Maison Ikkoku is a worn and aging boarding house in a quiet Japanese neighborhood, owned by Mr. Otonashi. Due to its deteriorating condition, its manager quits, leading Kyōko Otonashi, a young widow and Mr. Otonashi's daughter-in-law, to take over its control as the new manager.
Maison Ikkoku is the abide for some strange people, including:
- The protagonist Yūsaku Godai
- A boozy bar hostess Akemi Roppongi
- A loud and nosy middle-aged woman Hanae Ichinose and her bratty son Kentarō Ichinose and her husband Mr. Ichinose.
- A mysterious man Yotsuya
- A college student, Nozomu Nikaidō (manga and Kanketsu-hen only)
- A widower, Zenzaburo Mitsukoshi (anime-exculsive, temporarily)
- Every tenant's names involve a number which matches the room they live(d) in:
- Ichinose (Ichi = One)
- Nikaido (Ni = Two)
- Mitsukoshi (Mitsu = Three)
- Yotsuya (Yotsu = Four)
- Godai (Go= Five)
- Roppongi (Ro[ku] = Six)