When mystery novelist and independently wealthy socialite Makoto Masako decides to start a business she settles upon a unique Insurance & Investigation Service. Recruiting a number of ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Mie Azuma ...
 Higashida, Michiko
Mimi Fukada ...
 Tamura / ...
Franz Gruber ...
 ? (1969)
Bunsaku Han ...
 Darowa Yuming (as Bunjaku Han)
Yuriko Hishimi ...
 Yuriko Hishida
Yumiko Katayama ...
 Yumiko Kataoka
Yukiko Kuwahara ...
 Yukiko Hara (1969-1974)
Akemi Mari ...
 Akemi Hoshi
Mako Midori ...
 Mako Ichijou
Junko Miyazono ...
 Miyano, Junko
Mieko Nishio ...
 Yamao, Mieko
...
 Reiko Ota (as Reiko Ohshida)
Kiyomi Ota ...
 Ichijo, Kiyomi
Ranfan Ou ...
 Lan-Fan
Tamaki Sawa ...
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Storyline

When mystery novelist and independently wealthy socialite Makoto Masako decides to start a business she settles upon a unique Insurance & Investigation Service. Recruiting a number of beautiful "thrill seeking" amateur detectives, and setting up shop in a fabulous Tokyo apartment/office Masako and company form the "PLAYGIRL(s)" as they affectionately call themselves. Masako and her "daughters" begin investigating various interesting cases and mysteries on behalf of their company's benefactors. While the bulk of their cases involve solving insurance scams, white collar crimes, fraud, white slavery, robbery and other assorted organized criminal ventures, some of their cases bordered on the bizarre and strange ( i.e. battling ghosts). During the course of their adventures "mother" Masako decides to travel the world and leaves the business in the trusted hands of her "eldest daughters" Tamaki and Masako. Several other "sisters" decide to leave the agency through the course of the series. ... Written by Jmaruyama

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7 April 1969 (Japan)  »

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Referenced in Gang Money Run (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazingy pre-dates Charlie's Angels and offers much more sexy girl power charm to boot!
17 November 2009 | by (Honolulu, HI) – See all my reviews

Amazingly, the Toei produced, TV Tokyo (Tokyo Channel 12) Japanese Detective series "Playgirl" pre-dates "Charlie's Angels" by a good six years yet the similarities are almost too uncanny and eerily similar....when a wealthy mystery novelist and independently wealthy socialite Makoto Masako decides to start a business she settles upon a unique Insurance & Investigation Service. Recruiting a number of beautiful "thrill seeking" amateur detectives, and setting up shop in a fabulous Tokyo apartment/office Masako and company form the "PLAYGIRL(s)" as they affectionately call themselves. Masako and her "daughters" begin investigating various interesting cases and mysteries on behalf of their company's benefactors. While the bulk of their cases involve solving insurance scams, white collar crimes, fraud, white slavery, robbery and other assorted organized criminal ventures, some of their cases bordered on the bizarre and strange ( i.e. battling ghosts).

With its unique brand of risqué humor, sexy action and touch of T & A, the show commanded at one time almost an unprecedented 17.8% rating during its broadcasting run. Part of the appeal certainly could be attributed to its beautiful cast of stars who would often be called upon to strip down and show off their assets, cat fight against opponents (both male and female) and/or flirt with the audience with sexy charm. It was "jiggle TV" done Japanese style and with much more attitude.

During it's six year run (4/7/1969 to 9/30/1974) a whopping twenty-two actresses were part of the PLAYGIRL(s) at one time or another. The cast featured a who's who of Nikkatsu "Roman Porno", Tokusatsu TV and Toei "Pinky Violence" film alumni including some recognizable faces such as Midori Mako (Moju AKA Blind Beast), Oh Ranfan (Magma Taishi AKA Ambassador Magma AKA Space Giants), Yashiro Machiko who also co-starred with Oh Ranfan in "Magma Taishi", Han Bunjaku (G-Men '75; Sign Wa V),Oshida Reiko (Zubeko Bancho -Delinquent Girl Boss- film series), Katayama Yumiko (Giant Robo AKA Johnny Sakko & His Flying Robot; Zenkan Onna: Koroshi Bushi; Jyoshu 701 Go: Sasori; Bankoku Roku), Fuda Mimi (Battle Hawk), Watanabe Yayoi (Jyoshu 701 Go: Sasori; Joshu Sasori – Kemono No Beya; Jyoshu Sasori – Urami Bushi; Wolf Guy – Moerou Okami Otoko; Onna Bancho Blues – Mesu Bachi No Gyakushu; Sijyu Gakuen), Yanami Eiko (Gamera Tai Shingai Kaijyu Zigra) and Hishimi Yuriko (Ultra Seven, Bohachi Bushido; Furyo Bancho – Ichimodaijin; Furyo Bancho – Honemade Shabure; Shin Jinginaki Tatakei – Kumicho No Kubi).

Usually each episode featured no more than five of the girls at one time. Each episode would try to rotate the cast around but inevitably some of the actresses were featured more often than others, due to their popularity among audience members.

The series was also very much influenced by the cult UK action series "The Avengers" and the American TV series "Honey West".

While the "Playgirl" TV Series is technically unrelated to the Adult Magazine "Playboy" & "Playgirl", the look and feel of the show did hint at and play on the adult magazine's popularity, even going so far as to spoof the style of their logo font.

Jazz Musician/Composer Yamashita Takeo contributed to the catchy title instrumental (he is most often identified with his "Lupin The Third" theme song).

When "Playgirl" ended its run, it was quickly followed by a sequel entitled simply "Playgirl Q". Like "Playgirl", "Q" featured some nudity and sexual content (which was allowed by Japanese censors) but was a bit more toned down in action to "Playgirl". It featured some returning members such as Sawa Tamaki but also featured some interesting new members including cute professional wrestler Hagiwara Mimi, Japanese-American "half" actress Kathy Nakajima, and model/actresses Azuma Michi, Nakamura Akiko and Ikeshima Ruriko. It lasted a number of years but ended its run in 1978. It was followed by two completely unrelated series "Supergirl" and "Miracle Girl" but both ended within a year.

An inferior movie adaptation starring leggy beauty Sato Eriko debuted in 2003 but did not do well and was relegated to DVD mostly.


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