Maison Ikkoku

January 5, 2013

Seeing that this is one of those times where I decided to go and pick up a retro anime, looking back at all my years spent watching animes I thought what better way for me to pick one that has relation to the anime that got me interested in the world of anime. That anime was Ranma 1/2 and its author Rumiko Takahashi. An affluent manga artist with several great works under her name (it’s a shame that till this day I haven’t read a proper manga of any kind), the only adapted animes that I have watched were Ranma 1/2 and Inu Yasha. Thinking I needed to watch more old school type romance genre, that’s how Maison Ikkoku finally came to my watch list. On a side, note, Maison Ikkoku is the second manga created under name after Urusei Yatsura (she has a total of 8 as of today).

The plot is relatively simple. It focuses on a poor and down-on-his-luck college student Yuusaku Godai and his relationship with the manager of the boarding house called Maison Ikkoku, Kyoko Otonashi who is also recently widowed. As we know, love is never straightforward. Be it the feelings from their heart or the other love triangles and other ‘annoyances’ surrounding them that make everything more complicated and just hellish. That’s why you have 96 episodes for them to try and get it right. Will they? The romantic comedy may be almost similar to Ranma 1/2 but for this one, there are no martial arts or magic involved. Instead of high school kids, we have grownup young adults as the main casts. It is more grounded to earth and the romance leans more towards bitter sweet.

As this was a long running anime (ran from 1986-1988) and the different pace of the animes that were in those eras, as usual I had to rely on several sites to jog my memory. I guess in those days when the internet is still at its infant stage and there weren’t a glut of animes around like today, fans were more, how should I say it, truer and more dedicated. They spend enough time analyzing and discussing topics on their favourite manga as though they are the manga author themselves even posing possible answers to questions that the original manga author never had answers. It’s like as though they lived inside that story itself. There was one site on Maison Ikkoku for this and I was amazed at the details but it seems I can’t find it now :(. The other sites I ‘relied’ on to refresh my memory include good ol’ trusty Wikipedia, TV.com, reocities and Furinkan. So the rest are the brief opinions I have about this series. On what I remembered, that is.

Maison Ikkoku – Or Ikkoku-kan as it is known. The boarding house in Tokyo that has 6 rooms plus a room for the manager. The previous old guy suddenly quit citing he became tired of the job and thus the young and beautiful Kyoko takes over the job.

Yuusaku Godai – The resident of room number 5. From the perspectives of many despite being the main character, I can’t help label him a loser. Sure, he is poor and his family runs a ramen shop in the outskirts of Niigata. He failed his university entrance once and has to wait another year for another chance. It doesn’t help that the other residents are giving him a hell of a time so when he decides to leave, he bumps into Kyoko on her arrival as the new manager. Love at first sight. Decides to stay. Tries to win her love. Not easy, eh?

Kyoko Otonashi – Despite being the new, beautiful and kind manager of Maison Ikkoku, Godai is going to find her to love him back at lot harder (not that he confessed). That’s because her husband Souichirou had suddenly died. They were the perfect couple, hopelessly in love till his sudden departure in a brief marriage that hardly lasts a year. So can you blame her if she never wants to get into another relationship again? Well, they say time heals all wounds. But can she find the strength and courage to let go of her past and move on?

Souichirou – What a way to remember your husband than to name your dog after him. Bowow~. Why does this dog have ‘butt eyes’? And for the late husband, you’ll never ever get to see his real face. Conveniently hidden, eh?

Hanae Ichinose – The chubby married wife residing in room number 1. She loves drinking, getting drunk and what’s more she is loud and loves putting Godai down. Typical housewife of those days. She has a son named Kentarou who is probably more ‘mature’ than her and a husband whom we rarely see in the anime. Even if we do, we’d probably think he is some stranger.

Akemi Roppongi – The red haired beauty of room number 6. Works at a local bar called Chachamaru and has no qualms in showing off her body or flirting around. Oh, loves picking on Godai too. Speaking of Chachamaru, I thought the bar master looked like Charlie Chaplin…

Yotsuya – The most mysterious of the residents and resides in room number 4. Sometimes talks in poem form and nobody knows what exactly he does and even his first name. Probably wears lots of hats and lied about how his first name can be pronounced in which all of them might not be true. Loves harassing Godai too especially when both their rooms are adjacent to each other. Yeah, there is big hole in the wall enough for Yotsuya to slip in anytime to harass Godai and annoy the hell out of him.

The terrible trio from hell – Ichinose, Akemi and Yotsuya are what many would call terrible neighbours from hell. At least for Godai. They love picking on him, harassing and annoying him for their own pleasure and entertainment. They have no qualms in admitting that or shifting the blame back to him! So with Kyoko coming into the picture and trying to spice things further up, the harassment just got increased to a new level. Especially Godai always giving in to Yotsuya’s threat of treating him to meals. Another ‘trait’ that these trio have is the ability to party. They are wild party animals. They can party anywhere and love doing it in Godai’s room, disrupting his studies and peace. And they can leave the mess there for him to clean up. If it’s not in his room, it’s in the hallway. Yeah, you can’t stop them from partying hard. They have every sort of excuse to party. Whether if it’s to celebrate Godai’s success and if not, his failure, they just have a reason to party. Ichinose loves doing her chaka poko dance (whatever this is) and the rest getting drunk or doing some silly performances.

Sakamoto – Godai’s so called best friend and college mate. Sometimes he helps out, sometimes he is selfish. They’re like brothers. Sticking with each other through good and bad times, though I feel it’s more of the latter. Though a fan of Kyoko, he doesn’t harbour any romantic love interests.

First proclamation of love – Godai finally did it! He finally confessed he loves Kyoko! As early as the eighth episode! Unfortunately that was because he was drunk while celebrating his acceptance into college (finally). He thought he dance naked in front of Kyoko and retracted his statement, causing Kyoko to fall into depression and vowing never to fall in love again. Ooh…

Shun Mitaka – To get help get Kyoko overcome her depression, Ichinose suggests joining a tennis club. Thus herald the first love triangle and Godai’s rival for Kyoko. If you size up the guys, Godai is definitely way out of league compared to Mitaka because he has the looks, a stable job, a comfortable apartment and a sports car. Yeah, don’t even mention he is the kind of guy all the ladies would swoon over for (at least for those in the tennis club). And oh, he’s got this shining smile that really annoys you when he flashes them. His only weakness? He is afraid of dogs! How can he be Kyoko’s boyfriend if he can’t befriend the friendly Souichirou? This is going to be tough.

Kozue Nanao – To sustain his university life, Godai takes up a part time job and his employer has a daughter, kind hearted Kozue takes a liking for him. Because Godai doesn’t say, Kozue assumes that they are a couple. If only Godai had the guts to tell it straight to her then he wouldn’t have had so many conflicting moments with Kyoko. I mean, when she asks him out to date her, he doesn’t really say no. He couldn’t or he doesn’t want to?

Jealous woman – Though Kyoko does not admit her feelings but you can tell from her body reaction that she is indeed jealous when Godai goes out on a ‘date’ with Kozue. Because of that, she gets back at him by dating Mitaka.

The puppet club members – If Kozue is already a handful for jealous Kyoko, what’s more the puppet club members of Godai’s university made up mostly of girls made prank calls to the house making her feel even more jealous and enraged. As the manager’s room is the only place to have a telephone, this prompts Kyoko to install a pink pay-phone in the hallways.

Hit and miss – Godai successfully asks Kyoko out for a date when he gets his first pay. But because she misheard the name of the place, they end up waiting for hours with the other not turning up. And the irritancy is building up. Till they realize they’ve got it wrong, they ran all over town just to look for each other. Yeah, they kept missing each other.

Ikuko – Kyoko’s niece and the girl Kentarou has a crush on. Till she finds out she likes another boy. More surprisingly, Godai becomes her tutor! Can this guy be a proper one? I mean this raises lots of questions about his ability rather than morality. Hope he doesn’t teach her the wrong things. But one of his intentions to do so was to find out more about Kyoko’s late husband. It wasn’t anything much but I bet he was a better person than Godai is. Otherwise, why would Kyoko be still clinging on to his memories, right?

Kyoko resigns – Actually this is a ploy by Kyoko’s parents, Mr and Mrs Chigusa to bring Kyoko back from that filthy boarding house (they leave in a pretty decent apartment). Though their plans foiled, mommy even went down to Maison Ikkoku to convince everyone else with a sob story to make Kyoko resign. Let’s say that didn’t work out too.

Jealous woman part 2 – Because Godai still continues to ‘date’ Kozue, Kyoko arranges a date with Mitaka. However on her way to meet him, she saw him hugging a woman when in actual fact Mitaka was scared by a dog and in his reflex hugged a nearby woman. So she leaves and lets him wait all day long by himself and as for Godai, she throws a can right into his head!

Kyoko gets married – No way! That was what Godai heard but it’s his fault for not clarifying things before jumping to such conclusion. It is not Mitaka that Kyoko is getting married to but Mitaka requests her assistance in helping his sister prepare for her wedding.

Godai has left the building – Because of that misunderstanding, Godai leaves Maison Ikkoku and finds a place of his own to stay. Let’s say it’s much worse. Not only it’s above a pachinko store, the previous tenant refuses to move out. Furthermore the tenant is a married woman and with her husband they have no qualms in using Godai’s stuff like their own. They even pawned his stuff for money to gamble! So when Godai attempts to come back to Maison Ikkoku (because there is no point to continue living with those jerks), jealous Kyoko lies to say all the rooms, his and those that have been unoccupied now, have suddenly been occupied. Thankfully after seeing suffering in the cold streets with no place to return, she lets him back in.

Substitute parents – Ashamed of his parents (especially his rowdy mom), Kentarou requests Godai and Kyoko to pretend to be his parents for a day for his school’s sports day. But in the end, Godai sprained his ankle so his real parents are the one who end up joining the three-legged race and they win it!

My husband had an affair – While flipping through postcards, Kyoko finds a postcard that her late husband has sent to. Who is this woman he had been seeing before her? In the end, it turns out that woman is Kyoko herself. Did she note remember the postcard he sent to her? I mean, if she was so madly in love with him, whatever firsts they did, he had she would surely remember them all, right?

Yukari – Godai’s gold tooth grandma who is shorter than your knee. Yeah, her shiny smile can rival Mitaka’s. Worried about her grandson’s future, from time to time this sporting grandma visits Maison Ikkoku not only to take care of him but also to pressure him in settling down in life. So on her first visit, she makes Godai introduce his ‘girlfriend’ Kozue and wants him to settle down with her since after observing Kyoko and Mitaka, realistically there is no chance in this world Godai could ever beat that tennis coach. Yes, she wants him to give up on Kyoko. Will that guy ever listen to his grandma? At least not this one. He won’t give up Kyoko yet.

Run Godai, run! – An episode that has Godai and Kyoko going out on a ‘date’ but were being chased around town by the other Maison Ikkoku neighbours when they spot the duo together. Yeah, they had fun running away…

Mitaka x Kozue? – Kozue thought something is missing in her love life. Her relationship with Godai isn’t as romantic as she hoped to be. So she seeks Mitaka’s advice and of course he would want to make Kozue’s dream come true for this would increase his chance with Kyoko. When Godai gets wind about this, he thinks it’s time to break up with Kozue for good. He sees them at the restaurant and misinterpreted Mitaka’s words to break up properly. Unfortunately he did it the wrong way and increases his chances of Kozue staying by his side because she thinks he became more romantic with her.

Break a leg – Godai ends up in hospital after breaking his leg while falling off the roof to save Kyoko in one of their usual petty arguments. Kyoko feels guilty and takes it upon herself to care for him. I’m sure Mitaka isn’t happy with this setting. I’m sure Godai would love this private moment with Kyoko but that won’t last because Mitaka also broke his leg from skiing and ends up in the same hospital room with Godai. Yeah, they’re even getting on each other’s nerves. Even in bandages they can try and compete for Kyoko’s attention. Till Mitaka’s fan girls show up as well as Kozue. Get well boys. You don’t need Kyoko’s help anymore, don’t you? Perhaps the pain of the heart will take a longer time to heal.

Do or die – Because of Godai’s hospitalization, he has been slacking in his studies and the finals are coming up. Kyoko puts her foot down on the party trio who wants more than nothing but to interrupt Godai’s concentration. They really love to see him fail and repeat another year, right? So if they can’t party in Godai’s room, they party in Kyoko’s room. Yeah, she can’t sleep either but it’s better than bothering Godai. But on the last paper, Kyoko is supposed to wake him up but due to the partying, she oversleeps. By the time she rushes Godai to the exam hall, everything was in vain. It is then she decides to tell him that she is willing to wait for him. Is this a declaration of something?! Till Sakamoto points out he handed him the wrong exam schedule and that his exam hasn’t started yet. Bummer. Didn’t Godai make sure of at least his schedule right? Now Kyoko is left red faced but Godai perhaps is too dense after all that studying to understand what she meant.

Will the real Yotsuya please stand up? – Kentarou finds an album containing pictures of Yotsuya. Man, he’s been there through all the ages! Are they clones?! Or are they the person himself in different eras?! Even if Yotsuya points out they are his uncles, etc, there is something more than meets the eye… Later on, they even tried tailing him but they see him going everywhere and doing about everything which is so odd, they aren’t even sure anymore. Till they realized he knew they were following him and led them on a wild goose chase.

It’s all on me – Godai and Sakamoto get a part time job at a bar. Unfortunately his neighbours decide to crash in and eat everything they can, making such rowdy and loud noises. Worse, they put it all on Godai’s bill! Unfortunately Godai is too weak to tell them off or even get rid of them. Kyoko felt bad and wanted to pay but ends up drunk and vomited. In the end, Godai pays for everything and this doesn’t sit well with Kyoko.

Who let the dogs out? – In an attempt to help Mitaka over his fear of dogs, what better way than to make him face his fears with a real one. Though we get a peek of his back story of how he became of dogs (he got stuck in a kennel while trying to retrieve a ball), in the end it cures nothing and perhaps it made him even more fearful of canines.

Zenzaburou Mitsukoshi – Maison Ikkoku gets a new resident with this middle aged guy who is staying at room number 3. This guy seems like a nice person and thankfully he won’t become part of the terrible trio. Then something terrible is about to befall on Maison Ikkoku. It is going to be demolished to make way for a new building. They learn that Mitsukoshi may have connections with the real estate agency and pretended to be a resident to scout things out. In the end, Mitsukoshi felt guilty on what he is about to do to the lovely people at Maison Ikkoku and resigned. He also leaves the house and never to return. In a way, it saved Maison Ikkoku from its doomed fate.

WTF episodes – Like it says. Not that it affects the storyline but it felt like fillers. For instance during Godai’s university cultural festival, Kyoko fell into an artificial well in a haunted house. Attempts to get her out failed big time because Godai and Mitaka are competing against each other and it ends with everyone else jumping in and crowding the already cramped well. Then there is this episode whereby Godai wakes up with a gift of a mysterious egg from Yotsuya. Knowing the kind of guy he is, they take precautions to decipher the meaning of it all while trying to protect the egg. What for?! Then in the end when Sakamoto eats it and gets stomach ache, it felt like he deserved it for putting funny things in his mouth before asking. It is nice having an episode focusing on other characters in Maison Ikkoku apart from the main ones. For the one that focuses on Akemi whereby her boyfriend suddenly dumps her for another girl, she becomes depressed. Drunk rather. Then when the boyfriend suddenly wants her back and to start anew, Akemi seemingly packed her bags to leave Maison Ikkoku. In the end, she feels this piece of sh*t isn’t worth her time and dumps him. Right back at ‘ya! But really, what was the point of it all? Then there is this one whereby Kyoko decides to put on her old high school uniform so the rest got into the flow and dress up too in other outfits. It ends with Kentarou turning into a psycho because Kyoko, the person whom he thought he could trust as a normal person is seen in such outfit (she was forced too) and felt so disappointed for her. Poor kid. Your mom is one kind, the residents are one kind and now the manager is also one kind. He can no longer trust anybody. Then there is this episode whereby Kyoko received a mysterious rock from Souichirou as her only gift. She seeks Godai’s help to find out what it was but he loses it at the train. Fortunately he found it back. And that baseball episode… Don’t get me started on that. WTF.

Let the competition begin – Some ‘filler’ episodes see the tussle between Godai and Mitaka over Kyoko as they try to outdo each other to get her attention while trying to play up the romance factor. There was one episode that has the gang skating at an ice rink, another one at the beach during the summer vacation and one at some local hotspring inn (I thought this inn felt cheap). Oh, that hospitalization episode mentioned earlier also counts.

All is not lost – While visiting Souichirou’s grave, Kyoko makes this shocking announcement that she might consider remarrying. I guess dead man can’t talk back, eh? But I think it’s good because if she really wants to achieve happiness, she shouldn’t wallow in her tragic past and move forward.

Godai the teacher! – Can you believe it?! Godai has become a trainee teacher! How in the world?! He hasn’t even completed his university yet and he already had the necessary qualifications to teach an all-girls’ high school?! The way Godai has been portrayed as an under-achiever has contributed to this bias perception. But really. Of all the jobs, he decides to be a teacher?

Ibuki Yagami – To spice things up in the love triangle, one of Godai’s students is in love with him. Compared to Kyoko, she is bolder and dares make her moves on Godai. There is one point she strips herself just to seduce him! How about barging in and staying at Maison Ikkoku to live with him? It feels like a test on how strong his love for Kyoko is, eh? Yagami is a stubborn girl and not one who will give in to defeat and declares war right in Kyoko’s face. Kyoko has been in her shoes before seeing that her late husband was once a teacher. Yeah, it’s like history repeating itself. This school Yagami goes is also where Kyoko once schooled. When Godai’s trainee term ends, will Yagami’s love for him also end?

Asuna Kujou – Mitaka’s uncle is tired of waiting for his nephew to settle down in life and goes ahead to plan a marriage meeting with the daughter of a noble family. Mitaka decides to take a look since Kyoko remains indecisive. Though Asuna is ready to make Mitaka the man of her life, Mitaka isn’t. His love for Kyoko is only half the factor. The other half is because Asuna is a dog lover! She has lots of dogs! Big and small! And they’re friendly enough to glomp all over Mitaka! I think this guy will die of a heart attack. Asuna on the other hand knows Mitaka likes Kyoko but is just too shy to tell her off despite having several chances to do so.

It’s not what you think it is – Kyoko visits Mitaka’s apartment after feeling sorry for the ‘hell’ he went through. Worried Godai and Asuna tail them. Because Asuna’s little doggie was in the room, Mitaka got scared and hugged Kyoko all over. You can pretty guess what happens when Godai and Asuna see this.

Jealous Guy – Now it’s Godai’s turn to feel jealous and he lives at Sakamoto’s place for the time being, not even wanting to talk to Kyoko. Till Sakamoto kicks him out. So when he eventually makes his way back to Maison Ikkoku, he doesn’t even want to listen to Kyoko’s explanation and lies that he has no feelings for her.

Take a trip – Since Godai did confirm that he is okay without her, Kyoko goes on a trip for a change of scenery and clear her mind. This is an attempt to make Godai chase after her. So after when that guy really finally decides to find the truth, he goes after her but kept missing her. Deja vu? So when they actually meet, it is at the hotspring. So after a lot of hesitating and beating round the bush, Godai learns the truth and feels like an idiot (he should be). Next morning, Kyoko leaves for home since she learns about plumbing problems at Maison Ikkoku while leaving Godai sleeping behind. She is happy to find out that Godai did actually come after her and their meeting wasn’t just coincidence.

Yagami’s back! – Whoever said she was done for after a few episodes absent? Now she’s back with more schemes than ever to make Godai all hers. She tricks him into tutoring her ‘brother’ (she ‘borrowed’ this kid from her friend) but when he finds out he is supposed to tutor her, he can’t refuse since he can’t pay back the tuition fees. Godai can’t concentrate on his tutoring because of the constant harassing of the others and Yagami preferring to do something else. For Godai’s final tutoring session, Yagami brings him to her home but apparently Godai falls yet into another of her trap since her parents are out to a wedding and they came home early. Plus, they don’t know about Yagami’s tutoring and when you have an over-protective father… Attempts to let Godai escape almost had them caught. If not for Yagami’s understanding mother helping them out, Godai could’ve been a goner even if everything wasn’t his fault. He only left his shoes behind in which Yagami will treasure them. But this gives her a reason to return to Maison Ikkoku. She wants to return Godai’s shoes. Seeing he is always not around, she bumps into Yotsuya who has this great idea. He becomes her tutor. Since having her tutoring in his room would be dangerous and that they don’t want to be accused of peeping, where else but to hold it in Godai’s own room? Of course Yagami is not happy Kyoko keeps coming into the room to ‘interrupt’ and blames her for her declining grades after she learns Kyoko has told her homeroom teacher about her frequent visits to Maison Ikkoku.

McEnroe – Mitaka must be desperate enough to get over his fear of dogs and he finally has done so by owning a little doggie named after a famous tennis player. Yeah, the dog has shiny tooth too.

A hunting we will go – Although Godai still has university classes, it isn’t too early to begin his job hunt. What are the chances of him landing one?

Lipstick on your collar, tell a tale on you – How in the world did Godai get a lipstick mark on his neck? Actually, Sakamoto got depressed when his girlfriend dumped him so Godai went over to console him. Who knows that bugger dreamt about his girlfriend and bit Godai in the neck which looks very much like a love bite. So you could imagine a person like Kyoko jumping to conclusions over it. Besides, Godai was trying to be evasive about it. More like, he didn’t want to know that his job hunt didn’t end well and end up working part time at a hotel’s pool side in which coincidentally the gang are all here. Kyoko’s jealousy has her leg getting cramp while swimming and Godai goes to save her. After that, all is forgiven. I guess words aren’t enough to just convince.

Your job is on the line – Yagami reveals her father is the HR chief of a big corporation and is willing to help Godai secure a job. She even has Godai take her home to meet her father to make good impressions to arrange for an interview. Unfortunately, daddy was to drunk at the end of the day to remember who Godai was. After all that pestering and reminding, daddy doesn’t have a very nice impression on Godai because he thinks he is using her daughter to get a job in the corporation. He will be waiting for him to grill his ass. However fate has other plans for Godai. On his way, a woman in labour seeks his help and the ambulance thought he was her husband and brings him along to the hospital. There goes his interview. There goes his job. There goes his future. But at least the delivery is successful and the baby’s mother is ever grateful to him. Godai never turned up and Yagami’s dad thought he chickened out or was just fooling around. Of course Godai himself becomes depressed and locks himself up in his room. Till Yagami’s dad arrives to accuse him of using his daughter. Till the grateful parents arrive to thank Godai once more. It is then Yagami’s dad discovered he had been wrong but because he didn’t turn up for the interview, all the positions have been filled.

Occupy Maison Ikkoku! – When news of Godai never turned up for the interview and how the turn of events were unfair to Godai, Yagami throws a tantrum and locks herself in Godai’s room and will not return till her father secures him a job. In the mean time, Godai has to stay at the unoccupied room number 3. Even mommy comes by to persuade her to return but she’s not budging. She even skips school just for this occupy movement.

Easy come, easy go – Yagami’s father cannot tolerate her daughter’s selfishness and will need to end it. That is, to give Godai a job. Since he can’t secure him in the main company, he gives him an offer letter to a subsidiary company which is good enough. He even meets Godai himself and finds out he is not in love with his daughter, much to his relief. Yagami isn’t happy with the small job but daddy threatens to pull back the recommendation. With that, the occupy movement ends as Yagami returns with her father. That night as everybody celebrates Godai’s big break, they heard the news that several companies are going bust and this includes the one Godai is going to work for. Bummer.

It’s not that I hate you – Mitaka thinks Godai’s string of bad luck means it’s time to move ahead with Kyoko and end things with Asuna as he pays her a visit. That girl has been love sick ever since. That was like how many episodes ago?! Mitaka’s uncle tries to use his nephew’s absence by trying to make Kyoko dump that guy but realizes the love is unrequited. Initially Mitaka realizes Asuna’s condition and feels it is bad timing to break it off with her but when he learns about his uncle’s scheme, he tells her straight he can’t marry her. I think she nearly died standing! So this has Mitaka take back his words that it isn’t that he hates her but he can’t marry her now. I wonder how long that breather will last.

Day care job – Yagami thinks of having another occupy movement but it seems Godai has accepted a job offer at a local day care centre. This may be surprising too but Godai seems to be handling the young kids well and he is becoming very popular with them.

Sometimes you have to be brave to say no – After another round of bugging by Yagami, her dad once more hands in another offer letter to Godai and guarantees this company won’t go bankrupt. However Godai rejects his offer because he wants to walk his own path in life and rely more on himself. He has second thoughts about working in a place he may not be happy with because right now, the day care seems to be the best place. Since Sakamoto thinks Godai is crazy to turn down such a good deal, he wants to take the offer instead. Oh well…

Wedding bells? – Kyoko pays her annual visit to Souichirou’s grave with her parents from both sides. Mitaka takes this chance to introduce himself to Kyoko’s parents and while mommy is okay with it (she is happy with any decent guy as long as her daughter gets married) but her father isn’t (as long as it’s any guy, it’s a no). Mommy is even happier when Kyoko did mention her intentions to remarry again. Mitaka ushers them for a drink so Godai hiding behind the grave hears Kyoko’s announcement that she will stay single till next spring.

Cabaret chronicles – Because Godai’s job at the day care is so successful, he went on a celebration drinking spree with Sakamoto till they have no money to pay their bill. To work off this debt, Godai is forced to work with Sakamoto outside a cabaret to bring in customers. However one of the regular customers is Sakamoto’s employer so he ditches everything to poor Godai and lets him take care of his part of the debt. Some friend he is. Furthermore, Godai doesn’t want to let Kyoko know about this improper job and hides it from while lying that he is in the midst of finding a proper one. This secret is getting harder and harder to keep when his neighbours start to patron the cabaret and put it all on his tab. Yeah, free drinks for the entire night. For consecutive nights! This way I think Godai will never finish paying off his debt! Even Yagami manages to get a job there till Godai’s colleague, Iioka finds out she is just a high school girl and because of their company’s policy not to hire underage girls, Yagami’s bunny suit adventure ends that very night. Godai wanted to tell Kyoko about the truth but unknown to him, Kyoko already saw him at the cabaret while she was out with Mitaka. Yagami even told her about it. Of course she gets mad for lying to her. Kyoko then goes to find out why Godai stopped working at the day care and it seems because Godai was hesitant in accepting the full time job offer, they have already got someone else to fill in that position. However at the same time Godai himself is doing babysitting job in the cabaret’s nursery since all those female staffs have kids but no time and experience to care for them. Who else does a better job than Godai? Yeah, he’s got experience. Plus, all the kids love him and call him Chief. So with Kyoko knowing the truth, it’s forgiving time again and tells him he should be more honest with her, good or bad news. She’s not one to say either…

It’s not over yet – To Mitaka’s dismay, Asuna becomes a student of his tennis class. He even learns his uncle still has intention to wed him off and in the midst of planning their engagement. Mitaka goes to Asuna’s house to settle this once and for all but his uncle has come prepared. He has brought Mitaka’s own parents so he is forced to wait to put things off once more. Yeah, he can’t imagine if Asuna suddenly slits her own throat. What fiery imagination he had there…

Runaway love – Is there another woman eyeing Godai? This girl working at the cabaret, Kasumi seems to be seducing Godai. But in actual fact, it’s a ploy to leave her kids with him so she could run away with some lover! I think I remember it was a journey to see whether this guy is suitable to be her husband or not. Godai is forced to take care of them till she returns. But as time passes, doubts are growing if she ever will till she pops up right in Maison Ikkoku. She had been waiting for them there the entire time and got knocked out due to last night’s excessive partying with you-know-who.

Set up – While Godai was out babysitting Kasumi’s kids, this was what Kyoko went through. Kyoko agrees to meet up with her parents thinking it’s to celebrate her father’s birthday despite not knowing this is a setup between Mitaka and Kyoko’s mother for both sides of the family to meet at a posh hotel. Godai’s suspicion has him tail them but his legs can’t beat Mitaka’s sports car because Mitaka whisks Kyoko away to another place. He has reserved for them to stay at this place and will not make her leave till she opens her heart to his. However Kyoko remains indecisive to a point where she starts crying. Since Mitaka isn’t heartless, he won’t push it further and calls a taxi for her to go home.

Final fight – Godai and Mitaka plan to settle things over Kyoko via fist fight. Well, I guess this is the only ways guys are willing to settle things if they can’t talk it out. Thankfully the policeman finds them suspicious and keeps tailing them to prevent the slugfest. So the duo eventually drink their problems away with each other till they’re drunk. Because Godai have an important exam that will make or break him from his university’s graduation. Worried Kyoko goes out to find Godai only to see him drunk and slaps him. So when Godai doesn’t return and stays at the cabaret to concentrate on his finals, the other residents start pressuring Kyoko to make her feel guilty that her slap made him leave. They just love seeing this drama, eh?

The night before – Mitaka returns home only to see Asuna at his place but passes out over her. She tries to put a heavier person back in bed but as she struggles, their lips accidentally met. Next morning Mitaka finds Asuna has left but made breakfast. Did something happen in between? Fearing he might have gone too far with Asuna, he goes to see her but she was quite ambiguous with her words. Asuna’s mother has learnt what happened via Asuna’s driver but was assured that nothing more than a kiss happened.

Knocked up – Asuna’s dog Salad is pregnant so she happily tells Mitaka about the pregnancy. This is the trouble when you don’t make it clear. Mitaka fears that he has done the unthinkable. Realizing he needs to take responsibility, he prepares himself to marry Asuna. Oh the words she longed to hear. Painful as it seems, Mitaka meets Kyoko for one last time to say goodbye. She wishes him for all the best. After the engagement party, Mitaka learns the real truth about the pregnancy. During the night Asuna helped drunk Mitaka to bed, Salad and McEnroe had a fling. Imagine how devastated Mitaka must be feeling right now. He is paying the price because his dog screwed with some other b*tch! Haha! Take responsibility! I guess this is really too late for everything to be called off. So Mitaka has to make do with what he has now. Since he is going to spend the rest of his life with Asuna, might as well begin a new love story with her. Thus he accepts her and this brings an end to a love triangle and shouldn’t it be easier for Godai to take on Kyoko now with his main rival out of the picture?

Surprise kiss – After a very long absence, Kozue returns (what was she doing all the while?) and she is shocked to hear a close friend of hers proposed to her. She needs time to think. In a dilemma because she still has feelings for Godai so she goes to talk to him. Because that guy didn’t make it clear they should break up, Kozue thought he proposed to her and will reject the other guy’s proposal! Now look at the mess he’s gotten deeper into. The messier part is yet to come. While taking a stroll, Kozue wants him to close his eyes. Like the obliging kid he is, he obliges and surprisingly Kozue kisses him! Guess who saw that too! So when Godai returns to Maison Ikkoku having finished his exams, Kyoko is in a pretty bad mood. She doesn’t say, he doesn’t get it. Till he learns about that kiss, he tries to explain to her he got tricked but how can you persuade a woman who already has closed her mind? Well, Kyoko did the same trick on him and he gullibly falls for it. Only difference is that she didn’t kiss him but pulls his cheeks.

Surprise proposal – Just when Godai thought everything has been settled, then comes Kozue barging into the gang’s party at Chachamaru in tears. Why? She couldn’t turn her friend’s proposal down and accepted it. So? That’s because Godai proposed to her and now she’s in a fix. Oh sh*t! More precisely, Godai is the one in a fix. Guess what? The hardest slap he’s ever got from Kyoko.

The incredible sulk – Once more, Kyoko closes her heart and mind, not willing to hear him out. She moves out from Maison Ikkoku seeing Godai won’t do that. She takes refuge at her parents’ place and despite Godai coming to see her, she refuses to see him.

Substitute manager – Kyoko’s father tells Ikuko’s grandpa that Kyoko has resigned so he thinks Kyoko has done enough and is happy of her services. He already has hired a substitute manager for Maison Ikkoku: Godai. Yeah, life is getting tough when you have those irresponsible trio piling up the garbage and partying 24/7. This place was a pig sty during Kyoko’s absence (it’s amazing the amount of beer cans and trash they can accumulate) and Godai is having a hard time cleaning up their mess after mess. Because he is so busy, he can’t go visit Kyoko’s parents and try convincing her to come home. Speaking of which, Kyoko now gets worried and wishes Godai to come. Women…

Akemi x Godai? – The next big shock is yet to come. Godai gets this sudden call from Akemi to come to some location. Like the good boy he always is, he cannot say no and arrives at… A love hotel! You don’t want to know what she’s doing there but she thought Godai was going to harass or do something on her! Wait. She doesn’t remember calling him for help? But it’ll be bad if anybody sees them coming together. Speaking of which, there is. Kozue! What the hell is she walking in this area with her friends for? So shocked of what she saw, she pretended she didn’t know him.

The incredible sulk part 2 – Just when Kyoko decides to leave for Maison Ikkoku, she happens to bump into Kozue on the way. The distraught girl seeks solace in Kyoko. Kozue never thought Godai had feelings for other girls because he was so kind to her, it never crossed her mind and took for granted that he likes her. Well, you’re not quite right about that too. So when Kyoko learns the other girl is Akemi and the love hotel incident, you can pretty guess how Kyoko will act. For the record, Godai went to the love hotel to help Akemi pay for her bill after her previous customer left her. Because Kozue misinterpreted what she saw and tired of Kyoko’s indecisiveness, Akemi did ‘threaten’ that she will seduce Godai. Of course Akemi wasn’t serious in having a relationship with that loser.

Confessions of love – With Kyoko still acting like a kid, Akemi tells her straight and the truth that they indeed came out of the love hotel together but that was much about it. Still, Kyoko tries to act tough and runs away. Godai chases after her and catches up to explain. This is when Godai confesses he has loved her ever since they first met.

Goodbye Kozue – When Kozue learns about the real truth and sees Godai at the cabaret, Godai thinks she wants to get back with him. Godai finally makes it clear he is in love with someone else and this made Kozue relieved. She shows him the engagement ring she got. During the madness, she accepted the other guy’s proposal. He’s not a bad person himself and loves her very much. She is here to say goodbye and hopes they won’t part with him hating her. So they wish each other the best and with all the love rivals gone, the only obstacle and toughest part will be the main duo themselves.

Things are looking up – Guess what? Godai graduates from university! Yeah, the other tenants were hoping he flopped! So Godai goes job hunting and during an interview to work in a kindergarten, the interviewer notices Godai’s amazing ability to handle kids well. Unfortunately he didn’t get the job because she is sure his personality could land him a job anywhere (that job went to a single father whose wife left the family so I guess out of pity she gave him the job instead). It won’t take long before Godai gets a permanent job at the day care he had always been working part time because the headmaster feels he is too old for the job and thinks it is time to retire. Oh, and about if Godai could match up to Souichirou because he has always been living in his shadows, although Kyoko can’t forget him, she still wants to make the best of what she has with Godai. After all, they are both different person. And the moment we’ve been waiting for: The kiss! Woot!

Father of the bride – While Kyoko’s mom is all for their marriage, her father isn’t. Flashback reveals when Kyoko was a kid and daddy giving her a piggyback ride, Kyoko said she won’t marry because daddy mentioned her husband will have to carry him if Kyoko couldn’t carry him when she grows older. It’s just a joke but you know… So eventually a few drinks with Godai and the cabaret, he gives his blessings.

Till death do us part? – There is one condition that Kyoko imposes on Godai if they are to marry. She wants him to outlive her because she can’t bear the pain of losing her husband again.

Meet the parents – Godai brings Kyoko back to his hometown to meet his family but Yukari doesn’t close the shop down and to Godai’s annoyance Kyoko has to help out but she doesn’t mind. This is so that everybody in this small town could come to their shop and meet Godai’s future bride instead of going from door to door. Yukari hands Kyoko an engagement ring her late husband gave to her. She also loans money to Godai for his wedding. But it’s not for free. She has been saving up for her funeral so be sure to pay back before she kicks the bucket, okay? Cheeky Yukari fakes her death right after she passes the ring the Kyoko. It almost scared the sh*t out of the young ones. She vows not to die till she sees her first great grandkids. And with Kyoko being accepted into the family, Godai thought they could have a celebration of their own when the Maison Ikkoku residents arrive! Oh God. Yukari called them over. Oh God. The more the merrier? Oh God. Isn’t this no different than back home? God no. Who is taking care of Souichirou anyway?

One year later – That is how long Kyoko and Godai’s wedding official ceremony will be. Everybody is so happy. Everybody is so friendly. I guess when the rivalry dies down, love remains, eh? If it was only so true in the real world. Oh, Kentarou and Ikuko have grown much taller too while Mitaka and Asuna are expecting twins. The one that has ‘grown’ the most is Godai because as shown during his visit to Souichirou’s grave, he is willing to accept him and Kyoko because when they first met, Souichirou already had a special place in Kyoko’s heart.

One big happy family – Because Godai and Kyoko aren’t really the kind that would indulge in luxury (that’s another way of saying Godai is still as poor as a church mouse), the newlyweds will continue to live at Maison Ikkoku. After all, this is the place where they first met, right?

It’s a wrap – Some important events in the aftermath surrounding the other main supporting casts include Kozue still happily married to her man, Mitaka and Asuna though already have twin girls are expecting a third child, the Chachamaru bar master proposes to Akemi in marriage and despite he was previously married he was living separately from his wife but now officially divorced, Yagami now attends a girl’s college but she is still unable to ‘graduate’ from Godai. Last and most important, Godai and Kyoko welcome their new baby girl Haruka. Life is good.

Give Love A Second Chance
If there is one word I would describe this series, it would be silly. Actually it’s not fair just to label it that way but after seeing too many current animes, suddenly by going back too far in retro (albeit it is just approximately 3 decades), it is like a different world, a different time and era. I mean, handphones were non-existent! Do you still remember how to use a phone booth that is coin operated and a land line telephone that uses the dial? Or are you not old enough like me to still remember that telephones were big and bulky and come with a receiver? Hehe… Such telephones are considered ‘extinct’ in today’s world. What will we do without our iPads, iPhones and Tablets? Well, animes at that time were like that so it is perhaps unjust to call it silly too but if you compare it with today’s standard of animes, you too would come with a somewhat similar condition. Unless you’re a hardcore fan of the series and the author herself.

For Godai, the point of seeing him as a loser can be sometimes annoying despite he is a nice guy and doesn’t want to hurt the feelings of others. Firstly it is the way he gets treated by the other hell residents. Of course it is their fault for trying to pick on Godai with their endless harassments but half of the blame must also be attributed to Godai because he allows it! You see, if he was firmer and put their foot down, he wouldn’t have given them any space to torment him. In other words, he is weak to stand up against them. That’s why I say it is partly his fault and he deservingly gets bullied by the rest. But even if he was totally serious, can he really stop the bullying? I mean, Kyoko was more assertive and though it worked for a while, in no time they will be back to their usual mischief like as though her advice and scolding went in one ear and came out the other. Heck, it never went in the first place! Earlier in the series when Godai is a little pervert because whenever he gets a little chance of trying to hug Kyoko or something, it backfires. That is one of the few aspects which led me to conclude this series is silly. No doubt that in the beginning, Godai’s love for Kyoko is somewhat immature and as he goes on, he understands and his love matures but the way he tries to get lucky with Kyoko, that just made him and the scene looking silly. Then despite in love with Kyoko, could you believe this guy had the guts to ‘date’ Kozue too? I know Godai did not make it clear but each time Kozue asks him out, he doesn’t say no and like as though it is compulsory to oblige. There was this silly moment early in the series whereby even though he knows he likes Kyoko, he is in a dilemma whether to use this chance to kiss Kozue and get it going with her. Fortunately it was just his imagination but he perhaps scared himself when he also imagined her dad coming in with the shotgun after ‘deflowering’ his daughter. Haha.

As for Kyoko, her reluctance to choose between Godai and Mitaka was because she feared that if she had done so, her love for Souichirou was never real to begin with. That’s why she was hesitating, unable to choose. Rather, she was unable to move forward from her past. There were many instances that hint to us that Kyoko had feelings for Godai but it is her hesitation that kept her in denial. And you know women, they can’t be straight with their feelings and hope men will notice them. Oops. Don’t hate me girls. The part whereby she closes her heart and mind just because of an unconfirmed rumour of Godai is also what makes it looks silly. Sorry for that ‘S’ word again but it’s true. I know it’s to play out some love drama but think about it. If she could easily believe something like Godai was seen coming out from a love hotel or his ‘date’ with Kozue, why can’t she at least hear him out? It is as though she really wants to believe that Godai has already done that. And once she really learns the truth, she feels guilty, sorry and in the wrong. All those misunderstandings and arguments wouldn’t have happened if she had listened in the first place. Same case applies to Godai. You shouldn’t jump to conclusion just because something unbelievable happens without confirming the facts first. I guess people back in those days were naive and gullible. Too many misunderstandings over time have become a nuisance because you thought they should’ve had experience from the previous one but each time it feels like back to square one again. They should know better each other that they aren’t the kind to do such stuffs.

Ichinose, Yotsuya and Akemi as the looney gang may be a fun watch to see them in their antics and shenanigans but it gets to a point whereby it is just annoying and you feel like wanting to strangle them for not being able to show restraint and going overboard with their indecent exploits. Sometimes the words they pick and say to him makes you want to shake your head too. They sure are ‘experienced’ in picking on him and know how to push the right or more accurately, his wrong buttons. They know how to play mind games on him and make him tick. Sure, like I said Godai is to blame for being weak and not fighting back but have they no conscious as human beings either? Maybe for Yotsuya he is so mysterious I can make him an exception (who knows, he may even be an alien!), but for Ichinose and Akemi? Is Ichinose’s life as a housewife so dull and boring that this is the only exciting drama she gets her kicks from? Yeah, maybe. Is Akemi’s life as a bar hostess that has her dealing with other different sorts of men so boring that she resorts to teasing Godai as her past time? Yeah, maybe. At least we know she doesn’t harbour any romantic feelings for him because she knows too well about his failures and won’t live up to expectations. Not for the next 100 years. One thing about Yotsuya, I think he is a stingy poker. Not only he blackmails Godai for food, when he really does have enough money for his own, he vehemently proclaims he will not treat anybody! Maybe after all those bullying it did some good for Godai too. Like a blessing in disguise, he finally ends up with Kyoko after all the putting down and discouragement. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? So love did persevere after all in the end. Yukari may be an old hag but she is sporting enough to join in the fun like going out for drinks and looks livelier than her age. You can’t help love her. I’m sure everyone would love to have her as their grandma. Except Godai.

For the love triangle and romance part, though it is not messy and complicating like others but I didn’t feel the impact of it all. Though the series may want to focus on the relationship between Godai and Kyoko but the other love triangles didn’t had that intensity that would stir emotions in the viewers. Maybe it’s because it’s a retro show. The only time when the tension was at its peak was Kozue’s announcement that made Godai looked like a two-timing bastard. The other thing that bugged me was the love triangle for Godai and Kyoko could only happen one at a time. You see, when Yagami first came into the picture, Kozue was nowhere to be seen. It makes you go, “Where the hell is this girl? Did I miss anything somewhere along the way?”. Then after the job offer refusal and that short stint at the cabaret, Yagami suddenly goes out of the picture and Kozue comes back. Yeah, where did she go all this while? So in this sense, the love tussle felt like it was Godai-Kyoko-Kozue or Godai-Kyoko-Yagami. It would’ve been better if Kozue and Yagami were together in the fray because that’s what guys like me would like to see. Oops. As far as I remember, it was only the baseball episode that Kozue and Yagami met but nothing much happened and that’s about it. When the story starts ‘killing off’ love rivals like Mitaka and Kozue, I was wondering how they ‘did it’ to Yagami. It’s not like she has really gotten over Godai as seen in the end so how was she keeping all that love for him? I hope she won’t come back to steal him once more now that he is married. Who knows? This girl is crazy enough to do that. Asuna was too shy and soft spoken to actually affect anything in the love triangle. She wouldn’t even cause a ripple in the pool. It took their dogs and a big misunderstanding on Mitaka’s part to make all the cards fall into her hands. If that never happened, she would’ve been waiting till kingdom come. Mitaka may have everything that would easily make a woman his girl and yet Kyoko couldn’t choose. Of course Souichirou’s memories play a big role but more importantly it is Godai. Maybe girls like boys who aren’t perfect anyway. But Souichirou was perfect, wasn’t he? Argh. Women. Can’t understand them. Good luck to Godai from now on.

I’ll say that even though in the end I would still prefer Ranma 1/2 to Maison Ikkoku from the overall aspect (the characters, comedy, silly moments, love triangles, certain story plots, music), the only reason why I would like Maison Ikkoku more than Ranma 1/2 is because Godai and Kyoko finally confess to each other and end up together married. In Ranma 1/2, despite having a longer run and more episodes (they have 161 episodes alone for the TV series), the main lovers in that series never got to really confess to each other so it is quite frustrating. I’m not sure if they manage to do so in the manga or other video formats (I’m sure they do because the manga has long ended – however there is a slight chance that I could be wrong) but give them another 100 episodes and I think they still won’t be able to do it. Maybe the love polygon is more complex but that isn’t the point. Maison Ikkoku manages to wrap things in under 100 episodes. But there is a good reason why Ranma and Akane never confessed in the TV series. While Ranma 1/2 was on air, the manga was still ongoing unlike Maison Ikkoku which already ended its run when its anime adaptation was halfway running. Besides, Maison Ikkoku’s manga has much lesser chapters compared to Ranma 1/2.

As I later found out, there are some differences between the anime and the manga. One big difference in the anime is the omission of the character named Nozomu Nikaidou. He is the resident of room number 2. His omission was due to the decision that the producers wanted to focus the series more on Godai and Kyoko (as I too learnt, the manga itself has an arc dedicated to tell his story). Therefore most of his lines are given to Yotsuya and Kentarou in the anime. It could’ve been real messy if this guy was put into the anime because unlike Godai, he retaliates Yotsuya’s pranks instead of quietly ‘accepting’ them and do nothing about it since he has some sort of grudge against the mystery man of room number 4. Ooohh… There are other movies, specials, OVAs and even a live-action drama TV series too but for me I have quite enough of the series. Thanks to the silliness I don’t think I have the appetite for more whether they are alternate retelling, prequel or spin-off story. Oops. Really. But I can speculate more or less the same kind of thing. But many fans who started off with the manga have expressed their preference for the manga over the anime. Well, duh. Since I don’t read the original works, I can’t say.

As the drawing and art is clearly old school and of that era like Marmalade Boy and Urusei Yatsura, since the author of this series is Rumiko Takahashi, I can’t help make comparisons of how similar some of the characters in this series resemble closely to those in Ranma 1/2. For instance, Godai looks like the male Ranma, Kyoko like Akane, Akemi like the sleepy version of the female Ranma, Mitaka resembles Ryouga, Asuna a little like Nabiki, Yagami like Shampoo, Yukari like Cologne, Kozue a short haired version of Kasumi, Yotsuya is a clean shaven version of Suon and the principal of the day care has that uncanny resemblance to Genma. Sometimes I thought that I was watching a martial art-less Ranma 1/2 and a grownup version of that series. But that is just the looks, the personalities of course differs by a mile. Though the art of background and scenery won’t be very appealing, but I would like to point out sometimes there will be a considerably long pause before the next scene change. Furthermore, the scenes are much ado about nothing. It’s like they’re waiting for that scene to end before the next one is shown. It makes me feel that it is to prolong the duration of the episode because if they shorten it, the episode would probably last less than 20 minutes.

The opening and ending themes also have that sound from that era. You know, pop music from those times. Maybe it’s because the recording equipment weren’t as high-tech as today so they don’t really have that sharp and clear sound to it. The first opening theme, Kanashimi Yo Konnichiwa by Yuki Saito and the pop feel makes it the theme of the series. Well, it can’t be help since this is the first song you’ll be hearing for the first 20 over episodes. The rest of the opening pieces are sung by male vocals and in my opinion they do not sound fitting. For example the second opening theme, Suki Sa by Anzen Chitai has that dramatic feel and the breathy chorus just doesn’t quite cut it. Sunny Shiny Morning, the third opening piece by Kiyonori Matsuo is at least livelier and has that carnival and playful atmosphere. Once again the fourth opening song, Hidamari by Kouzou Murashita feels too manly because of the male vocals and thus doesn’t quite suit the series. The first ending theme is Ashita Haeru Ka by Takao Kisugi. All the other endings are sung by Picasso. I don’t know. Most of them sound one-kind dramatic and have that melancholic feel (or slow romance type if you want to put it). The second ending theme is Ci-ne-ma, the third ending theme is Fantasy and the fourth ending song is Sayonara No Dessan. At least the fifth ending piece, Begin The Night sounds better despite being a slow serenading ballad, the easy crooning will at least put your mind and heart at ease like a good lullaby and perhaps a good song just before going to sleep. Not because it’s boring, okay. Although Takao Kisugi and Picasso are not related, I can’t help think how similar they sound. I thought they were the same singer singing but apparently not. Same case with all the other groups with male vocals. Maybe the recording quality wasn’t that good then so you can’t really differentiate unless you have very good hearing or know the songs very well.

Nobody likes neighbours from hell. If it was me who gets picked on like Godai, fighting back wouldn’t really teach them any lesson nor would they learn. I would have moved out and far away from this place promising never to return. I mean, if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with other people making fun and tormenting you (in addition to making your room the ‘strategic’ meeting place), this isn’t what I have in mind as company or even peace of mind. Heart got pissed instead. No amount of anger management will cure me. Not a single mental institution could keep them away because they’ll drive everything up the wall. Really. I’m going to pack my bags and get out. Nothing is going to stop me, not even if there is a new hot young sexy manager taking over the place. Single or widowed. I’m not sure which is worst. Having to deal with horrible neighbours or endure years of one-sided love through trial and error to get the girl you love to love you back. Perhaps it is both. That’s why I’m out of here!