Netflix's 'Old Enough!' Is Sparking a Debate Among American Audiences — but Is It Real?

Kori Williams - Author

Apr. 19 2022, Published 5:26 p.m. ET

'Old Enough'
Source: Netflix

If there are two things we love, it's Netflix and Japanese TV shows. Luckily, the streaming giant gives us a bunch of shows from Japan that we've all fallen in love with for one reason or another. One of the latest shows on the roster that was added in April 2022 is called Old Enough!. In this reality show, the most adorable small children, from 2 to 5 years old, set out on their own to run errands for the first time.

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These little kids do everyday errands like heading to the grocery store, and they sometimes even take public transportation to get there. They've got a set amount of money and a list to get the job done.

Since the show premiered in the U.S., a lot of Americans have expressed their concern about the kids' safety. So, is the show real or is the whole thing staged?

Is 'Old Enough!' real?

As far as reality shows go, Old Enough! — which is Hajimete no Otsukai or My First Errand in Japanese — appears to be as "real" as any other reality TV program, in the sense that although there are no scripts or actors, there is still a crew behind the scenes working to move things along in a specific way.

According to The Guardian, the show's staff work to make sure the kids are safe while the cameras and crew stay out of sight. The parents and the show's production team check that the routes taken are safe with no obvious dangers or "suspicious persons." On top of that, there's apparently also a safety team.

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People who live in the area are also notified that the show is taking place, so that no one calls the police upon seeing a small wandering child. And there's a long selection process when it comes to the children chosen to be on the show as well.

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Some parents worry that the kids on 'Old Enough!' are too young.

Per The Guardian, the show is a hugely popular in Japan, where it's been on for three decades and airs as a three-hour special twice a year. The outlet notes that 20 percent of the country's viewers tune in when it airs.

Now that it's landed in America, it has sparked debate about how young is too young to be taking public transportation and doing these tasks alone.

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Even though plenty of viewers love the show, there are many who are concerned for the safety of these kids. "How is abandoning a tiny child to cross a busy road wholesome," said one tweet.

Some people believe that regardless of what safety precautions are put in place, they are still just small kids who need parental supervision.

In response to a lot of these tweets, there are people from other countries saying that young kids are allowed to walk to school or to a store alone where they are from. One Twitter user said, "In Switzerland, it's pretty normal for kids at the age of 4 and older to go to kindergarten and school alone. Children are perfectly capable of crossing streets."

In response to that tweet, someone in the Netherlands said that this is also common where they live. Someone else responded saying that allowing kids to do things alone helps them to build confidence.

You can see for yourself what everyone is talking about on Netflix, where you can stream Old Enough now.

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