If you were ever sitting around with your friends one day talking about anime, munching on pocky, sifting eagerly through the plunder and spoils after a grueling day at your favorite convention, wishing you could find a date, dreaming about selling your own Japanese animation idea, and wondering about your future, well then, my fellow otaku, a show has been made about you.
Genshiken, adapted from the manga by Kio Shimoku, is about a college club for otaku who never quite grew out of the doujinshi, cosplay, and resin-kit building phase of their lives, and how the members of the club find support and acceptance in
the eyes and hearts of each other when the rest of the world labels them as, in the words of one of the characters, "failed human beings". Reoccurring themes throughout the anime are the ritualistic attendance of a Tokyo-based doujinshi convention, Comi-Fes, hanging out aimlessly in the club room discussing the latest installment of Kujibiki Unbalance (a fictitious anime series that often acts as the catalyst for many of the series' early events) and dealing with real life vs. otakudom.
The story of Genshiken, much like the relationships between the characters, starts off uncertain and it may seem to the uninformed viewer at times stuck in second gear. But as the characters begin to mingle and expose their personalities more and more, so too does the storyline of Genshiken grow in cohesiveness and also direction. Fans of the slice of life genre will not be daunted by the slow beginning, and will find themselves hooked by the third or fourth episode, as the storyline picks up the pace and wastes no time with the pestilent fluff that is the downfall of many mainstream series today. In a lot of ways, Genshiken reminds me of Azumanga Daioh in that as the series begins, you're indoctrinated into a newly formed circle of friends, almost like a silent observer, but you feel like you're there because of the strong storytelling and realism; by the end, as characters move on with their lives, you feel that profound sense of sadness that one feels leaving their friends behind from high school or college as the next phase of life's journey awaits them.
Artistically, Genshiken is on the mark. Tsutomu Mizushima, who adapted the series from Shimoku's manga, was true to form in favoring a mute, more realistic color palette and style of artwork. The background artwork is never shunned and scarcely ever will a frame or series of frames be blatantly recycled. Viewers might be puzzled, however, as toward the end of the series there seems to be some sort of shift in both coloration and style.
The sound effects of Genshiken are average, but the voice acting might as well be deemed stellar. Clearly, the brightest and most illustrious of Japan's voice talent was assembled for this job. In a series like Genshiken, where bells and whistles and intense action sequences or gratuitous nudity or fan service can't distract you from poor voice acting, the seiyuu chosen from each role is a critical choice. Each voice actor fits their role flawlessly, especially the character of Harunobu Madarame (voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama), a high-strung, ultra-hardcore otaku and fetishist.
I'm a tough critic, so my numbers may be skewed from what you're used to reading. But truth be told, Genshiken deserves a 9 when it comes to characters. Very rarely do you come across characters in an anime with real problems, real vices, and real dilemmas. Genshiken characters are not stock, folks. They're you. They're your friends. And you'll get attached to them so much that it hurts. It is purely the characters that drive Genshiken, an echo of a world all to familiar to the series' sympathetic viewers.
You'll doubtlessly get a lot of enjoyment out of Genshiken, and each time you watch it, you'll learn something new, not only about the show, but about culture and the world you live in. Henceforth, the replay-ability of Genshiken is pretty high up there. Overall, it's a great show and worth forking over money for that pretty DVD boxed set your friends will envy.
Well, when I first herd of this anime from my friend, I was thinking "An anime about anime fans? This is gotta be some kind of joke". My friend lent me Genshiken, and like I said it was a joke, but not in a bad way. This anime is supposed to be a drama kind of thing but in reallity it's more comedy then drama. It pretty much sums out ever Otaku's life and interests. For those who have friends (and so forth) that don't understand anime and the Otaku world this is the perfect anime to introduce them too.
The story begins in Tokyo University,
where a very small club of shy and discouraged people waste their day watching anime, playing hentai games, reading manga, and building Gundam models. The main character is Sassahara, and he's like everyone else in the club. But unlike the others, he's always nervous and still has a long way to becoming a true otaku like his other clubroommates. Through out the show, Sassahara learns more and more of what it means to be an otaku.
Meanwhile the story also shifts between other group members, like Madarame. Madarame is pretty much the head hanco of the club. He's an expert on anime and hentai (and prefers hentai over the real deal). He's very nervous of women, and has some what and attraction to the club's anti-anime girl, Saki.
Saki falls in love with one of her old childhood friends, Kosaka, which happens to be an advid anime gamer. Saki likes the fact that Kosaka is a hunky dream boat, what she hates about him is his addiction to video games and anime. She tries everything she can to make Kosaka give up his interest, even put some of the other club members down. Eventually Saki becomes a member of the group and then we notice signs of her slowly getting into Cosplay.
The story is very good. I also did some research on this anime as well, and this version I saw was a renewed version of one that they made after the Gundam hype. This anime bases itself on the advertisement of another anime called,Kubjuki Unbalanced (sorry if I spelt it wrong). The previous one revolved around Gundam and many other famous anime's of the late 70's through the early 80's.
All in all, this is an anime worth seeing over and over again (even the theme song is kinda addictive). This is one you shouldn't pass up. So if you are an Otaku and want everyone around you to understand you better, just say "watch Genshiken".
NOTE: This is a review of the entire Genshiken anime series including both seasons and the three-episode OVA.
The first question on your mind might be the same one that was on mine when I first heard about Genshiken; so I think it might be appropriate to answer it right away. What exactly is a genshiken? Genshiken is an abbreviation. This anime revolves around a university club called [GEN]dai [SHI]kaku Bunka [KEN]kyūkai which translates to “The society for the study of modern visual culture”. The club was, as it is explained in the anime, originally formed ten years prior in order to bridge the gap between
anime, manga, and video games. However, with the blending of these three originally separated sectors in the recent years, Genshiken has somewhat lost its purpose and is therefore a very inactive club in the beginning of the series.
Genshiken is a comedic slice-of-life parody that revolves around the daily activities of the members of the club. Genshiken doesn’t really have a story with a set beginning, middle and an end. It is an episodic series that sets out to examine what it means to be an otaku in its entirety. The series touches on virtually every subject, issue and area of interest you can think of with regards to the otaku culture. It delves into Cosplay (costume role-play), Plamos (plastic models), Eroge (erotic games), Dōjinshi (fan-made manga that often contains erotic content), “otaku merchandise” (posters, limited edition items…), Akihabara (aka Akiba), anime and manga conventions, fashion, women, money and more. The only area that I can think of that the show doesn’t really touch on too much is with regards to hikikomoris or shut-ins (although they are mentioned and hinted at a few times throughout the series).
Genshiken is often compared to the Welcome to the N.H.K. manga and anime series. There are defiantly similarities but there are also some noteworthy differences. Welcome to the N.H.K. is about the very serious social issue (… or psychological disorder if you will) of hikikomoris and the continual increase of this problem. Welcome to the N.H.K attempts to examine this serious issue using bits of parody and comedy in order to better relate to the viewers, but all the while it never forgets the seriousness and severity of the problem. Genshiken on the other hand is more than anything a comedy. The show never gets too serious (… possibly a bit in the last one or two episodes of the series; but not really). Both shows do examine the otaku culture but unlike Welcome to the N.H.K which concentrates mostly one particular sector (hikikomori), Genshiken looks at the entire otaku culture. You may think of these two shows as complements to each other. Welcome to the N.H.K. fills in the hole that Genshiken leaves by not examining the hikikomori too deeply.
This anime, as you can probably imagine, is full of references to many anime, manga, and video game titles. The writers have tried to avoid using the real names of the titles and events in question in many cases (I assume to avoid lawsuits), but the references are obvious. You can expect to see and hear things such as Gungal (Gundam) and Comifes (based on Comiket which is the largest anime and manga convention in existence). There are also several references to titles that don’t actually exist such as Kujibiki Unbalance which is a fictitious anime series that is displayed throughout the series (Although, Kujibiki Unbalance actually does exist now as a spinoff result of the Genshiken series).
The characters are probably the best part of the Genshiken anime series. The characters each have their own unique personalities, hobbies and interests, and it is through these differences that the series manages to touch on every aspect of the otaku culture. Let’s examine some of these characters:
+ Kousaka Makoto: Kousaka is like a creature from another planet. On the outside, he seems to be almost every woman’s dream guy. He is good-looking, full of confidence, smart, friendly and on top of that he has a great fashion sense. However, the inside is another story. He is a complete otaku (probably more than any other character on the show) and he appears to be hopelessly clueless. If my memory serves correctly, he is at one point rightly referred to as “a race of his own” or something of that effect.
+ Kasukabe Saki: Kasukabe is a great addition to the cast mainly because she is not an otaku. She only appears at the Genshiken doorsteps because she is attracted to Kousaka. Her only desire in the beginning is to stop Kousaka from being an otaku (an impossible task) and she believes she needs to destroy Genshiken to achieve this goal. She is loud, outgoing and violent and hates everything otaku. However, she turns out to have good heart and eventually start to soften up a bit after some time at Genshiken.
+ Madarame Harunobu: Madarame is what you would typically picture when you hear the word otaku. He has the voice, the look, and the demeanor. As he himself says at one point, he is from “planet otaku”. He is also very non-confrontational and that makes him even more fun to watch.
+ Ohno Kanako: Ohno is a Cosplay manic with a cute face and a nice figure. When she is introduced into the story, she has just returned from studying abroad and has been somewhat out of touch with the otaku culture and cosplaying. However, it doesn’t take her long at all to get back into the groove. Most conversations with her somehow end up related to her cosplaying or her trying to make someone else cosplay. Her passion is only fueled when she meets Tanaka Souichiro who loves making cosplay customs, at Genshiken.
+ Manabu Kuchiki: Kuchiki or as he likes to be called, Kuchi, is by far my favorite character in the series. He is only a supporting character but for me, he induced more laughter than all of the other characters combined. Think of the most over the top anime character you have ever seen and assign a number to how over the top that character actually is. Now take the number to the power of fifty and you will have a general idea of how over the top Kuchiki actually is. He overreacts to just about everything and says things others would only think of but never actually say. One of my favorite quotes from the series is one that Kuchiki says about himself which roughly translates to: "when it comes to going ballistic, I've never lost to anyone!”
+ Ogiue Chika: Ogiue is introduced into the series in the three-episode OVA and sticks around for the remainder of the series. She fits perfectly into the Tsundere character archetype. Much to her dismay, she has a serious fetish for yaoi manga (boys’ love / homoerotic manga usually created by females). She is very self-conscious and her interest in yaoi makes her embarrassed enough to hate herself and by a process of transference every other otaku on the planet. Much like Saki, she also starts to loosen up a bit after spending some time at Genshiken.
+ Sasahara Kanji: Genshiken doesn’t really have any characters that can be called THE main character. But if one had to be picked, it would be Sasahara. Now you may be wondering why I am mentioning the main character last. The reason is simple. I found him to be the dullest of all of the characters in the series. He is the boring good-for-nothing harem male lead character that strayed from the yellow brick road and found himself in a non-harem anime. His only redeeming quality, as is common with male harem leads, is that he is nice. That pretty well sums up Sasahara Kanji.
There are other characters in the show that I would like to talk about, but the character section of this review is already more than large enough so I will be skipping the rest.
There is not too much to say about the art and animations in Genshiken. The art and animations are not great, but they are definitely more than acceptable. The style and quality of both can be compared very closely to that of Welcome to the N.H.K.
The voice acting is done pretty well and the characters match their voices in every case. My personal favorites are the voices of Manabu Kuchiki performed by Ishida Akira, and Mitsunori Kugayama performed by Nomura Kenji which I think are done quite brilliantly.
The music is one of the strong points of Genshiken. I love all of the opening and ending songs. Soft and mellow songs were chosen for the ending themes and more upbeat songs for the openings. The lyrics are great and the visuals are fantastic. I was especially impressed with the season 2 OP that contained Gundam lookalikes alongside a song that could very well have been used for a Gundam series.
In sum, Genshiken is a great parody slice-of-life anime that never takes itself too seriously. It will make you laugh and it will even educate you a bit at the same time by giving you great insight into the otaku culture. While full of fun and laughs, the non-story of Genshiken also has a moral theme. That theme is acceptance. Many unique and fascinating characters are introduced throughout the series and despite their differences they befriend each other and all manage to find some common ground. This anime belongs on your must-watch list.
I think that this is one important anime in an Otaku\'s life. This shows how we as Otakus live and try to mingle with people like us. Some few things that I learned are that male otakus like cat ears, maid outfits, childhood friend or little sister like characters. Two, real Otakus take everything anime/manga related seriously.
This is the anime that got me back into being an Otaku. It brought back so many memories that I decided to live my old life and spend all my money on anime memorabilia once again. The anime made me wish I could go to the Comiket (?). I\'m
not sure but I think that\'s what they call the manga fest the guys go to.
A few things bother me though. One, why is Kohsaka always smiling? The fact that he\'s infinitely happy bothers me. When his girlfriend Kasukabe was crying, he was still smiling. Weird. Two, at some point, these two have to break up sooner or later, right? I get the feeling that it\'s not going to work between them.
Illustrations were good enough - nothing special about them, just the usual stuff. I do like the clothes design though. The detail on Ohno\'s cosplaying outfits are really great, and most of Kasukabe\'s clothes weren\'t bad either. I would like to note that there\'s a difference in the drawing style of the Genshiken characters and the Kujibiki Unbalance characters shown in the anime. Personally, I prefer the drawing style in Kujibiki Unbalance since it is different and more interesting to look at.
The extra scenes from guilty gear, mostly seen when Kohsaka is playing video games was impressive at first, but then again, has anybody else noticed that the same scene is replayed over and over again? Is this because Kohsaka plays in one uniform pattern or is it because it costs more to use different guilty gear scenes?
The music wasn\'t bad - I had no problems with the background music, opening and ending themes. I love how \"my pace\" was upbeat and had high energy, and the ending song, \"biidama\" was very mellow and relaxing. A perfect way to end an episode. I also like the kujibiki unbalance theme. I\'m probably not the first to say that it is a cuter opening theme for the real kujibiki unbalance.
Another thing that I realized from watching Genshiken is that I too, want to watch Kujibiki Unbalance. It just seems like if it\'s good enough for Sasahara and the others, it must be good for me too.
College slices of life are rare in a medium prolific with high school romances, 15-year-old pilots in mecha, gargantuan harems, and everything inbetween. In comes Genshiken, one of the most laidback and down to earth shows I've ever seen. The heavy amount of realism is almost shocking, and the college club slice of life elements are fantastic. Picturing a life in an otaku club can't get anymore immersible than this, with a solid lead character that's relatable (much like Yuuta from Honey & Clover), and an all-around fantastic ensemble. You know you're in for a ride when your appreciation for Genshiken's comedy is directly proportional
to how awkward your social skills are.
Perhaps what's most striking about Genshiken is its crassness with the ins and outs of otaku culture. The show manages to hit the main crevices on otakudom—whether it be compulsively watching midnight screenings, purchasing doujinshi, cosplaying, or even building models. Genshiken intends neither to glorify nor criticize the underlying culture; what merely exists is prevalent, and Genshiken deftly and unbiasedly documents it.
What's also admirable is how forward Genshiken is in its storytelling, particularly with not dodging borderline controversial material. Saki, for instance, constantly berates others with her sexually frustrated problems, and admits that one of the main reasons she dates Kohsaka is because of his looks. Frankness with sexual content is to be expected of in western shows, but is fairly commendable for one within an otaku-glorified medium. Even holding hands may take an anime multiple seasons! (Yes, Japan may not be so forward as in western cultures, but "purity" is nowhere even close to what's perceived in pandering anime versus real-life Japan.)
Genshiken's unparalleled persistence to realism almost becomes one of its few flaws, as the show is practically uneventful—even for slice of life standards. This is where you have to wonder when the mundane is pulled too far. One episode could be so briefly summarized as, "Saki reads manga in the clubroom while Madarame tries to strike up a conversation." The work is almost Hyouka-esque in its banality, but fortunately, Genshiken is told in such a charming way that you often forget that nothing even happened in the episodes (and it's also not spoiled by silly "mystery" antics like Hyouka's first half).
The "new guy in the group" manages to be an archetype served well here, as it grants viewers the insight into what would otherwise be a closeted (and hence alienable) culture. To divy the variety, the role is often placed among different members of the group (particularly with Sasahara and Saki) depending on the situation. However, Genshiken's cast performance is not all as great as the concept bears to mind. Certain characters are unfortunately pivoted towards the sidelines while the few with inherently more interesting premises take up the primary spotlight. Saki becomes the de facto main lead (while already the poster girl), and Sasahara is more or less forgettable during most of his screentime. He spends his idle time blending in and never doing anything that stands out, offering comedic reactions in uniform with the rest of the group. What makes this truly unfortunate is that given the ensemble's individual premises, each character offers a certain flavor of comedy to enhance every scene. Instead, we're served the same glops of behaviors and comedic variety each episode, which quickly diminishes one's entertainment via pure redundancy. Sure, the topics change and the group slowly mingles more and more, but the character dynamics and per-character screentimes remain relatively the same.
The animation and artwork is dated and quickly shows its age from a cursory glance. A most noticeable resemblance would be to the often compared work, Welcome to the NHK!. In both, the visuals are frankly quite terrible, but this is mostly forgivable due to their comedy subgenre anyways. Works like Genshiken don't necessarily rely on compelling production values to ample its enjoyment, and there are never situations where you feel more detailed visuals would have benefited a particular scene. On the audio side, the soundtrack is practically nonexistent, which complements the laidback, relatable atmosphere of the show (especially with all the awkward scenes). Production-wise as a whole, things here are cheap as Mexican candy, but so what? It works.
Genshiken is a fantastic, homey slice of life that places itself in a genre difficult to come across these days. The ensemble has its flaws, but overall the casual storytelling really takes center stage and makes up for this. The cast slowly yet noticeably grows with each other, and the uneventfulness of Genshiken really grows on you. This is certainly not a show to miss, and I look forward to its newest season. Hopefully it'll retain the same charm that makes the show so endearing.
I stumbled onto this anime when talking in the Anime UK News forums. I wasn't sure if I'd like it at first but I was greaty mistaken.
Genshiken is a story about an anime Club in Shiiou University. It starts by following Sasahara, a new student just about to begin his first year. He joins the club to be with fellow otaku (obsessed interest in anime/manga). The series then follows the club over the next four years, pritty much covering all aspects of an anime obsessors dream. I won't go to deep into the story but surficed to say that mini
day to day like adventures fill the series. I laughed a-lot.
I thought that this was a refreshing change to the usuall action filled animes that I'm used to. It's fun, exciting and the characters are totaly believable too. The art work isn't the best I've seen by a long way, but you don't care when you watch it. It doesn't need it.
I myself can relate to the chatacters in this series, as I'm sure many other fans would. I guess that's what makes this series so appealing. I'm so jealouse of their activities too. If only it were happening to me.....
Bottom line is, if you like anime alot, then you'll love Genshiken. That's all there is to it. You may not agree with me but that's my opinion.
Now I think I might go watch series 2 and then read the manga ^^
Hope you found my first review helpfull, or at least entertaining.
~This is a club review. It is a compilation of the opinions of Otaku Paradise club members put together by trzr23, geno93n0, systemkrash, Kaito-chan and LadyBolet. We hope you enjoy the review and visit our club sometime. Thank you for your time.~
We, as otaku, find happiness by watching a myriad of anime genres. One of the genres that anime, in particular, has been famous for is Slice of Life- a genre where we got a glimpse into the lives of the characters. It was fun, but there was always a hollow feeling in our heart because those characters were nothing like us and it was
hard to relate to them. Thankfully, Genshiken provides what many fans of the genre are looking for: A Slice of Otaku Life anime.
Sasahara is a college student who is too shy to reveal to the world that he is an otaku. Upon discovering a club in college that caters to his otaku interests, which is made up of a cast of diverse, wacky and equally otaku people, he decides to join and what follows is his club life in the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture.
The story here is rather weak, but that doesn't make the show weak by any standards. It is basically built around the activities, or lack thereof, and members of the Genshiken club (the Japanese title for the Society for the Study for Modern Visual Culture). The anime, like aforementioned, takes a slice of life out of the lifestyle of an otaku and the Genshiken club is the epitome of that lifestyle. While it is episodic, it does have an over-arching plot, which is fairly decent for a twelve-episode series. And due to its episodic nature, the plot is almost non-existent, which leads to a mixed reaction from viewers. If you’re looking for a laid-back, relaxing and occasionally humorous anime, then Genshiken is exactly what you’re looking for.
Things aren’t predictable or unpredictable...they just happen. It’s just not one of those anime that you’re going to be left wondering with at the end of each episode on what is going to happen next. Another interesting point to note about the story is its well-executed portrayal of the difficulties of being a closet (hidden) otaku. Many of us don’t tell our friends about our obsession for anime and we don’t go to conventions or buy anime merchandise when we are with them, because the majority of people still think anime is only Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z. The struggle of not letting our otakuness come to the surface is one of the key selling points of this anime.
That said, the anime doesn’t have much else going for it. Due to the calm and slow-paced club activities, this series is completely devoid of energy. While many would enjoy this aspect of the show, it sharply decreases the entertainment factor. The humor gets rather stale after a while. Also, since most of the episodes take place inside the club room, the viewer occasionally feels claustrophobic and the lack of action only makes this flaw more prominent. Saki’s outbursts are the rose among the thorns though.
Another blemish that the club unanimously agreed on was the sub-standard animation. The bland art style does give off hints of Honey and Clover, but the choice of shades in Genshiken i s far inferior and the movements weren’t very fluid. The art style is a little on the dingy side since most of the episodes take place in the school at the Genshiken club, so you don't really get to see many backgrounds until they venture out into the cities or to a convention. What backgrounds you do see are pretty nice giving the animation style and date of which this anime aired, but most of the time, they usually focus on the characters and the backgrounds do seem like an afterthought. The characters themselves aren’t very detailed though.
To begin with, there wasn't much in the way of background music in the show. There were no particularly amazing or moving tracks in the show either, but that in itself fits just right with the lazy, laid-back feel of the show itself. The OP is very catchy and fun while the EP is lax and calm. The English voices do a good job of capturing the laid-back, realistic atmosphere of the show.
The characters are a tad linear and only Madarame and Saki manage to keep your attention through the series. The main character, Sasahara is more or less an onlooker and doesn’t do anything out of the blue, but his (slow) character development is something to watch out for. More often than not, you don't see people doing nonsensical things in public, so to try and keep things to that realistic effect, the characters, while possessing their own unique personalities, just kind of meshed together and it made them seem pretty dull. However, there is enough diversity between them so that they are not all completely opaque. The creepy Principal is sure to put a smile on your lips.
The atmosphere of the show is going to depend on the viewer. It connects to the viewer through the lifestyle of an otaku. This is kind of a risky subject because this show's biggest fans will be the ones who can closely relate to the overall presentation. The show does offer a lot of gags to break up the monotony and the gags that are there range from great to pure gold, but only if you possess that kind of sense of humor. There are many hidden references throughout the show to other anime, mangas, hobbies, etc, which goes back to my point about being an otaku yourself would give you a greater chance of enjoying this show. They don't overdo it though which allows the casual viewer to step in and get absorbed into the world, too. Most of the hidden references are tongue in cheek type moments anyway so it's not a huge impact. But at the end of the day, it was the still scenes that gave Genshiken a serene atmosphere, because that's exactly how they would appear in any gag-Slice of Life anime.
[ THE CLUB HAS SPOKEN ]
Overall, Genshiken is a niche anime that tries to please everyone who watches it and your level of enjoyment will be in direct correlation to your own lifestyle and/or views on the otaku life. It has a nice balance of slice of life with humor that doesn't go way over the top and keeps things flowing nicely. This is a show that is highly recommend to those interested in anime and other forms of Japanese pop culture. This anime will also be a welcome addition to the lists of those looking for a laid-back light hearted Slice of Life-comedy. Genshiken, despite its flaws is still pretty enjoyable anime series that can be enjoyed at a relaxed pace.
Rating an anime highly just because it discusses that being an otaku is okay? Give me a break.
This series, first of all, has terrible art and animation. The character art is that kind of lumpy facial style that seems to be the default shabbiest "acceptable" anime art form for people. It is completely lacking in style, substance, or detail. I am not just lashing out at random or trying to claim authority, this is seriously true; for instance, characters nearly never have elbows if their arms are straight (e.g. episode 3, near the end Kousaka randomly loses his elbows when he is crouched over, and
just has claymation style lump arms). The animation has this kind of feel like it gets stuck in movement over and over, I imagine because there are just simply not enough panels. The coloring is good, but nothing detailed enough to make up for the rest.
The thing that really made me decide "this might be the single worst anime I have ever seen" was the within episode anime and hentai, which is all the lowest grade, sixth grade fanfiction junk I have ever seen. The within episode anime basic style is not so bad, it is the type of style Negima takes after for instance, but it is drawn so blockily, so completetly undetailed, that everything looks like a complete caricature. It would be one thing if this were more of a comedy, but this is supposed to be establishing otaku as "being okay" more than that. The overall effect is to prove everything everyone says bad about anime and otakus right.
The characters are losers, no mistake about that, but the characterization is decent a lot of the time. Unfortunately, when it slips back into portions like "the main character bumbling his way through terrible hentai as if he just started puberty, but unfortunately he is a college student," then that is right down the toilet. The only gags come from the non-otaku being mad (with suitably terrible art), often about otaku stuff, which degrades her character as well.
Honestly in the end this series just shows "most people who like nerdy stuff are a little terrible...", so I am not sure exactly why people are so gaga over this. It definitely does not redeem nerd culture, and even has the "appealing" otaku as singled out as weird by his fellow otakus for not being as terrible as them.. It just says "being an otaku is mildly terrible, not completely miserable like people think!" What a message of hope! I guess if you identify with being terrible, then this is the anime for you, but otherwise stay away.
Genshiken is a slice of life, college life anime to put it simply.
Story revolves around a university club Genshiken, that focuses on "the study of modern visual arts" (manga, anime and games in short) . It has a certain timeline, chronologically following characters through their university life. The episodes are divided episodically, mainly concentrated around happenings in the club.They managed to avoid repeating the same stories, which is some of the problems with anime who doesn`t have a solid story to follow, so you won`t be bored with the same things, although two years pass in
the anime. But the most interesting part is that a had an impression that story isn`t the most important part of the anime.
Now the art. I`m not good with all those big words connected to it so I`ll say my impression. The animation is good with realistic world placed around characters and bright colors but still not tacky, they just make things more lively. The animation as it is contributes the atmosphere of the show very well.
Sound.... Well to simply put it there isn`t any... There are only opening and ending, but they are enough as it is. The opening is a rock-pop song with catchy melody and lyrics, and the ending is a slow, melodic song with a female vocalist. In my opinion this songs are well suited for an anime of this kind, but it`s still on personal choice.
Now the part in which anime shines the most, THE CHARACTERS! In the beginning of the show they are all just a bunch of stereotypes (a fired up otaku, a shy and sloppy newcomer, a slightly airheaded guy and a chick with an attitude), but as the show goes on they develop and grow as the time passes by. I won`t say that you can compare yourself to them, but you will somehow experience them as real people with their lives and problems. The characters are here the main focus, and they somehow are the mirror of the Japanese otaku culture today, and in the same time showing the views of "common" people towards this growing culture.
Well enjoyment is on the highest level. Story not so tough and mind-breaking, art pleasant to eye and one of most realistic characters ever.
Now I will wrote everything that I didn`t know where to put but thought it should be mentioned. Firstly.... The show has good humor, but not that kind of somewhat forced jokes every 2 minutes. In my case I would most of the time laughed on a scene and the situation in which characters were placed (not that there isn`t any "talk" jokes, just the opposite). There are many references to Gundams, so people familiar with that series will have even more fun.
The characters often approach anime and manga in very philosophical view, which sometimes looks overreacted and funny, but the statements are always pretty much on the spot.
Oh, and there is a sequel too, which develops on the story of the first season, although it`s not necessary, and introduces some new characters.
Well I liked this show coz of the slow-paced, easy-taking atmosphere, and jokes that were on time and not forced.
This is the end of review.... And I didn`t even imagined that I would write so much on my first time.... Well I hope it helped.
BANG POW CRASH SMUSH , Genshiken avoids the cliches and focuses instead on the reality, this isn't a series about spectacular super human ninjas that were injected with magical fox semen, it's about the otaku subculture in Japan, it's about the people that are the otaku's and the choices they make , there goals ambitions lifestyles failures and successes. Watching this series, which is hard to get into unless you've read the manga ( Doujin Work ) you really start rooting for the characters, when things happen you hold your mouth in shock, you feel the jealousy and taste the dislike in the back
of your throat it's really an anime that pulls you in and keeps you there with humor , intelligence , games , hatred and love.
I love the story, I think it's very interesting it's fun to watch and doesn't obsess over concepts... things develop , but it doesn't really seem to go anywhere, except that the characters are aging.
I'm not a great judge of art but the characters are personified well
Meh, not really a big part of this anime
Characters - 10
Awesome, funny cool nonstandard PEOPLE
Superb , I loved it
Overall - 10
Outstanding, accomplished a lot without a clear goal, characters are spectacular , enjoyment is definitely there.
For any anime viewer, there comes a point in their life, when Genshiken simply HAS to be watched. At least Once. Yes, that's right, I'm advocating that everyone who's seen enough anime (or read enough manga... or played enough geeky games for that matter) should have this down on their essential "to watch" list.
"Genshiken" is a slice of life anime, focusing on the daily comings and goings of the members of a university society, which, funnily enough, is called "Genshiken". The term "Genshiken" is shortened from some long Japanese phrase that translates roughly into English as "Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture". If
you think that sounds pretty damn geeky, then you're be right - essentially this is a society for combined otakus of anime, manga and video games. From the enegetic, eccentric and catchy opening theme (has there ever been an opening theme that fits an anime so well?), everything about "Genshiken" reeks of geekiness. But despite this, it's not a show that's "just" for otakus, because the brilliance of "Genshiken" is in its wide appeal for everyone who has even a passing interest in subculture it represents.
Those who are really into this subculture will almost certainly connect with "Genshiken" straight away. For starters, there is a ton of references to popular franchise that is sure to delight the hardcore crowd. More importantly though, it's the characters that will be appreciated. Though their portrayal is slightly embellished for comedy value, it's mostly grounded in reality, and most people should be able to see at least some of their geeky traits reflected in themselves or in people they know.
The comedy element in "Genshiken" is superb, despite not being laugh-out-loud funny. This is because the humour feels "real", the kind that you come across in real life, not the kind of forced humour you get in most anime. This means that the viewers can connect with "Genshiken" even through its comedy, especially when it's so often self-deprecating. This realism extends even further - "Genshiken" is not an anime that gives in to the usual cliche of a bunch of losers that somehow always succeed in whatever they're trying to do (e.g. in most harem anime). In "Genshiken", the way this dysfunctional group of characters flounders in awkward every day situations is not only realistically depicted and concluded, but often depressingly so. One of the best episodes is where one of the characters tries to deal with a social situation by pretending it's a dating sim. Though its execution is obviously exaggerated for comedy value, it's an episode that exposes the difficulty otakus have dealing with the opposite sex in a brutally honest fashion. It's not difficult to imagine that for many viewers, the feelings conveyed in "Genshiken" can hit all too close to home, and this is "Genshiken" at it's very best, decorating its more serious points with comical entertainment. Even if you don't get the more serious feelings underneath, it's still damn entertaining, and if you do get them, it can be incredibly funny and incredibly sad at the same time.
It's probably no surprise that "Genshiken" can appeal to the otaku crowd, but what's arguably more interesting is how it appeals to the non-otakus. You would think that all this geekery would alienate anyone who's not a hardcore geek... but you would be wrong to think that. All that's required to enjoy "Genshiken" is a certain amount awareness of the subculture it represents. If you're reading this, then the chances are you already qualify - I can't imagine anyone who's completely uninterested in this subculture would be visiting this site and checking out a review for "Genshiken", an anime that, although reasonably popular, is hardly a juggernaut in the anime world. The reason "Genshiken" is able to connect with non-otaku is because a lot of the time, "Genshiken" is told from the perspective of an non-otaku, and this perspective comes from Kasukabe Saki.
There isn't really a main character in "Genshiken", but Kasukabe probably comes closest to being the main character. Kasukabe isn't, by any stretch of the imagination, an otaku. And in fact she'll probably smash your face in just for thinking that she is, because she loathe otakus. Kasukabe is one of those confident, outgoing, trendy types, and she gets involved in Genshiken simply because Kousaka, the boy she fancies, is a member of the society. Despite being a bit of an oddball otaku, Kousaka himself isn't particularly interesting, in fact he's the very definition of a plot device - anchoring Kasukabe to Genshiken is pretty much the sole purpose of his existence in the show. And this is the one great irony at the heart of "Genshiken": even though a lot of what makes "Genshiken" fantastic is its realism, what differentiates "Genshiken" as a great anime as opposed to merely good is the non-realistic inclusion of Kasukabe. It's such a stroke of genius to throw Kasukabe into the character mix that the flaws that result from her inclusion can all be overlooked. Kasukabe's importance to the series cannot be overestimated because she is the foundation that the series is built upon. She pretty much drives most the character interaction in the first season as her presence changes character dynamics completely. Her gradual understanding of otaku culture and grudging acceptance of the members of Genshiken (and vice versa) is not only one of the most fascinating things about the show, but it is through this that the non-otaku viewers can gain a degree of insight into the otaku world. A great example of this is during an episode where all the Genshiken members are making plamos (abbreviation for PLAstic MOdels), although I never gave much thought to that particular hobby myself, Kasukabe's questioning of this seemingly pointless activity and subsequent interaction with the members of Genshiken allowed me to understand it better. By the end of the episode, I may not have been eager to rush out and buy myself a plamo kit, but I was certainly able to at least gain a degree of appreciation and respect regarding the amount of passion and effort that gets poured into such an activity, and what's more, I'm now totally convinced by the arguments for why a plamo is different from a conventional action figure.
If there's one glaring thing missing from "Genshiken", it's the sense that the main cast are all university students - despite the members of Genshiken being university student otakus, only the otaku aspects stands out. They never seem to worry, or even talk about the main aspects of university life such as exams, classes etc. The result is that the whole university thing just feels like an artificial platform on which to bring the characters together.
I've another very minor grip with "Genshiken" and it's something that isn't really the anime's fault itself - it's to do with the references it makes to geek pop culture. The idea itself is great, as delightfully filling the anime up with references really enhances the sense of "Genshiken"'s association with otakudom (though it does mean a lot of the jokes will go over the heads of the people who are not familiar with the franchise referenced), but the annoying thing is that most of the names they reference are modified, presumably to avoid copyright issues. Also, the game "Guilty Gear" heavily features within the anime, and the Genshiken members can often be seen playing on it (you'll even get to hear exciting terms such as "roman cancel" and "dust combo" or some gibberish like that that will no doubt mean more to a "Guilty Gear" player than it does to me), but what's annoying is that it seems like it's the same two characters who are battling all the time... in fact it looks like the same battle most of the time. In some ways, this is even more annoying than having the names of the referenced franchise changed. Maybe they could only obtain the license to use a couple of characters or something. It would be so cool if other companies would just allow Genshiken use references to their stuff properly, but that's probably not gonna happen in the corporate world.
None of these small issues matter, however, because it's easy to glaze over them once you get into "Genshiken". With its endearing characters, "Genshiken" is infused with a most infectious likeability that is very rarely matched, even in the slice of life genre. There are several things I tend to associated with a good slice of life anime. While watching a series, I find it easy to get attached to the characters and I'm often filled with a warm fuzzy feeling inside after finishing an episode. Towards the end of a series, this is often accompanied by a feeling of regret as I don't want the anime to end. And After I finish it, I often look back on it with a lingering fondness at the very mention of its title. "Genshiken" ticks all these boxes, and is an absolute joy to watch. It may not be the best anime ever, but it's a timeless classic that I would recommend to just about all anime fans.
The title Genshiken doesn't say much. It's a title that most people would just overlook. I'm one of those people who wasn't interested at all but since the dattebayo group subbed its second season, I tried to check it out. To my surprise, Genshiken is a pretty darn good show. It depicts otakus in a simple yet very fun manner. It's definitely a MUST WATCH specially for anime fans.
Genshiken doesn't have much of a story. It's pretty much just killing time with the Genshiken Club of Suioh University. That would sound uninteresting again, but, the time you kill with this club is worth it. This
show gives a very good slice of otakus' lives which gives great understanding to their culture and personalities.
The art presented is very good, good character designs, nice layouts and everything, plus the animation is high quality too. But disappointingly, the drawings for the characters are not consistently good. They only look best for a countable number of times. Still, the overall art is likable and they also presented the video game "Guilty Gear" so well that it can attract viewers to play the actual game.
The sounds are not to be noticed much but all are fine and all the voice actors fit in each character excellently. It also has a very good and likable opening song.
All the characters are great in their own ways. They're not very likable at the very start since most of the characters show bad impressions but they all turn out to be naturally fun. They put up a great show with their good mix of completely different personalities. Also, a good deal of character developments is involved. Any feeling of annoyance towards any of the main characters will disappear without much notice.
This show is very enjoyable. It's very fun yet it's unnoticeably short. It's 12 episodes of good anime. Every episode is interesting and all are fun to watch.
Oh dear me. When you have an anime based on Otaku life, its not going to always be pretty. Still, the show is rather good for its own right. It was odd because the very first episode actually felt like my group of friends just sitting and talking anime like the podcast. Also, for those that want to learn a little bit, I should say you should watch all the way through the credits because after, they sometimes have little facts. I even learned from them even though I watch tons of anime.
The main character is really a bland guy, but I feel that they
did this for a reason. It brought us into this world with somewhat a clean view on things. Now if only he wasn’t always talking about Hentai and dojinshi… I guess on the bright side, he is in a point that he’s not a complete otaku but more on the edge who is just learning the deeper parts of his fandom.
What’s great about an anime like this is that there is a character that anyone could really relate to, not just the main character. Sometimes you can even take parts of the characters and put them together to represent you. They have the cosplayer, the game player, the over obsessed guy, an artist, and even a newbie in the group as well. All these characters help give a wide variety of storylines to grab hold of and give you a sense of connection. The feeling I normally get watching this is that this little clubhouse, this small sanctuary of otaku-dom is pretty much their home. They are almost like one big family who doesn’t want to lose their life.
The only person that really creeps me out is the head chairman. He has really black eyes and acts really odd most of the time. Also, many times he talks in almost a out of this world manner. Just something that really creeped me out when he actually did anything.
People don’t really notice this but this show has a lot of philology involved in the show. It does dive into the reasons as to why people go to anime without going way to out of control. They dissect what makes an otaku an otaku and the reasons behind why some people don’t like it and some do. It’s also about people trying new things weather or not they will actually like it.
The animation is very bland, looking a little like Colorful but not as bad. It’s a step in the right direction at least and they do have a rather good contrast between the real world with its rather toned down colors and the anime side with its bright and rich colors. I never really found any point where they lacked art styles or was off. If something was, then it was slight and pretty much unnoticeable. What you see in the first episode is what you get throughout the show when it comes to art style with it only slightly getting better as it was going. Each of the ending credits surprised me though. The artwork for the ending actually changes each show. It’s not always the same ending.
The dub isn’t really all that bad actually. It’s an older one so some of the voices are slightly stiff, but it doesn’t feel unnatural. I would think they actually would be stiff when meeting new people or so and it’s not like they don’t end up warming up.
Unknown studio and an unknown director were involved in the making of Genshiken. Unfortunately, this was basically the only thing made by Studio Palm and pretty much the only directing job for Takashi Ikehata. Genshiken is a shortened version of the club’s name “The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture. It means: Are you an otaku? Are you an anime fan? Do you like manga? Do you like ‘naughty’ anime and/or manga? If there was a yes in any of those questions, then Genshiken could be a series worth watching.
This anime is about the college club itself and how each member of the
club contributes their own unique take on anime and manga culture. There is even an ‘outsider’ character by the name of Kasukabi. She is the girlfriend of one of the club members and dislikes all otaku culture including the people involved. Madarame is a character representing the best or worst aspects of being an otaku depending how one looks at it. However, the main character is Sasahara whom starts out as a casual fan, but quickly gets engrossed into the culture completely. Yes, Genshiken is about the characters more than any story, and how the characters act during certain events and situations. There are episodes of going to a convention to a lazy day being at the club. Each episode does serve a purpose for the audience to connect with each character.
Some interesting aspects of Genshiken range from the simplicity of episodes to ‘animeception.’ Simple episodes like… yes… a beach episode where outside girls compete for a club member’s affection like becoming an otaku is hilarious. There is even another episode dedicated to the making of Gundam models where a character actually learns a valuable life lesson. Finally, the ‘animeception’ where in the show, a fake anime called Kujibiki Unbalance is loved by the characters. It was made to show the characters love for a single show, but then it was later made into a real show that now ‘us’ the viewers can watch like in Genshiken… woah! It really touches on all aspects of anime/manga culture including the less publicly received.
The animation looks dated. Even in 2004, the show appears to have been made with an incredibly low budget. This ranges from countless still animation sequence and little to no music throughout. However, a show this simplistic luckily does not need much of these things. The team involved created enough character development and designs to make the audience care about them. One note are the backgrounds seen throughout Genshiken. From the convention to the outstanding club room the characters are usually in have an incredible amount of detail that a viewer will find themselves pausing just to see if they can notice anything familiar. References like the Guilty Gear video game series to Gundam and Inuyasha add to the already relatable story.
All and all Genshiken is a great show about the otaku culture in a well-rounded sense. It truly embraces the culture and makes the viewer feel good about their own hobby. There is nothing to be ashamed of as an anime fan, and this is why Genshiken is a very enjoyable slice of life comedy.
Otaku- is a japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, particularly anime, manga, and video games.
Before I watched this series, I first thought that it is somehow like N.H.K. but after watching it I saw the difference.
N.H.K. focuses on Hikikomori lifestyle and conspiracy theories , while Genshiken focuses on the world of Otakus. It's as simple as that...
If you want an anime with funny jabs, hilarious parody, ridiculous situations, and serious-over-the-line jokes.
Then Genshiken is a must!
In short you will laugh-out-loud throughout the series, there is never a boring episode... You can relate on everything the characters talk about and
within those talks be wary of jabs...
The story starts when Sasahara-kun was looking for a club then he saw the club with the name of "The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture" and the rest is history...(~Spoiler~)
At the beginning of the series, you will see how each of the character get to know each other. And you'll be interested on who everyone really is...
I gave the story 10 because it is easily understandable, it shows how the club and it's members deal with everyday situations...
Also the storyline is quite laudable, because they managed to wrap things up within 12 episodes wherein at first you'll say to yourself, "Why only 12? It would be better if it was more than 12... >:)"
In short, the story was well constructed and that people is the reason why you'll be interested to watch what's gonna happen next...
The art is simply precise, the characters we're drawn based on their personalities, from the always smiling-yet-clueless Kousaka, innocent Sasahara, sleazy Madarame, down to the contrasting Saki-chan, you will see that they are drawn to match their own characteristics, that's why if somehow there's a flaw in the series surely it is not on it's animation...
I like the opening song as well as the ending, because the opening theme has a nostalgic tune to it that is really quite zestful and refreshing, and how they managed to create an opening that is unique is simply creative...
In other words an interesting opening, the ending also gives a sense of slowing down, like it has a mellow touch to it and thus giving the viewer the feeling of contentment at the end of each episode...
Well, like I said before, the characters are all unique in their own way...
They may have different views on some but of course most of the time they share the same views most especially on their favorite series inside the show which is Kujiki Unbalance!
Well, this series has all of the things that I want, from punch-lines, ouchie jabs, and hilarious situations... You'll have no problem watching the entire series for it is in itself already laughable and as it goes on it is really interesting to see how the characters and story will develop... It truly is enjoyable because the viewers could relate on what the characters are saying and that itself is already enjoyment... There is never a boring episode, everything from start to finish is downright funny!
As the story ends you'll want to watch more, luckily there's season 2!
Ahh.. The life of an Otaku. Apart from NHK Ni Youkoso, this must be the best Otaku-related anime out there. So yes, Genshiken is basically an anime, which tells the story of a group of different otakus. These people share a few things in common, including a passion for anime & manga, a perverted mind and a school club called Genshiken, which stands for "The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture".
Basically this anime has no ultimate plot or story. It mainly tells about the daily events, adventures and struggles in an otaku's life. There are arcs which last for a few episodes, but
all in all this is a pure slice-of-life anime. What's good about this is that it makes Genshiken a very relaxing anime and it's easy to just lay back and enjoy watching the characters enjoying their lives.
The sounds and music are best described as good but forgettable. The tunes are fairly "upbeat" and your typical jolly slice of life -styled sounds. What I remember was the OP, which was quite a nice song actually. But all in all, this anime doesn't try to be very artistic in a sense, and so there's not much to say about this part. The voice acting is enjoyable to listen and the sound effects are nice.
Now this is where Genshiken shines!
Almost all of the characters are great and have lots of personality. The protagonist, Sasahara, is a yet-to-be-a-true-otaku character at the beginning and it's fun watching him turn into a full-time anime-geek with his new club friends. Madarame is also a very symphatetic and strong character. Tanaka-san and Kugayama-san have their places too. I also liked the character of Kousaka, the otaku-but-handsome guy, who has even managed to get a girlfriend. However, this gf's is the one character I didn't enjoy. I understand the point of having Kasukabe-san in the series, she really brings a lot of action and always needed drama into the otherwise relaxing and conflictless life the other club members enjoy. However, sometimes I really hoped that I could just watch and enjoy the otaku-life without having this character around showing her hate towards otakuism. Some scenes, like the one where Kasukabe-san accidentally breaks Tanaka-san's new Plamo, are quite frustrating to watch and they raise strong feelings. Of course that might be because I myself am too much of an otaku!
Oh yeah, and Ohno-san is somehow just plain adorable!
As much as I enjoyed watching Genshiken, I much prefer the second season. I think the balance between the characters in the second season is much better than in the original. I loved watching the guys attend ComiFes and it made me want to attend Comiket too! This activity really has a far greater role in the second season, which is a very strong point. Also, the new characters get of course more face-rime, which is nice!
I highly recommend watching this anime, and if you liked it, you'll definately like the second season (don't forget the great OVA's)! And if you had the same problems with, for example Kasukabe-san, then the sequel's like made for you!
If you’re one of those newcomers to the genre who refuse to watch anime that came out pre-Haruhi, aside from Cowboy Bebop obviously, let me fill you in. Genshiken is a manga-turned-anime centered on a college club consisting of a bunch of otaku and their lives inside and outside the clubroom. Unlike most of the otaku-centric stuff we get nowadays, Genshiken is acclaimed by a majority of the fans due to its deep insight into a specific sub-culture, balancing the pros and cons of the otaku lifestyle whilst providing good character drama centered on relationships, the future, and how
the next Comi-fest would turn out. Although there were tons of adaptation problems regarding the show – each season was done by a nobody studio whose animation looked as good as a bullet-ridden Bronx citizen, barring Production I.G. obviously, and the original manga was never fully adapted – it became well-regarded upon release and still continues to be remembered fondly now even if we’d rather talk about how “anime needs to be saved” because Fractale let us all down.
Now the reason Genshiken is considered to be a slice-of-life with actual teeth to it is because of the character of Saki and her struggles to deal with the lifestyle due to having an otaku boyfriend who, along with Madarame, proves that looks are inversely proportional to brains and likability. Although Saki never takes her annoyance of otaku to ludicrously cartoonish levels, it’s clear that she’s not happy to be around a bunch of loser males talking about the next episode of Kujikibi Unbalance and whether filler was necessary or not, and it’s this conflict that primarily drives events whether it’s the characters building models or just plain shopping for clothes. Things start to warm up for her a bit when the primarily male club gets a female cosplayer to join, because it’s easier to talk with someone who’s of the same sex as you, especially in a 99% monogender world. And then other events follow so that the first season ends with her finally accepting the lifestyle, even if she refuses to be a part of it, which is still one of the most thematically rich character journey endings to come out of the medium.
This is why the subsequent seasons are not remembered as fondly, because once the conflict ended, so did the support that made us care about all the background information that Genshiken had to give. The author did his best to introduce new conflicts in order to help us avoid a K-ON-ish world, but whilst Ogiue has her fans and job-hunting is a pretty heavy part of any slice-of-life story in general, they just weren’t as strong and sometimes their weakened prevalence just led to pure style without structure. The first two episodes of Genshiken 2 fell into the same trappings that made me dislike Shirobako’s first two episodes¹ with the group just talking about how to setup Comi-fest with very few scenes focusing on actual grounding and if it wasn’t for my familiarity with the established material, I would have dropped the show right then and there.
Thankfully it recovered after that once the more personal drama started, although given that said season was made by Arms, you still have a lot of moments that feel like edutainment and random monkey-cheese, and it didn’t help that the season ended prior to the original manga’s conclusion so things were kind of left open-ended. They did give us the yaoi episode though, so I guess some forgiveness can be had.
Not that the first season didn’t have its lulls. Rewatching it again made me realize that a lot of the anime’s strength came more from the material and less from the actual direction. Although the bad animation aids in making the characters look more realistic – especially compared to Nidaime’s prettiness – very few of the jokes actually work due to poor comedic timing. Even the Kujikibi Unbalance parody wasn’t much better at laughs than the actual anime that came years later. This leads to some of the more “pure” slice-of-life sections being more “meh” than I remembered to the point that it got to Nodame Cantabile sequel-level bad, which despite what the fans say, is worse than you’d think.
But at the end of the day, I came out of the rewatch thinking “that was pretty good”. Because it’s Genshiken, and Genshiken is good. It may be a little lighter on the human drama than I remembered and there are times when the jargon is just there, but for the most part, it still knew how to engage people without going into pander-territory. It’s still fun to watch these characters grow over the span of a few years. It still has smart things to say about a specific sub-culture. Even Nidaime in all its cluelessness of how fangirls worked is nowhere near as bad a sequel as you’d expect from something that took more than three years to make.
This anime highlights the otaku culture that is very predominant nowadays in Japan. In this anime, we are introduced to so many otaku-related elements. There are names and terms used in relation with this sub-culture such as plamo, cosplay, hentai, and the list goes on.
Unlike most anime, this show is extremely realistic (similar to Honey And Clover). It focuses on the members of a student activity club at a University that is situated in the outskirts of Tokyo. The club is a group of slackers whose sole activity is appreciating anime, manga, hentai, cosplay and other pastimes normally associated with otaku (it's actually 'geek' if
it's translated in simple English).
Each episode in the first season more or less describes some new aspect of otaku culture. One episode shows the group getting obsessed about building Gundam models, another one shows the group going to Akihabara (place where all sorts of otaku items such as games, dvds, mangas, cosplay costumes etc. are sold) to buy hentai manga (erotic comic, that is).
The dramatic tension of the show is created through the character of Saki. She is the girlfriend of one of the club members. She is in love with the guy, but finds all the otaku stuffs are kind of weird and many of the episodes feature her struggling to come to terms with her love of Kohsaka, but her dislike of his hobbies.
The show has very good characters developments and many of the characters are allowed a depth to their characters which makes this anime is in a class of its own.
In a medium that is too often plagued with clichés and repetitive plot lines, Genshiken is a breath of fresh air (amen!) that should be viewed by both anime fans and non-fans alike.
If you are an Otaku, then you should probably watch this series. You'll definitely find yourself identifying with one of the characters, if not most of them. And wish that you had such an inclusive club to develop your inner otaku. Its a wonderful study of Japanese culture featuring anime, plamos, games, cosplay, manga, and dōjinshi. I recommend watching a good fansub that includes definitions of various otaku slang, if you aren't familiar with them. As a fairly new otaku, I found myself learning alot of new things about the culture. So yeah this anime doesn't have magical girls, aliens, or giant robots, it does
have various otakus willing to debate those subjects and brave an army of other crazy otakus, just to get the latest dōjinshi. If you have a favorite Gundam series and are willing to fight for it you may even find yourself siding with characters. Not to mention the various name drops and cameos of anime, and games. So take a chance and watch this "realistic" anime, you'll be surprised how much you have in common.
A story about a fairly timid boy who gets involved with otaku society through a school club.
Really, there have been few shows or movies about Otaku, and many are of the style showing otaku-ism as a dark thing one must overcome to rejoin society, often ending with the main character getting a girlfriend who leads him away from that seedy realm of obsession This seems to be on the lighter side of things, instead we find a boy who has an interest in anime and games (and hentai) but has rarely expressed himself due to a lack of friends with outspoken interests on par.
the club, has fun, sees some of the nice and some of the not so nice aspects of the culture, and overall has a better time because of it.
Now to the review:
Honestly I felt this could have been better if it were longer, the character development felt rushed and many sub plots were alluded to, by did not develop.
The art and sound were great, in fact, the detail they put into making videogame sounds for when they had one playing in the room was a nice touch.
But do to the limit of 12 episodes they really forced the story in a jerking leaping way, using large and obvious plot devices to establish something that if given more time to tell it could have been subtle and more involving.
There was depth intended here, I can see allot of the statements they wanted people to get, but slamming it in our faces quick and without proper buildup really took away from the quality of that message.
Over all worth watching if you fancy yourself an otaku, and even if your not it puts it out there in such a way that you'd get the idea without the background knowledge.
A warning though, many will come away feeling that it oversimplified and forced to much of its story out in a choppy way. Really, I would have liked to see this in a longer series, I think the writer would have shown his skill much better if given time.
The manga managed to give a much deeper feel to the whole thing, Id say if you haven't read it, watch the anime first, then pick the manga up, I don't think doing it the other way around was as satisfying as it could have been.