Genshiken Nidaime Manga Chapter 80 Review

げんしけん: 二代目
Genshiken Nidaime Manga Chapter 80

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Genshiken Nidaime Manga Chapter 80Saki makes small take with the flustered Madarame, remarking on how Kenji and Keiko tossed them together.

Elsewhere, Ohno is pondering the situation and contemplating a Mada x Saki event going on when Kousaka shows up in drag, confirming that Saki is alone with Madarame in the clubroom. Ohno is excited by his costume and Ogiue is surprised to see Sasahara make it. Tanaka wonders if it is OK for Saki and Madarame to be alone together, but Kousaka is fine with it since he cares about Madarame and wants to do something for him. Ohno is happily flustered by this and the others aren’t sure what to make of this.

Back in the clubroom, the very uncomfortable Madarame asks if things were that obvious. Saki plays dumb and even pretends to be a bit angry at Madarame making fun of her by not coming right out and saying what he means. Madarame is taken aback, thinking Saki doesn’t know his feelings, so Saki tells him that back in her first year when Madarame put the cat ears on her, she though he liked her. Madarame is stunned by this, leading Saki to wonder if Madarame realized his feelings back then or not. Thinking back, he didn’t know he had feelings for Saki until the nose-hair incident six-months into her first year at college, but when she cosplayed for the club in year 2, that’s when he fell completely for her.

Madarame wonders if he should confess his feelings or not, especially since they are certain to be rejected. Saki gently prods him to say something, so he ends up telling her that she had a nose hair sticking out on the day she punched him. Now Saki is completely floored by this revelation, but then she realizes that in her final year, Madarame lied to her when he claimed no to remember the day she punched him. Madarame says he doesn’t regret how things went, but rather than confess, he sticks with the nose hair statement.

Saki understands this is Madarame’s way of confessing, especially since Madarame gets tearful, and so she turns him down since she is with Kousaka. Her way of working it leads him to ask if Kousaka hadn’t been there, leading her to finish off his question by saying there might have been a future with the two of them.

Madarame feels relieved that this is all over and says so, causing Saki to tear up now. She tells Madarame that four years ago, she’d decided that she would never let on that she knew about Madarame’s feelings, but she had wondered if she was hurting Madarame by doing this. He tells her he really had a good time with her during their college years.

Thoughts/Review:

Kio-sensei, you complete and utter so-and-so! *sniff* Where are my tissues, dagnabbit?

This was an incredible chapter for this long time Genshiken fan. I’ll admit that I didn’t see him really attracted to her until she cosplayed, but even then, I didn’t take it so seriously (and later, I discovered that Kio-sensei had a note in the manga that indicated Madarame did have feelings for Saki) until much later.  Still, the Saki x Madarame plot thread is the last of the big, unresolved plot threads from the original Genshiken, so closing the chapter on Saki and Madarame is kinda like closing the book on the old Genshiken.

(As an aside, seeing Ogiue’s somewhat negative reaction to Sasahara’s unexpected arrival could be a further, former Genshiken thread brought to life again, but we’ll see.)

As I said last chapter, there just was no way that Saki and Madarame could get together logically. Supposedly, Kio-sensei had expressed a desire to get Saki and Madarame together, but couldn’t find a way to do it, thus leading to the creation of Spotted Flower, where his Saki clone and Madarame clone don’t have any back history to prevent them from being together (and I think Kio-sensei eludes to this with his “A Spotted Flower” remark on the final page of the chapter). I saw a fan say somewhere that Kio-sensei could just “make it happen.” As an author, Kio-sensei could do that, but would it be in a way that you’d believe it?

Seriously, once Saki and Kousaka started dating, what would cause them to break up?  Would Kousaka cheat on Saki? I can’t see that happening.  Would Saki just get bored with Kousaka?  I don’t see that happening since she never got bored with him throughout college, and sexually, it was implied that Kousaka had massive stamina.  Would Saki get tired of Kousaka’s otaku ways?  If she did, then why would she go to another otaku?  I could go on, but you get the point.  The way the characters of Kousaka and Saki are set up, they are a happy couple and aren’t likely to break up.

As for Madarame, he has had an unrequited love for Saki for a long time (four years). I can understand his not wanting to broach the subject since Saki would never agree to go with him.  I know she said it could have happened, I don’t believe it (and I think of Little Texas’s “What Might Have Been”).  Without Kousaka there, Saki wouldn’t have joined Genshiken.  If it hadn’t been for Madarame prompting Kousaka to kiss Saki, their relationship might not have gone to the next level, but in that case, what would have kept Saki around?

I doubt we’ll get to see this, but I’d love to see a chapter taking place later in the evening where Tanaka, Kousaka, Madarame, Sasahara, and Kugayama go out for drinks and talk about what happened.  That happened to me a time or two. ^_~

So, where does this leave Madarame?  Do we see Keiko or Sue go for him?  I’m not sure.  To be honest, we might see Madarame simply fade to black and even move to another part of Tokyo.  The closure of this old Genshiken thread really does feel like a way for Kio-sensei to move forward, especially since Ohno graduates this year, followed by Kuchiki and Ogiue next year. With the departure of those three club members, the only remaining carryover character from the original Genshiken manga will be Sue.  Thus, Genshiken will truly be free of its past as time moves ahead, which is part of the reality factor that makes Genshiken so good.

One more thing about Saki — she’s never looked cuter than she did in this chapter as she chatted with Madarame.

So yeah, this was a great chapter and one that ended up being very emotional on a couple of levels.

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5 Responses to “Genshiken Nidaime Manga Chapter 80 Review”

  1. arimareiji says:

    I can see where you’re coming from about Madarame possibly fading to black as a way for Genshiken to almost completely break free from the past, but I don’t think that’s how it’ll turn out. I think the story has to show Madarame moving on with Sue. If for no other reason, it’s because Kio-sensei seems pretty fond of Good Endings, and I don’t see any other good way for one to come about.

    It’s possible that we could still get an alleged Good Ending flag for Madarame with him fading to black and then reappearing years later with a new wife. But in the meanwhile, it would leave readers in suspense about what happened to him, with overtones of “poor Madarame” who just vanished after having his heart broken. And it’d feel extremely contrived. The only way such an ending could be worse would be if she happened to look like Saki.

    With Sue, you have about as clear an opposite of Saki as could exist. If he moves on with her, he really has moved on. Not to mention that if she moves on with him, I get the feeling that it will be a good way for her to break free of the backstory we haven’t heard yet.

    Put me down for $20 on a Sue-Mada ending, with her calming down a bit but still mostly being an irrepressible badarse wacko… and with Madarame having to be the normal one. (^_~) Reflecting on how his character started out, wouldn’t that be a hoot?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      As long as Madarame doesn’t go to the “dark side,” I’m fine. I just read Kodansha’s release of Genshiken Niadaime and got refreshed on both Sue’s possible interest as well as Keiko’s.

  2. TenkaLion says:

    I would really love to see Kio-sensei delve into Ogiue and Sasahara’s relationship a bit more. I never really bought it in the beginning. I mean, sure, as an otaku fresh out of college, I can see how it’s easy to quickly get involved with someone cute who has similar interests. Those kinds of people just don’t exist until college. But there has been no real development of that relationship, and what we’ve seen has been mostly negative. Really, they don’t seem like a happy couple, unless there’s a lot happening off screen that we’re not told about. How great would it be if it turns out Sasahara is a stallion in bed, and Ogiue is staying with him because the sex is good? XD I find it funny because it would completely go against his character.

    And, as I’m sure the rest of the Internet (besides middle school girls obsessed with Hato) would agree, I’m all for Sue x Mada. I agree with arimareji that the contrast between the two of them is deliciously ironic. I can also really see her whackiness rekindle Madarame’s passion in anime, which seems to have slowly dwindled over the years. If Kio-sensei does any other pairing, I’ll have lost all faith in humanity XD

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Really, they don’t seem like a happy couple, unless there’s a lot happening off screen that we’re not told about.

      I agree there. I never saw much in the way of them being attracted to each other other than Sasahara apparently being hot and bothered over seeing Ogiue in cosplay. I suspect the sex between the characters is “good” based on little hints here and there. But sex only goes so far, so yeah, I’m with you on wanting to see their relationship explored further.

      >…I’m all for Sue x Mada

      Ditto. *lol*

  3. […] really saw it working in the original Genshiken, but what do I know. As I mentioned in my review of chapter 80, this pretty much closed the books on the Saki x Madarame […]

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