Terrace House Boys X Girls Next Door S3 (Ep26-38): Climbing the path to excellence

Terrace House Boys X Girls Next Door S3 (Ep26-38): Climbing the path to excellence

Hello, I’m Benjamin Wagner, this is my blog and today, I take another step into the world of beautiful Japanese wannabe models and aspiring firefighters. Much like classic BBC crime-comedy-drama New Tricks, Terrace House didn’t truly find its feet until the third season. The crew were more used to the concept, the audience had grown accustomed to the format and what worked earlier on had been enhanced. It was here that the Terrace House that would become a Netflix trending show was first seen at full force. The panel is at a full 6. The cast members are accustomed to the pressures of the house. The camera crew shoots scenes in a more natural yet cinematic way. Terrace House season 3 is superb. Here is why.

New Members:

Kondo Aya:

A university student who has come to the house in pursuit of fun experiences and love.

First Impression:

A real girl. A nice, polite normal person. My friends seemed to really like her but I think that she is nice, if not a little ordinary girl. I’m sure she’ll be better than AKB girl, anyway. I say ordinary but anybody who says their hobby is listening to the radio and she likes unique, strange men, I find them odd in a nice, alluring way. Quirky. Strong-willed. The more I think about it, the more I like her. A second Chanmomo. And that’s a good thing.

Kakei Miwako:

Upon seeing this housemate, my friend uttered the phrase ‘ I want to Miwako, Miwako’s Miwakos.’ A gravure model (softcore porn-bikini shots and things like that) with large funbags, Miwako is much more than the assets she flaunts for work. She is ambitious and comes across as very charming indeed.

First Impression:

Looking past her physical assets, Miwako comes across as what I would imagine in my head to be a Japanese girl. She is chirpy, cute and just a nice person. Grounded. Should be good viewing (it was).

Talking Points:

Seina and Masato; the ending?

The never-ending soap opera finally draws to a close here. After ignoring Seina’s phone calls, Masato returns from his surfing retreat in America and meets up with the young woman he asked to wait for him. Acting in a stupidly childish way, he pretends that he is actually a professional sportsman and tries to justify his childish behaviour. In the modern age, a simple message or two would be enough and the arrogance on show here actually makes me feel sorry for Seina. However, she isn’t entirely without blame as she asks the most unfair question in the world:

A question you would never expect to have to answer, Seina asks Masato to choose between his ‘career’ (for what it is) and her. Instead of giving the right answer and saying it would be impossible to choose, with balls as big as a peanut he simply says ‘surfing’. And with that, the 28 week-long ‘will they, won’t they’ ends in the way it should. She thanks him, says she cared about him and announces she is going abroad anyway, making the whole scene feel stupid and pointless. Regardless, it does give us one good thing; Seina leaves the show. She announces not just to Masato but to the other housemates as well that she is leaving the Terrace House to focus on her career as a model. Well… Good luck.

Hana and Dyki flame out

Right. This should be sadder than it is. They didn’t date very long at all but within 8 or so weeks, the first Terrace House couple is no more. Luckily for me, as a fan of the both of them, there is no petty squabble or Essex style bust-up where one cheated on the other with the mother, sister and cousin. No. The both of them just accept that the passionate attraction they held for each other just sort of… flamed out. I think this can be put down to the unique circumstances of living in the Terrace House and the pressure of being watched by literally millions of people forced them to hurry the natural flow of their relationship. Dyki and Hana clearly wanted each other physically but the emotional, personality side seems to have slipped off the surface like a lubed-up seal.

This break up does lead to something I didn’t want to accept, however; Hana leaving. Hana is a unique beast to me. She is not the sort of person I have ever associated with and I could guarantee that our personalities would clash… But I still like her. I find her enjoyable to watch and believe she has a heart of gold. Take away my gyaru fetish and I still believe that Hana is a solid gold star. I hope that she finds love elsewhere and with stats like hers, she probably will.

Aya and Oji

Oji, Oji, Oji… What have you done my odd little pheasant? Still reeling from his rejection by Seina (which frankly seemed so unrealistic and passionless that I haven’t bothered to mention it) he finds solace in the arms of new housemate Aya. Aya knows what she wants and is not afraid of being forward to getting it. Aya is oddly un-Japanese in her approach. She doesn’t hide her attraction to him and uses every tactic she knows to get to him. She said she likes odd, unique men and Oji… well, he is certainly that. And for a while, it seems like this relationship might work. Sure, he never seems that into it but that just seems to be his personality. He speaks with the enthusiasm of a geologist and the charisma of a baked lamb tagine. But it could all work, right?

Well. No. It all goes up in flames when the pair go on a date to the aquarium (a classic Japanese date location) and Aya reiterates her affection for Oji; asking if he likes her as well. And he says something that is possible more stupid than Masato’s answer to Seina; comparing a woman he had been sleeping in the same bed with multiple times to a little sister. I know Japan has a culture of little sister love in their manga and light novels but it still comes across as caddish, stupid and creepy. Rightfully so, he comes out of this poorly and is essentially shunned because of this. Hana goes as far as confronting him on this and… he really does not get it. He does leave the house at the end of the season, alongside Hana and Aya herself, but essentially blames the adorable Aya as the relationship had got awkward. I appreciate what Oji brought to the house but also lament the way one of the most forward and likeable female members was treated. Aya was in the house for just a short period but left an impression almost as strong as Momo, and that was better than a relationship with a right creep.

Miwako and the pain of Tecchan

It feels as if every young female that enters the house is destined to be the target of our lovable yet useless goof Tecchan. Miwako is the latest to fall victim to the Tecchan curse, as he struggles to hide his attraction to her. To his credit, he does a far better job this time and his performance on their skateboarding date was actually pretty good. He didn’t sweat profusely or propose marriage. He acted like a normal guy and not a horny thirteen-year-old lusting for his first taste of eros.

How then did it end so poorly for our beloved mascot character? Well. It’s simple. She found Dyki more attractive.

Yep, having admitted it to her friend in a previous episode, Miwako’s affection towards Dyki and ambivalence towards Tecchan is revealed as they watch Terrace House as a group. Tecchan and Dyki’s friendship remains strong and he assures him that there is nothing between them. Granted, she is a beautiful woman and she has the right to pursue who she wants to. I just feel she could have dealt with this better by not leading Tecchan on. We had a scene where Tecchan met up with Momo (Yay, Chanmomo) where he was proud of following her advice and thought it was going well and, by no fault of his own, he still gets the heartbreak. I thought that I would hold more resentment to Miwako here but the maturity in which all three of them deal with this was actually surprising. Especially considering they are the only three housemates left going into the next series.

I feel Tecchan’s pain and his mistakes will teach the young for hundreds of years to come.

The Panel make an impact

The increase in presenters from 2 to 6 makes a huge difference to the show. The panel act as a sort of surrogate audience. They comment on what has happened in the previous segment and add emotional insight to the specific situations. Each member has their own niche too. Reina is cute and pure (probably an act, but she is good at the act). YOU is the group’s mother and imparts her years of experience and association with homosexual males onto the group. Babazono is quiet but can also be funny and insightful at times. Tokui is funny but also has a positive spin on most situations. Ryota Yamasato is unquestionably the star man here and has a cynical, unpopular take on most situations; going against the other panellists and acting as the butt of many jokes. The final member of the panel is Omi; a singer who seems to have a similar outlook to Yamasato but looks less Otaku-ish and is a little nicer about it. Overall, the panel make the show more accessible, unique and offer a perspective on the Japanese views on dating. It is interesting that the male is expected to be as forceful as the panel encourage but that isn’t the main draw. The main draw is that the panel act as another conduit of conversation. During the show, I often spoke to my friends about what was happening and they did the same. We were doing the same thing as the panellists themselves: creating an uncanny closeness in viewer and performer. Plus, it was a unique idea that has been replicated to some degree multiple times since, but never to the same level of effectiveness. The panel emerged in this season and never, ever looked back.

And that’s it. A very strong season again here. Terrace House was finally an established show and was getting more watchable by the day. Did it continue this trajectory or did the inclusion of three new housemates throw the ship off course? Find out next time!

I’ve been Benjamin Wagner and I endorse this message.

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