Angela Attack: Genshiken II, Chapter 66

I’ve been waiting for a month to use that title.

The final day of Comic Festival is nearing its end, and Madarame is in deep trouble, at least from Hato’s perspective. First, Madarame and Hato encounter Kohsaka, whose picture-perfect crossplay (to promote his company’s new 18+ game) blows away both of them. Hato remarking with amazement that Kohsaka, unlike himself, doesn’t even need makeup to complete the gender illusion, wonders why things aren’t more uncomfortable between Madarame, who likes Saki, and Kohsaka, her boyfriend. Hato comes to the conclusion that Madarame’s just isn’t able to compete for Saki’s affections. Madarame and Hato comfort each other over their respective areas of inferiority relative to Kohsaka, though Hato points out that he’s much better at undergoing the cross-gender transformation by using his feminine voice.

Angela strikes, laying on the flirt as thick as humanly possible, with Madarame naturally not being sure what to do. Hato jumps in for the rescue, pointing out that Angela is flying back the next day, so obviously there’s no way anything could happen between them, but Angela doesn’t quite agree.

Knowing that the actual reason Madarame can’t even begin to think of Angela is because Saki is still in his heart but not wanting Madarame to know that he is aware of Madarame’s unrequited love, Hato changes his thought midstream to try and find a safer reason. In doing so, he blurts out that Madarame is such an uke that there’s no way he should be with a girl, though unbeknownst to Hato, Angela is a big fan of Madarame as “sou-uke,” and instantly bonds with him. Wanting to point out however that real life and fiction are different, physically different, Angela tries to give Madarame his Very First Boob Grab, but is deflected by Sue, who then admonishes Angela’s rash action with a roundhouse kick.

At the end of the day, Angela still has her eyes set out on the 72-year-old Pit Viper, Madarame and Hato grow in their friendship, and Madarame comes to the shocking realization that he is in fact perceived as the catcher in yaoi imaginings.

Angela’s forwardness and acknowledgement of previous experience with one night stands sets her far apart from the nerds of Genshiken and at first it might come across as too far out there from how Genshiken has been in the past, but given what has happened in the manga before, it doesn’t seem so inappropriate. If you think about it, the awkward expression of sexuality has been a big part of Genshiken from day 1, whether it’s Saki having to come to terms with Kohsaka’s 2-D complex, the Sasahara x Madarame doujinshi that underscores Sasahara and Ogiue’s relationship, or even the fact that every ComiFest ever has been about buying comics not to “read” but to “use,” and the understanding that everyone else you know is doing the same. In this regard, the most awkward moment of all might just be seeing Angela’s “sex on the first date is okay” viewpoint collide with Madarame’s otaku chivalry, the same noble attitude that at first kept Madarame from taking a seat on the train in place of Saki back in Chapter 32.

That said, it is still a bit of a shock to just see Angela just blast down that implied wall of silence that surrounds the topic of sex, a wall that normally is talked around  or through tiny holes, but is rarely trampled over so easily. It’s a kind of bluntness similar to Sue, and I have to wonder if this is a shared American trait for the purpose of the story. On the other hand, Angela and Sue’s aggressive attitudes aren’t quite the same, and while we see Sue expressing her fondness for yaoi or making references all the time, I can’t really ever see her coming on to a guy as nonchalantly as Angela does. It makes me want to see their friendship in action outside of the context of a visit to Japan.

While that might be considered an inter-otaku cultural gap between Japan and America (and even only somewhat so), the inter-otaku generation gap is also clearly  present in this chapter with Madarame and Hato. At first when Hato sees Madarame talking to Kohsaka. “Why isn’t Madarame seeing him as a rival?” Hato wonders, but just the fact that Hato is asking that question shows a different mindset from the older members of Genshiken. Going after a girl who’s already in a relationship when, on top of that, you’re friends with the both of them? That stuff is for fiction, man. How differently might this manga have turned out had Madarame gone for it from the start, or if Ogiue and Ohno already had boyfriends prior to meeting Sasahara and Tanaka? Would those two have even bothered? But that’s just not how Genshiken is, because that’s not how the characters are. After all, I’m sure that people besides Tanaka entertained the thought of having a relationship with Ohno after she joined, but once it was established that she had a thing with Tanaka, that ship sailed. It’s not a matter of monogamy or anything like that, but simply that someone like Hato (or Yoshitake) carry an extroverted attitude and awareness of interpersonal relationships romantic, sexual, or otherwise, that only the non-otaku Saki and Keiko could see as clearly.

It’s also nice to see the friendship that has formed between Madarame and Hato. Could it be something more? I doubt it, given that both have said outright that they are not into same-sex relationships, at least outside of the world of BL, but I could see the idea continuing to make things a little awkward for them, especially given the number of (too much) high-power fujoshi populating the club.

There was only one small Ogiue cameo this chapter, so let’s close out with it.

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14 thoughts on “Angela Attack: Genshiken II, Chapter 66

  1. No wonder Spore said “Oh god Genshiken 66 my brain is full of fuck” – between Hato becoming Madarame’s best friend/protective kouhai/possible pairing and the Kousaka x Madarame images… holy crap. Poor Madarame.

    Although with the two of them bring so close (Hato and Madaame), I’ll bet there will be loads of BL doujinshi at the next ComiKet. Or trap-KousakaxMadarame….

    Still, nice to see that some enlightenment comes to Madarame. He may have known about Ogi-chin’s SasaMada work, but I don’t think he recognized the sou-uke thing everyone else saw. Which made him a permanent fixture in the BL fantasies.

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    • Madarame can’t get a break! It’s a sad thing to be known as the sou-uke of traps.

      As far as the Genshiken girls (+ boy) are concerned, Madarame will be a miserable bottom for the rest of his natural life…if they have anything to say about it.

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      • He is so incredibly passive that it’s almost painful to watch, sometimes. Timid, glasses, skinny… no wonder the girls think of him as the ultimate living sou-uke. Which may explain why Angela was very, very willing to shag him – and not just to make him forget Saki for a night.

        As for Angela, I’ve met and known girls/women like her – the sex is great, fun, and without commitment. The thing here is how she seems to be thinking of Madarame as less of an otaku and more of a living archetype of sou-ukedom… which means she can’t quite grasp the idea that, just maybe, he’s more complex than the stereotype might indicate, and may not conform 100% to her imagination.

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        • The Americans (Sue & Angela) and the fujoshi/fudanshi of the Genshiken “objectify” Madarame. I think the Genshiken fandom itself objectifies him. It’s down to the whole “Madarame is Moe” thing.

          And yes, if he was a teenage girl, his situation would be somehow endearing but he’s not. He’s male, almost thirty and doomed to spend a lifetime alone because he cannot get out of his comfort zone.

          He’s also to blame for all of this but maybe, just maybe, the realization of how everyone sees him could turn him around. It may be that he may have to make a clean break from his former life (Genshiken) in order to grow the hell up.

          A one night stand with Angela might have helped. And yes, I have known girls like Angela as well. They are a lot of fun and do not apologize for their lifestyle or view of the world.

          And why should they?

          Besides, being a archetype for just one night ain’t so bad…

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          • Well, Angela likes sex it seems – she doesn’t seem to care if it’s guy on girl, guy on guy, or girl on girl. She’s very open-minded about such things… although with the way she was confronting Hato about interfering as an ‘outsider’ and referring to herself and Madarame as a pairing already suggests she definitely sees him as just a sou-uke with nice hands, glasses, and completely submissive.

            And Hato can’t stand to see his senpai being used so casually, so off he goes. But the image of Kousaka bullying Madarame was actually kinda interesting, especially since Hato had to make Madarame more bishounen in his imagination.

            As for whether Angela would’ve helped Madarame’s situation? I’m not sure if she would have, or if he would’ve just suddenly run off the moment the breast-grab was accomplished. At this stage, I don’t see much hope for Madarame, since he’ll either run or else get forced into something he may not want to do because it’s easier than making a scene.

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            • >And Hato can’t stand to see his senpai being used so casually, so off he goes.

              Hmmm. I don’t know. I think about the last panel with Yajima giving Hato the stink eye stating why does it have to be Hato x Mada?

              I’m going to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.

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              • “Off he goes” as in “takes the lead in defending senpai’s honor”. Which Yajima seems to think involves a HatoMada pairing. :D

                Anyhow… Angela’s not giving up on the sou-uke, but Sue looks pretty cute in psycho mode. And Kousaka’s dazzling. Which is a problem.

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  2. I think that Sue and Angela can act so freely because they are in another country, I doubt they would behave that way in the states.

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    • I don’t know. Being in someone’s country is like being in someone’s house. You mind your manners.

      Lord knows its so easy to make mistakes and faux pas unknowingly without ratcheting them up to 10 by doing so intentionally.

      I think that Shio is just using the loud, pushy, rude blonde-American girl stereotype that is so prevalent in most anime and manga.

      It’s probably the reason why I like Sue and Angela, but I don’t like them as much as I should (if I am making any sense).

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