Genshiken Volume 8 *SPOILERS*

Genshiken Volume 8 *SPOILERS*

Amazon recently shipped me Genshiken Volume 8, which I finally got to read on Tuesday night. I have to say that this is may be the best manga yet in terms of character development and story, though as one might expect, the humor levels go down as a result.

Summary

Genshiken Volume 8Genshiken Volume 8 mostly centers on Ogiue, whom followers of the manga will know came into the Genshiken club with the pronouncement of hating otaku, especially female otaku who were into homos. Of course this lead to conflict with Ohno-san and the fun began. Ohno and Saki get Ogiue drunk on the club trip, so she tells them the story of her experience in junior high school. Her friends decided to do a yaoi story about two of their male classmates, one of whom liked Ogiue (named Makita). They convince Ogiue to draw a yaoi porn manga featuring both guys, but somehow Makita got a copy of the manga. As such, he quits school and ultimately transfers somewhere else while Ogiue gets into trouble at school. After that, Ogiue earned the nickname Homoue from some of her classmates. This revelation leads Ohno and Saki to decide that Sasahara needs to be with Ogiue (they having noticed the attraction between the two).

The next day, Sasahara is left to watch a seriously hung-over Ogiue while the rest of Genshiken go off to sight see and the like. Ohno and Tanaka are off at a nearby waterfall so that Tanaka can take pictures of Ohno in a kimono. The two talk about the situation and Ohno threatens punishment on Sasahara if he makes Ogiue cry. Both Sasahara and Ogiue are aware of this obvious set up, but tolerate the situation. Ogiue manages to get back to sleep and dreams of being back in junior high where someone in class blurts out “Homoue” leading one of Ogiue’s friends to demand to know who said that. Ogiue flees to the roof of the school, climbs over the fence and leaps off backward, only she becomes Makita and sees herself in a window looking with a leer.

She wakes up and after Sasahara serves her tea, he decides to make a love confession to her. She remembers her dream, says she doesn’t date guys, and flees the cabin. She’s seen fleeing by Ohno, who gets ticked. She and Saki confront Sasahara, who tells them what happen. They force him to go after her and he catches her. They talk and in her memory, we see that she had really attempted to commit suicide over the yaoi manga she did of her two classmates. After some quite reflection over how she acts, she apologizes to Sasahara and states that after the trip, she’ll quit Genshiken. Sasahara tells Ogiue the things he likes about her and that she shouldn’t be so negative on herself.

It is here that Ogiue tells Sasahara of the homo-erotic drawings she’s done of him and Madarame. When he asks for some clarification, she confirms it is hardcore artwork. After some consideration, he tells her it doesn’t sound so bad, but she feels this is because he hasn’t actually seen the artwork. After telling him a brief account of what happened to her in junior high, he finally understands her a bit more. He convinces her not to quit Genshiken until he’s seen the artwork and says that he’ll have to accept this part of her if they are to go out.

When Sasahara returns, Ohno is not pleased to hear that Sasahara and Ogiue have decided to continue their conversation when they return home. However, when Ogiue tells the two that she’s going to show the artwork to Sasahara and not run away any more, Ohno is pleased by this turn of events. As such, after the trip, Ogiue sends a text message to Sasahara to come by her apartment the next day.

The next day he comes by and after some small talk, she produces the work and goes to another room. While she is in torment knowing he’s looking at her hardcore yaoi art featuring Sasahara, he takes it in stride. After letting her know he finished, he admits that some of the imagery aroused him even though he isn’t gay. This stuns Ogiue, but she’s pleased to hear him say that he can tell she has a love for her characters. He presses her on her feelings for him and she’s loathe to make a confession because he should already know how she feels. She sits next to him on the sofa. She kinda gets onto him for not being more aggressive, but he reminds her that this is how she imaged him in the artwork. He looks at the artwork again with her their and then kisses her. It is then that he tells her that maybe he’ll show her how aggressive he can really be.

Sometime later at the club room, Ogiue is working on her new doujinshi with Saki and Ohno there. Sasahara enters and after some discussion, it is revealed that he and Ogiue have never actually gone out on a date even though they are now a couple and hang out together. That has Saki send them to the zoo on a real date. After some time there, Ogiue reveals that she’s angry because Sasahara never asked her out on a date even though she’d stated there’s no points in going out on dates. This leads Sasahara to learn something about women while he promises her to take her out on a real date. The two explore the zoo and Ogiue finds she loves the elephants, which Sasahara grabs a picture of her. On the train ride home, Sasahara learns the power of women when Ogiue whispers in his ear that their date isn’t over yet. When they get to her place, she has a rejection letter for the doujinshi she’d planned to sell at a doujinshi event.

During the college’s school festival, Genshiken does a cosplay event where people can come by in costume, have their picture taken and printed on the spot. Some girls from the Manga Club drop by with Ogiue, then leave. Later when Ogiue takes a brake from the Genshiken booth, she stops by the manga club’s maid cafe where Yabusaki, one of the girls who’d came by the Genshiken booth, sits at Ogiue’s table. They talk (sometimes rudely) and it is revealed that the Manga Club girls are now divided because of Ogiue. Ogiue wants to apologize, but Yabusaki says it will make things worse.

Returning to the Genshiken booth, Sasahara brings her some lunch. Yabusaki and the other two Manga Club girls return as well. After some blustering, Yabusaki is interrupted by Katou, who lets Ogiue know that Yabusaki is interested in Ogiue contributing to Yabusaki’s next yaoi doujinshi. Yabusaki even owns Ogiue’s previous doujinshi work (which she sold in volume 7). As the trio leaves, Katou gives a thumbs-up to Ohno. Ogiue wonders to Sasahara what’s she’s supposed to draw for them and he tells her to ask next time she sees Yabusaki.

Thoughts/Review:

OK, I learned WAY more about the yaoi genre then I ever wanted to know thanks to this manga. Despite that, this volume is my favorite of the lot thus far, making me even sadder that volume 9 (which won’t come out until this fall) is the last in the series. I really felt Ogiue’s pain and suffering as Shimoku-sensei did a fantastic job of bringing this to light. The dream sequence is a bit odd, but the point was that Ogiue tried to kill herself back then and that explains her leaping out the window of the Manga Club when the fight happened back then. She’s been running for a long, long time since she didn’t die in her suicide attempt.

The fact that Sasahara accepts her, yaoi otaku and all, was very sweet. I don’t understand the whole getting turned on by seeing drawings of yourself and one of your friends, but he is hard-core otaku and is into a wide range of hentai materials (games, manga, anime, doujinshi, etc.). He didn’t get into the brother-sister hentai stuff, so why would he get into himself. Ugh! That was freaky. But it did serve its purpose I suppose and allowed he and Ogiue to become a couple. They really do fit well together in many ways and it will be interesting to see where this goes in the final volume.

Genshiken is certainly one of my favorite manga titles and while Genshiken Volume 8 didn’t have the humor of previous volumes, I actually enjoyed having Ogiue’s character fleshed out despite having so much yaoi stuff involved. I think she’s received more character development than any of the other characters in the manga.


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