Movies

 

animated movie:
Kanketsuhen

live action movie:
Apartment Fantasy Maison Ikkoku

 

Maison Ikkoku:
Apartment Fantasy

Japanese Title: Toki wo Koeru Omoi
Premiere: October 10, 1986
Movie Theme: Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O'Sullivan
Director: Shinichiro Sawai
Screenplay: Yozo Tanaka
Music: Jo Hisashi

Summary:

The clock at Maison Ikkoku suddenly springs to life as the tenants argue inside. Godai has had enough and is planning to move out, but as soon as the clock chimes, everyone rushes outside in amazement at the sound. Yotsuya believes that it is an ill omen, and soon, they are faced with their new Manager, Kyoko Otonashi. Kyoko reminds her new tenants that they are all two months behind on their rent and that they should have the money to her soon. Later that day the group meets at Chachamaru to discuss their bad turn of luck. As they don't want to pay, the group comes up with a scheme to get Kyoko drunk at a welcome party they will throw for her later that night. Once she's drunk Godai is to sexually assault her. Godai says that he is sexually inexperienced and isn't comfortable going through with raping someone. Yotsuya agrees that he will do it. They hope to embarass her too much for her to ever bother them about rent again. A man at a table next to them overhears and comments that he'd like to live at Ikkoku as well. Akemi tells him to mind his own business. That night at the party Godai has second thoughts and grabs Yotsuya as he prepares to attack Kyoko. Akemi grabs her breast instead sending Kyoko running out of the room.

The next day, Godai feels as though he's failed yet another entrance exam. As he leaves he runs into a fellow classmate, Kozue Nanao. Kozue tells him that she feels like she failed the test as well. Godai tells her that she seems smart because of her glasses, and Kozue gets excited. After ignoring her for most of the train ride back to Tokeizaka, Godai gets off the train only to see Kyoko. Hurrying back inside to follow Kyoko, Kozue thinks that he is riding so that he can get to know her better. Godai follows Kyoko to a cemetary where he runs into Yotsuya who also may have been following her. While spying on her, they overhear a monk discussing Soichiro, Kyoko's late husband. Yotsuya and Godai start to make a commotion which causes Kyoko to come over and find Yusaku. He lies and says that he is visiting a relative. The pair discuss Kyoko's late husband, and Godai makes a comment about believing Kyoko to be pregnant. She seems to misunderstand him and ignores the comment. Later on, Kyoko is caught in a rainstorm while she attempts to repair the roof. Godai climbs atop to get her down, and says she'll injure her baby. Kyoko is still confused and argues with Godai, who ends up falling off the roof in the tussel. Days later Godai arrives to take his next entrance exam with a cast on his leg. Kyoko escorts him and meets Kozue.

After leaving the school Kyoko runs into Yotsuya who tells her that he has escaped from the police after they mistook him for a bank robber. He takes her to a lake where he tells her a strange story about a woman he saved who was trying to commit suicide. Yotsuya tells her that ever since he saved her she has been stalking him. Kyoko tells him that she thinks he's lying as a strange apparition drifts in the lake. That night, Kyoko is shocked as the woman Yotsuya saved arrives at Maison Ikkoku looking for him. She goes to Godai's room to find him and is soon followed by the customer from Chachamaru who was hoping to see Akemi. Yotsuya comments that the man looks strangely like him if he were to wear a hat and coat. The man sits down for a drink and admits that he is in love with Akemi. Yotsuya's visitor nods in agreement, for she loves Yotsuya as well.

The next morning, Kyoko is outside discussing her strange tenants with Soichiro. Akemi's guest and Yotsuya's guest both leave and admit that they spent the night hoping to have sex with their respective partners, but were both turned down. However they both pay rent for their partners. Kentaro heads off to school and Mrs. Ichinose pays her rent as well. That night, Kyoko orders sushi for everyone and decides to throw a party for Godai, who is supposed to find out his test results that day. Yotsuya calls to tell her that he is being followed by the police and that Godai may have taken his own life out of depression.

Kyoko prepares dinner but Godai never arrives. Late that night she hears his voice from outside, confessing that he loves her. Kyoko rushes out to see him, and he repeats that he loves her and that he passed his entrance exam. Suddenly, Godai drunkenly lifts Kyoko into his arms and hauls her into his room to make love to her. Instead he passes out and Kyoko hears bells that remind her of her late husband. The next day, Kyoko runs into Godai who has forgotten what he's done. She's headed to an omiai (marriage meeting) set up by Mr. Otonashi. Godai is depressed to hear this, but Kyoko tells him that she will compare his face to Eguchi's when she meets him.

The omiai is uneventful, afterwards Kyoko meets with Mr. Otonashi who asks her about it. He tells her that he's been thinking about tearing down Maison Ikkoku and rebuilding newer apartments on the land. He can see that Kyoko is against the idea, and she admits that she likes her tenants even though they are lazy and difficult. As she heads home she is caught in the rain and finds Godai waiting for her, she tells him that she forgot all about the man she met as soon as she saw his face, and the pair begin to walk home beneath Soichiro's old umbrella. Kyoko is growing closer to Godai, but suddenly feels guilty when the umbrella is caught by a gust of wind and blows away. Akemi's friend is driving by and gives them a ride.

Upon arriving at Ikkoku, the group has a late celebration in Godai's honor. Yotsuya teases him about his behavior with Kyoko from the night before, and Godai apologizes, blaming it on the fact he was drunk. Kyoko becomes angry thinking that he only told her he loved her as a joke, and Godai is too confused to correct her. Yotsuya's guest is sleeping alone in Room 4 and begins to laugh. They invite her to join the party and suddenly everyone erupts into a choreographed song and dance number. Afterwards they discuss sex, and Akemi says that she'll sleep with Godai but he refuses saying he wants his first time to be with someone he loves. After another musical interlude, everyone heads to bed. Akemi and Yotsuya's guests end up staying together in an empty room and compare the number of people they've slept with. Godai and Kyoko are both having restless nights wondering if the other is still up. As Godai goes outside, he becomes frustrated and hits Soichiro, which Kyoko happens to witness. After slapping Godai, he tells her that he is leaving.

The next day at Chachamaru the residents chastise Kyoko for neglecting Godai's feelings. Later as she cleans his empty apartment, she wonders how he is. Yotsuya agrees and shows her a package that arrived for Godai from his parents. Kyoko takes it to Godai and the two make up. Kyoko asks if she can make Godai dinner. Over dinner Kyoko admits that she doesn't think about Soichiro as much as she used to, and that she isn't sure what her place in the world is now. She no longer feels like the manager of Maison Ikkoku or Kyoko Otonashi, but like a woman who is simply waiting for a man to return to her. She decides to spend the night with Godai.

The pair undress and climb into bed together. Kyoko tells Godai to tell her that he loves her as he had done before. Godai tells her he does and hugs her tight, but suddenly a bell begins to chime and Kyoko is reminded of Soichiro. She begs Godai to block the sound out of her head, but he cannot. He is unable to make love to her. The pair sit in silence as the phone rings suddenly. Its Ichinose, who tells Kyoko that Akemi and Yotsuya have committed suicide. Godai and Kyoko race to the lake and find everyone from Ikkoku waiting for them. It seems that Yotsuya and Akemi's lovers drowned themselves wearing their clothes. The man was in fact the bank robber who had been posing as Yotsuya. Yotsuya and Akemi are not terribly upset about their respective losses, but Kyoko believes that the pair are still alive. As it turns out, they are. Both are sitting in the attic. The woman begins to touch the clocks which all spring to life.

Everyone arrives back at Maison Ikkoku, and Godai asks Kyoko for another chance. She slaps him for thinking it would be that easy and says that if the bell hadn't rung they both might be at the bottom of the lake right now. Godai asks if he can move back in and Kyoko smiles in agreement. Everyone heads upstairs to party.

Notes:

The notorious live action Maison Ikkoku movie directed by Shinichiro Sawai. Released in 1986 with a running time of 96 minutes, most fans consider this movie to be a failure on every level. Even though Maison Ikkoku is based on everyday situations, the idea of seeing their favorite characters portrayed as real people just doesn't sit well with most fans. The actors seem familar with their manga counterparts, especially Masato Ibu as Yotsuya,(likely due to his background as a voice actor).

The film suffers from a serious cinematography problem, as there are very few closeups of the actors. The camera remains at a distance and stationary for most scenes, and the addition of fairly unlikable love interests for Yotsuya and Akemi only take away time from the characters themselves, especially in Akemi's case. The movie features music by famed composer Jo Hisashi, of Studio Ghibli fame, and features "Alone Again, (Naturally)" and "Get Down" by Gilbert O'Sullivan long before they appeared in the anime.



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