Here is Greenwood

Japanese Title: Koko wa Greenwood
Genre: Comedy/Romance/Drama
Format: 6 OVA
Allegiance: Hakusensha
Director: Mochizuki Tomomi
Vintage: 1992
Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Meet Hasukawa Kazuya: the epitome of bad luck. First off, Kazuya’s first love Sumire has just gotten married… to Kazuya’s older brother. Unable to stand the sight of the two living in the same house as him, Kazuya applies for and is accepted into the prestigious Ryokuto Academy. Unfortunately, he is hospitalized the day of the opening ceremonies, and misses a month of school. Just when he thinks things couldn’t get worse, he is introduced to his new place of residence at the Academy: Ryokurin Hall, a.k.a. Greenwood. The moment he walks he, he is greeted by a horde of club recruiters, the leader of a religious cult operating out of the dorm, and his new roommate, a girl trying to keep her gender a secret. Will Kazuya be able to live peacefully at Greenwood, or at the very least, not go completely insane?

Field Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
Overall 8.25
(not an average)

The producers of Here is Greenwood were given the unenviable task of trying to fit an 11 volume manga into 6 OVA. Thankfully, the producers realized that actually trying to do this like Akira was completely impossible, and instead chose to animate only the moments that they viewed as important or special. As a result, what the viewer gets are five independent stories with the same cast. Yet the producers, by choosing this course of action, have saved Here is Greenwood from the fate of AkiraVideo Girl Ai, and Love Hina, instead creating a show that offsets the lack of a plot by being both delightfully funny and beautifully dramatic, with a strong and admirable cast.

As previously mentioned, Here is Greenwood is a collection of five independent stories. As such, there is nothing in the way of a real plot through the entire 6 OVA. Continuity is maintained throughout so there are no plot holes, but the story just jumps from one key event to another in Kazuya’s life. However, each individual story does have its own very solid and very creative plot. Characterization is also quite good. Kazuya, while appearing to be somewhat of a whiny protagonist, does grow on the viewer, and really shines during the final two OVAs. Each of Kazuya’s close friends is instilled with character, gets some background and a chance under the spotlight, but only Kazuya is developed with dramatic intent. The only problem is that there is only so much one can do in the span of 6 OVA with four main leads and a myriad of secondary characters, so none of the characters have a chance to attain that level of depth that is seen in Only Yesterday or Whisper of the Heart.

From an audio/visual perspective, the visuals are nothing to brag about. The animation is quite good, showing no signs of sloppiness or laziness. The art style is good as well, as the faded colour scheme doesn’t take away from the anime at all, and there is a high level of detail. However, the audio aspects are absolutely excellent. Background pieces range from catchy to dramatic, and all the vocal songs used fit extremely well. In particular, the song used in the final sequence of the anime was absolutely beautiful, and it increased the emotion in that scene (which was already high) hundredfold.

In the end, by not aiming to condense 11 volumes of manga into about three hours, the producers of Here is Greenwood have created a charming, funny, and ultimately very emotional anime. Thanks to its episodic nature, Here is Greenwood has something for everyone, and is a great way to spend an afternoon.