Why I Like Ogiue, Part 2

Last time I talked about the reasons that Ogiue’s overall character captivated me, but this time I’m going to discuss the path my obsession took, from beginning to end. This might just double as a Genshiken review without me realizing it.

I first discovered Genshiken due to a combination of the Jinmei Juushin scanlation of the first volume and the fansubs for the first series appearing online. Genshiken was great. I loved how it was a somewhat painful look at the fandom, that I enjoyed it and both lamented my own status as anime fan because of it. I particularly liked the Opening, which was so very appropriate for a series about otaku. I showed it to friends, they enjoyed it as well, and many good times were had.

Then I went to Japan to study, and it is there that I found Ogiue.

My first exposure to Ogiue was in the ending credits to the last episode of the first Genshiken anime, prior to my staying in Japan. I think this is probably where a lot of people first saw her. Seeing as she was facing away from the screen, my initial reaction was towards her hair. I worried that her unrealistic hair style meant that she was an unrealistic character, and that it would mark a downhill trend for Genshiken.

Ha.

Anyway, in the city where I lived in Japan, I found a Book Off, and there I found Genshiken Volume 5. I had read previously that the anime covered roughly volumes 1-4, so I figured I could start with 5 and not lose too much. So my initial exposure to Ogiue wasn’t “I’m Ogiue and I hate otaku,” but rather her hesitant reach towards the stack of yaoi doujinshi, Saki waving a hand through her fude, and the tears on her face during the troublesome times of creating their first doujinshi. Of course, above all that the first thing I noticed were her eyes, and as I’ve said in the previous post in this series, I have a, ah, shall we say, preference for those kinds of eyes.

So volume 5 came and went, and then I found out volume 6 was coming out soon. I bought the normal edition because at the time, I was a fan of Ogiue, but I wasn’t a major fan, and I figured, what was the big loss?

Of course, now I want to go back in time and force myself to cut class to obtain it.

While volume 5 had not made me into the Ogiue fan I am today, volume 6 was the catalyst, and it all began with her scene of walking in on Sasahara pulling on Madarame’s necktie. Ogiue’s rampant fantasizing was one of the most wonderful things I’d have ever seen, and still is today. Anyone who talked to me at that time knew how much amazing I thought that one scene was. This isn’t even mentioning how great the rest of volume 6 was, with the disguised Ogiue, the cosplay Ogiue, and of course the graduation of Madarame, Tanaka, and Kugayama. That last one isn’t Ogiue-related but still.

It was around this time that I finally accepted myself as an otaku. I had been walking to school, and the only thought I had was, “How would I make SRW animations for Zambot 3?” Then I stopped myself, realizing that if this was the highest priority in my mind, then what could I be other than an otaku? It’s not something I proudly declare or aspire to be, it’s something that I simply am. These feelings of discovery and change I believe coincided with my discovery of Ogiue such that her impact became that much more significant.

Volume 6 was done, and I began turning directly to the actual Monthly Afternoon serial magazines to get my fix. I think somewhere around this time, I was in Akihabara with Shingo from Heisei Democracy and Kransom from welcome datacomp, and I completed my back catalog, with volumes 1-4 and the official Genshiken guide book.

My memory is a little hazy, and I don’t remember if I bought Genshiken volume 7 while I was in Japan, or while I was back in America, but eventually I had to return home, and began simply importing issues of Monthly Afternoon. Volume 7 came out, and it was once again incredible, further cementing my love for Ogiue’s character.

Then, in the final chapter, seeing Ogiue so very happy, seeing all she had gone through, and most of all, seeing her as one extremely sexy Kaichou, it was about as satisfying a series ending as I could have hoped for.

Except it wasn’t over.

For those of you who’ve read Del Rey’s releases, the way I and anyone else who kept up with Monthly Afternoon was a little different from the way you did. After the contents of Volume 7, there was originally just enough content for one final volume, so we thought it would be an 8-volume series. Imagine our surprise, then, when we found out that Volume 8 would contain two, new, never-before-seen chapters, and that there would be a Volume 9! It was a good day for Genshiken fans. On top of that, they were releasing a Drama CD, with Ogiue! If Ogiue had a voice, surely that meant an anime would be on its way! And of course, I wanted nothing more than to see an animated Ogiue.

The new content of Volume 8 had me floored. I remember sitting in a Chipotle, eating a burrito with Genshiken volume 8 in hand, my jaw wide open as I read

“Our date’s not over yet.”

And then Volume 9 was practically all new content, and once more I read the ending.

Truly, it was a good time.

2 thoughts on “Why I Like Ogiue, Part 2

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