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Maison Ikkoku Director Guide

September 4, 2006

Written by Dylan Acres

Because of its short length in comparision to other Takahashi anime Maison Ikkoku benefits from a highly consistent appearance. The fact that the series only had nine animation directors, two of whom directed over half the series between them, also gave the series a unified design. One of the major changes that takes place in the course of the series is the departure of character designers Yuji Moriyama after 26 episodes. He was replaced with Urusei Yatsura character designer Akemi Takada.

Episode TitleDirectorAnimation Director
1. Sorry To Keep You Waiting! I'm Kyoko Otonashi!Kazuo YamazakiMasaaki Kannan
2. Love is in the Air? Which one Does Kyoko Love Best?Naoyuki YoshinagaKeiko Hattori
3. Hearts on Fire in the Dark! All Alone with KyokoOsamu SekitaRyunosuke Otonashi
4. Kyoko's Heart Goes Pitty-Pat! Godai is put to the TestKougo TomokazuKeiko Hattori
5. Kyoko's Climbing the Walls! Godai's Headed For the Hills Kazuo YamazakiMasaaki Kannan
6. Shocking Springtime! Kyoko's SecretNaoyuki YoshinagaTsukasa Dokite
7. Godai's Agony! The One Kyoko LovesKougo TomokazuKeiko Hattori
8. Godai's Unspeakable Declaration! If You're Going to Do It, Do It!Junji SuzukiMasaaki Kannan
9. The Mysterious Tennis Coach is the Rival of Love Naoyuki YoshinagaRyunosuke Otonashi
10. Love Panic on the Beach! The Competition's a Dog Hater!Kougo TomokazuAtsuko Nakajima
11. Kentaro's First Love! What's Age Got to Do,with It? Junji SuzukiTsukasa Dokite
12. One Entangled Evening! I Thought You Said You Loved Me!? Osamu SekitaKeiko Hattori
13. Godai the Gigolo...? Are You Going to Get That, or Shall I?Naoyuki YoshinagaMasaaki Kannan
14. Way to Go, Godai! The First Date with KyokoJunji SuzukiRyunosuke Otonashi
15. The Play's the Thing, Not the Playing Around! The Show Must Go On! Kougo TomokazuTsukasa Dokite
16. Sympathy Scramble! If I Should Stumble Osamu SekitaKeiko Hattori
17. The Story of Kyoko's First Love On Rainy Days Like These Naoyuki YoshinagaMasaaki Kannan
18. Kyoko's Gift ! "What , You Mean it's For Me?" Junji SuzukiRyunosuke Otonashi
19. Godai and Kyoko ! An Evening for Two Means Double the Trouble Kougo TomokazuTsukasa Dokite
20. Kyoko's Ticking Time bomb ! Godai's Extended AbsenceOsamu SekitaKeiko Hattori
21. Godai's Panic! The Cat Who Came to IkkokuNaoyuki YoshinagaMasaaki Kannan
22. Godai Gets a shock! Kyoko Calls It QuitsJunji SuzukiRyunosuke Otonashi
23. Kyoko's Brush with Danger! Mother's Nefarious Plot Kougo TomokazuAtsuko Nakajima
24. Godai in Confusion! Kozue's First KissNaoyuki YoshinagaTsukasa Dokite
25. In this Corner: Godai vs. Mitaka! The Clash of the Proposals Osamu SekitaKeiko Hattori
26. Godai's Out of It! Kyoko's on the RampageKazuo YamazakiRyunosuke Otonashi
27. Soichiro Gone!? Yakitori Memories Kazuyoshi KatayamaMasaaki Kannan
28. Even Kyoko's Surprised! " I'm Kentaro's Father " Junji SuzukiKeiko Hattori
29. Fall Festival Foul - Up ! All Swell That Ends In A WellKougo TomokazuAtsuko Nakajima
30. What!? Kyoko Married!? Godai's Tearful GoodbyeNaoyuki YoshinagaMasaaki Kannan
31. Scandal at Ikkoku! Godai's...SHACKING UP!?Kazuyoshi KatayamaRyunosuke Otonashi
32. The Incredible , Unforgettable Egg! Yotsuya's Dangerous Gift Naoyuki YoshinagaKeiko Hattori
33. The Case of the Shocking Diary My Husband Had a Sweetheart!Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
34. Overpowered by Love! The Grandma Yukari Gold Tooth Gauntlet!Kazuyoshi KatayamaMasaaki Kannan
35. The Great Date Race! Kyoko and Godai Have Left the BuildingKougo TomokazuAtsuko Nakajima
36. A Kiss Is Just A Kiss... But a Woman's Love is Priceless Naoyuki YoshinagaKeiko Hattori
37. Dangerous Dress-Up! Kyoko Gets an Extreme MakeoverKougo TomokazuRyunosuke Otonashi
38. Godai's Lost Love!? Kozue Hits on Mitaka Junji SuzukiMasaaki Kannan
39. Love Takes Guts! Godai's Part-Time Gambit Kazuyoshi KatayamaAtsuko Nakajima
40. Cruel to be Kind! Thoughts of Love, at Christmas Time Kougo TomokazuKeiichi Takaoka
41. Kyoko in a Hot Spring... Hot-Cha-Cha! Case of the Outdoor Peeping Tom Naoyuki YoshinagaMasaaki Kannan
42. Fractured Godai! Bedside Chance at Love Eisuke KondoHiroshi Ogawa
43. Sparkling Fireworks of Love! Godai and Mitaka's Reluctant Recuperation Kougo TomokazuRyunosuke Otonashi
44. Kentaro Goes Pale! Yotsuya's Frightning Aspect Naoyuki YoshinagaMasaaki Kannan
45. Big, Shocking Announcement?! Kyoko Confesses Love to Godai Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
46. The 'Kyoko Invitational'! The Skating-Rink is Love's BattlefieldEisuke KondoHiroshi Ogawa
47. Kyoko Tied One On! Man, is She PlasteredKougo TomokazuKeiichi Takaoka
48. Godai's Revelation! Can't You TRY and Understand?! Junji SuzukiMasaaki Kannan
49. Mitaka's 'Call of the Wild'! How Can You Love When You Fear? Sunao KatabuchiAtsuko Nakajima
50. Kyoko Falls in Love at First Sight?! A Stranger Moves into Maison IkkokuJunji SuzukiRyunosuke Otonashi
51. Even Yotsuya is Shocked! The Day Maison Ikkoku Disappears Eisuke KondoHiroshi Ogawa
52. Forgive me, Soichiro! Kyoko's Painful Decision to Marry Again!Kazuyoshi KatayamaMasaaki Kannan
53. High School Girl Power! War Against Kyoko's Love! Naoyuki YoshinagaAtsuko Nakajima
54. Barefaced Attack! Operation SeductionYorifusa YamaguchiKeizo Shimizu
55. Pajama Girl Charges In! Maison Ikkoku in a Love PanicJunji SuzukiKeiichi Takaoka
56. Yagami is Determined I Won't Give Up My First Love! Osamu SekitaRyunosuke Otonashi
57. The Princess Cometh! Mitaka is Her Prince CharmingEisuke KondoHiroshi Ogawa
58. Godai or Mitaka? The Moment of Truth!Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
59. Be Still, My Beating Heart! Asuna's Very First TimeOsamu SekitaMasaaki Kannan
60. Caught in the Act! Kyoko and Mitaka - Hot and Heavy!Satoshi YamamotoAtsuko Nakajima
61. Come After Me, Godai! Kyoko Journeys Alone!Yorifusa YamaguchiKeizo Shimizu
62. All Right! Alone in the Bath with Kyoko!Satoshi YamamotoRyunosuke Otonashi
63. Yagami's Back! Just When You Least Expect Her!Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
64. Godai's on the Edge! Trapped by a High School Girl!Eisuke KondoHiroshi Ogawa
65. Yagami's Scream! The Dangers of Private Lessons with Yotsuya! Osamu SekitaMasaaki Kannan
66. Yagami's Challenge: I Won't Lose to the Widow!Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
67. Even Yagami is Shocked! The Return of the Gold-Toothed Grandma!Satoshi YamamotoShunji Suzuki
68. Grandma Yukari's Fighting Spirit: The Baseball Battle!Eisuke KondoHiroshi Ogawa
69. Underwater Confusion! Godai's Suspicious Hickey! Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
70. Farewell Grandma! Party on Down at Ueno StationChisato ShigekiMasaaki Kannan
71. A Midsummer Night's Dream! Godai Finds a Job!Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
72. A Baby is Born: Godai's Tearfully Happy Life Satoshi YamamotoShunji Suzuki
73. Hostage Crisis at Ikkoku! Yagami Makes Herself at Home Eisuke KondoMasaaki Kannan
74.All (Not So) Quiet on the Job Hunt Front! Godai's Eleventh-Hour SaveJunji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
75. One-Track Love: Yagami and Asuna Never Say Die! Chisato ShigekiMasaaki Kannan
76. I'll Wait! Kyoko's Double-Duty DeclarationJunji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
77. You Go, Godai! You Do Have Pride, After All!Satoshi YamamotoShunji Suzuki
78. I'm Not Sayin'!! The Cabaret ChroniclesChisato ShigekiAtsuko Nakajima
79. I'm So Sorry, Kyoko... I Don't Deserve to Eat Your Lunch Eisuke KondoMasaaki Kannan
80. Godai Goes Ga-Ga! Yagami's a Bunny Girl Now?! Satoshi YamamotoAtsuko Nakajima
81. Obsessive Love! Asuna Just Won't Give Up! Junji SuzukiMasaaki Kannan
82. Perfect Papa! The "Mister Mom" Godai Story Chisato ShigekiShunji Suzuki
83. Off to the Yokohama Border! Kyoko's Doing a RunnerEisuke KondoMasaaki Kannan
84. "One Thousand Percent Suspicious!" Kyoko's Scandalous NightJunji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
85. The Main Event! Godai and Mitaka's Fight-to-End-All-FightsKoji SawaiMasaaki Kannan
86. It Happened One Shocking Night! Asuna's Salad Anniversary Chisato ShigekiAtsuko Nakajima
87. Asuna's Pregnant?! Mitaka's Surprise Shotgun-AnnouncementEisuke KondoMasaaki Kannan
88. Love All Over... The Lingering Taste of Kozue's Kisses Junji SuzukiShunji Suzuki
89. Love Forlorn! Today is IT for Godai and KyokoKoji SawaiAtsuko Nakajima
90. Kyoko Retires! Ikkoku, A Distant Memory?Chisato ShigekiMasaaki Kannan
91. Kyoko's Big Shock! Akemi and Godai Together?! Koji SawaiAtsuko Nakajima
92. Wedding Bells for Kozue! Is Godai's Love Eternal?!Junji SuzukiShunji Suzuki
93. Spring Is In the Air! Two Hearts in Love!! Eisuke KondoMasaaki Kannan
94. Way to Go! Godai's Do-or-Die Proposal!!Junji SuzukiAtsuko Nakajima
95. How Touching! A Ring Filled with Grandma's Love! Koji SawaiMasaaki Kannan
96. As Long as There's Love! Maison Ikkoku Forever! Chisato ShigekiAtsuko Nakajima

Tsukasa Dokite (Episodes directed: 5)

Dokite uses very strong, clean dark lines in his animation. His draftsmanship produces a very crisp animation quality. You can recognize Dokite's unique button noses in the episodes he worked on.

Keiko Hattori (Episodes directed: 10)

Her character's faces are curvier in closeups, but hew more closely to Moriyama's designs in wider shots. It is in the closeups that the viewer can really see Hattori's personal style as the faces are curvier, and her depiction of hair consists of larger, poofier strands. The animation style is extremely consistent throughout her episodes, and everything flows smoothly.

Masaaki Kannan (Episodes directed: 27)

Kannan directed the very first episode of Maison Ikkoku and had previously contributed to Urusei Yatsura. At first he was stayed stylistically close to Yuji Moriyama's character designs, for example, the male characters eyes were drawn with Moriyama's design of very small pupils. After Moriyama left the series with episode 26 Akemi Takada became the new character designer and Masaaki's work looked more like her designs. Masaaki uses very expressive faces with great displays of emotion. He uses a lot of closeups in order to display his expressive faces. Even working with two seperate character designers Masaaki's female characters retain a similar quality in their eyes; two shines in the eye, one large one small. Masaaki is an incredibly talented at interpreting the designs he is given, and stays very true to the character designers original vision.

Atsuko Nakajima (Episodes directed: 25)

One of the most popular character designers working in anime is Atsuko Nakajima. Nakajima began to employ more closeups as the series progressed. Even though she is best known for Ranma , Maison Ikkoku is where Nakajima really honed her talent. Very expressive use of lines in the face, particularly under the eyes to convey emotions. When a fan of Ikkoku envisions a character from the series, it is likely Nakajima's look that comes to mind because of the high number of episodes she directed in her unique style.

Hiroshi Ogawa (Episodes directed: 6)

Ogawa's characters have larger whites of the eyes which conveys a lack of emotions. Kyoko is an exception to this, as her eyes are always depicted with more detail. The colors are a bit washed out in his episodes. Ogawa's faces slightly longer and more narrow although he is very good with profile shots and much better with facial details in closeups. While the animation quality is high, the subtle changes that Ogawa uses in his designs aren't to my personal taste. If I had to choose a least favorite it would be him.

Ryunosuke Otonashi (Episodes directed: 12)

Without a doubt Ryunosuke Otonashi is one of my all time favorite animation directors. You can always tell when you're watching an episode he worked on as his characters have very rounded, large, wide eyes, not as oval-shaped as other directors draw their eyes. His characters all appear to have cute, younger looking faces. His designs are a bit more cartoonish than some of the other designers but the animation is always high quality and his designs are almost OVA like.

Keizo Shimizu (Episodes directed: 2)

Shimizu's episodes have an above average animation style. She is very faithful to the character designs. It is difficult to descern a style unique unto herself, which is probably a good thing. She has a very consistent style, but at the same time delivers a high level of quality to all the characters, both male and female, main characters and supporting ones. For example Akemi is as well done as Kyoko. As the series progresses her character designs reflect the maturity of the characters.

Shunji Suzuki (Episodes directed: 6)

Even though he came to Maison Ikkoku very late in the series and only directed six episodes, Suzuki brought a very polished, fluid style. His designs fall somewhere between the faithful designs of Masaaki Kannan and the unique depictions of Ryunosuke Otonashi's style.

Keiichi Takaoka (Episodes directed: 3)

Takaoka's characters have less rounded faces, more angular/rectangular/narrow, even in profile. It could be said that his profiles are more realistic. His episodes have a high animation quality throughout the entire series. Takaoka's characters have very good detail in the eyes in closeup, but sometimes in shots where there is no animation or very little animation, the designs are slightly lessened. Because he directed so few episodes and his designs deviate from the other animation directors so much Takaoka's episodes tend to stand out more. He isn't bad by any means, but because his work appears so infrequently he isn't one of my top animation directors.

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