Synonyms: Ikkoku House, Juliette, je t`aime
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Mar 26, 1986 to Mar 2, 1988
25 min. per episode
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.261 (scored by 4181 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
comedy drama romance
SynopsisMaison Ikkoku is a romanic comedy series created by Rumiko Takahashi. The story centers around the development of the relationship between Kyoko Otonashi and Yusaku Godai. Kyoko is a recent widow who moves into the apartment house Ikkoku-kan where she becomes the manager. Godai is a wanna-be student ("ronin") struggling with college entrance exams.
When they meet, it's love at first sight—for Godai anyway. Along the way, the other tentants, the mysterious Yotsuya, the seemingly alcoholic Ichinose, and the brash Akemi, watch and occasionally take part to make their lives more interesting. To complicate matters further, the wealthy tennis coach Shun Mitaka has his eye on Kyoko, while Godai is pursued by both Nanao Kozue and Ibuki Yagami. Covering a wide range of emotions from hysterically funny to painfully sad, Maison Ikkoku—all 96 episodes—is well worth seeing.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Maison Ikkoku
Side story: Maison Ikkoku: Deserted Island
Sequel: Maison Ikkoku: Final Chapter
Summary: Maison Ikkoku: Through the Passing of the Seasons
Prequel: Maison Ikkoku: Prelude - Meguru Haru no Sakura no you ni...
Characters & Voice Actors
Rumiko Takahashi's Maison Ikkoku. Never have I seen anything as human as this. It was summer, a couple of years ago, when I stumbled upon an anime that seemed like it was an ancient artifact, a blast from the past. Because of how it looked (the quality's very worn-out), I almost dismissed it. Just like most of the people who do not give old anime a chance. I was fortunate enough because I decided to stick with the show for 96 episodes. After I watched it, I felt as though I just watched one of the best things that ever happened to anime.
The story revolves around the old apartment Maison Ikkoku (even the apartment is old. Laughs). Yusaku Godai, room five's resident, together with Yotsuya, Akemi, and the Ichinose family, lives in it. The plot opens just as the old manager left the building. Suddenly, a beautiful middle-aged woman named Kyoko Otonashi (along with her dog) arrives, and tells them that she's their new manager.
Yusaku Godai is not your typical perfect main character. He's a ronin, someone who can't pass college entrance exams. He lives on instant noodles, he has a lot (and I mean a lot) of pornographic magazines, his room has a big, annoying hole, and that said room is in a god-forsaken apartment. Heck, he doesn't even have money to buy underwears and he's also blessed with a couple of bumbling bozos for co-tenants. Don't get me wrong, though. He's a good guy, maybe the sanest one on the Ikkoku apartment (but he's not totally sane, he daydreams, and those daydreams he has are way crazy). But, there's no hiding it. He's the stereotype loser. If not for Kyoko, he probably wouldn't go to his entrance exams for the nth time.
Ah, the manager, Kyoko. Since it's Maison Ikkoku we're talking about, it would not be complete without Kyoko. She's arguably the most complex character of the story. At first, she was a hot, steamy manager (according to Godai), looking as though she doesn't have anything hidden deep within her. But as soon as she starts talking to her dog, Souichiro, we are given hints that she's not just what meets the eye. She's a strong, independent woman, but she's a little on the indecisive side. Anyway, she's one character you can't help but love.
I could go on and on for hours discussing about the supporting cast. You'd feel as though Rumiko Takahashi had spent much effort in putting life to her characters. Akemi is a scantily-clad woman who parades in the apartment with her seducing voice. She's a deep character too, but not as well-explored as Godai or Kyoko. Mrs. Ichinose is your all-nosy loud-mouthed neighbor, complete with Japanese fans. And Yotsuya.. I still don't know how to describe him. He's one of the supporting cast that I really liked, with all his mysteriousness and weirdness. Really, if you have watched this (or would watch this), you would know why. He's EPIC. Then, there's Coach Mitaka, Kyoko's other suitor, who defies the "stupid other love interest" stereotype. He's the complete, perfect foil to the spineless Godai. Later in the show, you'd see more. Grandma Godai will come, then Kozue, then Yagami, then Kyoko's family. And they're all worth mentioning. Each one affected the story in a way or another. Even the dog has its merits. The dub was well-done for all of them too. That's how splendid the characters of Maison Ikkoku are.
Maison Ikkoku is a work with lots of genres all in one. It has romance (and a good, mature romance at that), comedy (OH, THANK YOU YOTSUYA FOR BLESSING THE WORLD OF ANIME), coming-of-age, and it deals with things such as finding jobs, moving on, and the importance of communication (misunderstanding is a vital part of the anime, most of the time funny, sometimes serious, and there's a lot of it. You'd drown yourself in misunderstandings). 96 episodes did justice to it.
We get to be spectators as Godai tries to be a man for Kyoko. How he learns things are not as easy as they seem. We see how Kyoko contemplates with her past, how she grows, and how she develops her feelings. I wouldn't spoil you with the story. Watch it yourself, their bittersweet, sometimes crazy, always heartwarming love story. It's not an easy road, and sometimes you have to take the long way. All those complaints about the outdated art? You'd forget them when you see the tenants drink and have their merriment. And to tell you the truth, I kind of liked how it looked: it represents the times when you don't have much technology around but still feel as though life's good. I really felt I wanted to drink booze with them, to dance with Mrs. Ichinose, and to personally see Yotsuya balance sake bottles on his mouth. The music was well-done too (scored by genius Kenji Kawai). Talk about timeless perfection. The ending will make you feel complete, and could make you teary-eyed too.
I couldn't sing enough praises for Maison Ikkoku. If you'd ask me to enumerate its most memorable moments, I'd probably never stop. Maison Ikkoku takes us to the most memorable days of our lives, where we fall, get up, and love selflessly. It made me want to live in the 80s. It will make you root for Godai and Kyoko as they make their way to happiness.
This is perfection. This is Rumiko Takahashi's masterpiece. read more
First, I want to make a note that the ratings for Art and Sound are somewhat tough to call for this particular series; it is definitely showing its age, the color is washed out, the animations are far from pristine by todays standards, but all of that given, there are inspired flourishes that, at times, challenge the stuff you see coming out of computer-aided studios today.
When considering whether you are interested in watching this series, you should look elsewhere if you cannot answer "yes" to these two questions: "Am I patient?" and "Do I enjoy romance?". If you made it past that, you may find yourself enjoying this gem from the 80s.
Maison Ikkoku primarily revolves around Godai, a spineless loser, who falls for the new manager of his apartment, Kyoko. Unfortunately for him, within the first handful of episodes, it is made clear (I won't say how), that Kyoko's heart is currently out-of-reach. Aside from the overarching romance, it is also a story about everyday life struggles: paying rent, working, going to school, making grades, etc. What it is most of all is the story of a young man getting beat down by life because he won't stand up for himself... and its downright hilarious.
Constantly dancing on the line of poverty, Godai is surrounded by devilish, meddlesome neighbors, love rivals, and good-for-nothing friends. Even when he manages to avoid their pitfalls, his own indecisiveness usually foils his attempts at getting ahead in life.
When he needs to study for exams, his neighbors invite themselves in for an all-night party, disregarding his pleas for privacy. When he is low on cash, his maybe-unemployed neighbor Yotsuya slithers in from a hole in the wall and steals his food. When he makes strides in his love life, rivals arrive to plunder his achievements. When all else fails, the electricity goes out, he arrives late for exams, or gets kicked out of his apartment.
But to make things even better, despite the seeming maliciousness of all these characters, you'll find redeeming qualities abound, and often a hint of goodwill hidden underneath their malicious deeds. Take excellent situational comedy, hilarious and cunning characters, and pair them with the best veteran voice actors of the decade (check them out, you've heard them in some of your favorite shows), and you have a show thats hard to disagree with on an episode-by-episode basis.
So its perfect then? Absolutely not. Despite all the praise you may want to award it, the show is long, tedious, and occasionally repetitive. Kyoko's inflexibility controls the pace of the show, and makes for some dramatic scenes, but you may find yourself shaking your fist in frustration over it more than a couple of times. Godai's inability to clarify even the most basic of misunderstandings is a source of humor, but again, will inspire no shortage of annoyance, and when Godai's two would-be girlfriends arrive and generate entire new dimensions of misfortune for Godai, you may nearly lose your patience with the series.
But if you make it through that, if you can enjoy the humor, and patiently wait for the romance to work itself out, you will be rewarded greatly. Watching Godai grow as a character is hugely rewarding by itself, combining that with the resolution of certain issues on Kyoko's side, the conclusion of the series proves quite poignant with a lot less of the melodrama you'll get from today's romance anime.
Jealousy, pettiness and spite have never been more beautiful.
P.S. I'm a fanboy read more
Maison Ikkoku nostalgia hit me hard during Kawai's first ep. You have a student moving into a boarding house, finding his new room invaded by a weirdo, and - on the way out of the door - seeing a girl he falls in love with at first/second sight. And, of course, he then decides to stay--putting up with the other residents. IT'S MAISON IKKOKU BORN AGAIN!!!!....
...well, not really. I mean, it was obviously inspired by Maison Ikkoku - as all boarding house rom-coms are to a certain extent - but the main romance is nothing like in MI. The heroine in Kawai is more like a slightly less bitchy/more eccentric version of Suzuka (heroine from another series that took a little from MI), where as in MI Kyoko was a widow in her early 20's with LONG hair. And, whatever Godai's failings were in MI, he didn't blush constantly over purepure lovelove. Or stalk Kyoko, as Kawai's lead stalks his love. Plus, the leads in Kawaii are both still in high school--considerably younger than the leads in MI.
The main similarities lie in the old-fashioned boarding house setting, where practically all of the scenes take place (like in MI, where college appeared rarely), and the vibrant/eccentric supporting characters that live there. In MI, poor Godai was bullied/tortured 'lovingly' by the other residents as he pursued his love, and although Kawai's lead doesn't have it so bad, he still has to deal with a drunken-sluttyish character (two of MI's characters rolled into one), a weirdo room-mate into S&M (equivalent to MI's snake-like voyeur, Yotsuya) and a twisted-pure college girl that has already gotten him beaten up. There's a whole lot of trolling potential, in short.
Dorm Life full of mayhem and memorable tenants who are unique and different. A hint of love is also in the air.
Male character fighting for a girls love while living in the same dorm (communal apartment house in Maison Ikkoku). The girls family owns the place so she has strings she can pull.
The main character also shares a room with a strange man who is constantly invading his personal space. (In Maison Ikkoku, Mr. Yoshida lives in a separate room, but makes his way in through a hole in the wall constantly.)
Both shows also have a risque, yet sensitive girl for a tenant.
The story is similar. Student lives with weird people and he decides to stay with them because the girl he loves lives in the same place
Natsuyuki is how Maison Ikkoku would've been, had MI's cast been presented in a less likable manner and those same characters not taken SIX YEARS to resolve their non-starting relationship issues.
Maybe because of how fast the pace moves in NR, in comparison to MI's drawn out deceased lover rom-comedy, but NR's cast come across as inconsistent and (in mine eyes) are cheapened by their actions. NR's lead goes from a bumbling idiot lacking confidence to a dickish, I-don't-care-if-husband-watches playboy, and the wife doesn't take much to accept a new man, considering how much she's still in love with her dead hubby. (Plus, her short-haired look is lacking, when put alongside the allure of Kyoko's long-haired beauty.)
Both about a Male chasing after a Female widow.
Both series are about a guy falling in love with a woman who is still grieving after her late husband, and trying to overcome the pain that derives from that.
Opening Theme#1: "Kanashimi yo Konnichiwa" by Yuki Saito (eps 1-23, 25-37)
#2: "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O'Sullivan (ep 24)
#3: "Suki sa" by Anzen Chitai (eps 38-52)
#4: "Sunny Shining Morning" by Kiyonori Matsuo (eps 53-76)
#5: "Hidamari" by Kōzō Murashita (eps 77-96)
Ending Theme#1: "Ashita Hareru ka" by Takao Kisugi (eps 1-14)
#2: "Ci · ne · ma" by Picasso (eps 15-23, 25-33)
#3: "Get Down" by Gilbert O'Sullivan (ep 24)
#4: "Fantasy" by Picasso (eps 34-52)
#5: "Sayonara no Sobyō" by Picasso (eps 53-76)
#6: "Begin the Night" by Picasso (eps 77-96)more
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