JAV Director Spotlight: Nao Masaki

Published : April 25th, 2021 Written by Oppaira

Directors are often the unsung heroes of the industry. They never get the praise that they deserve and I think it's high time they do. A good director can make a mediocre video shine and a bad director can toss a great concept in the trash. That's why today I thought we'd go take a look at a director that's truly worthy of praise. I present my spotlight on my favourite director, Nao Masaki.


Nao's Story

Nao's origin started off as her being a bit of an exhibitionist in her university days (not unlike a certain male actor exploring his sexuality). She would film herself masturbating in public, including outside of the library. When Nao saw a job add for production staff at an AV company, she had sought to use her videos as a path to her becoming a director. Unfortunately, the AV company didn't want her to be a director and suggested she be an actress instead. While Nao would feel a bit cheated she recognized that she could use this as an opportunity to get her foot in the door and better understand the industry. Taking after Jackie Chan, a mainstream actor who did everything from acting to directing to his own stunts, Nao felt she could do the same and had a tough decision to make (that I've read she made with relative ease).

Nao would make her AV industry debut as an actress, way back in 2006. Nao went by various names during her career, including Momo Kaede and Natsuki Ando, as well as Nao. Nao never really became a household name but she did spend a few years as a freelance actress. She starred in all kinds of videos but tended to find herself in more dominant roles, especially after getting some experience under her belt. Nao was also not afraid to take on fetish roles that were a bit less mainstream, something often seen in actresses who fail to make it big.

In 2009 Nao would make her foray into directing, something she started while still being an active actress. Nao had basically always wanted to be a director so this was everything she had wanted. Only, Nao would soon realize that being a director wasn't so simple.

At the beginning of her career as a director she faced a lot of the general insecurities people find in a new profession. What if she wasn't good enough? What if she had made a bad decision? This was compounded for her when she could see actresses struggling in her videos. When she'd direct a lesbian video she could see times where the actresses didn't work well together and it would make her wonder if she had actually made a terrible mistake; it was, after all, her responsibility to ensure the actresses performed well. This was also exacerbated by female directors struggling to make it in the industry. Indeed, there are very few female directors it seems, and I can only think of one other female director in Liz, known for her Slut Wagon series. While we do sometimes see actresses go the Jackie Chan route and direct some videos (Mao Hamasaki has directed three videos she's starred in, for example), we rarely see females who work solely as directors. It was definitely an uphill climb for Nao early on, but she was determined not to give up.

Nao would eventually go on to become not only the most storied female director but one of the best directors in the industry. In fact, in 2016 she won the AV Open award for best director, no doubt on the back of a certain series I'll point out later.

These days Nao is well known actress the industry, both by fans and people in the industry. Her extreme style that often goes above the stereotypes of the industry has even earned her a nickname "devil with an angelic smile". That unique style she brings to the table is so recognizable that AV stores even have dedicated Nao Masaki sections in them. I guess we shouldn't be surprised she's that popular considering this is a spotlight on a director.


What Makes Nao's Directing So Good

One of the things that stands out to me about Nao's works is that she's not afraid to do all sorts of themes and genres. Many directors get typecast into specific genres, such as director Usuba Shisui whom we interviewed a while back, who can often be seen doing S&M work. With Nao Masaki I find she's really free to do whatever it is she wants. In Usuba's case it's because he's good at the stuff he does and they want more of that whereas Nao is good at, well, everything. I don't know how she gets away with it but if I had to guess it's because she's simply that good. To some extent I think it also mirrors her career as an actress; being involved in fetish work herself I think she brings that intimate experience to the table. While I find Nao's videos aren't as narrowly focused as Usuba's are, Nao's videos are often very easy to spot because of the unique blend she brings to the table. You get Nao willing to do things like futa and lesbian lactation that you just don't get anywhere else.

Another thing you notice with Nao's videos is just how good she is at bringing out the best in an actress. If I had to fathom a guess I would say that she's capable of putting the right actress in the right video as opposed to bringing out the best in them. Usuba, in his interview, pointed out he doesn't always have that luxury; sometimes the studio already has an actress in mind for a video. With Nao I feel like she's so frequently getting the right actress to star in her videos. Some actresses are just good in certain roles, like Kurea Hasumi doing anything dominant, so the right actress in the right role can make a world of difference. She just always seems to be working with top tier actresses which I think is very important for her type of videos. Not only that but she often gets amazing pairs or insane group casts and the only way I can believe it is that she gave up naming her firstborn to acquire such powers. Maybe she really did make a deal with the devil, it would at least be an easy answer. But seriously, she frequently has such good casts that it's mindboggling to think about.

Coming back to reality I do think there is a real reason why Nao's videos bring out the best in actresses: her videos are wild and fun and give the actress a lot of freedom. So many times actresses have to star in dramas or act a particular way. Nao has a ton of videos where the video is anything but that and actress can just do whatever they want. Give the actress minimal guidance and just let them be themselves, they'll often surprise you in a good way. Many actresses are funny, quirky, lovable people, but we don't always get to see the person behind the camera. Nao has a way of always managing to get exactly that and giving people the opportunity to show who they are is a big part of it. That is one of the few things you can actually identify in a large chunk of Nao videos.

I think this all explains exactly why Nao struggled at the beginning of her directing career. If you look at her videos they're often very demanding of the actresses. If she's not putting them in uncomfortable positions with the type of content they're doing then it's how demanding the performances have to be. Even as I've mentioned that she lets actresses be themselves, so many actresses just don't do anything when presented with that direction. They fail to be enthusiastic and just give you a typical performance that leaves you wanting more. If you look at Wanz Factory's 10 Minute series you can see the huge discrepancy between mediocre performances like Julia's vs great performances like Erika Kitagawa's. That makes all the difference in Nao videos and is the reason why some are just okay and some are among the best videos I've ever seen.

Nao's been described as savage at times and I can totally understand why. If you're not giving it your all the video isn't going to turn out right, and it can be frustrating for a director to see a video fail because the actresses just weren't up to the task. I feel like, to some degree, this is why she manages to get such brilliant casts. Studios probably know that the videos won't work with just any old actress and so when Nao pitches ideas with actresses they know they have to. I can't imagine some random actress being up to the task of what Akari was in the clip above and it really makes or breaks her content.

I think my absolute favourite part about Nao is that she's willing to get down and dirty in videos. Nao, being a former actress, is more than willing to get her hands dirty in ways directors basically never do. Granted that most directors are men and it probably wouldn't go over well but Nao jumps right into the thick of things all the time. She'll help spread someone's legs, blow a guy, or even swap some cum with an actress. I find it isn't that Nao is hot or even that the content is hot but the fact that it's so unexpected and feels like they're committing a sin. I mean what kind of director just joins the party, especially when everyone's naked? I think secretly Nao loves to do it because she probably enjoyed being an actress and this is a way for her to relive those days. Either way, it's the sort of thing that, when it happens, you realize it's everything you didn't know you needed. 

Her series The Moment I Met Her This Porn Star Demanded Raw Creampie Sex, which I reviewed here, is perhaps the perfect example of what she's capable of. It's a blend of spontaneity, hilarity, crazy, amazing actresses, and Nao joining in the action. It has, without a doubt, some of the best videos ever produced. There are very few videos at all that come close to the kind of stuff going on here and they managed to make this into a series. I mean, just take a look at how one scene in the series ends:


Nao's Best Works

Like any spotlight I felt like a list of her best videos was in order. Nao has countless amazing videos and will undoubtedly produce countless more, but below are a few of my absolute favourites from her. If I've missed any videos that you thought were great, do feel free to share. It can sometimes be difficult to know who has directed what because directors aren't always credited. Anyway with that said let's go over my top 10 videos.

10. Mature Lesbians, Animal Ecstasy starring Ayumi Shinoda and Rena Fukiishi

If there's one thing Nao is known for it's aggressive girl on girl action. Such is the case in this one as the two engage in animal ecstasy, true to the title of the film. The two go at each other crazily and sloppily in this one but also find time to be a bit more passionate as well. Nao's directing was on point as she created both those high octane and more sensual scenes, so you got the best of both worlds. At the same time you also got scenarios where each was dominant and submissive, so again, a great mix of content. Certainly I also can't help but be reminded that both of them have been among my all-time favourites and were top tier mature actresses at the time, highlighting just how great the casting was.

 

9. Lesbian Orgasm starring Kaho Kasumi and Miki Sunohara

Speaking of fast-paced action lesbian videos, next on the list is more of the same. This time starring two legendary performers who teamed up to provide such a legendary performance. Miki Sunohara, in particular, understood exactly what Nao Masaki was looking for in this one. She was able to be the right amount of rough at the right time and got amazing responses out of Kaho as a result. The video interestingly set itself up in a way where the actresses enjoyed that fine line between being rough with each other while still maintaining a certain sensuality to the video. Again, something you can only really get with such amazing performers. Truly some wonderful content if you want more unusually aggressive lesbian content.

 

8. Futa's Sex Life starring Akari Mitani, Hasumi Kawaguchi, Kanon Kuga, and Rika Goto

If you thought strap-on sex was the pinnacle of "chicks with dicks" then let me introduce you to the concept of futa x female. Futa is something that, in my experience, is incredibly rare in the industry, but when done right is just so insane. Akari has actually starred in several of these for Nao and all of them are quite good, this being my favourite of the bunch. Akari being not only assertive but willing to get down and dirty is the kind of hot action that really makes this video stand out. Seeing her give someone a creampie, eat them out to collect her deposit, and then cum swap with them - words don't do it justice. I also appreciated that there was no futa x male in this one, which almost always happens in futa. Instead of watching a guy suck on Akari's cock you get to see Akari playing with Rika's big breasts, a very strong plus in my opinion. If you're not normally one for futa or fake cocks this would definitely be the one to try.

 

7. Fresh Face Office Lady Who Was Awakened to the Pleasures of Lesbian Lust starring Yui Hatano, Manami Ooura, and Kurea Hasumi

Here we have the first video from my top 25 of 2020 making the list. This is a video that certainly embodies what Nao is known for. First off Kurea Hasumi and Yui Hatano is an incredible cast, not that Manami Oura isn't good herself but it's hard to compete with two of the best of all-time. Secondly it's lesbian with some spice, which comes from the cast wearing strap-ons during sex. Nao is always finding creative ways to spin lesbian videos and the strap-on sex here is as good as I've ever seen. There are sections where everyone wears the strap-ons, and even as it's a video where Manami is the underling to Kurea and Yui you're never left feeling like it's strange for her to be the one with the strap-on. The other big aspect with the strap-on sex was when they did their unique double penetration. No, I'm not talking about one actress getting double stuffed but two actresses with a strap-on inside them at the same time. That sort of "I'll fuck you as you fuck her" is seriously some of the hottest content I've ever seen.

 

6. Lesbian Announcers - The Fight for the Main Anchor Position! starring Yu Kawakami, Kurea Hasumi, and Kaho Kasumi

Here we have yet another hot and wild lesbian video with an insane cast. This video, much like the earlier entry with Rena and Ayumi, embodies everything that Nao is about as a director. This video features the three contesting to be the lead anchor and you get a duo scene with each pair combination and a threesome scene at the end. All of the actresses were aggressive and assertive during the action, happily doing whatever from sloppy kissing to aggressive fingering. As the video played out as a competition between them all of them were engaged with fantastic performances and spot-on facial expressions. The video just captures such raw emotion from the use of the plot and theme, and you can really feel their desire to win driving the strong performances. Watching Kaho leave a defeated Yu on the ground is the perfect embidoment of what it means to work for Nao Masaki.

 

5. Breast Milk, Cum Juice, Bodily Fluids Galore! An Ultra Sperm Lesbian VR starring Nozomi Hazuki and Rena Aoi

Keeping on the trend of hot lesbian videos we have a VR film with lesbian in it. In typical Nao fashion she couldn't just let it be simple so it's actually a threesome between you and two chicks. That was actually a really big deal as, in my opinion, lesbian VR isn't quite as enjoyable as the standard counterpart (because VR makes you want to get involved and is strange when you're not). Going even further than that one of them is Nozomi Hazuki who leaked her breast milk all over the video. That's also not the only thing squirting all over you either as there were some really powerful squirts as well (which are even more insane in VR). This video had a really great concept at the start but once they started piling on all the extras - lactation, squirting, even cum swapping, the video just ended up being a masterpiece. It's one of the best VR I've ever seen and made my top 25 of 2020 list, and I would highly encourage those with VR to check it out.

 

4. The Moment I Met Her This Pornstar Demanded Raw Creampie Sex starring Kaho Kasumi

Kaho Kasumi's entry in this iconic series is the first (but not last) entry on this list. It's simply the product of a good actress and good video coming together. Kaho was always known as a wonderful performer (this marks her third entry on the list) and she definitely shined in this one. One of the great aspects of this entry is how varied all of the scenes felt. Even among this series they sometimes have trouble making the scenes capture the theme but Kaho's really hit the spot. In one scene she goes to a bar and blows the bartender, then she goes to play darts with some guys and ends up taking their darts instead. In the very next scene she's outside an apartment going to town on a guy in a way that really promotes the theme. Even comparing this video to others in the series you see just how big of a deal both directing and the actress make in a video, and this one was a slam dunk.

 

3. The Moment I Met Her This Pornstar Demanded Raw Creampie Sex starring Mao Hamasaki, Nanako Tsukishima, and Hibiki Otsuki

Following up our last entry we have one of the more notable entries in the series starring not one, not two, but three ladies. Hibiki Otsuki and Mao Hamasaki are such wonderful performers and put on some fantastic performances that really only someone of their caliber are capable of doing. One of the big things that sets this apart is the fact that there are three actresses going at it. The three are capable of feeding off each other, and when you have actresses that can run with "do whatever seems hot" you can make something special out of nothing. Seeing them fight over who gets to have sex and take a creampie only for them to cum swap a few minutes later is absolutely brilliant. Even if the guy is long gone and they hadn't noticed, I felt like I hadn't noticed either when I was busy watching them swap cum. Despite this video only being the #3 ranked video I think this is the one that epitomizes Nao's directing the most. I think letting actresses just have fun in videos is a seriously underrated quality and watching the three of them laugh as they run through the hallways to chase down guys is just so much fun for everyone.

 

2. A 3-Fuck Cum-Splattered Special starring Kurea Hasumi

Heralded by myself as the best video of 2020 and Panking as Kurea's best video ever you knew this would be on my list... assuming you knew Nao Masaki was the director. Like I mentioned, Nao just has a way at finding the right actress for the right video. Yes, the video isn't anything more than a few random scenes with Kurea being dominant, but then that's actually just perfect for Kurea. Kurea is easily the best dominant performer right now, possibly ever. Kurea being given the freedom to do what she does best is always a great thing to see and so much of what I like about this video is predicated on that. Her enthusiasm and expressiveness are off the charts as she grinds on guys and puts them in their place. Truly a fantastic video and definitely highly recommended. Honestly, Kurea and Nao are just made for each other and there's a reason the two keep working together all the time.

 

1. The Moment I Met Her This Pornstar Demanded Raw Creampie Sex starring Ai Uehara

Note: While this video has been removed from R18 the linked compilation video includes this entry. I guess they forgot, whoops.

Finally we're at number one, my favourite Nao Masaki video. This video is not only my favourite Nao Masaki video, it's easily one of my favourite videos of all times. In fact, I've seen quite a few people have similar thoughts about this. Like so much of Nao Masaki's content it's all about putting the right actress in the right video. Ai Uehara was always someone known for having a bit of a wild side and this video let her put it on full display. Letting her attack guys with complete disregard was really hot to see and she really captured the essence of the video quite well. In fact, there's one large scene where she plays hide and seek with some guys and has creampie sex with them when she finds them. Let me tell you, I never knew I needed this until I saw it, but holy moly is it insanely hot. This is truly one of the best videos ever produced and undoubtedly a contributing factor to why she won best director the a year later.


With that we're now at the end of my director spotlight. Whether you pay attention to directors or not, whether you knew of Nao Masaki before or not, I hope you've found this insightful. Nao is truly an amazing director and I hope you take the opportunity to check out some of her work. For those that are fans of her I'd love to hear what your favourite videos are in the comment section. Until next time!

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Comments
Zara 1 year ago
We want more pegging videos from her .she produced some of greatest pegging movie all over the worlds.
Periph 1 year ago
Oppaira, can you identify which video codes the 3 preview videos in the article are from? (schoolgirl outfits, nipple licking, cum swap)

Banjo 3 years ago
My favorite movie is LZDQ-009, a lesbian love story starring Akari Maijima and Rika Mari. It was one of the last videos before Akari retired, and unfortunately not on sale anymore. But it's a classic. It was Akari's lesbian debut, and she seemed extremely hesitant to do it. I made out a line where she tells Masaki that it was 50/50 whether she would even show up. But Rika Mari eases her in wonderfully, and by the end they can't get enough of enough. I wish it had a sub. The movie was so strong that it made me search for the director, which I never do. That's how I discovered Nao Masaki myself!
justenters 3 years ago
JAV could be better if she somehow in charge of it's training camp. Everytime there is a sudden tick in jav actress performance you have to thank her. She is the reason Sakamichi Miru and Aiga Mizuki get sexier. You have to review Asagiri Joe and Oota Migiwa next!!
short hair lover. 3 years ago
This was a great read. She's definitely one of the most important figures in the industry. Would love to read an interview with her. Can't wait for the new work she was posting about recently, has my most favorite actress and ones i really like and with her directing, no doubt it won't be good.
ZENRA 3 years ago

(adds trying to get a Nao Masaki interview to my action item list)

Oppaira 3 years ago

Yes yes yes yes yes.

ordyskans 3 years ago
Nice article. I didn't know her by name but I've greatly enjoyed her works in the past, particularly the legendary PLA-058 mentioned above.
Oppaira 3 years ago

Yeah, PLA-058 is a gem of a video. There's just something about multiple actresses participating in that kind of content that makes it so much better. You should definitely check out the other two from that series I listed (if you haven't already), or really any of the videos listed since they mostly share that same level of enthusiasm and energy.

spaten78 3 years ago
Outstanding profile on Nao. She is truly legendary. I have to imagine that since she is both a woman and former actress herself, she makes her actresses feel more comfortable, even when the video is rough or otherwise demanding. When I'm going through new releases, if I see a video she has directed, I'll look at the preview no matter who is in it or what genre it is. She and Akari Mitani as collaborators will continue showing you don't need to keep making exactly the same thing all the time in JAV. Kinda makes me wish R18 would include the option to search by director in addition to actress or studio, or genre. Again, great work on this piece.
ZENRA 3 years ago

I think given the amount of time she has spent in this industry, she's definitely a really good person to work with. Perhaps she is on-again off-again considering returning a a full-fledged actress. Few would mind.

Oppaira 3 years ago

I think she looks quite good these days. Nao's listed as 35, which is actually probably rather accurate given the research I did, and I think the maturity has done well for her. She's also in fantastic shape, I even wound up stumbling on a picture on her Twitter where she had full blown abs. Imagine if the news anchor video had Nao play the lead anchor they were trying to replace and the final scene had her as a fourth actress...

She's also good friends with a lot of actresses in the business. It really wasn't hard to find photos with her and others, especially Yu Kawakami. If someone had told me they were best friends I wouldn't doubt it. If they did a video together I'd probably lose it.

ZENRA 3 years ago

Nao look fantastic at 35 and even 20 year olds would be jealous of her. Like Maki and Yuu, she's just getting better as she gets older--not that 35 is old by any means.

Oppaira 3 years ago

Yeah I never understood why they don't care more about directors. It's not even you can't search them but they don't even credit them half the time. I keep looking at BBAN-088 (starring Ayumi Shinoda and Kaho Shibuya) feeling like it's a Nao Masaki video but she's not credited. It just has that sort of vibe to it the way I mentioned you could spot a Nao Masaki video a mile away. I would have put it on the list if I had known.

I do agree with you on them feeling more comfortable. I've actually read some stuff recently about how people often feel more comfortable with managers who did the work they did before. In this context, that is to say that former actors/actresses would do well as directors. Makes perfect sense to me when I think about it, who else is going to know what they're thinking about or what kind of explanation they need? There's some things you really only can get from experience and acting definitely feels like one of them.

I do wonder how much she has rubbed off on some of these performers. She's done a lot of videos with some of these actresses, Kurea Hasumi for example, and Kurea's dominant acting style matches up perfect with Nao's directing style. Could be that Nao's the reason for it.

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