Japanese reality show Old Enough about children under five doing errands on their OWN


Netflix viewers have been moved to tears by a Japanese reality show that follows children as young as two while they attempt to complete everyday tasks without the help of their parents.

Old Enough was originally released in Japan in 1990 as Hajimete no Otsukai, which translates to ‘My First Errand’, but has only just become available to stream in the UK.

Among the 20 episodes is a child buying items from the supermarket, as well as another who is tasked with making fruit juice, without any help from their parents, as they’re followed by the reality show’s camera crew.

The show has been airing in Japan for 30 years, and those with safety concerns may feel reassured to know that a huge amount of preparation goes in to inspecting the errand routes before the tasks. 

A hidden safety team watches their ever move and neighbours are informed in advance that the children will be completing tasks in the area, after a lengthy selection process to make sure they can handle it.  

Viewers have taken to Twitter to reveal how much they enjoyed the series, however critics have shown concern about the age of the children featured throughout. 

Netflix has made 20 episodes of Japanese series Old Enough (pictured) available to stream in the UK

The series has been running in Japan for 30 years, with producers going through a rigorous process to choose the children who take part in the bi-annually aired reality show.

Episode one sees two-year-old Hiroki travel around 0.6 miles each way to buy sweet curry, fish cakes and flowers for his mum. 

He proudly waves goodbye before braving the streets for 23 minutes. Hiroki runs through the shop in search of the items before successfully completing the task. 

In episode two, four-year-old Yuta is challenged with making mandarin juice as his family harvest from his grandfather’s field. His mother is forced to drag him across the ground as he tries to avoid helping to pick the fruits before heading back home on his own to complete the task.

She becomes visibly emotional as she expresses her faith in Yuta, who has previously decorated their home with drawings on the wall.

After playing with toys and chasing a dog for an hour, Yuta receives a call from his mother asking ‘did you fill the bottle up’ and asking him to hurry back.

She is forced to call him for a second time to get him to finally start making the juice, which involves mixing the the mandarin fruit with a drop of lemon and syrup.

‘Wow, you did it,’ Yuta’s mum gushes when he returns.

The reality show follows children as young as two attempting to complete everyday tasks including shopping in supermarkets

The reality show follows children as young as two attempting to complete everyday tasks including shopping in supermarkets 

Another episode shows Koiki, three, taking her dad’s lunch to his job at the harbour, which is 1.2km away from their house, a month after her older brother completed his first errand alone by  delivering souvenirs to all their neighbours. 

Koiki’s mother reminds her of the codeword that she has with her father to stop her from being a ‘crybaby’, before watching her leave the house without shedding a tear.

She is seen confidently crossing roads and avoiding conversation with strangers who greet her as she triumphantly makes it to deliver her father’s lunch. 

Other episodes show toddlers navigating public transport, helping their parent’s businesses and running errands as light-hearted music plays in the background.

The Japanese series is filmed twice a year with the producers going through a rigorous process to choose the cast

The Japanese series is filmed twice a year with the producers going through a rigorous process to choose the cast 

In addition to going to shops, some of the children are tasked with navigating public transport and doing errands for their family

In addition to going to shops, some of the children are tasked with navigating public transport and doing errands for their family

Many viewers have taken to Twitter to admit that they’ve been moved by the series and would recommend it to others.

One person wrote: ‘Old Enough on Netflix is the best thing I’ve ever seen and I’ve cried at every episode’

Another said: ‘Old Enough on Netflix is so cute. Children are only as capable as you allow them to be and it’s so cute seeing these kids fulfill their duties because the adults around them believe in them.’

A third commented: ‘Old Enough on Netflix is one of the weirdest things I’ve stumbled upon & that’s ever been recommended to me – but now I’m hooked. These kids are INCREDIBLE! I don’t understand how they’re doing this.’

Posting on Twitter, a stream of viewers have admitted they've been moved to tears by the reality series

Posting on Twitter, a stream of viewers have admitted they’ve been moved to tears by the reality series 

However, others have been left unimpressed by the concept of the series.

‘That show Old Enough on Netflix is cute & all but I feel like it’s f***** up conditioning TODDLERS to work,’ one wrote.

Another said: ‘Ok I am officially over Netflix. I am boycotting them indefinitely, I’ll bootleg Ye’s next documentary. That Cutie’s movie was bad enough but this? A show portraying toddlers as all grown up & Independent’ 

Other commenters have been skeptical of how appropriate it is to have children behaving like adults

Other commenters have been skeptical of how appropriate it is to have children behaving like adults 

A third added: ‘Why didn’t Netflix just keep the original translation ‘My First Errand’? The show is so adorable but who wants the title ‘Old Enough’ in their queue?’ 

According to OK! there has been talks of a version of the show being made in the UK, however child psychologist, Dr Alison McClymont, claims a child could be traumatised by ‘being forced in to survival mode’.

Dr Alison McClymont said: ‘This is exploitative and dangerous, I’ve never heard of anyone finding the terror of a toddler a reasonable basis for a TV show. I strongly disagree with the idea of this.’



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