Genshiken vs. Genshiken Nidaime:  Old vs New.  My Nostalgic Ramblings and how Changing Views in Otaku Culture Show a Great Future.

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Every now and then, the anime industry loves to poke fun at itself.  Sometimes, this self-awareness from the industry is like Watamote (the real name is way too long to type), where it makes us uncomfortable with how accurate it is to our own awkward lives, basking in our memories of awkward situations and episodes, completely departing from realism to the chagrin of those around us.  However, other times, the industry uses a softer approach, taking our wonderful memories of reveling in our nerd culture and both poking fun and celebrating their importance to us.  Genshiken and Genshiken Nidaime are anime of this latter approach.  Genshiken or, as it’s subtext defines it, The Study of Modern Visual Culture is a manga/anime about a college club of the same name and their experiences loving, hating, and discussing all of the merits of otaku culture.  The series takes all of the games, anime, manga, etc. that we know (as well as some fakes ones it invented so wonderfully that they were spun off as their own anime) and takes pride in using their likeness for comedic and celebratory effect.  In fact, a surprising thing from this series is that it doesn’t just parody other anime, games, manga, etc. with alternative names or other ways to get around copyright.  For most references, the series straight up calls out the names of the anime and shows actual gameplay of certain games.  Genshiken was always very upfront about what it referenced and used each name or character from a different series as a badge of honor, showing how the creators, like their readers, were also otaku of a high pedigree.

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