Burn The House Down (2023) Series: Tense Melodrama From Japan

Burn The House Down is a tension-filled family melodrama from Japan. It tries to unmask the person who started the fire years ago, which destroyed the home as well as the people.

Thus, that arson completely changed the lives of a bunch of people belonging to two families. These families were either living in the beautiful house or associated with the said house. The tragic consequences of the said fire are even felt by the youngsters of the two families. Thus, the fire adversely affected the lives of almost all the family members in this J-drama.


Synopsis (official summary) of this 2023 drama show from Japan

After her mother Satsuki (Michiko Kichise) took the blame for a tragic fire 13 years ago, Anzu Murata (Mei Nagano) plots revenge by working as a housekeeper under a pseudonym for her icy stepmother Makiko Mitarai (Kyôka Suzuki). So, for Anzu, her one-point agenda is to solve the big mystery and find the person who really started that fire that destroyed lives.

This J-drama series is based on Moyashi Fujisawa’s popular manga series "Mitarai Ke, Enjou Suru", which was published in monthly magazine Kiss (March 2017 to April 2021) in Japan.

Spoilers Free review of the Burn The House Down (2023) Series

It was our maiden J-drama show

To be honest, we watched a J-drama (Japanese Drama) for the first time, and we liked it. It is a Japanese family drama, that offers you a peek into contemporary society that is no different from the rest of the world. Thanks to various entertainment streaming platforms, now, in the COVID-era (both during and post-period), we have been exposed to different cultures of various countries. And I personally appreciate this positive change.

One of the lines in the trailer of J-drama said “That woman stole my home and my family…”, and certainly that bait worked, as I was hooked to this suspenseful revenge drama that begins with a home going up in flames.

Good acting, great Japanese music and the conclusion

It is a Japanese family drama, that delves into universal human emotions. How does the economic disparity affect the judgement that we make in our lives? Why do some people behave in certain ways? And much more. This show has a gamut of human emotions. It is a J-drama worth watching because of the good acting by its actors – Mei Nagano, Kyôka Suzuki, Asuka Kudô, Yuri Tsunematsu, and Michiko Kichise, among others.

I liked the Japanese music in this show too, especially the Japanese language song by Vaundy, which played at the end of each episode. With peppy music, its beats are catchy and addictive. Burn The House Down is a clean J-drama, this family melodrama can be enjoyed with the entire family.


Ratings of this 2023 drama show from Japan

FM’s rating3.65/5
IMDb rating as of the date6.60/10
FM & IMDb ratings – Burn The House Down

Spoilers Alert – about its central plot & key characters

Focus on the central plot of this show

A fire burnt down the Mitarai family home

The wealthy and well-off Mitarai family own and manage their own hospital in Tokyo City. In one of the tragic incidents, a terrible accident 13 years ago happened when their luxurious house became engulfed in flames and completely burnt down. Then the mother of the protagonist Anzu Murata (Mei Nagano) publicly acknowledged that she was somehow responsible for the said harrowing fire incident at that time. That shocking fire not only forced the break-up of her family but also forced her, her mother and her younger sister to leave their family home and live in distressing conditions.

Who really started the fire?

Anzu Murata never believed that her frail mother was responsible for the said fire. She was convinced that her mother was wrongly accused of arson and forced to own up to the circumstances. So, thirteen years later, she went undercover to work as the housekeeper in her family home to gather evidence and to find out who really set up the said fire. In order to gain access to her childhood home, she used a false identity so that her new employer (her stepmother), the second wife of her father, Makiko (Kyoka Suzuki) did not suspect anything fishy and allowed her access to her old family home.

Searching for the truth

Once she gained entry into her home and earned the trust of her stepmother, she started looking for pieces of evidence that could clear the name of her mother. In her secretive personal mission to find the truth behind the fire incident, she is supported by her friends and family members. And in the end, all of them discover the truth, but will it set things right?

Focus on the key suspects and who is the culprit in this show

There are three prime suspects in the arsonist case. All of them gained immensely after the fire.

1st suspect

The first one is Makiko Mitarai (Kyôka Suzuki), a dedicated mother, a devoted wife and a successful working woman, who moved into Mitarai’s house as a second wife (of Anzu’s father) after the fire.

2nd suspect

The second one is Kiichi (Asuka Kudô), the eldest son of Makiko. He seems to be deeply troubled, remains locked inside his room and has not interacted with any outsider in the last so many years.

3rd suspect

The third one is Shinji (Taishi Nakagawa), the second and youngest son of Makiko. He lives in the shadows of his overachieving family members, so works hard to become someone important in life.

How did the fire affect the family?

After the tragic fire accident, Osamu Mitarai (Mitsuhiro Oikawa) married Makiko, and then she and her sons moved into a newly reconstructed Mitarai family house. In other words, Makiko, Kiichi and Shinji successfully replaced the first wife Satsuki (Michiko Kichise) and her two daughters Anzu Murata (Mei Nagano) and Yuzu Murata (Yuri Tsunematsu) in the wealthy Mitarai family. So, after the marriage, Makiko, Kiichi and Shinji moved up the socio-economic ladder in society. A the same time, Satsuki lost her memory and her daughters Anzu and Yuzu struggled with the sudden misfortune in their lives.

No doubt all three prime suspects prospered after the fire incident.

But who was really responsible for the fire?

The answer is it was Kiichi’s younger brother – young child Shinji – at the time of the said fire, thirteen years ago. It was an innocent mistake made by Shinji, as he simply tried to heat up delicious-looking meat curry on the gas burner so that he could taste and eat it. But after he lit the gas flame, the fire spread around to burn the entire house and the little child Shinji could not do much to douse the menacing fire. Unable to do anything, he escaped, while never admitting his unintentional childhood mistake. In the end, he admits and owns up to his mistake, when Anzu manages to bring out the truth.


Poster of the Burn The House Down (JPN/2023) Series

Burn the House Down (2023) show – poster

Key details of this 2023 drama show from Japan

GenreDrama, Mystery, Thriller
Original LanguageJapanese
Original Title御手洗家、炎上する (Mitarai-ka, enjō suru) means “The Mitarai house catches fire”
Age-restrictionsUA (16+)
Released inJuly 2023
Season & EpisodesSeason (1) One & Episodes (8) Eight
CastMei Nagano, Kyôka Suzuki, Yuri Tsunematsu, Michiko Kichise, Mitsuhiro Oikawa, Asuka Kudô, Taishi Nakagawa, etc.
NetworkNetflix
About – Burn The House Down

Trailer of this 2023 drama show from Japan

Official Trailer – Burn The House Down | YouTube.

In case, you like watching Japanese series, then do check out our blog piece about Japanese movies – The Fable and The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill.

Featured & Other Images: Burn The House Down | Netflix.


Discover more from Focus Magazine

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading