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Ah, so welcome to (another super late) first impression post, but this time for Genshiken Nidaime! To be honest, it wasn’t until my winter break a few months ago that I found out this continuation/reboot to Genshiken actually existed. As a huge fan of the original, I was incredibly happy, but then I grew ecstatic when I found out the anime adaption was premiering this year. I’m a bit worried for those who haven’t read/watched the original series, but overall I think everyone will be able to understand the basics and enjoy at least the fun, crazy antics from the members of the one and only Genshiken.
To Recap or To Not Recap?
I’ve already seen some questions on whether or not one should watch/read the original Genshiken to understand this second ‘generation’ series. My verdict? It’s not essential. This series focuses more on the new members to the club and their lives and how they interact in the club. However, as the first episode has shown, there are some characters from the original series there, and those that will make possible appearances later in the show. A lot of the major events in the series were also vaguely covered in the episode. Basically, you’ll be missing just the fine details, but still be able to continue the series smoothly. Of course as a fan of the series I’m going to recommend reading the manga simply because it’s an entertaining series.
Meet the New members…and the Old ones
Let’s start with the oldies despite how misleading the title is. Oguie is the manga artist aiming to become a full-fledged manga author. She’s helped the Genshiken make their own doujinshi to sell at Comic-fest, and created her own BL doujinshi (both of which were shown in the recruitment scene). Ono is of course the cosplayer and cosplay fanatic, frequently attempting to get others to cosplay, which has succeeded in the past. Kuchiki, meanwhile, is just the residential…weirdo. Nothing more to add about him, really. Sue is not necessarily a new character, nor new to the Genshiken. She is Ono’s friend from America and came to Japan originally for just a visit. However, she returned as a full-fledged exchange student and only just officially joined the Genshiken. As for the rest, Yoshitake is the fired-up fujoshi that isn’t afraid to show her love for it, while Yajima seems to be more reserved about her fujoshi feelings and would rather step back from all the craziness. Then there’s Hato, a truly rare character who’s both a cross-dresser and fanboy that’s actually into BL. He’s already quite the interesting (and adorable) character with a lot of mystery to him that I’m eager for the show to uncover.
From Gundam and eroge, to fujoshi and BL
Where the original Genshiken focused on not just anime, but eroge, doujinshi, and other typical male otaku aspects, this second generation seems to be focusing on the same things, but with the fujoshi twist a lot of us fangirls know and love. It’s a change that Oguie is afraid of, at least in regard of keeping the idea that the Genshiken is a place for not just one aspect of otakuism, as in it being not just an anime club or just a manga club, but a club where people who love anime, manga, and/or video games and more can join and express their love for all these things without restraint. Not that this change matters to the original characters, since the general spirit of the Genshiken has been about accepting just about anyone. Personally, I like the fangirl twist as it definitely gives this series a more distinct vibe without completely changing the concept of the original. Plus, as a fangirl, I can relate to more of what they’re talking about, heh.
So far Genshiken Nidaime has kept true to the atmosphere of the original with lots of craziness from the mixture of the old and new members in the club. The wackiness and unpredictability of the some of the characters was one of the things that made me love the series in the first place, so I’m glad to see it’s still intact. Anyway, I was surprised the episode brought back some of the original characters right off the bat (other than Oguie, Ono, Kuchiki, and Sue who are central to this second series), which is probably hinting that more than likely they’ll continue some of the main stories from the original. I haven’t been able to catch up on the manga lately, so I’m excited for this possibility.
I’m also interested in the general theme of this second generation series. One of the notable ones in the beginning of the original series was accepting being an otaku, and to not hold back from what you like. Sasahara, Oguie’s boyfriend, at first wasn’t adamant about admitting he liked doujinshi, hardcore PC games, and the like. He held himself back so much, he hardly made a friend with the same interests. Even Oguie, at the start of her regular appearances in the manga, claimed to hate all otaku, especially female otakus. However, she regularly engaged in buying yaoi doujinshi and the like. Eventually the Genshiken ended up helping them accept themselves for who they are and to not hold back from their interests. However, none of these new members are afraid to show what they like nor afraid to admit their fujoshi, so I’m still wondering what exactly will Nidaime be about in general. Anyway, with that, I’ll conclude this super late first impression post. This coming episode seems to have a lot more going on, so I’ll be back…in a few days.~