I’ve three phrases for you: Infants. Doing. Errands.
That is the complete premise of Previous Sufficient!, a long-running Japanese actuality sequence now streaming on Netflix, and that is just about all it took to persuade me — and chunk of the web — to dedicate the remainder of my day to watching it.
Old Enough! follows a bunch of Japanese toddlers, ranging from two-and-a-half to five years old, as they’re sent on errands for their families. We watch as the bumbling little humans complete some incredibly complicated tasks for their age, from trekking a full kilometer to the supermarket by themselves to carting home mandarins from the mandarin grove and juicing them by hand. (Yes, they are being followed by a film crew, but that doesn’t ruin the magic.)
It doesn’t always go smoothly. They run into the occasional obstacle along the way, like forgetting to purchase the curry or getting distracted by the neighborhood dog. Every time they nearly fail, I find myself tearing up and desperately hoping they can overcome. When they do conquer the errand, I feel the deepest sense of pride I have ever known in my 24 years of life, an emotion I imagine only parents are normally privy to. Usually, this is also when my tears that had been building up for the length of the episode will actually cascade over in pure joy.
Each episode is only about 10 minutes long, making the show so easily digestible that almost anyone could at least give it a try. And if you suddenly find yourself in a gleeful hole 19 episodes deep, surrounded by adorable Japanese babies just trying their darndest, you’ll be treated to a double length 20th episode — 21 sweet, sweet minutes of baby errands.
It’s also been on the air in Japan for over 30 years, so if you’re desperate for more, you can seek out older episodes on YouTube.
To be fair, this show was basically tailor-made for my personal interests. I have two baby nephews who are eerily similar to the aforementioned tiny tots featured on this show. I love them dearly, and this show makes me feel like they’re right here beside me even when they’e halfway across the country. Watching Old Enough! also engrosses me in such unadulterated, adorable bliss that I can disassociate from the general pandemonium that is adult life.
And it’s not just me; Twitter users are going gaga over these babies too, and TikTokkers are starting to share clips of the show and gushing within the feedback.
Of course, like anything on the internet, we can’t just be happy about this beautiful baby show. Some viewers were also quick to point out how this could only be possible in Japan, a country we here in the West perceive to be so much safer and designed with such higher metropolis infrastructure that these wee tots can toddle to the grocery store unsupervised.
And they’re not wrong! I couldn’t even fathom letting my young nephews carry out any of these errands here in the U.S., where we favor the kind of infrastructure that most efficiently shuttles our hundreds of thousands of personal cars over the type that might guarantee pedestrian security, not to mention child pedestrian security. Sigh.
However, what, that is not what Previous Sufficient! is right here for — at the least, that is what I am selecting to consider. The present is not presupposed to make us reckon with how significantly better and safer Japan could be. It is right here to highlight some actually stinkin’ cute kiddos strolling round in squeaky footwear whereas performing some mundane errands and making my total freaking day. So please, overlook about no matter work you might be doing and go watch this present, now made additional bingeable by Netflix’s world platform.
Pinky promise I will not inform your boss.