Final Episode of Kaseifu no Mita with Matsushima Nanako Hits 40% Ratings

While I wasn’t watching, the Fall 2011 dorama season in Japan just spawned a record breaker. Matsushima Nanako‘s odd little housekeeper dorama Kaseifu no Mita (literal translation I am Mita the Housekeeper) has been a blockbuster hit from the very first episode, which premiered at almost 20% in ratings. This little sucker kept increasing its ratings every week until its final episode this past week averaged 40% in ratings! In this day and age, that is unreal. Regional breakdown has KnM hitting 42.7% final episode ratings in Kanto. The last time a dorama had an episode break 40% in Japan was the final episode of KimuTaku and Tokiwa Takako‘s Beautiful Life back in 2000. In fact, the final episode of KnM is one of the top three rated dorama episodes OF ALL TIME, which goes to show how rare it is to hit such high ratings. Reaching 40% is Kohaku-level ratings. All this for a dorama about a weird housekeeper and a family of five dealing with the grief of losing their mother? Someone who watched this tell me what’s the hook?

Nanako is following up this success of KnM with a Winter 2012 dorama for Fuji TV called Lucky Seven, which is sorta a Boss rip-off about a team of misfit detectives, co-starring Matsumoto Jun, Eita, and Naka Riisa. I’m totally curious about KnM now since the viewers are bombarding NTV with requests for a sequel immediately after the dorama finale aired. I’m pretty sure that’ll happen with such astronomical ratings.


Final Episode of Kaseifu no Mita with Matsushima Nanako Hits 40% Ratings — 45 Comments

  1. I’ve been watching this drama…. I really enjoy it. It’s simple but there are a lot of lessons. It’s a very nice drama to watch. Weird but good.

  2. I quit after the first episode, couldn’t get into it. The main character was just too unbelievable. Maybe I should give it another try…they also just started showing it on TV while I was in Taiwan earlier this month, but avoided it like the plague. Since I have time off, will try episode 2 and see if it changes my mind. Thanks for bringing it to our attention ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I have been following till end. Basically, we are all.curious why mita never smile. Through her “very well” action forced each child to face the consequence and folly of their request. Mita managed to help the family overcome.the guilt of their mother who was thought to commit suicide.

  4. I watch the first couple of episodes then lost track of it.

    I’m not sure, but I figured the housekeeper character is a robot or cyborg. I don’t consider this a spoiler because I haven’t watched beyond episode 3 or 4 and the series never said so. But she is so literal in her interpretation of orders/request and so strong physically, I figured she is the result of programming that needs fine tuning.

    • Well, I feel sorry for her. Seeing her at the amusement park sitting for hours not touching the drinks and food she purchases is heart wrenching.

      Donโ€™t get me started on the dad because he’s pitiful too. Iโ€™m glad I have this week off as I plan to finish this drama tomorrow.

  5. A question.

    Why are Japanese series called doramas? I get the k-drama for Korean series but I have not been able to figure out the origins of dorama.

    • It’s how the word “drama” is pronounced in Japan since the Japanese can’t pronounce the “dr” sound as English speakers do.

      • “like”

        I always thought that was obvious without any explanations needed ๐Ÿ˜› I guess you’d need one if you don’t watch much Japanese and don’t listen to them speak english ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. I followed the drama from beginning till end (and yes i wrote to you about it too)! First, nanako as a housekeeper made me watch the first ep. Then curiosity kicks in. Unbelievable things happen, and many people may dismiss it off as being dramatic for the sake of it. Bt the drama shows how issues are settled in a believable way. After 2 eps, i started rooting for the family. And i think the story developed the growth of the family and mita very well. Unbelievable as some portions may be, im sure such atrocious thoughts crossed any persons mind before.

  7. Because Nanako is doing so good with her role? It’s just like Japanese Nanny McPhee without the magic stuff. I think Kaseifu is good but not so amazing to break the rating. I guess maybe Nanako’s character is unique and people are curious to know what is her identity. I even cried for her confession about her life and the scene when she’s talking to grandfather.

    I like the father and the youngest are super cute. For the other kids, they’re doing ok. I don’t like the sister too much. It’s also hilarious and creepy when Mita san will do anything that they asked because they’re their master. So, she’s basically unpredictable.

  8. I watched the first few episodes and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t able to finish them out as there was a problem with the internet and then holidays.. just yeah, busy busy. The story hooked you. Why is she like that? What is up with the family? What secrets are being kept? For now, excuse me while I catch up ^.~

  9. I marathoned it last week. It’s not too bad and the premise of a mysterious weird housekeeper is quite refreshing. Not sure why hit 40% though – it has a typical Japanese ganbatte-don’t-give-up-and-things-will-get-better-and-family-must-stay-together preachy theme (ugh). I’m not into family drama personally.

    I prefer watashitachi no renai dekinai no riyuu – about a bunch of 20somethings gals who can’t find love. It’s a bit like the K-drama The Women Who Can’t Marry type of show, and the 2 female leads were from Love Shuffle, so I like it ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I’ve heard about but didn’t know the ratings were that big.

    I love Eita so I need to check out this Lucky Seven…but is it MatsuJun or Akanishi Jin because the Matsumoto Jin is confusing me?

  11. WOw – 40%??? That is totally unheard of nowadays… you guys all have me curious too since I haven’t gotten into a dorama in quite some time… maybe over a year now. I just keep dropping them. I like her… so I am curious. Congrats to them!! And really glad that there is a good show for people to get behind.

  12. Oh snap at our timing, I was just discussing this dorama and how I’m still reeling from its insane high ratings figures!
    I watched this and kind of adored it, I actually mistook it as a under-the-radar drama, hah!

    Not going to reveal anything about the plot but it actually wasn’t anything too special, had tonnes of flaws, too. But it was hella fun and addicting and Mitsushima Nanako delivered as brilliantly as expected. Buuut… warranting those kinds of figures, wow!

    • OK, maybe not ‘tonnes’ of flaws. Don’t know why I impulsively wanted to throw it under a bus just because of its ratings there. Just don’t do ‘popular stuff’ I guess.
      Oh, and one of its biggest draws was its catchy theme song by the hothothot Saito Kazuyoshi: (Just tryyy to get it out of your head now…)

      • Thanx for the link. Ever since eps 2, i can’t get the song outta my head. Nice performance too ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I’ve only watched it sporadically. No she’s not a robot nor cyborg. A human with a past. The whole thing is rather sad, pitiful and dark with some of their secrets being revealed gradually. Anyhow, I happened to be in Japan and happened to watch the last episode. To me, it was the worst WTF ending. And 40% viewership? What’s wrong with this country ?

  14. what’s the hook? the mystery surrounding Mita and how she deals with the problems occur in the family in weird way. How’s the family deal with the lost of their mother who suicide, struggle with their own problems and grow from it and become a better person and family. And in the end the family manage to make Mita to accept her own grieve and herself and able to love other people again.

    I think that’s it.


    It’s another ไบบ้–“ๅคฑๆ ผ(ningen shikkaku by Osamu Dazai) theme based drama in my eyes. If you treasure the slice of life & existential themes you would appreciate this piece to death. The story line is written around an unsurprising miracle [so called ใ‚ใ‚Šใตใ‚ŒใŸๅฅ‡่ทก]. Also the country is rebuilding itself after the earth quick/tsunami and this is one of those dramas that buries you alive and then gives you hope to get reborn to go on.
    I personally felt rejoiced after watching this drama.

    The theme song defines this drama! [look up the translation if you can’t read Japanese]

    ใ‚„ใ•ใ—ใใชใ‚ŠใŸใ„ BY ๆ–‰่—คๅ’Œ็พฉ




  16. I loved BOSS! The cast’s chemistry was awesome, and the cases quirky. I hope her character won’t be exactly the same as Amami Yuki’s, but I’ll definitely be watching ^^

    As for this, I haven’t watched it yet, but wow, those ratings are amazing!

  17. I always love Nanako. She is my favourite Japanese actress.

    This drama is sure in my “Must Watch List”. What I like about Japanese dorama is that it doesn’t try too hard to sell itself to the outside audience, much unlike Korean dramas. In fact, rather focusing on trying to send the message and get straight to its point.

    I somehow find that J-dorama is more honest than K-dramas. Sorry, just my two cents but anyone can and is free to disagree.

    • I find that Romance is a 100% must of all kdramas whether it be family themed or whatever. It just something that has to be there whether it is forced or not, and then there are the more prominant prime time dramas o each seasons that basically revolves around two odd ball couples and their odd ball evil second leads. I find that in J-drama, the romance is never really forced, or it doesn’t happen at all, which is refreshing cause that leaves time to focus on the characters themselves rather than their love lives (unless the genre of the drama is romance). When J-drama says family, oh boy it is completely focused on the family, crime – its completely focused on the detectives struggles with their past and the current crime in hand. J-drama seems to focus less on hooking up the two lead characters whenever possible which I quite like cause sometimes I would just live it if the two leads were just like best friends ya no? not sucking each others face off in a moment of teenage sexual angst everytime they are alone.

      • I second this.

        I’ve actually noticed what you mentioned before. Most kdramas are focused on a pair or more characters hooking up but not always so with jdramas. As for me, I love watching jdramas that have a “slice of life” feel to it because I believe that’s what jdramas does best.

    • This response is not so much a disagreement, as a suggestion of how to look at the differences between K-drama and J-drama. I would say that the best examples of either type provide different kinds of pleasure. In a J-drama, I expect strong emotions vividly expressed. To my mind, the rhythms of the Japanese language reinforces the vividness of the emotions, with glottal stops, the intensive pronuciation of the consonants, and the absence of consonatal clusters (two or more consonants pronounced together)

      The K-dramas tend to wander a bit with the emotions much more under the surface (except for crying – there seems to be a drippiness about Korean films that astonished me when I first started watching them). At the same time, the range of emotions is often wider.

      Also, nobody seems to know how to give a fully satisfactory ending to a K-drama. They just stop, usually in a highly predictable manner, where the J-dramas know exactly where they are going and the ending a reasonable conclusion to the development. However, the development in a K-drama is far more luxurious than in a J-drama.

      Were I to compare with authors, I would say that a K-drama often gives the pleasure one gets out of a Dickens novel, whereas a J-drama give the pleasure one gets out a Bronte novel (no matter which Bronte).

    • No. It’s mostly a family drama with a quirky character in typical J-drama format. (Present a cast and then highlight the cast per episode–See Hana Kimi for a similar format).

  18. yes, this dorama was worth the hook after zenkai girl. another reason, because it’s been a LOOOOONG while since I see her in a dorama and tt itself is a hooking factor… Hehe… I was extremely estatic to see her acting again!!!

  19. Hmmm… I watched this, it kept me intrigued, but not addicted. Haven’t watch the final episode though. Must’ve been a satisfying one, if 40% of Japanese are watching it?
    The hook really on the mystery component, and it’s pretty dramatic and “makjang” in its own way. (most of them are ใ‚ใ‚Šใˆใชใ„!! Aka unbelievable- “are you kidding me?”)
    Koala, give it a try if you like, and tell us your thought? The housekeeper is not as weird as you think, despite you can actually order her to do anything within her ability and working hours (i.e. to kill people that you dislike) teeeheee…..

    • Played a lot of the kanashii omoi for visceral effect… I disliked it for that reason and skimmed through the episodes. Despite that, the high concept was well played and it did dilver what it said it would.

      Makjang is a Korean word… don’t confuse the two countries by mixing terms. Words carry cultural weight behind them.

  20. I’ve heard about this drama but never watched it. But 40%?! Holy smokes! Well it must be doing something right.

    I’m actually more interested in that little tidbit about Lucky Seven. Eita AND MatsuJun? I am SO in. Eita fangirl coming through!

  21. after too much watching (good) k-drama, watching j-drama and its acting style kinda rubbed me in a wrong way (?). anyway, it’s really a good drama and actually i’m surprised it got a very high rating since it looks underrated (?). it does a little bit cringy, but you’d find it very… unconventional (?) and there’re many funny antics to laugh off. esp when mita started mentioning the names of AKB48 or anpanman characters. lol. and the little girl, kii-chan, is really adorable~ i’d watch this the whole day for her. i’m not as moved as i was when i watched family drama like “engine”, i didn’t even shed a single tears, but i enjoyed it and thought about it a lot when i finished it. it has a very mysterious charm to it, as simple as it is, and this is undoubtedly on my favorite j-drama list. ^^

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