Genshiken Vol. 2

Kio Shimoku, Author, Shimoku Kio, Author , trans. from the Japanese by David Ury. Del Rey $10.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-345-48170-2

In volume one of this delightful manga we met Kanji Sassahara, a young Tokyo college student ashamed of his compulsive love of manga, anime and videogames—the hallmarks of the Japanese otaku , or crazily obsessive fan. Looking for a college club to join, Kanji discovers the Genshiken, shorthand for the Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, a motley group of otaku losers who started the club to indulge their manic devotion to all forms of collectible pop culture. There's also Kousaka, a complete otaku and girlishly cute boy, and Kusakabe, his very pretty girlfriend, who hates otakus (but loves Kousaka) and constantly tries to get him to quit the Genshiken and concentrate on her. Fat chance! In volume two, the club (which now includes Ohno, a busty girl member who loves costuming) faces new challenges. The student government wants to eliminate the Genshiken; Kusakabe suspects the president of the Genshiken is secretly videotaping Ohno changing costumes, and Kanji's sister shows up and, to Kusakabe's consternation, develops a crush on the supercute Kousaka. Using a clean, expressive drawing style reminiscent of American indie comics, Shimoku has created a wonderfully naturalistic story that investigates the nature of fan culture and the lives of a thoroughly entertaining group of young fans. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 08/01/2005
Release date: 07/01/2005
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