“The Will of a Stone” wraps things up with a fitting conclusion that gives everyone a nice send-off, even if a leopard can’t quite change its spots.
This recap of The Naked Director season 2, episode 8, “The Will of a Stone”, contains spoilers. It also contains an open discussion of The Naked Director Season 2 ending. You can read our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
It’s easy to forget that The Naked Director is based on a true story. In part that’s because it’s so ridiculous, but sometimes so is life, and the second season finale, “The Will of a Stone”, feels very much like it’s touching on that real history by wrapping up a lot of its plot points nice and early and devoting some time in the back half to what feels like an extended epilogue, with most of the figures coming to terms with their predicament and moving on from the events we’ve witnessed.
That’s unusual for a Netflix original, but the other thing about basing a story on real history is that you eventually run out of it. It also felt like the endlessly charismatic Muranishi might himself run out of road, but Toshi not being able to shoot him felt as much like a capsule summary of his life as it did a plot point. Here is a man who has never not had a gun barrel pressed to his head in one way or another. The fact he keeps dodging bullets is a miracle. Toshi’s heroic self-sacrifice for Sayaka is the much more made-for-TV side of that plot.
Speaking of symbolism, is there anything more appropriate than Kaoru Kuroki faking amnesia to shed her current identity and re-adopt her old one? If only Muranishi could be so lucky. He’s at rock bottom, personally, so his reinvention takes more effort. It’s Kawada who reminds him that he’s essentially a salesman at heart. His charisma was always his secret weapon, and it’s the one thing that hasn’t been taken away from him thanks to his own hubris.
A leopard can’t change its spots, though. After The Naked Director season 2, episode 8 leaps forward to 1994, we find several characters – Junko, Mitamura, Kawada – in better positions. Muranishi too, in some ways, since he’s living with Nogi and they have children together. But he’s still roaming around in his undies. He’s still making his videos. And now he has taken to doing so in the middle of the street. Maybe some people are indecent by nature. But at least he gets the exposure.