Slaughter of Twenty Faces: Genshiken II, Chapter 105

This month, we have our first ever Madarame and Sue-exclusive chapter. Sue tries to jettison her feelings for Madarame as only Sue can, by handcuffing him to a chair and putting funny masks on him until her perception of Madarame changes and encouraging him to date Hato. At the same time, Madarame, still reeling from his nearly physical encounter with Keiko, is trying to comprehend women’s behavior, which might as well be an ancient and inscrutable language to him. In the end, a poor of choice of words on Madarame’s part, a comment on breast size, may have resolved Sue’s problem for her.

Back in 2010, I wrote a small post on how interesting it is that Sasahara and Madarame essentially “traded preferences” when it came to their real-life vs. anime love interests. Namely, despite Madarame being into the character Renko (who is closer in personality and looks to Ogiue), he was head over heels in love with Kasukabe, who was closer to Sasahara’s favorite character Ritsuko. In Chapter 105, Madarame mentions the fact that, in a harem series, Sue’s type, a young-looking westerner with slender limbs and small proportions, is his favorite kind of character, and I think it’s quite notable that Madarame is only now realizing this himself. The explanation Madarame gives in this chapter is that Keiko and her attempted sexual advance on him has messed with his view of the world and how he approaches the subject of women, and it makes total sense, seeing as how the worlds of 2D and 3D have begun to blur in his head.

This is not to say that his confused behavior is Keiko’s “fault,” however, as Madarame himself sees it, but that the younger Sasahara putting the moves on Madarame has forced him out of the warm and comforting shell of his 2D complex. To Madarame, his former distinction between 2D and 3D is that 2D is where he can channel his desires both emotional and sexual, and 3D, the land of the mysterious creatures known as “actual women,” was so inaccessible to him that the best he could do was fawn over Kasukabe from a distance. When Angela was trying to get in his pants, Madarame likely saw that as so far outside reality that it might as well have been a dream within a dream. Keiko’s actions introduced the word “possible” to his real-world (meaning real women) vocabulary, and so in a way his protective layer of ignorance has been shattered in a manner different from Kasukabe rejecting him. Now, Madarame is conscious of the idea that women might be trying to send signals, but he’s basically a man who has been living in a cave all his life seeing sunlight for the first time. It is probably to his benefit that he becomes aware that women who like him can exist, but for now he’s merely blinded and clawing at open air.

Thus, Madarame tries to “read” Sue, given his limited context. “She’s on my bed! We’re by ourselves!” It’s very possible Madarame could have made a big mistake if not for Sue immobilizing him with those handcuffs, but it’s also understandable in that, when it comes to the opposite sex, he’s more or less a baby who has just learned to crawl, let alone walk. His comment to Sue that, well, Hato doesn’t have any breasts, is born from a brief moment of overconfidence (one might say even hubris) and a relative lack of interpersonal communication skills. Earlier in the chapter, Madarame notices that Sue is not completely flat-chested, and so in stating that Hato “doesn’t have any breasts, huh,” he tries to make a distinction between Hato and Sue. However, Sue has been shown to be sensitive to this subject, so it comes across as more of an insult. And even then, this sort of detail which otaku can elaborate upon extensively, the difference between an AA and an AAA cup or whatever, is not exactly going to win any points when talking to an actual girl.

As for Sue, I find that she’s trying to do what Hato himself had attempted before. Sue asks Madarame to date Hato, much in the same way that Hato was pushing Madarame towards being more assertive with his feelings for Kasukabe, and in both cases they were ways to distance themselves from their own feelings. “If he’s in a relationship, I can get over him!” For that matter, Madarame sort of did the same thing to himself with respect to Kasukabe, and even Yajima, who is not in this chapter, has been shown cheering for Hato x Mada as a way to keep her own attraction to Hato bottled up. With Sue specifically, however, it looks like this is her first ever crush, unlike the others who appear to have some unrequited feelings in the past, and so much like Madarame it is also Ms. Hopkins who is learning to crawl. However, Sue is arguably even more of an otaku than Madarame is, and in that way I can really see the perspective of Sue x Mada supporters. They even have that consistent interaction where Sue will pull out a reference and Madarame will instantly recognize it (this chapter it was Saitou Hajime from Rurouni Kenshin). While there are those who believe this swing and a miss on Madarame’s part is the death of this pairing, much like Keiko x Mada I find that it only opens things up more.

I don’t know if this actually a reference or not, but I find Sue’s “funny mask therapy” to be similar to one of the storylines in Space Brothers. At one point, the younger brother Hibito suffers from panic disorder due to a near-death encounter on the moon, which leaves him unable to wear a spacesuit. The treatment recommended to him is to wear various outfits, from football uniforms to animal mascot costumes, in order to gradually lighten the pressure his mind puts on him when in a spacesuit. Obviously, it doesn’t work the same way seeing as Sue is not the one wearing those ridiculous masks, but a similar effect is desired on her part.

The chapter ends with Hato struggling to draw manga. It might be setup for the next chapter, but what I find interesting is that Hato is having difficulty making his manga more interesting, as opposed to being unable to draw BL. Progress!

 

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “Slaughter of Twenty Faces: Genshiken II, Chapter 105

  1. Never thought I’d get a reference in Genshiken without ever seeing it in English first. Even if it was right-handed instead of Saito’s Left-handed one, I noticed that Gatotsu stance right away. Funny, that it looked like Sue was going right for Zeroshiki. I could be reading too much into it, but the idea of her jumping to Saito’s “last resort” attack almost seemed symbolic.

    Like

    • Okay, so I finally read the translated chapter and even though these interactions between Madarame and keiko/sue have kind of shaken up their relationships, I’m still all for Madarame choosing one of them.

      Referencing my previous comment, I’m glad to see that ‘Rame did in fact mention Zero Style Gatotsu. I am a little embarrassed that I didn’t catch the Kuzuryuusen.

      Also the ending part with Hato confirmed a suspicion I had concerning his manga; he’s obviously got the story all planned out in his head and can’t seem to grasp that a good (deep) story takes time to tell. It’s like expecting people you just met to understand an inside joke. By mentioning that he would possibly leave out foreshadowing just proves that he tried telling a story without realizing that the people he’s sharing it with aren’t already privy to his knowledge of past and future story elements. I’m not too unfamiliar with that feeling.

      Like

  2. Interesting. What I see is Kio Shimoku doing what he can to put in the spotlight the possible pairings for Madarame. We’ve seen Madarame being alone with Keiko, with Hato, with Sue now… as a way to revel into the psichological stances of these characters about handling relationships, and how they view themselves in these. From the playful and sensual savvy Keiko, to the awkward Sue-ness, Madarame can’t take a break. I wonder if we will see Ángela in this soon, but I suspect she was used as a fuel to start this romance competition, no more, no less.In the end, this is a good parody of harem-esque comedies in anime, with some “reality” flavor. Comedy is top notch here, but because it relates to the very real insecurities and fears of these characters, all the while struggling to cope with themselves and their expectations. Pretty much like the awkward growing up pains (in love and in other things) we’ ve had at one or another point in order to go forward. Madarame, in a sense, is stuck with old experiences (in highschool, and later his unrequited love for Kasukabe) that he is aware of, and knows, that frame his mindset and views on life. Madarame’s smart, so he knows what’s wrong. But he has been passive and conforming to his circunstances, and that is what makes me fear that the Hato from Spoted Flower is the future Hato from this storyline, despite another signs of the author. And that would ascertain that Madarame won’t make any visible character growth or abrupt change in this arc. That possibility kills a little of any expected surprise factor I would like to see in this manga. Perhaps, it is realistic for Madarame. It also would mean that the real focus on the show are in the newer cast. I think Kio wants to give complete closure to Madarame, and perhaps a new starting point, like he did for Sasahara and Oguie. But that is real hard with the stunted sensibility of Madarame. I even feel the desperate sighs of Hato and Sue, real impatient about this poor fellow judgement and obliviousness. Good luck with that. XD

    Like

    • The girl Madarame finally gets with is going to be completely out of left field and isn’t a currently existing character. The harem exists to show us all the stages of a weirdo nerd otaku’s transition from unreality to reality. I think he may come out of it still thinking that real ladies aren’t for him because they’re too complicated, but he’ll be more mentally equipped to unconsciously handle someone who out-of-nowhere likes him

      Like

      • “The girl Madarame finally gets with is going to be completely out of left field and isn’t a currently existing character.”

        I concur; was rooting for Keiko, but after the… ah… incident, it became clear to me that this is the most likely scenario. It also has the advantage of being the most realistic…

        But anyway:

        Bwa ha ha! Madarame finally on the offensive!

        Three cheers for Rame. Whatever happens (or doesn’t ) with Sue, I have no worries for him now. He’s taken the first step, and there isn’t any going back. He’s going to be all right.

        Like

  3. Hato is trying not to make his manga more interesting but trying to make
    the story he wants to tell more coherent as observed in the comments
    from the group in chapter 104. He has to tell his manga story in such a
    way that other people can understand it easily. He may not have that skill
    but that will lead to alliance with Yajima who cannot draw very well but
    whose story in chapter 104 does come through clearly.

    Madarame requires re-education or re-programming to deal with the complexities of 3D relationships. Whether or not he will substancially
    change or grow in this arc is immaterial as eventually he will. But for such
    a complete otaku it will take time.

    bliss

    Like

  4. As a Sue x Hato shipper, i refuse to let the flame go out! [“in both cases they were ways to distance themselves from their own feelings. “If he’s in a relationship, I can get over him!”] works the other way too.

    That said, many thanks for a preview of what the heck is going on in ch105. The raws left me scratching my head and wondering if Kio Shimoku had gone back to using Sue as the antic, completely unhinged gaijin fangirl.

    Like

  5. Well, well, Keiko screwed up with Madarame, and now it looks like Madarame screwed up with Sue. Since Sue stopped blushing, does that mean she’s already over Madarame? I mean, she always was for Hato x Madarame, not just here, and her reasons for loving Madarame seemed obscure to me (because she was seen kissing Madarame by Kasukabe? I don’t really get it), so I guess she can get over it with just that. I wish it isn’t the case, though, we’ll see.

    With his comments on boobs, I guess this is what made Hato have breast implants in Spotted flower…

    Other than that… Wow, Sue, at the beginning at the chapter, was drawn in a way I saw her like Madarame was seing her. I found her beautiful and somehow full of sex-appeal. How does he do that?

    However, Madarame winking was even more awful than when he tried to remove Kasukabe’s nose hair.

    Like

  6. Guess I forgot to mention, I absolutely love that Madarame is cuffed to the chair and has his glasses removed before he even realizes that Sue might be taking the lead. “Sou uke, sou uke!”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s