You don’t become an otaku by trying
8 Volume – Completed
Genshiken, or The Society for The Study of Modern Visual Culture, is a college club for otaku. They do all sort of activities that otaku usually do. From just collecting figurines, playing video games, cos-playing, attending comic conventions – and later on participate in it, or just hanging up in their club room just to discussed the latest anime episode or manga issue.
Deep inside Kanji Sasahara realized that he is an otaku, but he is to shy to admit it. His decision in joining Genshiken brought him a whole new experiences. Slowly, he begins to accept himself for who he is.
While Saki Kasukabe is an otaku hater who reluctantly involves with the club because his boyfriend, Makoto Kousaka, is a member of Genshiken. Kousaka, whose appearances is not fit the otaku stereotype at all, is actually a video game maniac, specially fighting and porn games. Together with the other ‘unique’ members, their bonds is tighten. Not just by sharing the same hobby, but also friendship.
I have to admit, I don’t expect much when I’m starting to read it. I thought it just about a bunch of otakus doing … uhm, whatever they usually do. But I was wrong. It’s more than that.
It’s a slice of life genre manga that shows that no matter how ‘different’ otaku is, they just an ordinary person who true to their desire. There is a quote in the manga that I think will describes what Genshiken is about in general: “You don’t become an otaku by trying, you just wake up one day and realize that you are one.”
Through the story, will se various kind of otaku. Beside Sasahara and Kousaka, there are: the mysterious club president; Madarame the hardcore otaku who doesn’t care his obsession is taking up almost all of his fortune; Tanaka who likes to make cosplay costumes, and Ohno who loves to do the cosplaying; Kugayama who likes to draw dojinshi. Later one there is Ogiue who likes to draw yaoi dojinshi, but still hard for her to not hates her otaku nature.
The presence of Kusakabe here is the like the balancer. Like most of people, she never can agrees to otaku’s lifestyle, or understand them. But, before she realizes, she can enjoys herself around the Genshiken member.
The story itself is flowing nicely, and not exaggerating. I think this is the best story about otaku I ever know. Even if you don’t like stories about otaku, I think you can still enjoy it. Just give it a chance.
[Reviewer: Adityo Ananta]