Print Review: Maison Ikkoku volumes 1-15 (complete)

Maison Ikkoku volumes 1-15 (complete)
Warpshadow

Review Maison Ikkoku volumes 1-15 (complete)Written by WarpshadowRating vary good

It has been over 25 years since Maison Ikkoku was first created and after rereading it over the past few weeks I can say that it stacks up well to the manga of Today.

As a rundown apartment building filled with drunken, rowdy tenants, Maison Ikkoku is hardly the ideal environment for would be college student Yusaku Godai. Weak willed as he is there is one thing that keeps him from leaving. Her name is Kyoko Otonashi and she is the beautiful new apartment manager of Maison Ikkoku. While Godai would love nothing more than to deepen his relationship with Kyoko there are many obstacles in his path, not the least of which is the memory of Kyoko's late husband Soichiro.

If one could say that many romantic comedies in anime and manga follow a formula one could also say that many of the elements of the genre originate from the works of Rumiko Takahashi of which Maison Ikkoku is a prime example. As a manga that is largely fueled by comedic misunderstandings, Maison Ikkoku works suprisingly well. While it at first glance may appear to be a fairly staid concept, the creator often shows her ability to get mileage out of almost any situation.; Another big selling point is the fact that the manga never includes fantastic elements or cheap sentimentality. The story does get more emotional towards the end however it remains positive and waits until the characters have gained the reader's empathy before doing so.

It is important to remember that Maison Ikkoku is a comedy for better or worse. While this is usually for better it does have it's faults. Firstly the plot is largely nonexistent in earlier volumes. Characterization for several secondary characters is very thin for a series of this length (Godai's fellow tenants being most notorious in this aspect). Yet this is not enough to dissuade me from recommending Maison Ikkoku to someone looking for a good old-fashioned but timeless romantic comedy.

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