Genshiken Second Season, Volume Six – Review

Genshiken reviews continue! The manga has largely regained its stride at this point, and seems fairly comfortable in its more romance-heavy New Normal. Hato and Madarame are working well as the dramatic centerpieces, the side characters are stepping it up, and everything’s getting more awkward and emotionally loaded by the second. We’re also finally into territory I haven’t read before, so I’m as interested in seeing where this goes as anyone.

Here’s my review of the volume. Notes below!


Chapter One

This opening scene between Sue and Hato is actually great. They force each other into greater honesty – Sue acting more like a full person, Hato admitting to his feelings and insecurities.

The action choreography is a little wonky, though. Shimoku is very good at conveying emotional beats for characters, but movement across space between panels isn’t as clear

Chapter Two

And so Hato decides to cut it all off – the BL, the crossdressing, all of it

And the balance of power in the club shifts towards dudes now. Hato’s male personality is definitely different

Nice bit of banter on scheduling and animation and whatnot

Yajima is completely uncomfortable around boy-Hato

Nice long shots of Hato and his room as he contemplates his choices, looks into his old closet

A whole lot of nice natural banter in this volume so far. Great idle conversations between everyone – even Kuchiki and Sue get to have some grounded conversations with their friends

As Hato attempts to “grow up” in a way, Madarame slinks backwards

Both Angela and Sasahara are showing up for comic fest

Yoshitake getting embarrassed with Ogiue sleeping on her lap is pretty great

Chapter Three

Sue doesn’t trust Angela to behave

They got a booth on the wall, which was lucky, so Ogiue decided to print a thousand copies. Now she’s nervous about selling them

The dialogue remains nicely grounded

Nice crowd shots and montages. Shimoku can really convey the bustle of a convention

The male-aimed groups spread out over three days, but the female-aimed groups are mainly on the first day. I like these little bits of otaku insight

All of the otaku looking at their new porn doujin in a line. I guess everything becomes normal in a certain circumstance. The classic Genshiken ethos

Angela, Kuchiki, and Sue are all getting more complete lines, being made into more complete people. A very important development

“It’s weird. It’s Comic Fest, everyone should be having fun – but I’m not having any fun at all.” Oh, Hato

And Yoshitake correctly guesses that Yajima has been buying the books Hato would want, so he can buy them off her once he goes back to his normal self. Oof

Chapter 4

“You like Hato-chan, don’t you?” Aw shit, Yoshitake said it

Kuchiki’s actually pushing Hato to embrace his old self. The smallest of side characters are really coming into their own

Hato’s clearly stating his own worry about falling in love with Madarame. He’s terrified of these “transgressions,” and can’t be happy with himself

And now Hato’s pushing Madarame to go out with Angela. “I’ve been getting sick of the Madarame harem already” says Kuchiki. Of course these characters would comment on their life becoming anime-like. And Kuchiki, of all people

Nobody’s being very kind to Madarame here

Chapter 5

And so now the group’s divided, unsurprisingly

Ohno thinking Angela’s picked up on the tension in the Genshiken, and wants none of that. Good call

“The rain’s coming down now…”

Sue looks pretty great scowling in her princess cosplay

Madarame and the dudes trying to figure out what “four suitors” are interested in Madarame. Classic dude talk

Madarame asks Hato if he knows who the suitors are. Oh boy

Kousaka is really fucking with Hato in this scene, jeez

Ogiue decides to cosplay to bring the group together a bit more. This is actually believable – Ogiue’s feelings of responsibility for the group’s wellbeing are very well-established

Great Sue expressions. Great dynamic closeups in general. Angela gets a really good one

Chapter 6

Yajima is tired of this shit, and gives Hato the Durarara doujins he wanted. “BL isn’t a reason for you to sell senpai to somebody else”

And now he agrees to crossdress for their cosplay, too. Just trying to dispel his shoulder devil

And now even Sasahara can tell Hato is the last member of the harem

Angela is totally game to this development. “I’ve known about your feelings since last summer. So we’ll let him love all three of us!” oh my god

And she finally says it to Madarame, and he panics and runs away, and then Sasahara sis shows up and he breaks his wrist. Damnit Madarame