Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: C
- Menus Rating: D
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Bandai Visual
- MSRP: ¥116000
- Running time: 2400
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Maison Ikkoku
Maison Ikkoku TV Complete Box
What They SayThe Review!
The classic romantic comedy series by Rumiko Takahashi comes to dvd! This is my first review, but I'll do my best. When I try to think of my favorite series, I can never pick just one, so I tend to consider all series I really enjoyed in two categories: the "it was good" category and the "once I started watching, I couldn't stop" category. This is definitely the latter. It's one of the best series ever made, with some of the most memorable characters and stories.
The audio is just plain old mono. This isn't surprising, since this show ran from 1986-88. The audio is very clear and well done on the discs though. Besides, a romantic comedy doesn't really need 5.1 audio. (Even if you have the hardware)
The video quality is great, bright and clear throughout the entire 96 episodes. The animation is dated by today's standards, even compared to recent shows of this genre like Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo and To Heart, but it's still well done.
The menu was the most disappointing thing, it's just an episode select, with the apartment building Ikkoku-kan in the background for every disc. You can also pick to watch the whole disc straight through with or without the openings and endings.
This is a huge 24 disc box set, with each disc in a jewel case (one of the advantages of the laserdisc set is the cover art is much bigger on the laserdisc covers than the jewel cases) and the cases are stored in 4 compartments in the box. There weren't really any extras, except some commercials on the last disc and a big picture in the box with all the tenants of Ikkoku-kan in it.
As I was saying near the beginning of the review, this is one of my favorite anime series. The story is about a college student named Yuusaku Godai, and he lives in a run down apartment named Maison Ikkoku. One day, a young woman named Kyoko Otonashi becomes the new manager, and he falls in love at first sight. We then follow the lives of Godai and Kyoko and the other tenants of Ikkoku-kan as Godai tries to get into college, get a job, and win Kyoko's heart. There are a few obstacles, such as the rich and handsome tennis coach Shun Mitaka, who is also after Kyoko and the obsessive Ibuki Yagami, one of Godai's students who falls for him. This is one of the most realistic anime series, there aren't any aliens, giant robots, super human powers, gender shifting or ESP, just some characters and stories about their lives.
Since this is a region 2 release, there are no subtitles and no English dub. Unfortunately, Maison Ikkoku is owned by Viz in America, and their $30 per 2 episode tape and horrid 1 tape every 2-4 months has (in my humble opinion) killed Maison Ikkoku's chances of being successful in America. They had to cancel the dub because it was selling so poorly, so that makes a region 1 dvd release very unlikely.
All in all, this is a great purchase. Even with the huge price tag (around $1200), you are getting the entire series in one big box. If you divide the price up per disc, that's only about $50 per 4 episode disc, which is a decent price for region 2 anime (for example, the Rurouni Kenshin TV series DVDs are about $65 each, with only 3 episodes per disc). I would recommend this show to all people who like romantic comedies or to people who just like realistic stories. This set was a pre-order only set (according to CD Japan), and they are sold out, so you may not be able to find this set without going to Japan.
Japanese Language,Laserdisc size box with cover art by Rumiko Takahashi,Commercials
Sony XBR 27" TV, S-video connection, Apex AD-600a player