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21 May 2024: Jii-san Baa-san Wakagaeru is about grandpa and grandma turning young again

Ine and Shouzou
Don't give him too much sake.

Surprising no one, Jii-san Baa-san Wakagaeru (Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again) is exactly what its premise made it out to be. I suppose there's a slight twist in that they're able to shift back and forth between their normal elderly forms and their younger selves (albeit still with gray hair) without much difficulty. Through seven episodes, it's a nice enough show about a couple in their 80s experiencing life in the modern era as young adults instead. There are frequent reminders that the elderly are fundamentally the same people on the inside as they were when they were young. The series communicates this by highlighting past influences from a bygone era that shaped "Grandpa" and "Grandma" into who they are. They may be young again, but their experiences and the environment in which they grew up are more responsible for defining them than whatever their physical ages may be.

Ine and Shouzou
Only one way to find out.

There's no shortage of anime characters who are actually old but appear young. In addition to reincarnations, I'm including characters in comedies who look inexplicably youthful for no logical reason and those with extraordinary long lives due to magic or other supernatural forces. Compared to them, Jii-san Baa-san Wakagaeru is much more successful at making me believe Shouzou and Ine are actually elderly. All too often, finding out Ms. Teenage Girl in some anime is supposed to 300 years old has no impact. "Sure, if you say so." Does this mean Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again is a good show? Eh, it's better than I was expecting at least. It doesn't seem to be especially popular, but maybe everyone is afraid it's going to explore if octogenarians can get pregnant.


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