Now that a good number of you have received my Christmas present, I think it’s time we take a closer look at this Chapter 56 of Genshiken. Warning, spoilers follow for the original Genshiken series as well as Chapter 56. You might also want to check out my review of Genshiken.
Ever since Genshiken ended back in 2006 or so, I, being rather fond of Ogiue, wanted to see what the club would be like with her as chairman. If you were lucky enough to pick up the two volumes of Kujibiki♡Unbalance, then you got a glimpse into this future. Ogiue changed hairstyles, using the straight-down style from the final chapter of the manga as her default and only switching to her signature brush head when working on manga. Sue started studying in Japan, and her Japanese has improved by leaps and bounds. Ohno is delaying graduation in order to fend off the real world for just a little longer. And now with this new special, we get to see the next generation of Genshiken members.
From left to right: Hato, Yoshitake, and Yajima
While Ogiue is of course always wonderful and Sue pretty much steals the show with her penchant for references and her skillful impersonation of an American Character in Anime probably the most fascinating part of Chapter 56 is the long-awaited arrival of new blood in the circle. Hato, Yoshitake, and Yajima’s biggest impact on Genshiken is that they make you realize the fact that characters like them were missing from the series all along.
“Well yeah, it’s not like Genshiken ever had a crossdresser aside from that one time with Kohsaka,” you might be saying, but we’ve also not seen a guy who’s on the other side of the doujin fence, so to speak. Yoshitake meanwhile is a super enthusiastic fujoshi unlike any we’ve seen before, even among Yabusaki’s friends or Ohno’s American pals. Yoshitake’s the kind of character who would probably fit in best at an American con. Yajima is kind of similar to Ogiue in personality, except that where Ogiue is often like a blazing inferno kept in check by a thick insulated coating, Yajima is actually just a woman of few words. She also seems to have the most “normal” stance on yaoi, asking Yoshitake to restrain her enthusiasm in public. Her weight also can’t be overlooked, as it gives her an interesting quality in that she feels a bit overwhelmed by the previous generation of gorgeous Genshiken girls.
Much like how Ogiue’s first glimpse of Sasahara as a leader colored her perceptions of him, the three new members of the Modern Culture Society are viewing Ohno entirely as that motherly figure she eventually became, and Ogiue as an authority figure. . It’s all summed up in the scene where Ohno starts to “brag” at the new members about Ogiue’s accomplishments, and it just goes to show how different things can be when the person on the bottom of the totem pole has suddenly reached the top.
And though I said that the most fascinating part about Genshiken Chapter 56 is the new members, I still want to spend some time talking about Ogiue. It is wonderful to see how she handles her leadership role, using her talents and ideas to try and grow the club which she has grown to love over time. It’s great to see her relationship with Sasahara, even if it at times becomes awkward and semi-professional. She’s the Ogiue I remember, and yet still quite different from what she was. She’s matured in her time at college and become more comfortable in her own skin, and it’s just a reminder of why I consider her the best female character, period.
So that’s the next generation of Genshiken. To top it off, let’s go through the references Sue and others make, or at least the ones I was able to figure out. The tricky thing about Sue now is that because her Japanese has gotten better, sometimes she doesn’t make references and instead just speaks actual Japanese, and so everything she says you have to first figure out if she’s taking a line from something or just her own head.
Sue: “Oh no! What an awful room! It’s like a rabbit pen in here!“
This is from Kinnikuman Lady, a genderbent parody of the original Kinnikuman. Sue is dressed like Terryman’s female counterpart Terrygirl. Keep in mind that Sue actually says, “Oh no!” in English here.
Sue: “Ogiue Chika is mah wife!”
Again from Kinnikuman Lady. In the Japanese version, Sue is imitating the Terryman-style of Janglish by saying “Me no yome” instead of “My” or “Ore no.”
Ohno: “I really wanted to be Robin, though.”
Kinnikuman Lady once again, as well as her cosplay.
Kuchiki: “Ramen Angel P (etc.).”
Ramen Angel Pretty Menma is a made-up visual novel/ero game in Genshiken. Sasahara really likes the series.
Sue: “My harsh remarks are made by transmuting…”
A line by Senjougahara Hitagi from Bakemonogatari.
Yuki x Shige
I’m not sure if this is just a made up series or not, but I suspect it’s Sengoku Basara-related.
Sue: “My name is Ogiue and I hate otaku!”
This and the followup is of course from Ogiue’s infamous introduction.
Again from Bakemonogatari, but this time Sue is referencing the character Hachikuji Mayoi. The entire gag following this is an extended Hachikuji reference.
Snapple Pricking Gheam
A parody of the Zan Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei OP “Apple Picking Beam.” In Japanese, the original song is “Ringo Mogire Beam” while Genshiken wrote it as “Bingo Mobire Geam.” According to the Genshiken timeline this show shouldn’t actually exist yet, but we’ll let it slide.
Sue: “Yahhh! Your house is haunted!”
This is a line from My Neighbor Totoro.
That’s all. To Genshiken. May it get another anime adaptation to finish its story. May Kio Shimoku feel the desire to revisit these characters again. May Angela and Sue get their own most excellent American spin-off.
Actually, one last question to you all: should Hato be considered for the fujoshi files?