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Maison Ikkoku: Sorry To Keep You Waiting! I'm Kyoko Otonashi!

Yusaku Godai has just about had enough of his supremely obnoxious neighbors and announces he is leaving (for good this time) when beautiful Kyoko Otonashi arrives and announces she is taking over the job of house manager. All thoughts of leaving fly right out of his head as he falls instantly in love!

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x1
Airdate: Wednesday March 26th, 1986

Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Writer: Junki Takegami
Screenplay: Kazunori Ito

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The episode opens with Yusaku Godai narrating about his life at the Maison Ikkoku and we soon see the source of Godai's distress. Yusaku Godai is a ronin trying to test into college but it's nearly impossible to study for tests when his three noisy neighbors continue to throw loud obnoxious parties in his room that last all night! There is a snake-like man in his 30's (Yotsuya, room 4), a young, red haired lush (Akemi, room 6) and a short, obese housewife (Mrs. Ichinose, room 1)...

Read the full recap
ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
Kisugi Takao (closing theme)Ashita Hareru Ka (Will It Stop Raining Tomorrow?) 
Saitou Yuki (opening credits)Kanashimi yo Konnichiwa (Hello Sadness) 

Cultural References

Yusaku Godai is a Ronin or a student trying to pass the college entrance exams. In Japan the saying is "Good school, good job, good life" and students work hard to get into a good college. Getting into college is the hard part, once you are in college classes aren't as difficult in comparison western countries.

Ronin is a master-less Samurai so the reference has historical connotations. Literally the student is looking for a master.

The Meaning of the name Maison Ikkoku:

The name of the series and the house is a combination of French and Japanese and the Japanese are known to give places flowery names. You can never trust a name to reflect the actual place. Maison means 'house' in French and Ikkoku means 'one moment' in Japanese. Literally 'House of one moment'.

The Room Numbers (Part One):

One of the most interesting aspects of the show is how the character's names reflect the number of the room they live in:

0 (the manager's room) = Kyoko Otonashi, you can actually see the zeros in her name.
1 = Ichinose, 'Ichi' is the word for one.
2 = (Vacant)
3 = (Vacant)
4 = Yotsuya, 'Yottsu' is the word for four.
5 = Godai, 'Go' is the word for five.
6 = Akemi Roppongi, 'Roppongi' means '6 trees'.

There is more on the topic in the character guide of the series.

Warning: Maison Ikkoku season 1 episode 1 guide may contain spoilers
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