Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Here is Greenwood|
Genres: Anime & Manga, Animation
Kazuya Hasukawa's belongs to only one woman, but the day she moved in was the worst day of his life. Why? Because she is moving in to be his brother's wife. Distraught and desperate to escape his heartache, Kazuya leaves h... more »
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Great show.... with an awful new dub... still rates 5 stars
Danielle | Pittsfield, MA USA | 11/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The No Brand Heros are back and finally have made their way to the superior format of DVD!
This has been one of my favorite anime titles since I found it in the late nineties. I first discovered the old dubbed version in the local video store, and I found it both enchanting and refreshing. It's kind of the comfort food of my anime collection, if anyone can relate to that. The six episode OVA is a quirky, and fun show based on the comic by Yukie Nasu, and it has a kind of a slice of life feel to it even when it goes over the top in the most wonderfully bizarre ways. It does seem to be a show people either hate or love. If you're open to quirky and unusual titles, this is a great OVA to check out.
Here Is Greenwood follows the story of a fairly uptight and straight-laced young man named Kazuya Hasakawa, who moves into a boy's dormitory at an exclusive school after his brother marries Kazuya's first love. Only then does he discover that the school he's spent so much time trying to get into (and especially his new dormitory) is filled with weirdos. The show revolves around friendship and brotherly love as Kazuya comes of age in the chaos of Greenwood. The episodes are also filled with homages to the original comics, such as having a character who is drawn to look like the comic artist herself in episode 3 or finding a way to work in the popular Here Is Devilwood story using the guise of a school festival.
I have to agree with what others have said about the new dub. The original really nailed the characters and the dialogue was done to flow so naturally that it was charming and perfect. The new dub has lots of really stiff acting, mismatched mouth movements, some poor translations (who on Earth uses "cheesecake" for the subbed version and allows the voice actor to say "steamed cheese bread" in the dub?), and a couple places where lines were dropped completely and confusingly. So I just watch dub on my old tapes and stick to the subtitled version on the DVD. The Japanese voice actors were sublime.
This version also doesn't have any translator's notes at the beginning of two of the episodes to point out that "Koi" can mean love in Japanese or refer to the fish, a wordplay that comes up when Kazuya is looking into the fish pond while thinking to himself in the Second Love story arc. Or the fact that in Japan there is a belief that a ghost sits on the right shoulder of the person he or she is haunting, which just fleshes out a few of Mitsuru's statements and explains a bit in episode 4. They aren't necessary to understand the episodes, but they are nice points to know and add a bit to the appreciation of the overall story.
Other than that there are places where the DVD is superior to the old editions. Or at least more faithful. All the Japanese title cards have been restored in the promos and the beginnings. Also there were several seconds of footage originally cut out of episode two by Software Sculptors that have been restored in this new edition. The new dub did actually attempt to be more faithful to Sumire's nickname for Kazuya, whom she calls Yakkun in the manga and Japanese version, by having her call him Ya in the new dub. The "Minelva" extra has been included in the extras section here. It's a little joke reference to a Japanese camera ad and uses a character from the manga, whom people who've read the first English volume or the original Japanese volumes will recognize, as well as "something beautiful" to photograph. The DVD also includes the Japanese DVD promo, which reunites the original Japanese voices in an homage to the old Here Is Greenwood radio program. These guys just go nuts doing a parody of themselves and the old programs while they're at it, before settling down into a warm reunion and talk about the show.
As another reviewer mentioned, the show has a soft and pastel look as well as having actually been hand drawn. It meshes perfectly with the very human story and eccentric characters that this art style is outside today's mainstream and makes it feel like something special. The music is as varied and unique as the show itself, and there were lots of songs done for Here Is Greenwood in Japan as a result of the radio show as well as the anime.
If you try this title and find yourself drawn to Greenwood, perhaps it's because the term Greenwood itself refers to the place where outlaws and rebels once congregated, and Greenwood is calling out to the rebel in us still. If the title leaves you looking for more or wondering about the rest of the stories and adventures of the Greenwood gang, you'll be pleased to know that VIZ is bringing over the manga in traditional right to left volumes."
New dub wasn't needed, but it's just as good as I remember
Brandon Victorian | Lafayette, Louisiana United States | 11/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like one of the previous reviewers, I rented "Here is Greenwood" from the (small at that time) anime section of my local video store. It looked mildly interesting, but I had no idea how deeply absorbing this anime would be, or how hard I would fall in love with it. The story, though a bit over the top in some places was engrossing and funny, yet real and charming, and the characters were people you could relate to. It was a real difference from the normally surrealistic and fantastical titles that anime is famous for. Unfortunately, I was never able to find the VHS tapes of the series in order to buy them, and so I only had my fond memories of the series. And so, when I found out that a DVD of the complete series was being released, I was overjoyed. I couldn't wait to return to the familiar home of Kazuya, Shun, and company.
What surprised me the most about this DVD relase, though, was the fact that the entire original voice acting cast was replaced by the talents of a more current cast. This I found mildly disappointing, since the new cast doesn't give the characters as much vocal range or personality as the original, even though the dialogue is much closer to the original japanese with the new cast. Kazuya, Shinobu, and Mitsuru sound almost alike now, and that I found disappointing, but forgivable. Shun's voice I liked the best, however, even though the original (done by an actual woman), gave the better performance, and made Shun's verbal femininity come out. Aside from this, I have no real complaints. Still, I wish the voice cast hadn't been replaced. All things considered, the change wasn't really needed.
All in all, the story is still just as charming, familiar, relaxing and funny as I remember it, with or without new voice actors. Extra lengths of footage cut from the original US releas were even added, giving fans of the series a special treat. Though not long (only 6 episodes), I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a break from high-octane, high-action anime, and just wants a breath of fresh air. Steadily-paced, calm, funny, comforting, and full of heart, "Here is Greenwood" is the one to get."
One of the best series in anime.
Matthew B. Pick | Malibu, CA USA | 03/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd just have to say, I've seen nearly every anime out there since the mid 80s and Greenwood has always held a special place in my heart... It's one of the most heartwarming series I've come across. Lovable characters, and my only complaint is that we don't get any more than 6 episodes worth of them!
The reason I'm really writing this review is to vent about this new dub. Now ordinarily I am strictly a subtitle guy, since I think people tend to do a lousy job with dubs nowadays. There are a few exceptions, and the old Greenwood English dub is one of them. When I got these tapes on VHS a few years ago, I fell in love with the English vocal cast. The tapes are some of the best dubs I have ever heard in anime, up there with the El Hazard dubs of such renown. When I got the new Greenwood DVD (that you obviously are considering purchasing), I was dismayed to hear the new voices. I was actually appalled. The voices are atrocious. I would do anything to have the old dub on a DVD, and I'm miserable that they decided to recast for this revival of Greenwood.
After all this time, why is it that people are getting worse at dubbing, rather than better? Sure, this dub may be more "accurate" to the Japanese, but god, don't trade every ounce of charm or humanity to do it... My recommendation: find the old Greenwood VHS tapes if you like watching anime in English. You will NOT regret it. This series is still one of my absolute favorites, and I hope you get to see why. If you're into subs, go for this DVD, because it's totally uncut, which is a big plus. But avoid this thing like the plague if you wanna hear Greenwood in English."
But . . . the dub . . . where's the old dub . . .
Marion Britt | VA, USA | 09/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, for all you fans of the original release of Greenwood by Software Sculpters in the mid ninties, you should be warned. I loved the original dub, and it was flawless, however ... its gone, its not on the dvd, nada. Gone are the voice talents of Heather Quick, Eric Stewart, and the crew at Software Sculpters. Instead, Hasukawa is voiced by Vash the stampede and while thats not so bad, the rest of the voices made me cry. I'm going to watch it in Japanese, and I'm sure that won't disappoint me, but I really liked the original dub, and I am sooooo dissappointed that its not here. Sigh, just thought you all should know. Wish I'd been warned."