The Naked Director (2019) is a Netflix Original TV Show from Japan. It is about the Adult magazine and then the Adult video industry in the 1980s Japan. We get to see the underbelly of the Japanese businesses, their nexus with the corrupt police officers and the dirty underground trade – a shocking revelation to what we outsiders consider being a disciplined country.
What makes it standout from the other Rated R shows, is its strong casting and a powerful story of one man’s belief, struggle and success against all odds.
A junior salesman Toru Muranishi cannot sell even a single copy of his company’s English encyclopedia. Luckily, he gets taken under the wings of a senior in the office, who reveals to him the secret of selling. Soon Toru becomes a master salesman. Unfortunately, the company folds up, Muranishi loses his job and finds his wife cheating on him. Devastated, he enters the Adult magazine industry accidently, and he ends up producing a raving hit. This puts him on a direct course with the leader in the industry, who along with the cops take him down. This gets repeated. After each fall, Muranishi gets up and grows bigger than before – this determination and his innovative ideas keep him going, and also keeps us engaged with the show.
The eight episode season started well, but lost steam in the middle, to pick up pace once the ravishing and charming Kaoru Kuroki enters the business. Takayuki Yamada as Toru Muranishi the protoganist’ and Ryo Ishibashi as Ikezawa the antagonist have done their roles very well. Available in Netflix.