A fictional story about two people switching bodies usually takes on a comedic tone. But Netflix’s latest series Switched, premiering on August 1, looks at the dark side of what happens when a person involuntarily ends up in a new body. The US division of the streaming service has been expanding its reach into foreign language original series like The Rain, which also has a science-fiction based plot. Viewer responses and reviews will surface in the coming week’s following its debut, but will Switched return for a Season 2? Netflix hasn’t announced any plans at this time because Season 1 is just getting started, but the plot is certainly creepy.
According to the Japanese show’s official website, a high school girl named Ayumi (Kaya Kiyohara) has her world turned upside down by Zenko (Miu Tomita), a jealous classmate. At first, this premise is far from original but, in a surprising twist, Zenko exacts revenge by taking over Ayumi’s body. Zenko gets all the perks of Ayumi’s seemingly perfect life, including her boyfriend Koshiro (Tomohiro Kamiyama). It takes the classic movie trope of turning an unpopular kid into the “IT” person in school to a disturbing new level.
The website also featured a trailer, which gives a sneak peek into how this unexplained switch wreaks havoc on these teenager's lives. It starts with a voice-over of Ayumi admitting that she took her cheerfulness for granted and did not fully appreciate her life. She’s shown during happier times strolling outside of school as she smiles with friends.
The scene then cuts to Zenko standing on a roof’s ledge as she talks to Ayumi on the telephone. Zenko says she is going to die and, to Ayumi’s horror, leaps off the edge. This incident leads to Ayumi waking up in the hospital, but now she is in Zenko’s body.
She confronts Zenko and says they must tell their family and friends the horrible truth, but Zenko has other plans in mind. Zenko finally has the looks, boyfriend, and life she always wanted, so she refuses to help figure out the situation. Ayumi realizes the pain that Zenko has suffered at home and in school, which is seen in several scenes as she is bullied by students and physically assaulted by an adult.
Of course, no one believes Ayumi except for a boy named Kaga (Daiki Shigeoka), who is seen butting heads with Koshiro several times. At the end, Koshiro hangs Kaga over the side of a building and tells him to die. It's not explicitly stated, but there is obviously a connection with falling and swapping lives.
Information about the series’ origin and exactly how Netflix acquired this series is very scarce, and so is any info about what the future may hold for the show in terms of another season. In the meantime you can devour Season 1 to find out all the details. Like, how did the switch happen in the first place? What will it take for Ayumi to get her body back? What is the deal with Koshiro? And, what will eventually happen to Zenko?
Stealing a person’s life is totally messed up, but it's easy to see why Zenko would want to be the conventionally attractive girl in school. It is also fair for Ayumi to fight to reclaim her life from her obsessed classmate. There may not be any word on Season 2, but there is certainly enough action in Switched to keep fans guessing about how it will all end.