I’ve been away for the last couple of weeks so it’s time to do some catchup! Episode 9 covers Chapters 74 and 75. Also, there’s quite a bit of cosplay in this episode, and luckily for me a Japanese blogger Renko’s already laid out all of the references.
Sue = Meruru (Atelier Meruru)
Ohno = Asama Tomo (Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere)
Yoshitake = Inahime (Samurai Warriors)
Sawatari = Kunoichi (Samurai Warriors)
Fukuda = Okuni (Samurai Warriors)
Mimasaka = Leia Rolando (Tales of Xillia)
Yajima = Hirano Kouta (Highschool of the Dead)
Kuchiki = Matsudaira Katakuriko (Gintama)
The sheer amount of Ogiue content in this episode makes me happy, just as it did with the manga. You can really see her take center stage at least in the first half of the episode, and the sheer range of facial expressions that are not coming from deep anger and frustration is quite satisfying. There’s also something hilarious about Sasahara essentially roleplaying as a fictional version of himself.
Speaking of Sasahara, the new voices at this point are old news, but I have to remark that Sasahara’s voice really throws me off. It’s like his old voice was just the perfect shade of average that anything else sounds odd. Moreover, Sasahara doesn’t appear often enough for me to get used to him.
When it comes to adapting from manga to anime, I thought the decision to turn Yoshitake’s exposition into a Star Wars-esque text scroll was clever and properly captured the incessantly convoluted nature of her plot. The manga conveys this through the sheer amount of text in Yoshitake’s word bubble, but obviously that doesn’t fly in the animated format. Interestingly, when Yajima hits Yoshitake with the manga, you can see that it’s a Monthly Afternoon (the magazine Genshiken runs in), with its most famous and longest-running title Aa! Megami-sama on the spine.
(Seriously, Oh My Goddess! is still running).
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is the whole gendered pronouns thing (whether to refer to Hato as a “he” or a “she”), and while Japanese doesn’t typically use gendered pronouns the way English does, perhaps a comparison could be done between which characters refer to Hato as “Hato-kun” and which use “Hato-chan.” Those aren’t strictly gender-divided (guys can be referred to with -chan and girls with -kun), but it may speak to how they personally see Hato.
In the end, of all the things to happen in this episode, I especially hope people are enjoying the new characters’ old friends. Mimasaka comes across as the most shy and awkward of possibly any character in Genshiken (with her voice actor doing quite a good job showing this). You can also actually hear Yajima slipping into an accent when talking with Mimasaka, which is again a nice touch for the anime. I also have to wonder if Konno’s massive saucer eyes in the opening had people wondering just who she is. She doesn’t appear much, but she pretty much became my favorite of the new Nidaime characters just from her expressions. Given that Ogiue also had fantastic facial expressions, that might just be more indicative of my tastes than anything else.
As for Kaminaga’s debut, I find Noto Mamiko’s performance to be pretty spot-on with what I imagined.