Old Enough: The Japanese TV Show That Abandons Toddlers On Public Transport

R&I – TxPAT ****


Unfortunately, the initial explanation is even more confusing than Netflix’s aggressive push. Old Enough is the wildly popular Japanese show Hajimete no Otsukai (My First Errand), an entertainment documentary show where toddlers are sent out into the world completely alone, to go shopping or navigate public transport. In Japan, Old Enough has been airing for 30 years, with two three-hour shows broadcast each year. When it airs, a fifth of all Japanese viewers tune in. It’s a true phenomenon.

Part of the appeal, from what I can tell, is the show’s ability to instil confidence into the children. They’re all aged between two and six years old, and they’re almost always scared to death when they first set out. Rightly so, because walking a mile to a shop alone can be a terrifying prospect for a toddler. However, the big heartwarming punch that usually comes at the end is a newfound pride in their abilities. The kids had an adventure, and they weren’t helped, and they did it.

It is a resoundingly sweet show. For the most part, you can’t help but root for the children. In the first episode, a very young boy walks to the supermarket to pick up three items, narrating his adventure to himself as he goes. Later on in the series, we see a young girl attempt an errand, only to rush back to her mother in tears after getting lost before overcoming her nerves and setting out again. It is an absolute rollercoaster of emotions that leaves you in tatters, and you suspect this is why it has such a dedicated following in Japan.


Article URL : https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/apr/07/old-enough-the-japanese-tv-show-that-abandons-toddlers-on-public-transport