The Fangirls’ Japanese Drama Review: Overprotected Kahoko

Kahogo no Kahoko

One of the new batch of Japanese shows to come up on Viki is Overprotected Kahoko, about a college student who has been watched over and coddled by her family so much that she has remained a child. Join Clkytta and Telzeytalks and as we watch Kahoko grow up. We are discussing the whole drama, not just the first few episodes so there are spoilers ahead!

The Main Plot

Kahoko really can’t do anything for herself. Her mother completely runs her life, from choosing what to wear in the morning to deciding which childhood home video to watch in the evening. Kahoko is fine with it until she starts interviewing for jobs and discovers that no one will hire her. However, when her cousin starts having problems and her picture-perfect family begins to fall apart, she is the one who tries to help them solve their problems.

The Main Characters

Telzeytalks: Kahoko reminds me of Bambi, with big innocent eyes, and the actress does the innocent look really well. Even though I can’t imagine how someone could stay that childlike and clueless in real life, she is believable. She is like a hyperactive child when she is upset, with jerky repetitive motions, and runs in an exaggerated style as fast as she can go, arms pumping side to side. She is tiresome until she finally loses control and has a meltdown. Then the story gets interesting.

Clkytta: At first Kahoko is kind of annoying and she seems a bit like a zombie. She is the perfectly obedient child. Everyone loves her and she lives in a perfect world. Except, she can’t do anything by herself. As she matures, she becomes a force to be reckoned with. I am enjoying her character growth.

Telzeytalks: If you have Bambi then, of course, need Thumper to give her a reality check, and he appears in the form of an art student named Hajime. This guy, after telling her she is spoiled and useless, starts giving her some down-to-earth advice. The plot thickens as Kohoko starts seeing his point over the way her mother does things.

Clkytta: Kahoko doesn’t have much of a social life outside of her family. She meets Hajime and he is really is the Thumper to her Bambi. He’s more brash and outgoing. She wears him down like water on a stone and he’s unable to resist her. I love how she gives him her helpless look and he crumbles and does what she wants.

Telzeytalks: I very much enjoyed Kahoko’s dad, who narrates and makes comments to the audience in voice-over. He seems to be the only one of them with common sense, but he has quit trying to fight his wife. A turning point in the story is when he decides to finally speak up and Kahoko suddenly takes matters into her own hands.

Clkytta: Kahoko’s dad is hilarious. He’s like the invisible man; unless her mom is outside of her territory and then Dad is the stronger personality. He’s so easygoing that he gets railroaded by her mom on a regular basis. She is really the Queen of the castle, but he’s not necessarily the King, more like the Prince. Mom is totally in charge.

The Humor and the Pathos

Telzeytalks: The humor is mostly low-key, as when Dad compares the members of his family to different animals. Kahoko acts strange but never gets into slapstick. When we come to the part where Mom and Dad start fighting and the cousin’s troubles spill over onto the aunts and uncles, it becomes like a Marx Brothers movie with everyone going from place to place, in and out of doors, like lemmings. I got some good laughs out of it. The funniest scene is where Kahoko critiques Hajime’s paintings.

Clkytta: I’m enjoying the humor in this one. Dad’s vision of his family as animals is both funny and insightful. So much of this drama is over the top, so you can’t help but laugh. Kahoko’s drunk shenanigans are especially funny. She has no internal filter, so you really never know what is going to come out of her mouth.

Telzeytalks: There is a storyline about someone becoming sick which was hard to see, but it was important to all the family disagreements of the lemmings. Without going too dark the show depicts a lot of family problems; parents who are too controlling, parents who sacrifice for their children, parents who abandon their children. Children who take their parents for granted, adults who take their spouses for granted. The saddest one might be the little boy who follows Kakoho’s aunt home because his mother neglects him.

Clkytta: Every episode focuses on the interrelationships of Kahoko and her family. Like Telzeytalks says, we see a lot of mature themes for a character who isn’t very mature. Kahoko isn’t an idiot though. Once she gets it into her head, she is stubborn enough to make things happen, and help to repair the tears in her family’s fabric.

To Watch or Not To Watch

Warning: Minor SPOILERS found herein

Credit to Walt Disney Productions

Telzeytalks: This drama has a really slow start. It doesn’t get interesting until the end of Episode 3 when Kahoko has her meltdown. Dad has his at the end of Episode 4, and Mom has hers in 5. Episode 6 is when the lemmings are running around and we find out about the sick person. The family issues are done well but the love story is weak. Kahoko doesn’t seem mature enough to fall in love and too childish for a man to love her. Having said that, Bambi and Thumper are very sweet together. She is interesting to watch as she progresses from getting herself up and dressed in the morning, to learning to cook, and trying to keep her family together. I enjoyed this show and think it is worth watching.

Clkytta: I agree, I actually didn’t know if I was going to continue with this drama after the first episode. I decided to give it another try and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a slow burn, the romance is there, but simmering for quite a while. I actually like the slow buildup and I can see how sweet and sincere Kahoko could be appealing to harsh and jaded Hajime. I am glad that I didn’t give up on this drama. If you love family dramas and slow simmering romances, this is the drama for you.

Looking for our next Japanese drama to watch,

Clkytta and Telzeytalks

Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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3 thoughts on “The Fangirls’ Japanese Drama Review: Overprotected Kahoko

  1. you guys gotta watch jdrama UNNATURAL. it’s really really good, well-written and has won a lot of awards this year. probably the best jdrama i’ve watched in recent years. i’d love to see you guys review this drama!

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