Hasukawa Kazuya is in a terrible bind. His brother's new wife is also the woman that Kazuya secretly loves. Determined to avoid them both, Kazuya leaves home to live in the student dorm called Greenwood. There, he hopes to find peace of mind. Unfortunately for Kazuya, stability and peace are the last things one might find at Greenwood - home of the weirdest characters on campus.
Here is Greenwood is a wacky little comedy OVA series featuring the relationships with school peers our main hero Kazuya forms, when he moves into the dormitory of his private school - midway through the year because of multiple misfortunes, but also so he can escape his brother who has married a women he himself had a crush on. Kazuya perhaps unfortunately finds himself in the midst of perverts, of transsexuals, and other eccentrics.
If this perhaps sounds a little contrived, you'd be right. Welcome to Greenwood is actually an adaptation of Nasu Yukie's Welcome to Greenwood, a long running popular shoujo running in Hana
to Yume. This bi-monthly magazine is one of the most popular shoujo magazines and enforces some quite formulaic narratives. This directly results in the sexual confusion, the yaoi elements (Yukie has gone on to produce yaoi/shonen ai), the emphasis of femininity in Here is Greenwood. If that sounds too disparaging, don't be mislead; this anime is quite a competent example of shoujo comedy, especially for its time (early nineties).
Mochizuki Tomomi directed this OVA, and his wife Gotou Masako reinvigorated the character designs and directed the animation. Tomomi also worked on the actual script- the adaptation process is fairly accurate, but character development is at points spared for more type-cast comedy, and much of Yukie's self-referential breaking of the 4th wall in the manga has been adulterated (though not censored). Definitely Tomomi refined this product- achieving probably a better product in terms of appropriating the content to the anime medium, yet definitely some depth of comedy, of plot, of character, is lost in the transference- mostly due to the fact that unfortunately Here is Greenwood is only 6 episodes. It's probably not a good idea to undervalue the contribution of Tomomi and Masako in relation to this OVA of Here is Greenwood, who also were the creative linchpins of Kimagure: Orange Road (so if you liked Kimagure do check this out, the two are quite similar).
The music to Greenwood is well, quite generic, directed by Honda Yasunori, who has worked on innumerable shows- probably the reason I find it homogeneous. The voice acting has been quite competent by most actors within the show regarding Japanese dubs, Nozomu delivering an effective performance with Kazuya, and Seki Toshihiko perhaps with a personal best role with Shinobu. However, Sakamoto Chika never really quite masters the voice I imagine of a playful crossdresser. The English dub is also purportedly of high standard.
The characters form the base of the comedy in this show, they're really the reason to watch it, so I don't think I want to spoil the joy of discovering their behaviours, their quirks, just yet for you. Instead, go on and have a watch! As it's only 6 episodes it runs by very fast, and the comedy is of quite a high level. While Here is Greenwood might not make us stay awake at night lost in thought, it's a light-hearted enjoyable comedy. A nice thing to watch on a friday evening perhaps- and while some themes are mature, it's fun for all the family.
I really don’t get why all the boys seem to tease Kazuya right away, including telling him that his roommate, Shun Kisaragi, was a girl. It does play a lot into the yaoi feeling of this show. All the characters from his brother to anyone else in the school are really out of control. All of them seems a bit too stereotypical, Kazuya is pathetic, Mitsuru is cruel, Shun to cutesy, and yet, we sympathize with the characters when they tell us their sad stories. The worse characters for that craziness seems to be Mitsuru Ikeda and Shinobu Tezuka. All four of them seem to
have a love hate relationship the whole time. My little fan girl was squealing the whole time for the little hints of Yaoi.
The episodes feel really rushed, making things confusing. It’s like we are reading Kazuya’s journal and he’s not too good at writing it. A lot of the time, they seem to be saying ‘go read the manga’ which of course is something I hate about these animes. I really don’t get the episode that they have a ghost in it. It just seems like a bit of a stretch to do that.
Other then the episodes and the odd characters, one thing it has is pretty much a lot of is understanding of feelings. All the characters have problems with something in their lives. The way they show off these issues helps make them understandable. Sadly, we don’t get the whole story as again, this is only 6 episodes and they skip so much that’s in the manga.
The animation is pretty much on the low side, I think partly because of being vintage and partly because of the low budget. It’s pretty boring animation and nothing really stands out.
The English voices are really off for the women and the men feel a little un-emotional most of the time. I can’t stand Sumire’s voice. It’s really high pitched and annoying. I also don’t understand why she keeps saying Ya as well. Is she supposed to be Chinese or something? There really was no music that stood out to me at all. Normally its way to quiet to get any music or it’s just so standard that there was no change in it.
The show is basically just bland and doesn’t stand out but it is still worth a watch.