Godai has the best intentions in the world--and the worst luck. Although he's now a student at a teacher's college, he's permanently broke and so busy daydreaming about Kyoko, the pretty manager of his broken-down rooming house, he walks into telephone poles. Not that the other tenants of Maison Ikoku are any less eccentric. Mrs. Ichinose drinks and gossips; her son Kentaro is a pest; the mysterious Mr. Yotsuya snoops; Akemi lounges around the building in skimpy negligees. But one quality they all share is a neverending delight in teasing poor Godai, and his unflagging ineptitude affords them plenty of opportunities.
Rumiko Takahashi's comic soap opera careens along its merry path in this second collection, as misunderstandings are compounded, opportunities blown, and everyone operates at cross-purposes. After Kyoko sprains her ankle playing tennis with the dashing Coach Mitaka, all the tenants bring her food. The poor woman about to burst when Godai shows up with inedible ramen he's prepared himself. Godai gets tricked into taking care of a classmate's kitten, also named Kyoko. When Mrs. Ichinose overhears him tell the cat's owner "Kyoko sleeps with me every night," she tells everyone he's having an affair with the manager. Warmer than the previous Urusei Yatsura (Those Obnoxious Aliens), but not a zany as the slapstick Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikoku occupies a special place in Takahashi's extraordinary output. (Unrated: suitable for ages 13 and older: risqué humor, brief nudity, alcohol and tobacco use, slapstick violence) --Charles Solomon