What Madarame and Hato Really Said: Genshiken II, Chapter 122 Supplement

Recently, it’s come to my attention that a translation of Genshiken Chapter 122, aka the “Madarame Harem Arc Conclusion” chapter, has been going around that have some serious inaccuracies as to what is being said by Madarame. This seems to have created a good deal of outrage, with people believing that Madarame and Hato are both claiming that Hato isn’t really attracted to men.

That is completely wrong, and I’m here to correct that mistake.

SPOILER WARNING, of course.

First, here’s pages 130-132 from the serialization, when Madarame is explaining his reason for not dating Hato.

Yoshitake: Rame-senpai, you didn’t deny the possibility of Hato x Mada, so what’s the problem with Hato?

Madarame: Well I wouldn’t call it a problem… Let’s see. If we were together, I get the feeling that he would think about it too much and become a wreck in the process.

Yoshitake: …Aahhh… I think I understand…

Yajima: (That’s exactly what would happen.)

Madarame: Let’s say we started dating and hit it off. Even if that happened, I feel that he would be torment himself, believing there was some other pretext for our relationship.

At some point, he would think, Madarame has to feel reluctant about dating a man, right? Hato would think too much, and suffer for it. It should be simpler than that. “Hey I’m just a fudanshi who loves to crossdress, that’s all. No more, no less.” Wouldn’t that be a much better way to live?

With the above, I think you can see that Madarame is not claiming that Hato isn’t gay or bisexual. Rather, what he’s saying is that he wants Hato to find a relationship where he can feel comfortable being himself.

Now, here’s Hato’s later reaction and conversation with Yajima, on pages 143-145.

Yajima: You look better off than I was expecting.

Hato: I’m just really feeling the fact that it’s all over and done. I said everything I wanted to say, and if that’s the case…

Besides, it was a relief to be rejected. It was just as senpai said. Between my appearance and my love of BL I’m going to run into problems eventually.

I understood that, no matter how much I might like someone, it wouldn’t work out with a guy. Even knowing that, I still fell for senpai. Even now my feelings haven’t changed. I’ll probably go on loving him forever. That’s why I think Madarame senpai will be the first and last man I ever love.

Here, Hato does not deny that he was genuinely attracted to Madarame, nor is he going for the, “I don’t love men but I love you!” What he’s saying is that he thinks his feelings for Madarame are never going away, and that no one will take his place. Is he exaggerating? Maybe? Where he is feeling conflicted is the idea that a relationship can’t work with a guy, but that seems to be for other reasons, perhaps owing to society.

I hope this cleared things up for you Genshiken fans. In the end, Hato still isn’t with Madarame, but I think it’s clear that they both think well of each other.

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12 thoughts on “What Madarame and Hato Really Said: Genshiken II, Chapter 122 Supplement

  1. I appreciate the clarification on the translation, that does make things a little clearer on Hato’s end (even if I still think it’s kind of a fatalistic way to end his emotional arc here).

    I still take issue with Madarame’s justification, though, and maybe someone can explain to me where I’m going wrong. If the idea is that he wants Hato to be “comfortable with himself” in a relationship…like, Hato’s already opened up to him and exposed all of his anxieties, and Madarame has made it clear that the idea of being with a guy /doesn’t bother him/, so it still feels weak.

    Aiy. I always look forward to your chapter reviews, they’re very insightful and interesting. I feel like I should mention that since I’ve been vomiting thoughts all over them recently!

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    • Thank you for reading!

      I think one thing is that it’s easy to project how we think the characters should act, but I find that they’re written realistically as well. That means they’re full of flaws, and even their reasoning might not be so great.

      As for Hato, I think this might be more the start of a new emotional arc. We’ll see!

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  2. Thank you for this. I am amending updating posting clarifications on my mess in light of this. One thing hits me though: for all the academic crap I read I get no idea. So maybe you can venture an opinion:

    If a fan-on-the-street Japanese fan were to meet another fan and that guy said, “I’m a fudanshi” how much of that would also say: “Oh and I’m a bit into guys in real life too”? Any idea? What’s the convention? Is “I’m a fudanshi” like saying “I’m gay and into wimmens gay comics”

    Is there one? There really aren’t that many fudanshi floating around real-life Japan anyway, but the implication or lack of it could go a long way to clear things up..

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    • I’m curious about your question too. I’m neither Japanese nor a Japanese speaker, but from piecing together secondhand information, there are not insignificant numbers of Japanese fudanshi who are straight and Japanese people who assume fudanshi are gay. It would be interesting to know if either of those are typical.

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      • Found it: Per a Jp study, referred to in this paper, only +-%20 of fudanshi self-identify as heterosexual or asexual; which would make them appx %1-%2 of all Japanese BL readers. See: http://bit.ly/1M8o3bD

        So, in context, “Hey I’m just a fudanshi who loves to crossdress,” would imply an affirmation of Hato’s sexuality.

        PS: Anyone out there have full MUSE access to snag the whole paper?

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  3. I think ‘first and last man i ever love’ has alot of room for interpretation. Hato could possibly be saying that he didn’t think he would be attracted to another man in the future. I think this is more possible than him saying he would never love another man again even though he’s attracted to men.

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    • And either way it’s a cop-out. Either the implication is “I’m not ~really queer, Madarame was just an anomaly and I’ll go back to my regularly scheduled straightness now” or it’s “I /am/ queer but this has been such a traumatic shitshow that I’m never going to be open about my feelings again, ha ha”. I’m with you, re: being disappointed by the entire thing.

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      • But that reaction is very in character for Hato. I’ll be disappointed if it’s endorsed by the narrative or if Hato never progresses from that thinking, but it fits his previous behavior.

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  4. Thanks for clearing things up. I’d just like to clarify that the people who did the first translation(s) and summaries aren’t to blame; they were upfront about being rough and not entirely fluent in Japanese. If any fans ignored the disclaimer, it’s on them.

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  5. This was kind of my fear for a while. Manga and anime have this obsession with not creating ripples within their established stories. Eventually…everything returns to the status quo…or as they like to put it ‘and everything went back to normal’.

    While this makes sense for Madarame’s character…it kind of zapped the life out of this whole thing. All that build up for nothing. But that’s what Madarame’s really good at I guess.

    I’ll guess we’ll just see what happens next. I can’t say I’m not disappointed though.

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