FInal Fantasy: Genshiken II, Chapter 120

This month’s chapter of Genshiken Nidaime is about anal sex. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, my title for this post is awful.

Last chapter, after an emotional discussion between Hato and Madarame, Hato runs away. At the advice of Ogiue (who knows a thing or two about a situation like this), Madarame goes after him. As the two talk once more, Madarame explains that he does feel something for Hato (especially after that incident at the hotel), but as he goes into detail about the idea of being with a fudanshi, Hato brings up an important question. Is Madarame truly ready for what “Hato x Mada” really means? After discovering that the rest of the club was eavesdropping (a Genshiken tradition!), Madarame decides that he’ll have to “think about it,” and their date continues.

You can see my immediate reaction to this chapter in the tweet above. While Genshiken has gone many places, I never quite expected it to arrive at this point. Suffice it to say, I’m both surprised and impressed in a multitude of ways. I have to compliment Kio for being willing to take the story this far, and to do so in a way that makes sense for the characters of Genshiken. What also stands out to me about Chapter 120 is the way in which clarifies the conversation between Madarame and Hato in Chapter 119, whereby Madarame finally and much more clearly understands Hato’s concerns. In Hato’s own words, being with Hato consists of having to encounter a series of “landmines.”

Last chapter, Hato expressed the idea that Madarame doesn’t seem to understand what it means to be in a homosexual relationship. This chapter, Hato lays it out. First, Madarame mentions how he’d have to get used to the idea of being seen as a “sou-uke,” a total bottom, as is the trend among Genshiken’s BL fans. Second, Hato reminds Madarame that Hato is not like Ogiue: he’s not a fujoshi but a fudanshi, a guy. Third, he brings up the idea of Mada x Hato, and how he’s prepared for the possibility, which fazes Madarame a bit. Then, finally, he brings up “Hato x Mada.” As realization slowly dawns upon Madarame, the impact of that epiphany on Madarame is, in my opinion, a prime example of what I love about Kio’s storytelling through manga.

Madarame confesses that he hadn’t even thought about “Hato x Mada.” Right there, it becomes clear that Madarame hasn’t actually contemplated the prospect of being with Hato all the way through. Not only that, but it makes perfect sense given just how Madarame has approached the idea. In Chapter 72, Madarame mentions having played games with “girl-boy” characters, and that, because of the censorship and the effeminate appearances of the characters in those games, it’s not that different from heterosexual fare. In other words, Madarame has always seen himself in the “man’s role” so to speak, and the sticky, naked realities of having a mutually satisfying relationship with Hato was just completely outside his realm of imagination until now.

I don’t read very much BL or gay manga, but I get the feeling that these sorts of nitty-gritty details aren’t so common in stories unless they’re particularly explicit or raunchy. Not only that, but given the purpose of those stories, I believe the end result is usually what is expected. In contrast, it’s not clear where Madarame will end up. Of course, correct me if I’m wrong.

The fact that Madarame doesn’t just completely shut down and break away from Hato might say just as much in favor of Hato’s chances, as does Madarame asking the question of whether Hato x Mada would involve Hato in women’s clothes. However, I suspect that the story might actually be heading in a direction where, although the two have a kind of emotional or spiritual connection, Madarame might ultimately not want a physical one. Keiko even brings this up at the end, saying that the body itself will ultimately be the deciding factor (which she believes is in her favor, even with Angela around). In a way, this might be even more ideal for the fujoshi of Genshiken, just because it could be interpreted as a love beyond the trappings of flesh.

I have two more things to say about this chapter. First, we finally learned just what happened when Hato’s other selves, the BL fangirl floating in the sky as well as the Kaminaga version, “merged” with Hato. Obviously he didn’t really have magic ghosts with him. Rather, it was symbolic of him accepting all of his passions, that he can be into both “Mada x Hato” and “Hato x Mada.”

Second, at the beginning of the chapter when Ogiue is talking to Madarame, she mentions how Sasahara accepted everything about her. Just that one gag panel where she ends her sentence in a heart as she blushes profusely is actually one of Ogiue’s most adorable moments ever. As an Ogiue fan, it is quite satisfying.

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16 thoughts on “FInal Fantasy: Genshiken II, Chapter 120

  1. Wow! Thanks for the additional on what they were discussing. Hato really is trying to scare mada off. Funny how the more Hato throws stuff in Madarame’s path, the more Madarame presses forward. Oh well, silly raunchy yaoi may demand violent butt-sex, but will Hato continue to insist? Can lurv conquer all?

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  2. I don’t think it will work out. Mostly because of spotted flower. Yeah, I know its not supposed to be the actual future for the characters, but Not-Hato’s bitterness towards Not-Madarame in that story just seems more interesting than Madarame being fine with everything. A relationship thats close but that ultimately breaks up because they can’t go all the way. Everyone trying to force a decision out of madarame cause’s a relationship that just hurts the two more.

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    • I just came up with a head cannon theory for Spotted Flower. I haven’t totally fleshed it out yet, but I think it’s worth posting.

      What is Spotted Flower is a manga drawn and written by Hato, or maybe Ogiue in the future?

      Like in the last chapter of spotted flower it’s just Hato and maybe Yakima in a room it’s totally like genshiken, but talking about how the mange he is making has so many similarities to the rest of the crew with a copy of spotted flower sitting on the table? The characters draw this kind of manga in the story before, why not have it be one of the characters exploring everyone’s relationship from a slightly different angle.

      How cool would that be?

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  3. Uuuh. Not quite what I expected. But kudos to Madarame for not being completely bashful around Hato, even when he mentions profusely all the implications of “madaxhato”. The chapter is drawing more sides of these characters, but still it doesn’t seem that a sastifactory close would be near. Madarame, as always, will try to delay as much as he can the decision that he has to make. But that’s how he is. I also believe that, despite his best intentions, even if he could summon all of his will for this, he couldn’t. Choosing Hato, as he knows where his life is, would be a half-hearted choice. Hato knows this, but he’s desperate for a signal from Madarame, maybe a miracle….

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    • ‘Been thrashing all the ways it can work out and all the ways it IS working out and one odd but interesting theory keeps popping up: Madarame has enough confidence to keep after Hato, knows he felt something, and the more Hato throws realism and “thorny path” speeches at Mada, the more Madarame is intrigued and presses forward. It is as if Madarame is reading Hato’s protestations as “playing hard to get”. Mada’s pursuit switch has been flicked on. Mada isn’t really listening. Mada might even be reading all the protestations as endearing, as cute, as moe,

      So per the above, Hato drops the final bomb. Hato expects “hatomada” and for yaoi fans that means -ahem- violent fetishised anal rape… Well, sure kiddo, whatever. La la la, you said something? Oh right, “I get to be seme” (pout!) was it? Did you just stamp yar purty little foot when you did that ???

      Besides, no couple or two people considering getting together lead with their weirdest sex fantasies and anyone who wants to stay coupled learns to moderate their imaginations, because the real thing is very fine, thank you, so why ruin it by asking for leather and cat ears and painful weirdness? Fortunately, Mada isn’t listening.

      Or maybe he’s got his own headful of weird fantasies? Or Hato was far too successful being supportive during Mada’s convalescence. The kid cooked for him, argues a correspondent. That counts. Confessions minus cooking him dinner equal zero. How traditional!

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      • >Hato drops the final bomb. Hato expects “hatomada” and for yaoi fans that means -ahem- violent fetishised anal rape…

        Uh. What?

        >Besides, no couple or two people considering getting together lead with their weirdest sex fantasies and anyone who wants to stay coupled learns to moderate their imaginations, because the real thing is very fine, thank you, so why ruin it by asking for leather and cat ears and painful weirdness? Fortunately, Mada isn’t listening.

        From the review, it sounds like Hato’s being the more realistic one.

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        • Part of Hato is being realistic:discrimination, having to keep their relationship secret, Mada having to forgo the pleasures of the female body. Part of him is missing the point, thinking that Mada ONLY wants a fantasy Hato-girl – there are strong indications that Mada doesn’t really mind the “blur” between male and female versions of Hato. Then there is the part that is highly unrealistic; insisting on his deepest fantasies from the outset. Hato does not draw happy vanilla hand-in-hand western slash when he draws. Hato draws hardcore fetishized m:m bondage porn, of the kind that was lampooned as Ogiue’s tastes as well in the Anime second season, ep 5. A refresher:
          kissanime.to/Anime/Genshiken-2/Episode-05?id=6439

          This is why the yaoi fandom in Japan catches plenty of shit for turning m:m attraction into a default extreme representation. Not that guy fans don’t do the same with extreme het pr0n and exploitative yuri, but that’s why otaku are seen as indiscrete amateur porn enthusiasts. (Some of the gay manga for and by gay guys can get extremely sick-making too, but much of that stuff came after the earth was already scorched by the wimmins? Not solid on this, need research) Caveat: the lines between “BL” and the raunchier usually fan-made “yaoi” have been thrashed over for ages and everyone has their own way to define the categories.

          Crap, I go on… in someone else’s blog too. My Bad. Final thot: Hato backing away and overturning furniture in pursuing Mada’s path is part of the chapter dynamics – it sure makes for an odd courtship. I dont know if it is an effective substitute for the expression of deeper feelings, but I can understand the “you don’t really want me” self-doubt routine – once I have been whacked upside on the head with it. Damn! I wish I could understand even the most rudimentary Japanese !!!!!!

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          • Really, the otaku universe… It can be pretty extreme ( specially in the doujin scene). Anyway, you get a point. Madarame is not a complete stranger to some of the realities of adulthood, and one of these is being assured on himself (by identifying oneself with some accepted characteristics, etc… in his case, otakuness… And proud of it. He built his personality around it.). Of course, this doesn’t solve his irresolute behavior in most of things. But as once Saki said, he has unspoken traits that make him attractive. He’s calm, honest, collected and take things upfront. He’s tall and slender, and he doesn’t dress like a complete slob.The whole “harem game” wouldn’t have happened if the girls didn’t see those traits. Hato also picked up inconsciously on those, and even played on the same terms (using “feminine power”) as the rest of the girls. Unconnivingly, he accepts the “male” mindset of Madarame, and he even feels confortable ”as the girl”. For such a character, so strong in beliefs and attitudes, he’s surprisingly scared of making reality his supposed dreams. I can’t fault him for running away from Madarame, (even now!) because Madarame’s somewhat flaky behavior in response to his advances. Then, why Madarame continues to give him hope, or why Madarame speaks so freely of this “thing” that could happen between those two? Because Madarame is an inhabbitant of the cultural margin of society : the “despised” otaku. That includes the blurry views on genders, and most bizarre cultural fetishes and the like. He’s open about these things, and not afraid to discuss. The very real problem for Madarame is not his identity or his sexuality, but sentimental and romantic realization. This doesn’t imply that he’s needy, but that that’s his real necessity, one that he can’t still expresa neatly in words. Hato could be his love partner just because their comparibility on interests. Hato expressed the same to Yajima: (he and she) could happen because fujoshiness. But to Madarame the attractive prospect of MadaxHato could be, precisely that Hato’s mind is still the one of a guy, despite the feminine appearances and behavior of Hato. To him, sex with a male body is something bearable if it is with Hato’s body and face (heh, it could be even a tasteful experience).But, Hato could understand that? And if he knew, he would accept it? There are no clear rules or boundaries between them, besides the infatuation that sometimes sparks between them. There’s the evident possibility of the “Madarame’s stigma” , that there’s no real will and no true plans for a romantic prospect to take place. In this regard, Yajima’s more aware and prepared (and I dare say, determined) to take Hato’s castle, in Yoshitake’s truer words. I don’t think that Yajima won’t claim her prize in her due time . Madarame will make waste of this opportunity just because he doesn’t know how to make the best use of it, or let’s say that his opportunity will be fruitless (even if he manages to catch up) just because of that. Giving us hope is a bad idea, Shimoku! Don’t break the poor Madarame again, dude! I say this trying to board the MadaxSue ship….yes, those two dorks are so made for eachother, aaaayup ! XD

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            • “”And if he knew, he would accept it?”” Ok, your take is the best so far; Mada might be unafraid of the (tourist) m:m excursion and in pursuit but will ultimately fail because he is too romantic. Complex AND harsh, Hmm, sounds like the old pre-Genshiken Kio Shimoku.

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              • Heh, thank you.
                I came back to read again my post, and thought that maybe I wasn´t very clear. That WAS almost a wall of text. Yes, Madarame isn´t very realistic in managing his sentimental life, and that´s why he fails to catch his “would-be lovers” needs, subtleties and not-so-subtle messages (body language, double-entendre, etc). He´s quite oblivious, you see. Something most males only learn to smooth that by experience, though. The “cringe” for the readers is seeing a grown-man that somehow still feels on the inside like that 12-16 year old making first contact with the other sex. And he knows that, but can´t help it. He´s very different from Yajima´s, whose views on her environment are more perceptive, and perhaps, well-grounded. That´s the big card that has Yajima over Madarame. In a way, she´s more mature. I believe the author of the blog has talked of the big shift between the “old” and the “new” otaku generations. This is likely a subtle representation of that “theme”. Anyway, you should name me some of the older works of Shimoku, I haven´t found any. Cheers!

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                • Kagerou Nikki (陽炎日記?) (1995-as far as I know was never xl8ted. Raws can be found. Caution, other manga with similar titles exist)
                  Yonensei (四年生?) (1997)
                  Gonensei (五年生?) (1998) – sequel of Yonensei (both scanlated)

                  later works are more comedic, although Jigo Puri: The Princess of the Hell is dark comedy (one volume or less scanlated.)

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  4. Pingback: The squeee heard ’round the world | HEARTS OF FURIOUS FANCIES

  5. Hehe, love conquers all, yes. But here, in this Comments section, it looks like everyone is going crazy fighting for their ships. ^_^

    Me, I don’t have any favorite pairings, I’m fine with whatever happens in the end. But I think there are a few things that are set in stone right now, and trying to ignore them is simply delusional.

    1) Yajima will never, ever get Hato. The fact that they are together in Spotted Flower clinches it. Spotted Flower, you should remember, is an exploration of pairings and situations that *could* happen in Genshiken but are not meant to happen. Madarame with Saki. Yajima with Hato. Kanako turning into a baby-making machine for whoever her husband is (certainly not Tanaka, who can barely support two people but can’t support a big family). All this could theoretically happen in the original series, but will not happen, ever.

    2) Angela knows. Angela can read Madarame like an open book. Remember, she knew about Madarame’s crush on Saki waaay before anyone else even suspected it. If Angela says Madarame loves Hato, then that’s how it is. Heck, for many chapters already, Kio has been giving us hints like juggernauts. The bed scene. The hand-in-Angela’s-cheek scene. Tons of giant clues. If you choose to ignore them, you’re in for a big disappointment.

    3) This is not a manga thing, but I feel I should mention it. Anal sex is VERY uncommon, even between gay people. Even with a good lube, it *hurts*. In BL everyone does it, but that’s because BL is just a fantasy world for girls. In the real world, the usual for a homosexual couple is to pleasure each other using their hands and mouths. Thinking realistically about it, Madarame’s anal virginity is not in danger here. (And neither is Hato’s, probably.) The only problem for Madarame would be getting used to the touch of a boy’s body when making love, which is really not that difficult (especially with a cutie like Hato). All in all, Mada x Hato is a ship that floats, hehe. ^_^ Whatever will happen depends only on Madarame’s determination (or lack thereof).

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    • I’m going to play devil’s advocate here for a bit, because you make good point but it’s not as cut out as it you think (and I say that a proud madaxhato shipper).

      1) I personally agree that Spotted Flower is the playing ground for Kio, his personal AU fanfic. But! we have no official confirmation for it. I don’t think it will become a real sequel, but it’s possible Genshiken will end inconclusively enough for it to be in the air. We know Kio enjoys ambiguity, hence the lack of names for the characters of Spotted Flowers. It’s an underhanded trick and not one I think is likely, but it’s not entirely out of the picture.

      2) I agree that Madarame has, at the very least, a sort of a crush on Hato. But relationships requires much more than affection to work, and there is no guarantee that either Madarame of Hato can really handle the responsibility and stress that dating requires, let alone being in a gay relationship. Sometimes people are in love and still can’t make things work out, you know?

      3) Um. OK, I don’t know if this is a local thing or what, but uh, anal sex isn’t really that uncommon, in many places including Japan. Like, at all. Even in hetrosexual relationships, it’s one of the first non-vanilla things people try. As far as gay sex goes, it’s true that it takes a lot of preparation and it’s not something you do at the drop of the hat, but regularly? Definitively a common part of a gay couple’s sex life. I have friends in Japan’s queer community and in my local area, and in my experience letting someone know you’re exclusively a top/bottom is pretty important, albeit not a deal breaker. So realistically, if Hato wanted to top and Mada wouldn’t wanna bottom, it would lead to feeling of frustration and unbalance power dynamic in the relationship.

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