Maison Ikkoku (1986 IMDb)

Categorization

Romantic comedy based on one of Takahashi Rumiko's flagship manga. 96 episodes.

Subject

A young man struggling to get into college gets a room at an old two-storey apartment complex in Tokyo, called Maison Ikkoku. The place is infested with nosy, hard-partying cynics, but is also getting a new manager: A gentle young widow.

Commentary

Cheap but solidly crafted animation. Surprisingly little pure filler, but some unlikely, slow-moving complications of the kind that weakened Urusei yatsura (1981) more severely. These get interesting resolutions, and the central romance gathers appropriate gravitas. The war story in episode 3 has some very nice haunting nostalgia, but little relation to the plot. The female author's “voice” is fairly strong, giving even the brief nudity a non-exploitative air that's sorely missing in the anime mainstream of 2010. This makes it one of relatively few anime that a non-geeky girlfriend would be likely to watch, in my experience.

References here: Gestaltning i A Silent Voice, Urusei yatsura (1981), World Apartment Horror (1991).

Japanese production animation movie