Netflix’s Terrace House is the epitome of anti-reality TV. Whereas unscripted American programs thrive by filling the screen with fist pumping bros, Snookis, and other assorted drunken archetypes, Terrace House, Japan’s answer to the Real World, flips the genre on its head. Yes, the show, which just finished up its fourth (and best) iteration yet, still follows the same template we’ve seen many times before. Gather young attractive twentysomethings in a house and watch as they devolve into chaotic debauchery. Except, with Terrace House, the results are far from what you’d expect.
Instead of a precipitous rain of messy drama, arrests, and brawling cast mates, whole blocks of Terrace House often disappear into the quiet calm of food prep, causal dating, and roundtable discussions of professional goals and how to achieve them. It sounds mundane, but it’s actually quite magical. Time Magazine listed Terrace House as their number #6 TV show of 2018 and if you haven’t watched it yet, you should do so. Like right now (starting with the Opening New Doors season).
Until then, here are all the Terrace House members ranked:
52. Hayato (Boys and Girls in the City)
Hayato was trash. He was a low key creep, who, when confronted about being a creep, creep-dodged and left poor Ripokin out to dry. I’ll never come to your hypothetical restaurant, Hayato. One-star review for your life.
Worst Moment: The Ripokin scandal
51. Cheri (Aloha State)
It doesn’t surprise me that Wez and Cheri were friends on the show, because they were both wastes of Terrace House space. Cheri was a Miss something in Hawaii, which was baffling since she was a trash monster who would say things like, “You’ve lost your place on my list” and “I think protecting someone’s feelings is a weakness”. Boo, Cheri!
Worst Moment: “Distancing” herself
50. Yuudai (Opening New Doors)
It’s tempting to put Yudaii last, but a majority of his petulant behavior can be chalked up to immaturity that he could one day grow out of. I honestly don’t think he will, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since everyone is stupid when they’re 19. And I mean, he did provide some classic Terrace House moments. Smell those onions, Yuudai! Smell them!
Worst Moment: Anytime he was confronted about anything
49. Wez (Aloha State)
Wez was apparently devoid of a personality outside of being a trash rapper who treated women poorly. His icy goodbye to Anna was one of Terrace House’s most awkward moments. Why was he even on this show? Oh, right, to promote his Instagram song.
Worst Moment: Anna’s goodbye
48. Yui (Opening New Doors)
Yui’s run on Terrace House was fairly insane, following a steep bell curve that saw her finish as OND’s late run heel. She wobbled out of the gate with her intense boyfriend surveys and brutal showdowns with Mayu, but gradually showed some improvement after she had a chance to see prior episodes air. Unfortunately, any goodwill she had stocked up evaporated when she was caught in a Ripokin/Hayato like scandal, all while harshly criticizing Risako for her own off-screen scheming. As much as I love this season, I’m glad the show ended when it did so I don’t have to watch any more of Yui’s lame spin control.
Worst Moment: Secret Relationship
47. Makato (Boys and Girls in the City)
Oh Maccochan. What could have been. Makato initially looked like he’d just be a dumb jock, which is acceptable for a show like Terrace House, but in the end he just revealed himself to be a wannabe player who bungled his schemes to get with Yuriko and Minori. What a waste.
Worst Moment: Makato the gossip
46. Sota (Opening New Doors)
Sota is basically bizarro world Hansan, if Hansan was a tool and didn’t know how to read a room. Initially believed to be the new house overseer, Sota turned out to be some sort of tone deaf Mark Zuckerberg knockoff that no one wanted on the show. His dry eyed goodbye from the house said it all. He was good fodder for the panel, but nothing more. And stop dressing like you skate, Sota! You don’t skate and we all know it!
Worst Moment: The help me pick out glasses “date”
45. Hikaru (Boys and Girls in the City)
There’s a sizable chasm between Hiakru and the true dredges of Terrace House, but Hikaru was underwhelming or at least whelming at every major crossroads he was given. Blunt to the point of insensitivity, and lacking any real substance other than being good looking and hot headed, he’s the equivalent of a reality show shrug.
Worst Moment: The Mitsaki rejection
44. Mariko (Aloha State)
Mariko kicks off a quick string of completely forgettable Aloha State cast members. She was a banker who created some bizarre drama between Cheri and Taishi, and not much else. Thanks?
Worst Moment: Whatever the hell kicked off the Taishi/Cheri blowup
43. Mila (Aloha State)
Mila’s run was brief and not particularly memorable. She almost went on a date with Guy. That’s about it.
Worst Moment: Uhhh..
42. Ryo (Aloha State)
Ryo had a chance to play peacekeeper in the infamous Tashi/Cheri blowup, but chose to sit it out in favor of brand research and looking really tan. Thanks for nothing, Ryo.
Worst Moment: Failure to launch/mediate
41. Naomi (Aloha State)
Naomi liked to sit by the pool. Naomi liked Yuya. Yuya didn’t like her. And that about wraps up the Naomi storyline.
Worst Moment: “Surfgate” with Eric
40. Natsumi (Boys and Girls in the City)
Natsumi was a wildly abrasive personality that brought out the worst in her housemates (minus Hansan). She was hard to watch at times, but unlike the bottom five on this list, Natsumi displayed a faint desire to improve her attitude when she’d have those interventions with Hansan. I hope she found some peace and happiness outside the show, because she certainly didn’t find it at Terrace House.
Worst Moment: The Misaki Rejection Fight
39. Ami (Opening New Doors)
Ami’s apathy was difficult to analyze. Was she cold, or just guarded as the youngest of the OND originals? Nearly all the male housemates pined for her and she never seemed that interested in any of them. She was nice to Tsuabasa though, so points for that.
Worst Moment: Taka’s snowboarding date
38. Tap (Boys and Girls in the City)
Sure, Tap’s dancing was impressive, but he was a perfect storm of blah otherwise. Like Yusuke, he was one of those talent reliant individuals that lean heavily into their hobbies to distract from an apparent lack of personality. He got Costco friendzoned, which was classic, but other than that, what was he known for? Making Mizuki cry because her dreams were nebulous? Real cool, Tap, real cool.
Worst Moment: Making Mizuki cry
37. Aio (Opening New Doors)
As a fan of Japanese soccer, I was excited to see a Japanese soccer player on the show, but Aio was a bit of an enigma. Especially at the end of the show when he got with Yui, who legitimately seemed like a sociopath hellbent on ruining house vibes. He also picked his nose and had middle school level banter, but at times could be really sweet. But Yui? Why?
Worst Moment: Dating Yui
36. Yusuke (Aloha State)
Yusuke definitely punctuated how camera-ready the other housemates were as he often struggled to fit in with the cool kids, mostly relying on his music as a means of fitting in. He was really talented and really awkward to watch. Like painfully awkward.
Worst Moment: Movie date with Lauren
35. Anna (Aloha State)
Anna was interested in Wez for some reason. Otherwise she was a traveler who didn’t travel much.
Worst Moment: Being interested in Wes
34. Arisa (Boys and Girls in the City)
Arisa provided one of the strangest swerves on the show when she hand breaked Arman in the middle of their budding romance. It’s absolutely fine to turn anyone down at any stage of a relationship (her Costco date dunk on Tap was completely understandable) even if you were the catalyst for the date, but her reasoning with Arman never added up. Was she just on the show to promote/launch her hipster hat line, biding her time as neutrally as possible? Or was she just genuinely uninterested in her housemates?
Worst Moment: Costco Friendzoning (but also secretly a best moment)
33. Eric (Aloha State)
Eric was a dope who built a pop-up coffee shop. He teased Yusuke and gave him bad advice, but I don’t think he was malicious or mean spirited at heart. He also briefly dated Cheri after leaving the house, which again, showed that he wasn’t very smart.
Worst Moment: Dating Cheri
32. Mayu (Opening New Doors)
Mayu was crudely objectified by all the men on the show, and yet, none of them seemed genuinely interested in getting to know her better. She tried to date Noah, but it mostly resulted in death stares from Yui. I honestly felt bad for Mayu. She had a particularly rough residency on Terrace House.
Worst Moment: The Yui showdown
31. Shunsuke (Opening New Doors)
Shunsuke was exploring his sexual identity on TV, which has to be harrowing, but his exploration wasn’t particularly tactful or compelling. His date with Sota was classic though. Stupid Sota.
Worst/Best Moment: Sota Date
30. Noah (Opening New Doors)
Noah was fine. He was slightly less annoying than you would think a young, rich, good looking aspiring pilot/heir would be. But being acceptable is not going to put you in the Terrace House Top 10. He and Seina were electric together, and good for them, but his bedside manner with Shohei was awful. I wish Shohei had asked Noah to step out during his goodbye concert. STOP CRYING, NOAH! THIS CONCERT ISN’T FOR YOU!
Worst Moment: Confessions to Shohei
29. Maya (Opening New Doors)
Maya stuck to her guns as a headstrong personality, and credit to her for that, but she unfortunately got lost in the late season drama and registers as a bit of a peripheral figure on Opening New Doors. She dated Kaito, but it seemed more like a pairing of convenience than anything concrete.
Best Moment: Openly criticizing Sota
28. Yuriko (Boys and Girls in the City)
Med student Yuriko was too busy to make much of an impression in the Tokyo season. She was one of many housemates to turn down Tap and in turn was rejected by an ex she tried to reconnect with while on the show. Hopefully she’s on her way to being a doctor, putting her low impact Terrace House days behind her.
Best Moment: Using Tap for expensive dinners
27. Momoka (Boys and Girls in the City)
Like Yuriko, Momoka was almost a non presence on the show due to her rigorous training schedule for ballet. She was a pleasant housemate when she was around though and even had a chance to take it to the streets when she danced her way to becoming a professional ballerina.
Best Moment: Dance Recital
26. Ripokin (Boys and Girls in the City)
Ripokin got a raw deal. It’s hard to be a teenager even when you’re not on a reality show, so she can be forgiven for her clandestine relationship with Hayato. She showcased the dark side of being an idol and the pressures that went along with the job (how were more people not bothered by that teary eyed photoshoot?). Even though she frequently looked out of her element, she displayed some moments of clarity and maturity, especially when she called Natsumi and Hayato on their behavior. And good on her for leaving Hayato’s dumbass all alone at the restaurant. May he always be making desert for one.
Best Moment: Not Meeting Hayato at the restaurant
25. Risako (Opening New Doors)
Risako initially came off as a bland Seina clone that liked exercising and talking about herself in the third person. She was well on her way to being ranked as a forgettable mid-40s Terrace Houser until the infamous Minion socks incident came along and blew that persona up. Amidst the wreckage, she was given a way more interesting ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ style vignette with Masao. Even though they didn’t get together, Risako and Masao were the best part of the late season OND run. Scripted or not, that was some quality romantic drama right there.
Best Moment: Masao in the Park
24. Uchi (Boys and Girls in the City)
Uchi can never be seen beyond the lens of the infamous Meatgate, where he disappeared into a deep depression for days because the housemates ate his beloved steaks. He was a total mismatch for Minori (even in the realm of opposites attracting). Still, out of the gate, he seemed like the worst of the original BAGITC men, and somehow turned out to be the best of those three. Who saw that coming?
Best Moment: Steakgate/Asking all three roommates out at once
23. Niki (Aloha State)
Niki was subject to Guy’s disastrous ‘let’s build a fort and watch me surf’ date, but still ended up hanging out with him all the same. Despite a short residency, she was an all around refreshing presence in the house.
Best Moment: Shelling with Guy
22. Lauren (Aloha State)
Lauren was young, passionate, and arty, but not in a super pretentious or annoying way. She is also now on FX’s ‘Legion‘ somehow, even though she didn’t have any apparent acting ambitions while on Terrace House. Somehow she became more successful in Hollywood than the ultra focused Guilty Samurai himself. Take that, Taishi!
Best Moment: Metaphorically Stiff arming Yusuke in the face
21. Kaito (Opening New Doors)
Kaito skated, chilled and was an all around likable dude. He was friends with Guy and shared Guy’s penchant for chilling and being likable. He’s not as amusing and impressionable as Guy, but he’s definitely pleasant background noise for Terrace House. Sadly, he became somewhat of an inert presence toward the end of the show’s run, but I do hope his post Terrace House skating career takes off.
Best Moment: Not making unnecessary drama in the house
20. Chikao (Aloha State)
Chikao was one of two divorcees to appear on the show, a fact she didn’t let define herself when she shook off her ex’s attempt to rekindle their love by guilt tripping her with their dog. Instead, she was subjected to the Tashi trials, a bombardment of affection from the Guilty Samurai’s ‘love worth dying for’ campaign.
Best Moment: Not giving into her ex
19. Yuya (Aloha State)
Initially, Yuya seemed like he might be an asshole, but when it came to housemates like Yusuke and Avian, he had legitimately touching moments with them. So, props to him for being a pleasant surprise on a season of underwhelming personalities.
Best Moment: Committing to Avian
18. Mizuki Haruta (Opening New Doors)
Mizuki scores points as an OG OND member and the first housemate to confront Yudaai the Terrible. She may be the least memorable of the original cast, but she was solid and left without overstaying her welcome.
Best Moment: Yuudai intervention
17. Martha (Boys and Girls in the City)
As far as strong, opinionated housemates go, Martha was more well rounded than some of her contrarian predecessors on BAGITC. She knew what she wanted and didn’t try to throw people under the bus in the process. She was a perfect match for Arman, and seeing them get together was easily one of the best moments of the Tokyo season.
Best Moment: It’s been you all along
16. Shohei (Opening New Doors)
Shohei’s aggressive approach to winning over Seina was misguided (and at times downright uncomfortable), but he was otherwise a constant source of entertainment. His crying was legendary. He’s the only cast member ever to put on a goodbye concert for his housemates, ask someone to be his girlfriend at a church, and perform with what seemed like ten different bands. Stage Shoehei sure was dreamy, but unfortunately once the music stopped, stay-at-home Shoehei was a 5 at best to the women in the house.
Best Moment: Goodbye Concert
15. Taishi (Aloha State)
Ah, yes. The Guilty Samurai. How to properly rank Taishi? Likable and considerate one moment, then suffocating, old fashioned and self centered in another. He was Aloha State’s version of Shohei, going way overboard when simple gestures were required. Despite all that, Taishi still found his love worth dying for and at his core, seemed like a generally good dude.
Best Moment: Finding a love worth dying for
14. Mizuki (Boys and Girls in the City)
I never quite understood how Mizuki became a lost figure in the Tokyo season. She was interesting, proactive, and caring, but never seemed to gain any traction with her housemates. Her last haircut “date” with Arman was quietly tragic, a bittersweet goodbye to a show that never quite treated her right.
Best Moment: Haircut Date
13. Avian (Aloha State)
Avian had one of the most efficient runs in Terrace House history, realizing her dream of releasing a bikini line and acquiring boyfriend Yuya in the process. No contest, Avian was the rock solid constant of Aloha State.
Best Moment: Releasing her product line
12. Aya (Opening New Doors)
Despite essentially being an Instagram influencer, Aya was extremely well put together for someone her age. She often came off like the second coming of Seina, which as we know by the sheer amount of imitators that came before her, is no easy feat. And let’s be honest, as much as I love Taka, Aya was probably too good for him anyway.
Best Moment: Being a solid housemate
11. Masao (Opening New Doors)
Masao saved the end of OND from devolving into complete and utter chaos. He was a celebrity of sorts as the bassist for the popular ‘Gesu no Kiwami Otome’, but never lorded that fact over any of his peers. He was a killer cook, affable, and his time with Risako was the best thing about OND’s late episodes. It’s a shame it didn’t work out for him, but his run was bittersweet in the best way. I know there’s someone out there that will appreciate your sweet bass and curry making skills, Masao. Just keep looking.
Best Moment: Risako’s Soba Date
10. Misaki (Boys and Girls in the City)
Misaki had a rough go in the Natsumi/Hikaru era. She was rejected, constantly fought with Natsumi and as a result came off like a sloppy, quarrelsome housemate. What a difference two people leaving the house can make. In the Post Natsumi/Hikaru era, Misaki revealed herself to be a faux den mother of sorts. She found love with Brynes and their conflict resolution was legendarily efficient.
Best Moment: Surviving Hurricane Natsumi
9. Shion (Opening New Doors)
Shion seemed like a genuinely good guy, but with his beloved relationship with Tsuaba crumbling last month, it’s hard to not be suspect of the man who broke Tsubasa’s heart. RIP, Shibasa.
Best Moment: Meeting Tsubasa’s dad
8. Minori (Boys and Girls in the City)
Minori and Uchi were a jarringly dysfunctional couple. They were a summer camp mismatch that had no chance surviving outside of the house (Minori is unsurprisingly married to someone these days who is not Uchi). But she was the catalyst for a few classic Terrace House moments like the infamous ‘Coward Rice’ and ‘Steak Gate’, so she’s a top ten cast member for sure.
Best Moment: Coward Rice
7. Guy (Aloha State)
I would love to see a Terrace House spinoff where Guy and Arman do nothing but surf, sleep on the couch and build pillow forts together. The panel often referred to Guy as Winnie the Pooh and it’s hard to think of a more apt nickname for him. He was something special. Never change, Guy. You’re one of a kind.
Best Moment: Becoming a surf champ after nearly drowning
6. Taka (Opening New Doors)
Professional snowboarder Taka Nakamura was part of the original OPN dream team (yes, I’ll even include Ami and Yudaai as part of that magical dynamic). He said the wrong things too many times in one-on-ones, which pushes him out of the top 5, but since OND was my first experience with Terrace House, my Taka bias is strong. Gotta get some of that sweet BREW merch soon.
Best Moment: Shaving his mustache to impress Ami
5. Byrnes (Boys and Girls in the City)
Maybe Barnes wasn’t the sharpest tool in his Krumping crew, but he was a surprisingly sweet salve for the heartbroken Misaki. He unearthed Terrace House’s biggest (and only?) scandal, tried his best to help others, and generally was a good housemate. Sure, he was terrible at surprises and driver’s tests, but his double down on taking Misaki to Yokohama for a date was a bold all or nothing move that paid off in the end. You’re okay in my book, Detective Barnes. I hope you Krump off into the sunset with Misaki and live happily after ever.
Best Moment: The Yokohama Date
4. Seina (Opening New Doors)
The first time I saw Seina was in OND, by which time she was already Japanese reality TV royalty. It was a treat to watch a pro navigate a few tricky love triangles without coming off as particularly duplicitous or shallow. Seina truly is a champ of reality TV. Long live the queen of drinking alone.
Best Moment: Seina drinks alone
3. Arman (Boys and Girls in the City)
Arman was so chill you wouldn’t have known if he suddenly died on the couch and was left there for days by his housemates. He had one of the longest residencies in Terrace House history, floating along on good vibes and the occasional date, but even if he overstayed his welcome, you couldn’t help but cheer for him when he and Martha finally got together. Also, the final reveal of Arman actually being a hard worker after months of ridicule from the panel for being lazy? Priceless.
Best Moment: The best worker we’ve had
2. Hansan (Boys and Girls in the City)
The sage father figure of Terrace House. Hansan came on the show with a girlfriend and never sought to do anything more than comfort and advise his fellow housemates. He single handedly broke the panel when he left, sending everyone into hysterics and tears. Don’t go, Hansan! Come back! How will we know what to do when you’re gone?
Best Moment: A tearful goodbye
1. Tsubasa (Opening New Doors)
Nobody puts Tsubasa in the corner. Hands down the greatest cast member in Terrace House history. The thoughtful, talented and introverted heart of Opening New Doors. Her story was tragic and inspiring, and her Soba making dad was spinoff worthy in his own right. It’s a shame that her relationship with Shion didn’t survive when they left the house, but their time together was pure saccharine sweetness.
Best Moment: All of them