THE DAYS review: A somber re-enactment

THE DAYS revolves around the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011 and the people who risked everything to keep the situation under control. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


On March 11, 2011, Japan is struck by a powerful earthquake. While the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is still recovering from the earthquake, a tsunami hits the station, resulting in a loss of lives instantly.

The station loses power completely, and the cooling system is also damaged. The reactors now need to be cooled by injecting cold water into them. 

However, the rubble on the roads and the aftershocks make it hard for the power truck or the fire trucks carrying cold water to reach the reactors. 

This is a race against time in an unprecedented situation, and the employees at the power station must risk their lives to do everything that they can to prevent this from becoming a major contamination event. 

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Koji Yakusho, who plays Masao Yoshida, had to play the part of a leader in a never-seen-before crisis. He had to be calm, but at the same time, he also had to depict emotions like fear and frustration, and he manages to find the perfect balance. 

Yutaka Takenouchi and Fumiyo Kohinata also take the center stage at times. While Takenouchi will convince the audience of his character’s sincerity, Kohinata manages to appear like an insensitive politician who is not his best self in the face of calamity.

While not many characters get to be in the spotlight by themselves, it is when their performances come together on-screen that the audience gets to witness the different emotions that common men experience in a situation as dangerous as this one.


The show begins with a series of shots that depict the damage done by something that was meant to create a better future. This sets the tone that stays throughout the show; the darkness and misery become a part of the narrative.

THE DAYS shows different shades of humanity in a crisis. The audience will get to see people coming together and making sacrifices willingly for the sake of so many other faceless people. On the other hand, there are authority figures who give out orders without caring about the consequences.

The show tries to depict the events from different perspectives, including that of the people who went inside the reactor buildings. Thanks to the way these scenes are shot, at times, the audience will get to see everything the way these men did, as if they have also donned radiation suits and stepped in there.

As expected of a disaster show, the show has some terrifying scenes that involve ordinary people. It invokes fear because even though the audience is currently not a part of the events on-screen, they realize that they could very well be someday in the future.


The show does not focus on the characters or their stories, which creates an emotional disconnect between them and the audience. These characters are then just the employees at the power station and nothing more.

It also tries to depict every single thing that happened after the accident in detail, and that makes the narrative dense. The show would have been more engaging with lesser details.

While it is understandable that in a situation like this, fear is constantly felt, at times, with music and cinematography, the show builds anticipation for nothing, which seems pointless and disrupts the flow. 


THE DAYS is a disaster show that recreates the events of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in a detailed fashion, but it is not as engaging as it could have been. However, it is still not dull, and the audience can watch it to see what led to one of the most severe nuclear accidents.

THE DAYS review: A somber re-enactment 1

Director: Masaki Nishiura, Hideo Nakata

Date Created: 2023-06-02 00:15

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: THE DAYS summary and ending explained