Netflix show reviews: Is she the wolf?

Netflix JDrama Review: Is She The Wolf?

Have you watched the Japanese Reality show ‘Is she the wolf?’ on Netflix as yet? As addictive dating series go, especially in the Asian Reality TV segment, this one is a good one. It is a competitive series that adds a fun angle to the quest of finding true romance.

In this thrilling Japanese dating series, sparks fly, tears are shed, apprehensions are voiced, the pain of unrequited love is felt, and the mystery of ‘who is the wolf’ is solved, as nine 20-something contestants search for love. This just-released Netflix series has captured the interest of the world, especially since it shows real people, 5 women and 5 men to be exact who come together with hopes for romance. But there’s a sneaky twist – one of the 5 ladies is a “wolf” hiding her true intentions, which is to not fall in the trap of love or at least to not acknowledge it. As you watch this series, you truly get drawn in, into the lives and romances of these talented Japanese people who navigate dates, tasks, and emotional connections, all while trying to expose the wolf. Each episode leaves you wondering, can they find love or will they be deceived. So let’s unravel the suspense of the show as I give you a honest review of Is She the Wolf without making too many exposés or giving out too many spoilers.

The Netflix Reality Series and its Rules

On Netflix, reality series of the dating genre are generally not of the best quality. Frankly, the American ones, such as The Circle, Too Hot to Handle and Love is Blind (and Indian Series, the kind that come on MTV) are pure garbage. But what got me started on Asian reality shows is the Korean reality show Single’s Inferno (both 1 and 2). The concept of having the reality show run itself and have a few commentators mimic the emotions of the watchers was something new to me, and quite frankly I enjoyed it a lot. Especially since these commentators or emcees, often discuss the show and offer a face-saving logic to some frankly idiotic moves made by the contestants (or offer honest perspectives when someone has opened up too much).

That said, what is the show about?

In this Netflix show, five Japanese men and five Japanese women are placed together in a group to find love matches for themselves. But unlike other reality ‘love’ shows, ‘Is she the wolf’ has an inherent plot twist. One or more of the five women have been assigned the role of ‘wolf’ and the lady designated to be wolf has just one task, to trick the other members, rather than find their own love match.

Is She the Wolf Cast & Contestants

Just like with the reality Kdrama show called Singles Inferno, this Jdrama reality show also had a cast of commentators or emcees that gave their opinions on the happening, thus steering the audience by mimicking the required emotions. The three for this show were Natsuko Yokosawa, Karen Takizawa and Riku, though there were new faces in certain episodes too. Most of the heartwarming moments in the show were truly lived through them and their presence and conversation played a positive role in building an audience connect for this show.

Apart from this cast, there were the 10 actual contestants.

A professional fighter Taiju Shiratori, actor-photographer Robin Furuya, music group vocalist Who-ya, actor-entertainer Masaki Nakao and actor Tomoki Yonemura made up the the five male contestants. The female contestants were model-influencer Gabby, actress Sakurako Okubo,  former idol Honoka Nishimura, FAKY vocalist Mikako and singer-songwriter Julie. One or more of the female contestants were the wolf (and though I know it, I promised not to reveal any spoilers.

Who is the Wolf Netflix Review

There were a few things I loved about the show and a few things I absolutely hated.

What I loved:

  • The show retained a Japanese feel to it, in terms of culture, expressions and even outings. For example, the show really did do a lot for Japanese tourism as it showcased some truly awesome locations in and outside Tokyo where the contestants were tasked with taking photos. Additionally, the show showed all the little things, like Mikako’s love for ceramics and the quaint ceramic shops in downtown Tokyo, and Taiju’s MMA fights, Who-ya’s performance and more for example.
  • The show did manage to build a lot of mystery and suspense through the way it was filmed, even though a major revelation happened in the first episode itself.
  • The team that commented on all the key moments, was soft and understanding, quite similar to Singles Inferno team, and they really did manage to play pivotal roles in how we as an audience perceived what was happening with the contestants.
  • The show whether scripted or not showed all aspects of dynamic dating in full colour. It showed one-sided love, it showed love that was trapped in rules, it showed love where two parties didn’t feel quite the same way or to the same extent, it showed love that see-sawed between two parties and it showed love that may or may not be true. Intricate feelings were adequately captured and I for one, a sucker for romance, felt them to the core. 
  • The show retained a cheerfulness even when there were scenes or rejection. For example, the way Taiju kept his promise with Gabby while turning her down, and her heartfelt effort and making it go her way, all managed to hit a spot in the heart and yet, one could smile through the tears.

What I hated:

  • I hated that a major revelation was made up front, but I guess that was unavoidable since they also wanted to show the ‘war within’ moments.
  • I hated the fact that the finale has all women dressed as wolves. This prevented me from seeing their facial expressions and robbed them of the last glam look their could have put together for themselves.
  • I hated that certain scenes were unnecessarily stretched, like the fireworks scene and the scene by Angel’s ladder.

Overall, I really did love this series. What I loved best was seeing some hidden sights and scenes of Japan that would otherwise not have been on my travel itinerary. Places such as Shizouka perfecture, Shodo Island, Hokkaido, Aomori, Tokamachi, Kanazawa and of course areas of Tokyo. They were beautiful, as one would expect Japan to be. If you haven’t watched this Japanese reality show on Netflix yet, catch Is she the Wolf today!

More details on Netflix’s Is She the Wolf Page.

Read more of our show reviews and recommendations here.

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