Maison Ikkoku (Editor's Choice Edition) Vol. #03 -

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Mania Grade: A+

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  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 232
  • ISBN: 1-59116-127-4
  • Size: Tall B5
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Maison Ikkoku (Editor's Choice Edition) Vol. #03

By Megan Lavey     May 23, 2004
Release Date: January 01, 2004

Maison Ikkoku (Editor's Choice Edition) Vol.#03
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Rumiko Takahashi
Translated by:Gerard Jones, Matt Thorn and Mari Morimoto
Adapted by:

What They Say
Kyoko's meddling parents plot to get their daughter to give up her independence and move back home. Yusaku meets his (sort of) girlfriend's overzealous folks and then ends up on a never-ending visit to his own parents' house.

The Review
Packaging: This is a very pretty and attractive cover, combining the English logo for the series with the Japanese artwork from when the series was released as a 10-volume wideban set in Japan a few years ago. This features the artwork from volume three of the widebans, with Kyoko in a kimono attending a festival. The border and the back of the book is a shade of violet, as well as the logo.

Artwork: The artwork evolves even more here, and it starts to take on the form that Takahashi fans are used to in Ranma 1/2, the next major work to come after Maison Ikkoku.

Orientation/SFX: Unflipped and translated.

Text: No noticeable problems for me. It was a good, clean read. SFX is translated, but the pages are unflipped.

Content: [spoiler]It's New Year's Eve and Godai's blown all of his money for a train trip home, so he is unable to go until the next day. But, Akemi and Kyoko invite him to spend the holiday with him. However, the ball unexpectedly swings into Godai's court when Akemi gets a last minute invitation to go skiing and leaves Kyoko and Godai alone. But, in a move that would be mimicked later by another Takahashi character (Miroku in InuYasha), Godai tries his best to grope Kyoko. Alas, he fails.

After a few one-shot episodes exploring Kyoko's growing feelings for Godai and the rivalry between Mitaka and Godai for Kyoko's affections and a very funny story revolving around Godai taking care of a friend's kitten called "Kyoko Baby," we move into the heart of the volume as Kyoko goes home to visit her parents for the first time in a long time. They opposed her marriage to Soichiro and now want her to quit her job at Maison Ikkoku so they can find her a new husband who is young and strong.

While the book has the standard stand alone episodes, the chapters revolving around Kyoko and her parents are the first time that we actually see things from her point of view rather than Godai's. It also gives you a glimpse beyond the polished manager she tries to be all the time and why she always seems to throw herself relentlessly into her work. There's a lot at stake for her here, as if she fails her job at Maison Ikkoku, she knows she would most likely end back up under her parents' roof.

So, she throws herself into her work, just as the million and one things that can go wrong with running an apartment complex all happen at once. This doesn't stop Kyoko and she puts in for some much needed repairs to Maison Ikkoku. In the middle of all of this, Kyoko's mother calls, demanding once again at Kyoko quit her job. When she refuses, her mother insists on discussing it with her employer - Kyoko's former father-in-law. Kyoko goes on, but her mother decides to take things into her own hands. She heads to Maison Ikkoku and announces, much to the tenants' shock, that Kyoko has quit her job. Then she orders movers to take all of her things away. However, Kyoko has no idea what has happened and it's up to Mr. Yotsuya to tell her what's been going on when she returns to find her apartment vacant.

As the other tenants drown their sorrows in booze, Kyoko faces off against her parents and manages to win the battle for now. But, as her mother gleefully calls and informs her, the war isn't over yet.

Round two comes in the next chapter, as Kyoko's mother decides to target Mrs. Ichinose. She decides to use their common link of motherhood to get Mrs. Ichinose to sympathize with her while Kyoko's father tries to reason with her. But, when that fails, Kyoko's parents agree to go with the Otonashis on their annual visit to Soichiro's grave for the first time. Mr. Otonashi also suggests that Kyoko goes on with her life and offers to remove her name from the family's register. She thanks him, but decides to retain the Otonashi family name a little bit longer, much to her parents' dismay.

The rivalry kicks back into gear in the next chapter as Mrs. Ichinose informs Mitaka all about what happened with Kyoko's parents, prompting him to make a declaration and a proposal to her. But we get to see exactly how much Godai has grown since the beginning of the series...[/spoiler]

If you've been on the fence about Maison Ikkoku, for me, this is the volume where you'll either fall completely in love with the series or decide to put it down. For me, it was falling completely in love. With the presentation of the first true arc storyline in Maison Ikkoku, we had major development growth for both Godai and Kyoko.

I really enjoyed seeing Godai put his own feelings for Kyoko to the side long enough to consider her own. The step and the vow he makes to her at the end of the volume shows more than anything how he has grown, even in the year that Kyoko has been at Maison Ikkoku. Kyoko, as well, is growing bolder and is starting to face the reality that there is life beyond Soichiro. But, she realizes that it will take time. So is Godai, which is why he is willing to wait. There's hints at future problems though as Kozue takes the chance to introduce Godai to her family and drops some hints of her own.

We have some fun with Mrs. Ichinose as well. Even though she's her normal, gossipy, drunk self, this volume goes to show how much she cares for Kyoko, as do all of the other tenants. Poor Mitaka. He really tries, but has yet to evolve much beyond a stereotypical pretty boy image for me.

The stark contrast between Kyoko's families is showcased here as well. They're both trying to get her to do the same thing, but Mr. Otonashi has the knack and sensitivity to actually get the point across to her.

While there is still plenty of comedy, this volume is pretty serious as well. Rumiko Takahashi excels in her unique characters and how they all come together and interact. Once you hit the arc with Kyoko's parents, it will be very hard to put this volume down. Highly recommended.


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