Takahashi is sitting in her room, smoking as she draws at her desk.
Narration: It was the third year after my debut, and I had graduated from college to start my weekly serialization in Shonen Sunday.
Takahashi: I’d like something to eat.
Narration: I was still living in the same apartment I had during my student days, Nakano’s old wood and mortar apartment.
Takahashi and her editor sitting at a table at a café.
Narration: The person in charge at the time…
Editor: Since we’re starting a new magazine we’d like a series from you.
Takahashi: (Thinking) Lucky.
A white panel.
Narration: I only had one idea though.
Takahashi: I want to make it about an apartment building.
Takahashi leans out her window, staring at a building resembling Maison Ikkoku across the street. A kendo mask and arm guards are hanging out of a second-story window.
Narration: My place had been built next to this really weird apartment.
Sign: (A finger points to the building) Vague memory.
A hole in a window that has been crammed with books to plug it up.
Narration: Everyday in the front window a mask and arm guards were left out to dry.
Narration: And another window pane was cracked with books sticking out of it.
Takahashi attempting to relax at her dinner table turns as she hears laughter outside her window.
Narration: I never actually saw the neighbors.
Voice: Wa ha ha ha ha!
Takahashi: I can only hear their voices. It must be a student dorm.
Narration: In the spring of 1980 the mysterious apartment building was torn down.
Kyoko Otonashi sweeping.
Narration: It was that apartment on which Maison Ikkoku was based.
Takahashi leaning out her window to peer across the street once again.
Sound FX: Boom
Takahashi: I should have taken some pictures.
Narration: By the time serialization began, the building was gone.
Takahashi meeting with her editor at the café again, however this time both are dressed for winter.
Narration: Debut day.
Narration: I completely forgot to bring a copy.
Takahashi smiles as she picks up the first issue of Big Comic Spirits.
Narration: It felt like a storm was coming.
Takahashi: There it is. (I was still naïve.)
Narration: I bought the first issue at a neighborhood general store.
Takahashi with her two assistants, Kuniko Saito and Makiko Nagano, all crowded around the same small table, trying to work.
Narration: I got really fired up when I had to do the promo poster, but when the first issue came out I was excited and nervous. It was a lot of fun though.
Takahashi: This is too cramped.
Narration: My two beautiful staffers.
Narration: In the winter of 1980 I was determined to move because of concerns about my work space.