Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture
If the Otaku "lifestyle" is actually more important to you than the anime, or the manga, or the gaming, or the collecting of PVC figurines, or any of that stuff, if you're otaku just because... well, you're OTAKU (i.e. Otaku is a way of life versus Otaku is just a f#$@!!! hobby), well then... this is MOST DEFINITELY the manga of your dreams.
Itís the spring of freshman year, and Kanji Sasahara is in a quandary. Should he fulfill his long-cherished dream of joining an otaku club? Saki Kasukabe also faces a dilemma. Can she ever turn her boyfriend, anime fanboy Kousaka, into a normal guy? Kanji triumphs where Saki fails, when both Kanji and Kousaka sign up for Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture.
Undeterred, Saki chases Kousaka through the various activities of the club, from costume-playing and comic conventions to video gaming and collecting anime figuresñlearning more than she ever wanted to about the humorous world of the Japanese fan(boy). Think: "The Big Bang Theory", but set in a Japanese college.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, January 2010
Genshiken: Complete Collection
Anime DVD Review by Brian Cirulnick
Do you fear your geekiness or do you embrace it? Are you proud to be otaku? Does your extensive knowledge of anime and manga make you the local demi-god to other other otaku who seek your insight of all things videogame, cosplay, anime, roleplaying, and more?
Then treat yourself to Genshiken - the ultimate insider's anime to those who love anime. It's the "IT Crowd" for I.T. people, the "Big Bang Theory" for geeks, and the best way to have a good time watching what you like having a good time about.
It is Sasahara's first day of college and a fateful choice awaits him — which college clubs will he chose to join? But Sasahara is no ordinary young man; a dark secret lurks within his soul.
For one thing, he knows what "Cosplay" is, and he'd like to know more. He knows how to unlock all the secret characters in "Guilty Gear X", and he'd like to know more. He knows what the plot twist is in episode twenty-five of "Kujibiki Unbalance" because he's read the manga, and he'd like to know more. He's heard of Doujinshi, and he needs to know more.
Enter Genshiken, the barely legitimized Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, home to all subspecies of Otaku!
And if you do fear your own geekiness, then move on to the next review and forget you ever read this far. Genshiken is not for you. It is far too otaku, and will make your brain explode.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, April 2009
Genshiken: Official Book
Anime/Manga Book Review
Just how otaku are you? Are you otaku enough to spend Fridays in Akihabara searching for the newest porn game? Do you collect PVC figurines? Do you spend your hard earned cash on fanzines and manga, and games, games, games?
Congratulations then, as you are officially geeky enough to be a true otaku, and therefore will be able to follow the goings-on of Genshiken, a manga series by Shimoku Kio.
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. 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. 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 dojinshi; convincing a character to try cosplay; the creation of plamo; visiting Akihabara, or attending the biannual "Comifes".
However, if all of this otaku lingo is a bit over you head, never fear, as Del Rey has come to the rescue with this informative guide all about the otaku lifestyle as well as in-depth information regarding Genshiken in general. The Genshiken Official Book covers virtually every aspect of this phenomenon, from cosplay bare skin rules to the otaku must-have anime ñ plus games, games, games (including fight games and girly games) and how to hunt down the best ones.
Love Hina creator Ken Akamatsu, who was a fanboy himself as a teenager (before becoming a "pro" fanboy), reveals how to get the most out of attending Comiket, and Genshiken creator Kio Shimoku provides plenty of his own insight, including his personal guide to manga conventions. If youíre true otaku, then this is the must-have guide.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, February 2009
Below: Scenes from Genshiken.