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Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 1 (Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture #1)

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3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,680 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
ANIME OBSESSION

It's the spring of freshman year, and Kanji Sasahara is in a quandary. Should he fulfill his long-cherished dream of joining an otaku club? Saki Kasukabe also faces a dilemma. Can she ever turn her boyfriend, anime fanboy Kousaka, into a normal guy? Kanji triumphs where Saki fails, when both Kanji and Kousaka sign up for Genshiken: The Society for the Study
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Paperback, 180 pages
Published April 26th 2005 by Del Rey (first published December 18th 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sarah
Jul 28, 2011 added it
Shelves: graphic-novels, manga
I really disliked this book. The characters were boring and hard to differentiate, and a story that is basically about pervy otaku and the women who don't understand them holds no appeal to me. The guys were all pretty sexist and the one female character is a moron. It also seemed to be operating on a level of fandom that I just can't keep up with. There were too many references that went over my head and combined with the sexism and the lack of interesting characters, it was a massive fail for ...more
Julia
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: manga, 2016
2.5 stars. This was just okay.

Mildly funny. No truly compelling characters. No steady plot points yet. I guess it can be relatable for some young otaku guys, but I'm not one. So didn't really strike me as anything special.
Laura (ローラ)
Genshiken is brilliant. And, one of my favourite manga indulgences. The artwork is beautiful and obsessively detailed -- and the story is hugely character driven. I'm impressed with Kio Shimoku's sense and understanding of human nature; an expression of this group of outsiders and their interactions with the world around them.

I'm always sad when I get to the last volume. Of all the manga I read, I feel this one most closely matches the world that I want to live in. When it's over, I miss it. And
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Meepelous
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
Despite the fact that I'm certain a lot of this went straight over my head, I still enjoyed reading this and will likely continue reading the series. It's only nine volumes long and was a pretty quick fun read. The writing was really good and the main characters were all really interesting.

As far as gender representation goes, while I am not over the moon about it, writing out this review I actually realized that it's pretty gosh darn awesome - so far. While it's easy to miss on a surface level,
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kimberly
Wins 'Best Writing in a Series Focused on Pornography.'
Susan
Oct 16, 2008 rated it liked it
I nearly gave this series two stars, but really your enjoyment of Genshiken is going to be directly in correlation with how deeply entrenched you are yourself in the comics/manga/cosplay/anime Otaku lifestyle. The very possibility that this interest of yours may have reached the point where you consider it a lifestyle is a tip-off that you may actually enjoy a series that is steeped in jokes and references to anime, cosplay and basically all the "modern visual [Japanese] culture" you would expec ...more
Jacobmartin
In the first decade of the twenty-first century, which of the works of fiction will stand out in Western consciousness, let alone Japanese consciousness?

What makes Genshiken stand out as one of the greater examples of serialised fiction in this decade? It's simple, the characters are well fleshed out and there's real drama here when exploring a subculture that is essentially one of being a pariah in the eyes of your fellow Japanese if you were born in the land of the Rising Sun.

I'm a big fan of
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Nick
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
Overall Rating: A+
Synopsis: Written by Kio Shimoku, the manga version of Genshiken is nine volumes long. It covers the lives of a college club of Otaku, but does it in a way that makes them seem real and interesting instead of the usual stereotypes.

One of the reasons I love this series so much is the remarkable number of similarities between the Genshiken club, and the club I helped found at Guilford College, the Yachting Club. Granted, we didn't really have a Saki (who hates geeks and is only i
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Chibineko
Oct 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
When I first saw the cover of Genshiken, I didn't know what to expect. I assumed that it would be another male-oriented manga where the main male character would fall for a girl who fit neatly into one of the manga stereotypes while everything revolves around fanservice & typical cliches. Boy was I wrong!

Genshiken surrounds a whole cast of characters, most specifically that of Sasuke, a freshman in a local college. He decides that he's finally going to join a group devoted to anime, manga,
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Emma Thompson
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Meet Sasahara, a shy geeky type guy who is scared to join his university's anime or manga societies and so somehow gets shunted in with all the other top-grade Otaku to the Genshiken - the society for the study for modern visual culture. And thus begins his journey into manhood...or otakuhood.

The book basicaly satirises geek culture, and with geeks being, by and large, a self depreciating lot, we love it. Volume one introduces the Genshiken. The mysterious president, Maradame the greatest Otaku
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Mayday
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was about otaku club. This was about a guy who would be embracing his otaku self. This was about ippanjin (normal people) vs otaku. This about was about a clueless otaku, who seemed not like an otaku at all from the surface, who had an ippanjin girl chasing after him. The characters in this manga were all helpless!

There was Saki, she was practically ippanjin to otaku world. She was not a member of Genshiken, but her seemingly normal boyfriend is a member, so she just couldn't help it, she
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Selena
A super geeky manga for geeky manga fans. To read, you must accept otaku culture, and I don't mean the American version of otaku. I mean the full-blown Japanese definition of Otaku that makes hardcore American fans look like "otaku-lite." If you aren't a con-goer that is in an anime club and you haven't blown at least $50 on anime stuff in one go, you may not be geeky enough.

This one also isn't for the squeamish. Remember how I said these guys were the Japanese version of Otaku? I meant it. That
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Ysabet
Nov 04, 2007 rated it really liked it
In a lot of ways, Genshiken is about its target audience. Not that it's not accessible to a variety of people--it's a fairly clear slice-of-life storyline with an interesting variety of characters, most of them otaku. Non-geek readers might not appreciate the level of obsessiveness portrayed (sometimes exaggerated, but not really caricatured), but they've got their own viewpoint character, in the form of one of the leads.

In a nutshell, the series is about an anime/manga/cosplay/modeling club at
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Yue
Wow the otakus are really something. Totally crazy about porn-games and doujinshi ("fan-zine"). That scene were they are all at the convention center must be exactly like in real life. It is like doujinshi are more popular than manga or something. Anyway, these otakus are very pervy. And that level of otaku-ness is scary and amazing and not something I would want to see in real life. I mean, I love anime and manga and figurines and stuff too, but not to that level. If I find this kind of otaku i ...more
Angelina Justice
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great series for delving into how interconnected the different subcultures of visual media have become. The plot in this series revolves around a club that is looked down upon by the purists groups that it integrates into one setting.

The members of Genshiken are video game enthusiasts, manga readers, cosplayers and anime fans. They don't really "do" anything specific, they are primarily a hodgepodge of people with mixed interests that happen to overlap.

This plot and it's characters co
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Peter
Sep 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
This one's for the nerds. There's a lot of depth to this series, with unexpected love angles (which makes them more realistic). What I love most about this book is that it isn't the typical "nerds now belong" or "nerds are now hip" angle that we often see. These otaku (heavy anime/manga/vg fans) dont make excuses for their behavior, dont seek acceptance, and dont care how they appear, they're just themselves, doing what they love. Its the outside characters looking in who are forced to adjust, w ...more
Nicole
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, seinen, college
I would definitely read more of this series if the opportunity presents itself. What I found most interesting about this manga is the view into the world of true otakus and all that high school club participation involves for members of "The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture" :) Everything from cos-play, to conventions, to video gaming, to collecting action figures. This first volume actually focuses on Kanji Sasahara's tentative new membership to the club and his growing confidence ...more
Amy Gideon
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
It's an interesting premise, but I feel like the otaku elements are too overpowering. There's a few pages where they're actually discussing a new episode - like a book club. It was a bit much.

I'm not sure how I feel about the characters so far. For the most part they're superficial like Saki or just gross caricatures of the otaku lifestyle. At this point they've attended a convention. That's pretty much it as far as plot.

I think the idea of normalcy is going to be a theme in the series as Kanji
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Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
Pros: It showed a glimpse into an otaku's experience, which makes for both an escapist and informational read. It provides validation to otaku readers.

Cons: It did not provide any commentary about the harmful objectification/degredation of women in anime/manga/games. However, it's possible that it addresses these issues in a later volume.

(In my video review I answer the questions "does it represent/portray well?", "did it make me think?" "does it perpetuate healthy ideals", "how was the writing?
...more
Mikael Kuoppala
Nov 28, 2012 rated it liked it
So begins the tale of Genshiken, a small, frowned upon university club of Otaku. As a proud nerd, it's interesting to read a manga exploring the lives of the Japanese variety of alternative culture geeks. So far the story stems from a conflict between the club and the girlfriend of one of the members who hates the Otaku culture. The setup is farcical and the overall tone silly, but there are moments of witty humor and one can't help but note how very sympathetic the cast of characters is.
Vasil Kolev
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga
I'm too tired to write a per-volume review, so this is for the whole series.

This really does show a different side of the whole otaku culture. Here the bad, almost unspeakable things are actually explained, and you can start understanding the culture of these "perverts". Seems pretty real, convincing and makes you read it in one sitting.
Cera
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: manga
I started reading this out of curiosity, and stuck with the first volume out of determination more than anything else, since at first the story wasn't really grabbing me. But the characters began, slowly, to grow on me, and some of the irony was entertaining. By the end of the entire 9-volume series I was really into it, so I'm glad I stuck with the first volume.
Ida-Maria
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Veljältä suosituksesta otin Genshiken-sarjan luettavaksi. Ensimmäinen kirja ei vielä päässyt kovinkaan syvälle otakujen maailmaan, mutta lupaavasti aloitti tarkastelun. Erityisesti kiinnostaa hahmojen taistelu itsensä kanssa. Syntyykö minuus tehdyistä asioista vai olemassa olevista asioista, joiden olemassa oloa emme ole havainneet?
Kelly
Honestly, after the first few chapters, I skimmed the rest. For a manga that is supposed to celebrate Otaku culture, it didn't do a very good job in my eyes. It mostly concentrated on the world of shut-up men who enjoy pornographic anime and video games. Perhaps the series gets better with time, but this first volume certainly didn't sell it for me.
Rickie
Nov 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-reading
Personally, I love Genshiken and its sequel. It's quite realistic, reminds me more of a drama than a comic, and quite frankly has never let me down throughout the many times I've read it. I highly recommend this series to anyone who wants a realistic series about being a fan of anime, manga, or the many things between them.
Kristen
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this was...weird. I was never into anime/manga/video games enough to know which ones they're talking about, and I'm not that into porn--this isn't, but they talk about it a lot. I'm going to reread the others I have, but I'll probably pass on the rest of the series.
Lord
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: manga, otaku-manga
I read the first volume of Genshiken many times and it's one of my favourite manga ever. It's about otaku and for otaku. And this type of story doesn't get better than this. Much better than anime, btw.
Amanda
Jan 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga
Potentially a promising comedy series with a largish cast with an excellent premise (cute girl falls for geek boy and joins his nerdy club in her persuit of love). However, it didn't promise enough that I have yet loked into other volumes.
Liliana Tan
Feb 01, 2009 rated it liked it
cewe normal yang terjebak di tengah-tengah para otaku, gara-gara dia naksir tetangganya yg cute-but-oh-my-OTAKU..
lucu, interesting, ringan (ya iyalah, komik gitu loh)
Mehsi
Decided to do a re-read of this series. :) Probably won't review them, just want to read them.
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Shimoku Kio (木尾 士目) is a Japanese manga artist best known for his manga Genshiken, which was originally serialized in the Afternoon Magazine. It was later published in Japan by Kodansha, which produces Afternoon Magazine, and by Del Rey in the United States. Genshiken is an anime, manga, and light novel series about a college otaku club and its members.
More about Shimoku Kio...

Other Books in the Series

Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture (9 books)
  • Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 2
  • Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 3
  • Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 4
  • Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 5
  • Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 6
  • Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 7
  • Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 8
  • Genshiken: The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture, Vol. 9

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