Though Ushio may have been the one with the name recognition when the project started, Heinzerling doesn’t hesitate in stating that it’s Noriko who turned out to be the film’s real star. “It’s really told from her perspective,” he told The L Magazine. “Ushio is obviously a central character and their relationship is the center of the film, but it’s really Noriko’s journey that creates the arc and the narrative of the film from the beginning where she’s seen mostly as an assistant to the end where she’s establishing herself as an artist and an individual and rebelling against the pain and the suffering that she’s been through as a result of being Ushio’s wife.”