Friday, November 21, 2008

Before there was "Charlie's Angels" there was "Playgirl"

by Chris MaGee

No, this story is not about the male-oriented alternative to Hugh Hefner's "Playboy". This is a gem from Japan's television past, an all female crime-fighting juggernaut that puts "Charlie's Angels" to shame. This is "Playgirl."

Premiering on April 7th, 1969 on Tokyo Channel 12 (what would later become TV Tokyo) "Playgirl" followed the adventures of a group of eight beautiful, miniskirt-wearing private investigators who took on the Japanese criminal underworld and looked pretty damn sexy while doing it. The show was a huge hit, running for an astonishing 287 episodes between 1969 and 1974. Toei, who produced the series, was so impressed with its success that it created a second show titled "Playgirl Q" that aired concurrently with the original.

This is true late 60s campy, naughty fun. All of the original "Playgirl" episodes have been released in a 4-disc DVD box set in Japan (check details on it out here), but none of them have been made available on these shores... yet. Here's hoping that a distributor somewhere in North America sees this and rights this terrible wrong. After you check out the videos below you'll know what I mean, but WATCH OUT! "Playgirl" was fond of showing a bit of boob and butt, so these aren't work safe!

"Playgirl" Opening and closing credit sequences

"Playgirl Q" Opening and closing credit sequences

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