Genshiken Second Season Volume 04 (13) Manga Review

げんしけん: 二代目/Genshiken Nidaime
Genshiken Second Season Volume 04
Genshiken Volume 13

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Genshiken Second Season 04Highlights from this volume stat with Ogiue working with Hato on his art style and lack of confidence in drawing when not in drag. Yajima’s and Rika’s high school friends come by the school festival, as does members from Hato’s high school art club, including the girl he often dresses up as, Kaminaga. Hato’s secret is revealed to them, and Kaminaga reveals she’s marrying Hato’s older brother. Saki comes by and sees Sue kiss Madarame on the cheek. Keiko comes by, causing Hato to realize that the former Genshiken members all knew about Madarame’s crush on Saki, disappointing him.

After discovering Hato is a guy, Keiko decides to enlist him in setting up a situation where Madarame is forced to confess his feelings for Saki. They arrange for the two to meet in the Genshiken club room, where Kousaka is changing and Sasahara is waiting for him. After they leave, Saki and Madarame begin their chat.

Although I’ve already chapter-blogged everything in this volume, I want to look at things anew from reading the chapters as a volume of work.

I like that this volume gives us a further look at the friends of Yajima, Rika, and especially Hato. Although Kio-sensei doesn’t state it explicitly, one gets the feeling that Hato’s admiration for Kaminaga went into the realms of having fallen in love with her. Of course now that she’s engaged to his brother, she becomes forbidden fruit on top of being set on the high pedestal he placed her on.

With Saki’s return to the story, Genshiken Second Season gets more interesting. Saki was a driving force in the original Genshiken, so it is not surprising that she drives things forward here, namely identifying the Madarame harem situation that has formed.  Saki was always a sharp one on most things, and this volume also reveals that she knows Madarame harbors feelings for her.  I doubt she knows that Madarame has copies of her cosplay photos, but that’s another issue.

Still, as brash as Saki can be, she can’t very well set up the situation where Madarame can confess to her, which allows Kio-sensei to bring in Keiko to do the deed and do it well. As such, Kio-sensei does a good thing of bringing back the old Genshiken crew, while not forgetting the current crew, and uses the elements at hand to address an old plot thread from the original manga series. I really liked how things played out, right down to Sue giving Madarame a kiss on the cheek.

For the volume compilation of chapters, Kio-sensei has always included 4-koma comic strips to fill in some gaps.  Because of the nature of the story shifting to the school festival, Saki’s return, and Madarame’s unresolved feelings for Saki, these comic strips end up working even better than usual in my opinion. In addition, one gets the impression from these comic strips that Keiko might even consider Hato, which would be an interesting twist.

On the Kodansha Comics side of things, the Japanese honorifics are mostly retained.  I’m still not happy with how Keiko’s form of speech is changed. She doesn’t address Saki as “Saki-san” — she addresses her as “Saki-neesan”, and there’s a big difference there. For the former, it is just a general, slightly informal way of addressing Saki (since Saki is the given name). “Saki-neesan” shows how much Keiko looks up to and respects Saki.  Keiko’s method of addressing Ogiue is translated rather than use the sister title so that folks understand she’s referring to Ogiue as a sister-in-law rather than as a sister.

There are some translator notes here, which for an otaku title, are a must-have in my opinion. At the very least, a good deal of the parody stuff is picked up, but without going through page by page, I can’t say if all the parody stuff was acknowledged.

In the end, this volume is pretty good, bringing back the old Genshiken crew, and setting up the situation for Madarame to possibly confess to Saki.

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