Cover of the English version of volume 1 of the Genshiken manga showing Mitsunori Kugayama (back), Saki Kasukabe, Kanji Sasahara (down right) and Harunobu Madarame (top right).
Genre Comedy, Slice-of-life
Written by Shimoku Kio
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Afternoon
Original run April 25, 2002May 25, 2006
Volumes 9
Anime television series
Directed by Takashi Ikehata
Written by Michiko Yokote
Studio Palm Studio
Licensed by
Network CTC, TVS, SUN-TV, tvk, Kids Station
Original run October 11, 2004 December 27, 2004
Episodes 12
Original video animation
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by Michiko Yokote
Music by Tomoki Hasegawa
Studio Ajia-do
Licensed by
Released December 22, 2006 April 25, 2007
Episodes 3
Anime television series
Genshiken Pt.2
Directed by Kinji Yoshimoto
Written by Michiko Yokote
Studio Arms
Licensed by
Network CTC, TVS, TVA, tvk, SUN-TV, Kids Station
Original run October 11, 2007 December 27, 2007
Episodes 12
Genshiken: Return of the Otaku[1]
(Shōsetsu Genshiken Hairu Ranto no Yabō ~Return of the OTAKU~)[2]
Written by Kazutoshi Iida
Illustrated by Shimoku Kio
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Published January 21, 2008
Genshiken: Second Season
Written by Shimoku Kio
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Afternoon
Original run December 25, 2009August 25, 2016
Volumes 12
Anime television series
Genshiken: Second Season
Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima
Written by Michiko Yokote
Studio Production I.G
Licensed by
Original run July 7, 2013 September 29, 2013
Episodes 13
Related Series

Genshiken (Japanese: げんしけん) is a manga series by Shimoku Kio about a college club for otaku (extremely obsessed fans of various media) and the lifestyle its members pursue. The title is a shortening of the club's official name, Gendai Shikaku Bunka Kenkyūkai (現代視覚文化研究会), or "The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture". The series has also been adapted into an anime directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. The manga originally ran in Kodansha's monthly manga anthology Afternoon from April 2002 to May 2006, and has been reprinted in nine bound volumes. The ninth and final volume was released in Japan in December 2006.[3]

A two-part short bonus story was included across both volumes of the Kujibiki Unbalance manga, published 2006/7.

In December 2009, a new chapter was released in Afternoon to celebrate the release of the Japanese Genshiken 2 DVD box-set, and in October 2010, the series resumed serialization as Genshiken: Second Season (げんしけん二代目 Genshiken Nidaime).[4]



The series, being focused on the otaku lifestyle, contains numerous references to other manga, anime, video games, and other aspects of otaku culture. Common plot points include such otaku-centric activities as the buying and creation of dōjinshi, fan-made manga usually of erotic content; convincing a character to try cosplay (the dressing up as characters from manga, anime, or video games); the creation of plamo (plastic models that must be assembled); visiting Akihabara, Tokyo's electronics shopping district; or attending the biannual Comic Festival ("Comifes"), a reference to Comic Market ("Comiket"), Japan's single largest anime- and manga-focused fan convention.

Because the anime is co-produced by Sega Sammy Holdings, the Guilty Gear video game series is heavily referenced, with actual gameplay sequences being shown multiple times, Ohno cosplaying as Kuradoberi Jam, and other minor references. The Sega puzzle game Puyo Puyo[a] also serves as an important plot point as Kasukabe tries to gain Kousaka's attention. Numerous other non-Sega/Sammy properties are also referenced throughout the anime, but their names are changed slightly, such as The King of Fighters '95 being alluded to as COF 95 and Capcom vs SNK 2 as "S-Cup". Discussion of eroge, erotic video games usually of the visual novel genre, also occurs often.

Similar to the treatment of video games in the series, popular anime and manga are often alluded to by pseudonyms, such as "Gungal" (Gundam), "Reass Mood" (Code Geass), "Haregan" (Hagane no Renkinjutsushi/Fullmetal Alchemist), "Scram Dunk" (Slam Dunk), "Neko Yasha" (InuYasha), and many others. Genshiken usually avoids referring to these series so in-depth that it would require the use of names and lines from their real-world counterparts, with several notable exceptions: in the model-building chapter of the manga (but not the anime), actual Gundam mecha and characters are referred to throughout, while the dialogue quoted by Sue (except for one "Neko Yasha!" outburst) is pulled directly from Evangelion, Lupin III, Azumanga Daioh, and other series.

These cultural references have remained intact for the English adaption of the manga, which include a section for translation notes. However, due to the number of allusions made and the inability for a translator to always know what is being referred to, many explanations of otaku references are still absent. The anime however, has been criticized for having "excessive script variances" with its English dub translations, such as injecting English specific references like "talk to the hand" and for inconsistently including liner notes.[5]

Ramen Angel Pretty Menma

Ogiue and Ohno cosplaying Pretty Menma and Cutie Tonko, main heroines of "Ramen Angel Pretty Menma".

Another fictitious series created for the series is Ramen Angel Pretty Menma, a generic adult visual novel. Mentioned in passing as Sasahara's first such game in the manga, it is given much greater emphasis in the second TV series. The plot revolves around Kaoru Torigara, only son of a ramen shop owner, who is going to renovate his inherited ramen shop. He discovers that his shop has a guardian angel named Pretty Menma. Pretty Menma tells Kaoru that his dead father's intention is making him succeed in the "Food King Wars", a battle of restaurants around the world that is held every 4 years. Kaoru and Menma must help each other to go through the struggles of the "Food King Wars".[6] In the anime, there is also Ramen Angel Pretty Menma 2, which continues from the first version. Additionally, the third version of the opening sequence (that uses the same song, but adds scenes and edits existing ones) shows Ogiue cosplaying Pretty Menma, Ohno cosplaying Cutie Tonko (another heroine in this series who represents tonkotsu, a form of ramen broth), and Kasukabe cosplaying Menma's mother.[7] This series is also spun off into its own Internet radio show, manga (serialized in Monthly Comic Alive) and a drama CD.[8]


Genshiken follows the lives of a group of college students drawn together by their shared hobbies, and the trials and adventures associated with being otaku. The story begins with the introduction of Kanji Sasahara, a shy, confidence-lacking freshman who on club day at university, decides to join a club he would actually enjoy, Genshiken. Over his four years at Shiiou University, Sasahara comes to accept himself for who he is and loses the inhibitions and guilt he once felt and associated with otaku culture, becoming an enthusiastic clubmember, and for a time, a capable club president. As the story of Genshiken progresses, focus is also placed on Saki Kasukabe, a determined non-otaku who initially struggles to drag her boyfriend Kousaka out of the club, and Chika Ogiue, a self-professed otaku-hater who feels a deep-seated shame and self-loathing toward her own interests and hobbies.

During the course of the series, the reader bears witness as the group grows in its cohesiveness over time, and bonds form between the characters as they begin to see themselves as more than fellow club members, but friends as well. In this context, club activities such as group outings, the biannual pilgrimage to Comifes, and even simply hanging out in the clubroom, allow the characters' complex relationships to grow into friendship, infatuation, and at times, even love. While a few of them never quite see eye-to-eye about their interests or the lives they lead, they are held together by the bonds of friendship that they share.

Second Season

After Sasahara, Kousaka and Kasukabe graduate, the series shifts focus to three new club members: The self-conscious Yajima, the energetic but annoying Yoshitake and Hato, a male fujoshi who cross-dresses to both fit in better as well as go unrecognized from his normal classmates. Emphasis is also put on the character of Madarame, a former president of the club who actually graduated a year before Sasahara, but remained in the club due to working and having an apartment nearby and hanging out in the clubroom in his time off and struggles to grow up and move on from university.




Kousaka, Madarame, the Genshiken president, Tanaka, and Kugayama in the first scene showing the Genshiken room in the first anime series.

The manga was brought to television by the production company Genco through animation studio Palm in 2004 as a twelve-episode anime and in 2006 and 2007 as a three-episode OVA, adapting the first five volumes of the manga. The TV series was licensed for North American release by Media Blasters.

The anime adaptation is very faithful to the original work, with few revisions being made, with the exception that many references to specific anime, manga, and video games are changed or removed. The previously fictional Kujibiki Unbalance manga series was also turned into an anime series to match the medium, with three complete episodes being created for sampling in the anime version of Genshiken. The three Kujibiki Unbalance episodes are provided as bonus OVAs with the purchase of the Genshiken DVDs.

It was originally announced by Media Factory at Comiket 69 that the second TV series of Genshiken would premiere in October 2006.[9] However, Media Factory clarified their statement in May 2006, saying that the series airing in the fall would be a full-fledged Kujibiki Unbalance series, rather than a Genshiken sequel.[10] Nevertheless, the DVD releases of the new Kujibiki Unbalance series each included an OVA episode of Genshiken, for a total of three new episodes. The first new episode was released with Kujibiki Unbalance DVD Box 1 on December 22, 2006, with the two subsequent installments following on February 23 and April 25, 2007, respectively.[11]

On April 23, 2007, it was announced on the Genshiken homepage that a second TV anime series would be produced, including the character Ogiue, who had been introduced in the OVA episodes.[12] The first episode of the second series aired on October 11, 2007 on Japanese TV. A radio webcast ran simultaneously with the terrestrial broadcast. The final episode of the series aired on December 27, 2007; however, it did not conclude the story.

The TV version of Genshiken 2 aired with minor censorship. Oddly though, the censorship was that of a highly erotic kiss that involved no nudity. Additional nudity like breast nipples and strong cleavage was also censored. The DVD version shows everything uncensored.[13]

In the March issue of Monthly Afternoon it was announced that a new anime had been authorized for Genshiken: Second Season.[14] The new anime sequel is directed by Tsutomu Mizushima at Production I.G, with Michiko Yokote serving as the series composition.[15] The series premiered in July 7, 2013 and includes the opening song "Genshi, Joshi wa, Taiyo Datta" by Sumire Uesaka and the band Kabuki Rocks. At Anime Expo 2013, NIS America announced their acquisition of Genshiken: Second Season for North American release.[16]

A Genshiken: Second Season OAD (Original Animation DVD) was bundled with the limited edition of the 15th volume of the Genshiken manga, released in Dec 20, 2013. The story is set between the events of the Genshiken 2 and Genshiken: Second Season series.

Drama CD

There has been three drama CD bundled together with different media in the series. The first one was released as a "first press" item for the 9th volume of the manga, while the two others were included in the two first volumes of the "Genshiken 2" DVDs.

List of releases:

Light novel

In 2008, Kodansha released the light novel "Shoron Genshiken: Hairu Ranto no Yabou",[17] with Del Rey releasing the book in June 2010. The book introduces the character of Ranto Hairu, the rich grandson of one of Japan's most influential businessmen, as he takes over the student club organization with the intention of getting rid of any elements he views as unsavory. Meanwhile, a supernatural force is slowly abducting members of Genshiken without a trace.

Chronologically the book falls just after certain events in the second volume, although it should be noted that few of the book's events follow the story elements already established in the series. Changes such as Kuchiki remaining with the Genshiken after his initial attempts to join, the established president of the student club organization drops out due to pregnancy, as well as Ohno and Tanaka's relationship being more established than it was during this point in time. The light novel also introduces several characters that are only present in the novel itself and do not appear in the anime or manga. Also of note is that there are several elements present in the book (such as the supernatural) that are not present in the anime or manga.


In this panel from the second chapter, Sasahara visits Kousaka's room for the first time. Kio Shimoku has been praised for his attention to background detail.

Genshiken has been praised for its execution of the slice-of-life genre, in that it is able to be funny while still maintaining a strong sense of reality.[18] Anime News Network reviewer Bamboo Dong's review of the first manga volume called Genshiken "one of the best manga series out this year", praising Shimoku Kio's attention to detail and David Ury's translation work.[18] Genshiken was also selected as one of the Manga Division Jury Recommended Works in the 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival.[19]

See also

References and notes

  1. "Genshiken: Return of the Otaku". Del Rey Official Site. January 20, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  2. "Goods/Book". Genshiken Official Site. December 20, 2007. Archived from the original on March 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-20.
  3. "Genshiken: The Saga Continues". Heisei Democracy. August 29, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-29.
  4. "Genshiken Manga to Return as Genshiken II in Japan". Anime News Network. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
  5. Theron Martin (October 13, 2005). "Genshiken DVD 2 review". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  6. "ラーメン天使 プリティメンマ". Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  7. "ラーメン天使 プリティメンマ". Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  8. "ラーメン天使 プリティメンマ". Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  9. "NEWS FLASH: Genshiken Anime Season 2 Announced". Heisei Democracy. January 10, 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-24.
  10. "New Kujian Anime". Anime News Network. May 24, 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-24.
  11. "("Goods" page on the official Genshiken website)". October 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-12.
  12. "「げんしけん」アニメ第2期シリーズ制作決定!". 23 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-23.
  13. "Genshiken uncensored". Heisei Democracy. January 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-02.
  14. "Genshiken: Second Season Sequel Manga Gets Anime". Anime News Network. 23 January 2013. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  15. "Tsutomu Mizushima Directs New Genshiken Anime at I.G". Anime News Network. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  16. "NISA Adds Hanasaku Iroha Film, Genshiken 2nd Season Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  17. "TVアニメ げんしけん公式サイト - Goods/Book". Archived from the original on 2010-03-02.
  18. 1 2 Bamboo Dong (June 21, 2005). "Genshiken G.novel 1: Society for Study of Modern Visual Culture". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2007-03-15.
  19. "2005 [9th] Japan Media Arts Festival Award-winning Works Japan Media Arts Plaza". Japan Media Arts Plaza. Archived from the original on 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2015-04-28.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/22/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.