Synopsis: Kazuya Hasukawa has a problem. Kazuya's older brother just married Kazuya's dream girl, and he can't cope living with the newlyweds under one roof! Thus, Kazuya moves out and decides to stay in a boys' dormitory called Greenwood. In Greenwood, Kazuya meets the strangest fellows. There's a guy who lives with his motorbike among others, and Kazuya's room-mate is a guy who looks every bit like a girl. There's even a cute female ghost haunting the premises! Looks like Kazuya's plan for a peaceful and normal life has just gone out of the window... but who knows? He may just end up finding love and happiness in this nutty place.
Review: Here is Greenwood is a 6-episode OAV series from the director of the ultra-popular "Ranma 1/2". While not as wildly hilarious as Ranma 1/2, a sprinkling of gender-bending issues (such as Kazuya's seemingly female but male room-mate Shun) and other amusing situations make it an entertaining series in its own right.
Kazuya leaves home for some peace of mind, but finds himself in a wacky dorm which the residents lovingly refer to as Greenwood. A lot of comedy ensues and Kazuya eventually settles down and makes friends with his fellow dormers.
One of the things that make Greenwood special is the cast of characters. Kazuya is your average joe. He's not handsome nor smart, but he a nice guy by nature -- which makes him perfect for the role of the hero. Then there's Shun, Kazuya's room-mate. Shun gives a whole new meaning to the term "pretty boy". There's also the perfect duo, Shinobu and Mitsuru. Shinobu is good-looking, smart, wealthy... the list goes on. Shinobu also has a psychotic younger sister named Nagisa who's obssessed with putting one over her brother. Mitsuru, meanwhile, is a handsome achiever who's respected by guys and sought after by girls.
The art and animation are excellent. The characters are drawn nicely and the backgrounds look like they were rendered using watercolors. I should mention that the character designs and animation direction were done by Masako Goto, the guy responsible for "Kimagure Orange Road". This should explain why both titles share a similar air of nostalgia. Regretfully, only the English-dubbed version (which I have not watched) remains in circulation at present. Seiyuu Chika Sakamoto's (also Nuriko in "Fushigi Yuugi") performance as Shun in the subtitled version is priceless! To sum it up, Here is Greenwood is a nicely balanced series which will make you laugh a bit and leave you feeling warm and fuzzy all over.
Miscellanies: Ranma makes a cameo appearance in one of the episodes. The person on the title graphic is Kazuya's room-mate Shun.
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Here is Greenwood
Koko wa Green Wood
4 out of 5 stars
Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Slice of Life, Supernatural