Will Kousaka choose eroge over Saki? Will Sasahara choose eroge over Ogiue? Will Madarame beat the summer salaryman heat by removing his tie? STAY TUNED.

Genshiken chapter 39: One Two Finish [previous chapter]

serialized 06/25/2005 in Afternoon

In this chapter Saki worries that Kousaka doesn’t need her, Kousaka announces that he’s just been hired by an eroge maker and Saki drags him off to a hotel immediately (to “do it at least ten times.”). Madarame hangs out in the club room during his lunch break from the office and surmises with Saki that the Ohno-Ogiue relationship is getting better, as Saki is noticing something strange between Sasahara and Ogiue. This is exacerbated by Keiko flouncing in and asking whether her brother is dating Ogiue yet, a topic that has obviously been on the minds of the parties concerned. Ogiue says she would never date an otaku, Sasahara cracks up, and everyone goes their separate ways.

The chapter seems to mostly serve as the setup for summer Comifes slated to happen in the next chapter, in which some of the relationship quagmires may be resolved. Ohno is helping Ogiue out with her yaoi doujin, and the group speculates as to who will be able to help her sell it – Kousaka and Saki won’t be available, Sasahara might be but he claims that he’s busy with his senior year job hunt. Ogiue eyes him and tells him not to push himself, but she also says it would be more fun with three (herself, Ohno, and Sasahara). None of them want to think about the possibility of Kuchiki tagging along.

The end of the chapter sees the aforementioned splitting up of the group: Madarame goes back to his job, Saki drags Kousaka off to the hotel (“but they need me to start tonight, Saki!” “We are doing this RIGHT NOW or I’ll never forgive you.”), Keiko decides she’s had enough and heads home, and Sasahara leaves with the statement that he “doesn’t have time to play around” either. We see him sitting at his computer at the end of the chapter, playing eroge and thinking of Ogiue’s Lilith cosplay.

Despite the lack of Ohno focus this was a solid chapter all around. It’s interesting to see the way Kio is choosing to integrate the facts of late-term undergrad life and Madarame’s salaryman existence into the story, giving the story a feeling of progression that, while certainly raising the quality of the narrative, implies that an end of sorts is nigh. I can’t see him crowding the club room with graduates after this academic year ends. In the short term we’re definitely set up for an exciting chapter next month – not only will it have four color pages (!) but it seems we’re finally going to see some action on the Ogiue/Sasahara front. It’s about time the erstwhile protagonist gained a bit more emotional complexity here, even if it isn’t much.