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Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories

I’ve gotten into watching foreign films and television shows through Netflix. It helps me get immersed into culture. Like Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories, I hear the language and see the English subtitles. I watch as this Japanese television show reveal the interpersonal stories (ficitonal) and relationships. It gives me some idea of what its like in their country.

But I can’t judge a culture by its television. Some countries judge America by our television shows and movies. What is different about the reality of America to what is portrayed in American television and movies?

  • Not all of us jump into affairs after committing to someone else.
  • People who are committed to each other do get married.
  • We can’t afford to be jet setting to different parts of the world on a whim.
  • It’s nice when the man comes in and saves us sometimes.
  • Not all women resent old fashioned behavior.
  • Superheroes don’t always wear spandex tights and bright red capes. Our superheroes are quieter. Sometimes, they wear combat gear.

Tokyo Stories is a cross between Seinfeld and Cheers. It is more explicit than American television at times, but it makes me laugh because it can be quite goofy. My favorite episode so far is the one with the single lady who knits sweaters for every guy she “likes.” It isn’t until one guy repairs one of her sweaters that another guy’s girlfriend destroyed that she realizes her true love was the one who loved her gifts of love and wasn’t even on her radar.

She became desperate to be in love that she even knitted sweaters for men who didn’t even know she liked them. She runs away after the Midnight Diner owner points out how this one fellow repaired the sweater himself, learning how to knit (which was a painful process), just to show her his love. At the end of the show, they are together and he is wearing all of her knitted gifts.

Some themes are universal, like love. If you love someone, you do things for them that are unpleasant. You are always thinking of them. You even learn to knit.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34)

About the Show: 

From humble origins on late-night television in 2009 in Japan, this sincere half-hour series grew into a sensation across Asia. Now the rest of the world can get a taste of the phenomenon as Netflix ­presents Midnight Diner – Tokyo Stories, with 10 new episodes available from Friday, October 21. READ MORE