A long-running hit Japanese series that Netflix began offering late last month features children as young as 2 in the world “alone”. “Old enough!” shows unsupervised toddlers running errands and doing different tasks in busy cities.
And this generates a debate in the United States
“Old Enough” has aired on Nippon TV, first as part of another show, since 1991, according to The New York Times. And when its two three-hour shows air each year, 20% of all Japanese viewers watch, according to The Guardian.
Netflix episodes are all 20 minutes or less.
The Guardian says all routes where toddlers will shop are checked beforehand for dangerous roads and suspicious people. A rigorous process is used to select the toddlers who participate.
A key factor contributing to the show’s popularity in Japan is the country’s high level of public safety and a parenting culture that places a high value on toddler autonomy.
But in the United States, “Old Enough!” sparked debate about whether children should have so much independence at such a young age, including discussions about when children should be allowed to do specific tasks such as grocery shopping or cleaning .
It’s unclear if the series will be as successful in the US as it is in Japan, but the show’s risky adventures are sure to be thrilling for some and scary for others.