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Travel into Japan's nuttiest apartment house and meet its volatile inhabitants: Kyoko, the beautiful and mysterious new apartment manager; Yusaku, the exam-addled college student; Mrs. Ichinose, the drunken gossip; Kentaro, her bratty son; Akemi, the boozy bar hostess; and the mooching and peeping Mr. Yotsuya.
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Her best series but not a masterpiece
Rumiko can draw, design and is famous for starting strong but then never really closing a series after spinning wheels for volumes on end. This early work though has a very decent start, a somewhat dead middle with too much repetitive nonsense and a highly drawn out and predictable love polygon but i will admit that the series finishes strong. The narrative further has a bit of a problem with tone and the original pitch for the manga sounds better as Rumiko wanted to move on the other couples after resolving the main romance in a timely fashion. Mitaka´s romance is further way more engaging and Godai is a pretty boring protagonist but beggars can´t be choosers. I honestly can´t recommend any of her other works due to the reasons stated above and her next best pieces, namely One-pound Gospel and Mermaid Saga, are only a 6/10 as they also deteriorate over time. Read them if you must but check out Living Game (8,5/10) first as that reasonably similar 90s and apartment romance never overstayed its welcome and actually bothered to explore a relationship over time and the best 80s romance manga is the 10/10 Please Save My Earth.
Still my favorite manga
I read this manga during my university days and simply loved it. Besides the fact that the series is full of fun characters, a lot of Godai's experiences resonated with me at the time: e.g. I formed a close friendship from day 1 with 2 of my classmates. We spent a ridiculous amount of time together, attending classes, skipping classes, hanging out after class and taking part time jobs together. Reminds me of Godai and Sakamoto's friendship. My study's began to suffer as I found myself studying something I had no interest in. Mirrors Godai's ronnin status at the beginning of the manga. The feeling of no longer being a kid but not yet an adult (not being taken seriously by people and society yet), working part time jobs and club activities are all things I could identify with. This is by far Rumiko Takashi's best series in my opinion.
Great read, very entertaining.
for the reviewers who complain that this is too long for romance manga, i'll tell you something this is not ROMANCE manga this is a SITCOM. yes there're romance plot between yusaku and kyoko but that's not the point, just like Rachel & Ross in FRIENDS, Penny & Leonard in TBBT or another sitcom manga couple like Ataru & Lum in Urusei yatsura, the romance is just icing on the cake.
I couldn't even finish it...
Everyone is so stupid... The smartest person is the little kid. The guy has proven himself useless on multiple occasions...
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
But the girl somehow falls in love with him? And she gets violently jealous cause he got phone calls from girls?!? She literally had no reason to like him. He is a total loser who fails everything, they don't even have a friendship going on. I just can't.
I really don't understand how it has such great ratings.
This is, without a doubt, my favorite Manga, and my favorite series ever! If they could have combined elements of the Manga into the Anime, and the Anime into the Manga, I don't think i would ever stop watching it or reading it.
This was one of the first manga I read when I was still a kid (by that I mean under the age of 14). When I was that age I took it as it was, a comedy that was observing human relationships. I remember finding the side characters hilarious and because the concept of a love triangle was new to me at that stage I was in constant agony, wanting to find out if the main character would really get the girl. I loved this manga to death and along with Love Hinta, Peach Girl and Hot Gimmick (the only one of the 4 I didn't like) it shaped my perspective on shoujo manga (even if not all of these fit exactly in that category). I reread it quite a few times as I was growing up and the meaning changed every time for me, especially the meaning behind the love that Kyoko and Yusaku shared. One of the best quotes is featured in the last volume where Yusaku describes his love for Kyoko. I used to think that this manga was pretty misogynistic as it portrays marriage as the most important thing for Kyoko, objectifies woman (of course what manga doesn't!) and
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Kyoko (and everyone else) kept saying she would quit her job after getting married.
Of course a lot of these are cultural aspects but it still doesn't rest well with me even if that's the case but hey, it's something you get used to after reading waaay to much shoujo. But I think in many ways it was feministic for its time. Kyoko actually has a job, she goes against her parents wishes and also
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Yusaku gets a job in childcare, which is still a very difficult job for a man to get these days.
Either way I highly recommend you go in and read this with an open mind and heart, it is a classic. Its artwork may have aged a lot but in my opinion it is the best manga Rumiko has ever made and should be read at least once. Ps: Also if you like this check out the anime! It follows the storyline exactly and throws in a few extras
... Last updated on September 29th, 2012, 2:19am
It has aged a little but it's still a great read, very fitting to pass some time. As a matter of fact, the love portrayed in this manga feels very real (last volume is where things happen, actually), maybe more so than with any other manga I read thus far. 10/10 final volume, 8/10 overall. Heartwarming and moving ending. Definitely worth a read.
... Last updated on March 2nd, 2012, 1:59pm
A true classic!
I enjoyed reading Maison Ikkoku a lot, the characters are very memorable and the manga itself is very touching and funny. You get to follow Godai and Kyoko through the years in the apartment together, how they grow closer to each other and how Kyoko struggles abolut her own feelings, wanting to be faithful to her dead husband and so on. It's great to see how Godai matures through the years and how much he comes to really love Kyoko. But at times I got really annoyed because of so many missunderstandings but other than that this manga is great! It's really funny, dramatic and touching! Mrs. Ichinose, Akemi and Yotsuya take most of the times the credits for it's comedy, always teasing Godai, they make me really laugh! Not to mention Mitaka's fear off dogs and Godai often daydreaming about Kyoko, it's also very funny! This manga gets later on really emotional and it has touched my heart.
Maison Ikkoku might not be as popular as Rumiko Takahashi's other works (Inuyasha and Ranma½) in America but it's still worth reading without a doubt. It will really touch your heart! But this is a silce-of-life manga with no fantasy or whatsoever, some might find it a bit boring but I didn't. If you like realistic and/or romantic manga I'll warmly recommend this one. This is without a doubt a classic.
Annoyingly long and repetitive
Don't get me wrong, I like long winded romances *cough*Pastel*cough* but this is just pushing it. Five volumes in and I must say that this is - so far - the hardest to finish manga I have ever encountered. It starts off like any other romance, but it gets repetitive really quickly. Blame it on the stupidity of the characters. I particularly loathe the supporting characters; is their only purpose in the story to be idiotic busybodies?
Old school art is not a problem with me (I don't really care about the art as long as it doesn't make me dizzy, and I am an Adachi Mitsuru fan so I'm used to old school manga). The only thing that irks me is that it is sometimes difficult to tell Yusaku apart from Shun. But yeah, art is decent.
Anyways I do plan to finish this and I am optimistic that the end will be good, so I'm going to hold off on the rating. It's just that to get to that good ending, I have to force my way through all that stupid and harshly unrealistic slice-of-life... and that's going to take a lot of motivation. Unless of course someone's willing to tell me where the meatier parts are.
It's very good at the beginning, very funny and everything. The male character Yusuku sucks badly, but i thought "well, it adds something". But after a while, I just couldn't bear with it. GROW SOME BALLS MAN !
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Just dump Kozue for christ's sake, you don't like her, you don't do anything, you lead her on and all you cause is misunderstandings. And i HATE pointless misunderstandings.
and for the first time i skipped through chapters. looooooooooots of chapters, i basically stopped at a little after half the manga to read only the last 15. But guess what : even the ending is kinda long. Never saw that, it's the kind of manga that just makes me tired. But don't mistake me Kyoko is no better, unable to move from her spot. She hates whenever Yusuku does anything, gets mad at anything, can't decide what to do about Mitaka or Yusuku.
It really is a huge disappointment since it gets real boring though it started good. The art is pretty good, and the other characters not so bad (special mention to the grandma), so I don't lower it more than a 5. A shame, had it been less than half as long it would have been awesome.