Ashita, Mama Ga Inai ("Tomorrow, Mama Won't Be Here") is a 2015 Japanese drama series. Its primary setting is Kogamo no Ie, an orphanage run by the eccentric and intimidating Sasaki. It follows the inhabitants of the orphanage as they try to find foster parents who would give them a new home and struggle to cope with emotional baggage from Parental Abandonment.
This show provides examples of:
- Character Tic: Post has a habit of snapping her hairband.
- Creepy Doll: Post's prospective foster parents have a room full of dolls that are about Post's height and dressed just like her. It's implied that they see Post as just another doll to add to their collection.
- Cry Cute: Invoked. Sasaki makes the kids practice fake crying, so that they can use it as a tool to garner sympathy. Post is the only one who 'passes' the test to his satisfaction.
- Deliberately Cute Child: Post has the ability to put on the act of being obedient and cheerful and affectionate, in order to sell herself as the perfect candidate for adoption.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted in the very first scene, where we see the aftermath of Donki's mother clubbing her boyfriend with an ashtray. She is taken into police custody; hence, why Donki is sent to Kogamo no Ie.
- Family of Choice: The inhabitants of Kogamo no Ie eventually grow to see each other as family, and some of the children decide to stay rather than be taken into foster care.
- For Your Own Good: Donki's mother tells her she is leaving her at Kogamo no Ie because she thinks Donki would be happier there. Of course, the reality is that she can't be bothered to look after her.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Donki wailing for her mother at the end of the first episode is what a child breaking down in tears would realistically sound like, as opposed to Post's quiet (and faked) Cry Cute earlier.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sasaki has many a Kick the Dog moments, but there are also scenes that show that his harsh treatment of the kids is because he believes they must be prepared for the ordeal they'll face in the real world.
- Meaningful Name: The kids at orphanage each get a nickname related to either their persoanlity quirk or how/why they were abandoned.
- Post was left in a 'baby post'.
- Donki's mother got arrested for hitting her boyfriend with 'donki' (blunt object).
- Piami loves to play piano.
- Pachi's mother was a pachinko (gambling) addict.
- Bombi is a subversion; she was supposedly left in the orphanage because her parents were too poor ('bimbo') to support her, but we later learn that they had actually died in a natural disaster.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: All of the kids at the orphanage use a nickname.
- Orphan's Ordeal: Subverted. Kids at the orphanage go through a hell of a lot, but most of them are not actually orphans. Their parents are alive, but unable or unwilling to look after them.
- Parental Abandonment: Ubiquitous. Post was left in a baby hatch by her parents, while Donki's mother chose her boyfriend over her.
- Parental Substitute: Post acts as a mother figure to Pachi, helping him clean up when he wets his bed and sharing food with him.
- Riches to Rags: Piami's family was very wealthy until her father's company went bankrupt.
- Title Drop: By Post, near the end of the first episode.None of us knew it. That mama, who was here yesterday and here today, would be gone by tomorrow - that tomorrow, mama won't be here.
- Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: Donki's mother and her boyfriend are a deliberate example. In the opening scene, he is bleeding from his head after she tried to smash his head in with an ashtray. When she visits Donki later, she tells her that not only are they back together, but they are getting married.
- Would Hit a Girl: Sasaki slaps Post so hard that she gets a nosebleed (although it may have come from her earlier fight with Donki).
- Your Cheating Heart:
- Tearjerker: It's a TV series about little kids who have to cope with Parental Abandonment. Bring a box of tissues.