Home > manga movable feast > Maison Ikkoku…what a trial!

Maison Ikkoku…what a trial!

Published during the 1980’s, there is Maison Ikkoku a romantic comedy between college ronin, Yusaku Godai, and Manager Kyoko Otonashi. Their relationship spans over a couple of years, and it is purely my opinion, but Maison Ikkoku is the shojo romance for the male otaku. It was a pretty sappy drama that was a complete trial for me to get through, because when I was reading volume 11, (The two leads were in a Japanese inn together, and they completely didn’t confess the truth) At that point I looked over at the remaining four volumes. I literally groaned. That was how tedious I felt this reading was, since I am not as fond of this type of story. Never underestimate the sacrifice of time I would do in order to pay respect to Takahashi and to prevent of not being mowed over by fanboys. Plus one of the local libraries had all 15 volumes, that took me the length of time from even before Aria MMF to have completed recently. (I reacted a bit on twitter.)

Takahashi writes from the beginning that Godai had a love at first sight with Kyokko, but since he is a typical inexpressive Japanese male. It is really hard to give opportunities to him, unless he proves himself in episodes as Takahashi has written for him. He had a typical college career. Many of Takahshi male leads are always misunderstood, embroiled into a love triangle, or becomes a chick magnet. So Godai was typical Takahashi male lead. I got pointed out that Kyoko is also an earlier tsundere type, and while at first I thought that she was pretty perfect, I can definitely say that from some few glimpse of emotions I see in Kyoko, she is quite similar to Sister Angela.

But the length of time, and the continuing boy girl issues that Kyoko and Godai irked me. I forgot where I got the term wishy washy to put with this couple, but yes this couple is very wishy washy. There were accidental kisses, and toward the end, something really serious, but by that time I was really glad it was ending. At first, I believe it was Godai’s issues, but the story has more revelations. Comparing this to Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku really seems more slice of life, so I wasn’t as necessarily as forgiving of Godai as I was for Ranma’s situation with his multiple fiancees. This type of male leads has actually became a standard for harem leads.

Maison Ikkoku, the manga had a pretty realistic and long standing relationship with a predictable ending. Before I write off this manga as being a don’t read book, which I really don’t want to, there is like 30% of me that said please consider reading this, for just respecting Takahashi’s work. There is such a large fan base for this title, and it actually reads like a typical slice of life live action drama. I have a personal bias against reading this type of book, so that colors my perceptions. Still I enjoyed other aspects of this series, regarding adaptations.

I have to say that the 1st opening of the 92 episode anime series, has been an opening I liked for a long time.

Then there were several live actions adaptations. I really enjoyed watching the 2007 live action special for Maison Ikkoku. It starred Misaki Ito who is well known for her Densha Otoko role. I believe now that the reason why I liked it so much, was how short it was, and how pretty Misaki Ito is.

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  1. April 26, 2011 at 9:41 am

    That reminds me, I never did watch the second live-action special. ^_^;

  2. April 26, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Reminder to watch then? ^_^

  3. April 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Great post! I guess I am a terrible male manga reader!

    As I think I told you on Twitter that night, I had the same issues with Ikkoku, but much sooner than you. I’m going to give it another try, but it just feels too…normal, I think is the word I’m looking for.

  4. April 28, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I remember talking to Toukochan and William about this, but yeah Maison Ikkoku appeals to a certain group, and I believe that my post might have been a bit too general at this point of looking at my writing. Must try to work on producing the two more mmf posts as promised. ^_^

  5. Proman
    May 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    One has to be pretty… well let’s just say that I find the very idea of writing off Maison Ikkoku… a true masterpiece to be extrememly shocking. Not only it is the best mange I’ve ever read (and one of the best ever written) it is an absolute must read.

    There nothing too “normal” about Maison Ikkoku. And if it does appear that way, then it’s extremely deceptive. The fact is that the series, is funny, touching, exciting and teasing and unexpected all at the same time.

  6. May 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    My opinion was that she went forever with this story, and that really wasn’t necessary. A person’s standards of what is considered a masterpiece is quite different. I definitely tried to give this series a reasonable doubt, since I enjoyed its adaptations in the past, but with the length/pacing of this story. It really didn’t impress me.

    Sure there are several touching scenes in the story, but my reasons are definitely in the faults of the characters personalities to drag on this soapy drama.

  7. December 7, 2011 at 3:58 am

    most of takahashi’s work is turd compared to this.

    the humor was spot on and the characters are the best takahashi has ever dreamed up. the likes of ranma 1/2 don’t even compare to maison ikkoku quite simply because it has absolutely no direction. this characters here (unlike in most anime) actually change as times and trials go by.

    maison ikkoku is an adult drama, an absolute rarity in the mostly juvenile world of anime and manga. it’s takahashi for once setting herself free of the limitations of such a juvenile point of view that made this series her tour de force and she hasn’t made anything that can touch it since.

  8. December 8, 2011 at 1:54 am

    That is an opinion then, because there are fans for Takahashi’s other works. From this MMF, I had found myself enjoying One Pound Gospel. Ranma 1/2 had a completely different story line all together, so I compared Maison and Ranma with how Takahashi uses the harem approach on developing relationships. Still I had a difficult time getting into this story line, and I can see how this is an adult slice of life story line, but she has dabbled into other story lines after this story ended.

  1. October 12, 2011 at 8:25 pm
  2. November 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm
  3. April 30, 2012 at 4:29 am

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