Genshiken Nidaime Chapter 121 Manga Review (Unable to make a harem choice.)

げんしけん: 二代目Chapter 121 Manga Review
Genshiken Nidaime chapter 121 Manga Review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Genshiken Nidaime Chapter 121Rika announces that after they get back to Yajima’s house and have a few drinks, Madarame will reveal whom he chooses. On the train ride back, Madarame sits alone, looking panicked. Rika is not happy with this because they are going to Edo the next day and she thought he already had a decision in mind. As such, she doesn’t want him ruining this next phase of the trip.

That evening at the table, Rika reintroduces Keiko, Hato, Sue, and Angela. However, when Rika prompts him to make his decision, he instead calls for a meeting to help him decide whom he should choose. Rika is angry about this, but decides to indulge him and allow the others to eat.

Rika gives her opinion on how she thought he’d chosen Hato. Madarame says he had thought about that, but indicates that this isn’t currently true. However, he feels he got too deep to back out totally from the Hato choice.

Ogiue suggests Sue, since Sue is a loli, blonde, otaku, and despite being American, understands Japanese. Plus she’s cute. Madarame concedes that when Sue told him she loved him, he teared up. The others were unaware that Sue had confessed, so when the embarrassed Sue grabs Ogiue, she goes off on Madarame for doing this to Sue and not being able to choose.

Angela suggests that if he chooses her, she’ll let him date the other three when she’s not in Japan. Madarame isn’t sure about this, so Angela reminds him that in a harem title, whenever the main character chooses a single girl, readers get upset. So to give everyone the happy ending, the harem ending is the only choice.

Keiko objects to this since she’d want the guy to herself. She states that she knows she cannot be Saki’s replacement even though she’s the one most like Saki. The impact of this statement hits Madarame hard, causing the others to realize he’s never gotten over her.

Kuchiki says they should draw lots, as they did for the dating, so the four harem members draw colored sticks. Ohno asks Rika if she’s fine with this outcome. Rika doesn’t know about that, but she does believe the harem situation must be resolved for Genshiken’s sake. Madarame refuses to draw, saying he’ll make his own decision.

Thoughts/Review:

So, we get a delayed decision again, even after getting an additional ten pages of manga (thirty six total pages this time).

Genshiken Nidaime Chapter 121

Kio-sensei basically lays out the case for each of the girls being the choice. I liked how Angela made the point that in harem titles, people have their favorite ships and can point to spots where the story indicates their ship is the correct ship. So when that ship isn’t the one the author chooses, fans of that ship get upset. I know that well, going back to the father of the modern day harem titles, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki.

I would disagree with the implied notion that everything is cool if it is a harem ending. Going back to Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki, I was always a Tenchi x Ryoko shipper. Other people had their ships. Debates ensued. However, a couple of Tenchi fans, one of whom was highly knowledgeable in Tenchi lore of the time, laid out a case for why the story would call for a harem ending. Man, did this send some fans into a tizzy.

While there isn’t a story reason to keep the harem (I don’t count not angering fans a story reason), I can’t see fans being happy with a harem ending here.

Anyway, I loved Ogiue put out the argument for Madarame to hook up with Sue. I loved it even more after she learned that Sue had confessed to Madarame, and said confession had really touched him. I couldn’t disagree with her decision to go off on Madarame for putting Sue through all this.

(I absolutely loved Sue’s reaction to being called cute. ^_^)

Genshiken Nidaime Chapter 121

It is actually funny to think that of all the harem members, the girl who was willing to cheat on her boyfriend with Madarame is the girl who objected to Angela’s harem option. It is always hard to judge just how serious Keiko’s feelings for Madarame are, but her unwillingness to share him does kinda suggest that she has true feelings for him.

The big thing I got from this chapter was bringing Saki back into the mix, via Keiko. I’ve stated before that although I’m a Sue shipper, I wouldn’t mind seeing Genshiken Nidaime link with Spotted Flower and make that series a canon sequel. It is clear Madarame isn’t over Saki and still loves her. That makes perfect sense to me. I like that this was addressed because this has been my thought all along.

Still, this doesn’t mean that Kio-sensei will have Madarame somehow hook up with Saki here. He’s promised extra pages next chapter to show the true conclusion. We’ll see how that goes.

In the end, this was an interesting and entertaining chapter, even though I am ready for this harem arc to be over.

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17 Responses to “Genshiken Nidaime Chapter 121 Manga Review (Unable to make a harem choice.)”

  1. NullApostle says:

    “I am ready for this harem arc to be over.”

    Amen to that. As interesting as this has been, it’s time to be done with it.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I miss the days when Genshiken was an exploration of the various aspects of the otaku culture.

  2. ctrn says:

    Well, the thing is that the shipping competition and dragging harem arcs are fundamental parts of the main plots in manga/anime nowadays, so… Genshiken just follows suit, as the “Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture”. We had all the tropes along the run, so maybe this is the authors’ way of showing us that: the present point of the otaku culture.

    But yeah, I want this arc over.

    I’m also a Sue shipper, but only if Saki is out of the equation, so I’m 100% with you on that. Every development on the Genshiken tends to be around the queen of the story, even if she is not present (I believe that I commented something similar on another blog entry).

    On a side point, unrelated to my wish on this particular manga, the shipping thing was always funny to me: As Angela said, then we can have a “fleet ending” haha. There can be a “Flag ship”, surrounded by smaller cruisers, destructors/battleships, an even a submarine (the trap?). Who knows?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      We had all the tropes along the run, so maybe this is the authors’ way of showing us that: the present point of the otaku culture.

      In the original Genshiken, I could appreciate it, understand it, and relate to it in a way I’ve not been able to in Genshiken Nidaime. I remember thinking that folks with no interest in anime, manga, etc. would still get something out of Genshiken because it could translate over to Star Trek, Star Wars, or other sci-fi/fantasy fans.

      The whole obsession with BL is just something I can’t relate to, and I don’t think a lot of folks relate to it. But that’s a primary focus of Genshiken Nidaime. 🙁

      Anyway, I think another reason I wouldn’t mind seeing Saki come in and make Spotted Flower canon is that I could relate to a story of a “normal” girl hooking up with an “otaku” guy.

      • ctrn says:

        The whole obsession with BL is just something I can’t relate to, and I don’t think a lot of folks relate to it. But that’s a primary focus of Genshiken Nidaime. 🙁

        I’m with you on that, and the reason I think Spotted Flower is a way of apology for the rest of the fans. I just hope that it turns to be be canon.

        With all that, now we know why the “Nidaime” is added on the tittle. And on a metaphorical interpretation of my own, Madarame is a representation of the classic otaku (and us, classic readers), and his interaction with all the new fujoshi BL setting of the Genshiken is a direct mirror of us reading this new story: It’s strange, we don’t particularly like it “per se” and it is dragging on…… but we still continue with it, thanks to the previous setting being stuck on us.

        Madarame goes with the flow because it is the Genshiken, otherwise he never would go there.

        It’s the same with us?

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Well, I do keep reading Genshiken Nidaime just because it is a continuation of Genshiken. Otherwise, I would have dropped this long ago. 🙁

    • arimareiji says:

      …a “fleet ending” haha. There can be a “Flag ship”, surrounded by smaller cruisers, destructors/battleships…

      This made me lol, and: Sure, why not? (^_~) A last hurrah for two fads that I think are winding down, one having had a good long run and one that was a fast burn: Harem + anthropomorphized girl warships. And when it eventually descends into an open fight, it’ll give a whole new meaning to “canon ending”.

  3. arimareiji says:

    Rika announces that after they get back to Yajima’s house and have a few drinks, Madarame will reveal whom he chooses… she doesn’t want him ruining this next phase of the trip.

    I still find it ironic that she’s insisting that it’s all Madarame’s fault and that the harem was somehow destroying Genshiken. The potential for trouble was always there, especially once Keiko joined. But she herself has been the prime instigator, and she doesn’t appear to care that people are getting hurt as a result.

    I don’t doubt that a lot of readers are tired of the harem arc and want it over. But I think that the primary reason most people are sick of it is that it’s been ugly and hurtful, in no small part due to Yoshitake.

    It is actually funny to think that of all the harem members, the girl who was willing to cheat on her boyfriend with Madarame is the girl who objected to Angela’s harem option. It is always hard to judge just how serious Keiko’s feelings for Madarame are, but her unwillingness to share him does kinda suggest that she has true feelings for him.

    Or that she has an unhealthy need to “win”, and once she’s won, the “trophies” don’t matter. If Madarame chooses her, it’ll only last until she’s gotten bored with rubbing it in everyone else’s face – perhaps especially Saki’s.

    • ctrn says:

      it’ll only last until she’s gotten bored with rubbing it in everyone else’s face – perhaps especially Saki’s.

      You know what? I’m all for it if that sparks the Madarame flame on Saki’s heart. But unless it turns to be hilarious (which I doubt), I don’t want to see that. Specially if that turns Madarame into an even more used rag-doll. He can be indecisive, but he is a good guy.

      And about Yoshitake, yeah I hate her. Sometimes she looks like the necessary evil, but otherwise she is a tare.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        And about Yoshitake, yeah I hate her. Sometimes she looks like the necessary evil, but otherwise she is a tare.

        Kio-sensei certainly uses her character to drive the Hato sexuality plot a lot, and then this harem plot.

      • arimareiji says:

        You know what? I’m all for it if that sparks the Madarame flame on Saki’s heart. But unless it turns to be hilarious (which I doubt), I don’t want to see that. Specially if that turns Madarame into an even more used rag-doll. He can be indecisive, but he is a good guy.

        Ditto.

        I have a weird feeling Keiko might have gotten things really twisted around in her head to where she can still somehow “win” over Saki if she takes Madarame. I hope not. The very best I can hope for is that perhaps she realizes Saki regrets rejecting Madarame, and just needs a little push of jealousy – but even then, it would be a little weird if Keiko snags Kousaka (I think, it’s been too long) as her reward.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      But she herself has been the prime instigator, and she doesn’t appear to care that people are getting hurt as a result.

      Yes, exactly. This has been my main problem with Rika. She stirs the pot all around her, then acts like it is someone else’s problem. I wouldn’t mind there being a couple of chapters where she’s forced to face this reality.

      If Madarame chooses her, it’ll only last until she’s gotten bored with rubbing it in everyone else’s face – perhaps especially Saki’s.

      I thought about that as well. However, her attitude about Madarame is a bit different. Considering she was willing to sleep with Madarame while she still had a boyfriend (and for all I know, shes till does have said boyfriend), and considering her work as a club hostess, no doubt she’s allowed quite a few guys to pick her up and sleep with her, if the price was right.

      In Madarame, she might see someone she could settle down with and mold into her perfect husband. That might explain why she opposed the harem ending that Angela suggested rather than go along with it, as Sue and Hato seemed to be OK with. But that’s just another thought. It really is hard to say how serious she is about Madarame.

      • arimareiji says:

        I wouldn’t mind there being a couple of chapters where she’s forced to face this reality.

        Ditto.

        One twist I’d like to see, and think is quite possible: One of her machinations is going to hurt Madarame very publicly, and we can see Hato wants to speak out but doesn’t know what to say. Yajimacchi shuts her down completely, with a perfect analysis a la “Don’t throw your upperclassman under the bus for the sake of BL”.

  4. arimareiji says:

    All I can say from seeing the raw for 122 (particularly one bit of text on the last page) is…

    XP to you too, Sensei.

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