A Sexual Revolution
Episode 8 of The Naked Director Season 2 begins with Junko and Kawada in hospital, wondering whether Kuriko will awaken again or not. At the same time, Toshi drives Muranishi out to a secluded area and holds his gun, wondering what to do. Muranishi pleads for his life but Toshi fires wildly, missing Muranishi which he interprets as fate. Toshi eventually drives off, unable to kill the man.
Instead, he heads back to Furuya and shoots him in cold blood. With the boss bleeding out and Sayaka left to watch in horror, she eventually slips away as Toshi is murdered, having accepted his fate. He’s sacrificed himself to save Sayaka.
Meanwhile, Naoko shows up to see Mitamura. She’s accompanied by a man named Mr Ozawa who works for Higashinaka Credit Union. He hands over the 30 million yen owed, where Mitamura learns that this man is her fiancé.
Rugby overhears and comes running, calling Naoko cruel. Mitamura is humble and gracious, wishing him well… at least in public. In private, he’s a mess and questions why she didn’t choose him.
Elsewhere, Kaoru Kuroki leaves the hospital after her fractured skull scare and plays with the reporters, claiming she has amnesia. She’s shedding her old persona though and going back to the Kuroki she was before. She heads home and bids farewell to Junko, deciding to leave town.
And what of Murinashi? Well, he winds up in the streets right next to Nogi, who struggles to hold down a job given her background. Now, at the end of everything, these two find some semblance of balance and discuss their lives. It’s a really nice moment and one that strips everything back to show the togetherness they have.
Detective Takei takes advantage of Furuya’s death and decides to exert his will against Ogiwara, convincing him to play ball. Unfortunately he’s driven out back… where Takei is arrested for bribery and conspiring with the gangsters. Well, I say arrested. He’s taken into a room and a loud bang sounds, hinting that he’s been shot dead.
Out by the shore, Kawada catches up with Muranishi while he’s sleeping on a bench. He’s at rock bottom but it doesn’t stop Kawada admitting that his charisma is what drew everyone to him. Despite the downfall, he’s not ready to forgive his former employee just yet. He’s still reeling over Toshi’s death and his sacrifice to save Sayaka – and Muranishi inadvertently.
The two walk along the beach together, discussing their changed fates. Kawada encourages Muranishi to get back to his roots of being a salesman. In order to pick him back up, Kawada throws a rock (over to him, not at his head) and tells Muranishi to try and sell it.
While they talk, Toshi’s spiritual form shows up and laughs; an acceptance that Kawada has cleansed his soul and in turn helped Muranishi find his way back to his roots.
We then jump forward to 1994. Junko gets back to her roots of being a Director. Mitamura and Kawada continue making their adult videos. There’s a slow-mo shot here of all our adult film stars together which is shot over the top of ‘What’s Up’ by 4 Non Blondes. The savvy viewers among you may see some similarities to the ending of Sense8!
Kuriko meanwhile, is off traveling and has started a new life for herself. Muranishi is now living with Nogi and they’ve got kids too. However that doesn’t stop him from filming his adult videos – and right in the middle of the street no less.
It doesn’t take long for the police to get involved though and arrest him. As Muranishi is left down on the floor, he looks up and says “I sunk lower, but I’m alive!” What a fitting way to end the show.
The Episode Review
The Naked Director bows out its second season with a definitive ending, one that rounds out all of our storylines nicely while allowing our characters to achieve a good send off. While Komu and Oba have seemingly disappeared with the money and are living it up elsewhere, the rest of the characters have all made peace with the botched satellite deal and moved on.
This ending ultimately feels like an epilogue of sorts, especially after the first 20 minutes is used to wrap up all of our big plot points in a resolute way. While there’s nothing wrong with that, the situation with the Yakuza is concluded a little too hastily for my own liking.
However, the rest of the series has done a great job showcasing the downfall of this charismatic man and the pitfalls that have come from this line of work. In that respect, The Naked Director has done a great job depicting this and the various characters that have stuck with this across the two seasons. Will there be a season 3? I doubt it. The show rounds out everything perfectly with a triumphant final hoorah.