The inaugural season of The Bachelorette Japan, gender flip of The Bachelor, took the show’s previous format and completely revamped it, making it utterly clear that the lady of the show, Moeko Fukuda, was taking matters into her own hands. The series, which premiered in early October on Amazon Prime, was full of heartwarming and devastating moments. Here are the most memorable ones, as voted by TW staff who are just way too involved in Japanese reality TV.

This goes without saying, but be warned that there are spoilers ahead!

7. Setoguchi’s Day in the Sun

The first couple of episodes of the season were set in Okinawa, Fukuda’s home prefecture. Hoping to push the men to showcase their real personality, she had put together a survival game at the beach. (Considering there is a beach episode if every season of the Bachelor, we can only assume this is a gimmick to see the contestants in their bathing suits.) And reveal their personality they did! Hiroki Setoguchi, who’s job description simply states 美容男子 (read biyou danshi), or “a guy who enjoys skincare,” took no hesitation to sit back and do the bare minimum under his long-sleeved shirt, pants and parasol, as if only concerned with protecting his baby soft skin from the UV rays. Needless to say, he didn’t tag along for the show much longer after that.

6. Sugi-chan’s 1-on-1 Date in Taiwan


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In the first episode, Yohei Sugita, nicknamed Sugi-chan, showed very little confidence in himself. It was hard to watch him hesitate to make himself known despite having one of the best first-impressions in the season. But, when he took Fukuda on a 1-on-1 date in Taiwan, Sugi-chan became a real competition for his fellow contestants. Despite having what some people would say is a difficult timeslot for a romantic date in Taiwan, it’s during this time that he finally let himself be, well, himself: playful and artistic. He didn’t only win the heart of the Bachelorette, but of all of us watching at home.

5. Touma’s Last Performance

It was already quite a surprise that two “foreign” contestants would make it this far into the competition. When came Rose Touma’s turn to introduce Fukuda to his family, there was a lot of warmth in a house that was reminiscent of a typical welcome of South American families. It was obvious that they came from a less fortunate background but that they had a lot of love to give. While showing Fukuda around his local theater, Rose threw himself on stage for a private performance, which made the Bachelorette (and us) tear up. What started as a questionable quirk ended up being Touma’s most powerful weapon, though it wasn’t enough to make him stay in the competition.

4. Fujii’s Well-deserved Elimination

While you’d think that in 2020, telling someone that they’re loved because they’re “pretty” and “have a nice body,” here we are. Tatsuya Fujii was the sweet mood-maker with a quirky fashion sense until the second day in Okinawa when he kind of exposed himself a little too much. After taking Fujii aside, Fukuda faced him with a question that was his demise: “Why do you like me?” It was obvious that Fukuda suspected that Fujii’s reasons were disingenuous. All the reasons he gave her were in one way or another related to her appearance and ultimately made him leave the competition at that very moment.

3. When the Bachelorette Couldn’t Choose

Those who have seen previous renditions of the Bachelor will know about the two-shot date: it’s a date where the Bachelorette, in this case, goes on a romantic outing with two contestants and eliminates one at the end of the day. This season, the only two-shot date was between Touma and Malachi Evans, an Australian raised in Hokkaido. After a romantic horseback riding date, it was a long wait until Fukuda eventually revealed that she couldn’t choose between the two.

2. Noki’s Stolen Rose Confession

When the Stolen Rose, which allowed for an all-or-nothing chance for a contestant to steal a date with the Bachelorette, was first introduced, it wasn’t clear whether somebody would actually take a shot at it. But Noki decided to risk his chance and went for a spur of the moment and a heart-ripping confession — while Moeko was on a romantic date with Rose. As Rose stood by, feeling for his competitor and friend, Noki poured his heart out. Tears rolling down his cheek, he pleaded Moeko to take the rose and choose him — but, eventually, he had to accept the rejection and leave the competition right there. While he wasn’t a favorite with the audience, his courage — and ultimately his rejection — was felt by all. Oh, and let’s not forget the extreme close up that made it into the final edit, as Noki awkwardly looks back at Moeko and Rose from the limo, just hanging his head out the window. Iconic.

1. When The Bachelorette Couldn’t Choose… Again

By this point, it was a tight competition between Kou Kou, a Chinese businessman who worked and lived in Tokyo, and Sugi-chan. Kou steadily conquered Fukuda’s heart a little more every episode and while he came across as cold as ice for most of the season, he showed a little bit of emotion on his last date with the Bachelorette. While most viewers regarded Kou as a safe choice, Sugi-chan was the more risky option, a man full of child-like optimism and love for life. No matter who you were rooting for, the Bachelorette’s final decision to remain single was a shock to us all. In the first few seconds, it was indescribably unsatisfying, but upon reflection, this remains the most empowering moment of the show.

TW’s Final Words…

Yes, we know the rules. But women shouldn’t have to settle nor should they, or anybody for that matter, have to choose their partner because an entire film crew is around. Fukuda was a great first Bachelorette. She was honest, blunt and took the competition more seriously than any of the previous bachelors. The contestants were varied and, as an international viewer, it was nice to have some foreign residents thrown into the mix too — and even make it as far as the finale.

The Bachelorette Japan is available on Amazon Prime Video. While the series are only in Japanese, we assure you that it won’t be too difficult to understand the plot. You can find more information about the case and the show on the program’s official Instagram account