- 1 Season
Pachinko is a powerful and heart-wrenching drama that follows the lives of four generations of a Korean family in Japan. Based on the acclaimed novel by Min Jin Lee, the Apple TV+ series chronicles the struggles and triumphs of a family caught between two worlds, grappling with discrimination, identity, and the search for belonging.
The show opens in the early 20th century with Sunja, a young woman living in a small fishing village in Korea. When she becomes pregnant out of wedlock, she is forced to leave her home and travel to Japan with a kind but mysterious man named Koh Hansu. As she tries to navigate life in a new country where Koreans are treated as second-class citizens, Sunja must also come to terms with the truth about Hansu and the secret life he leads.
From there, the story branches out to follow the lives of Sunja's children and grandchildren, each grappling with their own unique challenges and struggles. There's Noa, her son with Hansu, who feels lost between his Korean heritage and Japanese upbringing. There's Mozasu, her adopted son, who must navigate a society where his dark skin and Korean features make him an outsider. And there's the girls of the family - Sunja's daughter-in-law, Kyunghee, and her granddaughters, Yumi and Sunny - who must learn to balance tradition and modernity as they make their way in the world.
Throughout the series, Pachinko explores themes of family, identity, and the search for meaning in a world that often feels cold and unwelcoming. The show is anchored by a powerful ensemble cast, including Youn Yuh-jung as Sunja, Lee Min-ho as Hansu, Kim Min-ha as Yumi, and Jin Ha as Solomon, a Korean-American preacher who becomes involved with the family later in the series.
One of the most striking aspects of Pachinko is its attention to detail and commitment to authenticity. From the costumes and sets to the language and customs, the series captures the nuances of life in Japan and Korea over several decades. This attention to detail is especially evident in the scenes set in the pachinko parlors, where the whirring of the machines and the sound of the steel balls bouncing off the pins create a vivid sensory experience.
But while Pachinko is a visually stunning and meticulously crafted series, it's ultimately the characters and their stories that make it so compelling. Whether it's Sunja's quiet strength, Hansu's tortured past, or the resilience of the younger generations, each character is imbued with a depth and complexity that draws the viewer in.
At its heart, Pachinko is a story about the enduring power of family and the ways in which our pasts shape our present and future. It's a poignant and timely exploration of the immigrant experience, one that will resonate with audiences around the world.
Pachinko is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (8 episodes). The series first aired on March 25, 2022.