Go at once!!
Genshiken chapter 37: Endless Waltz
serialized 04/25/2005 in Afternoon
It is spring again in Genshiken’s parallel universe, and that means a crop of new freshmen to entice into club activities. Ohno, as Genshiken’s new president, decides to steer the club toward her own interests during the recruitment process. Kuchiki can’t seem to keep his hands off her costume collection, and his freaky antics are scaring potential members away, causing Ohno to finally blow her top and giving us the first usage of English in the manga, at least that I can recall. She orders him back to the club room from which he eventually returns, suitably chastened, only to see a suspicious fellow pawing over the costumes while Ohno’s back is turned. He doesn’t want to get yelled at again so he doesn’t bring it to her attention, but after the fellow leaves he follows him outside and confronts him about the contents of his bag. Finally out-weirded by Kuchiki the costume thief drops the dress he had stolen and makes his escape. Enter Ohno, just in time to see Kuchiki sitting on the ground, fondling the dress… At which point he snaps, puts the dress on, drops his pants and starts dancing around. Enter Kasukabe and Sasahara, who get the big “w-hat” moment at the end of the chapter. Final tally of new members: zero – oh make that one, as Sasahara’s sister Keiko shows up in the second-to-last panel.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable chapter, although even with the spotlight on him Kuchiki doesn’t show much depth of character. As Genshiken progresses in temporal lock-step with the real world, we’re heading inexorably toward the graduation of all the characters introduced in volume one except Ohno, who still has another year ahead of her. Can Genshiken survive without Sasahara, Kasukabe, and Kousaka? I’m feeling the void left by the graduation of Tanaka, Madarame and Kugayama already and it’s only been one chapter since they left. I don’t know where Kio is taking the story here, but with the constant introduction of new characters it seems he’ll have to break it off at some arbitrary point. I hope it’s a long way off.