In previous episode reflections (a better term than review I now realize), I mentioned how elements from the manga were cut and shifted, sometimes for thematic consistency within an episode, but more often because the Nidaime anime clearly has a particular end goal in mind. With Episode 10, we’re finally able to see whether or not this “cutting of the fat” has paid off, more or less. It already began with the previous episode to an extent, but this is when the revelations truly begin, and it’ll continue into the next episode too.
In this regard, I think that Episode 10 is probably the strongest one of the season so far. Whether it’s because of Mamiko’s excellent performance as Kaminaga, the portrayal of the way Hato’s denial/hiding of his inner self to others weighs heavily on him, Konno’s amazing facial expressions, or some combination of the three, I think that this episode communicates all of the complex emotions which make up Genshiken. The manga chapters were already great and enlightening, and the adaptation does them justice. In some cases, it even makes things clearer. One example is when Hato sees his brother driving with Kaminaga, with the clear implication being romance. In the manga, Yuuichirou’s expression is kind of ambiguous, but in the anime you can clearly see him smiling. It wasn’t necessary, but it helps communicate that information more overtly.
When I say good adaptation, though, I don’t simply mean that it’s accurate or 1:1 in terms of elements. The anime added an additional thing about Kaminaga moving in with Hato and his brother, but in the manga Hato lives on his own in an apartment far from the university so that he can maintain both his BL and crossdressing. They even visited it in one chapter, which was cut from the anime. The original manga also shows that Konno had dyed her hair in between high school and college, while the anime has always been brunette. It doesn’t impact the story much, but it is curious.
Yamamoto Nozomi also probably puts out some of her best Ogiue performance as well this episode. I still give the edge to Mizuhashi, but Yamamoto really displays a sense of Ogiue, particularly her delivery of Ogiue saying that turning your own boyfriend into BL material is “normal.” It really gives off the vibe that this is an area where Ogiue has not only a lot of experience, but a lot of history, while also showing how far Ogiue has come from her previous self.
I really like how the anime took the scene of Sue mimicking Rei from Fist of the North Star from the manga and added the after-images and laser lines from Fist of the North Star‘s anime. Basically, the anime adaptation of Genshiken enhanced its portrayal of a manga scene parodying a famous manga by utilizing the iconic effects from that famous manga’s own adaptation. The Crunchyroll subs do not make the reference obvious: Sue says, “Nanto Kyuukyoku Ougi!” and likely the translator either misheard or didn’t even hear the “Nanto” part.
One of the categories in the Fujoshi Files is “Fujoshi Level,” which is a not-so-serious way of describing just how polluted the mind of a particular character can be. While I actually don’t create specific rankings and try to give just a general impression in them, here you could see an obvious hierarchy: Kaminaga is off the deep end, Ogiue is right behind her along with Hato, and Konno and Fuji are definitely not as powerful. It makes me want to perhaps write up a full Fujoshi/Fudanshi Tier List one of these days.