Maison Ikkoku



Bittersweet animated romantic comedy has lots of drinking.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters persevere despite various adversities. The main character demonstrates how someone can change over time with hard work and commitment, though sometimes it takes an outside motivator to make a big change.

Positive role models

The main character develops and matures throughout the series. He grows from a somewhat unfocused youth who is studying to retake his college entrance exams to a responsible and noble young college graduate through hard work and perseverance despite his problems with his neighbors and various distractions. Kyoko is a widow who learns to love again after the loss of her husband.


Some cartoon slapstick violence. Mr. Yotsuya breaks through Godai's wall and knocks him over. Characters occasionally slap and harass each other however no one is ever injured.


Godai's neighbor Akemi likes to walk around skimpy clothing such as short shorts and occasionally in a see through negligee where her nipples are visible. Male characters occasionally ogle scantily clad women and there is some sexual innuendo where the male characters are aroused or peeking in on Akemi.


The occasional "damn" and "hell."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Godai's neighbors frequently party with alcohol and get drunk. Occasional cigarette smoking. Drunkenness is not glorified, as the characters who do end up drunk are portrayed as silly or embarrassing.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Maison Ikkoku is an animated romantic comedy with lots of drinking and partying scenes, though drunk characters are usually portrayed as silly or embarrassing. Expect some partial nudity as one of the supporting characters frequently appears in a sheer nightgown that show her nipples. Sexual tension and innuendo is the source of much of the series' comedy, along with some slapstick. The series is based upon a Japanese manga by Rumiko Takahashi who is the creator of a number of other well known manga/anime series such as InuYasha and Ranma 1/2 and in addition to the animated series there is also a live-action version. Unlike a lot of popular anime, Maison Ikkoku takes place in the mid-1980s Japan and is not fantasy or science fiction.

What's the story?

Yusaku Godai (voiced by Jason Gray-Stanford) is a ronin (a post-high school student who has failed his college entrance exams) living in a run-down boarding house called MAISON IKKOKU. Godai attempts to study to retake his college entrance exams but his efforts are constantly thwarted by his eccentric neighbors who often throw parties in his room. Fed up with the lack of progress in his education and with his unhelpful neighbors, Godai attempts to move out only to change his mind once he sees his beautiful new building manager, Kyoko Otanashi (Ellen Kennedy). Godai falls instantly in love with Kyoko and stays at Maison Ikkoku where he attempts to study for his exams, deal with his neighbors, and tries to win Kyoko's heart.

Is it any good?


Maison Ikkoku is a sweet romantic comedy with some very eccentric characters. Although not rooted in fantasy or science fiction as so many imported Japanese animation series, the series has a number of characters who are completely over the top and can really only exist in sitcom such as this. Godai's neighbors constantly invade his privacy and his food stash in order to drink and party all night despite his insistence that he needs to study. In the real world, he could probably just move out or request a restraining order, but where's the fun in that? The neighbors provide an appreciated comic backdrop to a sweet love story as love triangles and complications ensue as Godai falls in love with his beautiful building manager, Kyoko, even as she learns of his not-quite-so noble tendencies. Godai doesn't really want to study and his neighbors know it. They prey on his weak will and in a strange way, help him to strengthen his college exam convictions.

A nice part about the series is that the characters do evolve and change. Godai is not the same person at the end of the series as he is at the beginning. He constantly tries to improve himself so that he can be worthy of Kyoko's love and his infatuation with her grows from lust to something much more lasting and true. This evolution and the sheer amount of effort Godai makes in order to win Kyoko is admirable and sweet. Viewers would not find it hard to root for him despite his flaws. The romance and the comedy of errors that constantly afflicts Godai's efforts at finding love and improving himself make up for the decidedly old fashioned and unimpressive animation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about animation in other cultures. Is animation a medium that is only for children? What are the benefits of telling a story with animation versus live action?

  • Is it possible to study for an exam with a party going on? What are some good ways to eliminate distractions when studying? How much multitasking can be done effectively?

  • How does the sexual innuendo in romantic comedies affect how teens view sex and relationships?

TV details

Cast:Ellen Kennedy, Jason Gray-Stanford
Network:Viz Media
Topics:Book characters
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Maison Ikkoku was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 13, 15, and 16 year old Written byNervousParentOf3Boys April 4, 2015

I've seen my boy watch this.

Everytime the toonami block is on, he watches. So do my 13, and 15 year old. I want them to be the best.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 8, 9, and 10 year old Written byParentof3animefans February 22, 2015

dumb 9 year old kids love it.

My kids watch mature anime! I'm totally okay with my 8, 9, and 10 year old watching. Definitely okay. If they like it, I'm definitely ok with them watching anime.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 9 years old January 31, 2015

Random review passing by ~^0^~

I find this review true, as most anime suggest inappropriate content, but I randomly came along ~^0^~ Buh bye.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?
Thanks – we appreciate your feedback!

Star Wars Guide