Yusaku Godai is a ronin – a person who failed his entrance exams. Though eager for a second chance to succeed, Yusaku’s attempts to study for future exams are constantly thwarted by his fellow residents at Maison Ikkoku, who insist on using his apartment for their debauchery and drinking games. Though tempted to call it quits at the house, things change when Maison Ikkoku’s beautiful new building manager, Kyoko, arrives. With plenty of competition from the sidelines and interference from his drunken and provocative neighbors, Yusaku must now focus his energy on winning the girl of his dreams, Kyoko!
Maison Ikkoku is an old show, with oldschool animation, but with a lot of heart. It's also a long show. 96 episodes plus a couple OVAs, and it's a long road to travel. In the end, it's all worth it. The romance in this show feels more earned than in 99% of other romance-centered anime I've watched. And I've watched a lot. The characters in this show are what stand above just about everything else out there. There is real, actual character development that feels so realistic and genuine that it's hard to believe this is an anime from the 80s. For the two primary characters, at least. And maybe one or two others. The rest, though... not so much. Most of the side characters I grew to love, for the most part, but they're just ridiculous. It's such an odd dichotomy to have these genuinely well-developed characters alongside these other, far simpler joke-centric characters. It works, but sometimes you just get frustrated by how much time is spent on them and their nonsense. Speaking of nonsense, there is quite a bit of "filler" content here. Yet at the same time, I would never feel comfortable saying you should skip certain episodes. Because it felt like even the most filler of filler episodes would have just the slightest amount of development toward the main romance, making even the most annoying episodes worthwhile. That being said, though I say they're annoying, these episodes are usually entertaining and would get quite a few laughs from me. There was even an episode about 2/3rds of the way through the series that I assumed was just going to be a filler plot that would never be mentioned again, that ended up being a major factor in the rest of the series. It introduced possibly the best character on the show aside from the two main protagonists, completely out of nowhere. I've never been so pleasantly surprised by something like that. So, let's stop beating around the bush and talk about the main arc of the show, the romance. In the beginning, our main character Godai simply does not deserve to get with Kyoko. He's just not mature enough and not "grown up" enough to be worthy of some one like Kyoko. She, on the other hand, has been through massive tragedy, and in the beginning simply isn't ready to move on. These two characters, in some ways, develop in opposite trajectories. Godai gets more mature, and eventually gets some much-needed direction in his life. Kyoko, on the other hand, starts out hardened and closed off, but slowly softens and becomes more youthful and open to life's possibilities as the show goes on. I'm being as vague as I can here, because I really don't want to spoil what for me were some of the best romantic moments in anything I've ever watched. There was one moment in particular toward the backend of the show that was so beautiful and downright adorable that I had to go back and watch it a few more times. The absolute delight I get from just thinking about that moment has stuck with me for several weeks. It's actually been maybe 2 months since I finished the show, and I've watched plenty of other things since then, but I still find myself coming back and thinking about this series. If you're a romance anime fanatic like I am, you owe it to yourself to give this show a shot. It's a long road of many, many episodes with plenty of filler you wish you could skip, but in the end, it really is all worth it.
Maison Ikkoku is an old fashion anime. From its take on relationships to how the characters relate and respond to romance you would probably expect this anime to have been done in the 60s. Now mind you if you love old anime Maison Ikkoku is pretty ok but if your spreading your wings into older content then this shouldn't be your first stop. This anime is very slow and whimsical when it comes to plot progression. Story-wise the plot is simple, a repeating student (ronin) meets his new landlord, a beautiful young widow and falls in love. The plot then hinges on the fact that the widow doesn't wish to relinquish her emotions for her deceased husband even if the attraction is mutual. This leads to episodic content similar to watching grass grow just not as painful. Now this wouldn't have been as bad if the anime wasn't ulta-traditional which means that there isn't any fooling around, kissing or hooking up until pretty much the end. also for those accustom to more modern traditions the ideas in this anime will see pretty dated especially when the widow is pressured to remarry. Animation and sound is pretty much standard for that time with the 80s sound track and style of drawing. the clothing and atmosphere will draw you into that time and this may or may not be a bad thing if you love nostalgia. Characters...where do i start. I'd gladly kill Godai's neighbors any day of the week and then sit in death-row contently waiting for my death. this is how much i loathe them. i have never seen such annoying characters. if the creator's intention is to make you want to stab them with a rusty screwdriver then he has succeed beyond his imagination. yet i somehow believe that they are only meant to be mildly annoying and sometimes likeable which for the aforementioned reasons is quite impossible. This leaves me with Godai the main protagonist who is the cliched indecisive male lead and Kyoko the beautiful manager. Godai is a mixture of anime male protagonists on one half we have the under-dog love interest type who trying to win the girl of his dreams while put his life in order and then we have indecisive male who can't make up his mind when it comes to girls. This wouldn't be a problem but he if the girl he was in love with wasn't Kyoko. So whats is suppose to be indecisiveness looks more like him more using the other women till he gets Kyoko and that makes him a bastard. Now while Kyoko is a bit too old fashion for my taste she i probably the best thing about this anime. Her character is well fleshed out and her personality is easily understood. This makes the jeering and manipulations of the other tenants slightly funny as you easily believe her naivety. Her reluctance to give up ties to her dead spouse is meant to downplay Godai's indecisiveness as well as her interactions with Godai's competition Mitaka. There is some attempt to give some personality to the other tenants who mostly party and annoy Godai but at the point the attempt is made you've probably already planned your alibi. Overall its 96 episodes of emotions, mostly from you and if survive them without committing a homicide you'll be rewarded for your journey. Definitely worth it if it is only to see Kyoko and a decent love story. Kyoko
Am not good at reviewing so i will just post some1s review which copies my exact words into perfect english. if any1 reads this dont forget to thank the official person who wrote the review below ^.^ Nothing, nothing, nothing can prepare you for this series. When most of you think of Takahashi Rumiko, you think super-dimensional mallets, massive glomping, slapstick humor and an entourage of characters that make the show nothing short of a circus. You would never expect that the very same Takahashi is a master weaver of subtle, gentle, and poignant relationships--sans resentment, violence, shouting matches, and "I-love-you-but-will-pretend-to-hate-you" a la kindergarten playground antics. Maison Ikkoku takes you (and nearly any Japanese person) back to the days when love was--well, still anything but simple, but sweeter and quieter than what it is today. "Moe" was nowhere to be seen, Internet and cell phones were absent, preventing a lot of today's modern-day lover mix-ups, and shounen titles were still capable of delivering love stories that made shoujo titles writhe with envy. Godai Yusaku is the boy you love more than anything, but would avoid associating with at all costs. He is, from an outsider's view, a total loser. He has failed his university exams, living on instant ramen, burying his face in dirty magazines, his life is one bad decision after another...and could very well have been an endless downward spiral into eternal loser-dom, were it not for the fateful arrival of the beautiful, but quite normal Otonashi Kyoko. Kyoko, a young widow who takes over the seemingly unglamorous and stressful job of managing Ikkoku-kan's tenants, is sweet but firm, mature and graceful--and, let's face it, totally out of Godai's league as it stands. Slowly, as a lustful Godai actually gets to know Kyoko as someone other than "the HAWT manager lady" (I exaggerate), we begin to see the gradual maturation of Godai into an aimless teenager into a mature young man, striving to be husband material for the sympathetically independent Kyoko. The realism and gradual development between the two main characters is so refreshing and never forced. While we never lose focus of the end goal in sight (this is a love story, after all), there are several detours along the way--some in the form of love triangles, other in the forms of lifetime responsibilities (Godai actually graduating college, for example). A determined Godai and the audience are all taught the virtue of patience--as much as all of us want him to win the girl, we understand (along with the main character) that truely good things are worth waiting for...and in the mean time, life goes on for everyone. Kyoko and Godai both date other people, do different things, take different paths, the only thing keeping them together being sharing the same roof of Ikkoku-kan. At one point, even that is threatened. On a personal note, it was this series that pushed me over the edge in a sense--in regards to moving to Japan. Maison Ikkoku gives a very accurate portrayal of an average Japanese person's life, especially that of a singleton living alone and fairing for themselves. We see the fun, the not-so-fun, and the very unsavory realities of living in Japan. It is cramped. It is crowded. You do spend most of your time on the floor. Making the picture of your average Japanese life even more complete is the colorful, slightly zany cast of supporting characters, starting with (but not limited to) the other tenants of Ikkoku-kan. Unlike so many supporting casts, the tenants of Ikkoku-kan are not living in a vacuum, and react to all the things that happen to our main characters. Certain "plot holes" that normally aren't addressed in other titles are questioned here (like "where is Kentaro's father?" and "what does Yotsuya do for a living?"), and each one has identities of their own with events and consequences that leak into each other's lives. Incredible animation is not necessary for telling such a breathtaking story, but fortunately, we don't have to worry about being short-changed. Of course, the vintage of this series is the early-to-mid eighties, so the animation you can expect is somewhere between the later part of Urusei Yatsura and the earlier part of Ranma 1/2, as much of the creative teams for these series took part inMaison Ikkoku. The music and sound effects are also slightly dated for the times, but the opening the ending animation sequences remain some of my favorites. The Jpop masters of the time (including actress Saitoh Yuki, Pierrot, and now defunct Anzen Chitai featuring Tamaki Kouji) lend their talents to the impressive collection of theme songs, capturing the era, the hope, the passion, and the longing in a way that most anime theme songs fail to do in more recent years. But with a whopping 96 episodes (has Takahashi ever done a single-season series other than Rumik World?), it might take a bit of convincing to get into something (especially something as emotionally involving as this series) for the long haul. Let me put it this way: if I had my way, I would attend every anime convention and pass out copies of the series like an evangelist would Bible tracts. Unlike so many of Takahashi's recent (and loooooong!) series, this one has a solid, rewarding conclusion. One that makes you both cry and cheer at the same time. So rarely in an animated series are there characters that you laugh with, drink with, cry with, party with...and Godai and Kyoko open the door to you to join them in Ikkoku-kan...and the greatest days of their young adult lives. http://www.themanime.org/viewreview.php?id=932
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