This is a list of characters that appear in the manga and anime series Genshiken.
Note: the Genshiken members' favourite manga, anime, and games are non-existent parodies of actual manga, anime and games. For instance, Sasahara is a fan of the game "The Champ of Fighters" (CoF), a parody of The King of Fighters (KoF). Occasionally a real series is mentioned in the manga that is fictionalized in the anime, and vice-versa. (Biographical information is from Volume One of the Genshiken manga and the Genshiken Official Data Book.)
- Kanji Sasahara (笹原 完士 Sasahara Kanji?)
Voiced by: Takanori Oyama (Japanese), Michael Perreca (English)
|Blood Type: B|
Birthday: January 13, 1984
- The third president of Genshiken. At first in denial about his otaku nature, Sasahara eventually accepts and embraces it. He loves hentai PC games despite not owning a computer until volume 3. When Sasahara assumes the title of Genshiken president from Madarame, his first decision is to push the club's initiative, and establish their own booth at Comic-Fest. While Sasahara is pretty much the "normal" otaku, his unwavering loyalty to a single character (Kujibiki Unbalance character Ritsuko Kübel Kettenkrad aka "The Chairman") makes him stand out from the others. Even the dōjinshi created by Genshiken under his leadership is a Ritsuko-themed one. Sasahara gives up being president during his senior year in order to focus on studying and finding a job, and passes the title on to Ohno.
- While Sasahara starts off as a quiet, reserved member of Genshiken, he transforms into a somewhat stronger-willed individual, especially during his presidency. While not completely confident in himself, he is able to find a job as a manga editor and even fight back his own doubts in order to confess his feelings for Ogiue. As of the end of the manga, Sasahara is still dating Ogiue, and accepts the fact that she is using him as a direct model for dōjinshi. Sasahara also helps Ogiue by providing criticism and being an unofficial editor for her work in general, despite the possible risk to their relationship.
- Makoto Kousaka (高坂 真琴 Kōsaka Makoto?)
Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga (Japanese), Kenneth Robert Marlo (English)
|Blood Type: B|
Birthday: February 2, 1984
- Unusually handsome and cute, Kousaka is actually one of the most hardcore otaku in Genshiken. He loves hentai games and is undefeatable when it comes to video games, particularly the fighting genre. As Saki's boyfriend, Kousaka is largely responsible for Saki learning to be patient when it comes to dating an otaku. Kousaka can be considered the exception to the rules of stereotypical otaku, as he is able to juggle fashion with an otaku lifestyle, though after getting a job programming for a porn game company, even Kousaka cannot completely keep up with such a hectic schedule.
- Kousaka is easy-going and never loses his temper, a trait portrayed by the constant smile on his face. However, he can be rather forceful when the need arises, particularly when it comes to keeping Saki from avoiding her promises. Kousaka, while fashionable, is not afraid to try new things. In order to help sell Genshiken's dōjinshi, he dresses up as Izumi from Kujibiki Unbalance, a female character with a very short skirt (Tokino in the Genshiken 2 anime).
- Saki Kasukabe (春日部 咲 Kasukabe Saki?)
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (Japanese), Carol Jacobanis (English)
|Blood Type: AB|
- Kousaka's girlfriend. Fashionable, violent, confident, occasionally smokes, and not at all attracted by the sexual charms of cartoon characters, Saki is not an otaku in any sense of the word. She follows Kousaka into Genshiken, and is eventually blackmailed by the first Genshiken chairman into joining the club. Surprisingly, Saki actually saves Genshiken from being shut down on two separate occasions, though her motives have more to do with revenge and guilt than becoming more of an otaku.
- Despite being vehemently against otaku activities such as wearing nekomimi (cat-ears) at the start of the series, Saki eventually becomes comfortable with the other club members to the point that she can be considered their close friend (aside from the possible exception of Kuchiki). Saki has a tendency to use nicknames. She calls Sasahara "Sasayan", Kugayama "Kugapii", and Ogiue "Ogichin" by nicknames, and even though she at first refuses to call Kuchiki by his self-appointed nickname ("Kucchi"), Saki starts using that nickname as well.
- Harunobu Madarame (斑目 晴信 Madarame Harunobu?)
Voiced by: Nobuyuki Hiyama (Japanese), Billy Regan (English)
|Blood Type: O|
Birthday: October 25, 1982
- The second president of Genshiken, Madarame is personally chosen by the first Genshiken president to be his successor, though Madarame shows the most leadership and initiative even before formally appointed as president. He is a Gundam fan and arguably the most hardcore otaku out of all of Genshiken. Madarame buys dōjinshi without looking at price tags, something that occasionally leaves him with very little spending money on basic necessities such as food (his sushi of choice is bacon sushi topped with mayonnaise, cheap at 50 yen a piece). Madarame takes pride in everything that he purchases. The Official Genshiken Data Book's otaku quiz section calls the highest level of otaku "Madarame."
- Madarame's loud and adamant support of his own otaku lifestyle initially makes him Saki's nemesis in Genshiken, but as Madarame develops a crush on Saki it heavily influences his interactions with her. However, even after graduating and getting job at Sakura Pipe Repair thanks to his "computer literacy" (i.e. experience with porn games) Madarame never admits his feelings to Saki as he does not want to risk ruining their friendship.
- Souichirou Tanaka (田中 総市郎 Tanaka Sōichirō?)
Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese), Bill Rogers (English)
|Blood Type: AB|
Birthday: December 22, 1982
- Of the three original upperclassmen, Tanaka's personality is more neutral than the others. He is generally not as eager to rant as Madarame, but is more comfortable with himself than Kugayama. A hardcore costume designer, Tanaka is able to bring what should be impractical or even impossible costumes to life. Tanaka is also an expert plamo (plastic model) builder and is not afraid to teach anyone who is willing to learn. While well-versed in many areas of model and figure culture, Tanaka is personally not experienced with figure-modeling, but attempts to learn by sculpting a model of Shinobu from Kujibiki Unbalance.
- Tanaka finds his dream girl in Ohno, who becomes not only the ideal model for his costumes, but also his girlfriend. He also makes costumes for Saki and Ogiue, though this can be attributed to his love of costume design, and not any sort of romantic feelings towards either of them. Tanaka believes that models and cosplay are two separate worlds, and treats those two worlds somewhat differently. "Figures are figures. Cosplay is cosplay."
- Mitsunori Kugayama (久我山 光紀 Kugayama Mitsunori?)
Voiced by: Kenji Nomura (Japanese), Rome Elliot (English)
|Blood Type: A|
- The stuttering, heavyset Kugayama is Genshiken's only artist until Ogiue's arrival. He generally lacks the motivation and commitment to create a full-fledged dōjinshi. In volume 5, Sasahara asks Kugayama to draw a dōjinshi for Comic-Fest, which he fails to do until Saki forces him, Ogiue, and Sasahara to make one under a very tight schedule. He is given the nickname 'Kugapii' by Saki. In volume 6, he graduates and begins work at a medical device manufacturing company in Iidabashi.
- Kugayama, though at first a seemingly mediocre artist, is actually quite talented. However, his talent only appears when he is properly motivated, i.e. when drawing more erotic imagery, particularly that of Yamada from Kujibiki Unbalance.
- Kanako Ohno (大野 加奈子 Ōno Kanako?)
Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Rachael Lillis (English)
|Blood Type: O|
Birthday: July 14, 1983
- Ohno is the fourth president of Genshiken. Raised in the United States since the third grade, she graduated from an American high school, joining the Genshiken at the beginning of the Fall term. Normally soft-spoken and easily embarrassed, Ohno is surprisingly upfront when it comes to one of her two main passions: cosplay. With a nice figure and large bosom, Ohno and her cosplaying (using costumes sewn personally by Tanaka, whom she begins dating) quickly become Genshiken's main attraction at student fairs. Ohno's other main passion is yaoi involving muscular, middle-aged, exceedingly bald men. One of the reasons Ohno joins Genshiken in the first place is because only they would accept her fetish. She is also close to Saki, as Saki was the first one to find out about Ohno's preference for older men.
- Ohno is against cosplay sex, claiming that doing so betray the characters, but when asked if it's okay to have sex while cosplaying as a porn character, Ohno becomes very embarrassed and indicates she has already used that loop hole. Her decision to become the next president of Genshiken comes from Saki's suggestion that she could turn it into a cosplay club (literally "Society for the Study of Cosplay" in the original Japanese). Ohno passes the presidency on to Ogiue.
- Chika Ogiue (荻上 千佳 Ogiue Chika?)
Voiced by: Kaori Mizuhashi (Japanese), Michele Knotz (English)
|Blood Type: A|
Birthday: March 28, 1986
- The fifth president of Genshiken and former member of the Manga Society, Ogiue is a girl who seemingly hates otaku, particularly female ones, but is arguably more perverse of a yaoi fan than Ohno. Ogiue's tastes in yaoi stem from a preference for shōnen series, and like Kugayama she is an amateur artist. Despite her harsh attitude, Ogiue is actually easily coerced into doing things to which she initially objects. Ogiue has a tendency to fantasize about and then draw highly sexual homosexual encounters between the men she knows in real life, particularly Sasahara and Madarame. Ogiue has terrible eyesight, normally wears contacts, and speaks a Tohoku dialect when not speaking Japanese formally. Her most distinctive feature is her paintbrush-like hairstyle, and her last resort when losing an argument is to try and jump out of a nearby window, despite what floor she is on.
- In junior high, at the request of her friend Nakajima, Ogiue drew a yaoi dōjinshi of a boy named Makita whom she had been secretly dating. Makita found the dōjinshi and soon after transferred to a different school. This incident is the source of Ogiue's trauma and self-hatred, and it continues to haunt Ogiue until she begins to date Sasahara, who is much more understanding of her yaoi fantasies and love of drawing. Ogiue eventually obtains a publishing deal with Monthly Afternoon, the very magazine in which Genshiken was published.
- Manabu Kuchiki (朽木 学 Kuchiki Manabu?)
Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Ed Paul (English)
|Blood Type: B|
Birthday: March 21, 1986
- Introduced in volume two of the manga, Kuchiki becomes a full-member of Genshiken together with Ogiue in volume four apparently after being kicked out of the Anime Club. Kuchiki is a very abrasive individual with a loud and obnoxious style of speech and no qualms about doing indecent or improper things such as spying on girls. He was a part of the Anime Society before he joined Genshiken. He wants to be nicknamed Kuchi (クッチー Kucchī?) and enjoys it when people use this nickname. He is also not ashamed to cosplay.
- Kuchiki is actually the second best fighting game player in Genshiken, next to Kousaka. He twice expects himself to be named the next Genshiken president, only to be passed over by Ohno and then Ogiue.
- Mostly a background comedic character, Kuchiki is used as a goad for a good many of Genshiken's slapstick and off color jokes. One might even consider him a boke to the rest of the Genshiken's tsukkomi.
Other club members
- Original Club President/"Prez" (初代会長 Shodai Kaichō?)
Voiced by: Yūji Ueda (Japanese), Tobb Garbeil (English)
- This character is the first club president, whose name is never revealed. He is eerily quiet and very stealthy, moving from place to place like smoke without anyone noticing (scaring Saki in particular), although he seems largely harmless on the surface. He appears to have a vast amount of knowledge about the college and many of the students, although he denies having hidden cameras or any other means of spying on them. He has been head of the Genshiken longer than most care to remember; some indications go back as far as 1987. He often stands on top of buildings, staring into the club room. He leaves his position as President to work on his graduate thesis, implying that he is working on his PhD. He begins the custom of the current president personally choosing his or her successor. The titles for the first 12 episodes of the anime can be interpreted as the "research" he has conducted on unsuspecting fellow club-members, as titles from after his departure are far more mundane.
- Keiko Sasahara (笹原 恵子 Sasahara Keiko?)
- Keiko is Kanji's little sister, who leads a kogal lifestyle. She carries a blatant crush on Kousaka, much to Saki's chagrin. She even tries to become an otaku and gets drawn into the otaku world (to a point) when she seems to like some of the dōjinshi Ohno shares with her. In volume 6, she moves into Kanji's place so that she can take the entry exam for Shiiou University and fails, but she gets into Ohka Business College nearby. Her sole reason for doing so is in order to join Genshiken and be closer to Kousaka.
- Haraguchi (原口?)
Voiced by: Koji Ishii
- A "phantom member" of the Genshiken, Haraguchi rarely shows up at the club room, and when he does, it is almost always bad news. He is a member of the Manga Society and Anime Society as well, but has paid his club dues for none of them. Called "Haraguro" by those who are unfortunate enough to know him, he is roundly disliked by everyone in all three groups, and only grudgingly tolerated by his much-touted connections among semi-professional manga artists. However, as he tends to intimidate others into submission, few are willing to voice their complaints in public.
Ohno's American friends
- Susanna Hopkins (スザンナ・ホプキンス Suzanna Hopukinsu?)
Voiced by: Yuko Goto
- One of Ohno's American friends, Susanna (more frequently known as Susie or Sue), is a petite girl with an avid interest in yaoi. Susanna comes off as somewhat harsh and unsociable, and startles the other Genshiken members by using crude anime and manga quotes in Japanese (written in katakana to show her unfamiliarity with the language). As she makes gains in comprehension, her responding solely in quotes makes it unclear just how much Japanese she understands, much to the chagrin of Ogiue and others. Her extensive knowledge of anime and manga quotes suggests that Susanna is well-versed in both, having seen Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Fist of the North Star, Saint Seiya, Neko-Yasha, Mahoromatic, Azumanga Daioh, Doraemon and Lupin III, among others. She also seems to be obsessed with Japanese culture. As for her age, it is undetermined, and those who would know (i.e. Ohno) refuse to tell. Susanna wishes to study in Japan in the near future.
- Angela Burton (アンジェラ・バートン Anjera Bāton?)
Voiced by: Yuki Kaida
- Another of Ohno's American friends, Angela is very much the opposite of Sue in that she is tall, mature, and very friendly. Angela is a very athletic girl and is able to endure posing for cosplay pictures longer than even an experienced cosplayer like Ohno. She is very fond of the anime and manga series General Gyororo. Angela enjoys both "male-oriented" and "female-oriented" doujinshi. She also has a bit of a glasses fetish (which makes her feel somewhat attracted to a scared Madarame the first time they meet). Angela does not seem to be able to speak much of any Japanese, with her vocabulary limited to terms like sō-uke ("total bottom," obviously learned through her interest in yaoi dōjinshi). However in the anime when characters are speaking Japanese around her she has commented on what they are saying in English, implying that she has a basic understanding of Japanese even if she does not speak it.
Other students at Shiiou University
- Takayanagi (高柳?)
Voiced by: Eiji Yanagisawa
- A member of the Manga Society, Takayanagi is on friendly terms with the Genshiken members and is seen conversing with them from time to time on various matters. In one notable instance, he finds himself in the unenviable position in the middle of the battle between the girls of his club and Ogiue, who had attempted to join. He is much relieved when the Genshiken takes Ogiue in, as the other girls in Genshiken are already hated by the Manga Society girls for various reasons.
- Yabusaki (薮崎?)
Voiced by: Reiko Takagi
- One of the girls in the Manga Society at the time Ogiue attempted to join, she seems to harbor strong feelings of resentment towards Ogiue. Criticizing Ogiue for slipping into her Tohoku dialect when she doesn't speak formally, Yabusaki herself speaks in a highly pronounced Kansai dialect, which she says scares those from Kantō. When Ogiue is rejected as a vendor for the next ComiFes, Yabusaki (grudgingly) invites her to become a guest artist in her own circle's dōjinshi. Though she appears only towards the end of the manga, she shows up much earlier in the anime, in episode 3 of season 2.
- Asada (麻田?)
Voiced by: Momoko Saito
- Yabusaki's friend and fellow member of the Manga Society who speaks in a highly irregular manner. While her real name is never revealed in the manga, she receives a name for the second Genshiken TV series in the ending credits. She is also known as "Nyaako."
- Kato (加藤 Katō?)
Voiced by: Eri Nakao
- Kato is a mysterious girl in the manga society, who always wears her hair over her face. At some point, she takes an interest in becoming friends with Ogiue, and sets out to do just that in spite of her fellow members' dislike of the girl. In reality, she is quite good looking, but few seem to know this because of the way she conceals her features.
Figures from Ogiue's past
- Nakajima (中島?)
Voiced by: Aya Endo
- One of Ogiue's friends from her junior high school days, Nakajima worked on writing scripts for yaoi dōjinshi which Ogiue would then draw. When she notices the relationship between Ogiue and Makita, she appears to grow jealous of the two, orchestrating the event that Ogiue carries as a mark of shame from that point on. Her appearance (along with Shigeta) at Comifes while Ogiue is selling her newest dōjinshi greatly disturbs Ogiue emotionally, until her bitter reminiscence is interrupted by the arrival of Susie.
- Shigeta (重田?)
Voiced by: Yuka Iguchi
- Another of Ogiue's friends from junior high school, Shigeta (distinguished by her blushing cheeks) was one of the group with whom Ogiue made dōjinshi. While perhaps not directly responsible for the incident involving Ogiue and Makita, she still associates with Nakajima even five years later, and her presence is enough to upset Ogiue at Comifes when she appears. Her name is not mentioned in the manga, or in dialogue; it appears in the credits in episode 11 of Genshiken 2.