The Mystery of the Disappearing Keiko

Sasahara Keiko, sister of Sasahara Kanji, is non-existent in the anime Genshiken 2.

Essentially, they’ve turned Kuchiki into a surrogate Keiko, giving modified lines that she would have been delivering to Kuchiki instead. I think this is really a shame because Keiko becomes a pretty good character in the second half of the Genshiken manga and that while the overall effect for the sake of the plot is the same, their wildly different character types result in two wildly different deliveries of the same information. Keiko fills a role that Saki can’t, being both normal (if you consider ko-gal to be normal) AND unreliable, and she gets quite a few good lines and even a chapter devoted to her. Probably the best example of Keiko goodness is in Volume 9 of the manga with her interactions with both Ogiue and Ohno.

All this considered, I’m not exactly sure why they’ve done this, seeing as Keiko has appeared as late as the third OVA episode. There are a number of possibilites though. Maybe Keiko’s voice actor, Shimizu Kaori, was unable to fulfill the role. Maybe they figured Keiko wouldn’t be a popular character. Maybe they thought the cast would have gotten too cluttered. Maybe they really like Kuchiki. It’s all speculation though.

At the very least though, I can say that reading the manga and watching the anime are two similar but different experiences. I, of course, recommend doing both.


Ogiue in Mii form

Back when I first got my Wii, my first order of business was creating an Ogiue Mii.

I have uploaded it to Check Mii Out at 9781-2877-1647. It’s based on roughly volume 5-volume 6-style Ogi. I may make one that’s closer to her anime counterpart.

And yes, I will be referring to different periods of Ogiue aesthetics from now on.

You can also use the feature to see the rest of the Mii’s I’ve put online.

Does learning Japanese hurt the domestic anime and manga industry?

I have taken years of Japanese. I studied abroad in Japan in a university with virtually no English speakers. The result is that I am more or less fluent, and that at some point I decided to start buying some manga in the original Japanese because it usually comes at a lower cost. Genshiken is an example.

However, by doing so, I am also directly taking away from sales of the Del Rey release in respect to me personally. At the same time, though, my early fandom into Genshiken I know has caused other people to pick up the manga as it was being released her. My consistent and long-term Ogiue fandom has caused people to take notice of Genshiken, buy it, read it, and enjoy it immensely. If I had never started reading the Japanese versions, this may not have happened. So it’s tricky to say, at least as it concerns myself and my interactions with others, whether or not this has hurt the chances of certain things succeeding in the US.

I think there may be a certain balance, and that there is a potential point where if too many anime fans were fluent in Japanese, it would hurt the domestic industry, but that with a certain percentage of fans as Japanese-literate that it may actually be very beneficial. This might sound like I’m encouraging a portion of the anime-viewing population to remain ignorant, but that’s not the case, and the chances of “too much” of the population learning Japanese leans on the slim side anyway.

My prediction was wrong

In an earlier post, I predicted that the Ogiue cosplay in volume 7 of the manga would be replaced by Ogiue’s Menma cosplay in the opening.

Is this what they mean when they say “I can’t lose?”