I am an anime nerd but I am not an Otaku. Many Americans simply do not know what an otaku is they think “oh a person likes to watch anime and read manga they must be an otaku”. They are simply a nerd. An Otaku goes above and beyond for their obsession (which many times is anime and anime related things but could be games, models, etc) at times filling anything and everything with it including their time which is why they are looked down on by many in Japan. Genshiken is about Otaku and more specifically a club of Otaku. This is an anime that has spanned two seasons, an ova and a second series. This is Genshiken: Second Generation. I picked it up as soon as it came out but unfortunately my watch list is very limited in time and it took me exceptionally long to get to it but now I have finally gotten to see it.
Ogiue is the new president of the Genshiken Club which is dedicated to pretty much all media such as games, manga, models, anime and cosplay. This year round many of the old guard have graduated and they have added new people into the club. This new version of the club is mostly female with the exception of one crazy guy and a cross dressing guy that pretty much shares the interests of the female members so the club shifts to more cosplay and Boy Love interest than its previous roots. During this time the club member old and new have to work on sorting out their lives and many trying to deal with who they are and who they want to be. Genshiken Second Generation is if anything an exercise in character development and maturity showing that we grow as we get older but don’t necessarily have to put away childish things.
Genshiken is one of my favorite anime series and is hands down my favorite manga series. I have read the whole story and love the richness the series possesses. It is good to see that the series does cover certain events and close holes in many of the relationships. They did a good job not leaving loose ends untied and many of the things are resolved by the end. The best thing about this series is the ability for the characters to grow and mature throughout. Seeing many of these characters from the beginning you get to see and understand how they have evolved and the writing displays it very well. One of the main high points was when they resolved Madarame’s relationship issues. This is a great end to a good overall series.
I have been disappointed in this series as I feel that they tried too hard to push it to the end. Having read the manga it was always fun to see the characters slowly develop relationships come to fruition and where we had many mostly immature characters in the beginning we are left with more mature adults by the end. The Anime really glossed over a lot of story that had occurred between the second season and the new series with the most glaring omission being with Ogiue. It is a jarring change if you have only watched the Anime as Ogiue goes from self hating otaku working towards being fine with herself and living in her skin to being perfectly fine in her skin, mature and dating the previous president of the club, whom by the end of the second season showed hints that it might work that way but was still far off from happening. The series did manage to cover this a little through flashbacks but it is probably the most glaring example of how a smooth transition became a jarring jump with little explanation as to why. The other issues I had with the series I also had with the manga which was the increased focus on Boys Love. This is a personal peeve as I am not really into this but I will not take it from my rating as it is what a mostly female otaku group would likely be into.
In the end I really loved this series and am glad that they gave it a bookend for anime viewers to close the chapter in their viewing experience. I had some disappointments but believe that is easily enough resolved by reading the manga. So do yourself a favor go on crunchy roll or whatever your manga reader is and enjoy this series then watch the anime as together they make a good companion piece.
Rating : 7/10