Creator: Rumiko Takahashi
Suggested Age: 13+
My Rating: 10/10
Summary: (From back of back) Kyoko and Yusaku start dating–other people! She goes out with her handsome tennis tennis instructor, Shun Mitaka, while he reluctantly dates Kozue, a former coworker. The two finally arrange to go on a date together, but a mix-up leads them to up at different restaurants!
Review: This volume picks things up and we get some genuinely funny moments with Mitaka as we discover a secret–Mitaka is afraid of dogs! I liked how Godai used this for an advantage on their beach date.
This volume also introduces another budding romance–this time between Kentaro and Kyoko’s neice, Ikuko. Ikuko is already adorable to begin with, but this made her more enjoyable because we got to see her be so naive about it. She was just so oblivious to the crush that it was downright charming. We also got to see another side to Kentaro. In the first volume, he was annoying because we saw him from Godai’s point of view, where he did nothing but pester the poor guy. To see that he actually had a nicer side to him was surprising. Not to mention the fact that his mother annoys even him!
We also got some glimpses into Godai and Kyoko’s pasts. I thought it was great to see these, even though I’d love to actually see what Mr. Otonashi looked like. Godai’s life, however, was actually kind of pathetic. He was always stuck helping out at his family’s restaurant.
I also like how the tomance evolved between Kyoko and Yusaku. It’s obvious that Kyoko is starting to see Yusaku’s good traits, and it leads to some sweet moments. I was so sure things got sour with the mixed-up dinner date, but the puppet show scene was so funny and charming at the same time, especially when Yusaku actually made a puppet that vaguely resembled Kyoko. (it’s not as creepy as it sounds, trust me)
The artwork has certainly improved. Kyoko is drawn in a very pleasing way (no, not that way!) that gives her a hint of elegance to go with her demeanor. It’s great to see how Takahashi evolved over time.
Maison Ikkoku is quickly turning into my favorite Takahashi work. If you liked Ranma 1/2 or Inuyasha, or you like a great love story, this is worth checking out.
Violence: (1/10) Slapstick at the most.
Nudity: (2/10) There a full-on shower scene with Kyoko after tennis practice.