Genshiken Offical Book



Now available for your exclusive pleasure: the ultimate sourcebook for the ultimate fans of the nine-volume, smash hit manga series. The Genshiken Official Book covers virtually every aspect of being an anime fan, from cosplay bare skin rules, the otaku must-have anime, to games, games, games (including fight games and girly games) and how to hunt down the best ones. Negima! creator Ken Akamatsu, who was a fanboy himself as a teenager, reveals how to get the most out of attending Comiket, and Genshiken creator Kio Shimoku provides plenty of his own insight, including his personal guide to manga conventions. So get ready to embark on a fascinating odyssey into the world of Japanese anime/manga fandom.


If you are a fan of Genshiken, then why don’t you already own this? The Genshiken Official Book isn’t just another fan book, and it isn’t just another “guide to being an otaku” book. The Genshiken Offical Book is, just like the series, a cut above the rest.

The early chapters of the book cover the basics of what goes on in Genshiken, discussing each of the characters in detail. However this is anything but a dry chapter-by-chapter summary. The content is presented in clear, short paragraphs, making it easy to read, and also includes panel excerpts from the manga. For fans of the series more romantic side there is also a full chapter dedicatec to the “girls of Genshiken” and the relationships they’re involved in. However this does uncover the books biggest flaw. It was published in the middle of the series. Thus it fails to cover things from the later volumes, like how Sasahara and Oguie’s relationship develops.

Such slip ups are easily forgiven though as the book delves deeper into aspects such as the otaku lifestyle, especially the highly entertaining “Madarame’s Ten Otaku Commandments”. Following this is also the chapter on Kujibiki Unblance, the made up series that ended up being real, which is also very interesting and gives a great insight into that ever important aspect of being an otaku, obsessing over even the most mediocre anime titles you’re a fan of. However this chapter is also one of the most boring, as the script for the first half of the first episode of KuhiUn makes the book drag. However the “old-school Genshiken” chapter makes the book pick up again, as it gives you great pride to recognise titles from the 80’s and 90’s. However once again, having an interview with Ken Akamatsu, who is apparently the archetypal fanboy that otakus aim for because he “made it” seems a little odd when they could have had a person held in higher otaku esteem.

The rest of the book is made up of all the bits and pieces that don’t quite fit anywhere else. However that isn’t to say that they aren’t important! Some parts, such as the fan contributed side stories are actually quite good, and the chapters on anime, manga, games, cosplaty etc are actually the most interesting sections of the book. A true otaku probably won’t learn anything new, but it’s still an interesting read, and few other works provide such a concise summary.

Nit-pickers will find flaws in the translation, such as the choice of “fanzine” instead of “doujinshi”, but these are minor issues when you look at the big picture. The translation is actually incredibly well done and accurate. The writing is easy to understand and it all flows easily. The larger size of the book gives the writing and images lots of room, so the book never seems overcrowded. There is of course a glossary in case you don’t understand any of the cultural references, and a wonderful, eye-catching, mini pull-out poster.

The Genshiken Offical Book is a must have for any fans of the series, and I think that most anime and manga fans will enjoy reading it too, especially those who seek a deeper understanding of fans and otaku culture. It isn’t perfect, but it comes close.

9 / 10