Reviewby Allen Divers, Apr 17th 2002
VHS 19: Dress You Up
Meet Godai, an average broke young man living in a run-down apartment building. Just to make matters worse, come the nosy and nosiest neighbors anyone could have. To top it all off is the beautiful manager of the building, Kyoko. Godai finds himself in love with this lovely widow, but can't find the words to tell her.
Another day at the apartments finds the neighbors doing what they always do, drinking at Godai's. While cleaning, Kyoko finds her old school uniform, which quickly leads to an impromptu costume party by the residents. Later, unsure where her relationship is going with Godai, Kozue turns to Mitaka for advice.
Maison Ikkoku Vol 19 Dress You Up brings two more episodes of Rumiko Takahashi's classic romantic comedy. Continuing in the great tradition of this series, these 2 episodes bring more insight into the past of the main characters.
Made in the 1980s, the animation is nothing out of the ordinary. Character designs are very consistent with Ms. Takahashi's work. Despite being made for Television, the animation is very lively and smooth. Any complaints would be on the washed out appearance of the colors, due mostly to the age of the source materials.
Translation is always hit or miss with Viz productions, but luckily Dress You Up shows little of this common practice. For the most part, the translation stays true to what is actually being said. Some expressions have been changed to fit more common English phrases. Most changes occur with the character names most notably when a character uses a common Japanese form of address to refer to another character. The subtitles will use the character name, but the listener will hear something different.
Maison Ikkoku is a different Anime than the standard fare. Being a romantic comedy it focuses on the interaction of the characters. Most plots for the episodes revolve around the characters that inhabit the apartment building. The first episode explores the past of Kyoko, after she finds her old school uniform. Lots of comedy and a bit of touching emotion fly when the rest of the gang catch her actually wearing the uniform. The second episode pulls away a bit from the main cast, and focuses on a Kozue. The beauty of Maison Ikkoku is the fact that the entire cast feels dynamic enough that each could be the center of an episode without pulling away from the main idea of the series.
Rumiko Takahashi is a true master when it comes to the romantic drama. Maison Ikkoku is very different than some of her other popular works, but holds its own in popularity. Despite its age, Maison Ikkoku remains a must-see series for fans of true romantic comedies. Dress You Up brings more insight into the past of Kyoko and delves into the relationship between Kozue and Godai keeping a smooth pace as the series continues.
Overall (dub) : A
Overall (sub) : N/A
Story : A
Animation : B
Art : B
Music : B
+ Another Rumiko Takahashi romantic comedy classic
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