(Spoiler Free) Though I would usually describe myself as an anime fan, I watch relatively few anime compared to the people I find on message boards. Looking over their lists of anime they’ve seen, it is far, far longer than my own list would ever be. I think that I just have become more “picky” after being exposed to some of the better anime out there. After having watched series like Honey and Clover, I just can’t bring myself to waste more time watching another harem anime where six girls like one guy for no apparent reason at all. And sadly, there are very few anime which will capture my interest the way H&C did. I would love to find another series which really makes me want to see the next episode badly – but it’s been a long time since that has happened.
I picked up a series recently due to the countless recommendations I received for it. “Maison Ikkoku” isn’t exactly a new anime – I seem to recall reading that it finished airing in 1987. That’s right, this is an anime series from before I was born. But it always seems that older art is usually better than new, regardless of form. I think it’s undeniable that Beethoven produced greater music than Justin Timberlake. Will art really ever live up to Picasso and Monet? Has Shakespeare’s position at the top of literature been shaken in recent times? This doesn’t only work with long-term thinking. In my opinion, earlier Ghibli films have been better than the most recent ones (Earthsea, Howl). Does this apply to anime in general?
It would probably be a bit hypocritical for me to answer yes, since Honey and Clover remains my favourite anime. But there’s something really charming about Maison Ikkoku that doesn’t seem to be achievable in today’s anime world. Maison Ikkoku is a predecessor to Love Hina – a more modern series which emulates the story of Maison Ikkoku in many, many ways. And although I sometimes feel ashamed to admit it, I liked Love Hina. Yes, it can sometimes be immature and is always loaded with annoying fanservice shots, but at the same time, the characters and relationships were very likeable. Perhaps if it hadn’t been the second anime I ever saw, I would have had higher standards, but at this point, I can’t join in on the Love Hina bashing which is so prevalent in parts of the web.
As I said, Maison Ikkoku is the origin of many of the ideas in that series, but it is also, thank god, missing the excessive fanservice that made Love Hina a pain to watch at times. I have just begun the series, but the above-mentioned charm and a sense of nostalgia makes it very enjoyable to watch. I have heard only good things about this show, and I hope it will live up to all the praise it gets. This early on in the series, a few character do seem a bit wooden, like caricatures, but I have a feeling that the series is only going to go up from here.
4 responses so far