Ok, so for those of you who don’t know I am, in fact, a HUGE fan of Genshiken and the continuation of the manga was by far the most earth-shattering news I had received in 2010. So I’m just tickled pink to be able to stand here on my own little soapbox and extol the virtues of this great series just like my mentor the Ogiue Manic (even though I don’t have even a fraction of the audience he does -_-;;). Well, no matter, GANBARE Otaku Ascetic!
This chapter had a lot of what makes Genshiken such a good series-for me at least-and that’s solid characterization. From Madarame’s hilarious but never overdone awkwardness to Sue’s terse, referential commentary and even Keiko’s unexpected and perhaps intentional Kasukabe-esque lucidity, everything feels warm and familiar and even a tad bit more mature. Then again, Genshiken has always been a series with a great example of charcters who show real, believable growth so it comes as no surprise that even the once annoying spoiled brat Keiko can show a modicum of maturity.
The chapter opens on Madarme coming home to his apartment to find that the place has been visited by the cleaning fairy (who he correctly deduces to be resident regular fairy and crossdresser extraordinaire Hato). What’s cool here is that we get our first taste of sweet nostalgia when Madarame checks on his secret stash of Kasukabe cosplay photos to ensure that his precious pics have gone unsullied (and unseen ^_^).
Fast forward now to our lovable otaryman sitting in the clubroom reminiscing about the good ‘ol days when, inevitably, who should pop into his mind but his dear sweet unrequited love Saki Kasukabe.
What follows is an interesting little tête-à-tête between Keiko and Madarame as she cleverly deconstructs the hapless otaku’s emotionless facade and basically outs him on his feelings for Kasukabe-san. She even goes so far as to say that his feelings were so glaringly obvious that Saki herself should no doubt have been aware of them (in addition to the always-oblivious-except-when-it-counts Kousaka).
Then, in this chapter’s second nod to the Genshiken fandom we have a return of a classic scene.
Soon enough Keiko is on her way out as the new members start flooding in prompting a very flustered Madarame to make a hasty retreat of his own. But not before Sue leaves him with some ostensibly hopeful words of encouragement….laced with typical fujoshi suggestion. Adorable!
Then, to break up the awkward male otaku vibe we get a welcome dose of charming and only slightly less awkward female otaku vibes in the form of none other than Ogiue and Ohno. Here we are treated to even more yummy development as we witness Ogiue taking the first steps toward her professional mangaka career (hubby Sasahara is thrilled!). Though this may mean missing Comifes…I sense the seeds of a plot device being sown.
Getting back to mad Madarame, he returns to his humble abode after a hard day of paper pushing to confront Hato who is overwhelmed by his massive haul of Yaoi doujins. The scene that transpires has all the makings of a bad-or is it good?-slash fic.
What lies in Madarame’s future!? Will Ogiue be able to make the date of her first professional publication? HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NEXT CHAPTER!?
This chapter feels like a homecoming, more so than the previous three. Thank You Kio Shimoku, for continuing to brighten up my otherwise dreary life ^_^.
Aspire towards Nirvana, fellow manga readers!