Followers of Rumiko Takahashi’s work aren’t any strangers to her lead heroines having tsundere personalities. That is true of her iconic heroines like Lum Invader from Urusei Yatsura, Akane Tendo from Ranma ½ and Kagome Higurashi from Inuyasha.
Whereas Maison Ikkoku’s Kyoko Otonashi may also be described as tsundere, she has one factor noticeably totally different from these heroines: Kyoko is a younger widow navigating by grownup life with out the help of a loving, nurturing household. Given her relationship along with her mother and father, her childhood experiences and the way this informs her grownup relationships, it may be higher argued that Kyoko has signs of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Kyoko’s Life Is Outlined By Instability
One of many hallmarks of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is that it is a Cluster B dysfunction characterised by instability. This contains having an unstable self-concept, unstable relationships, unstable moods and issue controlling feelings. All through the Maison Ikkoku manga and its subsequent anime and live-action variations, Kyoko struggles with all 4 of these issues.
Whereas Takahashi would not dive too deep into Kyoko’s upbringing, each the flashbacks and current storyline make it clear Kyoko would not have a secure relationship along with her mother and father. Between the 2, she manages to get alongside barely higher along with her father. Sadly, he nonetheless sees her as his “little girl” and hasn’t come to phrases with the very fact she’s already an grownup. As such, Kyoko’s father shouldn’t be supportive of her choice to marry and is harshly vital of the lads in her life.
Kyoko’s relationship along with her mom Ritsuko is especially troublesome. To start out with, it is characterised by Ritsuko’s frequent violations of Kyoko’s private boundaries and autonomy. Too typically, she is seen making an attempt to manage her grownup daughter’s life by making main selections about her employment and the lads she feels she ought to marry. Within the latter case, she persistently pressures Kyoko into accepting a wedding proposal from her rich tennis coach, Shun Mitaka.
This unstable relationship considerably informs Kyoko’s self-concept. As somebody who is continually criticized by her mother and father for the alternatives she makes in life, she not often receives any significant help from them. This naturally takes a nasty toll on her shallowness and he or she is unable to outline her personal self-worth. As such, she doesn’t handle to develop a person identification, which leaves her weak to moving into codependent relationships.
Kyoko Has An Intense Worry Of Abandonment
One other main hallmark of BPD is an intense worry of abandonment, which can be Kyoko’s best worry in Maison Ikkoku. In reality, a lot of her emotional instability is linked to this worry of actual or perceived abandonment. It additionally informs Kyoko’s excessive black-and-white considering and her issue trusting others, that are additionally signs of BPD. This facet of her character is extra strongly explored in her relationship with Yusaku Godai.
It is clear all through Maison Ikkoku that Kyoko is romantically all in favour of Yusaku partially as a result of consideration he provides her. The opposite half is because of her persistent emotions of vacancy because of shedding her husband, Souichiro Otonashi, and having low shallowness. Regardless of this, Kyoko — for a lot of the collection period — by no means communicates her emotions to Yusaku. She does, nevertheless, persistently get offended at him each time he spends time with different feminine buddies like Kozue Nanao.
Whereas Kyoko’s anger is inappropriate, it nonetheless comes from a spot of perceived abandonment as she finds Yusaku’s relationships with different ladies threatening to her personal with him. This worry is very intensified by Yusaku’s incapability to speak his private boundaries, which leads him to comply with dates with ladies he has no romantic attraction for. He is additionally not past serious about sleeping with different ladies as a method of constructing sexual expertise if Kyoko ever decides to take their relationship to the subsequent stage. This proves to be a significant set off for Kyoko’s explosive feelings.
In a single explicit Maison Ikkoku episode, the place Yusaku’s roommate Akemi Roppongi was left at a love lodge by her date with out paying the invoice, she referred to as Yusaku to select her up and assist out with the invoice. He acquiesces to Akemi’s request, however in serving to his roommate out, Yusaku is seen by his good friend Kozue. This encounter causes her to mistake his presence with Akemi on the love lodge for one thing else. When Kozue communicates this encounter to Kyoko, she explodes with anger at each Akemi and Yusaku.
Kyoko’s Emotional Instability Leads To Impulsive Conduct
Problem in controlling feelings is a main purpose Kyoko is unable to type secure relationships. It is also a significant supply of impulsive conduct for Kyoko, one other identified symptom of Borderline Character Dysfunction. Each time she will get offended at Yusaku, her impulsive conduct tends to incorporate making scenes in public areas, hitting him with insults, and even making selections for him on a whim.
At one level, a misunderstanding with Yusaku led Kyoko to take a vacation at choose areas all through Japan on an impulse. She additionally left behind an itinerary in hopes of prompting Yusaku into following her across the nation. The primary time Kyoko summoned the braveness to specific her emotions for Yusaku by kissing him, she promptly stop her job after Kozue expressed romantic curiosity in him as effectively. Regardless of the impulsive nature of her quitting, her personal supervisor (who additionally occurred to be her former father-in-law) nonetheless employed a brand new individual to quickly fill her place.
Kyoko’s most impulsive act in response to a battle with Yusaku occurred solely within the Maison Ikkoku manga. After the love lodge incident with Akemi led to a significant battle between them, Kyoko tried to make up for her conduct by providing to sleep with Yusaku at a love lodge. Yusaku did not really feel this was the precise resolution to their relationship issues, as he needed to make love with Kyoko for sincere causes. As anticipated, it proved to be an embarrassing first sexual encounter for each.
Whereas Kyoko Otonashi has lots of the distinguished signs of BPD all through Maison Ikkoku, she does finally grow to be conscious of her behavioral patterns and actively works on altering them. She does this by studying to belief Yusaku higher and by eradicating herself from emotionally triggering conditions. Although she nonetheless struggles with an unstable self-concept, she does work on having a greater relationship along with her mother and father and being extra empathetic towards others.