More than loving, trusting is harder…
Kahoko Nemoto (Mitsuki Takahata) is a naive 21-year-old university student. She relies on her mother, Izumi (Hitomi Kuroki), for everything in her life. Her mother wakes her up every day, picks up her clothes, while Kahoko has never done housework nor driven a car. One day, Kahoko meets a young man who grew up in a completely opposite environment.
Native and/or alternate titles: Overprotected Kahoko, 過保護のカホコ
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Slice-of-life
Director: Seiichi Nagumo, Ken Higurashi, Akinori Ito, Hiroto Akashi
Writer: Kazuhiko Yukawa
Cast: Mitsuki Takahata, Hitomi Kuroki, Saburo Tokito, Ryoma Takeuchi, Tokuma Nishioka, Yoshiko Mita, Mari Nishio, Atom Shukugawa, Hiroko Nakajima, Jiro Sato, Sayu Kubota, Masayo Umezawa, Sei Hiraizumi, Mari Hamada
Kahogo no Kahoko – Review
‘Kahogo no Kahoko’ (KnK) where Kahogo means overprotected or pampered. It literally means ‘Overprotected Kahoko’ (‘Kahoko’ is a name). At first, KnK gives an impression of overly mushy drama with a lot of nonsensical characters but it is a quite well-balanced comedy-drama with a ‘slice-of-life’ touch to it. Being a comedy-family drama KnK has a lot of melodrama and over-the-top situations but despite all the exaggeration it hits the bull’s eye – life lessons about the importance of ‘setting your kids free’.
Kahoko is a 21-year-old girl who is soon going to complete her graduation and is looking for a job or an internship. However, she is not ready to face the real-world as she is mama-papa’s lovely little baby girl. She is totally dependent on her parents for everything. From waking up to going to bed. She cannot even select the clothes to wear on her own, neither can she go to the university on her own. In short, she is just like a kid in a 21-year-old’s body. Kahoko’s dad realises that she is way too spoiled but he remains silent about it because of his wife. Kahoko’s mother is very aggressive about protecting Kahoko. She does not want Kahoko to get hurt, face failures or face any kind of inconvenience in life. She is adamant to do anything and everything for Kahoko. Despite knowing the root of the problem, Kahoko’s dad cannot confront his wife. The result is a naive 21-year spoilt child.
Caring for children is without a doubt the foremost priority of a parent. However, you cannot deny that guiding your child through every task results in various problems which can pose a challenge in the person’s social and personal life. Due to this kids do not face the problem head-on and do not develop problem-solving skills and often feel incapable of doing anything on their own.
Overprotected children tend to have greater difficulties in making decisions, they crumble under even minute pressure and hardships of day-to-day life. They are not given any chores or responsibilities (of course age appropriate) so they do not learn anything. Hence, they even fail to do usual household chores like even washing dishes, maintaining the room or finding necessary things on their own. Often they also get whatever they want so never learn to make efforts for getting things that one desires or needs. They feel like they are the centre of the universe. They have a sense of being more privileged than other and feel they are special, they should have everything they ask for without putting any efforts.
Kahoko is exactly the kind of person that I described above. Her mother (also her father as he does not confront his wife) has spoiled her too much. Because of her naivety, she does not have many friends. Her social life revolves pretty much around her family. To make things worse, her family also treats her like a kid. Because of all this, Kahoko does not get a chance to face reality and instead becomes unfit to survive on her own and fails to land a single job offer.
Although Kahoko is naïve, she never gets annoying as I had expected her to be when I saw her for the first time. She is very adorable throughout the series despite her naivety. I can understand why her dad thought “She is so cute! How can I say that she is overprotected?” each time he thought about taking matters in his hands. She is not arrogant or vain but is simply someone who has ever borne a single responsibility in her entire life and doesn’t understand the realities and challenges of life.
Kahoko faces the reality for the first time when she meets an outspoken young man Hajime. He is an art student and wants to pursue painting/drawing as his profession and surpass even Picasso. This outspoken young man immediately bursts the bubbles of Kahoko and becomes the catalyst for changing Kahoko’s life. How? It is up to you to find out. I do not want to reveal too much anymore as it might ruin the experience of watching.
My favourite character of the show is without a doubt is Kahoko’s dad, Matataka. He was the most entertaining character of the show. I loved his hilarious monologues and dialogues with himself. He bottles up everything. He is equally responsible to spoil Kahoko and has little to no output in any of the situations, he is the second most sensible person (first is Kahoko’s maternal grandmother) in the show. He is quite the opposite of my least likeable character on the show — Kahoko’s mum, Izumi. My dislike for her is borderline hate. Her adamant nature to protect Kahoko is the least annoying thing about her. I understood her overprotective nature at first but later she becomes much worse. She does not listen to Kahoko when Kahoko asks to work to make people happy and be helpful. She blames her husband for being overprotective and spoiling Kahoko! She is manipulative, she is bossy, and she never listens to others, gets everything in her own way and most annoyingly she is unwilling to accept the positive changes in her daughter. I tried but could not bring myself to like her.
Other characters also are quite likeable. Much more sensible than Kahoko’s mother. Although they also tend to be insensible at times, they rarely become annoying. They also maintain the balance of humour and emotions in the show quite well. Each of them is given enough screen-time for a story of their own. Through them the drama also shows few other realities of life. Especially the importance of the communication and expression of the feelings is given importance. As I have talked about it in my earlier review of the Marathi (India) film ‘Happy Journey’, I will not go into that topic once again even though this is a quite relatable topic to me.
Apart from the nonsensical mother, my only major complaint is over-the-top dramatic family situations. Yes, it is a comedy family drama. I understand that such dramatic situations are necessary for the comedic purposes but in my opinion, many of the situations in the show were too much. If they had kept it a little bit milder, it would have been perfect. Other than that, KnK is quite awesome! It has a lot of funny and heart-warming moments and I found myself tearing up on a lot of occasions because of both laughter and emotions.
Acting is generally pretty good. Tokito Saburo is pretty much flawless as Kahoko’s father. Takahata Mitsuki is great as Kahoko. They have tried to show Kahoko in a much more childish way and she has delivered it perfectly. You cannot help but fall in love with her. I can say that she is a good actress. I am looking forward to seeing her in more shows/films. Rest of the cast is pretty good. The only minor problem was excessive use of hand gestures by Takeuchi Ryoma (Hajime), at times it felt unnatural.
KnK is a great drama which light-heartedly shows a growing problem of overprotected children. I used to think that it cannot be a problem but I have seen the differences between current kids and myself from the past. I will not go into the details but even as a ‘pampered’ kid, I was put into quite ‘wild’ environment to grow. Looking at the current generation of kids’ and teens’ helplessness, I must say that problem is very much real. From this show I realised that when an ideal opportunity arrives it is better to show kids their responsibilities, teaching them to make compromises stop obsessing overprotecting them – not wanting them to face failures/get hurt, involving them in making certain decisions, letting them handle some of their own problems etc. Kids do not have anything of their own. They gain experience, knowledge and skills by facing some difficulties step-by-step. As a parent/elder, we may feel like protecting them in every matter, no matter how trivial. But leaving some things to them is only going to help them in developing themselves as better persons.
More than loving, trusting is harder.
Love is pointless unless there is freedom in it.
Trust your younglings and let them go!
Have you seen ‘Kahogo no Kahoko’? If yes, what do you think about this show? If not, does it sound interesting to you? Comment below!