Koko Wa Greenwood

December 10, 2011

I’m going back in time. The year is 1991. The place is Greenwood. What wood? Okay, so this isn’t a time travelling sci-fi anime series I’m going to blog. In fact, it neither has any of those elements. Koko Wa Greenwood is a very old OVA with only half a dozen of episodes and it’s about the life of the students living in an all-boys dorm. What’s a dorm without weirdoes, right? The weirder, the better. The weirder, the funnier. At least that is what I thought. Seeing this is a very old anime way before the new millennium, I guess I can close an eye.

But somehow it still bugs me that they officially translated English name of this series is Here Is Greenwood when supposedly and correctly it should be This Is Greenwood. Hah. I’m not saying I’m a pro in Japanese now but I feel the latter should be a better translation than the former. Perhaps there’s some confusion in the Ko-So-A-Do direction system in Japanese. Yeah, lost in translation. But we’re not here to study on petty grammatical mistakes. Let’s focus on the OVA episodes, shall we?

Episode 1
Orphan Kazuya Hasukawa is looking forward to living his life at the all-boys Ryokuto Academy’s dorm. That’s because his brother Kazuhiro has just married Sumire Kitani and turned it into a home of newly-weds. Plus, Kazuya is somewhat bitter over the whole episode since Sumire was his first love. He is 1 month late in enrolling in school due to bad luck like getting hit by a car, blizzard delaying his transport to the entrance exam, the post delayed the results of his acceptance and he collapsed during the opening ceremony. Phew. Now he’s back and got lots to catch up. But he’s not turning back. He is introduced to the student council president Shinobu Tezuka and the dorm president Mitsuru Ikeda. They bring him to the dorm named Ryokurin Hall. It is better known as Greenwood since it’s much easier to remember. Kazuya has a taste of what it’s going to be like living in a dorm full of weirdoes. We see lots of club members holding up signs hoping to recruit him but they’re not talking! Something about a rule that they aren’t allowed to recruit directly in dorms. If you can’t speak, you can still show, right? Yeah, there’s this weird bible dude trying to spread the word of the Lord via sales of Bibles!

From outside his room, Kazuya is shocked to see a girl, Shun Kisaragi as his roommate. However he dismissed this thought and thinks he is just a guy that looked like a girl. But Mitsuru and Shinobu dismiss it and say Shun is a girl for real! Yikes! At first they thought Shun was a guy too as all records pointed that he was one. Plus, Shun was raised as a guy. Now, Kazuya is being given a tough to help Shun graduate as a boy without letting others know her true gender. And since the walls of this dorm are thin and that they just live next door, if they hear any scream, Kazuya will be in big sh*t. Even in class, his classmates are talking how pretty Shun is and hoped she would be a girl. But Kazuya got pissed off with this thought and walks away. Yeah, they think he’s gay. To make things worse, Kazuhiro is working as Ryokuto’s school doctor! Now he’s got to see his bloody face in school too after all he’s done trying to get away from the house. Kazuya wants them to be strangers in school but Kazuhiro just loves teasing his little brother. Back in his dorm, he asks Shun why she didn’t cut her hair to make it believable that she’s a guy. She did it before but messed up so it’s better to transfer to an all-boys school, be herself and let everyone think she’s a weirdo. Oh yeah. If you can’t change yourself, change the perception of others! Kazuya seems to be getting along fine with Shun so Mitsuru and Shinobu help him in his studies in exchange.

One day when Kazuya enters the toilet to take a piss, it didn’t strike him at first but Shun was also there taking a leak. Then he realized it! Shun is actually a guy!!! Everybody was just pretending and that this was a ploy to see how long the newcomer would last. Yeah, 3 days he thought Shun was a girl! Mitsuru even took bets and thanks to the outcome, they have enough money to throw him a welcome party! However Kazuya didn’t find this funny and punched Mitsuru in his face!!! Yeah, perhaps he went overboard. Kazuya continues his crazy life at Greenwood and meet other weirdoes like the guy who lives with his bike (he carries it out from his room), one who turned his room into an occult and another a video arcade! Kazuya is relishing the chance when summer vacation comes because everybody will be gone and it’ll be peace and quiet. To his dismay, Shinobu and Mitsuru continue to stay behind. Yeah, they even get a little yaoi in front of Kazuya! Well, 19 students filed to stay back but heck, it’s better than having 200 odd students making noise, right? Mitsuru and Shinobu ask why he didn’t want to go home so Kazuya tells of his situation. They conclude that he has fallen in love with his brother’s wife so Kazuya tries to change to subject.

One sunny afternoon, Sumire pays a surprise visit to see Kazuya at the dorm. She instantly hugs him upon seeing him but he got nose bleed and ran away. Sumire feels guilty that she may have taken away his brother and is still against their marriage. As Kazuya cleans up himself, he worries that the guys may tell her some strange stories. He rushes back only to be told that she was gone. Mitsuru said he gave her a reason that he needed to attend summer classes or else he’ll fail and that he had diarrhoea last night. Kazuya doesn’t even plan to go back for the winter holidays and plans to stay at Greenwood till he graduates. However there is a tiny problem. Everyone has to go back then since the dorm will be closed and to also allow the dorm staff to rest. Oh no! What will Kazuya do? He is adamant that he still wants to stay. Then he gets a surprise present from Sumire, a hand-knit sweater for the winter. The temptation of going back is there, eh? Later Shun finds out that Kazuya and Kazuhiro were orphans. There was no ceremony during Kazuhiro and Sumire’s wedding and only Sumire’s parents came for the reception. Kazuya thinks hard how he should deal 10 days in the cold. Even Shun offers him to come live with him since his family runs an inn. I guess in the end, Kazuya decides to go home. When he comes back, happy Sumire spoils him with lots of good cooking. It feels good to be home, eh?

Episode 2
Kazuya, Shun, Mitsuru and Shinobu are reading research information on Mitsuru and Shun. Seems pretty accurate from their profile to what they do. Except for 1 tiny bit. Reina is NOT Shun’s little sister but little brother! Who can blame the researches for being sloppy. I mean, that guy even looks so girly. By the way, Reina is seen sleeping in their dorm bed. This was what happened earlier on. Flashback reveals Shinobu’s sister, Nagisa always tried to get the best of him but Shinobu was always cool and shrugged off her nonsense. Each time, she gets reprimanded by her dad for being unlady-like, who wants her to be like Mr Perfect Shinobu instead. Because of that ‘torment’, she grows up to get her vengeance on him via humiliation at least once. That’s going to be tough. At one point she even kidnapped Mitsuru and made him strip. But Shinobu and co arrived and beat her and even warned if she pulls off this stunt again, he won’t show any mercy. He’s sure serious about it. She declares that she is over with pretty boys and men and is into young girls now as her SPs (all named after letters of the alphabet) applause.

Outside her apartment, she picks up a little girl passing and hints if she would like to make some pocket money. Unknown to Nagisa, this ‘girl’ is Reina and is on her way to visit Shun. Well, I guess Reina wanted some pocket money too. How does 30,000 Yen sound?! Expensive, but it’s going to be worth it. Or is it… Nagisa’s private time with Reina is shattered when she realizes he is a boy. Referring back to her research papers, she realizes he has a brother in Ryokuto Academy. She starts devising her evil plan. Her SPs are forced to watch over him so they have to satisfy what Reina wants as they go out to get some errands. Nagisa starts her plan as she calls Shinobu while one of her SPs distract Mitsuru with his falsetto voice as a girl admirer. Man, I thought Nagisa was serious when she sniped at him! Turns out to be a dart with a message that Shinobu has to follow. Shinobu plays along but he maintains his cool because he knows his sister better than anyone else. Yeah, she hasn’t changed. Plus, he knows Nagisa’s position since the reflection of her rifle gave her away. He can see from that far?! He doesn’t care about the hostage she is holding so much so she had to tell him the hostage is Reina and that she will disfigure his face if he doesn’t come to her Flower Residences apartment. Shortly after Mitsuru puts down the phone, Shinobu calls Mitsuru and just tell him to head over that the said place. Then he runs off and hides, away from Nagisa’s eyes, much to her dismay.

Meanwhile Shun and Kazuya are out shopping and they spot one of Nagisa’s goons and tail him back to the apartment. Mitsuru is slowly on his way and also meets one of the SPs. The SP starts punching but he misses and it only took Mitsuru 1 punch to land a blow in his face. He finally understood the situation and hurries along. Nagisa is upset that she is being made of a fool for waiting and fires her darts randomly. After a few seconds, the darts explode and little papers with words of “Die! Shinobu” come streaming out. I guess it’s time Shinobu makes his move. Reina is feeling hot and wants to take a shower so the perverted SP has no choice but to let him. Yeah, he got tempted to peep… He doesn’t even know… Kazuya runs up the stairs and meets an SP and fights him. Mitsuru just comes off the elevator and did the finishing touches. Shinobu reaches his destination just outside the apartment so Nagisa calls him and chides him for his tardiness. Well, it’s on purpose since he will never ever let things go her way. Anyway Nagisa wants him to beg for mercy on his knees for Reina’s life but Shinobu just sat down in a meditating position. Because Nagisa is so engrossed in Shinobu, she didn’t realize Shun, Kazuya and Mitsuru have already barge in and took care of the single SP guarding Reina. Yeah, Reina rushed to his brother’s side and when his towel dropped off, the SP just realizes he’s a guy. Oohh…

Nagisa calls Shinobu again but the latter wants her to listen to his advice. She’s going to need it. He tells her to take a look at her surroundings. She realizes Shinobu’s pals are here and that he’s coming for her. She escapes but the mind boggling part was that she was waiting for the elevator instead of rushing down the stairs! Of course Shinobu is right before your eyes lah! Stunned and in fear, Shinobu takes out a pistol and points it at her. Yeah, remember that no mercy warning? She’s going to get it now. He pulls the trigger and a little bead pops out. Uh huh. It’s a toy gun. Looks like Nagisa is already out cold. As the gang head home, Kazuya wonders why he didn’t just rescue Reina on his own in the first place. As Mitsuru mentions, Shinobu would never get his own hands dirty. And Reina is going to buy Shun a new blouse from the pocket money she got. Was it worth it? In the end, Nagisa and her SPs decide to move out since she can’t live in this dangerous place anymore and fears the next time Shinobu will bully her. So back to the scene at the start, the gang continues reading the research information that includes Shinobu. Yeah, she even investigated her own brother. But it sounded like she is boasting herself and making a devil out of Shinobu. Kazuya is dismayed that everyone have weird siblings. Well, to each his own. Mitsuru then starts reading research information on Kazuya. I’m not sure about some info he met a girl Miya Igarashi who is involved with someone called Tenma Koizumi in some forbidden love. Did he make that up? Was it for real? Mitsuru crumples and tosses the paper away as Kazuya tries to retrieve it.

Episode 3
Shinobu and his student council members are trying to find ways to reduce the budget deficit as they need to use 15% of the budget for the prize for the group with the best show. I guess part of it is to start taking bets but since Greenwood is also participating in this year’s school festival competition and the prize money is doubled, you could say Shinobu will be contributing to it. Shinobu forces Mitsuru to help out in the festival, in which they’ll be doing a film. But Mitsuru is against it since he has lots of commitments. They meet a lady outside who requests if they would like to do a little part time job. Discussing in the room, the lady first asks them to strip! Actually she’s a manga artist and would like them to wear costumes since they fit her character designs perfectly. Yup, they need to model for her. Mitsuru is having his doubts since he’s busy when Tochizawa suddenly pops up! He agrees to ‘lend’ Mitsuru in exchange she borrows him those costumes. What, when, why, how? Tochizawa becomes the director of the fantasy film “Here Is Devilwood” (since this is his first step to achieve his dream of becoming a director).

With Mitsuru being casted as the lead hero, now they need to cast a follower. How come everyone has the same idea of who he should be? Yeah, Kazuya is against it so Tochizawa says that there will be a scene whereby he will use a real girl to play a role. So this would be a change for girlfriend-less Kazuya to hold hands with one. Consider it as a bonus scene. I can’t believe that was enough reason for Kazuya to agree to it! No wonder Shun is laughing hard. It’s like he was promised a girl in the end. Everyone in Greenwood works hard under tight schedules and respective areas to make the film a success. They’re serious since they’re going to employ CGI and even made little robotic creatures. Kazuya still isn’t happy that he has to act out a scene. Till Sumire comes by rooting for him. Looks like she’ll be in the film too. Because of that, Kazuya gets all the confidence he needs to carry on. So just a simple girl will get him going? So the story goes something like this. The King and Queen (Kazuhiro and Sumire respectively) learned that the Devil Lord, Cloretts has kidnapped their baby prince. The King runs an ad for a hero to save the baby. Why does it feel like a recruitment ad? Must be 15 years old above? Experience a plus point? Great salary guaranteed?! Soon a hero turned up: Lemon Herb (Mitsuru) so the King gives a follower to help him out: Tiro (Kazuya). As a reward, not only he will have all the treasures, but their daughter, Princess Chelsea‘s hand in marriage as well.

Filming begins so on a day Mitsuru was being ‘lent’ to the manga lady, Tochizawa and his crew shoot scenes that only involves Kazuya. Tochizawa notices several girls watching them and asks if they would like to play a role of a princess in the movie. After seeing plain Kazuya, they turn him down and think the director will put them in revealing clothes and do something pervy for the movie! Ooohhh… A lot of effort and finishing touches are put into the film. Everyone is so into their role that it’s quite convincing. Even later when Tochizawa spots several fan girls of Mitsuru calling out to their idol, he offers them the role. However when they learn it won’t be Mitsuru or even Shinobu’s hands they’ll be holding, they lose interest. What’s wrong with these girls?! Lamenting that the closing scene is near, Tochizawa has to find a girl fast. Then he sees Shun and notices the dress for one of his activities and requests him for a favour. The story continues with Tiro learning that Herb and Cloretts were childhood friends but an evil wizard ravaged their village and separated them. He believes he is the only one who can kill Cool Mint, Cloretts’ real name. The duo trek through the land as they make their way to Cloretts’ castle in Devilwood, crossing dangerous lakes and slashing dangerous creatures. Finally they enter the castle and face off with Cloretts. The Devil Lord claims that the reason he kidnapped the prince was because he needed to sacrifice a prince born on a full moon on the night of the new moon to control time. And that time is very soon. The heroes are no match for Cloretts’ powers so Cloretts will only allow Herb to live since he will be sad to kill his old friend. He offers Herb to come put down his weapon and join him. Herb does so and when they both embrace, Herb uses his armour to slice him, thus killing him. They rescue the baby and head back but Herb decides to leave north because he has 11 more old friends he has to kill (Woah! WTF?!). Though Herb left his bank account for the King to deposit his rewards, he still has to fulfil his other promise of wedding Chelsea. Kazuya is left fretting how he got Tochizawa to sweet talk him into this role because Chelsea is being played by Shun. Ah well, even if it’s not a real girl, at least he looks like one. A pretty one. That isn’t half bad, right? With the production of the movie finished, everyone in Greenwood gather in a dorm room to watch the sneak preview. Lastly Shun’s class seems to be doing a creative play (especially the backdrops) based on Lupin III.

Episode 4
Mitsuru wakes up screaming one morning when he felt an earthquake or thunder had hit him. Shinobu mocks him that he must have dreamt that he dumped a girl he made pregnant. One day on their way back to the dorm, Shun sees a cat at the gates but it shows it fangs to Mitsuru. Shinobu concludes that he is being haunted by a ghost. He’s joking, right? Maybe not… That night, suddenly Greenwood experiences a blackout. Kazuya thought it was Shun (because he tried to pull a ghostly prank on him earlier on by blowing into his ear). However it seems only Greenwood is affected and all other surrounding areas still have electricity. Then they hear a scream. It’s coming from Mitsuru’s room. Everyone is shocked (except for Shinobu who is always the cool one) to see a horrifying ghost approaching Mitsuru. Then the ghost turns into a cheery and lively 16 year old girl, Misako and electricity comes flowing back. Misako shows them she’s a real ghost by demonstrating how everything passes through her. She also says that the scary ghost was just an act to live up to her reputation as a ghost. Say what? She even confirms she is here to haunt Mitsuru and till she has all her regrets and resentment resolved, she’s going to be hanging around for a while. Yeah, the guys are happy that Greenwood will become livelier! Yeah, you’re not going to say that if you’re the one who is haunted. Shinobu even ‘abandons’ Mitsuru since this is a problem between Mitsuru and Misako. Misako sleeps with Mitsuru (floating on top of him?) as he ponders what he did to earn her grudge seeing that he doesn’t even know her. She says that one can even hurt others unknowingly. She then feels cold and wants to sleep next to him. Of course she can’t, even if she pleads and cries (I noticed her tears fell on his blanket. Are those real?).

Next morning, the Greenwood guys continue to be amazed by Misako but the dorm lady wants her out seeing no girls are allowed. The tea cup shatters when Misako feels sad and that’s when dorm lady realizes she’s a ghost. Noticing that she is haunting Mitsuru, she wants Mitsuru to hurry up and send her to the other side. Mitsuru pleads for her not to follow him to school so she agrees to be invisible for him. Later thinking she has gone over to the other side (since she’s not around), he takes a bath but to his surprise, she appears in the bath with him! Because of that, he can’t get out and holds the line of those who wants to use the bath. Later Mitsuru wants Misako to tell him what is it that she wants. Misako saddens when he doesn’t remember. Mitsuru is not amused that she’s just playing around and wants her out of here as soon as possible. This time those heart breaking words really make her cry. All the furniture starts shaking. Everything returns to normal when he apologizes. I guess everyone was okay with this till they realized their room got trashed. Yeah, unless it involves you, you’re not going to give a damn, right? Next day, everyone discusses about last night’s ‘earthquake’ while Misako ponders about being a couple with Mitsuru. He isn’t amused with her and once again ticks her off. Yeah, she’s going to cry again when the other guys force him to apologize and play nice. Don’t want another trashing, eh? That night everyone comes up with theories of who Misako is and how she died. Got dumped? Suicide? His biological sister? Take back her unborn child? Shinobu dismisses it since based on her school uniform, she comes from a faraway school so long distance relationship is not possible. Misako finds their discussion interesting and even joins them.

Then later Mitsuru feels something amiss. Misako is not around. Shouldn’t he be glad? Well, he doesn’t want to wander around the dorm. Seems Misako is visiting the dorm lady. After watching the TV drama, the dorm lady wants to know what happened to her since she has a responsibility to the guys here. Misako reveals that she has never gone out with a guy before so it’s her dream to meet a cute guy. However she got hit by a truck and died. Eh? So how does Mitsuru come into the picture? She was wondering around with her dream unfulfilled. Till she happen to pass by this dorm and spot this cute guy (Mitsuru) and decided to haunt him. Even so, the dorm lady says she can’t stay around any longer. As she leaves, she realizes Mitsuru was eavesdropping. He wants her to spit out the truth. She makes a run. He forgot he was chasing after a ghost so he crashes into the wall! Back in his room, Mitsuru gets pissed off, raising his voice telling her to get out seeing that he isn’t at fault. She starts crying louder and harder. Oh, now everyone is so concerned that he made a girl cry. Misako asserts that she too wants to be with him but Mitsuru tells her straight that she’s bothering him and also a ghost. Now everything in Greenwood goes berserk. It’s like a war zone! Shinobu says that she has spent the last few days with Mitsuru, she should be satisfied by now. What more will it take for her to leave this world? She wants a kiss from him. How is she going to do it if she’ll go right through him? She’ll possess someone with spiritual power and do it. Why is everyone looking at Shinobu? Anyway both of them disagree but everyone says otherwise. However Misako notes he has closed his heart so possessing him is not possible. Shinobu apologizes that she will not be able to fulfil her wish. Sad Misako disappears.

Next morning, Mitsuru spots the cat and picks it up. Suddenly it kisses him. Turns out to be Misako possessing it to do so. With that, she thanks him and disappears into the sky. Then it starts to snow. That night, the gang thinks there’s another haunting when the lights go out. Actually it’s Shun playing a prank by turning off the switch. But Shinobu says that the ghosts are coming. Hey, Misako’s back! She brought back a few ghost friends of hers! She met them while wandering around and after she told them about the cute guys, they asked her to bring her here. Yeah, they’re going to fall in love again and apparently that kiss for Misako wasn’t enough. They start getting excited which guy to choose! Rock-scissors-paper or draw lots? Take your pick! Well, the guys are definitely freaked out for real. Don’t want to have ghosts for your girlfriend, eh?

Episode 5
The gang notices Kazuya practically down like as though he’s in love. Maybe it was the play on words koi (carp) and the other koi (love) they got mixed up about so they bug him to spill the beans. Seems it’s about Igarashi. Though they haven’t met since, he can’t get her out of his mind and it’s driving him crazy. Is he in love with her? One night, Shun and Kazuya spot Igarashi outside having a fight with the dorm lady. She wants to come in but it’s over her dead body. Yeah, they even got rough and traded insults. Mitsuru swiftly steps in and takes Igarashi away. Kazuya follows them and eavesdrop that she wants to stay in his dorm for a few days (she’s been wandering from place to place recently). However he tells her off to go home. Kazuya steps in and wants to help out, causing Igarashi to be a little defensive. Kazuya is okay for her to stay a night but Mitsuru disagrees seeing that this has nothing to do with him and that there are 200 odd ‘wolves’ in Greenwood. However Kazuya refuses to back down and using his authority as the dorm president (also blaming Mitsuru for it), they argue and will take responsibility for it. Kazuya will let her stay for a night in exchange she will be quiet. Mitsuru bluffs the dorm lady she has gone away. Of course with a girl walking through the corridors, it’s a head turner for the other guys. She got too noisy and told them off for looking! Shun is kicked out to make room for Igarashi. I’m not sure if Kazuya got kicked out too but he is seen sitting outside his room door. Matter of ethics? Shun talks to Mitsuru and learns that Igarashi is Mitsuru’s junior and that she has no reason to run away from home because she lives alone. She used to live with her mom but she’s often posted to work overseas.

Then Mitsuru and Kazuya go in to talk to her to find out what’s really happening. She reveals that the Aisei High gang is after her. Seems Aisei and her school Sumijo are always on some kind of turf war. A few days ago she was confronted by several Aisei delinquent girls. They force her to meet up but she ignored them. Then she learnt that some of her girls unknowingly trespassed their turf so they used Igarashi’s name as their leader. Ever since, Igarashi noticed Aisei girls were waiting for her outside school and even hanging around her house. She can’t go home nor talk her way out of it so she ‘ran away’. Mitsuru scolds her for being used and making her take the blame. He also chides her for trying to play hero. As what she is going to do know, she thinks of calling a few old friends in hopes to have the confidence to confront them. As Igarashi goes to the toilet, Kazuya ponders how she turned out like this so Mitsuru says probably it’s her boyfriend. Shun is sleeping with Shinobu as he learns that Mitsuru was abandoned by his real parents (the reason why he’s living in this dorm) and ironically his adopted parents cared for him like their own.

Next morning, seems Mitsuru has got a cold. They sneak Igarashi out and promise to meet at a certain place this evening. As they part, Kazuya seems to notice a very sad look on Igarashi’s face. Kazuya later discovers due to Mitsuru sleeping in, he forgot to pick up Igarashi! And they’re an hour late. Kazuya rushes over to apologize and pick her back to Greenwood. She found out her old friends have jobs and everyone else have their normal lives. Mitsuru also went to her house this afternoon and didn’t find anybody suspicious. Igarashi apologizes and decides to leave, feeling guilty she has taken Mitsuru for granted and that she took advantage of him and bothered everyone. Since Igarashi isn’t going home, Kazuya deserves an explanation because he lent her his room and Mitsuru got sick because of her. She lets him know that there are ghosts in her house and it’s making her scared with all those creepy sounds. However Kazuya he says they are just house noises being made because everything is really quiet. He adds that this dorm makes pretty lot of weird noises and it’s full of real ghosts too! Now she’s really freaking out! Igarashi realizes she has shown him her girly side so he notes that the tough girl act didn’t suit her. Igarashi ‘apologizes’ for being a coward and not being able to do anything right. Then she starts crying uncontrollably. This is when Kazuya realizes that all those times when she put on those expressions, she was trying to hold back her tears. Once she composes herself she decides to go home. Kazuya decides to accompany her home. He talks to her that what he meant she might be happier if she acted like a regular girl. She doesn’t need to change just for a delinquent guy. However she refutes that her guy, Tenma is nothing like that and is a smart and gentle guy. They’ve known each since young and she thought he shouldn’t be with a stupid and ugly girl like her and wanted to make him hate her although he said he liked her. She feels she would embarrass him if they get married and deserved a better wife. Kazuya finds it odd that she wants to make him hate her. She says the only reason he said he liked her was because her mom told him to take care of her. Kazuya thinks she should trust this guy but Igarashi couldn’t find a reason for him to like her. Kazuya stops short of saying it’s because she’s pretty. He also realizes that she doesn’t realize it herself.

An Aisei girl confronts them and warns her to meet them at midnight or else they won’t go easy on her. Igarashi is going to do that and runs away from Kazuya seeing that the more he hangs around her, he’ll get hurt. Kazuya returns to Greenwood and tells the rest what is going to happen. Mitsuru instantly takes off to go help her. Kazuya wanted to come too but Shinobu and Shun bring him along to make some important calls. Igarashi meets up the Aisei girls. They plan on beating her up and steal her turf. Mitsuru shows up dressed up as a girl. Looks a little big, isn’t he? But the Aisei girls aren’t going to play fair. That’s because they have called a few guys to show them some pain. Before anything could happen, a flare lights up the sky. Suddenly they hear Shun’s voice and the bridge and river side are filled with all the guys from Greenwood! The girls get scared and think Igarashi has formed an army! To ascertain that fact, Nagisa comes arriving in her limo, screaming for the whereabouts of Shinobu (she was tricked by his letter of course). They think she’s a real gangster!!! Those guys become cowards and make a run for it and soon the girls themselves. Yeah, they got frightened by the sheer numbers. Don’t want to mess with weirdoes, right? With the show over, everyone goes back to the dorm as Mitsuru notes that no one is going to mess with Sumijo for a while. I wonder how those guys could sneak back inside the dorm without the dorm lady noticing since it’s way past curfew. I think she closed an eye. Oh, Nagisa is still searching… Igarashi thanks Kazuya when Tenma shows up. Seems he has heard from one of her old friends about her situation. She starts acting up but Tenma plays cool and takes her hand home. Mitsuru says that’s how they always act and they’ll probably stick like this together forever. That’s why he didn’t want to get involved in her problems in the first place. As Kazuya watch them go away, he felt like he wanted to protect her.

Episode 6
Flashback how Igarashi’s mom always placed her confidence in Tenma for looking out for her daughter. Igarashi is seen stalking Kazuya. When she sees him making a u-turn, she makes a run for it. Shun spots her running by and tells this to Mitsuru so he wonders if she’s here to see Kazuya but dismisses the thought since she won’t leave Tenma. Even Igarashi herself ponders what the heck she is doing. She just came to thank him but yet… Mitsuru invites Kazuya to help clean his temple since he will be paid. Kazuya meets his adoptive parents and his brother, Masato AKA Sho. They seem like a nice family. Mitsuru tells him the spot where he was abandoned as a baby but he already knows it because he heard it from Shinobu and co. He asks why he is continuing to live in dorms so he replies he wanted to leave home as soon as possible and thought he could get used to it. Sho isn’t happy with his plan and thinks he still thinks of them as strangers though Mitsuru says that it’s a fact.

While walking back, he wonders a bond between strangers can be as strong as a family. Kazuya is confident because love is all that matters. The subject changes when Mitsuru thinks he is still chasing Igarashi. He wants him to give up because he won’t stand a chance against Tenma. But Kazuya is worried if Igarashi will be happy with him and always be living in fear of getting dumped by him. Speaking of the devils, they chance upon Igarashi and Tenma in the opposite direction. With Tenma’s help, Igarashi nervously thanks them for what they did the other day. They part after Igarashi apologizes. Kazuya notices that going-to-cry expression on her face again. There’s an uneasy feel between Tenma and Kazuya and the latter certain can tell something’s going on. Suddenly Kazuya starts nose bleeding! I thought it was some disease. Or maybe it was just some sexual stimulant since he can’t hold it in and his head feels like exploding. Mitsuru embraces him. Back home, Kazuya asks Kazuhiro for advice (big brother must be so happy, eh?). Using a hypothetical theory if Sumire loved someone else, Kazuhiro’s answer would be the same no matter the situation. He won’t back down or give even if his opponent is his brother. Kazuhiro adds that he is just worried of being the bad guy. Kazuya realized that he was afraid of getting hurt. And if you get dumped, you’re the only person who’ll get hurt. If their relationship wasn’t meant to be, then it won’t work out no matter how. In the end, only she can make the decision. Kazuhiro asks about this Igarashi girl and seems he knows about it because he found a note in his pocket with her phone number previously slipped in by Mitsuru. Kazuya sums up his courage to call Igarashi. But when she picks up and finds out it’s him, she apologizes and hangs up. Rejected? Sumire tries to cheer him up by saying that first loves don’t normally blossom. Perhaps it was the wrong thing to say so Kazuya ran out from the house.

Because of that, Kazuya became love sick as Kazuhiro informs his pals and won’t back at the dorm so soon. Eventually rumours of Kazuya got rejected spread throughout Greenwood. On the day he’s supposed to return, he barges back and wants Mitsuru to give her address. He plans to visit her house and believes he hasn’t been rejected yet since he didn’t say anything. Shinobu notes that it’s rude to just show up at a girl’s house so he suggests visiting her at school. With Kazuya getting psyched up, all the other Greenwood guys are touched by his determination and offer their support. Kazuya waits outside Sumijo but Igarashi never turn up although he perseveres. He even got reprimanded by a teacher for waiting outside like a stalker. Then he learns from Igarashi’s classmate that she’s been hospitalized after breaking an arm from skiing but don’t know which hospital. Once they find out which hospital, the nurse told them she was discharged this morning. Oh, it’s Kazuya’s bad luck in the works again. Back home, Igarashi’s mom once more compliments Tenma for everything and that she can easily rest with him around. The phone rings but Igarashi slams it down when she hears it’s from Kazuya. Tenma knows something amiss when she puts on that gloomy face. Kazuya will not give up and decides to write a letter. However that letter was intercepted by Tenma in the mail.

Even if Igarashi is back in school, Kazuya continues to wait outside. Till Tenma shows up to pick her up. He informs Kazuya that parental permission is needed if one wants to go out with girls from this school. Then he shows Kazuya the letter from him. He can’t let Igarashi read it seeing the trouble she’d get into if her mom reads it. He tells it straight that her mom is fond of him and that he’s just making things harder for her. Kazuya says he loves Igarashi but Tenma says she belongs to him. That’s when Igarashi turns up. But she just runs away when Kazuya calls her name. She starts thinking if she’s running away from him. Things will be fine if she doesn’t fall for him as she doesn’t want to fight with mummy or Tenma. So she needs to forget about him and never see him again but will running away solve it all? Tenma assures her not to worry since he’ll always protect her and to stay the way she is. I guess that was the turning point because Igarashi got the courage to say she loves Kazuya. The train must have drowned out whatever they were arguing. Even the sky is crying for Kazuya. Down and out. His classmates dread that the worst may have happened. Then a miracle happened. Igarashi is seen standing outside the school gates. Kazuya goes to see her. She apologizes for the other day and the hanging up of phone calls. She mentions her teacher scolded her, got into a fight with Tenma and mummy giving her the silent treatment. Wow. That’s a bad streak. Even so, she wanted to see him and be a better person. Kazuya says it’ll be alright since he is here. She collapses into his arms. And just like graduating to the next stage, all the watching guys toss their umbrellas into the air.

This Is Not Hollywood
I guess everything turns out to be pretty decent. But I’m just wondering with the ending of Kazuya and Igarashi accepting each other, does this mean she has decided to break free from Tenma? Will they be a couple from now on? Maybe that will be another story. The stories are quite okay if you’re looking for a story plot that ties you down for the entire series. If you just read a line or two on what this show is about, I think you can get by without really scratching your head since the episodes here serve as stand-alone. Of course when I read about the weirdoes of the dorm, I had this perception that all hell is going to break loose with all sorts of hyper-active, troublemakers and losers. Sure, they are odd in their own ways but not that weird to warrant anything ‘dangerous’. As seen, they’re all good guys and maybe with a little mischief. I mean, they were all pretty cool and excited when a cute ghost girl haunted Greenwood! But boys will be boys. Basically instead of focusing on the other occupants of the dorm, it’s more about the 4 main guys. Each have their own share of screen time enough for viewers to divulge a little in their past. But some leaves more to be desired like Mitsuru and his brother Sho. It felt that issue was abruptly halted and replaced with Kazuya’s love story. I was anticipating something yaoi going to happen (seeing that this is dominantly a ‘male’ anime) but I guess from the year this anime is produced, it’s way too early to have anything that ‘heavy’ or any sort. This is really an old anime from ‘that era’ (the old drawing, the old style animation, that kind of music, that kind of story, so forth), so don’t expect anything ground-breaking.

From the second episode, seems that Kazuya has moved on from the pangs of his first love Sumire. There are reminiscent that he still likes her but not to the point he would sulk over and hate his brother. Him asking for advice in the final episode shows that in a way he accepted him, right? He seems to be less bitter and have adjusted to life at Greenwood. So even a guy like him can change. All you need is to give love a second chance and perseverance pays off. Maybe you need to read the manga but there is some time gap in the series. Or perhaps I wasn’t paying attention. When did Kazuya take over as Greenwood’s dorm president? At which point did Kazuya start to fall for Igarashi? I thought that teaser at the end of the second episode was just made up but it turns out to be true (maybe Nagisa’s information network is something to be feared of). Shinobu has got to be the coolest among the lot. He never panics and has a way around everything. His expressionless face makes it hard to understand what he is thinking at times. Mitsuru is the cheeky and outgoing one so it’s no surprise that apart from Shinobu, he’s got lots of girl admirers. Shun is the most carefree, cheerful and easy going among the gang. I don’t remember seeing him breaking into much sweat. Maybe he doesn’t know it, it makes him a little girly. It’s no wonder those who don’t know him will mistake him as a girl. Yeah, it probably runs in the family too seeing Reina shares the same predicament. So if it looks like a girl, sounds like a girl, then it must be a girl, right? Wrong! Shun has broken that fundamental theory. Nagisa is a crazy b*tch who just lives for revenge against her brother. And that is the very reason why she always fails. This might be a longshot, but she picking on her brother is a way of wanting to show her love and get his acceptance, don’t you think? Kazuhiro and Sumire are a nice pair of newlyweds but it’s just too bad they didn’t make much of an appearance and felt more like side characters.

Surprisingly, the ending theme song, No Brand Heroes by Chika Sakamoto (who is also the voice of Shun) is a nice and pretty song. I guess it gives a nice subtle meaning that you don’t need ‘branded’ and famous superheroes like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Ironman or X-men to save the day. That’s why they are called unsung heroes. You don’t need to be somebody to help others out. That is what essentially the guys of Greenwood live by. They help each other when really in need. Even if guys like Shinobu don’t really want to get involve in personal matters, he and everyone still cares for each other. There was a live-action version that lasted for 13 episodes and came out in 2008. I didn’t see that but I think it is more or less the same thing. So if you want to be a famous star, go to Hollywood. But if you want to meet bizarre people and bizarre happenings, visit Greenwood. Guarantee to spice up your life a little. Now you know why there are rumours that many dorms are believed to be haunted, right? Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be good looking.

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