Being a bit bored and lazy these days, I decided to watch a bit of anime that I’ve had around for ages. I’ve seen Genshiken before, but it’s an enjoyable series so I recently decided to give it another watch. It’s quite a short series (the original that is), at just 12 episodes so it’s pretty easy to pick up and watch. There was an OVA of 3 episodes and a second season, again of 12 episodes.
The anime is about a group of students who come together at a society called Genshiken, or the full title “The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture.” The different characters and their interactions with each other is what makes this anime so enjoyable, so it’s better if I gave a description of each of the characters from the society.
First we have Sasahara, he has just started Shoiu University and wants to join some sort of anime or manga club. The main manga club seems a bit too mainstream for him, so he eventually decides to join Genshiken after almost being blackmailed into it! He’s a fairly normal guy who is quite into his anime and manga, but not enough to call himself an otaku.
We then have Kohsaka and Kasukabe, a couple who turn out to be childhood friends. Kasukabe is a fashionable girl, the total opposite from an otaku, however she sees Kohsaka who instantly recognises her. She thinks that she can change him, however Kohsaka is a good looking hardcore otaku, which frustrates her to no end and causes her all sorts of challenges throughout the series.
Cosplay is also covered through Tanaka and Ohno, who are pretty close to being a couple themselves. Tanaka is a senior at the club and loves tailoring costumes for cosplay. This fits in perfectly when Ohno joins after spending some time in America, as she loves to cosplay. It’s a natural pairing due to the similarities in their interests.
Kugayama is the big stuttering guy with a very timid personality, but enjoys his drawing. Due to his stuttering, he has less confidence in public and is often quiet.
Last but not least we have the most hardcore otaku, Madarame. He barely has enough money for the basic meals and rent, but spends all his money on everything otaku related! Time and again he makes several references to a variety of other popular anime series.
The group of characters work really well together and form a natural bonding, especially with the contrasting Kasukabe, who hates anything otaku related. The group go through a variety of situations throughout the series, such as holding a cosplay session, going to Comi-Fes (comic festival, very popular in Japan to buy manga and fan-made materials – doujinshi), going to the beach and partaking in different activities. Rather than having some sort of extravagant effects, thrilling plot, or other unique selling points for the masses, Genshiken keeps it pretty simple and just concentrates on telling the story of these characters, quite often in normal situations.
I have to say, Genshiken is one of my favourite anime series. It’s a difficult series to describe and create hype for, but it’s something that should be watched to really appreciate. I would definitely recommend watching Genshiken if you’re into anime a bit. I’ll go over the OVA and second season/series in the near future.