The Sixth Day of Christmas Anime: Maison Ikkoku
Episode 18: “Kyoko’s Gift! What, You Mean It’s for Me?”
Almost a year after Kyoko arrived, Godai doesn’t seem to be getting any further with her. In fact, Kyoko seems to be ignoring him. And even worse, Godai has very little money to buy her present. Still, he purchases earings for his crush. But a misunderstanding leaves Godai scrambling to buy another gift, the situation made more desperate when he discovers why Kyoko has been avoiding him.
This is the second time I’ve featured a Maison Ikkoku Christmas episode in the “12 Days of Christmas Anime” posts. It’s no surprise that there are multiple Christmas shows (there’s also a third), as the series spans years and 96 total episodes. Though not as sincere and emotional as the one I blogged about last year, this episode is still very good and emphasizes the idea of sacrificial giving.
More than anything, watching episode 18 again, years after I first viewed it, gave me the opportunity to revisit a classic series. If you’ve seen Maison Ikkoku, you know that most episodes are 60% angst and 40% confusion, and these two themes are clear in this episode as well. But that’s not to say that the show is cliche and unoriginal – in fact, it’s better than just about any other similar anime out there. It takes it’s formula and executes it to perfection through crisp writing and memorable characters (the supporting ones here are as funny as in any series I’ve seen). Twenty-five years after it first aired, Maison Ikkoku remains a great series.
I recommend you watch this episode – who knows, maybe it’ll convince you to start on the long journey of watching this classic (which is 10 gazillion times better than InuYasha, a better known anime based on a Rumiko Takahashi manga). Be forewarned, though – it’s not exactly the most Christmasy anime episode, emphasized through the (almost always) barely clad Akemi.
Christmas Spirit Score
If This Episode Was a Christmas Song, It Would Be…
“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – It was hard to pick a song for this episode, but I figured that since it ends with a party (as is often the case with Kyoko’s tenants), why not this classic? Here’s a challenge – try not to think of Macaulay Culkin dancing to this song in “Home Alone.
You will get a sentimental feeling when you hear,
Voices singing, “Let’s be jolly,
Deck the halls with boughs of holly”,
Rockin’ around the Christmas tree,
Have a happy holiday,
Everyone dancin’ merrily,
In the new old-fashioned way.
On especially cold days, like tomorrow, we should think about individuals who have to suffer in the elements, like the homeless.