"A site that's not just informative, but inviting and warm. Like coming home."

- Dylan Acres

Maison Ikkoku

Maison Ikkoku ran in Shogakukan's Big Comic Spirits (instead of Shonen Sunday) from 1980 to 1987. The manga was serialized at the same time as Urusei Yatsura, which ran in Shonen Sunday.

The romance comedy focuses on the relationship between Kyoko Otonashi, the young manager of an old apartment building named Maison Ikkoku, and Yusaku Godai, a student trying to pass his college entrance exam.


Life at Maison Ikkoku is a fansite dedicated to Rumiko Takahashi's romance manga Maison Ikkoku. Created by Dylan Acres in 1997, it is the second oldest site on Rumic World.

The site was initially launched under the name "Maison Ikkoku," and was later renamed to "Yusaku Godai's Life at Maison Ikkoku." At first the site was relatively small, but as time went on, it drew more attention from the fans.

Between 2001 - 2002, Yusaku Godai's Life at Maison Ikkoku experienced inactivity as Dylan became burdened with school work. In May of 2002, prior to the creation of Rumic World, Dylan gave the site another redesign, and finally renamed it to the shorter title of "Life at Maison Ikkoku."

Question and Answer

Q&A with Dylan Acres

What were your goals with Life at Maison Ikkoku? Are they different now?

Dylan: The goals have changed over time with the status of the series in the United States. Initially when I began the site, I just wanted to create something to show my love of the series. Then as I got more and more into it and saw the success of Harley's Ranma ½ Perfect Edition I wanted to become the best Maison Ikkoku site on the internet.

There were a few well-established Maison Ikkoku sites at that time though, so it was a bit daunting to try and top them.

Then when Viz cancelled the anime, my priorities shifted and I used the site to promote the series and became more of an activist for getting the anime restarted. That was my focus for a few years as far as the site went. By the time that was resolved and Rumic World proper was formed, I was in competition mainly with Mason and Harley's sites just to be the best I could be to match their standards.

What was it like creating a fansite on a Takahashi series that wasn't as popular as some of her other works?

Dylan: Difficult. Frustrating at times. Of course I have always been aware of it being less popular. Ranma ½ Perfect Edition and The Inuyasha Companion are both "younger" sites than Life at Maison Ikkoku but they both surpassed it in regards to the number of visitors they received almost instantly. And then with all the headaches of the anime being cancelled here in the U.S., which was a frustrating time to be a fan of the series.

Tell us about how you made Life at Maison Ikkoku, what did you make it with?

Dylan: I started off using Microsoft Office 97's homepage creator way back when. Within a few years though I was coding it all by hand. I actually used to know as much HTML as Harley, but when he went to Japan he got better at it and I've gotten worse. Although as I've moved away from home for graduate school, I've had to be a bit more pro-active in my coding abilities and have regained some of what I had forgotten. But out of the three of us (Mason, Harley and I) I am by far the least talented when it comes to HTML, Java, etc.

Was it difficult managing the site?

Dylan: Not really. I've always worked at my own pace, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It took me far too long to finish all the manga and anime summaries. The Timeline was a daunting project that I undertook without fully understanding what I was getting myself into. But the interruptions of the anime changed my priorities, and so updates became sparse for awhile as I refocused my attention on getting the series released on DVD.

Tell us a little about the Viz Valentine's Webpage Contest. Did you think you would be the first runner-up? How did you like the prize?

Dylan: I remember thinking that if a romantic series like Maison Ikkoku couldn't do well in a Valentine's Day Contest then something was seriously wrong! It was the first legit industry attention the sites had received (as far as I can remember), so it was really flattering. As far as the prize goes, I got a magnifying screen for a Game Boy, which I never used. But it's the thought that counts!

What about the "Along Again, Naturally" project? What was the reaction when cancellation of the English dub of the anime? Did you think the project was going to work?

Dylan: I've touched on this in some of my other answers, but that was certainly the project that got most of my attention for awhile. I was very young and naive then, and was dead certain it would work. I remember having a conversation with my parents about how I'd "never failed at anything in my life, so why would this be any different?" Of course, I've had difficulties in life since then, but looking back I admire my optimism on such a daunting task as lobbying a big anime company to release a financially unviable series.

The website's name changed from Yusaku Godai's Life at Maison Ikkoku to Life at Maison Ikkoku, do you think it's still too long? What shorter name would you change it to if given the chance?

Dylan: Yeah, it's still too long, but for better or worse its my "brand". If I changed it again then I'd lose whatever name recognition I've built up over all these years within the Maison Ikkoku online community.

I don't know what I would rename it. It actually started out as just "Maison Ikkoku" before it was "Yusaku Godai's Life at Maison Ikkoku". I wanted it to be like Mason and Harley's sites, which are named after physical locations in the series, but that works less well for Maison Ikkoku since it's the actual title of the series as well.

Care to tell us some interesting stories related to the site?

Dylan: Let's see......I remember going to Otakon the year after the anime was cancelled and asking tons of questions about it at the Viz panel, trying to get everyone fired up. After I gathered all the signatures from my "Alone Again, Naturally" site I had no idea who within Viz I should send them to.

At the time the only person whose name I knew within the company was Trish Ledoux, who handled all of the English scripts for Viz's anime back then. So I sent them to her. She sent me a very nice letter back telling me to keep up the good work and keep fighting, just very encouraging. And she told me who else I could send them too.

Just for those people who don't know Trish is married to Toshifumi Yoshida who produced Maison Ikkoku, Ranma ½, Inuyasha and Mermaid Scar for Viz. I think they both worked on scripts for Urusei Yatsura early on too. So to get a response from someone whose work I admired felt really nice. I'll always be grateful to Toshi and Trish for the kindness they've shown our sites.

What's the future for Life at Maison Ikkoku?

Dylan: All the sections are pretty much done. I've got some ideas that I'm thinking about implementing just because I want to keep working on the site. The new live action "dorama" just debuted in Japan and I've started a section for it and its actors. I'm also thinking about doing something with the 48 disc Sound Theater (Drama CD) set. Those are really expensive though, and I don't own nearly all of them, but we'll see.