Flash Review: Old Enough [Japan] [Reality]

I feel like this show might be just what you’re looking for, if:

(a) you feel like you’d like to switch things up a bit, instead of watching dramas all the time,

(b) you think kids are cute and you like watching them, &/or

(c) you just want small little servings of narrative, that won’t take up much time.

This show checks all those boxes, and at just 10-15 minutes per episode, is a great and easy addition to your drama plate, I reckon. 😉

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Little Japanese kids, mostly under the age of 5, get sent on their first errands, and get secretly filmed through the whole process.

Cue adorableness and hijinks. 😍

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS / THE VIEWING LENS

1. The kids are safe

I think it might feel rather concerning for some of us, who are used to being a lot more wary for kids’ safety in general, to watch such young kids being sent out on their own, sometimes on errands that feel perhaps a bit too challenging, to our eyes.

I feel that it’s important to remember that cultural context plays a big role in making it ok for these kids, while it may not be ok for other kids in other countries.

This is Japan after all, which is famously very safe. Also, remembering that the kids are actually being followed by a camera crew, makes it all land better, I think.

2. This isn’t just for entertainment

I saw some concern expressed by some viewers, that kids are being put up to overly challenging and stressful tasks, for our entertainment.

I’d just like to put it out there, that it’s not just for our entertainment. These kids’ parents have put a lot of thought into preparing the errands, in order to make each errand a growing and stretching experience for their kids.

Also, the kids are so proud of themselves when they succeed at completing the errands, that I feel proud of them too.

It’s not just for entertainment, it’s for growth too. The entertainment’s almost the bonus, here, rather than the other way around.

STUFF I LIKED

1. The episodes cover kids and their families from all over Japan,

..and every episode opens with a little preamble that tells you a bit about the region.

I liked this, coz it’s almost like a bit of sightseeing, thrown in as a bonus.

2. You get to see nuggets Japanese culture

The great thing is, some of these nuggets are of the off-the-beaten-path, unexpected variety, because a good number of the regions featured are smaller, less known prefectures.

I found it quite a thrill, to enjoy these glimpses into Japanese culture.

3. The kids are adorable

This is THE reason I tuned in to this show, and Show does not disappoint.

The kids are sometimes as young as 2 years old, and they are so earnest and innocent, as they go about their errands.

I loved watching each kid, and every episode put a smile on my face.

CLOSING THOUGHTS [SOME SPOILERS]

I have to confess, I felt rather wistful, as I got to the last few episodes of this series.

These little nuggets of reality TV, were such a great little screen snack, when I needed a break, or when I just needed a bit of a morale boost. Coz, not gonna lie, seeing these kids work so hard and be so determined, stirred up my desire to apply myself more too.

I can’t decide which episode is my favorite, because each one is special in its own way, but I do have a soft spot for the little kiddy couple in episode 5. The chaotic boy and more earnest girl, are so cute together, and they really got a lot done!

I love that he decided that to lighten their load, they should eat 2 portions of the dango, so that they would have less to carry. What a smart little hustler he is, and he’s not even 4 years old yet, heh.

As for the nuggets of cultural insight, I was most taken with the factoid in episode 17, that elementary school kids in that particular tea-growing region, gargle with green tea in school.

The sight of green tea literally being dispensed from taps, into gargling cups, was something I’d never seen before. How very interesting! 🤩

And how cute, that the two kids running the errands in that particular episode, decided to lie down to take a nap halfway through the errand. Adorable.

It’s all so very wholesome and enjoyable, that I would watch another season of this in a heartbeat. ❤️

THE FINAL VERDICT:

Pure, wholesome and utterly delightful.

FINAL GRADE: A-

SHORT CLIP:

You can check out a short clip of the first episode here.

WHERE TO WATCH:

You can check out the show on Netflix here.

GETTING AROUND GEO-RESTRICTIONS

If you’re geo-restricted, a VPN service would help you get around that. Not only does it provide online safety, it also gives you access to lots of great geo-restricted content.

I personally use NordVPN. You can find my review of NordVPN here.

You can use my affiliate link (here!) to enjoy up to 60% * off, with prices starting as low as US$3.29 per month.

* This used to say 73%, but because NordVPN’s changed the way it calculates the discount, it now says 60%. BUT, it’s the same great price, starting from US$3.29 a month!

An article on why it’s not illegal to use a VPN to access legal streaming content can be found here.

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Su San
Su San
4 months ago

This show has such a following the US TV show Saturday Night Live did a spoof on it, following a 34 year old adult boyfriend on his assigned errand–hilarious.

Ufan
Ufan
4 months ago

I’m not into reality tv but after 2 episodes I’m loving this slice of life show. My whole family talked to the tv with encouragement. There is a similar practice in my country but for older kids 6 to 8 years old. A kid is sent on an errand to a neighbour for a non-exixtent thing. The first neighbour sends the kid to a different neighbour, that second neighbour does the same. The goal is to see how long and many neighbours it will take before the kid figures out the errand are not real…it’s a wild goose chase.

INTJ
INTJ
4 months ago

i don’t like children and reality shows, but i watched and enjoyed every episode of this reality show … that’s how good the show is. to your list of (a),(b),(c) i’d add “(d) if you’re up for a little surprise every 10-15 minutes”.

Beez
Beez
4 months ago

I loved 😍 this so much!
And it brought back memories of how little kids used to be given so much more to do – not in a burdensome way but a lot more. Although I do know some kids who had to take on too much at a young age such as watching younger siblings (the way the ML in The Bond had to.)

But here, it’s just teaching responsibility without any heavy consequences attached. And when I’d see the young kids remember an almost forgotten item, I’d feel so happy and proud for them. 🙂