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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Maison Ikkoku


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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1388

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:34 am Reply with quote
Mahoraba is something of a latter-day successor to Maison Ikkoku, though I guess it shows at least a little bit of otaku influence; the hero's love interest has multiple personalities, so it's almost like there's four or five different love interests. It doesn't go all the way with that haremy angle, though, and it's a pretty good series. It's definitely got the weird cast of secondary characters down.
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roxybudgy



Joined: 10 Sep 2004
Posts: 60
Location: Western Australia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:00 am Reply with quote
Maison Ikkoku was the very first "manga" I had read. Before, I mainly read funny comic strips such as Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes which didn't require you to know much backstory to enjoy, so when I picked up Maison Ikkoku volume 3 from the local library, I was thrown into the middle of the story and left somewhat confused. But I quickly adapted and found it very enjoyable to read.

Several years and many manga later, Maison Ikkoku is still my favourite manga series. What I love most about it is the way the characters grow over time. My favourite scene is where Kyoko says spoiler["Promise me just one thing, even if it's by one day, promise you will outlive me, because I can't bear being left alone again."] (exact wording my be different). The first time I read that scene, it brought tears to my eyes, the first time I cried over a fictional story. Another memorable quote for me which I strongly relate to is spoiler["The woman I love burns with jealousy, cries, and turns to ice... but when she laughs, the world is mine."] (again, exact wording my vary, my memory sucks).
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Charred Knight



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 3023

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:01 am Reply with quote
Gatsu: Might I suggest you actually read Negima, before you pretend to know whats in it? Either that or you think Harry Potter, has Youkai, a magical world, ninjas, a system where you gain powers by kissing someone, lesbians, and a main character who is a master of martial arts.

Oh right I forgot, child magician with glasses

Back to Maison Ikkoku: you can seriously argue that Rumikio Takahashi is the greatest female mangaka of all times, and Maison Ikkoku is her masterpiece. While most romantic mangas have the rival either be a complete jerk, or so similar to the main character you can't tell the difference, the same can't be said for Shun Mitaka who is nice, loves Kyoko, and has his own personality. Maison Ikkoku is also the only manga Rumiko Takahashi wrote longer than 10 volumes that doesn't drag to long, and has the best ending (which isn't hard Inu-yasha is the only other long manga she's made where the ending doesn't suck)
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12680

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:02 am Reply with quote
Charred:
Quote:
Oh right I forgot, child magician with glasses


From T.H.E.M.
Quote:
Negima has been jokingly referred to as "Harem Potter", which is a bit off base, even though the main characters of both features are teenagers with magical powers. (Negi does at one point in the manga -- or at least the English translation of it -- make a Quidditch reference while flying with his staff.)


From NSFW:

Quote:
Shit, he’s got a comic about eighty-nine million buxom teens who want to have sex with a cute little Mexican Harry Potter bootleg to pen, it’s probably too much to ask that he even skim the Wikipedia articles.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 10858

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:06 am Reply with quote
Heh, Maison Ikkoku was one of the first long series (anime and manga) that I completed a long era ago. It made one believe that as long as there's a "Kyoko" in his/her life, you can deal with whatever life throws at you. Laughing


roxybudgy wrote:

Several years and many manga later, Maison Ikkoku is still my favourite manga series. What I love most about it is the way the characters grow over time.


And time and seasons and holidays actually pass by, beyond the limited concept of graduating from one high school grade to another (the series, of course, takes place from college years to yuppie years). And has a distinct progression of beginning, middle, and end.


roxybudgy wrote:

My favourite scene is where Kyoko says spoiler["Promise me just one thing, even if it's by one day, promise you will outlive me, because I can't bear being left alone again."] (exact wording my be different). The first time I read that scene, it brought tears to my eyes, the first time I cried over a fictional story.


That of course was her answer when he popped the question, her one condition. Anime cry


roxybudgy wrote:

Another memorable quote for me which I strongly relate to is spoiler["The woman I love burns with jealousy, cries, and turns to ice... but when she laughs, the world is mine."] (again, exact wording my vary, my memory sucks).


I think that's from the movie, but don't hold that against me. Anime smallmouth + sweatdrop
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BuffaloStyle



Joined: 28 May 2003
Posts: 274
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:12 am Reply with quote
roxybudgy wrote:
Several years and many manga later, Maison Ikkoku is still my favourite manga series.
Exactly, Maison Ikkoku is something that I would recommend to almost anyone. It's that good.
roxybudgy wrote:
What I love most about it is the way the characters grow over time.
I found myself being very proud of Godai and how much he grew as a man. I even felt slightly sorry for Mitaka because I came to actually like his character. Initially, I hated him but he really did grow on me...sure, he was a jerk but he was a LIKABLE jerk.
roxybudgy wrote:
My favourite scene is where Kyoko says spoiler["Promise me just one thing, even if it's by one day, promise you will outlive me, because I can't bear being left alone again."] (exact wording my be different). The first time I read that scene, it brought tears to my eyes, the first time I cried over a fictional story
Oh, yeah...I read that part twice then had to put the manga down because it really moved me. Powerful stuff...
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ElectricDork



Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:44 am Reply with quote
It's more than ten years since I read Maison Ikkoku and it's still my favourite manga. I don't think anything will ever mean as much to me.

One thing that makes Maison Ikkoku so special is that it has both geniune emotional depth (without ever indulging in mawkish sentimentality), and really, really, sharp comedy. Takahashi has impeccable comic timing and the humour in MI is often quite dry and deadpan.

The characters are fantastic. They may have flaws but they're good people, and this makes them easy to like. Godai is my favourite character, one I can relate to in some ways, and certainly isn't the typical romantic comedy lead: early on he uses Ikuko to curry favour with Kyoko, and has no qualms about leading Kozue on if it means he gets a hot meal every now and then! But later he becomes more responsible and mature and I ended up respecting him a lot.

And Yotsuya is a creation of pure genius. By rights I should loathe the mean-spirited bastard, but his antics are so amusing and unusual that I found it impossible to.

Then there's the natural-sounding dialogue (I really like some of the conversations between Kyoko and Ichinose), the visible passing of seasons which evokes that sense of time relentlessly marching on, and the general warmth and homeliness that Maison Ikkoku itself possesses. You can understand why the characters would want to live there.
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Pippin4242



Joined: 01 Jan 2006
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:58 am Reply with quote
Huh, you actually made me want to read a Takahashi manga. After Urusei Yatsura and Inuyasha, that's quite a feat. I've really been enjoying your balanced and fair contextualised analysis, and today's article made me wonder what you'd make of Banana Fish. Hope you'll consider writing about it - though, if your tastes are half as eclectic as I think, you've probably already written half the article. Wink

- Pips
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1007
Location: Quezon City, Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:18 am Reply with quote
Yeah, it's too bad about the second edition being OOP. Had the "flopped" edition as single issues and graphic novels. Started reading when I was in high school.
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Yorozuya



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 332

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:25 am Reply with quote
Maison Ikkoku is definitely my favourite Rumiko manga; though it could be incredibly frustrating at times :/ It's definitely a manga that gets better as it goes on, I enjoyed the last 3rd or so of the series much more than the rest.
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
Posts: 6710
Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:38 am Reply with quote
I've been wanting to read/watch Maison Ikkoku for years, but freaking Viz does not believe in keeping stuff in-print, so I've been out of luck. I guess that's what I get for not being an anime/manga fan 5 years ago. Shame on me.
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kgw



Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 337
Location: Spain, EU

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:39 am Reply with quote
And let's not forget that main Maison Ikkoku's characters are adults, not teenagers in some High school. That's what I liked most in MI: school days were over, it was the time of real life.
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1007
Location: Quezon City, Philippines

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:07 am Reply with quote
The King of Harts wrote:
I've been wanting to read/watch Maison Ikkoku for years, but freaking Viz does not believe in keeping stuff in-print, so I've been out of luck.


Does any U.S. manga company keep stuff in print the way, say, DC keeps Watchmen in print? Seems like once a series is finished, sales don't justify keeping the books in print indefinitely. That and licenses expiring.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1194
Location: Sunny California

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:46 am Reply with quote
I remember that when I was reading the ending of the final book, the mailman knocked on my door to deliver a package. I looked up and realized I was crying. I hadn't even noticed because I was so engrossed in the story. Egads what an ending!

Takahashi did a fantastic job with this series and I enjoyed reading your take on it.
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 354
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:22 am Reply with quote
Back when I did a review of Urusei Yatsura, I noted that I objected to the concept of it being "the first harem series," as it is so often classified. Rather, I consider it the anti-harem series before harem romance comedies even existed. The key distinction in my mind is the fact that in Urusei Yatsura, the multitude of pretty ladies all hate the main character, who in turn has a very strong, very defined personality. Ataru Moroboshi is not a completely average blank slate of a protagonist, which is a key aspect of the harem series proper. After all, lacking characteristics makes it easier for the reader to mentally swap themselves into the story in place of the lead. (Mind you, this also holds true for girl's romance stories, both Japanese and American.) As such, I choose to lay the blame for the entire "harem" concept squarely at the feet of Kimagure Orange Road. It contains all of the defining elements save for the fact that there are [initially] "only" two ladies in love with a wishy-washy male lead. "Otaku inflation" hadn't yet taken its toll.

And yet KOR and MI, two powerhouses of the "shonen romance" genre, were all the rage among US anime fandom throughout the 1980s and 1990s for the same reason as the shojo series Here is Greenwood was (pretty sure that's shojo...): these types of stories were NOVELTY at the time. For people looking for an alternative to mainstream US animation, which was/is predominantly action-centric kid's fare created to sell merchandise, it didn't get any more different than cartoons about teenagers or adults in pursuit of love and romance in the mostly "real world" where there was no "juvenile" elements to speak of such as explosions, bloodshed, nudity, or toy marketing. In MI and KOR fans had their trump card, their "proof" that cartoons WEREN'T "just for kids" after all. What's more, Maison Ikkoku spoke particularly to those interested in Japanese culture: not only is it set in actual Japan where people adhere to actual Japanese customs, but they manage to celebrate just about every single major Japanese cultural holiday throughout the course of the series.

I did purchase the entire original flopped edition of the Maison Ikkoku manga that Viz put out. But by the time they released the unflopped editions in America in the early 2000s (and at $150 for the entire run, it was much cheaper than the flopped copies!), the novelty aspect of such a genre had vanished completely. By then US anime fans were well beyond Tenchi Muyo and even Love Hina; at that point, stuff like Happy Lesson would come out on Region 1 DVD and nobody would bat an eyelash. Inuyasha was still the hot thing, but plenty of fans had caught onto Rumiko Takahashi's flaws as a writer. This combined with the complete lack of novelty now means that few people, if anyone, reading Maison Ikkoku today is particularly impressed by it. Indeed, most people I know say MI is just like everything else Takahashi does, and the only reason anyone praises it is because it has an ending at all. They'll say the ending is rushed and everything is resolved rather abruptly, and I can't really disagree on that point. Still, Maison Ikkoku is the first such story of its kind I watched and read through in its entirety, and whenever someone says "it's Rumiko Takahashi's best work," I'll be right alongside them. I'm glad I saw it and read it when I did.
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