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Name: N/A
Alias:
Student from Warm Watch Group (見守る会の生徒)
Relationship Status: 
N/A
Origin:
Mayo Chiki

Information:
This girl is a student of Roran Academy and a member of the “Subaru-sama Warm Watch Group,” a fan club for the butler of the Suzutsuki household and Roran student Konoe Subaru. Their group, comprised mostly of fujoshi, are in favor of Subaru’s friendship with a male classmate named Sakamichi Kinjirou, which puts them constantly and secretly at war with a rival group opposed to that relationship, “Shooting Star Subaru Sama,” aka S4. This member is one of the few in the Warm Watch Group other than their leader Narumi Nakuru to interact directly with Kinjirou.

Fujoshi Level:
After rescuing Kinjirou from an S4 member’s attack, she asks him if he is the “seme” (top) or the “uke” (bottom).

Since the last chapter, Madarame has been mulling over Hato’s Valentine’s chocolate. Feeling a sense of happiness over receiving them yet also confused and alarmed by this very reaction, he seeks the advice of Kugayama, who is the only other guy out of the old Genshiken crew to not have a significant other and thus won’t spill the beans to the girls. As the two get increasingly drunk over some barbecue, Madarame reveals where he believes the confusion lies: to him, Hato is a man and therefore someone Madarame can relate to, whereas women are so foreign to him that he doesn’t know how to even begin dealing with their affections. Kugayama suggests going to a soapland to help him get over his fear of women, but realizing that it’s probably too big a jump for either of them they consider instead going to a cabaret club, more specifically Keiko’s.

For a chapter basically consisting of two scenes and a brief look into Yajima’s attempt to improve her figure drawing with the help of Yoshitake, there’s actually a whole lot to unpack. At this point, it’s something I expect from Genshiken even putting aside my own tendency to analyze the series in depth, but the more I thought about the simple events and topics of this chapter, the more complex the exploration of otaku sexuality and its perception in the otaku mind becomes.

Although I’ve had to re-assess the manga’s messages when it comes to attraction and sexuality a number of times, at this point one thing continues to be certain: Genshiken presents the idea that one’s “2D” and “3D” preferences neither overlap entirely nor are they truly separate. It wasn’t that Hato was in denial when he originally said his preference for BL existed purely in the realm of doujinshi and the like, but that he honestly felt that way. However, as we’ve learned, even the distinction between “2D” and “3D” is tenuous, as the characters of Genshiken ship real people (or at least imaginary approximations of real people). I would argue that BL was not Hato’s realization of homosexuality, but something which made the idea a distinct possibility in his mind that helped him to clarify his feelings for Madarame.

While I don’t think Madarame is having the same thing happen to him, I do think his actions in this chapter reflect a similar semi-disconnect between his 2D and 3D desires. Consider the fact that one of Madarame’s warning signals was that he began re-playing his otoko no ko eroge. One would expect the situation to be that ever since Madarame received the chocolates that he began to look into those games, but he in fact had them for a while. While Madarame maintained is self-identity as heterosexual, he was playing those types of games the whole time, and as implied in the chapters where he first discusses his experience with those games, it’s less about being into guys 2D or 3D and more about the use of sexual expression coded generally as “female” in otaku media that appeals to him. Hato, who similarly performs “femininity” looks to be hitting the same triggers in Madarame, and the very fact that this deliberateness in the end positions Hato to be male is also what makes Madarame feel as if he can relate to Hato better than any woman.

The female sex is something Madarame has viewed his entire life as a realm of distant fantasy, only barely entering his purview of reality when Kasukabe suggested that maybe they could’ve had something if circumstances had been different. This, I think, is why Madarame has trouble deciding what he feels in reaction to Sue and Angela (via Ohno) giving him romantic chocolates as well. Madarame has expressed interest in 2D characters similar to Sue, and there’s no doubt that he finds Angela attractive on some level, but they’re a foreign existence, both figuratively and literally. In that sense the anime girl and the real girl are equally “farfetched.” This is also what makes the Chekhov’s gun that is Keiko’s heavily photoshopped business card so powerful. Not only is it the case that Madarame’s refusal to visit the cabaret club back in Chapter 59 potentially overturned the next chapter, and not only is Keiko one of the other girls into Madarame, but Keiko herself plays a “character” at her workplace. Even firmly within the realm of “3D,” the line between fantasy and reality blurs.

Another thing I find interesting about this whole notion that Hato’s feelings are easier to respond to because Madarame can relate to them as a fellow guy is how this somewhat mirrors one of the reasonings touted for why people get into BL of shounen manga. Traditionally, female characters and love interests in battle/sports/competition manga have been on the sidelines, and most of the displays of fiery passion consist of male rivals and enemies confronting and antagonizing each other, which leads to more time and effort to devoted to those relationships than the ones between the hero and his would-be girlfriend. While this isn’t quite the same as what Madarame and Hato have, what is similar is this concept of guys being able to understand each other on some deeper level (or with girls in yuri), whether it’s intrinsic or something that’s developed over time. In the case of Madarame, it’s perhaps an inevitability given his inexperience with women. In a way, Kugayama’s solution of breaking the “mystique” of the opposite sex through the use of a “professional,” while extremely typical in various cultures (there was even a King of the Hill episode on the subject) is itself also a breakthrough for the otaku-minded, as it involves a desire to get away from the ideal of sexual purity and enter “reality,” though even that conception of the world is fueled by a fantasy. There’s a more I could say about Kugayama as well, but I’ll leave it alone for now except to say that Kugayama in some ways occupies Yajima’s position.

As for the scene with Yajima, Yoshitake, Hato, and Sue, although it’s fairly short, it is notable that Yajima is actually trying to improve her drawing despite being previously resigned to suck at it forever, and Hato’s mention that he’s been drawing manga lately is likely going to mean that he’s gotten past his previous dilemma of only being able to draw BL when dressed as a girl and a rather bizarre style when as a boy. The “disappearance” of the two voices that accompanied Hato (his other self and the other Kaminaga) were likely a prelude to this development. I suspect we’ll see more in the next chapter.

Also, Ogiue does not appear in this chapter but is at least mentioned twice, once when Madarame believes Sasahara would definitely tell her if Madarame were to divulge his secret struggle, and once when Yoshitake states that it was Ogiue’s suggestion for Yajima to do some rough sketches.

 

Name: Narumi, Nakuru (鳴海ナクル)
Alias:
Narunaru
Relationship Status:
Single
Origin:
Mayo Chiki

Information:
The cat-eared high school student at Roran Academy with an extreme fondness for glasses, Narumi will go as far as to dive out windows to save a pair. She, like many of the girl at her school, is a big fan of fellow student and butler Konoe Subaru, and is even the president of the “Subaru-sama Warm Watch Group,” one of two major Subaru fan factions in her school. The Warm Watch Group is constantly at odds with their rival group, S4 (Shooting Star Subaru Sama), though neither is aware that Subaru is actually a girl.

Narumi and the rest of the Warm Watch Group are mostly fujoshi, and thus support the friendship between Subaru and “his” male friend, Sakamachi Kinjirou. Narumi herself goes as far as to write BL novels starring thinly-veiled analogues of the two which are so lengthy that they require someone with superhuman strength to staple the pages together, and then acts out the scripts. Owing to the popularity of her doujinshi, she has a loyal fan club of her own.

Fujoshi Level:
Narumi once turned down a boy who had confessed to her, for the reason that she has dedicated her entire high school life to creating BL.

Name: Tanaka, Mitsuki (田中美月)
Alias: Hokuto (北斗)
Relationship Status: Dating
Origin: Cyber Yaoi Girl

Information:
Tanaka Mitsuki is a college student who discovered yaoi in her final year of high school. Especially fond of the series Ai no Doronuma, Mitsuki discovers along with her internet connection a thriving Aidoro community. Mitsuki thus spends most of her time chatting with her fellow fans online, and eventually even meeting them offline as friends.

Mitsuki is in a relationship with a fellow student named Koshimura, though she is afraid to tell him about being a fujoshi, and he assumes her desire of privacy is out of shyness, rather than out of wanting to hide her BL collection. While Koshimura does not know the truth, however, his friend Tamagaki does, which makes interaction between Mitsuki and Tamagaki both comfortable and awkward. Mitsuki typically tries to deny that she’s an otaku, going out of her way to exclaim, “My, I’m such a normal girl!” whenever she does anything contrary to fujoshi stereotypes.

Fujoshi Level:
Generally a strong fujoshi, Mitsuki blows most of her budget on yaoi books and internet through which to keep up with her fellow fujoshi.

Name: Shiina, Mafuyu (椎名 真冬)
Alias: N/A
Relationship Status: Single
Origin: Seitokai no Ichizon

Information:
Shiina Mafuyu is a shy and demure girl who often has her face buried in a video game. So addicted to video games is Mafuyu that she will bring multiple home consoles and portable systems with her on long trips. Though open to diverse genres, Mafuyu mainly plays visual novels, for which she creates internet guides.

Along with her older sister Minatsu, Mafuyu is a member of the Hekiyou Academy student council, voted in by her fellow students. There, Mafuyu participates in the idle discussions which characterize the student council, and has a tendency to pair the only male council member, Sugisaki Ken, with another male student named Nakameguro. She is also somewhat antagonistic towards Ken’s younger sister as the two have “overlapping characters.”

Fujoshi Level:
Mafuyu describes herself as “half-games, half-Boys Love.” She believes being able to fantasize about a pen and a pencil together is a fundamental skill.

I can’t say I’m entirely surprised that a Genshken hug pillow would exist some day. Kio Shimoku once drew a fake Ogiue hug pillow, and it’s not even that farfetched for the pillow to be Sue of all characters. When I think about it, though, isn’t Sue pretty much the polar opposite of the typical “hug pillow” character? She’s not just an awkward otaku, she’s an awkward otaku who actively makes others feel awkward, as opposed to some ideally flawed character. Or has the popularity of Tomoko from Watamote changed the dynamic and now this sort of girl is “in?”

I’m honestly curious as to who’s going to end up buying this. I get the feeling it’ll require a very specific and special type of fan.

news_large_genshiken2-suomote news_large_genshiken2-suura

Name: Takaide (高出)
Alias:
Mikoten Trio (みこてんトリオ, Manken Three (漫研三人組)
Relationship Status:
Single
Origin:
Fudanshism: Fudanshi Shugi na Seikatsu

Information:
Takaide is a teenage student at Kentei Academy, who along with her closest friends Azumi and Nakajima comprise the Mikoto x Tentel pairing faction of the school’s manga club. This puts her in friendly contention with the Ten x Miko fans. Like her friends, she also pairs manga club president Matsumoto Atsumu with his best friend Kiyokawa Atsumu, in that order. Takaide is friends or at least acquaintances with Matsumoto Setsuna.

Takaide watches Omakase Tentel every week with Azumi and Nakajima in the hopes of seeing Miko x Ten win out over Ten x Miko. In addition to drawing and publishing Miko x Ten doujinshi, Takaide is also into construction tool personification yaoi, an interest she shares with Setsuna.

Fujoshi Level:
On a trip in Osaka, Takaide laments the fact that Miko x Ten is much more popular there, and wishes that she would be able to live there someday.

Name: Azumi (あずみ)
Alias:
Nakajii (なかじー), Mikoten Trio (みこてんトリオ, Manken Three (漫研三人組)
Relationship Status:
Dating
Origin:
Fudanshism: Fudanshi Shugi na Seikatsu

Information:
Nakajima is a teenage student at Kentei Academy, and of the three primary members of the Miko x Ten faction of her manga club, or the group which supports the pairing of Omakase Tentel mascot characters Mikoto x Tentel, the opposite of Ten x Miko. Liker her best friends Azumi and Takaide, she also pairs the manga club president Matsumoto Atsumu with his best friend Kiyokawa Atsumu, in that order. Nakajima is also friends with amateur voice actor Ookubo, who eventually becomes her boyfriend.

Along with Azumi and Takaide, Nakajima watches Omakase Tentel every week to see if Miko x Ten will prevail over Ten x Miko. She also draws and publishes Miko x Ten doujinshi with her two friends.

Fujoshi Level:
Nakajima’s devotion to Miko x Ten is about the clearest indicator of how rotten she is.

Name: Azumi (あずみ)
Alias:
Azumin (あずみん), Mikoten Trio (みこてんトリオ, Manken Three (漫研三人組)
Relationship Status:
Single
Origin:
Fudanshism: Fudanshi Shugi na Seikatsu

Information:
Azumi is a teenager attending Kentei Academy and a member of the school’s manga club. She is the de facto leader of the Miko x Ten faction in the club, or the group which prefers the pairing of Omakase Tentel mascot characters Mikoto x Tentel, the opposite of Ten x Miko. Similarly, she pairs the manga club president Matsumoto Atsumu with his best friend Kiyokawa Atsumu in specifically that order, the opposite of fellow fujoshi Konishi Nozomi.

Azumi and her best friends Nakajima and Takaide typically gather every week to watch the newest episode of Omakase Tentel, looking for Miko x Ten moments that they can use, as well as watching to see if Miko x Ten prevails over Ten x Miko that episode. Azumi also draws.

Fujoshi Level:
Little is known about Azumi’s fujocity, other than that she actively pursues Miko x Ten along with her friends.

Name: Kondou, Mayuka (近藤繭佳)
Alias:
Mr. X (ミスターX)
Relationship Status:
Single
Origin:
Onii-chan no Koto nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakarane!

Information:
Kondou Mayuka is a model high school student and class president who in contrast to her pristine reputation secretly goes out at night to buy BL magazines. When she accidentally bumps into her classmate Takanashi Shuusuke one evening while the two are on their respective porn runs, she winds up making Takanashi into her “pet,” an errand boy who has to buy BL for her in exchange for food and pats on the head. While she at first she keeps him around by way of threats, the two eventually develop an actual friendship.

Kondou is adept at cooking and studying. Her most noticeable feature is her black pantyhose, to the extent that she singlehandedly induces a black pantyhose fetish in Takanashi. Mayuka has feelings for Takanashi, though they appear to be tied to her fondness for yaoi and wish to see him in equally dire situations. Her alter ego, Mr. X, is her personal name for when she wishes to disguise herself and her fujoshi side.

Fujoshi Level:
The reason Mayuka turns Shuusuke into her errand boy is that while she desires more extreme yaoi titles she is too embarrassed to buy them on her own, showing that while her imagination is vast she has limits based in reality.

Official sources for Genshiken Second Season

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