Caramel and pop culture (#emptiness)

Giants and Toys is a movie about three competing caramel companies trying to win in competition on the sells of caramel. Using the allegory of mass produced caramel candy, the film satirizes the instant manufacture of media stars in pop culture.

Under the playful packaging of caramel candy lies a world of intense competition. The companies are so determined to top each other off that they are willing to sacrifice ethics and exploit. To successfully top the sells from other companies, World Caramel decide to pick an ordinary looking girl who the mass public can identify with to represent their space themed toys. Kyoko was, by chance, chosen to be their mascot. Like caramel, made from humble ingredients of sugar and butter, Kyoko’s origins are humble and down to earth. Kyoko is first introduced as a silly looking girl wondering her way up and down the street, wearing cheap clothes and waving her silly pony tail. To make things better, Kyoko comes from middle class origin, works at a taxi station, and most notably, and is just as regular as any other consumers on the streets. She appears to live in her own world and is not afraid of giggling and expressing her big rotten teeth caused from too much candy eating.

The photo shoot tries to emphasis Kyoko’s plainness. It involves no costume and no make up; in fact, Kyoko is literally picked up from the streets and forced into the photo shooting room. Instead of asking her to pose like a model in usual photo shooting procedures, the photographer cracks up a joke and take pictures at her as she laughs in her most natural state.

Her image as an innocent girl from next door takes a drastic turn as fame and wealth corrupts her. Just like mass produced boxes of caramel, Kyoko’s image is massively produced through posters and magazines. The mass public welcomed her sweet innocent image like their love for sugary taste of a caramel candy. However, Kyoko’s 15 minutes of fame as a manufactured pop star is as empty as the nutrition value of caramel candies.

Kyoko’s posters flying away, leaving an empty space

In stark contrast of her change from innocence is the scene where Kyoko dance and sing jazz. With her newly fixed teeth, strong make up and hair decorations, Kyoko’s body emits strong sex appeal. Her face contorts with sinister green light as she screams in maniac of a song that depicts killing and violence. Being completely consumed by fame, Kyoko throws away her down to earth individuality and enters the generic world to keep drawing attention from the public.

Kyoko transformed into a sexual creature

Kyoko transforms from a happy-go-luck girl who is easily impressed and flattered by anything, into an unhappy human being who only smiles to further her career as a star. Kyoko’s fate as a star will likely be like an empty box of caramel candy – forgotten and tossed away. Using something such as caramel (easy to make with empty calories), Masumura demonstrates the emptiness generic manufacture of pop culture.

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