Summary: Yusaku Godai hates his life: he lives in a run-down boarding house, his neighbors are all weirdos and drunks who have no greater pleasure than tormenting him, and he’s struggling to pass the entrance examinations of even third-rate colleges. He’s just about ready to move out when a beautiful young woman walks in and introduces herself as Kyoko Otonashi, the new manager. It’s love at first sight for Godai, but the recently-widowed Kyoko is still in mourning for her deceased husband.
Potential Triggers: Nothing major – a lot of discussion of death
Grief is a funny thing. It’s hard for people who have never lost a loved one to understand the roller coaster of emotions. The way it quietly follows you for years only to emerge, full force, when you least expect it. People try to simplify it to make it easier to understand, such as with the “seven stages of grief.” These attempts fail to capture the messiness of such emotions, and how every individual experiences them differently. Rumiko Takahashi’s Maison Ikkoku, a love story about a grieving widow and a penniless student who falls in love with her before she’s ready to move on, portrays that messiness with an unusual degree of sensitivity. The story spans seven years, as Kyoko Otonashi and Yusaku Godai grow to the point where they’re in the right place emotionally for each other.