Maison Ikkoku 5 by Rumiko Takahashi: A-

From the back cover:
Godai’s New Year’s fortune comes true, but he quickly learns he should be careful what he wishes for. When Valentine’s Day arrives, Godai receives flowers from Kozue and then soon after from Kyoko—each with their own meaning.

This volume was comprised entirely of stand-alone episodes, several of which I liked very much. One thing that helped these stories to stand out was the inclusion of some fantasy sequences from Kyoko’s perspective. The best example was when she compared a future as Mitaka’s or Godai’s wife, complete with dozens of mewling babies.

I also admired the art a great deal in this volume. In addition to the impressive backgrounds during all outdoor or public scenes (like a department store), some dialogue-free panels were just wonderful. For example, when Godai’s New Year’s fortune told him to take things slow with Kyoko, he contemplated how that would work out. His ensuing fantasy ranged over three identical panels of he and Kyoko sitting around blinking at each other.

There was another great one in the last chapter when Kyoko’s mother, who’d been pressuring Kyoko about giving her grandchildren and had dragged her off to tea, got up to use the restroom. Each of those remaining at the table wore a different expression—Mitaka looked smug, Godai annoyed, Mrs. Ichinose gleeful, and Kyoko as if she were appealing for Heavenly intervention.

The one thing that continues to annoy me is Godai’s relationship with Kozue. He came close to using her for kissing practice in this volume, but was foiled by a sweet potato vendor. It’s perfectly in character for him to behave that way, of course, but I’d rather he didn’t.

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  1. As big of a Ranma 1/2 nerd as I am – I have still never seen/read any of this series. I should check it out.

  2. You really should, because it’s really great. It’s also complete at 15 volumes, and all have been released in English. Also, although this is my first time reading it, I’ve been told that it has a very satisfying ending, which is always nice to hear. 🙂

    Thanks for reading. 🙂

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