6-19-2001

Here is Greenwood is a show that I had not heard much about. Upon seeing it in a video store though, I decided to check it out, being that it belonged to neither the giant robot genre, nor the massively overplayed targeted at younger audience Sailor Moon/Dragonball Z/Pokemon genre, types of anime which appeared all too prevalent on the shelves. I'm always up for a good comedy.

The main character is Kazuya Hasukawa. After the girl he loved ended up marrying his brother, he decided to move out to go to a high school and live in a dorm there. The dorm he ends up in is called Greenwood, supposedly full of all the crazies on campus. Its reputation as such does not go unfulfilled when Hasukawa meets his new roommate, Shun, who frankly was a little disturbing. His two nextdoor neighbors, Mitsuru and Shinobu, are eager to help him adjust to his new life, though not without subjecting him to numerous practical jokes along the way. All in all, there is certainly an odd collection of characters here, but they all play off of each other well, and none of their quirks ever seem too extreme in comparison to the others...except for maybe Shun, but you get used to..him.

Here is Greenwood is a six episode OVA series. The first four episodes are not really connected, while number five and six are. With each episode, there seems to be a jump forward in the life of Hasukawa. But though the plots are unconnected, each episode is quite enjoyable, a snapshot of seemingly everyday events. As an audience, however, we are able to witness Hasukawa become a member of the Greenwood family. That's the best way to describe it, I believe. All the residents of the dorm strive to help each other out, always backing each other up, helping out through various crises. Eventually I got a feeling, watching successive episodes, that the relationship between the residents began to transcend friendship and became more like a brotherhood. This was one of the really positive aspects of the show, I feel. Friends and familiar faces were always there for support.

The artwork used in the show was decent. One problem I had with it though was a lot of the guys, and this included the main characters, seemed to look alike. Initially the only noticeable differences were in their height and hair color. This gave me a bit of confusion early on, but I managed to sort it out.

The music was pretty good too. It wasn't very extravagant, but neither was this an extravagant show. The music fit the show well, though at times some of the music just sounded too '80s. Since the show was made in the early '90s though, I suspect that '80s American music might have been popular over there at that time, so I guess it makes sense, even though I don't necessarily agree. There were some nice piano interludes that I enjoyed, I forget if there were very many. Truth be told, I don't often take too much notice of the music in anime shows. Usually it's appropriate, and adequate, and not particularly outstanding. There are only a few shows in which I really took note of and enjoyed the music...Lain, Tenchi Muyo In Love, and Cowboy Bebop come to mind...but I digress.

Though none of the shows or themes are particularly earth-shattering, this is not a drawback. Here is Greenwood is a pleasant, even charming set of stories of students just trying to live their lives. Granted, not everyone has a maniacal, vengeful sister like Shinobu does, but the real treasure of this show is watching how the students all pull together and succeed in their endeavors. If you are looking for a humor-filled, endearing show that emphasizes characters and dialogue rather than lots of action sequences, then I would highly recommend this series. My only regret is that there were only six episodes.

-Larinon

Composite grade A (3.50)
Visuals B
Story A
Music B
Overall A