Satsuki & Makiko In ‘Burn The House Down,’ Explained

The series Burn The House Down explores the character of Makiko Mitarai, a single mother who goes to extreme lengths, driven by a malevolent intent, to obtain the life she has always desired. Her character illustrates a dark determination to match the lifestyle of Satsuki, ultimately assuming her identity and gradually integrating herself into her life.


Spoilers Ahead 

Makiko’s Relationship With Satsuki 

Makiko had been living a relatively normal life as a single mother, taking care of her two beautiful sons, Kiichi and Shinji. Despite facing the challenges of poverty, she managed to navigate through life without much trouble. However, everything changed when she crossed paths with Satsuki Mitarai, a wealthy woman who seemed to have it all – handling her husband Osamu’s clinic work and living a luxurious life gilded with designer clothes and other amenities. Initially, their friendship must have started on a healthy note, as Satsuki found Makiko to be a close friend whom she could confide in. Makiko’s simplicity and calm demeanor may have attracted Satsuki, who likely saw her as a trustworthy companion. However, as time passed, something began to shift within Makiko.


Gradually, Makiko started adopting the traits and mannerisms of Satsuki. She began wearing clothes similar to hers, imitating her behavior and speech patterns, and even styling her hair in a similar fashion. Satsuki, consumed by her selfless attitude and perhaps too preoccupied with her own life, failed to notice the transformation taking place right before her eyes. Unbeknownst to Satsuki, Makiko was slowly evolving into a different person altogether, taking on Satsuki’s identity and aspirations as her own. Makiko’s intentions began to turn deceitful and manipulative as she sought to replace Satsuki and inherit her affluent lifestyle. The once-innocent and unassuming Makiko had transformed into a metaphorical snake, silently breeding within the den of their friendship.

Makiko’s Obsession 

As the days went by, Makiko’s obsession with Satsuki grew stronger, and she couldn’t stop talking about Satsuki’s luxurious lifestyle to her sons. It became a pattern, to the point where her mind started rationalizing theft as a means to achieve her dreams. Makiko’s poverty became a constant reminder of the barriers preventing her from attaining the life she desired, and she saw Satsuki’s life as the ultimate solution to all her problems. Makiko’s behavior began to exhibit traits associated with a psychopathic mindset. She became obsessed with the idea of fame and wealth, gradually transforming herself into a person fixated on acquiring material possessions and social status. While her behavior can be traced back to her challenging past, where she had to face hardships on her own.


Makiko failed to understand why Satsuki would try to distance herself from the materialistic aspects of her life, seeking happiness in simple pleasures. Makiko’s perspective was solely focused on gaining control over Satsuki’s belongings, even going as far as attempting to exert control over her husband. After Makiko’s plans fell into place, she successfully became the lady of the Mitarai household, gaining control over everything within it. Her obsession with Satsuki’s life led her to assume a new identity—one of a perfect wife and mother. Makiko used her newfound position and influence to create a persona that aligned with the expectations of her fans and the public.

Becoming a famous model allowed Makiko to further solidify her image as an ideal woman. She carefully crafted a facade that portrayed her as flawless and unattainable, appealing to her fans’ desire for perfection. Makiko understood that the public’s perception of her was crucial for maintaining her status and keeping her control intact.


Makiko’s Relationship With Her Sons

While on the surface, Makiko appears to be the perfect mother; the reality is far different. Despite her efforts to keep her sons close, she exercises control over them to an unhealthy extent. She invades their personal lives, constantly snooping around, and belittles them for not meeting her high standards. This toxic behavior has had a profound impact on her son Kiichi, who has become a shut-in, isolating himself from the outside world due to a deep-seated belief that he will never be able to achieve anything in life. On the other hand, Shinji is loved by his mother, but even he faces constant pressure and mockery to excel and become a doctor like his stepfather. Kiichi resents Makiko for her actions and desperately longs for a life of his own.

Behind Makiko’s outward beauty lies a deadly obsession with perfection. Her need for control and her pursuit of an idealized image have created an oppressive environment for her sons. Makiko’s insistence on them living up to her unrealistic expectations has stifled their individuality and self-esteem. Moreover, the constant belittling and pressure to achieve more only deepen Kiichi’s sense of worthlessness and fuel his desire to break free from his mother’s grasp. Makiko’s need for perfection stems from her own insecurities and unfulfilled desires. She mistakenly believes that by molding her sons to fit her vision of success, she can achieve the validation and happiness she craves. However, her actions are destructive, causing harm to the very people she claims to love.


Differences And Similarities Between Makiko And Satsuki 

Satsuki and Makiko were always inherently different from each other. While Satsuki’s intentions were driven by genuine goodwill, Makiko’s motives were far from pure. Despite the authenticity of their friendship, Makiko constantly sought to overshadow Satsuki. When the blame for the kitchen fire at Satsuki’s house fell upon her, Makiko seized the opportunity and manipulated her husband into divorcing Satsuki. This act highlighted Makiko’s willingness to exploit any chance to undermine Satsuki’s image and position. Satsuki, despite her frail health, consistently prioritized her family above all else. Her selflessness and dedication to her loved ones were unwavering. On the other hand, Makiko’s claims of prioritizing her family were overshadowed by her true desire to surpass the reputation that Satsuki had painstakingly built for herself.

Throughout her life, Makiko found herself living in the shadow of Satsuki, an unbearable reality that fueled her envy and need to prove herself superior. In her pursuit to appear as a diligent mother and wife, surpassing Satsuki in every way, Makiko failed to recognize the true value of what she had been missing. Her fixation on outward appearances and the desire to outshine Satsuki resulted in a strained relationship with her children. The once strong bond between Makiko and her children was eroded by her obsession with proving herself better than Satsuki, leaving a trail of broken trust and fractured connections. Meanwhile, despite the challenges caused by the amnesia resulting from the fire incident, Satsuki displayed determination to recognize her children. Her resilience and love for her family transcended her memory loss. 


Satsuki’s efforts to rebuild her relationships demonstrated her inherent goodness and genuine commitment to her loved ones, despite her own personal struggles. When Osamu was unable to stand up for his wife and protect her from the disparaging comments and constant belittlement by his sisters, Satsuki experienced feelings of sadness. However, she refused to lose hope and decided to meet with her internet friends to gain the confidence to speak up and assert herself. On the other hand, Makiko was well aware of the situation and understood that she couldn’t back down. She consistently stood up for herself and made sure that Osamu didn’t give up on their relationship. Although there may have been a time when Makiko felt pity for Satsuki, she was no longer willing to give up on the empire that she had created for herself. 

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!

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