Sunday, December 23, 2001

Maison Ikkoku

Genre: Comedy
Parental Guidance Recommended
1996-1988 Rumiko Takahashi, Fuji TV, Kitty Film

Maison Ikkoku DVDs
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Everything Maison Ikkoku

Skysenshi's Description:
Meet Godai, the unfortunate cram school student who has difficulty getting into college. He lives in Maison Ikkoku with the worst possible neighbors that make his life almost like a living nightmare. Studying and trying to get into a good college is just not going to happen-not in Maison Ikkoku. One day, just when he decides that he's had enough, an "angel" named Kyoko appeared to make everything all right... well... almost.

(96 Episodes)

96 episodes of pure hilarity and a beautiful feel good ending! >>> by skysenshi
Though Maison Ikkoku is an old mid 80's anime that started airing on TV before Urusei Yatsura was even finished, it certainly proves Rumiko Takahashi's versatility as a mangaka. The stark contrast of Maison Ikkoku from her other titles Ranma, Urusei Yatsura, and Inu Yasha is nothing short of remarkable. Though Takahashi's fondness for romantic comedies is of course evident in every manga she has ever written, her approach to each and every title varies, which only shows that she handles every work with utmost care and a great deal of thought.

Maison Ikkoku isn't like your usual bubblegum love story where characters are in their teens whose worst problems are acne and academic recognition. Godai and Kyoko are adults, with adult problems that may seem juvenile sometimes but are very much real. They also grow older - witnessing the change of seasons and the passage of time. Maison Ikkoku almost seems like a parody of real life experiences, exaggerated to a degree that would certainly elicit laughter from audiences even though the realism never fades. Watch Godai "suffer" the life of a rounin who can't pass college entrance exams at first. Later, it's finding a job that becomes his most difficult task. As if this isn't enough, he also has to contend with the annoyingly perfect tennis coach Mitaka for Kyoko's heart. Life can't be more exciting than this, ne? Wrong. If you have noisy, troublemaking drunkards who enjoy turning you entire world upside-down for your neighbors, the challenge should be doubled with by the day. Imagine what poor Godai has to go through with each episode!

Love polygons fly from just about every angle. My personal favorite is the appearance of Yagami, which brought out the schoolgirl inside Kyoko out. Kyoko is usually reserved and unexpressive of her true feelings towards Godai, but she isn't the epitome of timidity that most liberated women would love to hate. Trust Rumiko Takahashi to come up with excellent character design that everybody will remember even after decades have passed. What makes this a fine piece of work is that Maison Ikkoku has a feel good ending - every character, supporting or not, have equal opportunities at having a wonderful life.

End Note: I noticed that some of the background music here is similar to those used in Ranma (if not exactly the same).

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 9; Characters 10; Sounds 7

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