nothing can terrace apart

This Episode of Terrace House Had More Tears (and Butts) Than Usual

Photo: Fuji Television Network Inc./East Entertainment/Netflix

It’s Terrace House time, my Kawaii pals! If you live under an ignorantly enormous brick, “Kawaii” means cute in Japanese. Let’s get to the DRAMA!

As they do for each episode, our panel of celebrities — Azusa Babazono, Yoshimi Tokui, You, Reina Triendl, Ryota Yamasato, and Shono Hayama — breaks down the previous episode of Terrace House. Bringing back the soup drama, the group agrees that Yuudai’s attempt was actually flavorless hot water. Ryota, in particular, is amused that this is the rare case where added ingredients actually detracted from the taste of an entree. They also agree that Yuudai’s strange personality is becoming harder to pin down, his behavior “unusual.” Aside from that, You, my girl, reminds the other celebrities that Shion and Tsubasa are set to go on a date, and calls them their “oasis” this season. I couldn’t agree more.

Photo: Netflix

The episode, titled “Captain Tsubasa,” picks up almost right where the previous episode left off. After making some sort of chicken dish, Ami and Yuudai served it to Shion and Mizuki, who unsurprisingly didn’t love it. Feeling the residual pain of striking out on 2/2 meals Yuudai gets supremely emotional when asked, yet again, about his goals. Shion, unlike past housemates, is asking in a genuine-seeming way and taking on the burden of creating conversation in this house of weirdos, mean girls, and introverts.

Ami, who is still in college, is trying to find a balance between finding a job she doesn’t want and pursuing modeling full-time. She says that her desire to model is stronger than her desire to find a job, so she feels as if she’s wasting her life, in a way. Mizuki, on the other hand, is moving forward with her lingerie line and is confident that she’ll complete her goal. Once Tsubasa joins the kitchen group, she is force fed a meal of the chicken and rice dregs, and confides in the group, possibly in an attempt to delay the inevitable first bite of the slop she was given for dinner. As a hockey player of a certain age, which is only 24, Tsubasa is feeling the pressures of joining a national team. The team she’s playing with now has a big match in February, so she’s focused on that, and if she doesn’t land a spot on a national team, she’ll have to do some retooling of her dreams.

For reasons that will never be clear to me in the Terrace House genre, Shion asks Ami to chat with him privately in the playroom. Before you ask, I have laced up my heaviest boots in preparation of kicking in my TV screen if Shion asks Ami out on a date. But! Thankfully I can unlace them since he just wants to ask her more about her budding modeling career.

Shion, the household model, didn’t know Ami was passionate about the art of posing and asks what type of modeling she’d like the do. Ami wants to “walk,” or be a runway model, and Shion is happy to help. He starts by suggesting that they practice their walks together. Ami accepts Shion’s offer, and Shion is happy to learn that there’s more to Ami aside from being a “cute college student.”

Shion also questions Ami about Yuudai asking her out on a date earlier in the day. Ami, who thinks Yudai behaves like a middle schooler, tells Shion that she’s unsettled around their housemate and didn’t really think he asked her on a date. Plus, Ami doesn’t feel like leaving the house, which, like, give me a break, Ami. Get a personality, PLEASE.

In the kitchen, Yuudai, still emotional, thinks out loud about his past mistakes while talking to Mizuki and Tsubasa. Even though he’s only 19, Yuudai was doing well living on his own in Tokyo recently, but is currently struggling with the guilt of using his father’s credit card without permission. The boy ran out of money, and stealing from his dad seemed to be his only option. Shion then confesses to the bored and slightly confused Mizuki and Tsubasa that being a chef is his fake goal and being independent is his real one. Trying to help, Mizuki tells Yuudai that he should experiment with creating a schedule.

What that would look like, I’m not sure — maybe committing to listening to Kelly Clarkson and Destiny’s Child all day? But Yuudai takes it under consideration.

Photo: Netflix

After all of their chats, the boys and girls reconvene in their respective rooms. Shion gives Yuudai some advice, telling him that Ami did not think his invitation to go anywhere was a date proposal, and that maybe he should toss out the idea of a day out and focus on building their relationship at home. Shion, a beautiful man with beautiful wisdom, already knows that all solid foundations are built in the home, but Yuudai, a terrible boy, does not take Shion’s advice. Instead, he shakes his little empty head and says he’ll still press for a night out with Ami, even though she doesn’t want to leave the house. In the girls’ room, Ami talks more about how “prickly” Yuudai is and how she really doesn’t want to go anywhere with him.

Later that night, Taka is surrounded by his housemates as he edits some snowboarding videos of himself. And, in a blessing ordained by the Good Lord himself, this is only the first of TWO times where we see Taka’s backside in the episode. Jumping over a mountain of snow, butt naked, Taka’s booty flies through the air as he completes a feat of both strength and sexiness.

The group is 100 percent scandalized, but does seem to enjoy seeing Taka and his undercarriage at work. Impressed by how much he’s accomplished as a professional snowboarder, his roommates ask about how he got into the profession, and the story is touching. His entry into the sport is thanks to an older brother whom Taka always sought to impress, but his longevity in the field is due to his dad’s recent health scare. For some time, Taka has made a meager living on snowboarding and brand partnerships, but when his dad had surgery for a bowel tumor, Taka decided he needed to make a change. To get a little bit more stability and prove to his father that he’ll be okay in the long run, Taka’s seeking to create an athletic line geared toward winter sports. He tears up as he speaks, and apologizes to speaking to the group in his “hoarse voice.”

Photo: Netflix
Photo: Netflix

After Taka’s emotional story, he and Yuudai are left alone in the living room. In his perpetual state of #emotional, Yuudai reveals to Taka that he’s looking to be more independent and is impressed by Mizuki’s drive. Yuudai also tears up, explaining his grandmother also had a health scare — she had a heart attack and he’d love to make her proud in some way. Taka is touched by Yuudai’s honesty and drive to work harder, and through tears, he promises that he’ll work harder too. The two men cry to one another, for a brief moment, but when they’re done with that they take a naked dip in the boys’ hot tub. This, my friends, is the SECOND time we’re treated to a vision of Taka’s plump peach. Relaxing, Taka takes a moment to take in the killer view ahead of them and tell Yuudai he can’t help but be curious about how Mizuki’s body might look in the lingerie she’s creating.

Photo: Netflix
Photo: Netflix

The next day, Tsubasa takes Shion, Ami, and Mizuki to her father’s soba shop. Her father is happy to see Tsubasa’s new “pretty” friends, and Tsubasa is embarrassed by his excitement. Still, their relationship seems super-sweet — Tsubasa lost her mother when she was in fifth grade, so it’s been her, her sister, and her father for most of her life. As they eat, Taka explains that he’s working on a radio show with his brother, and Ami admits she’s envious at how much he enjoys his life.

Photo: Netflix

After their lunch, Tsubasa hits the ice and practices some hockey with her teammates. When practice wraps up, Tsubasa has an emotional conversation with the coach of her team. She’s excited to be their captain, but in a few months she may have to find another team to play with since they haven’t been winning. Through tears, Tsubasa explains that she’s grateful for all she’s learned. Now she’s got to be realistic and start making the best choices for herself.

Photo: Netflix
Photo: Netflix

We break to the celebrities and Terrace House’s resident empath, Reina, is crying. Poor thing! It appears the more real-life aspects of this episode were too much for her. Aside from Tsubasa’s life, the celebrities have a field day with Yuudai’s quest for independence and think he’s treating the show like a charity. And, like I do, they admire Shion’s curiosity about everyone’s passions and goals, and respect that his questions come from a genuine place. Our panel of icons are super grateful that this crop of housemates seem more human than the ones we were saddled with before.

The show ends with Taka out to dinner with his brother, Naoyuki, who asks about Taka’s dating prospects in the house. Taka, hesitant, says he has a little school boy crush on Ami — who’s so cute that it’s “therapeutic” — but he’s worried about the age gap. Naoyuki tells Taka to go for it, since age is just a number. Well, well, well, when Taka promised Yuudai he’d work hard, too, I never imagine it would be working hard to steal his girl. Let the games begin.

This Episode of Terrace House Had More Tears Than Usual