Genshiken Second Season, Volume 7 – Review

Yep, Genshiken has somehow shifted into full harem mode. I don’t know how we got here, I don’t know why this happened, but this is where we are and I guess I gotta make the most of it. Genshiken is still very acute in its small character moments, but the overall movements of this plot have basically shifted the series into a fundamentally different genre/world space than it previously occupied. We’re in anime-land now – there are things characters do because they’ve learned all their social cues from anime, and there are things characters do because they are anime characters, and Genshiken has floated majestically from the first category into the second one. I can’t say I’m happy about it, but it is what it is.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my chapter notes below!


Chapter 1

As befitting an arc focused on dealing with Madarame’s harem, the group all head to a public bath to talk about their feelings

You’d think this would lead to “wacky shenanigans and misunderstandings,” but aside from Sue, everyone here can act like an adult. They talk about their feelings. There are some rivalries, but the characters listen to each other

“He just bought a whole bunch of new dojinshi, so I need to help him make proper use of them” goddamnit Angela

Angela has so much fun messing with these nerds

Great full page spread of Sue winning all the attractions

And then both Angela and Sasahara-sis agree she should go help Madarame. Both of them are fairly normal adults, so this isn’t the end of the world for them

Yoshitake returning Ohno’s “let me grab your boobs” gag in the post-chapter bits. Lol

Chapter 2

Hah. Everyone’s either too nervous or preoccupied to actually engage with Madarame after that, so he ends up sulking alone

The other dudes talk about how having people after you is great, but Madarame is just stressed

“Can’t even calm down enough to enjoy a good pornographic doujinshi”

And of course the girls who show up are the ones who have no feelings for him

“When you’re around Keiko, you don’t hold back in expressing your emotions.” Yoshitake actually makes a very strong point – he’s able to be the most natural and confident in himself around Keiko, the one he’s never seen that way

And again, the manga makes strong use of busy panels leading into wide open spaces

Kaminaga, Hato’s old crush, comes home for the holidays

“Even my imagination adds its own references” lol Madarame

Chapter 3

Kaminaga trying to get him to open up

“Wow, kid. You are all kinds of messed up right now”

Kaminaga makes Hato meet up with his old friends, including Konno, who still has feelings for him

Konno’s design is still the best

“It’s just people who have the same hobbies getting together. You shouldn’t be suffering for that!” Wise words from Konno, even if this scene’s heavy baggage makes them loaded here

Huge, intimate panels for this scene. There’s no details or club stuff between them, it’s just a direct confrontation

Nice shot of Hato looking out into the snow

Chapter 4

Yoshitake admits she recommended Keiko because she wants Madarame to leave them alone, lol

Hato is working towards being more comfortable with his own feelings and desires, and having a sense of humor about his own weirdness

The story is a bit stuck in this drama, though

Very nice silent sequence of Sue heading home and thinking about the events of the day

“I have absolutely zero desire to go to the beach.” Real-life characters not living up to manga type

Chapter 5

Yoshitake saying Ohno can’t cut her hair, it would destroy her character. A very witty reflection of how characters are conceived in fandom

The girls discussing salons. It’s a nice change of pace

This is a really great chapter for Yajime. Equal parts otaku and just insecure friend

Now they’re basically fangirling over a combination of Free! and Haikyuu

And the other girls end up preordering all the blurays and now can’t afford to go to the salon, lol

Chapter 6

Madarame looking at jobs

“Now my BL and my clothes can’t be hidden. Everything’s out in the open!”

Nice montage of the girls hanging out in Hato’s new place

Hato’s friends on all sides advise him to make up his mind

“If both parties aren’t actually gay, you’re never going to have an official couple”

Holy crap, Sue moved next door to Madarame

This arc is definitely a mix of the grounded and the absurd

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