Maison Ikkoku 4 by Rumiko Takahashi: B+

From the back cover:
How can Godai and Kyoko ever be alone when the motley crew at Maison Ikkoku are always inviting themselves to every get-together and social event? When the two finally have some one-on-one time, their housemates’ gossip and meddling leads them to learn the hard way that home is where the heart is!

I didn’t like this volume quite as much as the others.

The second chapter showed great promise because Godai had resolved to end things with Kozue. He tried, but after witnessing a messy breakup scene at a restaurant, he never managed to actually do it. This chapter ended with the text “And so, the triangle is repaired.” So, all of that simply led to a reset of the same holding pattern.

There also seemed to be a surfeit of annoying characters. The denizens of Maison Ikkoku seemed worse than usual, and there was also a particularly odious couple that Godai lived with for a while when a misunderstanding with Kyoko drove him to seek alternate lodgings. Additionally, said misunderstanding resulted in a mini-arc that was kind of underwhelming.

That said, there were some things I definitely did like. One was Godai’s attitude towards consummating his relationship with Kozue. If he has to keep going out with her, at least he actually thought about the consequences of sex and realized that it could ruin his whole life. I also liked the end of the last chapter when Godai and Kyoko were reunited and, from relief and/or drunkenness, both burst out crying in the middle of the street.

Though I had some complaints with this volume, I still enjoyed it a great deal and am loving the series as a whole.

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