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Thread: Genshiken manga series

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    Lady Jaye's Avatar
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    Default Genshiken manga series

    I discovered this manga by chance last weekend when I picked up some Zelda manga that I was missing (that booth at the Montreal Comic-Con was selling manga at US cover price instead of the Canadian cover price -- which is still a couple of bucks less, but also offered an extra dollar off per book if you bought five books).

    Since I only picked four Zelda books, I was one book short from the extra $5 rebate, so I picked up Genshiken Omnibus vol. 1 (which includes the first three books of the series). Genshiken is a manga series (and later an anime) about an otaku club in a Japanese university. The two main characters are Sasahara, a shy kid who overcomes his reluctance to embrace his geekiness by joining The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture (Gendai Shikaku Bunka Kenkyūkai, or Genshiken for short). The other main character is Kasukabe, the non-otaku girlfriend of mega-otaku (and cute boy) Kousaka. She joins in hoping to get her boyfriend out of the club and stop being such an otaku, but she eventually becomes more attached to the group of geeks without ever really being one herself. The other members of the group who regularly hang out in the room are into videogames, cosplay, model making... Our Japanese cousins, the typical otaku crowd, in other words.

    It's a light, funny manga series that's definitely not for younger kids (it's considered 16+). Nothing is graphically shocking, but there's plenty of talk about eroge (erotic games) and yaoi (boy-on-boy gay manga for women). It's also considerably short compared to other series: there's 11 books total (9+2) and the anime series is equally short with two 12-episode seasons and 3 OVA. Time will only tell how long it will be in the end, since new chapters are still being published.

    The manga is being reprint by Kodansha as three omnibus books for the first series and two regular books for season 2 (season 2 is actually ongoing and started in December 2010). The first two omnibus and the first season 2 book are currently available (the 2nd omnibus came out this week); the 3rd omnibus is coming out in January and the book 2 of season 2, in March.

    I really love that series and have read the first omnibus in a few days. It reminds for some reason of the chess/card club where I used to hang out back in college. It can be annoying that most pop culture elements' names were modified to avoid copyright issues (ie. "King of Fighters" becomes "Champ of Fighters") and sometimes it's harder to figure out what the reference is about. I wish that the translator's notes were all regrouped in the end of the book instead of at the end of each volume, but that's a small issue. I've also started watching the anime, which is faithful to the manga.

    Anyone else have heard of that series and either read or watched it? What do you think? It's been compared to Comic Party, but its thematic (with all that talk about hentai) is more mature-rated.

    Last edited by Lady Jaye; 09-20-2012 at 05:34 PM.

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