Bridge Generation Gaps from Apple TV+ Trilingual Drama – “Pachinko”, Based on a Novel by Min Jin Lee

If you are a fan of Asian dramas based on historical world war times, then look no further! Apple TV+ Original production, Pachinko, stars an internationally renowned cast and is narrated across three languages – Korean, Japanese and English.


Credits: Apple TV+

Pachinko premiered globally on Apple TV+ on March 25. Just like me, you might be caught off guard binge-watching the first three episodes as it was released simultaneously on the streaming platform. The trilingual drama is set in two time periods –the olden times, as well as, modern Korea and Japan with English peppered throughout.

Credits: Apple TV+

A recollection of memories by elder Sunja (Youn Yuh-Jung) in current time Japan, takes us back to her life growing up in a fishing village in 1915 while Korea was colonised by Japan during war times. Teenage Sunja (Kim Min-Ha) begins a forbidden romance with wealthy gangster-like businessman, Hansu (Lee Minho). Despite the anti-Korean sentiments, they relocated to Japan and started a new life during the war time through to post-war economic recovery.

Credits: Apple TV+

Concurrently, the drama focuses on Sunja’s grandson, Solomon (Jin Ha) who is an educated banker hungering for success in America. He visited his father who owns a pachinko mega business in Japan, and adopted his linguistics and charm to close a sale of land as he faced questions about his life’s direction and cultural identity.

Credits: Apple TV+

It was an interesting experience for me, trying to grasp the characters’ background as they communicated in their native language despite being in a “foreign adapted” land. The drama series is based on The New York Times best-selling acclaimed fictional novel written by Min Jin Lee. Keep your eyes peeled for the quirky and fun opening credits, which I found random yet hilarious.

The drama itself, I feel, is fairly relatable as it showcased the differences between the generations. Speaking our native language and even understanding how certain traditions affect the future of a family. For instance, wearing the tailored-made Kebaya around the house was important for my late grandmother as it was a sense of pride despite Singapore’s weather and her daily routines.

Pachinko is now available on Apple TV+ on Fridays!

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