Show Me the Way to You: Genshiken II, Chapter 67

Chapter 67 of Genshiken II hits short and sweet, but that’s also what makes it fun.

Things are mighty awkward in Genshiken ever since Hato loudly proclaimed his BL fantasies at Comic Festival. Madarame and even Kuchiki are avoiding him. Discussing what to do, Sue points out that the loss of Madarame is the loss of Hato’s only male friend, and that there is only one solution: have Ogiue show Hato (and the other freshmen) her old Sasahara x Madarame doujinshi, so that Hato can know that his opinion, at least in the club itself, is not so unusual.

As the three freshmen are shocked by the combination of outright eroticism in Ogiue’s doujinshi and how she has depicted her own boyfriend manhandling Madarame, Hato takes “acceptance” one step further, now inspired by Ogiue’s drawings to make his own Madarame doujinshi. Just as Hato makes clear his intentions though, Madarame walks into the clubroom.

To break the awkwardness once and for all, Yajima steps up and tells Madarame that every first-year member of Genshiken saw him as an uke from their very first meeting, and that he should just treat it as the unreasonable delusions of a bunch of “rotten-minded” individuals. Kuchiki, always one to restore awkwardness to new heights however, barges in and tries to pull an anime convention move. Trying to force a kiss onto Madarame in order to please Hato, Kuchiki is neutralized by a swift palm strike from Sue and a legitimate sleeper hold from Hato’s judo skills (where according to Wikipedia it’s called a “Naked Strangle”). For the near future, Madarame is not visiting the club.

This chapter of Genshiken II initially feels a little light on content, but the more I think about it, the more I find that there is plenty of “meat” to go around, particularly in the character interactions and the bridging of gaps that occurs within them. Yajima, who has had the hardest time with Hato out of everyone, goes out of her way to make Hato feel more comfortable within the club. Though Yajima still can’t get too close to him because of the fact that Hato is indeed a man, it does feel like they have something you can call a friendship now. Then there’s Ogiue showing her doujinshi to the freshmen, which is not only the first instance of Ogiue willingly displaying it to others since Sasahara (though Sue found it on her own), but something that makes you realize the history gap between the old Genshiken and the new. To Yajima, Yoshitake, and Hato, all of this information is entirely new and exciting, in every sense of the word.

Ogiue displaying her Sasa x Mada work in front of everyone says a lot about how Genshiken, and perhaps anime fan culture has changed, at least in terms of how otaku “should” behave. We’re reminded early in the chapter that Ogiue suffered immensely for being a fujoshi, that her shame and guilt brought her to the point of an attempted suicide which Ogiue herself refers to as a “Perfect Bad End.” Even with Sasahara, she went through a lot to bring herself to show it to him. With the new members though, their reaction is only one of mild surprise, more astounded by the quality of the work itself than the fact that it actually exists. Yoshitake even wonders if Ogiue would be willing to make copies. After all, one of the first things the three first-years did as a group was think up pairings for all of Genshiken guys at a club party. Times have changed, and what was once the ultimate dark secret has become just another “thing.” As if to emphasize this contrast, Ogiue wears a flannel shirt straight out of 1980s otaku subculture during the whole presentation that makes even Yajima look more fashionable.

What’s also similarly interesting is how “Madarame as uke” became the prevailing opinion among everyone. After all, one of the first things Ohno said back when she was introduced to Ogiue’s private doujinshi was that the pairing should probably have Madarame as the aggressor and Sasahara on the receiving end. Given how they presented themselves to the world up to that point–Madarame exuded a forceful persona of “proud otaku” and Sasahara was a quiet guy who went along with the flow–it seemed to be the more “sensible” pairing, but apparently Ogiue was able to see it on a deeper level, though it might just be that Ogiue came in around the time that Madarame and Sasahara began to change, Madarame from unrequited love and Sasahara from growing a spine. Just as Ogiue’s initial impression of everyone in the club was different from that of Sasahara’s, so too have Yajima, Yoshitake, and Hato formed opinions through their own limited experience. Granted, the freshmen are also kind of a different breed of otaku, so there’s no telling what would have happened had they met Madarame a few years ago instead.

Meanwhile through all of this, Yoshitake shows what it’s like to be an anime nerd seemingly free of worry in regards to the opinions of others, all while actually being socially aware, unlike Kuchiki. If ever there was a character to show how the right kind of confidence and passion can counter any inherent awkwardness from a given topic, that would be Ed Chavez, but in his absence Yoshitake Rika is the next best thing. Reading this chapter, I found myself asking, so when does Yoshitake get her time in the spotlight, and as if to answer me directly, the preview blurb mentions that she is getting center stage next chapter.

I’m excited, how about you?

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13 thoughts on “Show Me the Way to You: Genshiken II, Chapter 67

  1. Mentioning that part about when ohno first saw the SasaXMada pic ogiue and expressed her opinon about madarame being a top got me remembering another scene. Back when all the club was at the cabin and the girls were drinking after their bath. Eventhough Saki and Keiko are obviously not experts on anime/manga they still seem to have somewhat of a grasp on personalities (or rather what they knew for the time. When ogiue and ohno were calling Madarame a bottom, I liked the part where Saki said that do to his personality she would see mhim as a top. Keiko also saw her brother as a bottom. This got me to realize that that’s based on the way they most knew the guys. saki mostly knows the madarame that used to annoy her at the club and be a total otaku with no regard to how she would react (nekomimi and “I don’t own any regular porn” ring a bell). keiko however never really saw how her brother changed in the club and sees his pre-genshiken spineless personality as his primary one. it would be hard to change that perspective considering how long they grew up together. If saki really did see madarmes crush on her, then 1. she does a good job of not addressing it and 2. I have no idea when she noticed or if she noticed during that time. I will say that the reason I mentioned that scene is that those opinions on Mada as seme and Sasa as uke were kind of how i saw them when the topic was brought up. the reason being because of how they acted at the beginning of the manga. I guess it just goes to show how much has changed after all these years. Anyway can’t wait for Yoshi’s chapter.

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  2. Man Hato really is the best Trap character I’ve seen for a while…. I hope theres some doujinishi with him as a top *gulp* fujoshi ftw!!

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  3. Madarame’s descent from alpha nerd/otaku to sou uke is heartbreaking. The “Madarame is moe” meme has been taken to its obvious conclusion.

    Although I laughed at Madarem plight, along with everyone else, I feel so sorry for him.

    Well maybe having him driven out of the Genshiken club room for a significant amount of time will give him the chance to re-evaluate his life. When all of your friends and acquaintances feel that you are merely an object of fail, sexual fantasy and arse-rape then its time to figure out what you have done to warrant this image. And hopefully change it for the better.

    In the meantime, I am going to reread Spotted Flower and get my Mada x Saki alternate universe fix.

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  4. And Spotted Flower got cancelled, IIRC, because Saki x Mada isn’t very interesting.

    But Hato-chan… and Sue… were so dangerous this chapter. He almost looked like he was getting hot under the collar with the Sasa x Mada BL, and the joy he showed at the idea of bring able to ship Whoever x Mada… Oh, and Sue with that Popsicle. She did NOT need to hold it that way.

    Not sure how to feel about Kuchi’s resting spot at the end. That expression on Hato’s face and the panting could be misconstrued.

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    • Hato’s reaction to Ogiue’s masterpiece, as well as his sudden quilt at once again freely letting out his innermost desires (but only when the said target was in the room) was the best part. But I just keep feeling a little more for Madarame with each chapter that progresses. At the same time, he dose need to learn how to move on.

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    • When was Spotted Flower cancelled? I know the magazine that it appears in has a pretty spotty (heh) release schedule but…

      I liked my Mada x Saki (yeah I’m putting him on top because he knocked her up. Seme’s don’t get pregnant!) because I got that Saki rage that disappeared in later volumes of Genshiken.

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  5. @Haesslich — I remarked in my own blog post on this chapter that I think Kio-sensei did that Sue Popsicle thing on purpose and laughed his butt off while doing it. That being said, Sue will be the next club president. *nods*

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  6. Is Hato’s situation something like that of the situation of lesbians who become yuri fans??? Trying to wrap my head around the one of the driving forces of the Genshiken story (I mean the author keeps telegraphing “desire” quotes).

    From what I can get from a certain very well respected (or despised) blogger on such matters, hard gay guys get a tad annoyed at yaoi – it is always assumed to be a straight woman’s genre, but pushed to the limit, and beyond – along with the hawt sekks, it glorifies in extremes of male (crap.. loss for words here) annoying traits. Yet gays males will give it a glance, just as lesbians will tolerate yuri, for want of something more (moar?)

    So (putting on the Cpt Obvious Dunce cap, and getting ready for a really long-apologies-head-still-spinning-newbie-to-genshiken-trying-to-work-this-out post), the desire fetishized in yaoi is both a parallel and an obverse of the fetishization seen in male porn/male gaze yatta yatta.. Ok.. malegaze blah blah, thats the Genshiken until the women arrive, one by one, each character more heroic-ly outsider than the last. ( the absence of an out lesbian is glaring, but I guess she would not fit). Madarame’s fall, as pointed out so well in the other comments is hubris, nemesis and low comedy all in one ball o wax.

    What bonds the old guys to the new girls is a covenant of acceptance. What disturbs this arrangement is the force of fetishized female desire on the male: Some have to change schools, others give it space and respect (well, nice to be fancied, so do I get you?) and some have too many freaking problems on all levels to know what to do with any variant of the “female gaze”, 2D or 3D.

    Ok. This sounds like a plausible hypothesis.. Now stir in one cross-dressing boy yaoi fan. Damn! no one is allowed to get too comfortable and wallow in their fantasies. And dammit these are their fantasies- yaoi is female desire manifest (!!!!) The covenant of the Genshiken decrees acceptance to an extreme (Kuchi) level, especially for one that has paid serious Otaku vs outside world dues, but the more a consistant Hato manisfests him/her/self, the more instability develops. Yajima (or ???) is going to get a whole lot more annoyed when she reads his solo effort – whatever is in it will be wrong on some level. Or will the covenant hold?

    And Hato – aside from the fujioshi/trap flavor of the year setup – what if he “is? exactly what he professes to be: a guy who one day finds that women’s fantasies of guys doing each other, in the “annoyingly male” way they do each other, rendered in 2D REALLY work for him, and that this somehow led to cross-dressing, which also REALLY works for him, and dammit he likes it and is going to add his 500yen dōjinshi into the babble of desire that 10 billion temple bells will never quell. Betcha any male-gay dōjinshi(s?) (they must exist), if they show up in the pile on the genshiken table wont do it for him – that would be too easy. I expect Ohno to be the voice of reason, most of her best lines hang lanterns on the major themes.

    This is one annoyingly addictive bit of manga. There is theme-service galore, and very little fanservice. It is late, and I write too much. Only the uncyclopedia entries for Yaoi and Yaoi fangirl can shake this stuff out of my head for a while. I long for the clarity of SZS, but not quite yet.

    Thank you for this blog, must read moar of it. . .

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  7. Pingback: A Look at Genshiken Volume 11′s Extras « OGIUE MANIAX

  8. Pingback: Genshiken Second Season Episode 6: Yoshitake Siblings and Other Stuff | OGIUE MANIAX

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