Genshiken featured enjoyable, yet flawed characters. I read about them, and while there were times where their actions confused me, and their values were unrelatable to me, I still could understand them and care about what happened to them. Add some good, strong character drama that still had a satisfying conclusion and you’ve got a good slice of life.
After Genshiken ended while I felt the disappointment that follows the end of any loved series, it felt complete and I could let it rest at that. Then I found out that Shimoku Kio was writing a gaiden chapter, chapter 56. I figured, hey, this should be fun, it won’t continue the series, leaving the original intact, so it will be a fun read to see what happened to the characters afterwards.
The gaiden chapter introduced several new characters, which I personally felt all followed the spirit of the manga. Then several weeks later I found out that Genshiken was continuing a limited serialization. I’d like to say that I was skeptical of this new release, like any good reviewer. But instead I was giddy like the fanboy I am. The new characters were interesting enough, and it was worth it to see how the characters who have now graduated were doing.
To start things off, there are several new characters that readers of the original series will not be familiar with. Ogiue and Ohno are still there, as well as Kuchiki and Sue. They are joined by:
A cheerful girl along the veins of Ohno. Not much to say about her as not much was revealed about her character this chapter.
The token grouch for this run, replacing Ogiue who mellowed out after getting a boyfriend and becoming a published mangaka.
Not in fact a girl. Hato is a shy cross-dresser, who promises to be one of the more interesting characters for this run. Genshiken has always excelled in examining the psyches and mental makeup of the otaku, and I have strong hope that it will continue to do so.
There isn’t much to be said about the plot, anyone that didn’t read the oneshot published a few months ago will be confused of course. The entire thing centers around finding a place for Hato to change into his women’s clothing, without Kuchiki attempting to molest him. Yeah…Kuchiki is really skirting the line between entertainingly crazy and genuinely unlikable in this one.
Like I said, there isn’t much to say here, it’s more of the same with some different characters. Overall things are looking pretty promising. Though Ogiue’s new hair style is a welcome relief.
I can’t really make any predictions about what I expect will happen, but I do hope that Sasahara, my favorite character from the original, will continue to play a role in this series. Not only that, but I’d love to see a focus on Ogiue’s career as a published mangaka. At a monthly release schedule this will take a while to unfold. Though the run for this series will be limited, I predict that with monthly chapters we’re in for at least a year’s worth of publication. I hope at least. It would be cruel if they bring the series back only to take it away so soon.
If you haven’t read the original series, do so. I’ll probably be writing reviews for those eventually, but in the meanwhile this is a monthly publication worth following.
If you liked my review, Buy Genshiken Here!