By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Quirky Japanese series mixes sci-fi with teen angst.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Self-worth, friendship, respect, being positive, and loyalty are all themes. Fat-shaming and bullying is also common.
Positive Role Models
Ayumi tries to be a good person and be positive regardless of her situation. Shunpei Kaga is loyal to her. Not all adults behave appropriately.
Violence & Scariness
A threat of suicide; people are shown jumping or falling off buildings. Occasionally bloody injuries and corpses are visible. Fights break out. A parent is abusive and kids are sometimes bullies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of teen romance, some occasional innuendo.
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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.
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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?
- Premiere date: August 1, 2018
- Cast: Kaya Kiyohara, Miu Tomita, Daiki Shigeoka
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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