Review of Here Is Greenwood (1991)

Moving picture, 3.0 hours

Mochizuki Tomomi (writer-director).

Greenwood is a male students’ dorm at a contemporary Japanese senior high school. Kazuya moves into it after missing the start of the first term, which is all because the woman he loves has just married Kazuya’s brother and started living in their house. Unhappy love makes Kazuya physically ill, but he finds some great new friends. They trick him.

Comedy with lots of friendship and some bitter-sweet romance. Directed by Mochizuki Tomomi, who was reportedly hospitalized because of the stress of making this alongside Ocean Waves (1993).

An almost flawless example of that peculiar Hagio Moto strain of shōjo which combines great maturity and artistry (watercolour backgrounds! Yay!) with freewheeling comedy: supernatural if need be and with a bit of metafiction when that helps. One of Greenwood’s most unassumingly shining moments is a horizontal reenactment of a famous scene from a proto-Ghibli movie, Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (1979), as post-episode bonus material!

References here: En betraktelse av A Silent Voice, Whisper of the Heart (1995), Azumanga Daioh (2002), Honey and Clover (2005).

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction series