Genshiken is a franchise comprised of 4 anime series, 2 manga series
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A popular series about a college club for otaku.


Not everyone enjoys the club
Not everyone enjoys the club

Genshiken was written by Kio Shimoku and the manga was highly successful as a monthly piece in Afternoon. The manga ran for four years in total. Eventually, it was adapted into an anime directed by Tsutomu Mizushima. The Idea behind the series follows a group of college students who are in a club called Gendai Shikaku Bunka Kenkyukai or Genshiken for short. The club was made for people interested in many different forms of media from games to anime to other related hobbies. This slice-of-life series deals with the friendship and the changes that happen to each of Genshiken's members.


The main character that is first introduced to is Kanji Sasahara, a bashful freshman at Shiiou University. He did not want to come in terms with his geeky side but despite his initial withdrawal, he eventually joins Genshiken. He was shocked at the start as he watched the lifestyle of the other club members and eventually became really good friends with them. As the series goes on, more characters are introduced and It soon becomes something that feels like The Breakfast Club and other '80s "feel good" movies where we see the many different idiosyncracies of each member.

Despite the series being focused on Kanji, the other characters of this series have their own background stories or mini storylines that are told for a few chapters. For example, Saki Kasukabe is a young women who is tries to make her otaku boyfriend stop his geeky ways and quit Genshiken.

As the new freshman start joining the club, the unity and loyalty in each member grow. The members start as shy, stereotypical otaku and slowly develop to become more confident people and good members of society.


Kanji Sasahara

Kanji Sasahara (or Sasahara for short) is the story's main focus. He starts off as a shy and socially awkward boy trying to fit in and join a club at his new university. When finally deciding to join the Genshiken, a small club with interesting people, he finds himself torn between letting out his "inner otaku" or trying to fit in with modern society. As he becomes more and more accustomed to the lifestyle the former members exhibit, he too begins to show his true nature.

As the story progresses, he eventually becomes the president of the Genshiken and is the driving force behind the first Doujinshi book they distribute at a comic convention. After entering his senior year at school he steps down from precidencey (handing it over to Kanako Ohno) and finds a job at a publishing firm.

Saki Kasukabe

Saki Kasukabe (Saki or Kasukabe for short) is the first female member of the Genshiken and girl friend to Makoto Kousaka. This relationship is the reason she ended up joining the club; however, joining is sued very loosely since she says she's only there since that's where Kousaka spends most of his time. Kasukabe starts off in the serious as someone who hates everything involved with the club's otaku culture. She is mean and rough on everyone in the club and isn't afraid to punch someone just for asking if she, herself, likes anime.

Kasukabe is the character that we see the most change in throughout the entire series. Though she starts off as a cold and mean women who only want her boy friend to give up all of his otaku-centered interests she ends up growing quite fond of the club and its members. We even see her hatred and complete refusal of cosplaying altered when she is forced (secretly volunteers?) to cosplay with some of the other members.

Her dream is to open a series of fashion boutiques.

Harunobu Madarame

Anime, Manga and game lover Harunobu Madarame (or Madarame for short) is one of the original members of the Genshiken and quickly becomes the club's president after the original - and mysterious - first president leaves.

Throughout the story, Madarame puts forth a confident but socially awkward university student that enjoys nothing more than watching anime and playing/read doujinshi porn. He starts off as a shady, boss-like mentor to Sasahara but as the story unfolds, we see him open up more. Early on we learn of his hidden love interest with Saki Kasukabe (though this is never brought to her or the majority of the other Genshiken members' attention). In his senior year at university, Madarame decides he needs to spend less of his time at the Genshiken in order to search for a job and focus on graduating. With this he hands over the position of presidency to Sasahara. With enough rejections and comments from Kasukabe on his terrible fashion sense, he is able to find a job and become more "socially acceptable".

Makoto Kousaka

Makoto Kousaka (or Kousaka for short) was the first member to join the Genshiken at the time of the book's opening. At the time of joining he, like the rest of the club's members, didn't have a girl friend; however, this is changed soon after when he and Kasukabe begin dating. Their relationship lasts for the series's entire length.

There is little known about Kousaka as he is one of the stories more flat characters and doesn't change much through the series's run. He is very good at fighting video games (not a single other person ever beats him) and he doesn't mind dressing up like a girl in order to help out with sales for club events.

Though he spends a lot of time with Kasukabe, he rarely acts like a typical boy friend - instead choosing read manga or play porn games while with her. His interest in these games allows him to get a job as a programmer at a famous porn video game company.

Kugayama Mitsunori

One of the original four members of the Genshiken, Kugayama Mitsunori (or Kugayama for short) is the gentle giant of the group. He is very soft spoken and chooses not to talk much when in large crowd as he feels his voice can't break through. Kugayama's run in the series stays till the end but he is seen very few times near the later half of the series (much like Tanaka due to graduation).

Kugayama is the only member of the Genshiken with any drawing talent (until Ogiue joins) and is thus the main contributor to the club's doujinshi that Sasahara decides should be made. After graduating, he gets a job in a sales department.

Souichiro Tanaka

Like Madarame and Kugayama, Souichiro Tanaka (or Tanaka for short) is the last of the Genshiken's first members (not counting "Prez"). His main passion is creating costumes for Cosplay and photoing other Cosplaying models. He joined the Genshiken after rejecting the Manga club due to their choice of not budgeting enough for Cosplay. He also has a love for manga/anime models and is seen talking about/constructing them quite often. Though he enjoys showing them off to the other club members, every time Kasukabe get's her hands on one, it breaks.

As the story progresses, he and Ohno begin to date as they both share a deep passion for Cosplaying - he makes and photos the outfits, and she wears them. Like the other relationships in the series, their's lasts until the end.

Like Kugayama, after graduating he is seen much less.

General Information Edit
Name: Genshiken
Name: げんしけん
Romaji: Genshiken
Anime and Manga
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