Vibrator: Japanese Director Ryūichi Hiroki’s Erotic Tale

Vibrator, Japanese director Ryūichi Hiroki film, is based on the 1999 book of the same name by writer Mari Akasaka.

The premise is rather simple: After meeting a handsome truck driver in an urban mini-mart, a female freelance writer embarks on an emotional journey of sexual self-discovery.

Rei (Terashima Shinobu) seems to be a shy, normal girl, but it soon become clear that she’s looking for–and ready–for some new experiences.

Opportunity knocks when she meets a bleached blonde truck driver named Okabe (Nao Omori). He immediately spots her interest in him, and makes the first gesture.

The title does not indicate the sex toy, but refers to the cell over Rei’s heart that vibrates as Okabe walks into her life.

Directed by Hiroki Ryuichi, who has made before The Barber’s Sadness, Tokyo Trash Baby and I am an S+M Writer.

The narrative consists of voice-over narration  (“My body was willing and ready”), intertitles (like “Love Me, Love Me”), flashbacks, and dialogue scenes. in which the couple share memories of their past, though it’s never clear how true or valid they are. For example, Okabe claims to have had a wife and a kid, and a career as a pimp.

When they first make love, he wonders whether she has ever touched her breasts, and it’s clear that she has never seen a naked man before, let alone touch his genitals.

Considering that the film–including the erotic scenes–was largely shot inside a truck, it’s remarkable that it achieves such fluid sense of time.

Vibrator is a strange road movie, largely helped by the two central actors, who are extremely appealing.