Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
When it released back in 2019, The Naked Director was one of the bigger surprises of the year. This simple but effective biographical drama managed to show the rise of infamous Toru Muranishi. Of course, alongside that we received a lot of sex scenes and lavish montages but it all fed into the energy this show brought with it.
If the first season depicted the rise of Muranishi, this second season changes its focus to that of his downfall. It’s a nice juxtaposition and one that sets things up nicely for a dramatic and thrilling season of unpredictable twists and a well written, character-driven romp.
Season 2 starts in 1990. Muranishi is at the top of his game, conducting TV interviews and doing so with an unrivaled swagger that makes all the women around him swoon. However, when he learns about satellite TV and the lucrative prospects this could bring with it, Muranishi’s vision is clouded by yen.
Despite Kawada and Mr Honda’s concerns, Muranishi dives head-first into this venture. As one may expect from a show depicting his downfall, this doesn’t go well. I won’t spoil much more than that but suffice to say Muranishi’s greed and pride gets the better of him and his recklessness brings about a hard and fast downfall that’s pretty tough to watch at times.
Running parallel to this however, is Toshi. He’s back with the Yakuza and, more specifically, Furuya. He quickly becomes wrapped up with a new love interest but finds himself in over his head with a big debt he’s unable to repay.
Both of these stories run parallel to one another for the most part, until the final few episodes where everything comes together in the most spectacular and devastating way possible. This occurs very organically too, and the show does an excellent job making things as tense and surprising as possible.
The characters themselves are where this show thrives and there’s plenty of returning characters from the first season. Karou Kuriko is back, and she has quite the satisfying arc across the 8 episodes. Likewise, some of the fringe players like Mitamura have a pretty consistent journey and you can tell there’s been a lot of thought put into closing out these characters in a satisfying way at the end.
That is probably the biggest compliment I can give The Naked Director. By the end, everything is closed out with no loose ends and a really satisfying epilogue.
While it’s not the most original story you’ll likely see this year, The Naked Director takes a tried and tested story and polishes it up as best it can. This second season matches the quality of the first, delivering a satisfying conclusion to this underrated Japanese series.
Verdict - 8/10