Here is Greenwood
I really, really liked the six-episode OAVs from the early Nineties. It was quirky, colorful, well-written and charming, and it ended well. So naturally, I started picking up the manga as it appeared in the states. And kept waiting for the charming and funny. And waiting. And waiting. As of the fourth volume, I've come to the conclusion that this is one of those adaptation-is-better-than-the-original deals, and the manga version of Here is Greenwood just isn't my cup of tea. There's too many characters, none of them are all that likeable, and nothing all that amusing or exciting ever happens. I will have to finish the fourth volume, because I hate having a half-read manga laying about, but it'll be something I get around to, not something I'm looking forward to, to dangle a participle. Or something.
Land of the Blindfolded
This started out kind of charming, but three volumes later, it's about as substantial as fire-retardant foam, and just as tasty. The writer just isn't suited to serious themes, and the set-up doesn't lend itself to light romantic comedy. The protagonist is just too damned saintly, and everybody, even the villains, are too nice. It almost inspires me to Into the Woods-themed spasms of nice-hatred. No more.
I'm generally a sucker for gender farce, especially cross-dressing gender farce. So I had high hopes for W Juliet. It's one of these "X has to attend school as a member of the opposite gender to satisfy crazed relative" stories, but yet it still manages to make the subject dull and uneventful. The supporting characters are increasingly cardboard-thin, and almost all the dramatic tension is drawn from pointless "x is hiding z from y" conflicts, which usually have nothing to do with the central gender game. Dave warned me about this series - I should have listened. Meh. Dropped after the third volume.
This is the only one on the list which I haven't decided one way or the other. You'll note that this is the second CMX title on a list of four. This is because CMX has the worst paper-quality and binding in the industry. It's sleazy, stiff, and every volume feels like it's been soaked in a pan of fanboy sweat under the hot sun. Dave dropped my copy of Hot Gimmick vol. 9 into a rain-puddle last week, and it's in better shape *now* than any of my CMX manga are, straight from the vendor. This cruddy presentation makes it really hard to get into any story, let alone insubstantial, allegedly amusing piffle like Gals!. If a story wants to bound along like a hypercaffienated rug rat on a sugar kick, then don't ask me to follow along to the tune of a creaking book-spine and the cheap rustle of warped pages. CMX, you're on my shit list.