Thursday, May 10, 2007

Genshiken

Overall Rating: A+
Synopsis: Written by Kio Shimoku, the manga version of Genshiken is nine volumes long. It covers the lives of a college club of Otaku, but does it in a way that makes them seem real and interesting instead of the usual stereotypes.

One of the reasons I love this series so much is the remarkable number of similarities between the Genshiken club, and the club I helped found at Guilford College, the Yachting Club. Granted, we didn't really have a Saki (who hates geeks and is only in the club because her hot boyfriend, Kousaka, is an otaku), and we had secret rituals, but otherwise very similar. What really made me fall in love with the series though was how it focuses on the lives of the otaku, and their relationships. When I read volume 8, I started running around wildly clapping (a habit I have when I am excited) until Leah read it, so I could gush about what happened. When you're that devoted to the characters, you are either insane or the book is really fucking good. In this case, it's a little of both.

Another crazy/awesome thing about Genshiken is Kujibiki Unbalance, a manga/anime made up for the series. During the chapter breaks in the manga, you learn more about Kujibiki Unbalance and its characters. Genshiken was also made into an anime, that covers the first five volumes of the manga, and you get to watch episodes of Kujibiki Unbalance as a special feature. How fucking cool is that?

If you're a geek, and if you're not I have no idea why you're reading this, pick up Genshiken now! You'll thank me.

4 comments:

Alison said...

The series is also wonderful because it deals with the omnirelevant geek theme of shame vs. self-acceptance.
This is pretty obvious with Kousaka, but I think it's evident with many of the other characters as well - like with Ohno's reluctance to admit her attraction to middle-aged bald men or Kasukabe's contant presence but violent resistance to being considered part of the group.

Alison said...

Oops...meant Sasahara, not Kousaka.

David S. said...

You know, Hobotaku is going to be very bad for my wallet...

...but very good for my soul.

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