Sunday, 6 January 2008

アニメ検討 - げんしけん2 (Genshiken 2 Review)

I love anime, as you can probably imagine, and one of the many things I love to do is to pull an all nighter and watch episode after episode until I ascend to anime heaven and just crash when the multiple Red Bulls have no more effect on me. Of course with Real LifeTM and old(er) age taking their toll on me, that rarely ever happens anymore. But with the recent holiday break we've just had, I couldn't miss the opportunity.

The original Genshiken was a big hit with me. Not only did I love every bit of the anime, but I also went crazy for the Kujibiki Unbalance theme song and by association, UNDER17. Without wanting to spoil too much, Genshiken has but a simple premise; it follows the "adventures" of a bunch of Japanese teenagers who are part of an anime club. I say "adventures" because it mostly revolves around criticizing anime, playing videogames, cosplaying, going to "Comifes" and so on. But the real meat of the show is the exploration of various issues attached to the otaku lifestyle; issues such as interpersonal relationships and (lack of) confidence in oneself. The first season sort of had a hero in Sasahara Kanji who learned to accept himself as a hardcore otaku in the end, with the help of his newfound friends.

The second season uses the exact same formula, except now we follow the heroine Ogiue Chika who absolutely despises Otakus even though it is obvious she is one. The rest of the cast now take on much more serious endeavors; as many of them are set to graduate, the job hunt is on. And they are not content with simply going to Comifes anymore, instead we follow them as they go through not one but two group publications. Every single detail is as true-to-life as it can be. Again, I don't want to spoil too much, but new relationships are also explored. The Kasukabe X Kousaka couple's limits are also pushed to new extremes; if you thought she had it bad in season 1, you've seen nothing.

The later episodes also introduce two new characters, Sue and Angela, two American Otakus who join Genshiken as guest members for a short time. Both of them were Ohno's friends when she lived in America and they showed up at the last minute for Comifes. Most of their manners are considered rude by the Genshiken crew but they try their best to accomodate them, as most Japanese people are wont to do. Note that every little bit of Engrish was spoken by Japanese VAs, so the end result is simply hilarious (the internet agrees). The writers definitely wanted to leave no stone unturned this season as yaoi manga is also explored in great detail.

That's it for the review, short as it may be. I'm now off to watch the SHORT CIRCUIT II Premium Show IN TOKYO DVD which came out at Comiket 73. Another short review coming up. Until then, watch the glorious Genshiken 2 opening which parodies Gundam Seed with amazing precision.

No comments: