Genshiken

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Genshiken

Post by bomaye on Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:43 am

I've had some success introducing this to people around here, so here goes:

Genshiken is a slice-of-life manga by Kio Shimoku about "The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture." It's a university club for otaku, one part romance, one part cultural exploration, one part awkward comedy. There's been two "generations" to date, the first generation started really male-centric and slowly introduced more girls over time, then the manga ended for awhile, but recently made a comeback with a new generation of mostly female characters with cameos by a lot of the older cast.

Manga Links Over 100 chapters, but a new chapter releases monthly instead of weekly

There's also three seasons and few OVAs of an anime adaptation, though there is a significant gap of the story left out. They never finished the first generation's story (it's about 2/3rds or maybe 3/4s finished but left out a pair of major character moments) and then when the second generation proved to be popular, they jumped ahead to producing a season of that instead.

If you do start reading, I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of the major moments and which characters you're enjoying Smile
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:20 am

As one of the successes Bomaye mentioned, I'll second this. It's got a really skilled combination of over-the-top humour and deft character portraits, as well as truly excellent cartoony facial expressions.  I found the first couple of chapters a bit slow and not really a good reflection of the strengths of the series overall, so if you give it a try, stick it out a little ways in.
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Werel on Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:37 am

Yep, fellow success-- I'm 100% hooked on Genshiken, about 16 chapters in. The humor is surprisingly accessible for non-Japanese folks (something I get stuck on with a lot of anime/manga), most of the characters are really endearing and believable, and the art is pretty charming (some AMAZING comedy facial expressions, and the way people's posture/stance are drawn is so spot-on). It reminds me a little bit of the roleplaying club I hung out with* in college-- some of the same awkward camaraderie, nerd politics, and goofy over-the-top enthusiasm for beloved franchises/genres. It's got the added bonus of dealing with a nerd culture outside my own, so it's familiar enough to draw me in, but different enough to be sort of educational (I now know a fair bit more about otaku culture c. 2002 than I ever would have otherwise).

Really, really digging the adversarial "fuck you, weirdo/normie! Also, why am I so nervous around you?" sexual tension between Madarame and Kasukabe. I get the feeling that's sort of a main thread of the series, and it's really well-handled so far. Been a long time since I could be bothered to give two shits about a comic book romance plot, but this one's good.

*aka "was president of"

Also, I am nursing a truly epic fiction-crush on Madarame. Goddamn. Embarassed
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Re: Genshiken

Post by bomaye on Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:06 am

Werel wrote:
*aka "was president of"

NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:30 pm

Werel wrote:
Really, really digging the adversarial "fuck you, weirdo/normie! Also, why am I so nervous around you?" sexual tension between Madarame and Kasukabe. I get the feeling that's sort of a main thread of the series, and it's really well-handled so far. Been a long time since I could be bothered to give two shits about a comic book romance plot, but this one's good.

Oh man, yeah, usually I hate that type of thing, it mostly comes across as "these people hate and despise each other, why am I supposed to care what happens with their relationship?"  It's a trope that's gotten completely disconnected from the real-life human interactions that presumably originally inspired it to the point that a lot of the time there's barely anything recognizable as people being people in it. But I felt like those two capture what's genuine in that trope, the way actual people land up bumping up against each other and gradually changing how they see each other by proximity over time, which is something I actually love in fiction the rare time it's done well.
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Re: Genshiken

Post by bomaye on Mon Feb 23, 2015 1:13 pm

Madarame/Kasukabe interaction is the magic that makes my world spin.
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Re: Genshiken

Post by bomaye on Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:33 pm

Chapter 109 just dropped Grin
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Werel on Thu Mar 05, 2015 2:39 pm

Sweet, now I'm only 87 chapters behind current! READ LIKE THE WIND!
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:01 pm

Faster! Read faster! Whip  Where are you now?
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Werel on Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:04 pm

I'm on chapter 21... so actually 88 to go. AAHHHH! HURRY! Snail

I love how Kugapii's apartment is giant and pristine, and Madarame's S&M porn decoy ploy was hilaaaarious!
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:10 pm

Oh, yeah, that was a good bit! I really like him and Kasukabe trying to outmaneuver each other.  ...I think, I only read it pretty recently, but I've already lost track of what happened when. I don't think there's anything I can say that wouldn't risk spoiling you.
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Re: Genshiken

Post by bomaye on Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:21 pm

Dohohohoho, enail knows what it's like now
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:34 pm

Revenge is sweet, huh? Razz
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Werel on Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:35 pm

Chapter 22: There's something kind of inspiring about the fact that Kugapii is much better at drawing doujin than regular manga. I feel like there's a motivational message in there somewhere: "once you own up to your real passions, you'll find yourself achieving things beyond the levels you thought possible. You'll always find more success doing what your internal compass tells you to do than what you're supposed to do."

Maybe the fat guy drawing high quality porn is supposed to just be a joke but I want to read it as inspirational dammit Razz
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:41 pm

I'd take it for inspirational, going by the series' overall topic is a bunch of people owning up to their passion.
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Re: Genshiken

Post by bomaye on Sat Mar 07, 2015 7:39 pm

It will be roughly 70 more chapters until Kugapii gets more character development Sad
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Werel on Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:31 pm

Wait, what happened to Madarame's new glasses? New glasses for chapter 26 and then they just revert to the old ones? C'mon, continuity!!

Ogiue/Ohno so far is like the girl-friendship yin to Madarame/Kasukabe yang. I hope they end up being BFFs like they're clearly destined to be, swapping Picard doujins and trading nerdgirl fashion tips. Heart
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:41 pm

I think he gave up on them after everyone made fun of them. I thought they looked good, myself!

For some reason, I had a hard time getting into Ogiue as a character, but she and Ohno are pretty funny together.

ETA: that one was a good chapter! And you're getting pretty close to one of my favourites!
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Re: Genshiken

Post by bomaye on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:30 pm

The Sushi non-date is one of the best moments in the entire series. It's Dr McCoy and Mr Spock having a laugh about how different they are from each other, but with added male-female sexual tension. Greeeeaaaaatttt stuff
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:37 pm

Isn't that one she hasn't gotten to yet?
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Werel on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:45 pm

Done spoiled me, boy. That's a hangin offense round these parts.

(Where the hell is our cowboy emoticon? They got cowboys in Canada, don't they?)
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:46 pm

I'll see what I can find!

ETA: Cowboy
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Re: Genshiken

Post by bomaye on Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:44 am

No way, part of the reason for the sushi date was that he was in the fashionable part of town picking out new glasses o_O
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Enail on Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:11 pm

I'm pretty sure he just showed up with the new glasses, then went shopping, and then the sushi is some other chapter.  Looking it up, I think it's 32.
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Re: Genshiken

Post by Werel on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:20 pm

Yeah, it was chapter 32. Lovestruck

Super great stuff. Every single otaku thing she calls him out on is perfect, especially the nerd propensity for the dramatic. Weren't we having a fight? Thorny path! Dishonorable!

Amazed that he had the balls to say "someday you and Kousaka will break up," and that she didn't beat his ass into the ground for it.
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