Genshiken Manga Volume 9

Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Volume 9

Summary (mild spoilers):

Genshiken Volume 9Ohno’s friends Sue and Angela have arrived from America for their second trip to attend the Winter ComiFes as well as to take in some Japanese culture. Ogiue learns that Sue may not be as ignorant of Japanese as they all thought. Then later, Genshiken, Tanaka, Madarame, and Kugayama, Sue, and Angelea head to a Narita temple to bring in the New Year.

Later again, Ogiue decides she’s going to make a real manga for submission and shows her storyboards to Sasahara, who’s going to be a manga editor in his first job. He critiques her work, leading her to extreme frustration and anger. However, his words made her redo the title, making it even better and proper for submission.

Madarame has lunch in the Genshiken room where Saki is. When agrees to him getting her some tea from a vending machine, she’s reminded of the time when he bought her a beverage and she slugged him. He feigns ignorance of the event, but in reality it is seared in his mind, revealing that he has feelings for Saki. Their conversation of the past and his decision to thank her for the four years she spent as a Genshiken member causes her to get emotional.

Because it is nearly graduation time, Ohno forces Saki to live up to her promise to cosplay, having Kugayama drive in 15 outfits for Saki as well as outfits for Ohno (with Tanaka and Kuchiki roped in to carry the stuff in). However, only Ohno and Tanaka are allowed to see this cosplaying with Tanaka taking pictures. When the stuff is developed, Ohno follows her hunches and gets Madarame to meet her to view them. He decides to refuse and when Saki arrives, the pictures get scattered on the ground in Ohno’s attempt to hide them, thus allowing Madarame to see Saki as he always wanted to — in cosplay.

After the graduation ceremony where Saki, Kousaka, and Sasahara complete college, he and Ogiue head to the Genshiken room after leaving the others where he wants to find a special doujinshi. The two talk about things regarding their relationship and before they can kiss, Sasahara suspects that the others are in fact spying on them. Sure enough, he was right. When the group all gathers again, Ohno convinces Ogiue to become the new president of the club. Then everyone heads for an after-graduation party at a restaurant where they discuss the possibility of Saki being a moe character. They bring Ohno and Oguie into the conversation for what type of female anime character they’d be.

Thoughts/Review:

Another good volume and I’m sorry that the series is over. The return of Angela and Sue didn’t do a lot for me, but it did provide a vehicle to explore Ogiue a bit more, and that I liked. The chapter where Madarame and Saki are alone in the club room again was pure gold in that we got a clear picture of how he viewed her. I always knew he respected her a great deal and likely was somewhat attracted to her (the picture of her cosplay that he kept proved that), but I didn’t know just how deep his feelings were. The chapter ended up being very touching and it will be interesting seeing it animated.

The “silent chapter” was gold as well. Akamatsu-sensei did a similar chapter in Negima! and it worked very well. Shimoku-sensei does the same thing with Saki’s cosplay photo shoot and aftermath.

As for the series as a whole, it works because of the characters. We have views of otaku from two sides. Sasahara provides the otaku track and Saki the “normal” track. Both grow quite a bit over the nine volumes. Sasahara starts out afraid to even look at a doujinshi and now he has an otaku girlfriend with whom he can be himself with. Plus, he’s now going to be a manga editor. For Saki, she started out hating Genshiken and the otaku life, but in the end, these people became dear friends to her.

Its a shame the original president didn’t show up at the end for a cameo, but oh well.

Bottom line: this is one of my favorite manga titles. Thanks to Del Rey for bringing it to us.

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One Response to “Genshiken Manga Volume 9”

  1. […] was to the others surprised me a bit until I remembered that it was Ohno who summoned Madarame in volume 9 and was apparently going to give him a stash of cosplay photos Tanaka took of Saki so that Saki […]

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