Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

‘Old Enough’: Everyone’s obsessed with this Netflix series which shows toddlers doing food-related tasks

19/04/2022

Twisted: Unserious food tastes seriously good.

Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman

05m read

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In Japan, a fifth of the population tune in to watch Old Enough every episode, but the series has only just made it over to UK screens.

Yep, 30 years late to the game we have finally caught on to the hype as the series has landed on Netflix – and it’s becoming everyone’s favourite binge-watch here, too.

The series, which is named Hajimete no Otsukai (My First Errand) in Japan, is comprised of bite-sized ten minute episodes, and sees young Japanese children sent out alone to complete tasks, which are often food-related.

In one episode, a child is sent to pick up a few items on a shopping list for his mum, whilst another sees a kid tasked with bringing home some cabbages from the vegetable patch.

Sounds relatively simple, right? But the kids are aged between two to five, and their approaches to such food missions are captivating and hilarious in equal measure.

Trust us, you don’t know entertainment until you’ve witnessed a toddler attempting a food shop.

A trip to the supermarket suddenly feels like the mission of a lifetime, and before you know it, you’re on the edge of your seat, eager to see if they’ll make it back with the curry their mum requested.

In one adorable episode, a little boy is sent home from his grandfather’s mandarin-orange field to make juice for his family, but ends up getting distracted by a dog for an hour on the way, and continuously ignores his mother’s calls to hurry up.

old enough netflix

Dogs are more fun than juice making, always (Credit: Netflix)

Meanwhile, another episode sees a little boy sent out to buy fish from the fishmonger and some apples for his sister, but then he accidentally drops the fruit down a hill on the way home. He runs down the hill to get them and then plods back up again.

(Repeat this incident not once but twice and you get some idea of the drama that unfurled. The poor kid must have been at his wits’ end).

Of course, the children aren’t completely alone, they’re being tailed by camera crews, who help them if any danger presents itself.

But overall, the kids complete the tasks independently, and the sense of achievement they feel at the end is utterly palpable. You may even shed a tear.

Another kid is sent shopping on his own (Credit: Netflix)

The first season of the Japanese show landed on Netflix at the very end of last month, and has since amassed a huge following, with viewers claiming to be completely hooked.

“OBSESSED that there is a Netflix show specifically for watching Japanese children be sent on errands all on their own. I need 100 seasons right now #OldEnough,” said one person on Twitter. 

As another agreed: “I kid you not, I have spent 45 minutes watching 3 year olds run errands on their own in Japan. Cutest thing I’ve seen in awhile. #OldEnough #Netflix”.

“If @netflix doesn’t put all 25 seasons of #OldEnough online I’m going to start a riot,” wrote a third. 

https://twitter.com/beepbeepribbit/status/1516073592680849410

Whilst UK parents would likely be a lot more nervous about sending toddlers out to complete tasks, in Japan, such independence is encouraged, and is an integral part of the culture.

Children in Japan may not typically be running errands at two or three, but they do often walk to school and make trips on weekends by themselves.

There’s no denying Old Enough is a fascinating watch – and trust us, it’ll make you crave Japanese food, too.

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