I finally, finally, finally finished Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City. I say finally because I didn’t choose the most favorable time to binge-watch it, with all the travel and wedding (and birthday, probs), and work-related things I had to attend to. But I just. Could not. Stop. I spent a good amount of weekend time for it and the minute I got home from work, it would be the first thing I do. This resulted to finishing all 46 episodes in a span of 10 days. That may not seem like binge-watching but I HAD SO MUCH TO DO AND WORK IN BETWEEN ALDFJA;SDLJFA;F. ANYWAY!
(Fair warning: this post may contain spoilers for those who have not watched and are planning to.)
A little side note: I started with Aloha State when it first came out because it was more “real-time” and shorter. This made me develop a softer spot for the Aloha State cast. I feel like if I watched B&GITC first, Aloha State cast wouldn’t matter as much to me.
Inspired by this entry, I decided to make one of my own. My background based on this ranking is purely based on personal preference and entertainment value from being on the show and possibly who I see myself being friends or close with. Of course, I will provide a little insight into my choices but that’s pretty much it. Feel free to disagree.
Name / Nickname / Age Joined Terrace House / Professional Status
17. Riko Nagai / Rikopin / 18 / Won Cutest Student in a Japanese Beauty Contest
I was not a fan from the get-go. I felt that she was young and too naïve to be in a shared house. With all the drama that unfolded towards the end and in spite of being “wrong” about her, I was glad to be right about not liking her at all.
16. Hayato Terashima / Hayato / 29 / Actor turned Chef
His face is so creepy especially his eyes! Bonus points for being a chef that’s why he isn’t the last. I could not read his intentions at all. Was he being genuinely sincere with Riko or was he just hunting for fresh meat? Why did Martha like him so much? It was weird. Riko and Hayato’s relationship was the worst for me, even though I was initially excited to see how an 11 year age gap could work.
15. Momoka Mitsunaga / Momochan / 21 / Professional Ballerina
I felt like she joined the show to widen her social circle because this girl is all about the ballet. In her whole stay at the house, she only socialized outside once (and with Arman) because she was so busy preparing to be a pro ballerina. She didn’t make an impression for me but she wasn’t all that bad, and ultimately made her childhood dream a reality–I’m happy for her.
14. Natsumi Saito / Nacchan / 26 / Model
The Natsumi (angel) x Fuyumi (devil) analogy that the hosts came up with was definitely true. She has her pleasant times but she was the root of most (if not all) of the negative drama and various conflicts inside the house. Her confrontation methods and problem “resolving” left nothing to be desired and made for some really nasty reasoning and arguments that ruined the dynamics of the house. I speak so strongly about her negative traits but putting that aside, she has a really great smile that can light up a whole room. That trait alone is why she didn’t come last place.
13. Yuriko Hayata / Yuriko / 23 / Medical Student Graduate
She friend-zoned Tap by way of expensive dates and couldn’t get over her ex. She completes the list of people who left that I didn’t miss.
12. Makoto Hasegawa / Makochan / 22 / College Baseball Player
Makoto had great premise from the beginning. He was the guy I first liked among the three but he shattered that by acting really sleazy and lowkey confusing the girls left and right with his feelings. When he bought Minori shoes because he liked her he kept saying, “I bought you shoes” in a sense that she should keep going out with him because he bought her something. That part turned me off him. He was also slacking off with college baseball and probably didn’t make the cut.
11. Arisa Ohata / Arisa / 25 / Hat Designer
Arisa was one of the prettiest and most hardworking girls in the house. I liked the way she talked; but that’s pretty much it. The way she broke Arman’s heart was weird and uncalled for when she referred to him as a brother after numerous almost-romantic dates and holding hands so saying that made me (and Arman for the fact) cringe so bad.
10. Minori Nakada / Minori / 21 / Model
Minori is the complete opposite of me BUT provided a really great insight of the polarizing attitudes of people. Her approach to things made me open my mind to the way other people form their decision making process and handling conflicts. She wasn’t my favorite but I enjoyed watching how she handled co-ed living, and even getting a relationship out of it!
9. Yuki Adachi / Tap / 27 / Tap Dancer
When the show started, Tap was the weirdest out of the bunch. His passion, hunger for love, and intensity as a person was a little strong for me. The dinner scene where he started grilling everyone on their dreams and goals and wouldn’t take a half-assed answer resulting to Mizuki in tears made me scream, “What the fuck, Tap??” countless times. He was so set on his future that everyone else who weren’t like him were of second fiddle in terms of social hierarchy. Over time and after receiving backlash on Twitter after that episode, he kind of mellowed down but was unfortunately still unlucky in love. It was a shame because his dating skills are so great. Towards his exit I found myself liking him more and more so I was sad to see him go.
8. Tatsuya Uchihara / Uchi / 23 / Hairstylist
I admire Uchi’s work ethic and how he’s able to formulate good reasoning. The hosts thought he was a pretty boy airhead at first but as the show progressed, the communication of his train of thoughts really shined through and provided great discernment to the rest of the housemates. I cried with him when he broke down after the meat incident because it wasn’t focused on the “pettiness” itself but more on the rationale that surrounded it (backstory: in his absence, the housemates inconsiderately ate very expensive meat that was an important gift from a client to him). I felt for him because I would have reacted the same given the situation. What I liked most about him is that he could confront anyone so comfortably but doesn’t seem like he’s attacking them. His awkwardness in dealing with romance was also very endearing for me.
7. Yuto Handa / Hansan / 27 / Architecht
Without Han-san, the house would be a mess—emotionally. He was also around at a time where most of the members had trouble with each other, or themselves for that matter. His presence had such a big impact that his exit episode was called Bye Bye Mr. Perfect. In every sense (except his chain-smoking habits) he was close to perfect. He set boundaries with relationships because he entered the house already in a relationship, and calmly rejected any girls when they came on to him. Everyone would always go to him for advice because he was so great at projecting different sides to a situation. He was also crazy hardworking and worked towards his goals, but the best part was he, unlike Tap, respected every bit of the other housemates’ choices and didn’t look down on them for having different life goals. He was very much a good leader and balanced everyone out.
6. Hikaru Ota / Hikaru / 18 / Model & Construction Worker
This is a bit of a biased choice because of my preference for younger guys. Aside from being a pretty face, I thought Hikaru was really mature for his age. He comes off as slightly crass but it’s mostly due to his tone of voice and direct answers; not his attitude. He’s very manly and I probably have the same reason as Misaki when she first liked him. “I like his face,” she said. His indecisiveness on hair color and facial hair choices bothered me more than it should have but I realized it was probably for work more than anything. I liked him best physically when he first started out at the house.
5. Arman Bitaraf / Arman / 24 / Aspiring Firefighter in Hawaii, landscape parttimer in Japan
Arman made the most out of his stay in the house. He is a legend in Terrace House simply because he stayed there for the whole duration of his year in Japan. Coming from Hawaii, he is also the only import. He replaced Makochan who was the first exit and stayed until the end; all throughout the show’s extensions. I mean who wouldn’t, right? He had such “bro” vibes (his tattoos and Western upbringing probably added to it tbh) that in the beginning I thought that he was going to fuck up the house with parties and drinking. He turned out to be the opposite! Sure, he may have drank a lot and probably enjoyed partying off-cam more than your average Japanese, but inside the house and with the cast he was totally chill, compassionate, and didn’t let any of the conflicts seriously faze him.
He projects very little facial expressions throughout the show, but he has moments of clowning with other guys and emotional moments (when Hikaru & Hansan left) that makes me appreciate his reactions even more. He’s one of the most level-headed from the bunch and maintains the most consistency. I was very happy when Terrace House ended for him on such a high note.
4. Yuuki Byrnes / Yuuki / 23 / Dancer (hip-hop & krumping)
Yuuki is a former childstar turned dancer who aspires to make it big dancing for the biggest names in the industry. All throughout the show we only see him dance once and it is fairly good, but in a hip-hop sense it’s very very white boy. Dancing aside, what I loved about him was that he knew what he wanted and went for it. He also had very great timing. The way he spearheaded the resolving of the Riko x Hayato issue and made himself clear was very commendable. It wasn’t the type where he stuck his nose into everything, but for the sake of the house and the sake of relationships he had to take a stand to clear things out.
3. Masako Endo / Martha / 23 / Model
Oh Martha, what a breath of fresh air. She was quirky, steadfast, and very beautiful! I seriously wished she was around longer so I had more time to watch her develop friendships with people in the house. There needs to be a Martha spin-off.
2. Misaki Tamori / Misaki / 24 / Entertainer
Misaki reminded me a lot of myself? Always freely and strongly reacting to things, very light-hearted and got along with everyone (except Nacchan but she’s a lost case imo) but also quite inconsistent and very sensitive to surrounding situations. I think this is why I put her in 2nd place. I understood why Hikaru fell out of his interest for her because he felt like she was all over the place, but I loved how Yuuki loved that! It made me realize how there is someone for everyone. Once Yuuki arrived at the house it was just uphill for her. She found happiness in love, she got more work gigs, and it was positive vibes all around for her. I’m not sure if she’s still with Yuuki up to now but I hope they had a great relationship.
1. Mizuki Shida / Mizuki / 22 / Corporate & Barista
First of all Mizuki is beautiful. If I were a guy I would fall in love with her. She was friendly, caring, worked hard, and sensitive to people around her. When she left I missed her so much and left a whole in the house. I saw a lot of myself in her as well–in a sense that I don’t mind being happy for people and cheer them on even if it meant not being in the limelight. She was friends with everyone and didn’t get to have a romantic relationship because she didn’t mind being in the sidelines and wished everyone happiness. She was so pleasant and seemed to not have a bad bone in her.
Ooh I agree with a few of your top choices! (Mizuki, Misaki, and Arman) though I feel like Hansan should be way higher because there is really nothing bad to say about his character.
Totally agree with the top pick here: Mizuki was calm and sweet, and more importantly considerate. She stood up for others as well as others, and was very sensitive and observant (one of the few scenes I remember is when she walks into the girls’ room and sees Yuriko sitting there upset and consoles her like a big sister). Her housemates at the time didn’t deserve her.
I liked Mizaki but wouldn’t place her at no.2. She’s a great housemate and got along with everybody (except for the evil one) but definitely had some issues of her own she had to sort through, i.e. the way she responded to being rejected by a much younger man. idk. But Martha was the dopest. Open-minded and easygoing but still opinionated and not a pushover. Han-san was by far the best dude member for sure. Despite how busy he was he still found a way to interact with his housemates and be the anchor they all needed. Dude was MVP. Arman is a little overrated because his lackadaisical Hawaiian-ness just didn’t match up with others’ determination. So is Yuuki because I felt like he was nice, but a little dumb for his own good. In general the female members were more friend-material than all the dudes.
Hey I wrote that piece on Medium you linked to. I loved your take on the show and how you saw things from a female perspective. I’ll definitely read whatever you write on the next season!
Hi Nick! Thanks for giving me inspiration to write this post. I did one for Aloha State too here http://other-worldly.org/2017/09/aloha-state-a-subjective-ranking/
Can’t wait to do one for Opening New Doors but that’s long ways still, heh.
Hey I wrote that piece on Medium you linked to. I loved reading your take on the show and how you saw things from a female perspective. I’ll definitely read whatever you write on the next season!
I hope Opening New Doors’ Taka will end up like Arman, it’s almost like they shouldn’t end it without a match for him. You may as well put Minori’s sister in there, she’s the bomb! I almost thought she was added to the show when she was visiting the mansion.
First of all, great article on T.H. Aloha State. I just started watching T.H. B&GITC in late 2018 on Netflix and A.S. in early 2019. It was interesting to see Armand & Martha’s cameos in Aloha State though they should’ve had a double date with Yuya & Avian and producers should’ve planned it better with Guy in the scene so two slow talking guys can go at it or will that happen as I’m at the point where Chikako just joined. I somehow didn’t enjoy A.S. as much as the previous one set in Tokyo although there were many cute half girls on the show. Initially I was annoyed by 18 yr old Lauren Tsai’s choppy Japanese but at the same time impressed that a non-Japanese person picked up that much of the language compared to most 3rd generation Japanese Americans who don’t speak a lick of it. A Chinese/European mix who models and illustrates is just insane, good for her she got to debut on the show and will star in Legion.
As a dude, I’m on Taishi’s side, sure he dated lots of girls on the show, but since he paid every time and tried his best but often didn’t get confessed to I think he was within his right to keep trying to find “a love worth dying for.”
I think Guy was one of the luckiest Terrace House members since he befriended at least 3 hot girls: Lauren, Niki, and Mila and had a bit of romance with one of them on screen.
Hopefully in the near future, they’ll have some special House party show and invite everyone past and present on Terrace House on it or just the girls.lol