Of all of the downward spirals in Season 2, however, Muranishi’s epic freefall from his apex at the beginning of the 1990s is the most entertaining storyline of the entire show, and Yamada’s spirited—and at times, villainous—performance as the “Emperor of Porn” is absolutely brilliant. Muranishi’s unwavering appetite for innovation and his unyielding determination to achieve his dreams become both his superpowers and his kryptonite, and it’s equally electrifying and heartbreaking to follow the character’s journey throughout the season.
Muanishi’s downfall is loaded with contradicting themes. On one hand, viewers see Muranishi defy all odds and secure his own pornographic satellite station, and when his back is against the ropes, the controversial director finds yet another way to save his struggling empire. Yet, Season 2 of The Naked Director also embraces the what if? factor that stops hundreds of thousands of people from reaching their dreams, so when ill-timed events outside of his control essentially nullify his ingenious efforts, Muranishi ultimately succumbs to his own hubris.
The desire to innovate while one’s contemporaries are stuck in the moment is admirable, and by the time the season end credits roll, that’s one of the only few positive traits that Muranishi has left.
Ironically, the second season of Netflix’s The Naked Director is in a similar position. Regardless of whether Toru Muranishi’s story is finished, the show no longer has the flair and focus that it had in its first season. The novelty and shock value of the comedic drama has faded away, despite the show’s poignant storylines, and many of the show’s best characters have either died or moved on from the world of porn when it’s all said and done. With the final scene of “The Will of Stone” showing viewers that Muranishi is still the same Muranishi that they were introduced to at the start of the season, now seems like the best time for The Naked Director to call the scene and say “That’s a wrap.”