Here is Greenwood Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-59116-604-7
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Here is Greenwood Vol. #01

By Mike Dungan     November 29, 2004
Release Date: October 01, 2004


Here is Greenwood Vol.#01
© Viz Media


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yukie Nasu
Translated by:William Flanagan
Adapted by:

What They Say
If 15-year-old Kazuya Hasukawa's stomach wasn't perforated in a car accident, it would have been ravaged by an ulcer. The woman he loves just married his older brother, and worse, he's bringing her home to live with them! Unable to face the harsh reality, Kazuya decides to leave home. The only route of escape is to enter the exclusive all-boys boarding school, Ryokuto Academy, but since the car accident sidelined him for quite some time, he missed over a month of school! Entering school, Kazuya is introduced to the Student Body President, Shinobu Tezuka, and Kazuya's dorm's Head Resident, Mitsuru Ikeda. The two come across as nice, handsome young men. They escort Kazuya to his new home - a dorm called Ryokurin-ryu - but because the name is a mouthful, everyone calls it by it's English name, Greenwood. Arriving so late in school, Kazuya is assigned to the last available room in the dorm, and paired up with his least expected choice for a roommate - Shun Kisaragi, the cutest girl in the guy's dorm!

The Review
The Review: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As the back cover blurb says, 15-year-old Kazuya can't stand it at home any more. The love of his life has just married his older brother, so to get away from them, he enrolls at an exclusive all-boy's high school. Due to a severe car accident, he arrives a month late to school. The dorm he's boarding in is called Greenwood because the Japanese name is just too much of a mouthful. The Student Body President, Shinobu Tezuka, and dorm Head Resident, Mitsuru Ikeda, do their best to help him settle in and quickly acclimate to dorm life by rooming him with Shun Kisaragi, a beautiful girl no matter how you look at it. For some odd reason, her parents have raised her as a boy, but her birth records and all forms say male. Ikeda and Tezuka implore him to keep her secret, just between the four of them. It all goes downhill from there. Kazuya soon learns that Tezuka and Ikeda love to pull pranks on him. He's their new toy and they're going to play with him as much as they can. After a particularly obnoxious prank is played on him, he decks Ikeda but good. All that means to Ikeda and Tezuka is that Kazuya is going to be a fun one to play with.

Other residents are introduced, from the game center duo to the couple having a secret affair with each other to the snake-fetishist who actually looks like the snakes he rears to the motorcyclist who loves his bike so much he carries it around with him on his shoulder, even up to his second floor room. Complicating things even worse for Kazuya is that the school nurse isn't the typical beautiful young woman, which would be a welcome break from all the guys around, but his own brother, the one who stole the love of his life from him.

A visit by his beautiful sister-in-law on his birthday is cause for Tezuka and Ikeda to create more havoc for Kazuya, and a power outage in a storm that rears up during summer break gives us a chance to see that Kazuya isn't the only victim of Tezuka and Ikeda. Kazuya is forced to decide if he's going to finally go home during the Christmas break when the dorms are closed, then there is an encounter with a strange woman who seems deathly ill and on the run. Finally, Valentines Day hits the all-boys school which allows the victims of Ikeda and Tezuka to finally exact a little revenge, followed by White Day, when Kazuya's efforts to dig up something, anything on Ikeda to use as leverage finally pays off, but how he expected.

Comments
Here is Greenwood is a classic shoujo comedy series from the mid-1980s. Unusally for a shoujo series, the main character is a boy, and there is no hint of shoujo-ai, at least as far as he's concerned. Interestingly, it progresses rather quickly, with the first volume covering about 9 months of school life. Simply put, this is a comedy that is actually funny. Anyone familiar with the similarly quirky "Dance 'Til Tomorrow" will recognize the way characters continually break the fourth wall, as well as the constant efforts of the main character to retain his dignity despite the concerted efforts of his "friends". Nasu's art is very attractive, with a nice use of line-shading to complement the usual screentoning. Those with a deeper background in manga will recognize the style as being from the 1980s, but it still looks fresh and engaging.

The book is published right to left, leaving the art unflipped. As is usual with Viz titles, all artwork is translated and retouched into English. There is a page of translation notes at the beginning of the book to explain some of the Japanese left in the English adaptation. While everyone addresses each other by first name, -sempai, -sensei and kohai are all retained. Art reproduction is quite good, with no noticeable trouble with screentones, and thin detail work comes out nicely. Some pages which were obviously in color originally are in black and white here. The cover is a very attractive pale green with the four main characters in shirtsleeves and surrounded by flowers and lily pads. The back cover has a small picture of Kazuya stiking a vaguely bishonen pose.

I found Here is Greenwood to be almost stealthily funny. The humor caught me at the oddest angles and I would laugh at things in the strangest places. When I realized the scope of the first big prank played on Kazuya, I couldn't stop laughing for several minutes. The fact that the prank was pulled in the first chapter and I started laughing at it while reading the last chapter shows you just how quirky the humor is. I loved Greenwood, and it goes on my permanent "must-buy" list until the series is complete.

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