Three young men in Tokyo explore the limits of fantasy through the comic genre shota, which features fictional boys in sexual situations.
We follow an aspiring artist who wants to “live in a fantasy forever”, a youtuber who records his interactions with a shota game, and a manga artist driven by nostalgia.
While trying to understand a controversial phenomenon that blurs the borders of actual and virtual realities, the filmmaker participates actively in the shota culture and ends up realising something important about himself.
Unreal Boys is based on extensive fieldwork and part of a master’s thesis in visual anthropology.
Karl Andersson is a Swedish filmmaker with a master’s degree in Visual and Media Anthropology from Freie Universität Berlin. He has a background in journalism and publishing and is currently pursuing a PhD in Japanese Studies at the University of Manchester. Unreal Boys is his first film.
These film stills may be used freely as long as you state clearly that they are from the film Unreal Boys by Karl Andersson.
Unreal Boys has been watched and discussed at ethnographic film festivals and conferences, including:
- Days of Ethnographic Film, Slovenia, March 2021
- RAI Film Festival, UK, March 2021 (panel presentation)
- International Society for Ethnology and Folklore Congress, Finland, June 2021
- Kyiv Film Festival, Ukraine, June 2021
- Vizantrop Festival of Engaged Ethnographic Film, Serbia, October 2021
- Society for Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival, USA, November 2021
Q&A’s and discussions
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