Arama They Didn't

7:49 am - 01/30/2014

Controversial TV drama on orphanages goes ahead without sponsors


A Japanese drama about children living in an orphanage that has been attacked for stereotyping was broadcast as intended, a TV station said Wednesday, despite being abandoned by all of its sponsors.

Rights groups have complained that “Ashita Mama Ga Inai” (Mamma won’t be here tomorrow) depicts youngsters as if they were “animals in a pet shop” and say it could reinforce negative views of children living in care.
The program shows young people “being controlled and coerced by violence and fear”, said an association representing workers in children’s homes.“We are concerned that the drama will reinforce stereotypes and discrimination against children’s homes,” they said in a statement.

The furor erupted after the Jan 15 broadcast of the pilot, which showed children in the fictional “House of Small Ducks” being punished for bad behavior by being forced to hold buckets full of water. The show details characters’ quests to find a foster home, missions that end in failure with the child returning to the bosom of friendship among fellow orphans.

It has also attracted criticism because one of its characters, played by child actress Mana Ashida, who appeared in the 2013 U.S. sci-fi film Pacific Rim, is called “Post”. The name is apparently inspired by the Japanese word for “baby hatch” (akachan posuto), a place where parents can anonymously leave unwanted infants in the care of a hospital.

The public outcry over the program has led to all eight corporate sponsors, including Fuji Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi Estate, withdrawing their commercials from the prime-time offering, the Asahi Shimbun and other media have reported.

Undaunted, broadcaster NTV aired the program as scheduled at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Vehement audience reaction is relatively unusual in Japan, where often-formulaic dramas tend to shy away from controversial topics.
A typical series sees a cast of stock characters move artlessly through tried-and-tested plots revolving around romance or criminal investigations.


thebambinoweeps 30th-Jan-2014 01:24 pm (UTC)
I think this drama is pretty good, actually.
eevaleena 30th-Jan-2014 01:32 pm (UTC)
supersaiyananf 30th-Jan-2014 01:45 pm (UTC)
I watched the third episode yesterday and I really like the show. I can see how depicting the kids as 'animals in a pet shop' might be controversial, but it's a fictional drama series. I mean, there's no way that Sasaki and Locker are like common caretakers at children's homes. This drama is heartwarming and people shouldn't take it that serious and just enjoy it. There's buttons on your remote control for a reason, just go to a different channel if you don't like it.
kalamina112 31st-Jan-2014 03:03 am (UTC)

I've just watch the first episode but I am looking for the rest. Can you tell me where can I find them? Please!
nino_baby 30th-Jan-2014 01:56 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised by this article! I've watched the two first episodes, and I really like it a lot! It's not just about stereotyping children's homes, but also about loss of parents, genuine friendship, making it through hardships and finding your own identity. I think there are so many good things about this drama and then it's also really touching.

I hope people will cast their negative interpretations aside and watch the drama for what it is: entertainment.
lillie_frost 30th-Jan-2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
The drama's getting good ratings too lol
asth77 30th-Jan-2014 04:15 pm (UTC)
this drama is kind of ridiculous sincerely i'm glad it lost its sponsors.
It's not that difficult to put a "it doesn't depict reality" or whatever text.
Couldn't end ep 1 either.
(no subject) - Anonymous
asth77 31st-Jan-2014 08:22 am (UTC)
No no, they probably care because without the sponsors = less money for promo, so the chance to get higher ratings gets lower.
(no subject) - Anonymous
asth77 31st-Jan-2014 09:29 am (UTC)
But I never said that they were going to stop airing this drama... And I never believed so, that would be a little bit of a stretch.
I'm just glad there were consequences perhaps they'll pay more attention to the way they tell stories like this in the future because this drama is ridiculous.
(no subject) - Anonymous
asth77 31st-Jan-2014 11:29 am (UTC)
I recommend that you start this drama to have your own opinion then. That was mine and to me, whether it has good ratings or reviews doesn't mean much because I watched it and I found it terrible, and being in a part of the field of what they are talking about, I totally understand the complaints made to this drama.
As I said in my first comment, it wasn't that difficult to put a "the scenes do not exist irl" before the start of the drama.
meoinkie2 31st-Jan-2014 09:04 am (UTC)
they actually gained a new sponsor, + it seems even if they lost some, they'd still gain income from it due to their contract
asth77 31st-Jan-2014 09:26 am (UTC)
Cool, I'm still glad it lost its sponsor because this drama is kind of ridiculous. It's ok, I'm not going to protest against the airing of this drama, I'm just glad there were some kind of consequences. Now if they gain new sponsors/viewers doesn't interest me that much.
carorinrin 30th-Jan-2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
Sounds interesting! Makes me want to watch the dorama now XD
riori_addict 30th-Jan-2014 09:19 pm (UTC)
i actually like this show and ashida as a little hard ass is fun to watch :p
hozrien 30th-Jan-2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
Honestly so far I really like the show, I've only seen episode 1 as the others haven't been subbed, but it's enjoyable.

I don't see to much of a problem with it and only hopes it gets better in time. (because I kind of want to know locker and the older girl's story too)
sky_fish7 30th-Jan-2014 11:08 pm (UTC)
This dorama is actually really good, I just watched the first episode yet but I really love it! It's interesting and I like the way it is told from the children's point of view. I think yes, this dorama is stereotyping but the hell this is a stylistic device, nothing should be taken literally. Nevertheless I think this dorama hides some truth, maybe a truth that society does not want to admit and that is why the dorama gets criticized. I think it's great that the producers want to continue airing the dorama also without sponsors because so far it is really Xeon done!

If you didn't take a look already at the dorama and want to know a few more details about the first episode, please head over here, I just posted a dorama introduction for this dorama today.

Edited at 2014-01-30 11:10 pm (UTC)
pestleiche34 31st-Jan-2014 01:19 am (UTC)
the drama is so over the top, i cant believe there are many people who would take it seriously. + badass mana is cool
aibada 1st-Feb-2014 01:51 am (UTC)
my only problem with this drama is mikami hiroshi's terrible acting
glimmeringneon 3rd-Feb-2014 03:09 am (UTC)
Last time I checked no one criticized A Little Princess for depicting the same exact thing.
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