Genshiken 2

Title:Genshiken 2
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: HIYAMA Nobuyuki
OHYAMA Takanori
SAIGA Mitsuki
SEKI Tomokazu
YUKINO Satsuki
The continuing adventures of the university club known as "Genshiken" as older members graduate and leadership changes. What other changes are in store for this group of otaku friends?

[12 TV episodes, based on the manga of the same title (English adaptation licensed by Del Rey).
[edit] The ↗Genshiken & ↗Kujibiki Unbalance franchise:

Original story: Series in a series:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 7 7 7 8 9 Ggultra2764 [series:1648#1552]
(Buy-/ Rent+)

This second season to Genshiken had quite a bit that made it a bit different for me from the first season (much of it good, some bad) which has led me to think of this season as perhaps the best offered by Genshiken and which impressed me enough to just barely give it a Buy. The series retains its mundane mood looking into the everyday activity of the Genshiken club with the addition of new members Ogiue and Kukichi introduced from the Genshiken OAV. This season is noticeably a bit more on the serious side at points when exploring how the club members respond to anything beyond their club activities and interests. The older members are looking into jobs in the workforce as they are in the final days of their university years as we get a look at how they struggle through interviews and rejection letters. Some of the members do find themselves becoming attracted to other members of the other sex and struggle with handling their feelings on the matter. The handling of the characters with their otaku interests with these situations came across as quite believable for me with the characters feeling awkward when confronted by the questions they receive in interviews or dealing with their romantic interest or resorting to escapism by using their interests to escape from the pressures they've faced from both ends, especially in the event of rejection. Ogiue's character gets some development in this season as she slowly opens up to her interest in yaoi by drawing her own doujinshi for a comic convention. Sasahara is also a bit more assertive as the club president compared to when we last seen him in the first season.

For those expecting the focus on aspects of the otaku fandom that Genshiken delves into from last season, it returns to explore more aspects to it. The series delves into the complicated process of being a vendor for a comic convention such as the application process, the challenges of making a doujinshi with clashing personalities and tending to a booth. The series also delves into aspects of eroge manga and hentai dating sim games at points through many of the various characters developments. With this comes a noticeable appearance of fan service at points mixed between fantasy scenes, shots of hentai games and actual shots with both the male and female cast members of the series. The scenes are mostly relevant in getting into the heads of the characters with what they are thinking about their present situations and becoming familiar with the more hardcore stuff related to the otaku fandom. Yet on the other hand, some scenes serve nothing more but to show off the female characters in stages of undress or in bath scenes that are a waste of space for the series.

A couple additional issues I have to press have to do with the character designs and the ending to the show. Genshiken II noticeably lacks a bit of the polish and detail that the character designs were given from the show's first season with coloring looking noticeably drab and details on the characters looking noticeably simpler compared to the first season designs. Another issue is that the anime does leave some developments of the characters hanging, especially with Ogiue whose character gets quite a bit of fleshing-out in a later volume of the manga series.

Beyond these minor issues, Genshiken 2 retained its look into the mundane activities of the club and expanded on its focus of the characters by exploring how they deal with their lives beyond their hobbies and looking into how they deal with being a vendor at a comic convention. I guess I can see now after seeing both seasons and the OAV where Genshiken could be considered the Otaku no Video of the current otaku generation, though without the over-the-top portrayal delivered two decades earlier from Gainax. If you want a down-to-earth look into what being a college otaku can be like right now, look no further than Genshiken.

Last updated Friday, November 26 2010. Created Friday, November 26 2010.
Watch 7 8 7 6 7 7 Dreamer [series:1648#2279]
More in the life of otakus. The gang is back for more club room dialogue and bantor.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork left much to be desired. It wasn't horrible but seemed pretty drab and boring. Character designs were equally as drab and boring. Animation wasn't bad however. But "Ohno" is super kawaii.... love her character.

The OP was a rockish piece with female vocals that sounded typical and boring. The ED was a sorta bland piece with female vocals.... an alternative piece.

Series and Episode Story
I mildly enjoyed the first installment, this one was no different. There wasn't really much here in terms of humor or story telling. Rather, it's more or less some pointless dialogues in a club room. It would probably appeal more to the "Oktaku". However, the episodes progresses with our characters (some) graduating and moving on into the "adult" world of the work-force. This in a sense, made the series a bit more interesting as you follow the lives of our otaku friends.

Nothing much really happens aside from that. There was a bit of romance between a couple of our character.... although nothing really happens much here as well.

Overall, this was a barely amusing series that held just enough to keep me watching it through to the end.

Last updated Saturday, August 07 2010. Created Saturday, August 07 2010.
Rent Stretch [series:1648#628]
(All episodes watched):

Genshiken 2 struck me as being as much an educational as a humorous show, being semi-amusing without many LOL jokes. But there's nothing wrong with that, because I'm curious about how, for example, a doujinshi would come into being. Episode five was pretty weird and teaches you all sorts of things which you may not have wanted to know about homosexual-themed manga. Episode seven was startling as Madarame, Kugayama and Tanaka suddenly graduate--it's not often that three well-developed characters are given up, even in war movies. The "newcomers" never really gained my complete trust and I was sorry to see these guys go (actually they come back now and then). I was curious to see how the club would function without these three. The American otaku girls were fun, being definitely un-Japanese but not total idiots either. I can't help feeling that Genshiken 2 is a significantly more serious, at times even depressing show compared to the original series. A lot of time is spent on subjects which don't directly involve anime, manga or video games--things like job hunting. We see how the characters' personalities have been molded by their lives as otaku (even if they deny it), and how this affects their lives in the real world. The results are not always pretty or amusing. Early on, this was probably the one show I most looked forward to watching this season, but since it hasn't exactly turned out to be more of the same otaku hijinks I was expecting, it has slipped somewhat in my ratings. I watch anime to escape the real world, not to be reminded of it! But things come together for a sort of bittersweet happy ending.

More drama but less humor than the first time around

Last updated Saturday, January 05 2008. Created Friday, October 26 2007.
Rent 8 7 7 7 8 7 AstroNerdBoy [series:1648#436]

I loved the 9-volume manga Genshiken because of the characters and their otaku world. It was just good stuff and got better as time went on so that when volume 9 completed, I wished there were more but was happy with what I had. Thus far, the first TV series and the subsequent OVA anime adaptation of the manga have been very good. When this 2nd TV series came out, would I get to see the same quality or no?

The one thing that kind of put me off at first are the odd character designs that are used at times. The characters would look jarringly ugly or somehow not right at times which was very distracting. Then the scene would change and the characters would look good again. I'm not sure what gave there, but it was a recurring problem throughout the series (though less so as time went on, but maybe I was used to it by then).

From a story perspective, the writers mostly get it right. The adaptation is a pretty good one most of the time. There were moments when the anime was superior to the manga such as when Genshiken sold their doujinshi at ComiFes and Kousaka dressed in drag. That was much funnier in the anime, as was the moment when Ogiue is selling her yaoi doujinshi and Ohno's American friend Suzy wants Ogiue to sign it. However, there were moments where the anime wasn't nearly as good. These often came from the writers padding out an episode and needing to fill time.

Unfortunately, this 2nd TV series doesn't finish the story, but ends with Sasahara getting a job. So that means that things from the manga like the budding romance between Ogiue and Sasahara is dropped complete with Ogiue's very interesting back story. I was very disappointed by that because Ogiue was the most developed character in the manga and I liked her and Sasahara's romance. Well, maybe we'll get a 2nd OVA series.

Bottom line: This is mainly a pretty good adaptation of a manga, though with a few bad spots and and ending that will likely disappoint readers of the manga. As such, I'm going to have to only give this one a "Rent" (with an upgrade to "Buy" if another OVA series is created to finish out the manga story).

Last updated Saturday, December 29 2007. Created Friday, October 12 2007.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Genshiken Site

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