Genshiken Second Season Volume 01 (10)

げんしけん: 二代目/Genshiken Nidaime
Genshiken Second Season Volume 01 manga review

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Genshiken Second Season Volume 01Since I’ve already reviewed the tankoubon version of this volume, I’ll focus this review on the Kodansha Comics release (read the tankoubon version review for SPOILER remarks regarding the manga’s story).

For starters, Stephen Paul takes over the franchise as translator. While I’d always had problems with Del Rey’s release not going all out for the otaku angle (not using the word “doujinshi” for a long time for a start), Mr. Paul doesn’t make that mistake here. After all, Genshiken is a pure otaku manga, and Genshiken Second Season (as the English version is officially named) continues that vein, though with a strong girl’s aspect.  As such, not only is “doujinshi” (spelled “dojinshi” without any delimiter denoting the long o) in here, but terms like “fujoshi” and “moe” survive too.  AstroNerdBoy heartily approves of this since as I said, this franchise is pure otaku.

Lest anyone be concerned over a higher level of Japanese polluting their English adaptation of a manga, there are extensive translator notes for the great unwashed. Not only are the otaku terms defined here, but Mr. Paul does the very thing I wish Viz would do for Hayate the Combat Butler — he has excellent translator notes defining the various anime/manga/game/novel parody references.  That includes the renamed versions of real anime/manga/etc. written in the character profiles, which Mr. Paul simply does as a list (ie: Sweet Basket = Fruits Basket), pausing to throw in a bit extra for lesser known titles.  I’ve been told that most folks don’t even bother with translator notes, but I am one who very much appreciates them.

I suppose it goes without saying that the Japanese honorifics are retained for the adaptation.  I would hope so, in light of the other otaku friendly elements. ^_~

It isn’t surprising that Kodansha Comics decided to pass on the color pages that were included in the Japanese tankoubon. I’d hoped that maybe Dark Horse throwing in color pages for some of their manga titles would encourage others, but color pages do add to the expense of the manga printing, so no go.  Still, I would have liked to have had the color pages here.

I should note that in Japan, this is known as volume 10, picking up the numbering from where the original Genshiken left off. Kodansha Comics calls this volume 01, which is something I suspected would happen regardless of whomever licensed the series for the U.S. market. I suppose that they were afraid of confusing stupid people who’d wonder where the first nine volumes were (though this could have been handled in a translator note, which could have doubled as a cheap advertisement to push the Genshiken omnibus volumes Kodansha Comics is currently publishing).  That being said, the table of contents page does correctly label this manga as volume 10, including keeping the proper chapter numbers starting with chapter 56 and ending with chapter 61.

As far as I can tell, the volume contains all of the extras from the Japanese tankoubon (sans the color pages), so thankfully, there are no cuts there.

Bottom line: Kodansha Comics does a good job with this volume (bearing in mind that it has been a while since I’ve read the volume, so I don’t remember if there were text errors or not).  I wish there could have been color pages, but I’ll take what we were given.

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