Maison Ikkoku: Kanketsuhen (Final Chapter) (

Review Date: Friday, March 07, 2003
Release Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2001

What They Say
Released By: 5-Ace
Catalog Number: PCBA-52001

The Review!
I've learned not to talk about A/V when using my hacked Apex player with my cheap TV, since many of the disc flaws others hear and see are invisible to me with this setup.

See Audio. In its unfailing ability to make me say, "picture looks okay to me," surely the Apex is the finest DVD player ever to be put to market :)

Plain keepcase. No insert came with mine, but it was a secondhand copy, so things could have been missing.

Functional, 1 page. No bells, no whistles.

There are two fantastic extras here. The first is a collection of theatrical and television spots, a few of which contain scenes not in the actual movie (Godai and Kyoko together at a slasher movie, for example). Mixed in with this material are trailers for "Urusei Yatsura: Kanketsuhen" (and yes, the "Final Battle In Tomobiki-cho" trailer you may have seen on old AnimEigo releases is included). The films were originally shown together as a double feature.

The other extra is even better: a creditless collection of _all_ of the OP/ED sequences from the television series. The only bit of bad news here is explained in a title card: the Gilbert O'Sullivan songs, "Alone Again (Naturally)" and "Bad Dog" were unavailable for use, so the actual animation from their sequences is presented silently.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

This 1988 feature film is set near the end of the Maison Ikkoku manga series, just two days before the big wedding. If you don't know whose big wedding I'm talking about, read no further.

Still here? Good! Well anyway, Godai and Kyoko are finally getting ready to tie the knot. Before things get completely crazy with family arriving, Yotsuya, Akemi, and Mrs. Ichinose decide to torment Godai one last time by throwing a big congratulatory party in his room. As the story begins, Kyoko is out late, Yotsuya is suggesting that she may have cold feet, and Godai is typically helpless before the loon squad's onslaught of booze and insinuation. As the night wears on, vast quantities of alcohol are consumed, Kyoko finally comes in, and lots of surprise guests from earlier in the series show up, including (but not limited to) the folks from the puppet play club, Ikuko, Mr. Ichinose, Chachamaru's Master, and Kyoko's father. The most belligerent of these guests, however, is Ibuki Yagami, a younger girl who had once pursued Godai relentlessly when he was doing his student teaching.

Another minor conflict involves a misunderstanding over a letter that Kyoko is waiting for, but that problem really doesn't escalate very much, and really, nothing much of importance happens in the movie at all. It's never boring, though; it's more like hanging out with old friends. The movie was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki (who also directed Ocean Waves, Princess 9, Fancy Lala, the first Kimagure Orange Road movie, Yokohama Shopping Log, and more), and Mochizuki is a master at keeping things interesting even when nothing momentous is happening. There's lots of characer interaction, light comedy, and hints of romance. Plus, the movie-quality animation is quite nice: the characters have never looked this good or moved this smoothly before.

Except for the first and the last shots, the entire movie takes place indoors, during a single rainy night. It settles into a rhythm of guests arriving and guests leaving, between which stuff happens, people get drunk, and Yotsuya at one point does his best impersonation of Daimajin. Surprisingly, keeping the story all within such confines actually ends up working pretty well. Ikkoku-kan is one of the best realized _places_ in anime or manga: if the building was real, I would have no trouble finding my way around inside at all. After awhile, watching the movie starts to feel a bit like being at a late-running party in comfortable environs, surrounded by familiar faces that you know are going to stick around till the sun comes up.

If you're new to MI, this movie isn't really made with you in mind (check out the manga instead!). But for fans of the series, it's a very enjoyable, low-key way to spend the evening.

Japanese Language

Review Equipment
Apex 600A DVD Player w/RCA TV set

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 2 - Japan
Released By: Pony Canyon
MSRP: 5,800
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Maison Ikkoku