YMMV / Maison Ikkoku

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: There is Godai's "not-quite" relationship with Kozue. Does Godai genuinely like Kozue and probably would've been content with her if it wasn't for the fact that he was trying to romantically pursue Kyoko first? (In which even the show occasionally deems Kozue to be Godai's "back-up" girl.) Or are Godai's feelings for her merely mildly platonic at best and treats her more like a little sister than a girlfriend and the only reason why he doesn't break things off with her becaise he is too scared to make her sad? While the earlier half of the series does play a bit more with the former, over the course of the series it really seems to be more of the latter.
    • And on that point, there is the subplot of Godai trying to break things off with Kozue so he can fully focus on pining for Kyoko. Are Godai's feelings for Kozue strictly platonic and the only reason why he hesitates in breaking up with her is because he is scared that she will guilt-trip him by crying about it? Or is the real reason because deep down Godai knows there is a very real chance his relationship with Kyoko can be broken beyond repair, so he keeps Kozue around just in case?
  • Author's Saving Throw: Those who are bothered by the show's premise of "poor College boy gets frequently harassed by his apartment neighbors" should be pleased that over the course of the series Kyoko does try to put her foot down and get them to stop harassing Godai so much. On a more serious note, both Godai and Kyoko have been called for their apparent relationship issues later on in the series (especially Kyoko).
  • Designated Hero: Some have accused of Kyoko being this. She is normally rather pleasant and friendly, but over the course of the series her Tsundere tendencies become more apparent. This is especially the case regarding how she sometimes gets The Unfair Sex treatment in her favor in the series, especially around Episode 12 (see the series' main page for more details).
    • Godai is not entirely innocent in this regard either, especially considering how over the course of the series he is pining for Kyoko, despite dating Kozue, who is mostly oblivious to Godai's real feelings. The series occasionally discusses this, as both Mitaka and the Drunkard Trio occasionally tell Godai that he should be honest with Kozue.
  • Epileptic Trees: Yotsuya. Heck, the show sometimes encourages this, especially during the episodes where Kentaro has found Yotsuya's old album and where Yotsuya got Godai to do some Egg Sitting for him.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: While not as prominent as other Takahashi shows, Godai/Kozue does have a pretty big following. Though unlike other examples of this trope from other Takahashi shows, fans still generally like Kyoko.
  • Foe Yay: Godai and Mitaka lightly played around with it in episode 37, where they end up wrestling each other as payback for the dirty tricks that both used against each other earlier. While it is a It Makes Sense in Context moment, it does slightly veer into Ho Yay territory.
  • Les Yay: Occasionally played around with. One example is episode 36, when a drunk, horny Akemi tries to make out with Godai and, when Kyoko tries to interfere, briefly makes out with her. Moments later, both Godai and Kyoko have to remove Akemi's lipstick.
  • Memetic Molester: The show occasionally plays around with the concept for Kyoko's father. When he tries to disguise himself in a hat and trench coat, it makes him look like a rapist. He even gets arrested once when he's waiting for Godai near the kindergarten where Godai works and is mistaken for a pedophile.
    • Yotsuya occasionally gives off this vibe as well. Most notably, when Ibuki and her friends show up at Godai's apartment.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Some could arguably see Ibuki as this to Kozue, as both were designed to be the Romantic False Lead to Godai. However, Kozue was an incredibly nice Romantic False Lead and has been considered to be a Romantic Runner-Up to Godai in the past. In the 2nd half of the series, Takahashi had Kozue Demoted to Extra and focused on Ibuki, who is a deliberately less appealing Romantic False Lead as a bratty Stalker with a Crush.
  • Strawman Has a Point: In-universe subversion - Hanae Ichinose tries to convince Kyoko that Kyoko's mother might not be so bad, since Hanae did somewhat sympathize as she is a mother as well. However, Hanae changed her tune when it was revealed that Kyoko's mother deceived her into thinking that Kyoko's father was sick to get to get Hanae on her side.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Some viewers have considered Kozue to be a case of this due to how she was practically Demoted to Extra over the course of the second half of the series when Ibuki showed up. (That and how during the ending of the series she has a fairly blatant Last Minute Hook Up, in which her ending is a bit more of a Bittersweet Ending than anything else.)
  • Toy Ship: Kentaro and Ikuko. It starts in episode 11, when Kentaro develops a crush on her. It's also played around with — Ikuko claims that she has a boyfriend at the end of episode 11, but this is never mentioned again and it's possible she was lying. This gets some more play in the middle of the series, with a little bit of Ship Tease.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Western viewers might be surprised regarding the cast's opinions on adult/teenager relationships. The problem everyone has with Godai's relationship with Ibuki is that Godai doesn't really love her… not that she's a teenage student and he's an adult and her teacher. In fact, everyone acts like he just may hook up with Ibuki anyway, and they don't particularly comment about the morality of it aside from breaking Kyoko's heart. Even more, Kyoko had married her teacher years earlier, when the age difference was even bigger, and it's viewed as a perfect relationship. Kyoko and Soichiro were clearly deeply in love, but in the West, certain parts of this setup are illegal (teacher/student relationships), nearly so (Ibuki deciding to live with Godai especially), or at least frowned upon (though it's likely nobody had sex until adulthood). Part of this is the fact that Japan's age of consentnote  is lower than most of the West, especially the USAnote .
    • While it's a lot subtler than the above example, the series definitely reflects the more traditional, rigid gender roles in Japanese society (especially 30 years ago, when the story was set/written) which may be off-putting to Westerners. For example, the expectation that women will leave their jobs upon marriage (plenty of Western women still do this, but it's not assumed anymore) and with it, that a man should not propose/a woman should not encourage him to propose unless he's in a good financial state. This is one thing that turns a lot of Western fans off Kyoko, since in the West, women with such expectations are stigmatized as "gold diggers" who are too lazy to work themselves. And there are also a few suggestions that Kyoko is approaching Christmas Cake age, though mainly it comes from her My Beloved Smother who is desperate for grandkids.
    • In the West, Yotsuya's behavior would probably qualify him (at least in the minds of others) as a candidate for the sex offender registry. He takes it upon himself to be Ibuki's tutor and insists on privacy while tutoring her in his room. In the West, this would simply not be allowed. When Godai tutors Ikuko, at least her parents (or Kyoko) aren't very far away and the door remains open. And in his case, Kyoko's only mild concern is that Ikuko will pick up Godai's slacker habits.
  • What an Idiot: Godai is often accused of this on a VERY regular basis. There certainly have been times in which he does not deserve this at all (or at least not as much), but many more which he really does.
    • Also Yagami. While she eventually backed off, after Godai and Kyoko get married, Yagami, now a college student, still refused to move on with her life. She carried around a picture of Godai and vowed to "forever be true" to Godai, and even called herself "tragic."
  • The Woobie: Kozue when Godai does eventually dump her for Kyoko.
    • And how about Asuna? She falls desperately in love with Mitaka, who only has eyes for Kyoko. Even after it was clear that she would end up with Mitaka anyway.
    • Kyoko also has a lot of Woobie moments, mainly involving her memories of Soichiro and her trouble at moving on.
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