Well, I burned through the first two volumes of Here is Greenwood, and I have to say that I'm pretty impressed: I recognized nothing of the the rest of the stories, other than the first one; and it was nice to see some things which were alluded to in the OVAs. So, I'm looking forward to getting more of this stuff, because it's a very good read.
The "disjointed" nature of the comic came from the fact that it was not originally set up to be a long series. The artist, Yukie Nasu, apparently has many short works to her name, and she is (or was, anyway) fairly popular. Here is Greenwood was originally slated to be a short, and got picked up as a longer series, if the margin notes in the second book are any guide.
The cast of Here is Greenwood is full of weird characters. That's part of the basis of the story, especially since "greenwood" can refer to a place that rogues and scoundrels call home (eg Robin Hood); the main character is one of the most normal people living in the eponymous dorm building, though that is a matter of degree rather than a real qualitative difference.
One of the weird characters is Shun Kisaragi, a young man who looks like a cute girl, right down to the long, lush hair. Removing his shirt--thus exposing his masculine pectoral muscles--is enough to reveal his true sex, but otherwise, he simply looks like a Japanese woman who's a Japanese A-cup.
More than you've ever wanted to know about Japanese underwear:
Japanese brassieres are measured in centimeters, and the cup size is one size smaller than American bras. So, a Japanese D-cup would be an American C-cup. A Japanese A-cup would be a "sub-A-cup" here in America. So, with his shirt on, Shun Kisaragi could pass for a Japanese woman with, basically, no chest.
I mention Shun because one of the stories in the second volume is about a trip that four of the characters take to a swimming pool one summer day. Shun is shoved into the girls' changing room by an attendant who refuses to listen to his protests, and so he has to run the length of the girls' room and around into the mens' side. He proceeds to have a nosebleed into the shirt of Mitsuru Ikeda, the dorm president and #1 troublemaker in Greenwood.
The shirt gets washed and Mitsuru then makes Shun wear the shirt, so that it will dry quickly; and because Shun's chest is concealed, hilarity ensues.
Nosebleeds in manga and anime
The nosebleed! Ah, the humor device which is so deceptively simple...
The theory is that any young man who has not had any kind of intimate relations with a girl will become overstimulated by the sight of female nudity (or underwear in some extreme cases) and get a nosebleed. I'm not sure if it's a blood pressure issue or something else as the mechanism is not well-explained, but it really doesn't matter. Shun has to run through the girls' locker room, and he sees lots of bodies in the process (it's implied, anyway) and so he, as a virtuous young man, gets a nosebleed.
The most spectacular use of nosebleeds comes from Hiroshi Aro's Futaba-kun Change, in which a young man named Chima has an explosive nosebleed at the sight of photos of the main character, scantily clad, with a wonderful sound effect:
Chima gets many nosebleeds in the course of the first issue of that comic, but that's the one which really sets the tone for the comic, IMHO.
I've seen two episodes of this series, so far. The pacing is rather slower than most series, so I hope that it's a long one, because as of the end of the second episode, the main character ("Nana") has moved into her own apartment in Tokyo with a roommate who is also named "Nana".
Overall I think it'll be worth watching. It's another fansub, so it's just a matter of time and blank DVD+Rs....
I've now seen up to episode 14, and things are slowly getting more interesting, so it's back up to 3 out of 5.
I have the second half of this series coming to me now, from Right Stuf in Iowa. CCS is just the unqualified best magical girl series out there. The writing, the art, the animation--it never fails on any level. Right Stuf has been occasionally offering the box sets for $65--an unbeatable deal, since there are only two sets of 35 episodes each. The first half, the "Clow Book" set, has packaging which is just gorgeous. I can't wait to see what the second half looks like. Also coming with this is:
...the entire series. This series was wildly popular in 2000 and 2001 so I have to believe that it'll be worth watching. I've heard some very good things about it, anyway. More on this one later.