In which the day of reckoning arrives: Sasahara reads yaoi doujinshi, Ogiue blushes, various indecent things are tangentially discussed, and there is a highly suggestive camera pan.
Chapter Title: Set Eyes On
Release Date: February 25th, 2006
Serialized in: Afternoon
Author / Illustrator: Kio Shimoku (木尾士目)
We finally get the Sasa-Ogi climax in this chapter, and boy was it worth the wait. As was arranged at the end of the last chapter, Sasahara comes over to Ogiue’s place to look at her work. She leaves the room while he does so, and is overcome with fear and self-doubt; it’s made clear in her thoughts that this is the equivalent of her exposing herself to him in the most intimate way possible.
He tells her he’s done, and the first thing he brings up when she comes back into the room is the penises. Good going, Sasahara-kun… he gradually brings the conversation around, saying that in the pictures he can see her love for the characters (for whom himself and Madarame were the models), but brings up a question in that regard: whether she only views him as a “character”.
No, of course not! She replies. Well then, he asks, how do you see me?
Ogiue: you should know that without having to ask. >:(
Please understand, she says. What you said just then… that you could feel my love for the characters. That made me really happy… I didn’t think you’d say that.
I decided… that if you could look at that manga and still forgive me, I would stop running away…
Sasahara: …eh… eh… um.. and what does that….
Ogiue stands up
Ogiue: that’s why I said… you should know without asking!!
and sits down next to him.
Hilarious face faults ensue as they both get used to the reality of being together in the same comfort zone. Sasahara picks up the stack of manga and begins thumbing through it, much to Ogiue’s distress; somehow it all works out (sparing myself the burden of the translation here – Sasahara notes that Ogiue draws him as being on top in the manga, so he jokingly tells her he’ll take the strong role in this situation as well), and we’re left with an exterior shot of the apartment as they presumably indulge in some mad, passionate sex.
A couple of days later… Madarame walks into the club room, where Ogiue is busy drawing away. They chat a bit – apparently no one has been around the room for the past week or so, and in the course of discussing everyone’s whereabouts Ogiue mentions that Sasahara hasn’t been around because he’s been in training at his new job. Madarame responds – “hmm.. he should really get to a conclusion with you!”
Ogiue: … *blush* …
Madarame: … Am I the only one who didn’t know?
Ogiue: No, I’ve only told Ohno-sempai directly, and Kuchiki probably doesn’t know either… I do have to thank you in particular though, Madarame.
Madarame: No need, I didn’t do anything special…
Ogiue: Oh yes you did, you helped in a very special way.
Ogiue: Never mind.
There’s one more page to the chapter, in which Madarame asks her if she’s drawing yaoi, and she says yes. We’re left with a next chapter preview that promises to shift the focus to Madarame one last time, and voila.
All in all an enormously satisfying chapter, especially for the Ogiue fans. This is the culmination of what’s definitely been the most emotive, empathetic arc of the second half of the manga, and Kio executes it with the style and humor that has marked the highlights of the series thus far; I can send Sasahara and Ogiue off into their future together with a big hearty “oshiawase ni” without feeling that anything was left undone.
Ogiue’s #1 English-native fanboy SDS noted that in the last section of the chapter here when she’s talking with Madarame, there’s a subtle change in her character design: her eyes, which until this point were perfectly black, now have a small shine to them. This is continued in subsequent chapters, and the subtle touch speaks volumes about the transformation of her character. He calls this phenomenon “happy Ogiue”, and I’m inclined to agree – she’s finally made it through the wall of her past and accepted who she is. I’m a weak sentimental bastard when it comes to things like this… *sniffle*
Before closing here I have to send out a greeting to the folks over at Ogilove, who noticed the link I gave them in the last chapter review and put up a little column about it (and a sequel). It seems they’re amenable to cross-cultural Genshiken appreciation, which totally rocks – Otaku unite! indeed.