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Maison Ikkoku

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Maison Ikkoku

Postby queshaw » Mon 11.27.2006 10:50 pm

** minor spoilers below **

I finished the last episode of Maison Ikkoku TV series last night, and am more or less emotionally wrecked now. If I had watched it an episode at a time, broadcast on TV, I would probably be even more mushy after 96 episodes.

I didn't want to add this onto the favorite anime thread, even though someone mentioned Maison Ikkoku there, because I don't want to debase it by ranking.

I read various moral messages into the story, and the characters fit well as archetypes. Kyoko is so lovely, not because she is pretty, but because of her actions and interests. The qualities that she appears to value in a partner are beautiful and heart warming. That she doesn't necessarily want riches or alpha maleness from Godai makes her so desirable. The message that that is what the Kyokos of the world could want is profound I think (profound ideas don't become less profound by being common).

Ignoring the main story that I found so moving, there are interesting incidents that I read some cultural significance into. Like, Godai mixes up tapes (a prehistoric recording media), one to a toddler at the preschool that he works at, in reply to a tape the toddler had given him, asking him to marry her (the toddler is also named Kyoko (kyon-kyon)), and the other tape that was to his beloved Kyoko, so that the toddler's parents end up listening to an impassioned recording of Godai saying how much he loves her (meaning, Kyoko but accidentally sent home with the toddler). In the US, that wouldn't be considered funny, even in 1980. Maybe in 1940 or so, the thought of pedophilia wouldn't have occured to anyone, and so it could be funny instead of threatening.

Also, Godai smokes, but it's only shown rarely. So, it's not a prop that he smokes. I take that to mean that it's so normal to smoke that it's not concidered something that would change a character's "innocent" appearance.

Along those lines, the other tenants who are supposed to be lushes, really really are. It shows in explicit detail how much alcohol they are consuming, which is a lot, like alcohol fatality amounts. In American movies, it wouldn't be shown so graphically, and would be characterized instead. It's interesting to see what is considered believable to represent neighbors that drink a lot.

Questions:

Kyoko pronounces the -u in -ます, e.g. おはようございます。 I didn't notice if other characters were doing that. Does that mean something? For example, is it a female affectation?

I want to go back over it after I learn more Japanese, because they used different words, frequently, for the few words that I know, as I read them in the subtitles.

They often sit around tables that have a blanket underneath with a heater in th middle under the table. They sit with their kneeds under the blanket so they are all being warmed by the heater. Do you know what that is called?

They eat squid on a stick. Do you know what that is?

Mrs. Ichinose does a dance almost every time they drink. She dances to music that sounds like music I've heard before called Ondo. Do you know anything about that? I think it's played at festivals but is there more to it than that? Where does it come from? How is it regarded?

Is this meant to be romance for boys? Chobits, KOR and Maison Ikkoku have very different qualities from what I think of as girl's stories. The main character is male and kind of pathetic. He lacks will power and is afraid of hurting people's feelings and causes catastrophies as a result (something I can kind of relate to).

If it is really meant to be for boys, or rather not specifically for girls, I would be pleased. I can't think of anything comparable in popular stories in the US. The idea that such messages could be appealing to males in Japan is admirable.
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RE: Maison Ikkoku

Postby Oyaji » Mon 11.27.2006 11:13 pm

I don't know anything about the story, so I can't help you there, but I will answer some of the culture questions.


They often sit around tables that have a blanket underneath with a heater in th middle under the table. They sit with their kneeds under the blanket so they are all being warmed by the heater. Do you know what that is called?


こたつ (kotatsu)

They eat squid on a stick. Do you know what that is?


The most common name is イカの串焼き (Ika no kushi yaki).

Mrs. Ichinose does a dance almost every time they drink. She dances to music that sounds like music I've heard before called Ondo. Do you know anything about that? I think it's played at festivals but is there more to it than that? Where does it come from? How is it regarded?


音頭 (ondo) in this sense are traditional songs with accompanying dance. Most regions have their own "ondo". More accomplished dancers know the dances from several regions.
Last edited by Oyaji on Mon 11.27.2006 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Maison Ikkoku

Postby Hatori » Mon 11.27.2006 11:17 pm

wow, i love your speach. i'm letting you know, if you havn't, READ THE BOOKS. i have the WHOLE series and it is absolutely my number one favorite manga on earth. i have also two boxsets of the series too. but from having this as my first real manga, it really has helped me learn about what the japanese do. it has helped me out learn what some foods are, how certain traditions are done, and really has a big infulence on culture. i'm glad that you have the same view as i do. :) after taking so long collecting it, i have looked over it many times and i learn something new every time. from the way the homes are made to how everybody signals eachother with hand movements. i do agree with you. :) anyways, it's got a catchy tale to it too. no wonder it's an editor's choice series!!
我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。
lol
~ハトリ~
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RE: Maison Ikkoku

Postby skrhgh3b » Tue 11.28.2006 12:29 am

Normally I frown on anime and manga because otaku annoy me, but I have a fondness for this story myself. I fell in love with it back in high school when I read it in English, and I bought it in Japanese before I even began studying the language because I loved it so much. Years later, it's still sitting there unread, waiting for the day when my kanji proficiency is up to the task, but I still occasionally pull those books out and read a random chapter. This weekend I happened to read the chapter where Godai mistakenly thought Kyoko and Mitaka were engaged and ran away from Ikkoku-kan, and I was shocked when I read and understood 90% of the chapter without ever pulling out a dictionary.... Maybe when I finally get an electronic dictionary I'll try reading the series in Japanese.
♪夢も見たくない 幸せなんか要らない
恋もしたくない お金なんか要らない
ぼくに必要な眠りを眠らせておくれ♪
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RE: Maison Ikkoku

Postby Hatori » Tue 11.28.2006 12:42 am

skrhgh3b wrote:
Normally I frown on anime and manga because otaku annoy me, but I have a fondness for this story myself. I fell in love with it back in high school when I read it in English, and I bought it in Japanese before I even began studying the language because I loved it so much. Years later, it's still sitting there unread, waiting for the day when my kanji proficiency is up to the task, but I still occasionally pull those books out and read a random chapter. This weekend I happened to read the chapter where Godai mistakenly thought Kyoko and Mitaka were engaged and ran away from Ikkoku-kan, and I was shocked when I read and understood 90% of the chapter without ever pulling out a dictionary.... Maybe when I finally get an electronic dictionary I'll try reading the series in Japanese.


now that's something you don't see every day! i think that is something wonderful to achieve! congrats, man! :D:D
i have many japanese novels and manga i just flip through sometimes when i'm bored. but i can read like 75% of it, but not know the words. i'm getting there! :D
我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。我是老师。
lol
~ハトリ~
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RE: Maison Ikkoku

Postby s0n9al » Tue 11.28.2006 4:48 am

I watched this anime series before, but unfortunately I didn't watch the complete thing, only parts here and there on the local television programme here. Albeit quite an old anime, nevertheless it's still worth watching. The opening and ending songs are nice and the animation characters are kawaii! ;)
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