He’s Expecting Review: Takumi Saito’s Pregnancy Drama is a Perplexingly Emotional Watch

He’s Expecting (Hiyama Kentarô no ninshin/ヒヤマケンタロウの妊娠) is a comedy-drama TV series directed by Yuko Hakota and Takeo Kikuchi and stars Takumi Saito, Juri Ueno and Mariko Tsutsui, alongside other cast members. The series has around 8 episodes, with a runtime of around 25 minutes.

Netflix describes the series as:

When a successful ad executive who’s got it all figured out becomes pregnant, he’s forced to confront social inequities he’d never considered before.

– He’s Expecting review does not contain spoilers –
– TW: Individuals suffering from tokophobia beware! –

He’s Expecting has a really upbeat tone to it when it starts. That and the fact that Hiyama is an absolutely horrible person adds to the need for the audience to watch him go through a pregnancy. Yeah, not really. I am sure audiences who will watch this will come into it with a raised eyebrow because, well, men aren’t born with uteruses and ovaries (although, at this point in my life, I really wish they would.)

Anyway, that’s not the point of this He’s Expecting review. The series is clearly trying to make a bold statement. It’s trying to be progressive with the hardships of pregnancies, childbirth and what women go through in society when they decide to have children. Although people love kids, they are really partial toward women who bring them to life. I think the twist is quite surprising, especially because the series makes it a point to tell us that these are cisgender men who fall pregnant.

The series takes a bit of time to find which part can be amusing and it starts to pick up pace after the third episode. Before that, it tries to make us laugh about traumatic situations, which, personally, are in bad taste. The emotions and the jokes start pouring in after that and you’re taken to a world where this is not only possible but also hopeful in a way.

The way Hiyama’s life goes from hopeless to hopeful is quite nice since you start to connect with his concerns, struggles and worries. These moments, when he worries about what kind of a father he’ll be or when he states the obvious about what women go through but now that it’s a man saying the same thing, everyone is listening – these are moments when the series truly shines. The emotional aspects of a cisgender man being pregnant are well-handled and run parallel to women’s pregnancies.

Also Read: Russian Doll Season 2 Review: Natasha Lyonne Travels Through Time to Learn Crucial Truths About Life

hes expecting

The series also brings the hypocrisy and sexism in the workplace and how people will take advantage of you if you give them the smallest of chances. The sexism at first seems infuriating to sit through and later on when the prejudice peeks its ugly head, it’s even sadder and more infuriating. After the difficult first few episodes, He’s Expecting is truly something you get lapped up in. That’s also partly because of how absolutely believable Takumi Saitoh is. His fear and disbelief at first and then his acceptance and love for the situation are absolutely soul-touching and reel you into the experience.

My grip with the series, however, is that it never really clears up where this baby is growing, since, you know, the lack of the ovaries and the uterus is pretty apparent. Or, are you growing in the stomach? Or, do future men have ovaries? How is the egg getting into the guy’s body? Unfortunately, the series does not answer any of those questions, which is a bummer. I also don’t understand the reason to introduce a new character after 5 episodes either, but well.

Also, we don’t quite see Aki’s point of view a lot. I mean, sure, it’s about… well, the pregnant man. But, as Hiyama’s mother mentions, it’s not like Aki wanted him to get pregnant or push the responsibilities on him. She has some very emotional moments in such an odd situation that we don’t really get into that much. It’s a shame – she is, at the end of the day, the other half of the baby-making process and has some really interesting moments that we don’t really get into.

Summing up: He’s Expecting

hes expecting

Sure, this is one unbelievable and quite eyebrow-raising. However, I really enjoyed going on this crazy journey. There are a lot of parallels here, some that will hit you right in the feels, while others that will make you angry. Either way, it’s a ride worth going on, if you’re interested in the far-fetched.

He’s Expecting is streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: The Marked Heart Review: A Confusing and Slow Telenovela

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He's Expecting is a bewildering ride but it has a lot of heart.

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He's Expecting is a bewildering ride but it has a lot of heart.He's Expecting Review: Takumi Saito's Pregnancy Drama is a Perplexingly Emotional Watch