A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Switched is a Japanese teen drama with a sci-fi twist. While some of the issues addressed are typical coming of age issues (like romance, friendship, romance, and peer pressure), it also contains some strong themes, including attempted suicide, bullying, parental abuse, and poverty. People are shown jumping or falling off buildings, and sometimes bloody injuries are visible. There's also some sexual innuendo. It also contains positive themes like being loyal, having a sense of self-esteem, and being positive.
What's the story?
SWITCHED is a Japanese teen drama about love, romance, and body snatching. On a day with a odd blood moon, the popular and attractive Ayumi Kohinata (Kaya Kiyohara) has her first date with Koshiro (Tomohiro Kamiyama), a childhood friend who has developed feelings for her. But she gets an disturbing phone call from frumpy, unpopular classmate Zenko Umine (Miu Tomita). By the end of the call, Umine somehow switches bodies with her, and Ayumi is trapped in a life that is not hers and that she does not want. While friend Shunpei Kaga (Daiki Shigeoka) believes her story and stands behind her, Ayumi quickly realizes that she will have to live the best life she possibly can while trying to figure out what to do.
Is it any good?
This slightly odd but compelling series offers a supernatural twist to what's otherwise a typical teenage soap opera. Even without English subtitles, it’s not difficult to understand the universal themes it features, including peer pressure, friendships, family relationships, and broken hearts. Within this context, it also addresses issues like poverty and abuse.
Despite the wild premise, Switched offers a solid story with a relatable cast. Ayumi is a likable character, regardless of what body she finds herself in. Meanwhile, Umine’s difficult life situation makes it hard not to blame her for refusing to find a way back to her own corporeal form. If you're looking for a good option for a teen drama, you might find it here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the differences between teen shows produced in the United States versus in other countries. Why do you think the storylines are often similar, even when they come from very different cultures?
What kinds of life lessons does Switched attempt to teach viewers?
For kids who love teen TV
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