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Name: Fukuda (福田)
Alias: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Origin: Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture II

Information:
A friend and fellow history club member with Genshiken member Yoshitake Rika back in high school, Fukuda is a person of few words. She acts as a tsukkomi of sorts to Yoshitake and her other friend Sawatari antics, often responding to them in deadpan.

Fujoshi Level:
Unknown at this time, other than that she had otaku conversations in addition to history-related ones in high school.

Name: Sawatari (沢渡)
Alias: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Origin: Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture II

Information:
One of Genshiken member Yoshitake Rika’s friends from high school, she attended the same History Club as Yoshitake.  She enjoys challenging Yoshitake with history trivia, and is still good friends with their other history club member Fukuda. She appears to have an outgoing personality similar to Yoshitake’s.

Fujoshi Level:
Unknown at this time, other than that she had otaku conversations in addition to history-related ones in high school.

Name: Mimasaka (美作)
Alias: N/A
Relationship Status: Single
Origin: Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture II

Information:
Mimasaka is an old high school friend of Genshiken’s Yajima Mirei. Quite timid, she greatly admires Yajima and will cling to her when troubled. To the surprise of many, Mimasaka is a big fan of Yajima’s drawings, not in spite of their lack of quality but because of it, claiming that it shows Yajima’s persistent personality. Mimasaka also does not view crossdressing Genshiken club member Hato Kenjirou fondly, as she senses something funny about his relationship with Yajima.

Fujoshi Level:
After Yajima mentions that she accidentally saw Hato naked, Mimasaka exclaims that Yajima would have to take Hato as a “wife,” implying that Mimasaka created an imaginary situation with a male Yajima and a still-crossdressing Hato.

Name: Ootsuka Meiko (大塚芽子)
Alias: N/A
Relationship Status: N/A
Origin: Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Information:
Ootsuka Meiko is a student at Suzaku High, and was at for a period one of the legendary “witches” tied to the school. Her ability was telepathy transmitted through kissing, which she used to get around her own shyness and to cheat on tests with the help of other students. Her “inner” personality contrasts heavily with her image, and is in fact much more commanding and authoritative. She lost this ability when Yamada Ryuu removed all of the witches’ powers in a ritual. Meiko also draws her own manga.

Fujoshi Level:
When Yamada found a way to read Meiko’s thoughts, he found out she was mentally writing a dirty fanfiction pairing him with the student council president Miyamora Toranosuke, using the fact that Yamada had become his secretary as fuel for her imagination.

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

Official sources for Genshiken Second Season

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