It's been a long time since I've watched a good ecchi rom/com. Hell, I don't know if I've ever watched a rom/com that blended a simply staggering amount of fanservice into the mix and had it turn out watchable and entertaining. Green Green isn't a wonderful amazing show, but it does exactly what it sets forth to do: make you laugh and make you go "unf unf".
Summary: Take an all-boys school. Mix in an all-girls school. Stir with wild abandon while wearing absolutely nothing. Cook. Tada! Green Green.
There is nothing subtle about the show. It is up front dirty comedy, romance, and when it finally gets around to the plot, it bludgeons you with it and then ends. If you don't like perverse humor and situations, don't bother with this show at all, you will not finish the first episode.
Plot: Plot? Where?
Ok, there is some sort of plot. It's hinted at with every single fucking episode with that post-opening mystical "omg FATE" thing. Stupid. It's hinted at and hinted at for nine episodes, then comes out at the end of episode ten. The last two episodes are resolution. It's not very complex, but it IS fitting.
For once, I liked the ending of a series like this. I thought that this was going to be a bog standard "guy and girl finally get together" or "guy and girl will continue trying to get together" ending, but it isn't. It's not entirely "new", but I appreciated it for quite a few reasons.
There really isn't a story and the story isn't very good at all, until it ends. That is the gist of it.
Script/Writing: Ok, I actually thought this was done fairly well. The jokes were written well, the situations were hilarious, and the romance actually made sense. This really wasn't just a string of ecchi fanservice scenes with no regards to quality or intelligence. I never really felt insulted when watching the series, and I am terribly oversensitive when it comes to having my intelligence insulted.
Character Design: Well, the character design is...nice. A lot of the girls are going to have back problems, but that's no surprise when it comes to an ecchi series. The design is all pretty decent - the characters are all fairly distinct, except for Wakaba and Reika, who have enough similarities in the way they're drawn to make them hard to tell apart.
The clothing issue is kind of interesting in this series. While they are high school kids, the famed Japanese uniform policy seems to have been put aside. Yuusuke, Futaba, and especially the Baka^3 (you KNOW who I refer to) seem to have utter disregard for wearing the uniform properly, and no one ever chastises them for it. Why not? Not that I *mind*.
The girls, naturally, are almost all gorgeous. However, as is depressingly consistent with this sort of show, the female lead (Midori) is actually the least attractive of all of them. Dammit! Get with the program! If you put all the main female characters in a line and said "pick one", you would not pick her. Maybe there's a moral to this story, but since I'm entirely shallow and physical, fuck it. Write your own moral.
Op/Ed: The opening is rather...open. It leaves you with absolutely no doubt in your mind that the series will be ecchi. Ecchi. ECCHI. No holds barred here, folks. The ending is a lot more sedate and stylistic, kind of the post-masturbatory refractory period (someone has to make the wank joke!). Both are done well.
Artwork: I liked the art style. It's a bit dated by 2006 standards, but the characters are drawn a hell of a lot better than the 2002 OVA (which was so terrible I refuse to even rate it) which predated the TV series. The backgrounds and details are pretty shabby, but the series is designed to focus you on the bouncing breasts, not the background.
Op/Ed: I really liked both opening and ending. The opening is a nice hyper bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy...bouncy track. It's fitting when watching the opening. Bouncy. The ending is a nice harder hitting romance song, again fitting the ending animation well.
Voices: Ehhhh. Passable. Midori has WAY too cheerful a voice. It's the type of voice that makes me cringe. Bacchi-gu is a little too screechy for a guy. The rest of the voices are ok. I did enjoy the really weird scary guy who only showed up in about 2 episodes. I wish I had a voice that terrified the ladies. You are welcome to speculate as to why I wish for something like that.
Music: Background music? Where?
Interest: I liked the characterization in this show. While a lot of the characters are the normal stereotypes, they fill their roles well. I really did like Yuusuke for some reason. While he was a bit wishy-washy, he did show enough backbone to tell Midori off more than once. That's pretty hardcore in a series like this.
Midori, on the other hand, exemplified the type of girl I hate: relentlessly optimistic and stupid. Gawd. I wanted to bitchslap her. In contrast, Futaba is exactly the sort of girl I like: a character strong enough to be weak.
The supporting characters, especially the Baka^3, are great. Their perversity and desire make them so amusing, you just want to...well, you don't want to get any closer than 30 feet of them, really. The one scene where I nearly hurt myself laughing where they were involved...well...when poor Bacchi-gu has a rather interesting encounter with a bear in the woods.
Don't ask. I have a terrible sense of humor.
Growth: It is nice to see Yuusuke actually be mature enough to have backbone, and to see Futaba grow enough to realize her feelings. Unfortunately, that's the extent of character growth, since the creators had many other things to worry about, such as how to artfully avoid showing pubic regions. That clearly took up most of their limited resources.
Overall Rating: (6.5/10)
If you like rom/com and you like ecchi, you'll like Green Green. If you're the least bit uncertain about fanservice, you may want to skip it.
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