Just when it seemed Kio Shimoku’s tale of otaku life and love would be content to go gently into the night with the recent release of volume 8 of the manga, news comes very much to the contrary. HD sums up what we know about the newly-announced volume 9, the additions present in volume 8, and wild speculation about how this all just might be building to the elusive second season of Genshiken anime.

Those who thought Genshiken was over (myself included), think again – it turns out that volume 8 of the manga contains two entirely new chapters that weren’t in the original serialized release. They occur after the Sasa-Ogi climax in chapter 47 but before Sue and Angela arrive for Comifes in chapter 48, thus becoming the new chapters 48 and 49 respectively.

Without going into spoileristic detail I’ll note that 48 deals with Sasahara and Ogiue’s first proper date, in which they go to the zoo and there are several riffs on the “tsundere” theme. 49 is the story of the following fall’s school festival and Ogiue’s encounter with a trio of girls from the manga club. Great fodder for the Sasa-Ogi fans, very little Ohno (or anyone else), but that’s perhaps to be expected.

The best news coming out of this continuation of the manga is that there will be one final volume (volume 9) coming out on December 22nd. The series will be going out in style, with the tankoubon’s limited edition scheduled to include both a doujinshi supplement similar to the one that came with volume 6 (featuring a segment from Hanaharu, among others), and a “special drama CD” that will feature new scenarios crafted by the writing team behind the Genshiken anime. The vocal cast for the CD will be the same as in the anime, with the important addition of Ogiue, voiced here for the first time.

You can bet Del Rey’s edition of volume 9 won’t include the CD (or the full-size B5 doujinshi supplement), so if you want in on the limited edition your best bet is to preorder it from Amazon now. The cutoff date for preorders is October 31st, but better be safe than sorry…

One last note of wild speculation: volume 9’s December 22nd release date gives it perfect placement to launch a marketing campaign for a second season of Genshiken anime to air in the spring of ’07. Start the hype with announcements on the dust jacket and online, get the vocal cast back in people’s heads with the drama CD, show a trailer at Comiket on the 29th, and build from there… It’ll be right when Kujian is ending (or half way through, depending on how many episodes it runs), either of which would provide great promotional tie-in opportunities. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but it’s the last reasonable chance we’re going to get. Here’s hoping.

[edit] for increased speculation: volume 8 of the manga contains six chapters (44-49). Currently there are three unpublished chapters of serialized material (original chapters 48-50). Therefore, if volume 9 is to be a full-size tankoubon it will need at least two, possibly three additional chapters of brand new material. It’s shaping up to be an awesome release indeed. :3