes us in a tour about school girls, perverts and compensated dating. The story takes us trough something that happens in japan, called compensated dating, normal guys or perverts pay school girls to date them, "with" or "without" second intentions. This innocent girls do this in a regular basis to get money for their personal materialistic needs, buy clothes,rings etc. You see them talking about boys, school ,life and feelings. You get it all and identify with lots of thoughts that are thrown at you just like the existential dilemmas in NGE, some are deep thoughts that we are not used to put in words. Hideaki Anno at the same time he tells the story takes us on a visual tour, i think he has used all is NGE crazy cameraworks and put it on real tape, and invented some more, all the follow cameras angles, fish eye lenses and whatever more you could imagine, even cameras in a microwave and in soup bowl. It's just something to see, cant be described, it is excellent, and he filmed it all with mini DV cameras switching between 4:3 and 16:9 like he doesn't care for rules or limitations.
(SPOILERS) Continuing with the story the main character Hiromi sees a ring she wants to buy, and goes out alone doing compensated dating for it, something they never did, they never dated alone. She ends up on a date with Captain EO (Tadanobu Asano) that will teach her a valuable lesson about life and about what she does. And right here is the value of the film, a boring tale about innocent school girls makes lots of sense because of a few minutes of film. The girls are not that innocent, everything trought the movie seems so normal in their perspective, and they seem so innocent that we are blinded. And in the end it makes sense. Captain EO shows an aggressive face suddenly but spares Hiromi saying "You're here naked, and you are killing someone half dead with grief over it." Meaning she has value, and someone gives her value, but she is not seeing it or experiencing, she's not thinking about what she is looking for. She is being selfish and blind, and whoever gives her value will be hurt for what she does. I think the idea speaks for itself.
Hideaki Anno is a great director, and i am looking forward to see more movies directed by him. I gave this 9 out of 10.