FAQ


If you have a question that you don't know the answer to, chances are you can find the answer here in the Frequently Asked Questions area. And if not, you can always e-mail me, and I'll answer it to the best of my knowledge. If you have any questions that you'd like to add to this FAQ, send your suggestion to medicaldylan@hotmail.com and I'll consider adding it to the list.

THE QUESTIONS

  1. What does the title mean?
  2. How long did the series run?
  3. How many pieces of animation were made for Maison Ikkoku?
  4. Do the characters names have any special meaning?
  5. How many chapters are there to the manga?
  6. Is it true that Viz skipped over some of the early manga stories?
  7. Is the Maison Ikkoku manga available in the United States?
  8. Why wasn't Nikaido in the anime?
  9. Why was there a change in the English cast after episode 36?
  10. Why were Gilbert O'Sullivan's songs used in episode 24?
  11. Why does the Maison Ikkoku movie look so different?
  12. How do you pronounce "Maison Ikkoku?"
  13. How can you tell the difference between Viz's original 14 volume release of the manga and their complete re-release of the manga?

THE ANSWERS

1 - What does the title mean?

Maison Ikkoku when translated means "The House of One-Moment". The Japanese frequently borrow words from other cultures, and maison is no exception. It is the french term for 'house' and is applied to many apartment buildings in Japan.

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2 - How long did the series run?

The Maison Ikkoku manga ran from November 1980 to April 1987 in Big Comic Spirits and the anime was shown on Fuji TV and began on March 26, 1986 and concluded on March 2, 1988.

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3 - How many pieces of animation were made for Maison Ikkoku?

The Maison Ikkoku television series consists of 96 half hour episodes, after that comes the OAV entitled Shipwrecked on Ikkoku Island which is based off the standalone manga story. Wrapping up the series is the Final Movie, and two clip shows. The clips in Through the Passing of the Seasons is a 'best of', while Maison Ikkoku Prelude - When the Cherry Blossoms in the Springtime Return shows all of Kyoko's flashbacks to her time with Soichiro.

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4 - Do the characters names have any special meaning?

Yes, Rumiko Takahashi's character names have hidden meaning throughout all her series, and Maison Ikkoku is no exception. The characters that make up each of the character's last name correspond to numbers. The tenants of Maison Ikkoku's names match the number of the Room they live in.
For example:

Otonashi- "oto" = "sound" "nashi" = "without" (No sound, or zero.)
Ichinose- "ichi" = "one"
Nikaido- "ni" = "two"
Mitaka- "mi" = "three"
Yotsuya- "yotsu" = "four"
Godai- "go" = "five"
Roppongi- "roku" (first kanji is the kanji for six) = "six"
Nanao- "nana" = "seven"
Yagami- "ya" = "eight"
Kujo- "ku" = "night"
Chigusa- "chi" = "thousand"

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5 - How many chapters are there to the manga?

There are 162 manga chapters. Compared to Urusei Yatsura (366 chapters), Ranma (407 chapters), and Inuyasha (532 chapters as of December 2007) Maison is by far the shortest of Takahashi's four long running manga.

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6 - Is it true that Viz skipped over some of the early manga stories?

Viz originally didn't put the following chapters: "Suit Yourself, Santa", "For Whom the Clock Tolls", "Hope Springs Eternal", "Will the Cherry Blossoms Bloom?" which all should have been in the first graphic novel, along with "To Wager on the Rink!" from the third book. These stories were translated and published in Animerica Extra (with the exception of "Wager") shortly after the manga ended. You shouldn't have any problem finding the Animerica Extra back issues they were in though (Animerica Extra Vol. 3 Number 1 and Vol. 3 Number 2). However, now that Viz has rereleased the series under its "Editor's Choice" line, all the missing chapters have been added in. The new books of Maison Ikkoku, are therefore complete, with no missing chapters.

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7 - Is Maison Ikkoku available in the United States?

Yes, Viz had originally released fourteen graphic novels of Maison Ikkoku. The titles, in order, were:

Maison Ikkoku
Maison Ikkoku: Family Affairs
Maison Ikkoku: Home Sweet Home
Maison Ikkoku: Good Housekeeping
Maison Ikkoku: Empty Nest
Maison Ikkoku: Bedside Manners
Maison Ikkoku: Intensive Care
Maison Ikkoku: Domestic Dispute
Maison Ikkoku: Learning Curves
Maison Ikkoku: Dogged Pursuit
Maison Ikkoku: Student Affairs
Maison Ikkoku: The Hounds of War
Maison Ikkoku: Game, Set, Match
Maison Ikkoku: Welcome Home

In September 2003, Viz began re-releasing the manga into a fifteen volume set, flipped, and with all the chapters restored to match their line of smaller, cheaper graphic novels.

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8 - Why wasn't Nikaido in the anime?

The animators decided not to introduce Nikaido in the anime so that they could continue to keep the focus on Godai and Kyoko's relationship, and not spend time on Nikaido's introduction story arc. Most of his lines were given to Kentaro instead. However, the animators corrected their error of omission, and brought Nikaido in for the Final Movie.

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9 - Why was there a change in the English cast after episode 36?

It may surprise fans who are only familiar with Maison Ikkoku on DVD to learn that five years took place between the dubbing of episode 36 and episode 37. In 1999, Maison Ikkoku on VHS, wasn't selling up to Viz's expectations and so they tried to save money by cancelling the dub of the series. Soon after the subtitled version was sold only through Viz's website. After that even the subtitled version was cancelled. For years fans rallied to save the series, myself included. I built a site entitled Alone Again, Naturally: The Project to Save Maison Ikkoku in America that was dedicated to restarting the dub. It only took a few years, but I got the result I worked so hard for. Of course, over the course of so many years, most of the actors moved on to live action work and no longer did voice overs, and so new voices were cast.

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10 - Why were Gilbert O'Sullivan's songs used in episode 24?

Even though the songs were taken out of the American release due to the licensing expense, in Japan, Gilbert O'Sullivan's songs "Alone Again, Naturally" and "Get Down" were used as the opening and ending themes for one episode and one episode only. Some proclaimed the songs were used to boost the series during a ratings slump, but the truth was revealed by series director Kazuo Yamazaki in 1997.

"I guess that was the Gilbert O'Sullivan song you're referring to. The sponsor of the Maison Ikkoku show was Kitty Records, and they had the rights to that artist in Japan, and wanted to promote him, so they asked us to use that song. But it proved to be unpopular, so it was used only for one episode."

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11 - Why does the Maison Ikkoku movie look so different?

For that answer, let's go straight to the source; character designer Yuji Moriyama. In a 1999 interview at Anime Central Moriyama had this to say:

"The reason why is easy: the director specifically requested character designs that were different both from the anime and the television series. Another reason for the drastic difference is that perhaps I had just finished working on WINGS OF HONNEAMISE prior to this, so it may have had a residual bleed over into the MAISON movie. In retrospect, I think it was rather generous of Takahashi-san to accept such radical character designs."

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12 - How do you pronounce Maison Ikkoku?

The pronunciation of Maison Ikkoku is unique. A lot of anime fans who are set in their ways about Japanese pronunciations of titles will mispronounce Maison Ikkoku as "My-son" but because Maison is a word the Japanese have borrowed from the French, they use the French pronunciation, which is "May-zon". Ikkoku is pronounced as it looks "E-ko-koo" with a long Eeeeeeeee sound to start.

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13 - How can you tell the difference between Viz's original 14 volume release of the manga and their complete re-release of the manga?

As for identifying the different Viz editions, if you go into any book store, you're going to find the newer versions. The old versions simply aren't getting into circulation anymore. Another good way of telling is if the cover has a large logo with anything other than the words Maison Ikkoku on top (Good Housekeeping, Welcome Home, or any of the other subtitles for the various first edition books) and the new editions all have white bordered covers rather than the multi-colored covers of the first edition.

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