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Apr 25, 2017
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Konbanwa!

Unlike most reality television programs, Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City has a simple premise: six strangers live together in a decked-out pad in Tokyo, interacting as they go about their daily routines. Some of them are in search of love, others are in it to gain traction for their personal goals, while most, well, they just can’t resist the opportunity to stay in a super cool mansion surrounded by other good-looking people.

The setup is the perfect catalyst for conflict, but since the cast is primarily Japanese, politeness usually takes over. If these were a bunch of Americans, every episode would be filled with catfights, sticky sex, and the hurling of expletives. And unlike the more popular Big Brother, the housemates are allowed to leave the confines of their new home to work, go on dates, and have loads of fun. So if the melodrama doesn’t entertain you, take solace in the fact that it’s like a mini-tour around the quaint cafes and hip joints in and around Tokyo.

The show has become a hit with millennials, sparking water cooler talk or healthy debate over beers about who their favorite castmate is and which pair is ship-worthy. The cultural differences and alternative approach to social dynamics is the reason why TH is so refreshing—it’s a slice-of-life series that has a simultaneously exciting and relaxing effect, akin to a sexy day at the spa with your very reserved lover. After all, just like the show’s main title song goes, “we need to slow dooooooooown.”

If everything mentioned above still isn’t enough to pique your curiosity, the show has a number of kawaii Japanese women with all sorts of interesting backgrounds. There are models and actresses and students, all of whom contribute a unique presence to the mix. They're waifu­-worthy stunners that you’ll want to grab a bowl of ramen with. Learn more about them below and see which one will earn your attention as a new must-follow on Instagram. 

Minori Nakada

This budding model is a soft-spoken wallflower with a knack for whipping up delish dishes in the kitchen (omu rice, anyone?). She’s pretty funky, her edgy fashion sense and indubitable swagger lend her a quiet confidence that some of the more talkative housemates don’t have. Her expressive eyes and pouty mouth are alluring and otherworldly lures that make all the men in the house want to go jogging with her.    

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Mizuki Shida

She’s a part-time barista, part-time office worker, and a full-on hottie. Sadly, she has had troubles in the romance department. Her optimism and kind demeanor throughout her stint, however, are quite admirable. You’ll find love one day, Mizuki! Don’t give up!

Yuriko Hayata

Although she’s easily one of the cutest housemates ever, many fans of the show will argue that this medical student is on their shit-list for pretending to be demure and fragile when she’s anything but. Well, one thing’s for sure, she’s a sucker for fancy restaurants (and holding on to former flames). 

Arisa Ohata

When this lovable hat maker first enters the house, her sophisticated taste and spellbinding appeal become irresistible to the gents. But what makes Arisa stand out from the rest of the bunch is her drive and ambition to succeed in her chosen profession, opting to focus on her career before giving in to the follies of romance—a quality that makes her even more attractive.  

Natsumi Saito

Every reality TV show needs a narcissistic psycho to stir the pot. And because she is aggressive, blunt, and unapologetic, Natsumi’s addition to the fray rocks the boat, forcing a few interventions here and there. You wouldn’t want to piss off this badass babe, especially when she's had one too many beers. Kampai!

Misaki Tamori

An entertainer through and through, Misaki is the type of individual who’s capable of hijacking a conversation just because, at her core (yes, she has a core), she’s used to having lively interactions with others. But don’t let your initial impression of her oft-annoying perkiness fool you, she’s a sweetheart deep down and eventually matures into a well-rounded young lady. 

Riko Nagai

This 18-year-old looker first enters Terrace House after winning a national modeling competition. Keep an eye on her, for her duplicitous façade of nubile naivete sparks one of the season’s most controversial storylines.

Momoka Mitsunaga

A ballerina looking to make it as a pro, Momoka displays the kind of discipline that many a successful athlete would admire. Watch in awe as she attempts to twirl her way to the big leagues, inspiring her housemates in the process. 

Masako Endo

Well, what do you know, a half-Filipina beauty rounds up the list. Masako (or Martha) is a spunky beach babe who knows what she wants and how to get it. Her candid manner of speaking and chill outlook on life injects the house with a refreshing sense of delight. Watching her smile is like catching a glimpse of the sunset—utterly heartwarming and totally mesmerizing.

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Terrace House: Girls & Boys in the City is currently streaming on Netflix.

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