A dating show set on an Okinawa beach with 18 men and women, under pseudonyms, who all have a "dark history" of crime or adultery and want a new start with romance. The hosts will be comedian Atsushi Tamura and former Morning Musume singer Mari Yaguchi.
Of the romance-related shows to see on Netflix (Terrace House, Ainori) this is definitely the lowest tier. In production value, professionalism, and execution, this show leaves a bit of a poor taste in my mouth. It was filmed in beautiful Okinawa- the scenery and sights are probably the biggest draw here. That being said, you don't see much of it- the entirety of it's 9 episode run-time takes place over the course of 3 days which made it extremely difficult for there to be any romances at all formed over the course of this show.
At the onset, the concept for this show is what really drew me- over the course of the show, each of the 18 contestants (10 men, 8 women- apparently 1 man and 3 women dropped out at the last second) confess their all-consuming "deep dark secret". On this front, the show certainly delivered- at the risk of being too spoilery, things like criminal records, debt, troublesome past relationships, and frowned-upon occupations make up a decent chunk of the secrets. Each one was at the very least slightly surprising, and at most downright scandalous- and while they were all interesting, I found it a little bit insightful into the things that Japan considers taboo enough to be considered a deep dark secret. Regardless of the quality of this season, I would watch another hypothetical season in a heartbeat solely considering the possible secret revelations.
The participants were a real mixed bag- some of them were endearing, kind, or strange enough that I found myself rooting for them, while others I found downright detestable initially. Of course over the run of the series you get to know the lot of them better, so even strong initial impressions are for the most part broken up and you're given a more well-rounded idea of who this person might be. The editing shows very little bias in terms of who they give the most screen-time to, or who gets the most favourable cuts, so that isn't too big of a concern in my opinion. There's really only one or two participants I found to be just straight dislikeable people.
The most difficult part of watching this show was the host(s). While the female host was inoffensive enough, my biggest qualm with her is that she mostly stayed silent while the male host was a veritable trash bag of a human being. Perhaps it was a persona, perhaps not, but his lack of sensitivity and humourless attempts at joking insults were appalling. If you're easily angered by slut-shaming, transphobia, sexism, all that jazz- stay far away. This type of concept for a show could have been done with grace and compassion, but that is certainly not what you'll find here.
Now! For the romance! I had two or three couples I was really, truly rooting for, and some of them even pulled through! This show isn't completely unsatisfactory in that sense. But there are one or two people I felt very sorry for by the end, so get really to feel a certain amount of sadness mixed in with the ups of the couples. I don't think any of the couples that ended up forming were framed or set up by the production crew, however I feel like the crew may have had a general idea as to which couples they wanted to pair up based on their similar backgrounds and secrets.
TL;DR: A decent enough show to pass the time, but it might annoy the hell out of you. Don't take it too seriously or expect a masterpiece, and you might even enjoy it.
I decided to watch this while waiting for new episodes of Terrace House and it was a pretty wild ride tbh. I think, rather than a dating show, it's better to watch this as a social experiment where bad people try to make themselves feel superior by judging other bad people.
The entire thing takes place over 3 or so days and within that that time, the hosts and the contestants manage to slut shame pretty much every woman onscreen and they also fit in a few transphobic slurs and rape jokes while they're at it. I couldn't deal with the double standards either; one guy had a very similar secret to one of the girls (I won't go into specifics so I can avoid spoilers), but he was seen as fine while she was deemed a slut.
They were all -apart from like 2 or 3 of them- bad people, and this wasn't even because of their "dark secret" but because of how they judged the others.
Ok then, just because I don't want to leave an entirely negative review, I will say that the secrets revealed were pretty exciting. It was quite fun trying to guess what everyone was hiding.
I guess this show just wasn't my cup of tea.