But at last, the first episode of the second season came out and I just watched it, twice.
It’s always nice to immerse myself in the Otaku Utopia, with just enough drama, kicks, little bit of danger, and people are just having enough passion and energy doing what they like to do the best. Ah! I wish I went to a Genshiken back in my university days.
In any case, the episode begin a little bit different from the manga. In the manga, when Sasahara becomes the club president, he sorta make a speech and everyone laughs and says: “You sound like Madarame!” To which Madarame interjects: “Shut up!” Then Sasahara announce that he wanted to participate in Comifes (it’s the fictional version of Comiket), and everyone become silent.
The TV skips that joke all together. Sasahara declares his wish, and of course we know that he receives the permission to participate.
Next, we get to learn things to know about Comiket, this part is good information for anyone who wants to participate in Comiket (took extensive notes…). The two Otaku men begin to share an super special Otaku moment as they begin to look at H-drawings of Kujibiki Unbalance characters and start talking “shop”, and that’s when Ogiue shows up.
The two men insteadly become boys and tries to pretend that nothing happened, mom. No, we were not looking at anything that would make the ladies at your cooking club feeling dismayed...And NO, that was NOT from my memory. Absolutely not.
Her internal dialogue certainly adds more dimension to her character. In the manga, we don’t know that she laughs during her internal dialog, here, it’s certainly is amusing that we’re watching her poker face but she’s really giddy inside. Next, she tries to get the attention of Sasahara and Madarame by drawing something.
Later, everyone comes. The interesting interaction between Onno and Tanaka indicates something’s up between them.
The next significant event is Haraguchi.
If he’s an asshole and a dick in the manga, in the anime he’s a full blown arrogant bastard with a gigantic head. Not only he proceeds to interrupt the meeting at Genshiken, cutting the members down and talking about their project as if it’s already garbage without his help, but he already contacted his sources. The fact that he wouldn’t shut up indeed makes him the most annoying character in Genshiken. But that’s not all, later, in a scene not found in the manga, he proceeds to pick on the project some more and says and what I thought was sarcastic: “good luck” as he left. I could almost hear the villain’s laugh (oh ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho).
Later though, we find out essential what the author (of Genshiken) thinks about this type of thick-skinned and shameless person (when it comes to business deals) – that people like them can be quite necessary. The mange explain it a little more by saying that because people like them are willing to try to pull something like that off, no matter what they have to do, that yes, sometimes, in order to win and earn profit in real world, a group needs an “precious” person like that.
But of course, we’re in Otaku wonderland and our heros and heroines are full of dreams and they would go forward without the money.
Sasahara ultimately rejected Haraguchi’s idea.
I think part of the charm of Genshiken is that it’s a positive portrayal of Otaku and the “bad” or “evil” versions of Otaku are either not around often, or in Haraguchi’s case, gone from the environmen, though not completely. Genshiken is like a dream club for Otaku to be – you don’t have to do too much, but if you want to do something nobody’s exactly going to try to stop you. You can be very odd like Madarame or Kugiki (think a complete wackky Athrun Zala), or simply out there like Kosaka (why the hell is he even an Otaku), or even normal like Sasahara. In Genshiken, even “normals” like Kaskabe is accepted and well liked.
I can tell you right now that real life that I know doesn’t work like that at all. I personally don’t like “normals” in Akiba at all and I really don’t give a rat’s ass if they even want to come to our world or not. I really couldn’t care less either way (actually, I’d prefer they stay the fuck out, less commercialization and less crowd means more room and superiority and benefits for me, har har har).
In any case, rain or shine, these Otaku plus a normal is sallying forth into their first big battle!!!
I freely admit with shame that I watched the first Gundam series but I didn’t get what Madarame talks about in the first 5 minutes. Shame on me.
The commentary at the preview is interesting, too. Listen and think it over.
It’s Genshiken, but I can’t give a super high score because the first episode didn’t to a hell lot, so
P.S. I have mink copies of St. Rio’s Gen c ken (I spell the letters our romanticized) from 5 to 9…No, I don’t have 1 to 4, but I have the one that features Saki-chan and Ogiue! Har har har har har har har har har har har harharhar (my head is now the size of Tokyo Dome) XD