This anime is really close to my heart (minus the hentai and cosplay part). When I watched this anime, I realize that I AM an OTAKU, a mild one, that is. One of the prime criteria of an otaku is, an otaku will use a theme song of an anime as his ringtone and guess what? My ringtone is Afterdark (Asian Kungfu Generation) taken from Bleach and my wallpaper is Kurosaki Ichigo, also a character from Bleach. My screensaver is Hitsugaya Toushiro. It's obvious that I am a Bleach Fan. In addition, my sms tone is Aizome from Jigoku Shoujo. Frankly saying, I am kinda relief because I know I am not simply a wannabe. I am the real deal!
Now, back to the anime. This anime highlights the otaku culture that is very predominant nowadays in Japan. In this anime, we are introduced to so many otaku-related elements. There are names and terms used in relation with this sub-culture such as plamo, cosplay, hentai, and the list goes on.
Unlike most anime, this show is extremely realistic (similar to Honey And Clover). It focuses on the members of a student activity club at a University that is situated in the outskirts of Tokyo. The club is a group of slackers whose sole activity is appreciating anime, manga, hentai, cosplay and other pastimes normally associated with otaku (it's actually 'geek' if it's translated in simple English).
Each episode in the first season more or less describes some new aspect of otaku culture. One episode shows the group getting obsessed about building Gundam models, another one shows the group going to Akihabara (place where all sorts of otaku items such as games, dvds, mangas, cosplay costumes etc. are sold) to buy hentai manga (erotic comic, that is).
The dramatic tension of the show is created through the character of Saki. She is the girlfriend of one of the club members. She is in love with the guy, but finds all the otaku stuffs are kind of weird and many of the episodes feature her struggling to come to terms with her love of Kohsaka, but her dislike of his hobbies.
The show has very good characters developments and many of the characters are allowed a depth to their characters which makes this anime is in a class of its own.
In a medium that is too often plagued with clichés and repetitive plot lines, Genshiken is a breath of fresh air (amen!) that should be viewed by both anime fans and non-fans alike.
Need to download the episodes? Here's the link.