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How Underdogs Can Become Overcomers? – Learning From a Japanese drama”Anatano Butsuga Kokoni”


 I learned from a drama entitled “Anatano Butsuga Kokoni.” This drama series was broadcasted by NHK in Japan. The plot revolves around the life of the protagonist, who is a single mother, and her daughter amid the Covid-19 pandemic.


The show highlights the day to day struggles that they faced as well as their personal relationships, some of which blossomed and some that could not cope under this new found stress.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she was fired from her previous job, and had to go through a rigorous job hunt until she finally got a job in the courier company. It wasn’t a piece of cake as some would have imagined. She faced tremendous difficulties and problems in order to master the job and become a professional.


“Delivery” jobs aren’t as simple as they seem. It’s also very demanding such that you have to load huge amounts of parcels and deliver them one by one within a strict time frame. To make things worse, there are annoying, rude or irate customers.


There was one who broke his parcel inadvertently after receiving it, and still blamed the courier claiming it was her fault; or another customer whose delivery was scheduled to “morning time”, the uncompromising customer demanded to have the package delivered at exactly 10:00am, and so many more. She had to go through all of these hurdles throughout her career, and still managed to advance her position within the company. Over time she had built the trust and confidence from her customers. It is refreshing to watch the underdog win. Whist watching the show My heart strings were pulled like many other viewers of the show, we were all routing for her.


During the peak of Covid-19 pandemic, almost everyone might have been negatively affected either at work, school, at home or even our personal and mental health. Many have lost valuable things, time, money and people. For example, restaurants had to shorten business hours, reduce its operating capacity, resulting to reduced sales and retrenchment of employees which unfortunately led to depression and even suicide for some. Regardless of social status, whether you’re rich, poor, single, married, widowed, a retiree, a single mother or even a person with disabilities. No one was able to escape the wrath of the pandemic. It felt like we were all hanging by a thread and everyone was on the same boat. All be it some boats were more luxurious than others but a boat none the less.


There are many quotes which caught my attention and impressed me. What I learned from the drama is that everyone wants to put the blame on Covid-19. But no matter how much we blame the virus, nothing will change. It won’t solve our woes nor help us stand up on our feet. So everyone shouldn’t be fixated on blaming everything on Covid-19, but instead, set our minds and continue living no matter what happens or what problems or issues the world throws at us. As the famous saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. That’s the key to surviving difficult times.


And one more thing, my favorite quote from this drama’s main character herself, is what she said when she had to explain the job to the new employee, who lost his confidence and forgot the know-hows of the job, specifically how to load many parcels in a small truck. She said to him, “Just do it everyday. Do it everyday, then you will know”.


I couldn’t agree more on this. There are several instances in my life when I, too lost my confidence. But the drama makes me remember that “everyday effort will lead me to becoming a professional in my chosen path. We can somewhat all relate to being the under dog in our own lives. We should remember that where you have come from does not always determine where you will go. Ultimately it is only you that can determine to what lengths you will go to ‘succeed’.