Series Review by David Cirone
Netflix Japan’s premiere original series Atelier (titled “Underwear” for its Japanese release) is an infuriatingly weak attempt to showcase the provocative world of lingerie. Cardboard characters, illogical plot twists, and episode-after-episode of junior-high-school idealistic speeches made this series a real challenge to finish. In truth, the story is over by episode 9, but the 13-episode commitment stretched this thin plot even thinner. It would have been much more fashionable for this series to leave the party early.
A self-described “fabric geek” Mayuko (Mirei Kiritani) comes to the big city to pursue her dreams of joining the fashion industry. All wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, she lands an intern job at Emotion, a small boutique shop in Tokyo’s Ginza district, with the lingerie world’s most renowned designer, Mayumi Nanjo (Mao Daichi). It’s not long before Mayuko starts making changes and making speeches about how Nanjo and her team of designers should view the concept of feminine beauty and change what’s been working for them so many years. She disobeys orders and causes trouble for the shop, jeopardizing Nanjo’s business and reputation so often that there wasn’t one single episode where I didn’t shout “You’re fired!” out loud at the screen.