Films that depict Japan’s sex industry realistically are few and far between. Nonetheless, “Bounce Ko Gals” (1997), “Scoutman” (2000), “Asyl: Park and Love Hotel” (2007) and “Kabukicho Love Hotel” (2014) resemble each other since the industry’s age-old business model never really changes.

Shimpei Yamasaki’s “During the Rains” is another link in this chain, with a story based on a 1931 novella by renowned demimonde explorer Kafu Nagai. It is also a fresh and knowing departure, portraying a digitally mediated world that would have been utterly foreign to Nagai.

Set in pandemic-era Tokyo, the film focuses on a young woman (Yukino Takahashi) whose boyfriend has absconded, leaving her broke and feeling broken. She drifts into sex work, taking the professional name Kotone.