Mania Grade: A+
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- Art Rating: B
- Packaging Rating: A
- Text/Translatin Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 9.95
- Pages: 248
- ISBN: 1-59116-248-3
- Size: Tall B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
Maison Ikkoku (Editor's Choice Edition) Vol. #04
By Megan Lavey
May 22, 2004
Release Date: March 01, 2004
Maison Ikkoku (Editor's Choice Edition) Vol.#04
© Viz Media
Translated by:Gerard Jones, Matt Thorn and Mari Morimoto
Adapted by:What They Say
How can Yusaku and Kyoko ever be alone when the motley crew at Maison Ikkoku are always inviting themselves to every get-together and social event? When the two finally have some one-on-one time, their housemates'gossip and meddling leads them to learn the hard way that home is where the heart is!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 four of the widebans, with Kyoko playing tennis. The border and the back of the book is a shade of yellow, as well as the logo being in orange and yellow.
Artwork: The artwork remains on the same standard it had in volume 3.
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.
Review: With the majority of book three spent on Kyoko, book four switches back to the growing relationship between Kyoko and Godai and furthers Godai's emotional growth from where it left off in book three.
Kyoko's had it with men. In this epilogue to the events that happened in book three, Kyoko expresses her frusturation with the male gender by refusing to have anything to do with them. But, after a heart to heart with an old friend, she realizes that everyone harping on her to marry is a good thing - because there will be one day when that stops, and that is the day Kyoko will truly become a spinster.
Meanwhile, this prompts Godai to do something about his relationship with Kozue. He starts distancing himself from her and decides that he needs to break up with her - but that fails after the couple witness a dramatic breakup between another couple in a very public location.
A couple of one-shot stories deals with the disappearance (and reappearance) of Mr. Soichiro and Godai's friend, Sakamoto, being attracted to Kyoko. After a trip to a festival and Kozue deciding that she wants to have something to remember the summer by, the majority of the book revolves around a single arc, much like the third book did. However, this arc shifts the focus to Godai with a lot of Kyoko on the side.
Mitaka asks Kyoko to help him with a wedding present for his sister, but with the residents of Maison Ikkoku being who they are, they interpret the situation as Kyoko marrying Mitaka herself. Word gets back to Godai and he gets upset. Not wanting to see Kyoko marry Mitaka, he moves out of Maison Ikkoku.
He heads to an apartment near the station, where he is forced to share it with a married couple. Kyoko heads after Godai to convince him to move back, but when she gets to the apartment, she discovers the married woman. That, combined with more gossip from the Maison Ikkoku residents, convinces her that Godai is living with this woman and she goes away angry. When Godai tries to get out of the situation he's in, she refuses to let him come back. But, when all seems lost, a kind word from a friend helps Kyoko and Godai find their way back to each other again.
Emotional growth. That's the best way I can sum up this volume. There are tons of it, from all sides. Kyoko finally comes to the full realization that there is life after Soichiro and she starts to view both Mitaka and Godai as serious contenders for her hand in marriage in the future. Right now, there isn't a sense of her being forced to choose one of them (I'm sure that will come later), but she is finally enjoying being a single woman again. As she tells Ikuko, "It used to be, whenever I thought of him, right here in my chest...it would become so tight, it was physically painful." But, that is gone now, she realizes.
Meanwhile, Godai is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Part of him accepts and regrets what he has with Kozue. As he thinks, if there was no Kyoko in his life, then he could easily fall in love with Kozue. He recognizes that he has to get out of the situation he's in with her, but does not have the backbone to do so. This is one of Godai's faults. He is a geninuely good person, but he is the type of person who tries his best to avoid deep confrontations of the heart. He runs away from his emotional conflicts, which leads to the "Godai leaves home" arc that takes up the majority of the book. In that sense, Godai is still very immature and will have an impact on any future relationship he has with Kyoko and the one he has now with Kozue.
Kozue gets some nice growth in this volume as well as one of the side stories focuses on her in a sense. She is truly a nice girl and part of me really hates that she got caught in the middle of this whole love mess. But, her naivete also helped bring it upon herself. The residents of Maison Ikkoku are here in the same supporting role they've taken since the beginning of the series. One of the nicest scenes deals with Mrs. Ichinose and the "mother/sister" role she's taken upon herself in Kyoko's life.
The first real sense that time has passed since the book opens is seeing a more grown-up Ikuko in her middle school uniform wandering through the book. While Maison Ikkoku took place in real time and you know that a year and a half has passed since the start of the series, seeing the physical reminder of it is nice. It's a definite contrast to other series, such as Ranma 1/2 where the characters don't age and Inuyasha, where time passes, but it does so very slowly.Comments
Once again, I found myself completely absorbed in this book and was amazed that a couple hours passed from when I started to when I finished. When I flipped back through it to write up the review, I found myself re-reading a good chunk of the book in the process because I got so caught up in it. To me, one of the signs of a really good series is the re-readability of it. Maison Ikkoku is definitely stacking up to be one of those series. Highly recommended.