In the series Burn The House Down, Kiichi Mitarai is depicted as a character who has endured significant ridicule and neglect from both the world and his parents. The narrative explores the reasons behind Kiichi’s transformation into a delinquent and shut-in, a state he remained in for a period of ten long years.
Kiichi Mitarai, in his early years, was a vibrant and cheerful young man who had a knack for accomplishing tasks with his intelligence. His ability to find joy in the simple things was a defining aspect of his character. However, his life took a dramatic turn after his mother, Makiko, married Osamu Mitarai. The association with the prestigious Mitarai family brought forth a wave of overwhelming popularity for Kiichi. Suddenly, he found himself in the spotlight, constantly in the public eye due to his connection with the family. The newfound attention and scrutiny he faced from the outside world had a profound impact on him. As Kiichi’s popularity soared, he started experiencing the burden of expectations and the loss of personal freedom. The constant presence of others, their judgment, and the weight of living up to the reputation of the Mitarai family took a toll on his ability to be around people. The pressure to conform to societal expectations and maintain a certain image became suffocating, leading Kiichi to retreat from social interactions.
The once-outgoing and happy young man gradually became withdrawn, seeking solace in solitude. He found it challenging to find genuine connections amidst the sea of superficiality that surrounded him. Kiichi’s inability to be himself and the loss of the little things that once brought him happiness contributed to his seclusion from the world. Kiichi’s character in the story is portrayed as someone who motivates and inspires those around him to become better versions of themselves. Even Osamu’s children, Anzu and Yuzu, hold him in high regard and look up to him. Kiichi’s passion for stargazing inadvertently caught Anzu’s attention, leading her to emulate his interests and actions. Meanwhile, Makiko’s obsession with Satsuki, Osamu’s ex-wife, serves as a stark contrast to the impoverished nature of their own lives. Kiichi becomes aware of the stark difference in how Anzu and Yuzu are treated, receiving everything they ask for instantly, which leads him to question his own mother’s meddling in their lives.
Kiichi’s Experiences With Bullying
Kiichi’s character in the story maintains a good relationship with his friends and is widely popular in his school. His talents and abilities are recognized and admired by his peers. However, when Kiichi successfully passes a challenging entrance test for a prestigious medical school, the dynamics change. Instead of celebrating his achievement, people begin to bully and harass him, accusing him of riding on the coattails of his step-father’s popularity. The bullying takes a toll on Kiichi, as he becomes the target of relentless torment from his upperclassmen. In the midst of his suffering, Kiichi notices that his closest friends seem to have distanced themselves from him. Unbeknownst to Kiichi, the main reason for their behavior stems from Makiko’s interference. She personally approaches his friends and offers them large sums of money to stay away from Kiichi, tarnishing their loyalty and causing them to abandon him. Upon discovering his mother’s betrayal, Kiichi is devastated. He had never expected his own mother to manipulate his friendships and compromise their integrity for the sake of upholding their family’s reputation. The revelation shatters his trust and leaves him feeling isolated and betrayed.
When Kiichi shuts himself in his room, he transforms from being the ideal son and brother into someone who lacks motivation even for basic tasks like tidying up his room. On the other hand, viewers may question Mikako’s apparent concern for Kiichi, but in reality, she never allows him the independence to earn and build his own life. Kiichi is haunted by the fear of his mother’s control, as she seems to have knowledge of everything happening in his life. Makiko’s constant belittling of Kiichi reinforces his feelings of loneliness and insignificance. Despite the challenging circumstances and his mother’s control, there are moments when Kiichi doesn’t solely place blame on his mother for his predicament. He recognizes that he also bears some responsibility for allowing the negative opinions of others to impact him. A part of him acknowledges that he could have chosen to disregard the hurtful comments and persevered to become a successful doctor in his own right.
Differences Between Kiichi And Shinji
Kiichi and Shinji, as siblings, possess starkly different personalities and trajectories in their lives. During their upbringing, it would have been hard to predict that Kiichi would end up in his current state, as it was Shinji who seemed to immerse himself in video games and consistently made mistakes. However, their roles have reversed significantly over time. As Kiichi has taken on the responsibility of living up to the Mitarai family name, he has become increasingly withdrawn and inactive. This contrasts with Shinji, who has undergone a remarkable transformation. Despite facing criticism from their mother, Makiko, Shinji believes that Kiichi bears some responsibility for his own situation. Shinji, aware of the negative perceptions people have of him, has developed a keen sense of self-awareness. Recognizing that others tend to underestimate him, Shinji has dedicated himself to studying diligently.
Through hard work and a complete change in persona, he has defied expectations and overcome the judgments of others. Kiichi’s vulnerability, on the other hand, has made him susceptible to the power of his bullies. He has relinquished control, allowing them to inflict emotional harm upon him. This divergence in the siblings’ experiences emphasizes the individual paths they have chosen. Shinji’s transformation demonstrates the strength and determination he possesses, enabling him to rise above societal expectations. Meanwhile, Kiichi’s vulnerability highlights the consequences of allowing external forces to dictate one’s self-worth. As the situation escalated and Makiko began intruding into Shinji’s personal life, he reached his breaking point. The increasing interference from Makiko, combined with the realization that Osamu had no intentions of passing on the clinic as inheritance, led Shinji to make a firm decision.
Shinji refused to become a mere tool for his mother’s ambitions and chose to step back, prioritizing his own desires and the freedom to live life on his own terms. He recognized that his mother’s intentions were driven by her own desires and ambitions rather than considering his happiness and aspirations. Shinji’s decision to reject this path highlights his resolve to carve out his own destiny, independent of his mother’s influence. Kiichi was on the same path, and he also reached a breaking point and made a pivotal decision. He had finally had enough of Makiko’s control and interference in their lives. When Anzu sought his support in collecting evidence about the house fire, Kiichi chose to stand by her side, knowing that exposing the truth would have severe consequences for Makiko and potentially ruin her life.
Kiichi And Anzu
Despite their initial lack of connection and subsequent separation from each other, Anzu and Kiichi unexpectedly found love and developed deep feelings for one another. The dynamic between them shifted, as Anzu, who once idolized Kiichi as a role model, now became an inspiration for him. She demonstrated the true essence of living and the courage to confront one’s fears. In Kiichi’s darkest moments, when he needed support the most, it was Anzu who stood by his side, pulling him out of the engulfing darkness. This reversal of roles showcased the strength and of their bond. Anzu’s presence provided Kiichi with the comfort and guidance he needed, transcending the need for Makiko’s support. While Kiichi’s mother, Makiko, was determined to keep him under her supervision throughout his life, Anzu played a different role in his life. She brought a sense of balance and encouraged Kiichi to take responsibility for himself, even in seemingly trivial tasks like cleaning.