Boyz II Men: Genshiken II, Chapter 125

In this month’s chapter of Genshiken Nidaime, the old boys are back.

Chapter Summary

Madarame, Tanaka, and Kugayama meet up for drinks. While they start talking about how things have changed now that Madarame’s finally not going back to the old university, the conversation eventually shifts to girls. As Madarame realizes how the boys of Genshiken have at some point started talking about girls instead of anime, he swears to bring himself back to his original mega otaku self. However, just as he successfully tempts the rest of the guys to pull out some 18+ doujinshi, Kohsaka shows up with Saki, who seems unfazed by Madarame’s attempts to creep her out. Not long after, they reveal to the guys that Saki is pregnant.

This causes Madarame to flip and exclaim that he should’ve just picked someone and ended his virginity, but then Saki reveals that it was all a lie orchestrated by her and Kohsaka to get Madarame to confront his true feelings. She then tells Madarame straight up that he should go out with Sue on account of his reasoning for rejecting her being total BS, and even gets Sasahara to call Ogiue and get Sue on the phone. Saki says to Madarame that, if Sue’s not interested anymore then it’s fine, but otherwise…

Straight Shooter Saki

Ah, Kasukabe Saki. While Keiko kind of fulfills her role as the no-nonsense outsider, she doesn’t quite capture Kasukabe’s ability to just cut straight to the point. Quite a few of the readers on this blog have commented that Madarame’s reasoning for rejecting Sue was incredibly weak, and I find it interesting that Kio Shimoku would purposely set that up as a sticking point. While I do still think that Madarame’s reasoning wasn’t solely to run away from the situation, it was pretty flimsy on the surface.

It’s also revealed that Saki set her ploy up because Kohsaka and her suspected that Madarame’s real reason for not choosing a girl was that he was still pining after he deep down inside. While I think this was pretty clear, especially given his reason for rejecting Keiko (she reminds Madarame too much of Kasukabe), this really shows just how much that’s actually the case. Somewhere in all of this is the idea that the other girls are maybe too otaku to get to the heart of the matter. Ogiue might be blunt and Yoshitake might be a schemer, but their anime and manga-oriented minds inadverently allowed the harem to flourish, and thus allowed Madarame to remain wishy-washy about the whole thing. Saki really is amazing.

As for the fake pregnancy, before Saki revealed the truth my immediate reaction was that this basically would have marked off Spotted Flower as a possibility. Now, it’s back to being in this nebulous space of pseudo-canon/alternate universe, and it’s a very intentional move by Kio to mess with his readership. Maybe, somehow, we’re all Madarame. What this also means, based on all of the talk of girls and sex (or in some cases lack thereof), is that the thematic gap between Genshiken and Spotted Flower is ever-shrinking.

By the way, the named of the chapter is “High-Slope Flower,” which is a parody of Spotted Flower, only with a reference to Kohsaka instead of Madarame; the saka in Kohsaka means “hill.”

Kio you troll.

Sex Talk

Though it’s one of the main jokes of the chapter, it really is crazy that the boys of Genshiken have been having varying degrees of success with the ladies, not least of which is Madarame’s recent harem adventures.

It’s unclear if Rino the Cabaret girl is actually interested in Kugayama or is basically doing her job and manipulating her client for more pay (remember, Cabaret Clubs are all about talking with girls as opposed to being a sex service), but it’s very likely that the latter is a factor. Kugayama himself acknowledges this, but just the fact that he is making some kind of vague move towards fulfilling his desire for real-life women, and that he’s gone from visiting Cabaret ladies to just one in particular, is itself a kind of change or progression.

One of the more notable aspects of this chapter is that Tanaka and Sasahara reveal quite a few details about their sex lives. Tanaka mentions that he “only” gets to have sex with Ohno about once a week, while Sasahara says that his rate is about once a month, much to Madarame’s consternation. Tanaka even mentions to Kugayama about how asking for a girl’s three sizes in order to get a cosplay outfit made for her (Kugayama’s current plan for a gift to Rino) can turn into dirty talk.

References to the characters having sex is nothing new to Genshiken. Way back, Saki talked about her and Kohsaka doing it doggy-style. Ogiue started drawing more realistic penises in her doujinshi after she began her relationship with Sasahara. I think this situation might feel different because it’s the guys, the ones who are supposed to be the “losers,” doing it, and so the dissonance in Madarame is understandable. I also believe that this dissonance was a huge factor when it came to Madarame’s decision to abstain from choosing a partner. This candidness contrasts with the younger characters that comprise the main cast now as well, because they are for the most part are still very shy about this sort of thing.

It’s easy to tell that the conversations are causing Madarame’s imagination to go wild, and that too is understandable.

They Just Keep Pulling Me Back In!

If Madarame does indeed end up with Sue after all, does it matter that it happens after the harem arc concluded rather than it being a direct result of Madarame’s decision? After all, choosing a partner would have, by definition, ended the arc anyway.

This is all speculation at this point, but I do think there is a difference between having Sue the winner of a competition versus her and Madarame potentially building something up together on their own. I think the harem itself put a lot of pressure on Madarame that a simpler one-to-one relationship wouldn’t carry, even if it doesn’t work out.

As for Sue essentially being Madarame’s 2D complex ideal given flesh and how this might mean that Madarame loses the last vestiges of his realistic otaku self, there are two points to take into consideration. First, guys can have many different ideals to the point that arguably any of the other partners could be considered an “ideal,” but the way the story has portrayed them shows a lot of interesting facets to their characters. Sue still seems a bit otherworldly, but this might be the start to opening her up more. Second, Sue really is the only one at Madarame’s otaku power level.

No Ogiue Image This Month

They do mention her, though.

Sasahara: Basically, Sue’s at Ogiue’s apartment, which means I can’t visit. Do something about it, please.
Madarame: Wha? What do ya mean? Wait… You just want to have sex with her!
Sasahara: ……That’s right! What’s wrong with that?!

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16 thoughts on “Boyz II Men: Genshiken II, Chapter 125

  1. I had snuck a peek at the raw and was shocked but happy to see this be a classic Genshiken outing, sans Ohno and Ogiue. Even in my very limited Japanese, I did see the page where Kousaka announced Saki was pregnant and I thought, “Oh. Well, I guess this means that ‘Spotted Flower’ is just a ‘what might have been’ tale after all.” But then I saw them saying it was a lie and apologizing made me really want to read the chapter rather than get tiny tidbits here and there.

    It is interesting that Kio-sensei is trolling fans, but he did bring Saki back. Through Keiko, he revealed Saki is concerned for Madarame and then she shows up here, expressly with that concern. The part of me that wants to see Kio-sensei go ahead and have Spotted Flower be the canon sequel to Genshiken wants this to be an indication that Saki has deeper feelings for Madarame.

    I predict that Sue and Madarame will be a couple for a time. That keeps Madarame attached to the manga, even if he’s not visiting the school.

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  2. Damn, as I don’t speak Japanese,I thought that Kohsaka and Saki wanted to announce that they were breaking up and that Kohsaka was proposing to Madarame to date Saki if he wanted… I was completely wrong!
    It’s going to be fun and cute if Madarama and Sue start dating after all.

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  3. Good chapter. I like Saki and Kousaka’s relationship, so I’m glad Kio doesn’t seem any closer to breaking them up all for the sake of Madarame. Saki’s like a no-nonsense older sister to Madarame and I like that she cut straight to the point of his wishy-washy self. A Madarame and Sue ending would make sense and be pretty satisfying, so hopefully he agrees.

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    • Also, hopefully this is leading the way for Madarame to finally stop secretly pining over his friend’s girlfriend. It’s becoming more and more pathetic and I’d be pretty creeped out if I was Kousaka or Saki, but, then again, they’ve always treated him with kid gloves. Bottom line, he’s been rejected and she’s in a happy relationship. It’s time for him to move on and for good.

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      • Uh, it’s time for him to move on but not by caving in to more pressure from others, even if well meaning. If he goes for Sue without earning it in some kind of manner (nothing in the past arcs have built up a sufficient romantic relationship IMHO) it’s a disservice to Sue.

        As long as he’s not stalking Saki, it’s none of their business what he feels; they don’t even live in the same area anymore or interact on any level except via mutual friends. It’s more they are creeping on him by invading his private life. So you’re totally got it backwards there.

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  4. …I was pretty disappointed in how the Arc worked out, but if it was just the fake setup for a real relationship to bud, it will be genius. Also I’ve said this a few times, but I still think Spotted Flower is a fan manga written by one of the characters, which would allow it to be semi-realistic, but not be a straight sequel.

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    • That would be a very clever resolution to the Spotted Flower conundrum. More well-written than it being a simple au story and far less of a ridiculous wish-fulfillment than it becoming a canon future.

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  6. Going against the grain a little to say I honestly feel pretty bad for Sue at this point. It’s true that Madarame gave a bullshit reason for not choosing Sue at the big harem-arc-concluding dinner, but then again, it’s not like Madarame has even shown much romantic interest in Sue to begin with, other than reacting to the fact that she’s a cute girl who’s paying attention to him.

    And even now, the reasons the older Genshiken cohort are offering for why Madarame should ask her out — “You don’t have a good reason not to” and “It would let me have sex with my girlfriend” being chief among them — don’t have anything to do with how Madarame feels. If he’s secretly in love with Sue and has held back up until this point out of fear, the manga hasn’t sold me on that at all.

    I also can’t help wonder about the fact that Madarame never talked to any of his friends, other than Kugayama, about how seriously he’s been considering dating Hato. All the people who know anything about actual romantic relationships are operating on some seriously incomplete information, Saki in particular.

    Anyway! We’ll see! Genuinely interested to see where Kio is going with all of this.

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    • You´re mostly right in your post. And i think that´s the game Kio Shimoku will play: Is there really anyone who has snatched the heart of Madarame after Saki? I doubt it. Saki seemed peeved by Madarame´s persistent denial and the group isn´t really worried by his sentimental wellbeing. He´s just being pushed around, to decide. Sue´s no solution, neither Hato is. The harem arc (which I found it a bit jerk-ish to inflict upon Madarame…) was an evident show of how little they know about him, aside from the more superficial and evident of Madarame´s aspects. Kugayama´s the only one, I think, who tried to open him at looking outside of the university environment. I think Kugayama´s approach was more on point: “see new faces outside of your usual playgrounds, and see what sticks”. Which, I think it´s what Madarame needs, in a certain way. He isn´t a college student anymore.

      And I liked the Keiko-Madarame chemistry, which was good. And perhaps that could have worked, but it´s evident that Keiko had another ideas about what the “relationship” could have entailed.

      I too, am interested to what ends will go Kio to torture this poor sap.

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  7. Saki seems too vested in caring who Maradarame ends up with. Either way, won’t people stop messing with the poor guy? Let him work things out in his own way and time and quit stirring the pot and trying to set him up. Sheesh.

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