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Series / Million Yen Women

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Million Yen Women (Japanese title 100万円の女たち; 1,000,000 yen no Onnatachi) is a Japanese drama/mystery series produced by TV Tokyo and Netflix. It's based on a manga series of the same name.

Shin Michima (Yojiro Noda of RADWIMPS fame) is a writer struggling to finish his current novel. For the past six months, he has been renting his house to five women:

  1. Hitomi Tsukamoto, a friendly book lover.
  2. Midori Suzumura, an insecure high school student.
  3. Minami Shirakawa, a rude Deadpan Snarker.
  4. Yuki Kobayashi, who is polite but socially awkward.
  5. Nanaka Hiraka, a kind-hearted chair collector.

Total strangers to each other, they were invited by mail by some person supposedly unknown to all of them to come live with Shin in exchange for a monthly rent of 1,000,000 yen. They live under four rules:

  1. Shin can't ask them personal questions.
  2. Shin is not allowed inside their rooms.
  3. Everybody in the household must eat dinner together every evening.
  4. Shin must provide for the women.

As Shin struggles to cope with recent tragedies in his own life, and as the women and his publicist Seiji Sakurai try to help him in their own ways, a series of events begins to unfold that will change their life together forever.


  • A Dog Named "Dog": The household's cat is named "Cat" because it responds to that name.
  • All Periods Are PMS: When Hitomi starts acting moody after overhearing Shin and Midori discussing eventually having sex, Shin assumes Hitomi is on her period. When he gives Hitomi some pills intended for menstrual cramps, Hitomi is not amused at all.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The series opens on Shin and his housemates wondering whether the stray cat they just took in is part of the invitation sender's plan or not.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Minami towards Midori; throughout the story, Minami takes Midori under her wing and helps make Midori more assertive.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Yuzu Hanaki, Shin's professional rival. Despite being successful among readers and critics and putting on a friendly face, he is a jerk when cameras aren't running.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: After Shin's house burns down with Minami inside, Shin and the remaining three women agree to part ways.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Averted. The killer regrets having had to kill Minami because her talents could have been of use to them.
  • Captain Ersatz: During the casting for the drama adaptation of Yuzu's book, the name "Masumi Arimura" is repeatedly mentioned. The name is just one syllable away from that of real-life Japanese actress Kasumi Arimura.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Yuki's husband is casually introduced as part of her backstory, but later turns out to be a case of Small Role, Big Impact.
  • The Chessmaster: Yuki is the one who set off the events of the show.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Episode 8 shows this for each of the characters with colored lights. Shin is grey, Minami is purple, Hitomi is light blue, Yuki is green, Midori is blue, and Nanaka is yellow.
  • Dead Person Conversation: The ambiguous Talking in Your Dreams variant happens between Shin and Nanaka in Episode 8.
  • Death of a Child: Invoked, but ultimately averted. The means used to kill Minami were initially intended for Midori. The killer considers that the latter still being a minor would have caused her death to attract more public attention than the older actual victim.
  • Doomed Appointment: Both Nanaka and Minami made plans to do something involving themselves and Shin some time in the future before being killed. A non-lethal version happens with Midori, as while she lives, she also puts herself in a position that keeps her from being part of Shin's life ever again in her own eyes.
  • Driving Question: Who are the five women? Why are they involved with Shin's life? And who invited them?
  • Dwindling Party: Nanaka, Minami and Yuki all die in the last third of the series.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Shin starts as a novelist struggling with both his writing and his mother's murder by his own father. Two of the women he's closest to are murdered and his house was burnt to the ground. In the end, he's a successful writer with a loving girlfriend in Hitomi.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: During the restaurant dinner, everyone takes the seat they would have had around the table at home, resulting in Nanaka's usual spot being empty.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Shin's father, while completely remorseless for killing his wife and her lover, feels genuinely sorry for the police officer he killed in a fit of rage and frequently writes to the dead policeman's mother.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: The series takes that turn when Nanaka establishes that the invitation sender is someone Shin knows.
  • Extreme Doormat: Midori, who initially regularly gets shaken down for money by her former foster brother. She gets better, though.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Minami. Despite being burned alive, she is never seen losing her composure.
  • False Confession: One happened for Nanaka's murder. It quickly becomes clear that the real murderer coerced the confessor into it so there would be an official culprit, while most of the characters quickly saw the holes in the scenario.
  • First-Episode Twist: The fact that Shin's father killed three people and is on death row for the murders is revealed at the end of the first episode and is an essential part of the plot.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During the montage of the women moving in:
      • Nanaka arrives with sunglasses hanging from her collar and wearing a large straw hat. She later turns out to be a world-renowned celebrity.
      • During the part showing Midori's arrival, Shin asks to see her invitation. The scene immediately does a Match Cut to Minami telling him she doesn't have her invitation, indicating that Midori will grow into becoming more like Minami over the course of the story.
    • While reading tabloid saying something she doesn't like about her, Minami rants that she's going to "burn that place down". She dies from burning down along with Shin's house.
    • In a moment of being mad at Shin, Hitomi wishes for him to die three times. Three of the women die after that.
    • When the household has to split up because of Shin's house burning down, Hitomi is the last to leave Shin's side and goes in a direction different than that of the women who left before her.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: In one episode, Minami fends off a paparazzi with a chair completely nude (as she usually is around the house).
  • Grew a Spine: Midori, thanks to Minami's influence.
  • Harem Genre: A relatively serious approach to it, but some tropes from it appear nonetheless.
  • High-Class Call Girl: Shin regularly visits one. Also, Minami turns out to run an escort agency; among her escorts is a young, famous pop star.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: The women sometimes discuss their low opinion of Shin's novels... while Shin is in the room.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Minami, who's generally quite rude but also extremely protective towards the rest of the household.
  • Kill the Cutie: Nanaka. This was also the intended fate for Midori.
  • Let the Past Burn: The arson on Shin's house plays out like this, due to the camera focusing on several objects associated with bad spots in the person's life getting destroyed.
  • May–December Romance: Yuki is revealed to be married to a man much older than her.
  • Nobody Can Die: Shin can't bring himself to write a story in which someone dies because of the murders committed by his father.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: invoked Though Shin's books really enter the public eye when his most recent book gets a prestigious award, they get yet another sales boost when the press finds out about his father's conviction and his living situation.
  • Orphanage of Love: Deconstructed. Midori's orphanage was run more like a foster home, complete with the couple running it making it a rule to be called "mom" and "dad" and for the children to treat each other like siblings. Possibly due to having been abandoned by her actual parents, she never liked the setup, considered it an abnormal upbringing, and couldn't wait to leave the place. The only person there she considered anything close to an actual relative was an older boy who had been asked to show her around upon her arrival.
  • Parental Incest: Minami was sexually abused by her father when she was a child.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Midori, with the help of Minami's former servant, kills Yuki after she finds out that she was behind the murders of Nanaka and Minami.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Shin, due to living a computer-free lifestyle. This has kept him from realizing one of his housemates is actually a celebrity.
  • Post-Mortem Conversion: The evening before her death, Nanaka has dinner alone with Yuzu, and during it claims that Shin is a better writer than him to his face. After her death, Yuzu goes on to make a public claim that Nanaka claimed to like his work better than Shin's during the very same dinner.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Invoked. Hitomi is the daughter of a famous writer and one of the biggest bookworms around, so being allowed to take part in voting for the winner of a major literature award qualifies as this for her.
  • Sailor Fuku: Midori's high school uniform, as seen on the work page image.
  • Saying Too Much: How Shin figures out that Yuki is the one who sent the invitations; in an early episode, she asked him about whether or not he was related to a death row inmate with the same surname. However, it's later revealed that fact was included in the invitations, meaning she would already know.
  • Scenery Censor: Whenever Minami hangs around the house naked, which she does quite a bit.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Midori's money turns out to come from winning a billion yen at a lottery. Nanaka, who is actually a world-famous actress on sabbatical. Also, Yuki, who is married to one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in Japan.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Minami is revealed to have had her parents killed before the series; her father for sexually abusing her.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: Minami rarely bothers with clothes while at home.
  • She Knows Too Much: The motivation for both Nanaka and Minami's murders.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: With three deaths in the backstory and more happening within the series, plenty show up. Those to Shin's mother, the policeman Shin's father killed and Nanaka's are seen several times.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: At the beginning, Shin gets harassed through his fax machine for the murders his father committed, and it's generally played as the "being unfair towards the child" variation. However, the fact that his father is a murderer later benefits Shin in the form of making his latest book a best-seller, which the sender of the faxes considers to be unacceptable.
  • The Sociopath: Yuki, who arranged for the events of the story, including a number of murders, for no other reason than her own amusement.
  • The Stoic: You've gotta hand it to Shin, he takes everything that happens to him in the series with remarkable grace.
  • Team Pet: Cat.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Nanaka points out she and Yuki almost never talk to each other at some point. The reason Yuki gives is that she doesn't talk to stupid people.
  • There Is Only One Bed: When Hitomi moves in with Shin, thanks to the tiny apartment he moved into after the house burned down.
  • Trash of the Titans: Shin's place was quite a mess when Hitomi moved in. The most visible impact of Shin having housemates is that it's much better-kept when the series starts.
  • Undignified Death: As Yuki is slowly choked to death by Sunako, Midori comments in her "The Reason You Suck" Speech on her pathetic terrified face since she isn't prepared to die, unlike Minami who (Midori correctly assumes) could Face Death with Dignity when Yuki had her murdered.
  • Undying Loyalty: Seiji stands by Shin through thick and thin, attributing Shin's failure to get recognized for his writing skills to his own failures as a publicist.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": One of the women considered "Shin" as a name for Cat during the series opening scene. It got shot down for obvious reasons.
  • Writer's Block: Shin is suffering from this in the beginning of the series; understandable, given his family situation.