Five (also called Five Spies) was a Japanese drama TV show from back in the day (1997) when NTV was making the most hilariously bad dramas money could buy. Like many other J-dramas, it uses popstars instead of actual actors. Thankfully, most of the actors' shortcomings are hidden behind this show's terrible writing. The convoluted plot of this show starts when the inmates of some all-female prison (that is nothing like the prison from Female Prisoner Scorpion) riot, and a group of five of them break out. After an utterly unconvincing police chase, they end up with Yodobashi, a spymaster, who threatens to send them back to prison if they don't work for him (incidentally, Yodobashi loves to use the phrase "spy dogs"). After a poorly-fought battle of words, they agree. Yodobashi's base is set up in the basement of a nightclub, hosted by an incredibly jolly black man who can be understood by everyone in the Japanese cast, even though he only speaks english. He is the greatest character in this show. As their first mission, this professional criminal sends his group of five convicted murderers to a high school where he suspects that administrators are selling passing grades for money. They have to prove that he's tampering with the grades, but this is made difficult by the fact that the computer that he uses is behind LASERS. And on and on it goes. It turns out that all the girls were selected for a reason, and this reason plays into the overall plot of the show. Each episode (there are 11) basically features 5% spy action and 95% poorly-written convoluted nonsense. If you like watching J-dramas for laughs, there are few better than this show. The opening music (and music in the show) is from the electronic band Ram Jam World, and is off their album, Rough and Ready. If you have the chance, get this album, because it's actually pretty good. The full-color edition of Google Bordello will have this album, but currently you're probably going to have to find it somewhere else (I found it in some DJ's stash on Kazaa, of all places). Incidentally, you can get the first track off this album on Youtube here. The end theme is Escape by Moon Child, a pop hit from around the time this show came out, that sounds more than a little like Secret Agent Man. You can hear it all up on imeem here. I would be derelict in my duties if I were to finish without pointing out that this show is further evidence that Tomoe Shinohara is the single most annoying person in Japan. If for some reason a person would want to see this show, as far as we know NTV didn't waste their money putting it on DVD. The J-drama fansub group SO did a pretty good fansub on some pretty bad raws, and the resulting release is unfortunate, but the best copy people will ever see. You can get ahold of it down at D-Addicts, the drama torrent tracker. Here are some promotional shots for this show. Here's the picture NTV included with their description of this show. Here's a themed phonecard, which were popular in Japan back then. Information: Stars: Rie Tomosaka, Sarina Suzuki, Tomoe Shinohara, Kumiko Endo, AND Chinen Rina AND Fukada Kyoko (Five stars IN THE TITLE, NTV only lists four names). 11 episodes. NTV, 1997.