Body switching stories are usually impossible in the real world, right? But what if the switch was made on purpose because someone wanted to be someone else. That’s the premise of the Japanese teen drama Switched that was broadcasted in 2018. Does it go beyond simple teenage anxiety?
Switched is a good series with a few twist and turns as the plot keeps us engaged. This drama meticulously tackles heavy themes like the power of envy, the casual cruelty of people, and beauty vs ugliness in a surprisingly nuanced way for a six episode series and based on the manga series “Sora wo Kakeru Yodaka”. The plot unfolds in an interesting way as it shifts between present and the flashbacks of each character, it gives off an empathizing feeling.
The Story tells about a 16 year old girl named Ayumi Kohinata (Kaya Kiyohara) who is beautiful, sweet, popular and has very loving parents. The boy is Tomohiro Kamiyama as Koshiro Mizumoto, a lifelong friend whom Ayumi always had a crush on.
On the day the red moon arrived, Ayumi was on her way to meet up with Koshiro to go on their first date, but on the way she gets a mysterious phone call from her cellphone. The one calling was one of her classmates, Zenko Umine (Miu Tomita), she explains to Ayumi that she was about to jump off the building where Ayumi was standing in front of. As Ayumi looked, that was when Umine jumped from the building.
As they switched, Ayumi went to school in Umine’s body and people thought nothing of it and saw Umine as usual. While Umine went to school occupying Ayumi’s body and of course no one thought nothing strange and just saw the same old beautiful and very popular Ayumi, while Umine was someone who always acted strangely and was regarded by everyone as a unkempt loner.
Kaga Shunpei (Daiki Shigeoke), Koshiro Mizumoto (Tomohiro Kamiyama), and Ayumi Kohinata (Kaya Kiyohara) are 3 very close friends since childhood. They were all very popular in their own way, Kaga was a fun and cheerful person who acted like a goofball. Koshiro was a cool patient boy who happened to be very smart and talented in school. Ayumi was a sweet person who was loved by her friends and people around her. On a much awaited day, Koshiro decided to confess his feelings to Ayumi which broke the heart of a classmate who happened to have a crush on Mizumoto.
The classmate Umine is someone that was shy by nature and was not well known. Umine always felt alone and her family situation was not the best. Considering all the hardships she had to face, it was not hard to imagine why she wanted to be someone else other than herself.
Umine found a way to get her wish granted but in order to, she would have to risk her life to do so. Umine’s wish could only be granted during a red moon and had to have the person who she wanted to switch with watch her commit suicide. Given the title of the show, Switched. It is easy to assume Umine was successful. Obviously, Ayumi was displeased with her discovery as her body was occupied by someone else and she could not seem to convince others of what had happened to her.
Ayumi goes to her best friend Kaga and he realizes the truth, now with one of her bestfriends on her side, they go on a journey to try and find a way to return Ayumi back to her original body. Umine gets her wish to switch bodies granted but in the end she ends up hating herself more. Umine explained everything on how to get her body back and didn’t regret it because Ayumi and Kaga won’t be able to convince her to switch back.
Ayumi and Kaga try to find a way so that Ayumi can return to her body again, at first they have a hard time trying to figure out away. But, one day they find a way to switch back. But it was not easy for them, they had to take a big risk by risking their own lives. The three best friends, Ayumi, Kaga, and Koshiro managed to persuade Umine to try a ‘turnover’ plan where they take turns swapping bodies until they finally return to their original body.
The series also showed the life of some people like Umine and how sad and desperate they can be when push comes to shove and how they start wishing for a better life but now Ayumi, Koshiro and Kaga accept her without doubt and forgive Umine for everything she has done and it ends with them succeeding and becoming friends.
The 4 actors did a phenomenal job in their respective parts. Kaga did an excellent job displaying a genuine love towards Ayumi. Kaga played the sweet and loving Ayumi perfectly. The story delves into depression and how those feelings do not go away even after you finally get want you want.
Almost every dialogue is meaningful and each emotion was on par with what was being said. It is well thought out and every character is unique and lovely in their own way. The plot of the story contains a lot of drama but as well as comedy relief from the dark parts. The show is fantastic, as the story is interesting and takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions.
The story stays true to the fantasy world they created, despite the tension that the series has, it gives of a dramatic feeling that the story wants us to know about, a girl who is anxious and wanted something she did not possess. One thing that seems realistic is that Umine commits suicide by jumping off a building and that scene had a purpose in the story and shows that once you switch you can’t switch back but that was not the case.
Overall it was pretty great to see how diversified the characters were and watched each character as they understood and accepted each other while they solved their problems together. The main characters displayed great acting as they had to switch to different roles to make you believe they had actually switched bodies and they directed and portrayed those emotions perfectly.
Our Score: (8/10)
Title : Switched (Sora wo Kakeru Yodaka)
Production : Netflix
Director : Hiroaki Matsuyama
Screenwriter : Shiki Kawabata, Michitaka Okada
Casts : Kaya Kiyohara, Miu Tomita, Daiki Shigeoka, Tomohiro Kamiyama
Komang “Cei” Santya
ig : @exceii