a.k.a. Maison Ikkoku: Among the Changing Seasons
The day that Godai Yusaku laid his eyes on Otonashi Kyoko was the day that he fell in love with her, but so did another man: Mitaka Shun. As the seasons change and years go by, which man will steal Kyoko’s heart?
summary by Eek
Highs: Recaps the entire series
Lows: Recaps the entire series
This review contains many spoilers since there really is no other way. Anyway, this ninety-minute special is a recap of the entire Maison Ikkoku television series, and while it sounds like a good idea on the surface, Through the Passing Seasons still cannot take the place of the original no matter how hard it tries.
Through the Passing Seasons succeeds at highlighting many of the events surrounding Godai and Kyoko’s relationship; from the first time they meet one another at Ikkoku-kan to Godai and Mitaka’s feuding to Godai and Kyoko’s marriage, it is easy to see how their relationships grew and changed. Passing over many important events makes it easier to distinguish each character’s previous self from what they had become.
Where does it go wrong? Through the Passing Seasons recaps the whole series; that’s packing ninety-six episodes and eight years (in the anime) into ninety minutes. This ends up watering down a lot of what made Maison Ikkoku so special, and we are presented with a compacted view of what occurred. Many episodes are simply left out, and quite a few of the scenes taken from the television series would end up confusing anyone who has never seen all of it before. For the most part, the comedy is cut out, and the drama and romance that is left behind is specifically focused on Godai, Mitaka and Kyoko; even then, what little drama and romance that remain do not create the right feel. This OVA simply does not allow any time to become attached to the characters on any level.
Other recap specials and movies such as Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth capture most of the feel of the series that they stemmed from, but Through the Passing Seasons falls short of what it intended. You would be better off not seeing this.
Through the Passing Seasons can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.