• "Million Yen Women" is a Japanese TV series on Netflix that is based off a manga. The protagonist is Yojiro Noda, lead singer of RADWIMPS, the band that did the very popular soundtrack of animated film "Your Name."

    The structure of "Million Yen Women" is the basic set-up of a "harem" manga. "Harem" is a a popular sub-genre in manga where a clueless man lives together with many young, attractive women, many of whom develop crushes or fall in love with him. Although the harem set-up is fine for comics, it rather loses its tenuous credibility in live-action film such as in "Million Yen Women." However this TV series has a twist, an element of mystery, that is almost as fantastical but rather more welcome. Kudos to Yojiro Noda, anyway, for making his protagonist likable anyhow.

    Harem is not particularly my cup of tea, but I did enjoy some of the character development in the series and some surprising moments of depth and pathos sprinkled throughout.

    Although "Million Yen Women" contains elements of romance and murder, it also is about Yojiro Noda's character, who is an upcoming novelist, and his rivalry with a popular established author. This rivalry is pretty basic, but I did enjoy some of the discussion about novels and expression and "creating a new emotion" and etc. There's an odd peace about Yojiro Noda that makes character as a novelist believable, and makes him unique against the backdrop of criminal intrigue he stands against.

    Unfortunately however, the rivalry between the two authors isn't as resolved as I would like, and there are various other plots of the drama that seem rushed or underdeveloped or sort of like afterthoughts. (I haven't read the manga so I make no comparison.) Nevertheless, "Million Yen Women" does have a degree of substance that elevates it beyond a typical boy's fantasy, and it is mostly fun and enjoyable to watch so I recommend it.

    This drama also has Japanese audio description and Japanese captions for those wanting to learn the language.