The Bubble Bursts
Episode 5 of The Naked Director Season 2 begins with Miyuki reborn under the new name of Mariko Nogi. In order to ease her into this gig, Muranishi sleeps with her. This paves way for Muranishi’s vision for satellite TV to come into fruition, as porn begins making its way onto TVs across Japan.
Along with Kaoru, Junko too decides to leave the company. She receives a warm farewell though from all but Muranishi. He’s stuck in a depressive state after losing his star girl. He turns to Nori, using her to replace what he’s lost. Only, this rubs all the other girls up the wrong way who scoff at the notion of Miyuki replacing their star girl.
Elsewhere, the aftermath of the shooting sees Toshi and Sayaka on the run. The Yakuza catch up though and convene outside Sayaka’s house. With Ogiwara lusting for blood, Toshi is forced to hide out in a neighbour’s house. Only, this just so happens to house Kawada too, who’s suspended above the bed in a kinky sex game.
The trio hide out together, but Sayaka’s Mother shows up, pleading with her to help. She claims the yakuza are going to kill her and pounds on the door. Thankfully Sayaka holds firm and doesn’t get involved. At least to begin with.
When she does finally leave, the yakuza swarm into the house and leave him beaten and bloodied, eventually kicking Toshi in the face.
Toshi is brought before Furuya who’s still very much alive but confined to a wheelchair. He’s told to scrounge together 300 million yen in order to pay off his debt. As Toshi is beaten down, Kawada chirps up and tries to save him…only to see this amount increased to 400 million – along with Toshi’s pinky finger.
Muranishi’s descent begins as money starts to grow tighter. They’re unable to pay for the studio and the satellite fees aren’t cheap. In fact, they don’t have anywhere near enough to cover the costs and happen to be 50 million yen short.
Drumming up that money though is easier said than done given what ‘s about to befall the economy. The Ministry of Finance has issued a loan volume restriction. This means all real estate loans are ceased immediately. Muranishi goes all out to scrounge funds together. He takes savings, sells actresses’ underwear and even holds back their pay too.
The girls are eventually encouraged to get involved in a strip tease with Muranishi. He promises them loads of cash of course, but the truth is he’s using the income from this to fund the satellite deal. Who knows when their next pay cheque will be!
Thanks to this, they make it up to 250 million yen, prompting Muranishi to hurry out with the funds to pay. When he heads home though, the place has been complete ransacked and the money is gone. It’s Komu, he’s taken off with the funds and happens to be working against him all this time.
The Episode Review
Oh dear, it’s all over for Muranishi now. With his funds gone and the future of the company hanging in the balance, the aptly titled episode finally comes to fruition. The bubble has well and truly burst now and there seems to be no way back.
The Yakuza subplot has run parallel to this plot for most of this season but here it collides with Muranishi’s ascent in spectacularly devastating fashion. The way this occurs feels natural and it’s really well written too.
You can already see cracks beginning to form with Muranishi’s business and without the level heads of Honda and Kawada by his side, this is a ticking timebomb just waiting to explode in Muranishi’s face. Can things get away worse for him?