AdviceFujoshi: Genshiken II, Chapter 94

Hato is back home in order to try and sort out his feelings. Kaminaga and Hato’s brother Yuuichirou are there too, and though Kaminaga (who now insists of being called “sister”) does her best to give advice to Hato about Madarame, her fujoshi brain interferes with her words and intent quite a bit. Eventually, thanks to a meeting with Konno and Fuji, Hato realizes that his feelings for Madarame mean he doesn’t want to leave Genshiken, and resolves to head back to Tokyo.

Chapter 94 is the first time in Genshiken that we’ve actually seen a character’s hometown life elaborated upon to this extent. Sure, there have been flashbacks, like Ogiue in junior high or Madarame discovering doujinshi for the first time, but ask yourself this: how many of the characters’ parents have we seen? The answer is just Hato’s.

Hato’s thought process shows that part of his turmoil is his desire to try and justify his own feelings, to try and compartmentalize everything internal into a consistent emotional map. It doesn’t appear to be a matter of latent homophobia, and if I had to venture a guess it might have more to do with trying to defy his past reputation when gossip spread about him reading yaoi and his classmates constantly made reference to how gay he is. It reminds me of a documentary I watched recently where a girl raised by two gay men talked about how she spent most of her life strongly insisting she was 100% heterosexual as a way of fighting back against the people who assumed that gay men would inevitably raise gay children, but eventually realized she was bisexual. Of course, I don’t know if Hato’s situation is quite the same, but I sense similarities. Kaminaga’s advice to essentially not sweat the small stuff, albeit filtered through her fujoshi self, is perhaps the moral of this chapter.

Kaminaga has grown on me more with this chapter. Her new hairstyle (did she dye it or un-dye it?) gives her a real “classical Japanese beauty” look reinforced by panels like the one above, which then clashes heavily with her ever-“rotten” personality. It’s an interesting contrast, and when I think more about it, the fact that Kaminaga is the way she is but has married (or is about to marry? it’s not entirely clear) a super normal guy in Yuuichirou speaks to something a bit different from the other relationships in Genshiken, even Kohsaka and Kasukabe’s. I think it’s because Yuuichirou and Kasukabe are different kinds of “normal.” One is a straight and narrow type, the other is socially successful, and it speaks to how “normal” is a kind of spectrum in itself.

Being Konno is suffering. Her own feelings for Hato turn this into a kind of love triangle, but Hato doesn’t even realize she likes him, and the fact that her advice of “if it’s causing you so much suffering, why not leave the club?” actually helps Hato realize that, yes, he does like Madarame after all. Not too long ago I wrote that a common form of moe we see is a normal life filled with a series of tiny tragedies, and I think that describes Konno’s situation quite well. I can only imagine how Konno would slide further into despair if she knew the person Hato likes is a guy. After all, when Konno originally learned about Hato’s crossdressing, she assumed that her responsibility as the root of all the gossip that had spread about Hato in high school had actually turned him gay, in turn sabotaging her own chances at romance. Of course, this isn’t resolved yet and Hato x Konno might actually become a thing in the end.

The best moment of the chapter in my opinion comes at the very end. We find Kaminaga drunkenly watching Yuuichirou and his old judo club buddies grapple each other under the influence of alcohol, clearly enjoying the fantasies inspired by reality. It’s unclear to what extent the redness of her face is due to alcohol versus perversion. Juxtaposed on the page next to a reference to a Whisper of the Heart reference (for Hato) and a Samurai Troopers reference (for Kaminaga’s own entertainment), it encapsulates her character pretty much perfectly, the manga panel equivalent of a bumper sticker saying “801 Fujoshi 4 Life.”

For any enterprising business folk, that one’s for free.

Speaking of business, Kio’s comments this month are about how Sue is a DLC skin for Akihabara’s Trip, a game where you search through Akiba and find witches by stripping them. Questionable qualities of the game aside, Sue is somehow incredibly appropriate for this, and would probably make the proper Those Who Hunt Elves and Doki Doki Majo Shinpan! references to boot.

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8 thoughts on “AdviceFujoshi: Genshiken II, Chapter 94

  1. I really really wish I could read this chapter right now… but, sadly, the scanlators are working slo-o-o-o-owly. ^^;;

    Think about it: chapter 93 in English was only released today… >_< Go figure how long till 94 is scanlated.

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  2. I don’t think its really possible to “undye” hair, so I’m assuming she just dyed it a color similar to her “real” hair color. I know a lot of girls who dye their hair just for the wedding and to mark a new phase of their life.

    But this was a GREAT chapter. I also liked Kaminaga a lot more this chapter. I liked how she’s trying to take her role as older sister in law seriously, and even though her advice is very fujoshi-colored, it’s coming from a good place.

    I actually feel a little sad for Hato, because, like Steve commented, his character development and unrequited love has a strong parallel in Madarame from Genshiken’s first season. Both are characters who fitted themselves into a narrow stereotype but find themselves growing out of it as they fall for someone they’d never expect to fall for. The good thing about Hato’s feelings for Madarame is that he’s decided not to ignore them anymore.

    I can’t wait for next month!

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  3. Yay, chapter 94 was released in scanlation just two days after 93! <3 <3 <3

    I take back what I said about the scanlators being slow.

    BTW, I'm surprised that nobody commented that, amidst so many interesting things that happen in this chapter, we get to see Hato's mom. She's an almost perfect lookalike of Hato. ^_^ I guess now we know where Hato Kenjiro's bishounen looks come from. (Yuuichiro must take after his dad…)

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  4. Pingback: Pent-Up Penultimate Supernovas: Genshiken II, Chapter 126 | OGIUE MANIAX

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