Genshiken: Second Season Volume 4
I sometimes find it confusing, keeping up with both the new characters and club alumni in this series about anime and manga fans. Thus, it’s a help to me that so much focus is put on Hato, the crossdresser and BL artist. He’s so distinctive a character that he’s easy to follow. Aspiring creators may also particularly enjoy the discussions of developing an art style and learning by copying.
There’s also a school festival in this volume, which provides a terrific excuse for all the characters to mingle naturally, as well as for author Shimoku Kio to draw cosplay. Some of Hato’s former classmates are visiting, making things dangerous for his secret. They have particularly odd eyes, making their look distinctive — one has all-black buttons, appearing alien, and the other’s are like eggs with pupils, making her always seem suspicious and peering.
Much attention is paid to Hato’s past, explaining both his artistic influences — an older female student in his previous school — and his shyness — another student spreading rumors about him. Later, he tries to help set Madarame up, but things take unexpected turns. It’s a shame that the release schedule of Genshiken: Second Season is only twice a year, because it makes it difficult to keep up with the subtle details of the many interpersonal relationships among the club members.