The boarding house Maison Ikkoku is home to a strange medley of weird characters, including the young student Yuusaku and the beautiful (and widowed) manager, Kyouko. We follow the efforts of Yuusaku to win Kyouko's affections, with interference from the rest of the tenants.
"What we've got here is... failure to communicate." - Cool Hand Luke
Misunderstandings are brought about by a failure to convey what one truly wants to say. In many cases the problems caused are nothing more than trivialities, but in certain situations a misunderstanding can have damaging consequences. Relationships can end, families can turn against each other, friends can become enemies, misunderstandings can even spark wars.
Maison Ikkoku is probably one of the most well known and influential romantic comedies in the history of manga and anime. Created in 1980 by the reknowned Takahashi Rumiko, the manga was serialised in "Big Comic Spirits" for its entire
7 year run. The story was adapted into a 96 episode anime in 1986, and also spawned a movie, three OVAs, and a music special.
The tale begins with Godai Yusaku, a student who is attempting to leave the the boarding house known as Maison Ikkoku as he feels that the residents there are hindering his studies and causing him to fail his exams. He changes his mind however, when a beautiful woman, Otonashi Kyoko, appears and tells everyone that she is the new manager.
Now, many people consider the story in Maison Ikkoku to be a straightforward romantic comedy with indecisive lead characters, and to be honest, this is a perfectly reasonable and logical conclusion - on the surface. What really struck me about this series though, wasn't actually the romance or the comedy, both of which were pretty decent. No, what really stood out for me was the fact that the main concept seemed to be about misunderstandings, in particular how they can force people to behave in certain ways over time (more on this in a bit).
While the majority of the story flows pretty well, one of the issues that some people have with Maison Ikkoku is that there is a large section in the middle of the series where it seems as though nothing in particular happens. While I can understand that perspective, I actually thought this was a rather clever way of highlighting how time can pass with nothing actually happening. Those of you who are familiar with Takahashi Rumiko's other works will know that she is an author who doesn't approach a story in a typical manner, and that her tales aren't often straightforward affairs.
That said, even I felt that the middle section of the series dragged on a bit too long, however I didn't really get bored of reading the series as the comedy made up for some of the shortfalls.
As far as the artwork goes the series shows its age in two main areas - the drawing style and the character design. This is particularly noticeable at the beginning of the series and may put some people off reading the series altogether. However, while the style may be typical Takahashi Rumiko, the series is particularly indicative of how her she developed during the course of the manga, and the latter half of the series is more reminiscent of much of her later work.
Even though the series does have some flaws with the artwork, some of the visual gags were truly inspired and the characters are a lot more expressive and emotive than one might expect from a series this old.
One of the biggest gripes people have with Maison Ikkoku is the characters. I've heard it mentioned that if both lead characters were less indecisive then the series could have been completed in half the time, and even I have to agree with that statement. However, I would have to add that certain ways of thinking, certain behaviours, become habitual in a very short space of time. Kyoko's inability to choose between Godai Yusakui and Mitaka Shun is one example of how the characters become accustomed to a certain situation - something that can happen in real life as well. The middle section of the series is the area where these habits are most prominent, and it's actually rather nice to see a mangaka acknowledge that any type of relationship can become stale when one is simply "going through the motions".
One thing I will add is that while both character display a clear inability to make a decision, Takahashi has made the effort to justify their indecisiveness to a degree.
As far as development goes, much of it occurs on the part of Yusaku and Kyoko, however a number of other characters are also given some depth over the course of the series, and while the amount may vary from one character to the next, the series is surprising in its ambition to give every character a moment in the spotlight.
In terms of enjoyment, Maison Ikkoku is one of those stories that you can love and hate at the same time. The romance and comedy are well handled, however the numerous misunderstandings that lead compound Yusaku and Kyoko's indecisiveness can become annoying for some people, and I will admit that the series tested even my patience on a couple of occasions.
That said, if you can work through the flaws in the plot, the poor artwork at the beginning, the numerous misunderstandings, etc, then what is left is a surprisingly charming series with some unique characters. One thing that many people may find though, is how similar Maison Ikkoku is to later romantic comedies, but given that many took inspiration/borrowed/stole outright from this series, it's understandable that there would be more than a passing resemblance.
Still, they do say plagiarism is the first form of flattery :P
Maison Ikkoku: the famous, much loved romantic comedy (rom-com) that began its serialisation waaaay back in 1980. Its success resulted in a flood of manga being created about a college loser falling madly in love and, after many comical hardships, EVENTUALLY getting the girl of his dreams.
The story is about a group of individuals living at a boarding house that is - of course - called Maison Ikkoku ('MI' from this point onwards). Kyoko Otonashi, a 22-year-old widow still trying to come to terms with the death of her husband, moves in as the manager in an attempt to take her mind off her problems.
One of the tenants, Yusaku Godai, was just about to leave in order to find a more peaceful study environment when she walked into the building. He was quick to change his mind about escaping once he looked at her and fell in love at first sight. But, as Godai soon discovered, winning the heart of a woman still in love with her deceased husband is no easy task...
How to a rate a series that is so wonderfully heart-warming yet so horribly frustrating... Reading it filled me with feelings of warmth I have not felt since I read Love Hina; another rom-com that copied and improved a lot from MI. But, during the middle sections of the story in particular, NOTHING advanced at all in 80% of the chapters. In fact, because the main characters were so indecisive, it took six years for four people to sort out relationship issues that could, and should, have been sorted out in under half the time!
...But I'm not going to get into the negative right from the get-go. That would give readers the wrong impression about the series. I have a habit of going on forever about the negative when something irks me, even when I actually like what I'm talking about. And as you'll see as you read on, that's true in the case of MI.
Even though MI may appear to be more of the same to fairly experienced manga readers because many people have seen a rom-com involving a boarding house by now, before going into the series you have to understand that it started its serialization back in 1980 - we're now in 2009 and it has been copied to death. And even by today’s standards, MI is still a worthy rival for any other rom-com in existence, it being far more amusing and touching than a lot of attempts that have been made at copying it.
Despite its age, MI has something many rom-com stories lack: charm and respectability. In this day and age, it's rare to see a comedy manga that doesn't involve much in the way of nudity/panty shots - it's almost a requirement these days. But, to its credit, MI isn't like that, and that adds a mature feel to the relationships of the character that just isn't there in most of the perverse rubbish out there. That's why it felt so special when, after over 130 chapters, Godai and Kyoko finally did the deed, touching each other and being intimate for the first time. It's difficult to feel the same way in other rom-coms where the male lead has already felt up and saw the female lead naked in every other chapter.
The charm and general fun vibe the story has carries it when the chapters come across as fillerish. I was able to keep reading without needing breaks because of this. It can become a frustrating experience if you're the sort of person who doesn't like the idea of seeing the development of a relationship stretched to the limit for comedy purposes (I fall into this category myself), but it's undeniable that MI is incredibly fun to read. I think, somewhere deep inside us, we all have a part of us that wants to see two people fall in love and be happy together, and if the two in question can manage that after providing lots of laughter then all the better.
As for the art, it looks a little old by today’s standards, and Rumiko Takahashi (the author/artist) did become a little sloppy during the less important sections (like just about every manga artist tends to), but she was able to express the characters' emotions so well that I didn't care about the minor issues. For example, when Kyoko went into a jealous rage, giving Godai the 'evil eye' and stomping around, I felt her emotions reach out from the page and have an impact on me. It isn't often that black and white manga panels make me feel that way. Takahashi's loved as much as she is for good reason.
Now, I'm going to cover the characters. All my negative points are connected to the characters because MI is a character driven story with no real main plot thread - the characters push the plot forward rather than the plot forcing the characters onwards. That's not to say there are more negative points than positive ones - that's not true at all - but I'm going to focus on the negative since the flaws annoyed me.
Godai: Quite possibly the most spineless main character ever. I liked him for being a kind-hearted guy, just like I like other male rom-com leads, but he REALLY pissed me off. How on earth can a grown man take six years to get it on with a woman when he's lived with her for all that time, well aware of her feelings for him? All he needed to do was stop being such a wimp. It took another character upsetting Kyoko to FINALLY drive him to confessing all to her. If not for him being such a wimp/the author wanting more money, what happened in the last 20 chapters would've occurred around 62 chapters earlier, easily.
The worst thing about it all was that he did nothing even though he had a serious rival in the form of Mitaka. Instead of being a man, he let Mitaka drive around with and grope Kyoko, risking losing her because he couldn't bring himself to do anything. If not for Kyoko being unlucky and later not jumping at the chance to marry Mitaka, Godai would've lost Kyoko. How pathetic does a lead character have to be for him to win the battle for his love because his rival was forced to throw the towel in due to a misunderstanding!?
Still, I ended up feeling happy for Godai because he was a good person who had a lot go wrong for him. It was hard to hate him when, despite his lack of backbone, he truly loved Kyoko and wanted to make her happy. But I would've liked him a hell of a lot more if there had been less chapters and he'd been more of a man.
Kyoko: I'm not sure which of the two leads frustrated me more. Godai's hard to beat in the spineless rankings but Kyoko sure gave him a run for his money.
For six years she made two men fight over her. Of course, it was their choice to do so, but she never truly rejected either and was always quick to jump at the chance of going out when Mitaka called her. At first it was understandable because she was still in love with her deceased husband and didn't know either Godai or Mitaka very well, but as the years passed the logic behind her stringing both along became less and less respectable. The truth is, she was as spineless as Godai - they were made for each other.
What really got to me about her was how jealous she got over Godai seeing other girls. How could she act the way she did when she let Mitaka take her out and feel her up constantly? She was a complete hypocrite. I know human relationships and women don't always follow logic but, nonetheless, she still got to me with her mood swings. At least, in the end, she started to reject the advances of Mitaka...even if she did still let him drive her around and didn't ever completely reject him.
I must confess to feeling fond of her, despite what I said above. She's one of the few female characters I've seen in manga/anime that wasn't cheapened by being drawn wearing revealing clothes, and/or being shown throwing herself at men. She valued herself and wanted to remain faithful to her dead husband. I liked how Godai described her as a woman who burned with jealousy, yet was perfect in his eyes when she smiled.
Mitaka: the stud, the tennis coach, the rich guy and the rival for Kyoko's affections.
Since the story was told from Godai's perspective and, from start to finish, he was the underdog, I naturally felt some level of hostility towards him. That's what the author intended; that's why he was made so perfect. But I didn't truly dislike him. At heart he was a good guy and, in the end, he was toyed with for six years by Kyoko before circumstances forced him out of the race for her. He put his love life on hold for her and suffered because Kyoko wasn't able to be honest about her feelings - I couldn't help but feel at least a little bit sorry for him.
If there's one good thing that Mitaka injected into MI it was humour. His irrational fear of dogs got the most laughs out of me, sometimes even making me laugh out loud. The image of him, a well-built guy, looking around a corner in fear at a puppy, which he'd bought in an attempt to free himself of his fear, will stay with me for a long time. I never thought something so simple could make me laugh so much.
Putting aside my feelings for the three most important characters, my main criticism lies with the heart of the supporting cast, or rather how the author wasted those three characters. Yotsuya, the snake-like voyeur who sneaks into Godai's room via a hole in the wall, stealing food most of the time, was my favourite character until he began to fade as the series went on; Akemi, the bar hostess/prostitute who enjoys walking around MI in a see-through top and no bra (the sluttish character every harem type needs) and Ichinose, the nosey, fat older woman who gets drunk on a regular basis and dances. I don't have any problem with the characters actual personalities - I feel they all added to the comedy - but the author never fleshed out any of them, never giving any chapters that fully explained their history and took them above the level of humourous plot devices. I would've loved to discover more about Yotsuya and what he did for a living, but instead I was forced to read many chapters that added nothing to the series in any way, shape or form.
There were some other important characters - a school girl with a crush on Godai (Yagami), another girl blindly in love with Godai (Kozue), a girl who falls madly in love with Mitaka (Asuna), the son of the nosey woman mentioned above (Kentaro) and a simple minded late resident of Maison Ikkoku (Nikaido) - but very few of them did anything other than extend the story. While it was obvious she only existed to add to the chapter count, Yagami was a likeable enough character and her student-teacher relationship put Kyoko's past with her deceased husband into the spotlight, but she was the only worthwhile character out of the bunch. The author had a horrible habit of bringing characters into the picture and then forgetting about them. For example, Kentaro's strained relationship with his parents was never looked into again after around the halfway point, and his character only appeared in a few panels after that. And something similar occurred with Nikaido, a character that appeared for half of a volume, taking center stage, and then only appeared again in a few panels - I can fully understand why he never appeared in the anime. Simply put, the author created too many filler characters and didn't develop a large portion of the cast.
What MI did wrong in terms of character development and pacing has been corrected by others over the years. Love Hina is the most popular out of all the attempts at taking the rom-com crown away from it, and Love Hina fixed a lot of its problems. In Love Hina, all but one of the residents of Hinata House (Love Hina's very own Maison Ikkoku) had character development and a huge amount of the chapters were devoted to them and them alone - they weren't just there for comedy purposes. This meant that some of the supporting characters became as likeable as the main two. And Keitaro, the main character of Love Hina, actually changed as the story progressed - he didn't stay spineless like Godai. Also, instead of the exam side coming up at the start and then not being touched upon again like in MI, in Love Hina exam preparation and exams were used to add purpose to the story, preventing it from becoming a completely random series of chapters.
Of course, Love Hina also has flaws that MI doesn’t, and MI has plus points that Love Hina doesn't. Both are great in their own ways. Now that I've read both, MI will always be the original and Love Hina will be thought of by me as something of a remake by me. At the end of the day, all that mattered was my enjoyment, and I enjoyed both a lot.
So, to wrap this up, let me express how much enjoyment I got out of MI. No, it wasn't perfect, and the flaws did bother me at times, but it moved me emotionally like very little else has. For a fictional story that's been copied to death to make me go on a 60+ chapter marathon and make me feel happy because of a love story that was able to warm even my cold heart, it did a lot right.
I was torn at first as to how to rate it because of its flaws and age... however, after the outstanding final 20 or so chapters (once the fillerish material stopped), how on earth can I rate something so heart-warming less than 8.5-9/10?
While not the worst manga I have ever read, Maison Ikkoku is certainly the manga I hate most. A seemingly unthinkable opinion given the reviews and recommendations that seem to drip of this work in buckets worth. Any and all of those reviews seem to take what I view as the reasons that this manga is a god awful piece of shit as reasons that it is amazing and wonderful, or give the manga a great rating while acknowledging how glaring these issues are. I'll try to cover them, and I can on some of them understand it is simple a difference of taste, but
the majority is something I find completely insane and backwards. Almost as if I've gone into medieval times where burning people for a difference of belief is the norm. To briefly summarize my issues with the manga before I dive deep. With the exception of a child all characters are either seemingly irredeemable morons with little common sense, or parasites who leech off of those more misfortunate than themselves or too stupid to do something about it. Throughout 85% of the manga there is absolutely no progress, which would be fine if not for the mandatory progress a budding relationship requires. Now, with that said, I'll go into detail around mostly the story and more importantly the characters as those are the biggest issues. (Buckle up, this is going to be a big fucking rant)
First, the story. The story of Maison Ikkoku begins with a young college student in a rather run down boardinghouse of weirdos, managed by a young beautiful widow. The focus of the story seems to be said weirdos either abusing or exploiting that young college student by maliciously causing misunderstandings between said college student and the young widow. The object of his affection. The residents understand that this causes stress for an already stressed young adult who is pressured with school work, exams, and finances. To top it off, they decide to pile onto that finance issue by frequently forcing him to pay for alcohol or food. Something this student is too stupid to deny. Ignoring that, this young student goes about his days, daydreaming about the young widow. On occasion there are hints or progress or a half assed confession, but by the next chapter it is ignored and we've regressed basically to original start of the manga. The only notable progress in the first 140 chapters is that Godai, our young college student, and Kyoko the widow get to speak to each other more personally, as is the case with most people who live with one and other.
The other issue with the story is closely intertwined with character, but I'll do my best to separate them. Godai, our young idiot, frequently gets lucky with girls even though he isn't described as particularly attractive or desirable. The most prominent object of this luck is Kozue, a girl his age who is affectionate towards him. For those 140 chapters Kozue seems to be under the impression Godai reciprocates her feelings towards him and that they are a couple. Those 140 chapters span several years. And in those years our young moron meets her family as her boyfriend. This fucking idiot some how managed to knowingly date a girl for years without once mentioning he never intended to nor wants to be her significant other. How on Earth you accidentally date someone for years is beyond common sense and seems to be something other readers find hilarious, where as I find it depressing and down right cruel. Leading someone who loves you on for years when you have no intention of returning those feelings, regardless of the cliche funny moments, isn't comedy. It's cruelty.
Now to switch over to a more character focus, I'll individually complain, I mean analyze each character. I'll go from biggest cunt, to retard, to functioning person.
Biggest cunt and first character is Mitaka, Godai's rival for Kyoko. Mitaka is a few years older than Kyoko, in his mid to late twenties. He's handsome, tall, born rich, athletic and has the character you'd expect for a person born with a silver spoon in their ass, that also has had everything handed to them in life. From their luck with genetics to family money. Mitaka isn't a rival any reader that isn't a 14 year old girl who finds Mitaka 'dreamy or ideal' or a total cunt would ever root for. I can't be bothered to remember every individual interaction between him and other characters, but I'll pick on the ones that stick out most, after generalizing the majority. Mitaka puts on a nice guy face for Kyoko, a beautiful young widow who is in his residential tennis class, filled with young to middle aged mothers.
He focuses his affections on her for the majority of the series seemingly knowing nothing about her or her feelings regarding him. He constantly pressures her into dates or outings. The other characters he frequently interact with are Godai, and Ichinose, a short, fat, middle aged mother who lives at the bordering house with Kyoko and Godai. He largely ignores Ichinose (something, to be fair, I'd do as well given her personality) and frequently imposes his superiority complex onto Godai. He, and I quote, gets going on "cutting Godai down to size". What he means by that is whenever he manages to pressure Kyoko into doing something with him, he likes to wave it in front of Godai and watch his despair, and synthesize motivation from it. That quote comes from a chapter where he vehemently tells Godai he will not "let Kyoko fall into poverty by ending up with Godai". Yea, the cunt born into money and talent who's never truly worked a day in his life is getting off telling a moron who works for everything, where he's going to end up.
Next interaction that sticks out is the one where he gets Kyoko's family, who naturally adore a rich handsome man, to trick her into a dinner where he basically ends up kidnapping her. He takes to an out of the way fancy hotel restaurant, where he informs her he has a room. That he intends to get into her heart. Something he knows nothing about given his continued pursual. He even mentions he might 'force his way in'. Sounds like a rape threat to me, but I'll leave the interpretation of the man who just kidnapped a woman, took her to a hotel which she has no way of leaving but him, and informed said woman that he'd like to spend the night with her, to you. Few more complaints then we will move onto the next cunt. On the occasion where he kidnapped her, he encouraged her to drink more and more alcohol. Noting he'd 'be sober by morning'. Remember, this is the occasion he kidnapped her and noted his intention to sleep with her. Whether he intended to rape her, I will again leave to you. But I think it's fairly obvious given the fact he stated he intended to sleep with her that night, then continued to pile on drinks into her. Next he tried to guilt her into marrying him. Noting that 'no matter how she turns him down, it will be cruel, very cruel'. This seemingly largely implies he KNOWS she does not like him and is yet still pursuing her and forcing her into uncomfortable positions. Even when she's crying because she doesn't know how to turn him down he still does not relent. Oh, and did I mention he INTENTIONALLY ambushed Kyoko, her family, and her deceased husband's family at HIS FUCKING GRAVE, to curry favor with her family to further pressure her into a relationship with him.
The only reason he gives up is because his uncle arranges a marriage between him and a shy young, equally pampered rich girl. The reason he gives up is because he misunderstands, thanks to that annoying cunt housewife Ichinose, that he got her pregnant when he was drunk. When in reality he only kissed her (big deal to said girl, but almost nothing to him) and it was her dog who got pregnant thanks to his dog. He then, under the impression said fiance is pregnant, promised to marry her on the spot before confirming the second hand information that it was SHE who was pregnant. Then he 'gives up' on Kyoko because not even he is a big enough cunt (Debatable) to call off a planned wedding he promised to a young shy and overall good girl who for some reason (actually because her dogs like him and apparently dogs choose fiances) loves him. That, all in all, is Mitaka. Godai's rival. A pushy cunt and the worst character, IMO, of the series. He for the entirety of the series pissed me off and did not once do one good thing without having an ulterior motive. The only thing that can be interpreted as a genuinely 'good' act is him not calling off the marriage he agreed to once discovering the fiance was not pregnant. Which is not as much a good thing as it is just not a cunt thing.
Next character. Yotsuya. Godai's male, middle aged neighbour. A voyeur and an overall fucking creep. He breaks the wall inbetween his and Godai's room so he can sneak a peek and sneak in at his leisure. Constantly blackmails Godai, the young college student with financial issues, into buying food, alcohol and throwing parties in his room where he pays for said catering for him and the other cunty residents of the boarding house. Which I might add is not only a financial disturbance, but also an issue regarding sleep and study time for him, further negatively impacting Godai's life. Throughout the series Yotsuya has not ONCE done anything selfless. In fact every action or scene we see of him is manipulating others, mostly Godai, for his entertainment or benefit. Their is LITERALLY (and I am actually properly using the word unlike most people who use it for emphasis) has not done one decent thing in the series. Even if he did, it's far outweighed by the general cunty behaviour he exhibits on a daily basis. This one is very short because there isn't much to say. He's a god damn parasite who leeches off a fucking student, a voyeur who spies on women, and a straight up cunt with even less redeeming features than Mitaka. The only reason Mitaka is higher on the cunt radar is because he implies rape, kidnaps and preforms what I would call psychological torment.
Onto Ichinose, the previously mention short, fat, mother housewife. She, like Yotsuya is a parasite draining money from Godai in the form of alcohol, food, and party. The only reason she's above him is because she doesn't blackmail Godai, and isn't a fucking creepy voyeur. She constantly neglects her child, and when on screen, is either intentionally or unintentionally causing mischief by repeating fractured or untrue information. Usually between Godai and Kyoko. Or is drunk and partying while neglecting her preschool age child. Who, as a housewife, is charged with caring for said child. Literally all she does in the series is get drunk on some else's dime, ignore her kid, and spread misinformation. Equally short an analysis because there is literally nothing else to her character. She's a goddamn disgrace of a mother and wife. And an overall cunt.
The next character is the last 'villainous' character. After her we move on from malicious cunts to fucking idiots. Akemi, a young beautiful waitress, who more often than not is not wearing enough clothing. She also, as all residents seem to do, get drunk on a student's dime. She is implied to sleep or at least date around with less than ideal members of society. She's a bit more complex than the previously mention absolute cunts, as she seemingly understands the feelings and tensions between Godai and Kyoko and on occasion (specifically the end, where she gives a pretty decent push to Kyoko towards Godai) helps them out. But overall can be regarded as a cunt who seems attracted to Mitaka because he's rich and handsome, also ignores his cunt tendencies. Drinks and parties on a student's dime in his room, with the other residents often disturbing him. Also, on ocassion, accuses said student of spying on her, which isn't true. I think it's obvious who it is, and even if it was Godai, it's not as if she doesn't walk around in the state she gets 'spied on' as of her own volition. Again a short review, as she's a fairly straightforward character. Still a cunt, but much less a cunt. Though that's only because of the one occasion she did something noticeably good.
Now, onto the fucking morons. First, our protagonist Godai. You should have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to say about him so this will also be pretty short, given all the details you gotten on him before. Well, let's start. He's a fucking idiot who manages to lead on a girl for years never once clarifying their relationship for fear "of hurting her" as if unwantingly dating her for several years and leading her to believe you love her when you don't, won't hurt more. He also, on occasion, almost gives into temptation and almost 'furthers' his 'relationship' with Kozue, if you catch my drift, despite not loving her, her loving him, AND him loving someone else. He lets his parasite cunt neighbours exploit him for money, alcohol and food. Constantly lets misunderstandings form between him and Kyoko and other women, and almost without exception fails to clarify them until major damage is done, if at all. Overall, more of an idiot than an asshole and stereotypical moron dude who thinks with his smaller head most times. I wouldn't call Godai a bad person, but I sure wouldn't want to be friends with him. Mostly because he lets people exploit him, never stands up for himself, lets misunderstandings flourish and is an overall fucking idiot. The good things about him are he seems to have good intentions, though he never fucking acts on them. And whether it be because he loves her or realizes objectively what a fucking cunt Mitaka is, tries to keep that superficial fucking asshole away from Kyoko.
Next, the main heroine, and fellow idiot, Kyoko. The beautiful widow. Bet you're surprised she's in the fucking moron category. Let me explain. She, like Godai, but to a lesser extent (mainly because Mitaka is a fucking creepy moron who realizes this but continues to push on) somewhat leads on Mitaka. Well, less lead on, and more never tells him to fuck off. This can be interpreted as her being shy or worried about hurting him, but hey, he's a fucking danger to society who ambushes families at graves to curry favor. So I don't think she should be worried about his feelings as much as her safety. Given that he's pressured her into many things and basically kidnapped her on one occasion. Now, ignoring Mitaka because half of that issue isn't her fault. We move onto Godai. While she often assists Godai whether that be by removing the aforementioned fucking parasites from him, albeit temporarily. She also gets unreasonably angry whenever a situation with Godai and another women (Often Kozue, and often a misunderstanding Godai wants no part of). Which is completely fucking ridiculous because she NEVER ONCE clarified her feelings for him, or officially recognized her and Godai to be in any sort of romantic relationship. Yea, I get that it's uncool for a guy who implies and even on occasion says he loves you to seemingly be with other women, but what fucking right do you have to be angry when you A) do the same fucking thing which a rich creepy cunt, and even at times agree to a date with said creepy fuck to spite Godai and B) are not in a formal relationship with him. All in all, I don't truly hate Kyoko, but I sure wouldn't want anything to do with such an unreasonable woman. I think the only reason people find her desirable is A) Her obvious ridiculous good looks, and B) She never 'puts out' and has a very reserved and generally nurturing calming appearance. If you removed her looks, odds are, most people wouldn't give a damn. Yes, she has some good points, and if I had to give her an outright good or bad rating, no middleground, I'd give her good. I personally think she's not someone I'd want anything to do with, and lets her emotions rule her more than she should.
Now, onto the final individual character who is an actual reasonable person, and neither a cunt nor moron. The sole main character of the series to be so is, Ichinose... Kentarou. The cunty housewife's gradeschool child. A fucking child is the only main character of the series who is not a complete lunatic. He all in all is 'average' kid. He's selfish at times, but given his surroundings, at other times is surprisingly mature. He often tries to get his bitch mother to stop getting drunk. He views Yusaka and Kyoko as some of the few ALMOST sane people in that boarding house, which I agree with. He doesn't have many positive or negative interactions, and is mostly a neutral character that illustrates how much of a failure at parenting his mother is. Overall he is the only character I can describe as a functioning person.
There are other possibly reasonable characters, but they don't appear enough to make a concrete call on that. Such as Ichinose's husband, Godai's friends, family, Etc, etc. All in all, the lack of decent (in both quality of creation and values), interesting characters who actually show progress or provide entertainment, and nonexistent story lead this to be my most hated manga. The main couple aren't a couple for 90% of the series and are even in 'pseudo' relationships for the majority of the series. They show little progress with each other, and are surrounded by fucking malicious cunts, and themselves are so goddamn stupid, they should have to wear a neon vest with a dunce cap and provide cards certifying how stupid they are. The surrounding main characters, (Boarding house residents, Mitaka, etc) are so plainly manipulative, parasitic and outright cunts with seemingly no redeeming feature I can't view any interactions of them with the story or main characters as anything other than sad. Again, the series is basically about a mentally handicapped college student, who is constantly exploited by his housemates, and loves a jealous widow with little commonsense, who is chased by a fucking creepy handsome rich guy.
I do find the ending of this series rather favorable as I do, generally, prefer 'happy' endings. But this ending felt very superficial and obvious. As if everything that happened was a sure thing. It also didn't do closure very well, regarding the main couples 'rivals' but whatever. Not going to complain about such small issues in the face of the giant raging monstrosities that are the characters and majority of the story. Overall, I argue that this manga is objectively a 2 / 10 given it's characters are fairly flat and display no progress. The main story relies and cliche situations that often derive 'comedy' at another's expense, and the near entirety of the story could be summarized as and avoided if not for misunderstandings. All in all, I fail to call this a comedy, or romance, more of a big clusterfuck of misunderstandings, jealousy, idiocy, and cunts. If you've got time to kill and want to hate yourself and fictional characters, I wholeheartedly recommend this series, otherwise drop this shit harder than the plague dropped medieval Europe's population.
Maison ikkoku is the perfect sample of the Romance Comedy that actually have Romance and Comedy, Unlike these days Romance Comedy which full of filler story and such, Maison Ikkoku is not that kind of manga. A full guarantee of Happiness , Misunderstanding , Comedy and Romance all the way in this Manga.
Reading Maison Ikkoku was a great experience. For you that looking for straight drama in the early chapter, well i guess you will disappointed because the "real" drama starts at chapter 100. although you might found some little drama before chapter 100, but other than that its
just straight romance comedy but more to comedy.
The Story, Some "no good" boy is started to living at Maison Ikokku and found himself in love with the manager, which is a widow. then he tried many ways to convey but he was bothered by the absurd behaviors of the other tenants. if we looked at the story, it is quite appealing because how the boy tried to convey his feeling but many of them ended badly (and funny). This Manga Includes "real comedy" that actually make you laugh your heart contents, unlike some manga that "Comedy" but pervy comedy (for example peeking girls skirt, a voyeurism and et cetera).
The art, Rumiko Takahashi always did a good job making manga. Even though it is an "old manga", still it has many potential on the art like manga these days. The character designs are appealing, well for 1980's manga which many of kids these generation overlooked this because it is "old and unattractive". well if i might say things, i think Rumiko Takahashi always has some standards that never fade even time changes.
Character, well like other Rumiko Takahashi manga, such as InuYasha. They always have some appeals when they were fighting. Many misunderstanding in this manga, well some of them is a foolish misunderstanding that will laughable and some of them is a serious misunderstanding that make you sit a while and think. The main heroine in this tends to be jumping to conclusion, Super Mega Jealous all the time which it's the attractive part of her that make the main character, no even me to fall for her over and over again.
Many happiness, jealousy, misunderstanding and romance that brought by Maison Ikkoku to the readers. This manga full of laughter, jealousy and of course Romance. the Enjoyment, well it is very enjoyable for me as the fans of Romance manga, but in my opinion some of readers will found this is interesting because the comedy and the romance.
TL;DR : This is A good romance comedy manga, i recommended this !
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