Genshiken Omnibus 1: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Cultureby Shimoku Kio
TO THINE OWN OTAKU BE TRUE
It’s spring of freshman year, and Kanji Sasahara has a difficult dilemma. Should he declare his love for manga and anime fandom by joining an otaku club, like he has always wanted to? Is he prepared to deal with the social stigma attached to being an otaku? Meanwhile, Saki Kasakabe has her own otaku conundrum.
TO THINE OWN OTAKU BE TRUE
It’s spring of freshman year, and Kanji Sasahara has a difficult dilemma. Should he declare his love for manga and anime fandom by joining an otaku club, like he has always wanted to? Is he prepared to deal with the social stigma attached to being an otaku? Meanwhile, Saki Kasakabe has her own otaku conundrum. How can she turn her boyfriend, anime fanboy Makoto, into a normal guy? Kanji follow his heart as does Saki. When both Kanji and Makoto join Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Saki chases Makoto through the various activities of the club from costume-playing and comic conventions, to video gaming and anime model figures. Saki finds otaku to be more than she imagined, but not necessarily in a good way.
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As far as the series goes, only those with a serious interest in otaku culture need apply. The discussions are far more hardcore (not in the pornographic sense...usually) than what you might be used to in Oreimo or Lucky Star. It isn't until the later half of the ¿ manga series that more contemporary ideals of otaku-ness start sprouting up (so movement away from fight games and gundam, movement toward moe & that stuff), and even then, brace thyself for uke-seme yaoi discussions. But! For those who can dig it, Genshiken is a fantastic bit of college (NOT HIGH SCHOOL) otaku and non-otaku life. The characters and world are loveable and really change over time; the plot (at least in omnibus 1) never takes itself too seriously and knows how to mock itself and its subject; and the references will constantly give you the urge to check things up online. As far as this omnibus goes... The good: a literal compilation of the already-published -- all that Kujibiki Unbalance jazz is here (downside: the font is terribly tiny) The bad: a literal compilation -- instead of compiling the translation notes into one section (as, say, at the end of the book), they are right after each six chapter volume, which makes them annoying to flip to. And it'd be nice if more was footnoted (as these chapters take place in, oh, 2002 & 2003). The wonderful: see the art style change over three volumes! Buy it!