Anime Review: Maison Ikkoku

Since I returned back home, I took the chance to return to my Maison Ikkoku DVD collection and re-live of what is considered one of the most wonderful and most convoluted romantic comedies ever made for an anime. Sure, the anime has gained its reputation as a beloved classic, and probably not as recent as the animes I reviewed so far, but as I see the hordes of recent anime youngsters getting hooked up on the Naruto and Bleach universe, I felt it is my job to introduce at least few of them to this adored anime through my humble blog. If you haven’t seen any Takahashi Rumiko‘s anime so far in your little anime adventure, you might want to give up your Okatu membership already. But you can reclaim that honor by watching the 96 episodes of this anime series for starters.

Set in 1980s Japan, Godai Yusaku is a ronin (someone who has failed university entrance exams) living in a run down apartment complex called Maison Ikkoku. Among the other residents are the nosy Mrs. Ichinoses, the bombshell Roppongi Akemi, and the mysterious salaryman Yotsuya. The others are given to having wild parties that makes it difficult for Godai to study. Into this mayhem comes the recently widowed Kyoko as the new live-in manager. It’s love at first sight for Godai, but of course he doesn’t have the nerve to tell her that he has strong feelings for her. As time passes, their relationship slowly (and realistically) develops amid life at Maison Ikkoku, despite all sorts of romantic hurdles that come between them.

Masion Ikkoku is certainly a simple and realistic anime that doesn’t need to stand on its two feet to impress us. It takes us back to the days when love was still anything but simple, but sweeter and quieter than what it is today. The realism and gradual development between the two main characters is so refreshing and never forced. While we never lose focus of the end goal in sight, there are several detours along the way, some in the form of love triangles, other in the forms of lifetime responsibilities. The characters that rule the scenes are multi-dimensional and certainly imaginative; even the zany Yotsuya comes as a breath of fresh air. The animation is superb and stands well for the modern standards of anime these days. The soundtrack, unfortunately, is none existence but the 80’s style pop themes are certainly charming. The voice-acting performance is decent in both the original Japanese and the dubbed English, but some people might want to watch it in the original audio. In the end, Maison Ikkoku still remains as one of my favorite animes of all time, and fortunately it is not as long and tedious as Takahashi’s other series (Ranma ½ anyone?) but the story would have been easily concluded at 30 episodes or less, however, it honestly deserves every trice of your time. Watch it today and read the Manga tomorrow.

~Ratings~

  • Story: 9/10
  • Characters: 9/10
  • Animation: 9/10
  • VA Performance: 8/10
  • Soundtrack: 8/10

Overall Score: 9/10

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Thats old school! Back in the day they had very complex story lines and anime was not a production machine that it is now!

    Reply

  2. I need to watch it :/

    Reply

  3. Posted by Sarah on June 27, 2008 at 7:31 am

    i really can’t comment since i haven’t watched that anime but if u want my opinion avoid writing about anime on your blog cuz i don’t think alot of people would be interested.. no offense of course ! you’ll get more comments if u do .. or so i think. Then again, that’s just my opinion.
    on another note, i’m loving the new layout! yay blue, my favorite color 🙂

    Reply

  4. @Marzouq

    Old school anime is still the best. They are so memorable and original. Don’t get me wrong, I love the current anime as much as the next Otaku, but there’s something about the old school that is so just…..

    @3baid

    LOL, I finally understood what you meant when you made a comment in Twitter regearding Maison Ikkoku. I thought you wanted to watch it again. Didn’t realize you still haven’t watched it yet. But then, at this day and age, watching anime online is very easy, although, if you found the series, big chances they are dubbed in Japanese.

    @Sarah

    No offense taken. However, I cannot stop writing about anime. I have many loyal readers who are interested in anime and thus I cannot simply just abandon them. Anime isn’t just a cartoon, it’s more than that. To me, it’s no different between a regular TV show and an anime.

    Thanks, I’m glad you love the new layout ^_^

    Reply

  5. it’s beautiful

    Reply

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