(CREDIT: to the mangaka. I can't draw and write a story simultaniously!)
Rank: 2.8 out of 5 <-- unexpectedly sweet
Reading manga has been something I have enjoyed for nearly four years, but I am anything but loyal to this hobby of mine. I go through a number of phases thanks to numerous series I find and look up frequently (ex: Naruto, Fruits Basket, etc.) For a while, I hit an unmotivating period when nothing pushed me to consider looking up new or updates of ongoing manga. Thankfully Mars kicked my lazy butt and I've been on a mini manga spree again. While roaming around the wonderfully worldly web, I ran into an anime review of Midori Days.
It wasn't the first time I heard of it. Back when I used to buy manga frequently, I finished a volume of Zatch Bell and at the last pages of the book were ads for other manga to try out. Midori Days was one of them and my WTF radar nearly fried. I mean, honestly: a romantic comedy about a boy with a girl on his right hand. Who could NOT see that and call it a joke? At least now that I have read all 85 chapters, it's a good thing it wasn't a joke.
Despite the silliness of the premise, Midori Days is a very fun and satisfying ride from start to finish. Seiji can almost fit in the "bad boy with a good heart" box, but how he is like a real teenage boy makes him very memorable. And if not that, he can be very cartoonish, which is hilarious at the right times. But a great bit of humor comes from Midori and how she interacts with Seiji. Depending on whether you read the manga or watch the anime, there are some moments that are greater than others (ex: the nightmare episode in the anime, the dragging unconscious Seiji to school chapter, etc.) Because of the days they spend together and his obliviousness to the girls who like him, Seiji and Midori's growing bond is very enjoyable. To be honest, I cried at one point at the end of the manga.
Great character development, however, is only present with the two leads, and that's it. For the rest of the cast, you either like them for their main traits, or you don't. It's not that they are bad, but they are two-dimensional
at best: nearly all of them has a small backstory and know about Midori. That's about it. Again, it's not horrible, but it can be dissatisfying at times. At the end of the day, the only secondary characters I found memorable were Ayase, Rin, Kuota, Miyahara, and Lucy.
I would prefer one to read the manga, because the story is better told in this medium. Seiji's emotional development is handled slowly this way, but the results are all the more satisfying. On the other hand - no pun intended - the anime deals with Seiji and Midori catching up with each other in real life in a more interesting fashion. The comedy is far better here too (the first episode. PERIOD.), but the plot suffers much more in the anime and in the manga. It might not matter too much, but I would go for the manga if I were you.
Two last things. There is some perverted humor albeit far more clean and refined than one might expect. Also, there is some fan service here too, but - like the perverted jokes - it is more of the fact that "it is there" than vulgar. Fangirl tends to hate crudeness (even mild stuff), but these two things did not take away the fact that Midori no Hibi is a very sweet and touching story.
Overall, Midori Days - the anime and the manga combined - deserves a solid 2.8 out of 5.
It'll take a while until I find another unique concept like this. Hopefully my manga/anime spree won't end soon...