Here Is Greenwood Book 1

Most of the manga I’ve read have been continuing character-based shôjo stories. This book, in contrast, is more sitcom than soap opera.

Here Is Greenwood Book 1 cover
Here Is Greenwood
Book 1
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The double-length opening chapter establishes the premise. Hasukawa has moved into a dorm at his school. Since he has a huge crush on his brother’s new wife, he thought it best not to continue living at their home. He’s already at a scholastic disadvantage, due to an ulcer putting him in the hospital a month past the start of the school year. The situation is complicated by his placement in Greenwood, a dorm with a reputation for housing weirdos.

His only guides are two handsome older students, and even though the school is for boys only, his roommate is strangely pretty and feminine. Hasukawa idolized his older brother, who raised him ever since their parents died, until his brother disappointed him by becoming the school nurse instead of taking a more respected business job.

There are four other chapters. Hasukawa has to find a place to stay over winter vacation, when the dorm is closed for New Year’s. On his way back, he winds up hanging out with a mysterious sick girl in a story that avoids the dorm setting. Then comes Valentine’s Day, and the last chapter explores the beauty of one of the older students and ends with “to be continued”.

The author plays with conventions of this type of story, setting up stereotypical situations only to make fun of them or their participants. Sometimes there are a few too many assumptions made on her part about the reader’s familiarity; I got lost once or twice, having to reread sequences carefully to understand the joke.

The dialogue, captions, and sound effects are scattered around the images, which make for full pages. As a result, the flows aren’t simple or basic. With the right-to-left direction, some readers may be challenged more than they want to be. The classic figure style kept the characters recognizable, though, and the pretty boys are pretty. (I think of this art approach as the “Maison Ikkoku” style because that was where I was first exposed to it, although this book has a more modern gloss.)

I feel sorry for Hasukawa — he feels his crush so intently, and he’s being so silly. He’ll grow out of it soon enough, but until then, he’s living in a situation similar to The Facts of Life.

2 Comments

  1. This is one of my guilty pleasures. I can’t really point to any one thing and say, this is why I enjoy it; I definitely don’t recommend it to others, since I can’t say why I like it. But I enjoy it, quirks and all.

  2. Greenwood is a surprising series that has a good amount of humor and quirkness mixed in with good characters that make it fun and rememberable. There really is no overrall story line, as each situation has a begining and an end. Throughout the mangas, the author herself pops up and normally makes fun of whatever is going on.

    As for the characters, they are the heart and soul of the story. The manga definitly provides a much more in-depth look to them that one misses in the six episode OVA series. The main guy is a (mostly) normal person, with no robots chasing him or super powers.

    Here is Greenwood is a fun nine volume manga. If you’re a looking from something not heavy in drama or angst, and just want something cute and lighthearted, this is the one for you.

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