In my unending quest to tide the time while waiting for new chapters of my favorite mangas, I decided to start reading Genshiken, which had already been recommended to me by several people.

Genshiken, by Kio Shimoku, basically chronicles the “exciting” lives of the members of a college club for otakus. The club’s name, of course, is Genshiken, which is short for Gendai Shikaku Bunka Kenkyuu Kai or the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture. Rather than focusing on a specific interest, the club tries to become a converging point for fans of various visual media.

The genshiken cast includes a socially awkward artist, a guy that acts like an anime character, a scale-modeler, an unusually good-looking competitive gamer and his unfortunate non-otaku girlfriend, a cosplayer, and a few others.

I’m simply amused by the fact that one of my social groups is eerily similar to the Genshiken. We’ve got scale modelers, competitive (and “H”) gamers, anime addicts, ecchi/yaoi artists, and even an actual gamer poster boy. The only Genshiken archetype that I unfortunately can’t match is the one of cute-and-busty cosplayer. Too bad. =P

The non-otaku girlfriend character is of particular interest to me because I see much of my own girlfriend in her. She really tries to get along with them despite the fact that she shares no common interests with them. Well, I guess her personality isn’t exactly like that of my girlfriend’s but I know that they’re in a very similar situation. She reminds me of how sorry I feel whenever someone’s unfortunate non-otaku girlfriend is brought to one of our gaming meet-ups.

Obviously, Genshiken has been a truly insightful read for me. However, because its chapters are somewhat stand-alone, and because there are no killer cliffhangers like those in Bitter Virgin, I can actually read through it at a healthy pace. After two weeks of reading, I’m actually only at chapter 15! So yeah, Genshiken is insightful without making me want to devour all the chapters in one sitting. It does a great job at being my in-betweener manga.

EDIT: For those of you interested in Genshiken, you can read it online here: http://www.onemanga.com/Genshiken/

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