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Maison Ikkoku: Box set 1 (eps.1-12)

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Terry Klassen, Sharon Alexander, Nicole Bouma, Paul Dobson, Ron Halder
  • Directors: Chisato Motegi, Kôji Sawai, Tomomi Mochizuki
  • Writers: Hideo Takayashiki, Hiroshi Konishikawa, Junki Takegami, Kazunori Itô, Michiru Shimada
  • Format: Animated, Box set, Color, Dubbed, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: VIZ Media
  • Release Date: July 1 2007
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00009L53V
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,641 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

From Rumiko Takahashi, the world-renowned creator of Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha...Maison Ikkoku.

Available on DVD for the first time in English! Previously available only on VHS and only up to Volume 18, VIZ is happy to announce the release of MAISON IKKOKU box sets! The first of 3 box sets is available this summer, and each set will contain 12 bilingual (Japanese and English, with optional English subtitles) episodes of the series.

Fall in love with Rumiko Takahashi's (RANMA 1/2, INUYASHA) beloved romantic comedy, MAISON IKKOKU! When you're a poor college student who can barely pass his classes or make a decent living, and always have to fend off the nosiest neighbors in the shabbiest apartment ever, how are you supposed to win the woman of your dreams? Between romantic rivals, financial difficulties and hilarious misunderstandings, will it ever work out?

Rumiko Takahashi followed her first success, the sci-fi farce Urusei Yatsura ("Those Obnoxious Aliens," 1981), with Maison Ikkoku (1986), a romantic comedy inspired by a shabby apartment building she once lived near. "Ronin" (a student wannabe) Godai finally succeeds in getting into college, which he's been trying to do since he arrived at the threadbare Tokyo boarding house. When the lovely widow Kyoko becomes the manager, Godai is instantly smitten, but the course of love never runs smoothly for Takahashi's characters. In addition to competing with dashing tennis coach Mitaka and Kyoko's memories of her late husband, Godai has to contend with the embarrassing stunts of the other tenants: hard-drinking Mrs. Ichinose and her son Kentaro, the prying Mr. Yotsuya, and Akemi, a waitress given to scanty lingerie. Not that Godai needs help to make a fool of himself: he's almost as maladroit as Ataru, but unlike the hero of Urusei, he has a genuinely kind heart. When a friend from school gets him drunk in episode #8, Godai proclaims his love for Kyoko--waking the entire neighborhood. He can't remember what he did the next morning, and jumps to the erroneous conclusion that he performed a striptease. When he tries to laugh off his actions, he infuriates Kyoko. No sooner does one comic crisis get resolved then another arises, but the characters' occasional moments of honest sentiment give Maison Ikkoku a warm appeal. (Rated 13 and older: risqué humor, brief nudity, alcohol and tobacco use, slapstick violence) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

A superb romantic comedy, "Maison Ikkoku", Vol. 1, kicks off this uniquely Japanese story; but the appeal of this timeless classic is universal. Heroine, Kyoko Otonashi, ranked this year as one of the top 5 heroines of anime by a poll of 10,000 adults taken by a major Japanese newspaper. Which is saying something considering that this show ended 15 years ago.
Maison Ikkoku is a run down apartment building in Tokyo. Living there is struggling and wishy-washy college student Yusaku Godai, who falls head over heels in love with the beautiful, young manager of the building, Kyoko Otonashi. Kyoko has some feelings towards Godai, but she's a widow, and still is not over the death of her beloved husband, Soichiro.
Complicating matters between the two are rich, suave, hysterically dog-phobic, and handsome tennis coach Shun Mitaka, Godai's rival for Kyoko; and Kozue Nanao, a sweet, cute, and naive girl, who accidently becomes Godai's platonic girlfriend. Kozue is clueless that Godai is in love with Kyoko.
The crowning touch is the 3 other residents of the apartment building: hard drinking, hard partying and hard gossiping Mrs. Ichinose, who lives with her young son Kentaro; Akemi, a sexy party animal who is the bar hostess at local hangout ChaChaMaru, wearing her see-through negligee around the building; and then there's the mysterious Yotsuya, who gets his kicks out of peeping, and breaking through Godai's wall so that he can mooch food from Godai. These characters would be at home in "A Confederacy of Dunces".
All 3 regard Godai as their personal toy, and they get their kicks from teasing him and holding their drinking parties in his room. They also discover that Kyoko is also fun to tease.
The only problems with this DVD release is Viz.
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Well, I FINALLY got done watching this show--all ninety-bleeding-six episodes. And, while kind of rough, I have to say that, overall, it wasn't bad. In spite of this, however, I have awfully many bad things to say about it.
The story is that Yuhsaku Godai, a college student and later job-hunter, sort of flounders around, trying ineffectually to win the affections of Kyoko Otanashi, the manager of his boarding house while being pushed around by his obnoxious flatmates and trying to deal with several other women who inexplicably are enamored of him--all the while assailed by more marginally wacky misunderstandings than you can shake a stick at. I realize that this description contains a number of implicit criticisms, so let's take them one by one.
Flounders--This show is utterly shapeless. Things happen, supporting characters appear, mild wackiness transpires, but until the last twenty or so episodes, there's just no forward momentum, meaning that nothing that takes place really matters, because everything will just be exactly the same after as it was before. Which might sort of be okay if what was happening was consistently fun in its own right, but it just isn't. There are a few winners, but the absolute torrent of pointless and boring filler episodes ('Yotsuya's Egg,' anyone?) does the show real damage. I'm not saying that this story couldn't have been executed well in such a large scale--I'm just saying that Ms. Takahashi lacked the skills to do so (and still does, to judge by Inuyasha). An example of how focus could have helped: there's an early episode in which Godai and Kyoko have to climb into the boarding house's attic to deal with a power failure. There, they find writing carved into the walls--messages from previous tenants who had to leave to fight in World War II.
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"Maison Ikkoku" is one of the timeless classics of anime. The TV series aired in the mid 1980s, but it's just as watchable - and wonderful - today as ever. It differs from almost every other anime series in that there's nothing about this show that couldn't take place in the real world: no spaceships, no special powers, no alternate worlds. It's simply the incredibly well-told story of a would-be college student and his love for the kind young widow that runs his apartment. If it sounds dull, rest assured that it's not. While some episodes take on a very soap-opera-ish quality, the storytelling in general is excellent - especially as the series goes on.
In the first twelve episodes that comprise this set, however, we're just getting to know all the characters. The rough edges haven't come off yet, and there's not much time to do more than introduce the two (or three) love triangles that make up the show - as well as the families of Godai and Kyoko (the main characters) and the other inhabitants of the titular boarding house.
Nonetheless, it's still an absolutely wonderful show. It's a shame Viz, the American rights-holders, didn't do more with this, the first DVD release in America. While the audio and video quality seem decent in my admittedly not-terribly large, not-exactly high definition TV, there is only one real extra to speak of: creditless opening and ending sequences on the final disc. It's nice to see VIz price the set reasonably low, but for my money, I still would have liked to have seen some decent extras of some kind. Viz has, in fact, treated "Maison Ikkoku" quite badly in its various incarnations: releasing only two-thirds of the series on VHS (and that much only in subtitled format) at a high price with little fanfare or publicity.
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