By Julie Gray
November 7, 2006 - 01:42
|Genshiken Volume Six Cover Art|
“Otaku culture is the wave of the future”
Genshiken Volume 6 is a manga all about students and being an 'Otaku'. It’s quite strange to read a manga that is literally all about teenage manga and anime geeks. If you're reading this, you're probably one of them, right?
Genshiken Volume 6 is all about a group of teenagers who belong to ‘Genshiken’ which is ‘The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture’. The main character is a girl named Ogiue who seems at odds with everyone. She is kind of like the ‘odd one out’ trying to find her place amongst the clique. She has a small group of friends (who come across more like enemies than friends) that enjoy putting her in embarrassing situations, despite their best intentions.
Ogiue seems a little depressed in the first few chapters of this manga. No matter what happens, she is determined to prove to everyone just how much she dislikes everything Otaku, even though she is trying to sell her own manga at the next ComicFest! In the process, she alienates herself even more from the people she is trying to fit in with. It doesn’t make sense but we’re sure that there is a method to the author’s madness. We just don’t know what that is yet. The chapters don’t seem to flow directly on from one another so the direction of the story is a little difficult to determine.
The characters in this manga seem somewhat distant from each other. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of bonding going on between the characters and Ogiue finds herself in the middle of frustrating situations that only seem to get worse with each chapter. We don’t know if the intention of the author was to portray Ogiue as someone frustrated and depressed but she definitely doesn’t come across as a happy character. This is also reflected in the other characters around her.
The animation in Genshiken is detailed and well drawn. The ‘Shinobu Sensei Production Journal’ in-between each chapter is also quite an interesting addition to the manga. It’s nice to see a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how manga artists perfect their art.
The rest of the manga focuses on Ogiue’s clumsiness and the struggle to get her manga drawn without everyone pointing fingers at her for falling in love with two men! The scenarios and character interactions in the second half of the manga definitely seem a lot more upbeat and humorous than the previous few chapters. This is a refreshing change of pace in the book.
It will be interesting to see the how the character development continues in the next volume and more importantly, whether or not Oguie learns how to deal with her emotions and with the relationships she is trying to build. Genshiken Volume 6 includes extensive translation notes, a sneak preview of the next volume in the series in original Japanese and a special, limited edition release of the ‘Project G’ doujinshi! There were only 10,000 copies sold in Japan along with Volume 6 of Genshiken and you get to see an exclusive excerpt of it! If you want to take a look at Genshiken the series, you can do so here at Del Rey’s website.
Art Work: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7/10
Contact the Author: Julie@comicbookbin.com