Remember that time in the 4th grade when you were lining up for gym, and everybody was in those gay little shorts, and some clown shoved the line so that you were pressed up against Julie Kavinau's backside, and you really liked it but you didn't know why? Well Maison Ikkoku (the live action movie) is absolutely nothing like that. It's absolutely nothing like the title graphic I made at the top of this page either, but I just thought that kid with the mustache was the funniest fucking thing ever.
Why the hell did they feel the need to make this thing? Yeah, MI's the most un-bizarre of all of author Rumiko Takahashi's creations (she's the genius who wrote and drew the original manga, then the anime was made from that... Just FYI for the n00bies and retards), but, just.... Why? It's like saying "Hey, I like hentai stuff, why not make a live action La Blue Girl?" Which they did, and which sucked chocolate salty balls. No point really. Jesus, does life even have a point? When the hell will the pizza get here?
Okay, so some stupid fucks said "Hey, let's cast the whole Ikkoku clan with real, live actors, and recreate a bunch of the short stories and cram them all into one fucked up stew of mediocrity! Bonzai!" This movie is all over the damn place. It really can't decide what it wants to do or what plot it wants to tell. It's like watching 20 episodes of the animated TV show, but having them edited so poorly that you never get to the ending of any one of the dozens of plot points swimming around. It's like having a 4 year-old tell you about his Saturday and a birthday party he went to. You'll hear a bit about the cake, that there was a pony there, that some of the presents that the birthday kid got sucked, and then how it rained later on in the day causing the pony to freak out and crush another tyke under its thundering hoofs. Yeah, it could be interesting, but more than likely the 4 year-old won't answer any specific questions you had about the day like: what kind of cake was it? Was there ice-cream to go with the cake? Did anybody stick a carrot into Billy's pants for the pony to eat? How did the birthday boy like the present that the 4 year-old gave? And how many ribs did the pony crack on the kid he trampled? Also more than likely, the story that you were told was just a bunch of rambling non-events with no cohesive whole to make the plot of the day flow with any kind of sense to it. This is almost exactly what the live action Maison Ikkoku is like. There's even one point in the movie where the whole cast breaks into song like a bad Takashi Miike film (well, other than the ending to Dead or Alive all his movies suck, I know). It's all the fuck over the place.
For those of you who don't know about Maison Ikkoku (fags), it goes a little something like this. The Maison Ikkoku is a
boarding house run down, moth-eaten, shit-stained apartment somewhere in the Metropolis known as Tokyo. In MI abide a group of alcoholic freaks who live for nothing else but to bug the ever living shit out of everybody else in the world, and sometimes even their own. There's the short and fat housewife, Ichinose; the half naked bar waitress, Akemi; the mysterious and kind of freaky Yotsuya; and the ronin, wannabe-student, Godai (when they pick on one of their own it's almost always Godai-kun whom they fuck with, but on with the plot). After getting trash-talked one time too many for being a waste of existence, Godai packs up and leaves MI, but quickly changes his mind when the new landlady, Kyoko, bumps into him at the entranceway to the complex. See, Kyoko's really cute and unattached (but that's only because her hubby just DIED), and her presence causes Godai to start trying harder and reaching farther for his life's ambition so that he can eventually be someone whom she can depend on... Corny, yes, but the manga and anime of Maison makes it seem like Godai actually has a chance at bagging the adorable Kyoko. This live action version turns Godai into the world's most pathetic git. You actually cheer when Yotsuya heckles him through the giant hole between their rooms. Seriously, why won't live action Godai just DIE?! Yeah, the rest of the cast is pretty much perfect (Yotsuya being a spot-on rendition of his drawn self), it's just Godai who sucks. Hell, even Kyoko's giant, white dog plays its part better than him! Though outside of the regular cast, the two "special guest stars" of the movie (some middle-aged guy who chases Akemi, and some suicidally confused bitch who chases Yotsuya) are terrible, terrible. Absolutely horrendous. Their parts in the story are unintelligible, and completely pointless. Not that the plot revolves around them or anything (Not that there's a cohesive plot at all), so they don't drag the whole picture down, but they are so tacked on and unnecessary. It's like somebody says that they're going to give you a baseball cap as a gift, and when you here that you're like "Sweet! Free hat! Oh, I hope it's a Detroit Lions hat! (Hey, fuck off. Life long Lions fan. Bite me!)" But then they give you the gift and you see that it's one of those Di$ney Goofy hats, with the flappy ears and the buck teeth on the bill, and you're like "Oh... Well then... That's just... Great." But you can't get rid of the teeth or the ears, and you know that everybody's just staring at the big googly eyes when they pass you. It's like "thanks for trying, but if this is the kind of crap you're gonna dish out, why bother?"
Anyway, other than Godai and the craptastic guest stars, another part of the MI movie that was just gut-stabbingly painful was the soundtrack: Goddawful synthesizers that made my ears bleed in order to block the ear drum from getting any reverberations. Painful bleeding, yes, but well worth it. Oh sweet Jezus, it was like they gave a room full of toddlers a bunch of Casio synthesizers from the 80s and recorded the macabre playback for 2 hours, and then just placed what they got in the movie without even trying to fit the *ahem* music to the scene. Though to be fair they did at least play both Gilbert O'Sullivan songs (that they used as opening and ending of one episode of the anime) at one point each during the movie. "Alone Again (Naturally)" and "Get Down" rock my world! I don't think the American releases of MI even have that opening or closing on that ep... Too bad. So fucking sad.
I had a point. It was kind of important. It's gone. I'll just talk about the look of the movie. Cheap. Cheap as fuck. I assume it was actually released in theaters nationwide in Japan, but it looks like a high school film class project, just without Billy's mom buying the good film for the camera and paying for decent lighting. Cheap. What is actually cool about the flick is that it probably has the least amount of cuts in any film ever. There were maybe like 10 takes in the whole damn movie. I was quite impressed. It was kind of like watching a filmed play... Except with an annoying lead actor whom you wanted to give an atomic wedgie to (God, Godai just grated my nerves...). You might not notice it (the lack of cuts I mean) if you just sit down and watch it and make fun of the non-existing plot and the horrible, eye-gouging and ear-tearing musical number, but it actually was rather impressive.
And that's it really. The ten minute long takes were the best part of this movie. Well, the take length and the O'Sullivan songs. "Told you once before; And I won't tell you no more; Get down, get down, get down; You're a bad dog baby; But I still want you around."
I do try to stay away from all the weird stuff my brother watches whenever I can, but sometimes he does catch me when I have some free time, and then he makes me watch stuff with giant robots in them, and sometimes tentacles... Yeah, I know. So this time, when he told me it was just a live action movie about an apartment building in Japan filled with lovable but zany people, I thought "what the heck." I should have guessed there was something afoot when he made sure that the deadbolt was locked and he swallowed the key after turning on the burglar alarm.
So I sat down and settled in for something I hoped wouldn't cause any permanent brain cell damage. All in all, this Maison Ikkikky movie wasn't all that bad. Yeah, my brother kept screaming at the screen stuff like "BULLPOOPY! Godai isn't that much of a *bleep*!" and "What?! What?! Who the *bleep* are those two? Special *bleepy* guest stars in a *bleepingly* bad movie?! Why?! Their presence is pointless!"... Well, he didn't really say "bullpoopy" and his speech wasn't quite as eloquent as I just portrayed it, but that was the gist of it.
It was fun, a bit goofy, and that one musical number was a little.... odd. But I don't wish the writers and director any pain or anything. Sometimes my brother just gets a little overemotional about some pretty pointless things.... Though if he ever tries to get me to watch anything with the title "Overfiend" in it again, I swear to GOD that I will murder him. When he sleeps.
Word up, my homies. Yeah, I'm down with the Maison. Yotsuya is my bitch, G. But the whole Ikkoku gang ain't got nothin' on my hood. Yeah, livin' with some wannabe yakuza on the other side of a hole in my wall might be a bit weird and all, but I live next to a crack dealer with a goat in his damn yard. Fucker offers me a brick everytime I goes out to get my mail or pour some bleach into the gastank of my other neighbor who constantly shoots at his bitch at night, keeping my ragged ass awake well into the early morning. I'd be like, "Just gettin' my mail, homie," and Mr. Crackhead'd be all like "Hey! Hey!...... Wanna buy a brick? It's goooooood stuff today, ya whore! MmmmmmmMMmm, bitch!" Then I'd be all like, "Whoa, Mr. Crackhead, Can't you see that I'm tryin' to fuck up the engine components of Mr. Wifebeater's auto next door? Shut the fuck up, bitch, or you'll wake him up and I'll tell the fucker you peed in his open car window last night! Oh yeah, bitch, I saw you do it too! I gots the Polaroids!"
Good times all. Though things got quiet after that time that Mr. Wifebeater caught me shoveling a steamy pile of dog crap onto the driver's seat after he must have heard me shattering the windshield, and I told him that Mr. Crackhead was paying me $5 to do it cause he wanted Mr. Wifebeater's beaten wife. After the police left later that day and took the two bodies with 'em, I tried to hook up with the wife myself... Turned out that Mr. Wifebeater wasn't even really married. He just liked to put a wig and bra on his big damn dog and shoot at the mutt all night. Oh, but she was a SAUCY one! Ooooooh yeah!