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The Asian ApertureMaison Ikkoku (anime series 1986-1988)
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, December 15, 2013    Share

At 96 episodes, I have finally finished watching all of Maison Ikkoku and it is my favorite romantic comedy anime of all time. That is a lot from me, a guy who generally doesnít like romantic comedy movies. However, Maison Ikkoku worked for me and if you give it a chance, it will work for you.

Based on a popular manga by the Queen of Manga, Rumiko Takahashi, Masion Ikkoku tells the story of young Yusaku Godai, a young ronin college student, who spends his days living cheaply and studying to get into any university that will accept him. Tired of his life, Godai decides to move out of the aging boarding house, Maison Ikkoku, until his life changes forever when he meets the beautiful young widow, Kyoko Otonashi, who is the new manager.

Overwhelmed by Miss Otonashi charm and looks, Godai decides to stick it out at Maison Ikkoku. Kyoko has a big white furry dog called Soichiro, named after her late husband.

It is not going to be easy thanks to quirky neighbors and Godaiís rival for Kyokoís attention, the handsome tennis coach, Shun Mitaka. Mitaka has everything going for him including wealth, a cool sports car, and a competitive spirit that is hard to beat.

Godaiís neighbors include the mysterious Mr. Yotsuya, who breaks a hole into Godaiís room and pops in at unwanted times. Yotsuya is always stealing Godaiís food from care packages that his family sends him. He also scams Godai out of money and free dinners because he knows how infatuated Godai is with Kyoko and he often spies on Godai to get secrets that he threatens to tell if his demands are not met.

Then there is the voluptuous bar hostess, Akemi Roppongi, who walks around Maison Ikkoku in sexy lingerie and is always up for a night of partying and drinking.

Hanae Ichinose is the loud mouthed life of the party whose hard drinking is a source of embarrassment to her young son, Kentaro. Mr. Ichinose is her husband and is rarely seen because he is an overworked salaryman.

Godai is in love with the manager but he must compete against Mitaka and he sometimes hangs out with the college girl, Kozue, that results in Kyokoís anger.

What makes Maison Ikkoku work so effectively is how true to life the events that unfold are. A lot of the humor comes from misunderstandings that are laugh out loud hysterical.
There are no mechas, aliens, Sci Fi, or horror elements, or magical girls with superpowers in the show which makes the series so atypical for Takahashi, who has had great success with Urusei Yatsura, Ranma Ĺ, and InuYasha. However, I think that non-anime fans can easily slip into the story in Maison Ikkoku due to the fact that it doesnít rely on typical anime tropes. This is a show that could really happen.

Once you understand the characters and the basic storyline that Godai is trying to get into college and then later on, struggling along as a poor college student who is in love, the humor works so well within that framework.

Maison Ikkoku is one of the few anime series that I have seen that has so many episodes and I canít recall disliking a single episode. In fact, I eagerly awaited each new DVD in the mail from Netflix because I was so caught up in watching it that I had to know what was going to happen next.

Due yourself a favor, regardless if you are an anime fan or not, if you are young or old, donít let the fact that the series came out in 1986 and has that 80ís anime look to it stop you, watch the first episode. I was hooked after I saw it and I was driven to watch the entire series with many other things such as hobbies, movies, TV series, hanging out with friends, and reading books vying for my attention. The show is that good.

Maison Ikkoku comes with my highest recommendation ever for an anime series and the ending was satisfying. The DVDs are currently available through Netflix.

Happy Viewing!!

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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