Ooku (2023) poster
8.0
Your Rating: 0/10
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 45 users
# of Watchers: 701
Reviews: 1 user
Ranked #46178
Popularity #9917
Watchers 45

In an alternative feudal Japan, a strange disease that only affects males caused a massive population reduction, leaving females to fill the vacant jobs, therefore changing the social structure. Now, 80 years after the initial outbreak with a 1:4 male:female ratio, Japan is a completely matriarchal society. Females hold all important political positions, and males are their consorts. Only the most powerful female--head of Tokugawa shogunate--may keep a harem of handsome and unproductive males, known as "Ooku." (Source: MangaUpdates) ~~ Adapted from the manga series "Ooku" (大奥) by Yoshinaga Fumi (よしながふみ). Edit Translation

  • English
  • magyar / magyar nyelv
  • עברית / עִבְרִית
  • dansk
  • Country: Japan
  • Type: Drama
  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Jan 10, 2023 - Mar 14, 2023
  • Aired On: Tuesday
  • Original Network: NHK
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 45 users)
  • Ranked: #46178
  • Popularity: #9917
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Cast & Credits

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Ooku (2023) photo
Ooku (2023) photo
Ooku (2023) photo
Ooku (2023) photo
Ooku (2023) photo
Ooku (2023) photo

Reviews

Completed
Mertseger
1 people found this review helpful
Dec 1, 2023
10 of 10 episodes seen
Completed 0
Overall 8.0
Story 8.5
Acting/Cast 8.0
Music 7.0
Rewatch Value 3.0

An Interesting Alt History of Edo Period Japan

I will preface this review by saying I have not read the manga which ran for 17 years, nor watched this year's anime on Netflix, nor seen the prior drama series from 2010, nor the prior two movies. I imagine that one's experience of this series could vary widely based on how much of the prior material you have encountered.

The premise of this drama is that Japan experienced an on-going plague starting in the reign of 3rd Tokugawa Shogun in the early 1600s that reduces the population of men to one quarter of that of women. Thus, part of what Ooku explores, in general, is what that change in demographics might mean to the roles of men and women. What would Edo-period Japan have been like if women were in charge?

This drama is roughly divided into three chunks covering incidents in the lives of the woman who took over the role of the 3rd Shogun, and then 5th and 8th Shogun. The 8th Shogun serves as wrapper for all the episodes as she reads about the lives of these prior two Shoguns. The manga continued through the 14th Shogun, and so this drama does not attempt to cover the entire run of the manga, and, indeed, one presumes Season 2 will cover more of underlying material. Nevertheless, this series (like many other manga and novel adaptations) does suffer a bit from trying to cover too much of the original material.

The cast is huge and the production fairly lavish though we comparatively rarely see what life is like outside of the Shogunal residence in Edo. Like many Roman and Chinese emperors, the Japanese Shoguns in this period seem to be fairly isolated within a system meant to protect them and insure the continuation of their dynasties. And, indeed, the Ooku was the quarters for the Shogun's concubines during the Edo period, and so becomes the quarters for the male concubines in this alternative history, and so part of what the series explores why and how men come to serve as concubines, and how the system works (and sometimes fails) to produce heirs to the Shogun.

The series does address some interesting and perhaps surprising issues over the course of this season, but I do think the quality and interest of the three sections are fairly even though they cover entirely different themes and have have mostly different casts of characters. There are some striking moments scattered throughout the series, and the performances vary from solidly professional to quite good. If you enjoy alternative histories and Japanese period dramas, it's well worth watching.

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Details

  • Drama: Ooku
  • Country: Japan
  • Episodes: 10
  • Aired: Jan 10, 2023 - Mar 14, 2023
  • Aired On: Tuesday
  • Original Network: NHK
  • Duration: 45 min.
  • Content Rating: Not Yet Rated

Statistics

  • Score: 8.0 (scored by 45 users)
  • Ranked: #46178
  • Popularity: #9917
  • Watchers: 701

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