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Orphan Black: Seven Genes or simply Orphan Black is a Japanese drama series and remake of the original Canadian television series of the same name. It starts Kang Jiyoung as the clone sisters.

While there are alterations, the premise is basically the same as the original; protagonist Sara Aoyama (Jiyoung), an orphan and a newly single mother, is living a tough life due to poverty, lack of understanding from society and other problems that led to her being separated from her daughter. She believes that if she has money, her life will change. One day, she sees a woman killing herself by jumping in front of a train. The woman who jumped looks just like her doppleganger. Initially stunned, Sara takes the woman's bag in hopes of improving her own life. However, her life instead takes an unpredictable turn...

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The remake was produced by Telepack for Tokai TV under licence from BBC Worldwide.


Orphan Black: 7 Genes provides examples of:

  • Abled in the Adaptation:
    • Unlike Vic, Nagase never loses his left pinky finger due to Pouchy, his gang, and the entire drug-dealing Story Arc being Adapted Out.
    • In the original's Season 1 finale, Cosima develops the respiratory illness that plagued most of the clones. Here, the first season concludes with Izumi in good health.
  • Aborted Arc: The involvement of Sara's and Elena's biological mother with Dyard and the organization's role with her death is treated as a big deal by Sara until Makio is captured and her focus shifts on saving him and getting Moe away from the organization.
  • Accidental Murder: Rika confronts Ayano if she is her monitor and a fight ensues between the two women, which ends with both of them falling and Ayano hitting her head to a metal table stand. Subverted that she lives and is Faking the Dead.
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  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Comes with being a Foreign Remake. The only character to retain her hair color is Young-ae, who much like her counterpart Katja dyes her hair anyway. Even the bleached Elena has silver hair here instead of the literal bleached blonde.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Comes with being a Foreign Remake. Only the Dyard Institute and both Sara and Elena's names are carried from the source material, only having slightly altered spelling names (and in Sara's case, new surname). The corresponding characters are renamed into the following;
    • Sarah Manning = Sara Aoyama
    • Elizabeth "Beth" Childs = Maoko Shiina
    • Katja Obinger = Young-ae Ok
    • Alison Hendrix = Rika Yoshikawa
    • Cosima Niehaus = Izumi Odagiri
    • Helena = Elena
    • Rachel Duncan = Hiroka Kurosaki
    • Felix Dawkins = Kaoru Aoyama
    • Siobhan Sadler = Saeko Aoyama
    • Kira Manning = Moe Aoyama
    • Paul Dierden = Makio Iwaki
    • Athur "Art" Bell = Tsuyoshi Kinjyou
    • Donnie Hendrix = Isamu Yoshikawa
    • Delphine Cormiere = Aiko Arai
    • Vic Schmidt = Nagase
    • Aldous Leekie = Riki Wakita
    • Aynsley Norris = Ayano Kimura
    • Tomas = Ugajin
    • Oscar Hendrix = Ryota Yoshikawa
    • Gemma Hendrix = Rumi Yoshikawa
    • Margaret "Maggie" Chen = Tomoko Takabata
    • Angela Deangelis = Genki Tsuchiya
    • Daniel Rosen = Fan
    • Amelia = Yukie Aoyama
    • DYAD institute = Dyard institute
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Nagase grew up on the same orphanage Sara and Kaoru did, whereas Vic only met Sarah and Felix in their adulthood.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Played With. While technically still humans, Sara and Elena are now the originals instead of also being clones.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: While both this version and the original have the protagonist and her adoptive mother revealed to be related all along, the circumstances are different. Here Sara is actually the daughter of Saeko's late sister, making the latter her maternal aunt. In the original series Sarah is a clone of Siobhan's mother, making the latter her biological daughter instead.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Ugajin has a more fitter body and a good hairline compared to the pudgy and balding Tomas.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Elena is already a badass in the source material, but here she's a One-Man Army and can do Combat Parkour.
    • In the original, Alison tells Sarah that she kicked Aynsley's ass during their Cat Fight (the scene cuts before it finishes). Here, Ayano has Rika on the ropes before the supposed Accidental Murder. Further, she is also her monitor this time around.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: In the original, Delphine is a serious character all throughout even when she's The Mole. Here, her counterpart Aiko's cover is that of a Genius Ditz.
  • Adaptational Curves:
    • Ugajin appears to be more physically fitter than than the pudgy Tomas.
    • Nagase is Tall, Dark, and Snarky compared to Vic who is notably the shortest adult male character in the source material.
    • Inverted by Makio. His counterpart Paul is (frequently) shown to have a Heroic Build, whereas Makio is also fit but notably leaner.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • In the original's second scene, Sarah calls Siobhan to talk to Kira but the latter two didn't make an appearance until near the end of the episode and didn't have a proper dialogue until the following one. In this version, the phone conversation is shown in full detail.
    • Elena gets a Second Episode Introduction by making an Early-Bird Cameo at the end of the episode. In the original, she makes her debut in the third.
    • Played With regarding Hiroka. Her introduction happens in the penultimate episode of Season 1, while her original counterpart Rachel only makes an Early-Bird Cameo in the same episode but is properly introduced in the first Season Finale.
    • Daniel Rosen first appeared in the Season 1 finale when he takes Sarah away from police custody while pretending to be a lawyer. Here, that still happens but his counterpart also filled Leekie's (Wakita) role in an earlier scene as the one who gives The Lancer clone (Alison/Rika) the DYAD contract.
    • In the original, Aynsley's children weren't introduced until midway through the first season. Here, they were introduced along with their mother.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Sara and Kaouru's criminal background from the original are either downplayed or completely removed (particularly their drug-smuggling and con-artist backgrounds).
    • Elena's more amoral actions from the original (such as initially enjoying killing the other clones and murdering her and Sarah's biological mother for leaving her which led to her life of abuse) are removed and she's made into a textbook Sympathetic Murderer.
    • Nagase (albeit begrudgingly) lets Sara go, something his counterpart Vic isn't capable of doing. He also helps Kaoru and Moe during the crisis with DYAD, whereas Vic planned on snitching Alison to the police just to fasten his parole.
    • Makio never betrayed Sara upon learning the clone/DYAD conspiracy. In the original, this is the point where his counterpart Paul first showed his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, though he ultimately redeems himself.
    • Unlike the source material, Isamu was never Rika's monitor (though it should be mentioned that his counterpart was an Unwitting Pawn and immediately sided with his wife and her sisters upon discovering the truth).
  • Adaptational Jerkass: While both mellowed out eventually, Rika started the series far more haughty than Alison.
  • Adaptational Job Change:
    • Sara is working as a factory worker in the opening scene. In the original series she's a career con-artist.
    • Paul Dierden is an Army Major in the original, but Makio isn't.
    • Instead of her husband, the Nosy Neighbor of Alison Hendrix's counterpart is her monitor.
  • Adaptational Modesty: The sex scenes and nudity are greatly reduced and toned down compared to the original. For context, the Toplessness from the Back mentioned below showed Sarah butt naked in the original, while Kaoru doesn't paint in a Naked Apron like his counterpart Felix.
  • Adaptational Nationality: The characters are all Japanese except for one South Korean and a Token White with unknown origins. The original characters are British, Canadians, Americans, a Ukranian, a Finnish, a German (the South Korean's counterpart to be precise), an Irish, a French, and an African.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Sara is more morally upstanding in contrast to her original counterpart who is a textbook Anti-Hero through and through.
    • Kaoru is a lot more personable than the snarky Felix.
    • Saeko is far less resentful than Siobhan.
  • Adaptational Sexuality:
    • Felix is a bonafide Camp Gay, while Kaoru appears to be straight or at least Asexual with no Ambiguously Gay traits.
    • Given Daniel Rosen's Gender Flip into a woman, it's interesting to see how this plays out to Hiroka's character since her counterpart Rachel and the aforementioned Daniel are lovers.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: Isamu Yoshikawa is a textbook Gonk (complete with a bald spot), whereas his original counterpart Donnie Hendrix is a Hollywood Homely.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The bank executive Sara is speaking to in order to get Maoko's money is a sleazy adulterer who is having an affair with one of his staff. In the original, this character appears to be a stand-up individual if the charity runs he organizes are any indication.
    • Aside for being a Nosy Neighbor, Aynsley genuinely wants what's best for Alison before the latter's paranoia got her killed for believing she's her monitor. Here, her counterpart Ayano is the monitor of Alison's counterpart Rika, and a willing one at that.
    • Already a despicable human being in the original, Ugajin is heavily implied to be sexually molesting Elena whereas Tomas is just physically abusive.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Sara has trouble pulling-off the Twin Switch and is terrible at Indy Ploys, whereas her original counterpart is a Master Actor and Guile Hero.
    • Izumi is meek and quite a push-over, in stark contrast to the also dorky but still very confident Cosima.
    • Saeko never displays any of Siobhan's badass demeanor and credentials.
    • Subverted by Makio. He doesn't have Paul Dierden's military build and background, but he still possesses decent combat skills to beat Nagase in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Adapted Out: Olivier Duvall, Astrid, and Club Neolution are not present in the series.
  • Adult Fear: The series makes heavy use of this by showing how much potential danger the family members of the main characters would be in.
    • In episode 1.04, the police interview a woman who woke up to find her son covered in blood. Not his blood, he wasn't injured, but there had been a murderer in her home with her child while she was asleep.
    • In the climax of episode 1.07, Moe gets taken out of the house by a known Serial Killer. She walks onto the road without looking first and gets hit by a car. Fortunately, she makes a quick recovery. Later in the Season Finale, Sara returns to Kaoru's pad to discover it's trashed and both he and Moe are gone, though they eventually let her know they're OK.
  • Age Lift:
    • Downplayed. The clone sisters start off as twenty eight years old in the original series, here they're a year younger.
    • The Coroner in charge of Maoko's corpse is a Dirty Old Woman, whereas in the original she's a man in his twenties.
    • Maggie Chen is a woman in her late forties-early fifties, while her counterpart here, Tomoko Takabata, appears to be a decade younger.
    • Detective Kinjyou says his daughter is about to take the college entrance exams. Art Bell's daughter in the original series is still a child.
  • Advertised Extra: Both Young-ae and Maoko are prominent in the promotional materials despite being dead by the end of the Pilot.
  • Alliterative Family:
    • Rika and her adopted children Ryota and Rumi.
    • Sara and her adoptive mother Saeko. Biologically, Saeko is also Sara's maternal aunt.
  • Alone in a Crowd: The Reveal that Elena is actually not dead in the The Stinger of the Season 1 finale has walking in a crowded street with her back facing the camera.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Elena, Wakita, Hiroka, and Ayano are the only characters speaking in English. Their accents are noticeable, but Elena and Hiroka's attempts are at least more articulate.
  • Blackmail: Sara does this to a bank teller, telling him to speed up her transactions or else she'll expose him for having an affair with one of his employees.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents:
    • Sara when Young-ae is shot. While she's not entirely innocent, the effect is still the same.
    • A straighter example would be the little boy from Episode 4 whom Elena covers in her blood.
  • Bound and Gagged: Isamu (along with a blindfold) before Rika starts torturing him.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • The Pilot shows Sara being belittled/bullied by her co-workers at a factory, with both setting and characters not present in the original.
    • There's a Token White in Izumi's lab, though it's still unclear if she's the Gender Flipped Scott Smith.
    • Makio has a younger brother. Paul Dierden doesn't have one in the original.
  • Clones Are People, Too: The entire basis of the series.
  • Composite Character:
    • Sara and Elena take Kendall Malone's role as the original hosts of the clones.
    • Elena takes Mark Rolins' role as Ugajin's (Tomas) killer.
  • Contrived Coincidence: The clone killing the other clones turns out to be The Hero's twin sister.
  • Danger Takes A Back Seat: Young-ae approaches Sara/Maoko in this way. It doesn't end well for Young-ae.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Sara impersonates Maoko after finding out about her sizable savings account. She also impersonates Young-ae to retrieve the briefcase from her hotel suite.
  • Death by Adaptation:
    • Word of God is that Sara is a recent Widow Woman, making the counterpart of Cal Morrison a Posthumous Character.
    • Elena kills Ugajin in the Season 1 finale. His original series counterpart Tomas was killed-off in the second episode of Season 2.
    • It's heavily implied that Hiroka ordered her men to have Wakita killed in the Season 1 finale. His original series counterpart Dr. Lekie was unceremoniously killed by Isamu's counterpart Donnie Hendrix near the end of Season 2.
    • Sara and Elena's birth mother is long dead in the present. In the original, she meets both Sarah and Helena as adults before being killed by the latter in the Season 1 finale.
    • Subverted by Elena, who pleads I Cannot Self-Terminate to Sara who in turn seemingly complies, only for her to be shown alive and well in The Stinger.
  • Death Faked for You: Sara uses Maoko's suicide to fake her own death to start a new life for herself.
  • Defiant to the End: During Wakita's implied execution, he mocks Hiroka for her jealousy over Sara and Elena as well as her overall pettiness. While laughing.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
  • Disposing of a Body: Sara buries Young-ae in a gravel pit.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Series lead Kang Jiyoung (a former member of the Girl Group KARA) sings the series' theme, "My ID".
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Zig-Zagged. Sara is shocked when she finds out that Rika had been torturing Isamu for information. Ayano, however, finds it kinky despite her own shocked reaction.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Sara commits rape by fraud on Makio, since he thinks she's Maoko. While not portrayed as a good thing, it's not played as particularly heinous, either. Rika and Izumi both seem pretty shocked (especially the former) when they find out about it, probably because Sara did it primarily to keep Makio from finding out, not out of genuine sexual desire.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Elena appears at the very end of the second episode. Her original counterpart first appeared in the third.
  • Evil All A Long: Ayano, Rika's second suspect to be her monitor, turns out to be just that, but The Reveal doesn't happen after Rika is plagued with guilt after her supposed Accidental Murder.
  • Evil, Inc.: The Dyad Institute, the corporation that created the clones.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Dr. Wakita. His Neolution movement is all about "self-directed evolution" and he sees no problem in creating human clones or experimenting on them to advance this goal.
  • Faking the Dead: After seemingly being the victim of Rika's Accidental Murder, it is immediately revealed that Ayano survives her supposed fatal fall.
  • Gender Flip:
    • The Coroner in-charge of Maoko's corpse is a woman. In the original, this character is a man named Colin.
    • Det. Angela Deangelis' role in the story is given to male detective Genki Tsuchiya.
    • Daniel Rosen's role in the story is given to a female aide named Fan.
    • In Izumi's scenes while working at a lab, a female colleague is constantly featured. In the original this role belonged to Scott Smith, though there's no indication that she is the latter's counterpart.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Moe being hit by a car is only heard. This contrasts her counterpart Kira from the original series, which was visibly hit by a van.
  • Halfway Plot Switch: Episode 4 is when the series really starts taking more liberties from the source material.
  • High-Pressure Blood: After Taking the Bullet for Sara, Elena coughs lots of blood.
  • Identical Stranger: This is what Sara originally believes to be the case after stealing Maoko's belongings and impersonating her.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Down on her luck single mother Sara witnesses the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her - who ends up being a seemingly loaded police detective. Wanting the money for her daughter, Sara impersonates her and attempts to ingratiate herself into her life - it somehow works, until enters the picture. Of course, since she and the woman were clones, not like Sara had a particularly hard time of it.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Young-ae's respiratory infection is treated as a possible genetic defect the clones may suffer.
  • In Love with the Mark: Aiko and Makio both fell for the people they were monitoring.
  • It's All About Me: Much like her counterpart Rachel in the original, Hiroka only cares about her own ego. The reason she wants to have Sara and Elena dead and to "trademark" the clones is because she wants to be deemed as the "original" and be the most superior clone.
  • Kiss of Distraction: Sara pulls this on Makio in the first episode. It then becomes a Shag of Distraction.
  • Lighter and Softer: The Bio Punk and Post-Cyberpunk elements of the original are greatly toned down in favor of extended character interactions. Likewise, the drug dealing Story Arc is completely removed from the story since Pouchy and his gang are Adapted Out.
  • Made of Iron: Elena is able to engage in multiple fights against multiple opponents even while seriously wounded.
  • Meaningful Name: Doubling as Reality Subtext, there's a reason why Sara's and Elena's names from the source material are kept nearly intact; in this version, they are explicitly mentioned to be the originals.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Hiroka is a very beautiful woman whose outfit accentuates her figure, with a skirt that completely highlights her legs. There's also her fellow clone Rika who always wears jeggings.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Dyard's logo is a spinal cord with a tail, a physical trait of the Adapted Out Olivier Duvall.
    • Ayano's husband appears to be too hands-on with Sara-as-Rika, with the other neighbors scolding him for being a chronic flirt. In the original, Alison (Rika) and the counterpart of said character infamously had a brief fling.
  • Named by the Adaptation:
    • Inverted with Nagase and Fan. They are Only One Name characters here, but their counterparts in the original series have full names (Victor Schmidt and Daniel Rosen respectively).
    • Also inverted with The Coroner in charge of Maoko's corpse. She is a No Name Given characters here, but her counterpart in the original series at least has a first name; Colin.
    • In the original, Sara and Elena's birth mother is only known as Amelia. Here, she's given a full-name; Yukie Aoyama. This in turn potentially gives Elena a surname in this adaptation, as well.
  • Nephewism: Sara is actually the daughter of Saeko's late sister.
  • Not His Sled:
    • In the original the CCTV on the train station where Beth committed suicide is what ultimately did Sarah as an impostor, which along with her unsent voicemail to Art before confronting Helena is a key element for making him the clone sisters' Friend on the Force. Here it played out completely different. The CCTV becomes a non-factor, and Kinjyou uncovers the truth regarding the clones by sneaking into Kaouru's apartment after finding out that he was the one who identified the body of Maoko's lookalike.
    • A big twist in Alison's Story Arc in the original is that she initially suspected her husband Donnie to be her monitor before being convinced that it's actually her Nosy Neighbor Aynsley, whom she then allowed to choke to death in a freak accident before The Reveal that her monitor was Donnie all along. Here it plays nearly the same, except Ayano is actually Rika's monitor this time around instead of Isamu and she lives.
    • Izumi is notably frail. In the original, her counterpart Cosima eventually develops the respiratory illness that plagued most of the clones in the first season finale. She finishes the first season in good health in this version.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Aiko's cover as Izumi's monitor is that of a Genius Ditz lab student.
  • Odd Name Out:
    • The Yoshikawa family; Rika, Ryota, Rumi, and Isamu.
    • The living clone sisters; Sara, Rika, Elena, Hiroka, and Izumi.
  • One-Man Army: Elena can hold her own against multiple opponents.
  • Only One Name: Elena, Nagase, Fan, and Ugajin's surnames are never stated. Elena's biological mother's surname is Aoyama, though.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jiyoung's South-Korean accent is noticeable in the first two episodes.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Rika and Isamu always dress in clothes of the corresponding colors.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Maoko's suicide enables Sara to take over her life, while Young-ae's murder is what thrusts Sara further in the clone conspiracy.
  • The Pollyanna: Izumi never lets the bad things happening color her perception of life. After discovering that Aiko is indeed her mole, she briefly vents but quickly rebounds. While working at Dyard, the other scientists sans Aiko mocks her for being a clone studying other clones. Aiko is clearly upset, while Izumi takes it in stride.
  • Porn Stash: Rika suspects her husband of being in on The Conspiracy, so she starts going through his things. She keeps finding places where he's hiding stuff from her, but they all turn out to be porn DVDs instead of sinister conspiracy-related material. While it would look like he had already gotten rid of the incriminating files beforehand, we later find out that he is absolutely innocent about everything conspiracy related and the stash is most likely real.
  • Race Lift: Inevitable since this is a Japanese remake of a Canadian series. As a result, all characters (with the possible exception of Izumi's Token White colleague, see Gender Flip above) are re-imagined as Asians.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Sara and Elena's late biological mother was Saeko's sister. In the original, Amelia and Siobhan are complete strangers.
  • Second Episode Introduction:
    • Much like in the original, Rika, Izumi, and the former's children make their debut in the second episode.
    • Unlike the original, Elena makes an Early-Bird Cameo at the very end of the episode, though her proper introduction still happens in the third.
  • Sequel Hook: While the second season has been in limbo, the first season ends without any proper resolutions to the following arcs.
    • Hiroka and Dyard's retaliation.
    • Dyard's role in Yukie Aoyama's death.
    • The fallout of Rika's supposed murder of Ayano.
    • Elena's survival.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Ayano survives Rika's supposed Accidental Murder. In the original, her counterpart Aynsley wasn't as lucky.
  • Starts with a Suicide: The series' second scene shows Maoko jumping in front of a train.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Sara and Elena, who are notably the only characters to retain their (albeit slightly altered) names from the source material.
  • Third-Person Person: Elena begins most of her lines with her name.
  • Token Minority: There are only five non-Japanese characters in the series; Young-ae (South Korean), Fan (Chinese), Izumi's unnamed Token White colleague, and Hiroka's two African-descent bodyguards.
  • Token Minority Couple: Izumi and Aiko are the only LGBT characters here, and like the original, they ended up together much earlier.
  • Token White: A colleague of Izumi's is the only Caucasian character in the show.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Sara before having sex with Makio.
  • Truer to the Text: Aiko is the only character in the first season to faithfully follow her counterpart Delphine's character trajectory.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Ugajin has raised Elena to be a murderer.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Isamu is way out of Rika's league.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • Wakita threatens Makio that his family would be endangered thanks to his injury shortly after Elena saves him and Sara.
    • Wakita himself. His last scene is heavily implied to be a You Have Filedme scenario on Hiroka's part but is never outright confirmed.
  • Villains Never Lie: Sara belies that Ugajin has been poisoning Elena's mind with the belief that Elena is the original to justify the disposing of the clones. Turns out Elena is indeed the original, or rather one of the two originals along with Sara herself.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Like the original, the show revolves around the theme of Clones Are People, Too.


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