Genshiken N 12, Watamote and Teekyuu finales

Genshiken Nidaime 12 has two stories running in it that are sort of related.

Give 'em hell, Madarame!
Give ’em hell, Madarame!

In the first and more “fun” section the Saki/Madarame arc finally finishes. Not only has he more-or-less admitted that he’s had a thing for Saki for years, now he’s forced to go face the rest of the club and discover they all knew about it. Keiko’s idea, of course. But it winds up as more than that as most of the girls that really matter (and two boys posing as girls) posing with him for a harem shoot. They’re doing it to cheer him up, or something, but there’s an element of “real life” in the idea, even if Madarame later says harems don’t exist in real life. Madarame’s harem right now consists of Angela (absent), Hato, maybe Sue (absent), and Keiko (who isn’t permitted in the harem photo–this is real life, after all), and like many harems, most of the characters are unaware they’re in one. That aside, it takes Madarame’s returning to his old self and going on a long spiel, questioning the ratio of girls in a cosplay harem of trap characters, before he really feels better (until Saki shoots him down again). If you told Madarame he had a harem, he would deny it.


Part two seemed at first like a completely new chapter (it probably was), this one involving Ohno trying to face her future with no job lined up and no real desire to get one. It’s not as “fun” as the first one because the subject is a serious one. It’s made more fun by Yoshitake’s suggestion that she release a cosplay CD of her own, though that might damage her chances for employment. A rambling drunken cosplay scene where this all comes out is further livened up by Tanaka more-or-less proposing to her, though I’m not sure that’s what he intended to do. His future is uncertain as well, but at least he has a direction in mind, and some options. And, to my surprise, they bring Madarame back. I was sure the show was done with him for now, but it turns out, maybe because of the thought he should leave the club soon, he’s just made his future as uncertain as the others by quitting his job. This is going to make the final episode a little less joyful than most of the other shows ending soon.


And we have the finale of Watamote, and like everyone expected, Tomoko is exactly the same at the end as she was at the beginning. And once again, it’s not that she’s unpopular, really, as no one really notices her. And when they are forced to notice her, they often find her kind of creepy, and it’s just often unfair. In this episode she gets involved in killing a cockroach, but apparently stomping on it just creeped people out. How ELSE do you kill a cockroach? It’s not that she killed the roach, it’s that it was HER killing the cockroach. Apparently those vibes wafting from her isn’t just her imagination. Indifference from her classmates is one thing, forced indifference because they find her repellent is another. Or something. Moving on, it all adds up to an unpleasant show where there’s no hope for the protagonist, everyone knows it, and all that happens is she tries something and it fails or backfires, and she’s as miserable as before, if not worse. I think I kept watching because of a foolish belief that maybe something really would get better for her, and now that it’s over I realize how foolish that idea was. On the other hand, it looked great; they had countless weird ways to portray Tomoko’s angst, my favorite being the cubism face they revived this episode (nice Another
reference too). … Not another season, please. I might feel obliged to watch it, in case, you know, things get better.

Not really a finale.
Not really goodbye.

Teekyuu winds up the season with a gag every five seconds, still way off their best scores of mid-season, but they’re coming right back with a new season, so maybe they can turn it around then.

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