Burn the House Down follows Anzu, a girl who adopts a new identity to expose her stepmother’s past misdeeds. The show is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Anzu’s parents got divorced 13 years ago because her mother, Satsuki, accidentally left the stove on and burned their house down. Satsuki was not the same after the accident. She now has generalized amnesia and does not even remember her daughters, Anzu and Yuzu.
Anzu’s father, Osamu, who is a rich doctor and the director of Mitarai Hospital, never tried to reach out to his daughters. He married Makiko, a single mother who had two sons and was Satsuki’s close friend.
Makiko is now a popular model who is concerned with maintaining the image of a perfect homemaker, as she is obsessed with getting validation on social media. She secretly hires a housekeeper because she wants people to think that she can efficiently balance household chores and her work.
This housekeeper is none other than Anzu, who has come to work for the Mitarais because she believes that her mother did not cause the fire. Her mother got convinced that it was her fault and took the blame, but Anzu saw Makiko smiling as she saw their house burn.
Anzu adopts the identity of Shizuka Yamauchi and works as a housekeeper for Makiko, who forbids her from going upstairs. It does not take long for Anzu to realize that it is because Makiko’s elder son, Kiichi, lives upstairs and does not step out of his room.
Soon, Makiko finds out that Anzu disobeyed her and fires her. She then runs into her a few days later, and Anzu helps her out. Anzu convinces Makiko to give her a second chance, and this time, she impresses her.
Anzu also manages to get close to Kiichi as she looks for evidence against Makiko. After the fire, Anzu had seen the security footage that showed a person leaving their house in a cardigan that Satsuki owned.
Anzu goes through Makiko’s belongings and finds the cardigan among them, which proves that she was the one who set the fire. What she does not know is that Kiichi suspected her from the beginning and takes a video of her snooping about.
Kiichi figures out that Shizuka Yamauchi is Anzu and uses the video that he has of her to blackmail her; he gets her to work for him.
Although Kiichi dropped out of college and never leaves his room, he has always been smart. He has found a way to make a lot of money on the internet by spreading rumors about famous people, including his mother.
Meanwhile, Anzu brings back the things that Makiko had stolen from Satsuki. When Satsuki looks at them, she starts regaining her memories. Yuzu also gets in touch with Shinji, Kiichi’s younger brother, who is studying to be a doctor and is going to take over Osamu’s position one day.
Shinji likes Yuzu and helps her reconnect with her estranged father behind his mother’s back. Due to that, Yuzu manages to get her hands on the security footage that Anzu hid in the records room of their father’s hospital 13 years ago.
When Makiko finds out about Kiichi’s websites, Kiichi is forced to put an end to his work. He feels useless and completely under his mother’s control. A confrontation with Anzu results in Anzu telling him that she knows that the fire was caused by Makiko.
This does not come as a surprise to Kiichi, as he has always suspected his mother. On the day of the fire, he tried to get her to tell him the truth, but she asked him to forget about it. Kiichi is still haunted by the truth and decides to side with Anzu to bring it to light.
Kiichi and Anzu’s relationship changes after that. She makes him clean his room and go out of the house with her. Kiichi now wishes to change his life. With Kiichi’s help, Anzu is also able to fool Shinji as well as Makiko and hide her real identity from them.
One day, Anzu also admits to him that she liked him when they were children and their mothers were friends. He used to tell her about different kinds of stars and had even given her his compass, which she still has. Even now, she believes that he is wonderful and asks him to be nicer to himself.
Yuzu keeps meeting her father in order to find out about her mother’s past. She thinks that this might help her and her sister get evidence against Makiko. Yuzu succeeds in finding a blog that is connected to Satsuki’s past.
Anzu’s friend, Claire, who is helping the sisters in proving their mother’s innocence, also finds an old lifestyle blog. Kiichi takes Anzu to his old house and gives her his mother’s old laptop. Makiko used it as her diary, so the laptop has everything in it.
Makiko always wanted to be like Satsuki; she envied her so much that she tried to pretend to be her and create the same life for herself. She created the online persona of “Aliza-san” and blogged about her imaginary life.
Yuzu starts trusting her father, and despite Anzu’s advice, she tells him that Makiko is to blame for the fire, not Satsuki. Makiko distrusts everyone, so she even bugged her husband’s office. She even asked his secretary, Ichihara, to keep an eye on him.
Makiko finds out that Yuzu has been meeting Osamu and Shinji. Osamu ends up telling Makiko that Yuzu knows that she has the cardigan that was seen in the security footage.
Makiko confronts Yuzu, makes her look like a liar, and burns the cardigan, which was the only evidence against her. She is now determined to find Anzu, even though Yuzu tells her that Anzu moved somewhere else a year ago and has nothing to do with any of this.
After this, a furious Anzu goes to confront her father. It turns out that Osamu hit Satsuki before the fire incident. He thought Satsuki was mentally unstable and set fire to the house in retaliation. For the sake of his reputation, he never gave police the security footage that could have proven that Satsuki was innocent.
Ichihara interrupts Anzu and Osamu’s argument. She tells them that Satsuki could not have been responsible for the fire because she was with her that day. Additionally, she wants to help Anzu get to the truth because Satsuki helped her a lot in the past.
While Ichihara feeds Makiko false information about the sisters, Anzu gains her trust and becomes her manager. Meanwhile, Shinji runs into Yuzu, who takes him to her mother. He does not meet her but tells Yuzu that Satsuki was kind to him as well when he was young.
Katsuragi Nanami, Shinji’s classmate who wishes to be with him because he is rich, leaks a recording of Makiko, admitting that she would do anything for money, on social media. Makiko gives Anzu her address to handle the situation.
Even before this scandal is forgotten, a user by the name of Mujina grabs Makiko’s attention on social media. Mujina was one of Makiko’s fans when she pretended to be Aliza, and she is now planning to expose Makiko’s lies.
While pretending to be Aliza, Makiko organized many gatherings for her online fans and showed up wearing Satsuki’s stolen clothes and jewelry in order to look rich. Her fans were not allowed to take pictures at these gatherings.
Makiko brings Yuzu to her house, where everyone is present, and accuses her of trying to ruin her image. Anzu also comes there and tells everyone that Yuzu’s accusations are true. It turns out that this was Kiichi’s plan to expose Makiko’s crime.
He asked Anzu to create Mujina’s profile and buy fake accounts to make it look like the account is gaining popularity. Makiko would then give Anzu Mujina’s address as she did with Nanami’s address when she needed her to take care of her.
Anzu meets Mujina, who tells her that she saw Makiko going to the Mitarai house on the day of Alice’s last gathering, which was on the same day as the fire accident. She also gives her a picture of Makiko wearing the cardigan that was seen in the security footage.
Makiko realizes that her manager, Shizuka Yamauchi, is in fact Anzu. Makiko still refuses to confess, but she is forced to do so when everyone turns against her. Anzu wants Makiko to apologize to Satsuki and free her from the guilt of setting her own house on fire.
Osamu also plans to divorce her, which would mean that Shinji will not be the next director. However, he is a coward, and Makiko forces him to support her in front of the media. Anzu and Yuzu feel like they have been abandoned by their father once again.
Meanwhile, Satsuki regains her memories and finds out that her ex-husband married Makiko. She then hacks Makiko’s social media account and shows the world that everything about Makiko’s life is fake.
Makiko goes to meet her, and the two women admit that they hate each other. Makiko’s carefully created life falls apart, and it is all because of Satsuki.
Burn the House Down ending explained in detail:
Why is Kiichi arrested?
Two weeks after people find out that Makiko’s life is full of lies, Makiko obsesses about the hate comments that she receives. Her scandal also affects Osamu and his hospital’s reputation, and he regrets marrying Makiko; he blames her and her sons for everything.
Shinji, who has always worked hard and has never been appreciated by his mother, is still trying to be a responsible son. On the other hand, Kiichi decides to leave the family when he remembers that Anzu once told him that he can do anything.
He runs away from home, and Anzu finds him. Kiichi hugs her and admits that he only cares about her opinion of him. She takes him home with her, and he starts living there.
Osamu reports Makiko’s crime to the police, and the case from 13 years ago is reopened. Although Makiko confesses and tries to convince the police that she committed arson, they start suspecting Kiichi.
Kiichi takes Anzu on a date to show her the stars the way he did when they were young. The next day, Kiichi goes to the police station and turns himself in; he confesses that he was the one who set the house on fire.
Who was responsible for the fire?
Anzu does not believe that Kiichi committed arson, so she goes to talk to Makiko. It turns out that Kiichi found out that Makiko was stealing from Satsuki and warned her not to do that.
On the day of the fire, Makiko went to the Mitarai house because she wanted to return everything that she had stolen. She then realized that she had forgotten to return that cardigan, but she never had to return it because the house was burned down.
She thought that Kiichi committed arson to protect her, and that is why she refused to discuss the matter with him. She tried to protect Kiichi, but in the end, she failed. While telling Anzu and Yuzu this, she accidentally starts a fire, which triggers Shinji.
He finally admits that it was neither Kiichi nor Makiko who was responsible for the fire. That day, Shinji went to the Mitarai house to return Satsuki’s cardigan that he found at his own house.
There, he saw food in the kitchen, and while trying to heat it up, he ended up starting the fire. He ran out of the house with the cardigan and never told anyone what happened there that day.
However, Kiichi figured out that his younger brother was responsible for the fire. He did not want him or his mother to go to prison, so he took the blame.
Is Shinji sentenced to prison?
Shinji apologizes to the sisters and regrets not confessing sooner. As Anzu and Yuzu want Shinji to apologize to their mother, he goes to meet Satsuki with them. He apologizes to her on his knees, as she had to take the blame for the crime he committed.
Satsuki does not hold a grudge against him. She forgives him and tells him that she will never think or speak ill of him. The police let Kiichi go once Shinji confesses, and Kiichi asks his brother not to give up on being good.
In the end, Shinji is not punished for arson because, at the time of the incident, he was under the age of 14. He then goes to Osamu and tells him that he still wants to work at the hospital.
Initially, Osamu is reluctant, but he allows him to do so when Ichihara points out that they are short on staff, as so many people quit after the scandal. Shinji gets a second chance to make a life for himself, and he has Yuzu’s support.
What happens to everyone else?
Satsuki gets better and returns home. She starts studying again and makes an effort to do everything that she could not do for years. Yuzu gets a job at a staffing agency, where her communication skills can be used well.
Osamu and Makiko get divorced, but Makiko makes a comeback on social media. When Kiichi was proven innocent, Anzu confessed her love to him in front of Makiko and asked him to live with her.
Anzu knew that Kiichi was hated by everyone on the internet, but she was ready to defend him. Kiichi argued that his life was over, but she asked him not to give up. He finally agreed to live with Anzu because he was also in love with her.
Three months later, Anzu and Kiichi are still living together. Anzu now works with Claire, and Kiichi, who no longer looks unkempt, also has a job. Kiichi managed to turn his life around with Anzu by his side.
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