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Name: Chuuguu (中宮)
Alias: N/A
Relationship Status: Married
Origin: Moehime

The wife of the Emperor of Japan, Chuuguu runs an inner circle where members share stories they’ve written. Due to her own preferences, most of these stories involve men having relationships with other men. At one point, hearing of her skills,  Chuuguu asks a writer named Tomoe, a distant acquaintance, to write a story for her, with the qualification that Tomoe will become part of her inner circle.

Fujoshi Level:
The story that Chuuguu requests is one where the Emperor himself is in a homosexual relationship; in other words she is not only pairing off her husband but also the divine ruler of Japan.

The truth comes out in more ways than one in this chapter of Genshiken. Not only does it turn out that this entire trip was an elaborate way to help Madarame towards finally making a decision about his love life (much to Kuchiki’s chagrin; it was supposed to be his graduation trip after all), but now Yajima knows that Hato is aware of her feelings for him. Within all of this is… the potential for yuri?!

I should be clear about that last point. Thus far in Genshiken outside of Hato and Madarame and the magical fictional world of BL, same sex relationships haven’t really been a factor. The closest thing we’ve seen is Sue being very attached to Ogiue in a way that makes it unclear whether she’s using otaku and manga references to assert her friendship with Ogiue in an odd way (Ogiue wa ME no yome!) or if there’s something more. Sure, there are yuri fans who ship certain pairings (Ogiue and her old middle school classmate/friend/bully Nakajima for example) but here even I who normally forego donning a pair of yuri goggles saw a few things that caught my attention. One was of course intentional by Kio, when Ohno comes onto Ogiue to make Kuchiki jealous (it’s complicated), but then you have a moment like this:

Actually, it almost feels like a “yaoi” moment using female characters. Has anyone done a study of how interactions are portrayed in yaoi vs. yuri? There’s also significantly more Ogiue in this chapter compared to the previous ones, but more on that later.

What I find especially fascinating about this whole Nikkou trip as a way to move Madarame forward is just the idea that he (and perhaps anyone) should not be able to let his relationships stagnate. As Evangelion has taught us, staying in the same place unable to move forward can be a crippling experience that appears comforting when it is seen as avoiding pain. While it could be seen as them pushing Madarame unnecessarily, his passive personality likely means that nothing would ever happen, and it would hurt everyone on all sides if it persists. Of course, there’s still a chance that Madarame will probably still come out of it indecisive because that’s just how he is, but the very fact that Genshiken is having its characters try to constantly prevent the “series of misunderstandings” that can occur when too many secrets are kept gives me the sense that everyone wants the best for each other.

Probably the biggest surprise of this chapter is everyone’s accepting attitudes towards Sue potentially ending up with Madarame, including the other girls interested in him. I mentioned in the previous chapter review that Yoshitake’s comments about Nikkou being a fake-out meant to draw attention away from Tokugawa’s real grave might be meta-commentary on the statuses of the others gunning for Madarame, and it looks like it’s panned out. Hato and Keiko have gotten so much attention, and Keiko even commented on how Sue is unlikely because of her personality, but here Keiko is in Chapter 116 saying that she won’t interfere with Sue like she does the others because that’s the one other person she’s okay with.

Given the cunning with which Keiko has competed, does this mean that she sees something special between Sue and Madarame that doesn’t exist with the other potential partners, including herself? Perhaps the fact that no one wants to interfere with Sue x Mada is because they understand both of their personalities, and that Sue in particular has her own battle to fight regarding her own feelings. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone other than Sue appears to be using wits and charm to pull Madarame towards them (or at least Keiko believes Hato to be doing this), and that if Sue turns out to be the one, that she’s “won” in more than one sense of the word. Again, suddenly Sue looks increasingly likely when she had previously been dismissed, turning everything upside down.

Kuchiki, in his jealousy, argues a version of a  point that I’ve mentioned before, that Madarame has shown how his 2D and 3D tastes don’t necessarily line up. While he has mentioned that Sue is exactly the kind of person that matches his favorite anime archetype, there’s also no denying his lost love for Kasukabe. At the same time, Genshiken Nidaime plays significantly with the blurring of real and fictional interests, or rather the reveal that the difference between them is possibly fairly porous even if the two aren’t the same. However, there’s another possibility, which is that Madarame and Sue’s connection goes well beyond looks, and that, other than possibly Hato, Sue is the only one who match him blow for blow when it comes to otaku power levels, creating a truly ultimate “otaple.”

As I mentioned above, Ogiue has gotten more attention in this chapter than every other one in this “Nikkou Arc,” though not enough to make her a particularly important character for this story. However, it does give us many glorious Ogiue faces.

A lot could be said about Hato and Yajima, but it seems like they’re saving the big guns for next chapter, alongside Sue & Madarame’s Excellent Adventures. Until then…!

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My Love Story!! (aka Oremonogatari!!) is a twist on the reliable yet well-worn tropes of shoujo manga and anime. A manga and recent anime adaptation, it features many of the warm, fuzzy feelings that come with seeing a likable protagonist fall in love, only the main character is a hulking mountain of a man who looks like he stepped out of a manga bout gangster and delinquents instead. Takeo is portrayed as a goofy, lumbering, yet well-meaning guy who’s able to win the heart of a girl he meets through a selfless act, but is slow to realize it because he believes girls can never fall in love with him because he lacks the typical appearance of an attractive guy. When I see My Love Story!! and the message of hope it has for those guys out there who feel like girls will never see them as anything more than a curiosity, I wonder if the series is better suited for our current environment, or if it might have made more of an impact 10 years ago.

What I mean by that is not so much that the show feels older or outdated, but rather that the early to mid 2000s were when sites like 4chan and its Japanese predecssor 2channel truly showed how much they could mold significant parts of how internet culture viewed nerds and how nerds viewed themselves. 2005 marked the drama adaptation of Densha Otoko and the idea that “otaku are in,” Web 1.0 was making way for Web 2.0, and stories about being “forever alone” abounded. There has been the controversy over the “nice guy,” who has symbolized both women’s failure to date the right men and the sexism of men who expect sex just for treating girls nicely. If My Love Story!! had come along to show the difference between genuine compassion and a slick veneer, would it have altered many a nerd’s viewpoints? This is what I’m wondering.

Then again, between harassment of women working in and around video games, an increasingly vocal sense of chauvinism and false victimization over how men are treated, and a variety of other elements in our current media environment, it might be just the right time for a show like My Love Story!! to exist. Maybe now that these aspects are more visible, and now that “nerd culture” and “mainstream culture” are more integrated than ever, the positive messages this series sends are what people need to hear. Another factor in all of this that might complicate the issue is that, at the end of the day, even Takeo is not the handsome prince, he still has numerous qualities that play into the typical image of manliness, and his sheer strength might potentially overshadow his personality with all of its little quirks and moments of weakness. He’s certainly not a “nerd” or “otaku” in the typical sense, after all.

What do you think? Is My Love Story!! the show for today’s anime-watching audience, or could it have actually influenced on the confidence in guys and sense of respect for themselves and for others more greatly if it had been a part of the fabric of our cultures sooner?

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This post was sponsored by Johnny Trovato. If you’re interested in submitting topics for the blog, or just like my writing and want to be a patron of Ogiue Maniax, check out my Patreon.

Who is the greatest moe anime character?

That’s the question that the Saimoe (literally “Most Moe”) Tournament set out to answer, and its long history of competitions, dating back to 2002, are a reflection of not so much the state of anime fandom over the past 13 years, but rather how internet anime fandom has grown, changed, and even arguably moved on past the concept of moe in both the US and Japan.


If there’s one fact I always find interesting about Saimoe, it’s that its original winner was Kinomoto Sakura of Cardcaptor Sakura. There’s something just so appropriate about her being the first champion, given how beloved she is among anime fans of all stripes. However, Saimoe is also often a snapshot, a look into the zeitgeist of at least a corner of anime fandom, and in that same tournament it might come as no surprise that its silver medalist was Osaka from Azumanga Daioh. These days Azumanga Daioh is viewed as a relic of the Early 2000s, an excellent show for sure, but not as timeless as its fervent fans (of which I am included) would have hoped for.

Other than Sakura, who has stood the test of time as Saimoe champions? It’s okay if you don’t remember who has won Saimoe before, as anime fandom as a whole has a tendency to burn briefly yet passionately for its favorite characters, where in the moment it seems as if her fame will last forever, the sheer memetic popularity of a Suiseiseki (Rozen Maiden) or a Takamachi Nanoha (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha) blinding fans from seeing the long-term. That’s not to say that characters such as Aisaka Taiga (Toradora!) and Rosemary Applefield (Ashita no Nadja) are forgettable or bad, but that the otaku mind can be a fickle thing.

Among these titles, it seems as if Madoka Magica‘s popularity still endures, giving a kind of strength to previous winners Madoka and Mami, but one factor that also has to be considered is that the numbers for Saimoe participation rose rapidly in the mid-2000s, and then declined sharply afterwards. To give an idea, for final-round votes, Sakura won in 2002 with 580, Suiseiseki won in 2006 with 2306, and most recently Saki and Nodoka from Saki tied each other at 187. This can be explained by the fact that the mid-2000s were when Saimoe truly opened up to international participation, but also that the idea of “moe” no longer carries as much subcultural weight.

This is perhaps best exemplified by that Suiseiseki victory. It was during that time that fervent fans on 4chan and other communities figured out how to vote for their favorite characters, and whether they were genuinely voting for who they believed was “most moe,” were backing their favorite characters, were trying to push a running gag forward, or they wanted to rally behind their chosen girl, Suiseiseki embodied all three. She was the center of the DESU DESU DESU meme, Rozen Maiden was generally popular among hardcore fans, and her character does have distinguishable moe qualities overall. The heyday of Saimoe was indeed also the heyday of 4chan, and while it’s questionable as to whether Saimoe had ever been more than a popularity contest, when looking at the “rise and fall” of Saimoe, so to speak, what comes out of the other side isn’t so much as a return to the idea of “moe” from the earlier days when Cardcaptor Sakura won it all, but something new and different that I can’t quite fully describe.

Let’s compare the winners of Saimoe 2012 and 2014, all of whom come from the anime series Saki. 2012’s champion was Onjouji Toki, a character who is strictly moe by all conceptions of the often-nebulous term. Toki is a sickly girl whose ability to peer into the future to win at mahjong set her up as a tragic figure that overshadowed even the protagonists of her story (the ending theme to Saki: Episode of Side A, “Futuristic Player,” is actually a reference to Toki). It’s hard to describe her as anything but “moe.” In contrast, while there are cutely tragic elements to Saki and Nodoka, their dual-victory in Saimoe carries a very different set of meanings. First, it can’t be ignored that Saki dominated the overall bracket, to the extent that it could be argued that the fans who care most these days about “moe” overlap significantly with Saki fans. Second, and I think this is more important, Saki has a major yuri component, and I believe that is the true meaning behind the tie. In fact, Toki, Mami, and Madoka also all attract yuri fanbases.


Yuri to some extent has been a factor in people’s views of characters as moe (see Nanoha and Fate’s popularity), but the role that the cute girl plays in the aspirations and fantasies of anime fandom seem to have changed. Moe as an idea was arguably overwhelming and overpowering at its height, but now it seemingly has begun to secede, and in its place is a network of interests of which yuri is a part. I put it that way because I don’t think “yuri” supplanted “moe” as if that would even be possible. After all, yuri as a vocabulary word predates the solidification of moe by at least a couple of decades, so if anything moe was the young upstart terminology. Rather, moe may have gradually melded itself back into the fabric of anime’s iconic characters, to the extent that trying to ask who is the “moest” has become a more difficult and less directly appealing proposition overall.

Name: N/A
Alias: Wife (奥様)
Relationship Status: Married
Origin: Happy Fujoshi: Oku-sama wa Oekaki ga Osuki

This fujoshi originally hesitated on getting married because she was worried that it would interfere with her Comic Market schedule. When her fiancee (now husband) agreed that she would be allowed to continue her hobbies even after marriage, he did not quite realize how all-encompassing her fujoshi lifestyle could be. She maintains a consistent work-life balance between her company work and her hobbies that originally made her husband feel left out, but he soon realized that it makes her happier and thus makes their marriage happier as well.

Fujoshi Level:
In high school, she was a member of the art club, where she shipped French painters Van Gogh and Gauguin based on Van Gogh’s “Bedroom in Arles” because of the one bed with two pillows.


Hato Kenjirou is one of the central characters of Genshiken whose struggles with gender and sexuality and overall cheerful yet reserved personality have earned him many fans. Some folks have decided to create a fanzine all about Hato, and while he’s not everyone’s favorite character (see name of blog), I think it’s really awesome and I encourage all Hato fans and perhaps even fans of Genshiken to either send something in or at least take a look when the finished product arrives.

Submissions are open for HatoZine, and are due on October 15, 2015. Make sure to check out the submission guidelines too.

As for myself, I indeed plan on writing something. Or have I already written something and just haven’t sent it in yet???

And of course, thanks to Alison Wilgus for telling me about HatoZine.



Name: N/A
Alias: N/A
Relationship Status: Dating
Origin: Happy Fujoshi: Coming Out

This female character recently started dating her boyfriend, who is surprised at all of her fujoshi qualities. When visiting Shibuya, a trendy part of Tokyo, she sees it primarily as a means to visit the otaku goods store Mandarake. Though she is into series popular with fujoshi such as Prince of Tennis, she also has knowledge of works such as Mahoromatic and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. In fact, she pairs the two Higurashi characters Maebara Keiichi and Irie Kyousuke.

She finds it impossible to view her boyfriend as anything but an uke.

Fujoshi Level:
She once paired two businessmen she saw on the street together, but instead of putting them in a business setting she transported them in her imagination to a school academy.

As September begins, I feel as if something is going to happening. I’ve been considering promoting the blog more than I have in the past, and really thinking about if I should make more efforts to have my posts reach people rather than writing them and waiting for readers to show up. I don’t want to push Ogiue Maniax at people who don’t care, but I do think that there are folks who might be interested in my blog, but who could very well know nothing about it. After all, I still get messages from people discovering Ogiue Maniax, albeit at a slower pace than what used to happen when anime blogging was a bigger thing in general.

This month’s special Patreon sponsors are:

Ko Ransom


Johnny Trovato


I had one other new sponsor who just barely missed the cut-off point for this month, but don’t worry (and you know who you are!). You’ll see your name next month.

This month’s sponsored posts covered food anime (though it turned more into a post about the Food Network’s anime-like qualities), and Senki Zesshou Symphogear. I had a lot of fun writing both, and I’m grateful that my sponsors enjoy the fact that I will sometimes twist their topics to suit my own particular interests and way of thinking. I feel appreciated, and I’m always happy to see others interested in my thoughts on anime, manga, and other topics.

I had a kind of crazy idea for the Patreon just the other day, and I don’t know how to properly reward people if they do this, but I wanted to make it possible to pledge certain amounts that also indicate your favorite Genshiken characters, based on Japanese wordplay. It would go something like this:

$10.00 for Ogiue (The Chi in Chika means “1000” and 1000 yen is about $10.00. I would say $1000 but I’m being realistic here)

$8.00 for Madarame (The Ha in Harunobu = 8)

$3.38 for Sasahara (Sa = 3, Ha = 8, thus $3.38)

$8.10 for Hato (Ha = 8, To = 10)

$4.40 for Yoshitake (4 = Yo, Shi = 4)

$4.37 for Sue (Susanna, Su = 4 (in Chinese and also Japanese mahjong), San/Zan = 3, Na = 7)

And so on.

What do you think of this idea? Would you be interested in pledging based on your favorite Genshiken character? Is this just another nefarious way for me to add more bad puns to the world?

It’s Keiko’s turn for with Madarame, and she uses the opportunity as only Keiko can. At the same time, she shows both some chinks in her armor and her resilience in spite of that. The chapter also ends with a reference to Overman King Gainer, which is never a bad thing.

One thing I’ve neglected when it comes to these recent Nikkou chapters of Genshiken is the potential meaning behind Yoshitake’s historical expositions. One purpose is to show that Yoshitake is indeed a history otaku, and visiting such a culturally significant place as Tokugawa Ieyasu’s tomb would set her off, yet I can’t help but feel that there’s a sense of metacommentary behind it. According to Yoshitake, Ieyasu purposely lied about the true location of his grave in order to mislead his enemies, and similarly it’s possible that Kio Shimoku has been placing one Madarame love interest in front of the others as a kind of red herring. The question is, then, which of the four is actually in the “lead?”

The answer is probably Keiko or Hato at this point, and you could make cases for either. In Chapter 115, Keiko outright states her case. Keiko: The Realistic Choice. It’s not the most inspiring campaign slogan, so to speak, but as I’ve mentioned in the past that is part of the Keiko x Mada pairing’s charm, that they already seem like a married couple, that opposites attract, etc. In certain ways, like a tangent graph, the more Keiko x Mada is a thing, the more it approaches (but never quite reaches) Spotted Flower. It’s realistic in a very specific sense of the word, where it reflects a popular image of how monogamous love and relationships are “behind the scenes.”

As for Hato, Yoshitake makes a comment that Hato has gotten closer to Madarame as a guy than he ever has in his female guise. Whether Yoshitake realizes it or not, she’s directly addressing one of Keiko’s criticisms of Hato, that he’s putting on an act, a performance, to get attention. Is this gender performativity, and is Keiko any less guilty of it?

If Hato is the front-runner, however, then this chapter is possibly the undermining of that, and again it has to do with Keiko. At the end of the chapter, Speaking of that, Keiko defies the standard manga progression, where secrets are unspoken and affect the dynamics of the love polygon, by just telling Hato about Yajima’s feelings for him. Cutting to the chase in that way is very characteristic of Keiko. You’d think it’d perhaps also be Saki-esque, but I feel like while Saki was devious, it’s a different kind of planning and awareness when Keiko is involved. Keiko is “realistic,” and part of her “reality” is that she both shatters illusions while creating others, and is very aware of everything that goes into presenting herself to Madarame. The main thing that throws her off is that Madarame is indecisive beyond her imagination, to the point that she at first interprets his waffling as rejection. There is a great deal of miscommunication because Keiko just perceives the world differently compared to the primarily otaku cast.

Keiko’s reaction to her “rejection” is fascinating in its own way. You can tell just from how shocked she is that Madarame might not be interested in her just how much confidence she had about winning. It actually didn’t occur to her that she wouldn’t be able to do just the right things to get Madarame to fall into her arms. It’s indicative of how she thinks that she feels that Angela is the biggest threat to her but is thankfully stymied by a long distance, and sees Sue as being too reticent for anything to happen, not realizing that this might be part of her appeal. Keiko aims for physical desire, and aims her personality in that direction.

So what does it mean that Hato is aware of Yajima now? It could go in a lot of different directions, but I could see it going for a while where Yajima doesn’t know that Hato knows about her crush. Yajima is fairly observant, but nowhere near on the level of Keiko or Saki, and Keiko is likely going to try and push them together. In other manga, Keiko might be viewed as the scheming villain, but I wonder if Hato and Yajima would be so bad after all. For one thing, characters like Yajima, especially in terms of physical appearance, are kind of a rarity in manga and anime, and to have them together might make for an interesting statement.

As for the red herrings, perhaps neither Keiko nor Hato are as likely choices as they seem.

If you liked this post, consider becoming a sponsor of Ogiue Maniax through Patreon. You can get rewards for higher pledges, including a chance to request topics for the blog.

Name: Kaori (カオリ)
Alias: N/A
Relationship Status: Dating
Origin: Happy Fujoshi: Sono Onna, Kusarimono ni Tsuki

Kaori is an adult fujoshi with a very particular pairing logic that her boyfriend finds difficult to understand. For example, pencils are uke because their markings are enveloped by erasers, while teachers are always uke as well unless they’re mad scientist types in glasses.

When asked to describe the difference between her attraction to her boyfriend and to yaoi, she mentions that yaoi is like a dessert in that she has a separate “stomach” for it.

Fujoshi Level:
Once, Kaori did not eat for three days because she kept spending all her money on BL doujinshi instead.

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