Voiced by: Takanori Ohyama (original series), Tatsuya Kobashi (Nidaime) (Japanese), Michael Perreca (English)
The protagonist of the series (as much as a slice-of-life series can have a protagonist). A shy freshman when introduced, he gradually grows to accept his interests in the club. He becomes chairman of the club at the beginning of his junior year, then hands it off to Ohno the next year.
- Ascended Fanboy: Eventually becomes a manga editor.
- Audience Surrogate: At the beginning of the first series, his introductions to the other Genshiken members are also the readers' introductions. He grows out of this role due to his Character Development.
- Covert Pervert: At the beginning. It fades off as he opens up to his otaku side more and more.
- The episode where he acquires a computer to play eroges is a turning point for this.
- Extreme Doormat: He lampshades this.
- Lovable Coward: He'll often back down from challenges (like picking up a vendor form right after the first Comifes ended), but he's an entirely sympathetic character.
- Nice Guy: Too much sometimes.
- Out of Focus: In Nidaime, even though he is the current president's boyfriend.
- Shrinking Violet: He's a bizarre male equivalent at the beginning of the series.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Ogiue. They did.
Voiced by: Mitsuki Saiga
(original series), Momoko Ohara (Nidaime
) (Japanese), Kenneth Robert Marlo (English)
The first member of the Genshiken whom Sasahara meets, Kosaka is an oblivious guy who remains smiling practically all the time. Because of his good looks and outgoing demeanor, people often don't believe he is a diehard otaku, particularly of video games and, much to Saki's chagrin, eroges.
- The Ace: A more down to earth example than most, he is athletic, good looking, and taught himself how to program in a month.
- Bishōnen: The reason why nobody suspects him of being an otaku.
- Brutal Honesty: He has no qualms about speaking about any elephant in the room.
- Captain Oblivious
- Completely Missing the Point: All the time (except when gaming).
- Genius Ditz: While he appears to be extremely manipulable and oblivious to most things, he is unbeatable at videogames and manages to secure a respectable career at the end of the first series.
- That One Player
- Perpetual Smiler
- Pollyanna: Commented on by Sasahara, who finds it useful to have someone who remains cheerful even in a crisis.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: He crossplays for a sale at the con and one of the before-story images has him in a maid outfit.
- In Nidaime he gets back in a dress and Hato of all people is surprised at how naturally he acts the part.
A sophomore when the series begins, Madarame is a Hot-Blooded otaku
. Has an unrequited crush on Kasukabe, who draws him out of his otaku shell. He remains Hot-Blooded
- Accidental Misnaming: Keiko keeps calling him "Watanabe" in Nidaime. The fact that she actually calls him "Madarame" when she is being serious indicates she does know his real name, she just pretends she does not.
- Madarame is actually called this by Saki's friends in the first manga because the name "Madarame" is a very uncommon name and is similar in pronunciation to Watanabe.
- Adorkable: "He's actually kind of moe, isn't he?"
- Bacon Addiction: In an omake he reveals his favorite type of sushi is bacon sushi, mostly because it is cheap (50 yen for a plate of two).
- Butt Monkey: Almost every club member in Nidaime considers him a sou-uke, pairing him as a bottom with every sort of pairing. He is not pleased with this.
- Chick Magnet: Saki points out that he, of all people, might have the affection of Angela, Sue, Keiko and Hato.
- Cute Little Fangs
- Hey, It's That Voice!: When Madarame speaks, you'd expect Adult Link or Viral to be in costume. As well as his namesake, Ikkaku Madarame.
- One pro-made-fan strip (from the back of the collections, in-universe, the club members think he should be played by Shigeru Chiba: probably best known for Megane from Urusei Yatsura, and Shigeo Shiba of Patlabor (two other hot-blooded geeks, one with an unrequited crush to boot).
- Hidden Depths: A good chunk of the manga deals with his change of attitude and personality. Just contrast beginning!Madarame and end!Madarame (he cooks, and quite well too).
- Hot-Blooded: During the beginning and middle of the manga, much less so towards the end and during Nidaime. He comments himself in Nidaime that he seems to have lost some of the fire and passion he had when he was in college.
- Moe: Lampshaded by one guest comic in the manga .
- Kouta Hirano called him the most moe character in Genshiken.
- Nerd Glasses: Lapses into Scary Shiny Glasses on occasion.
- Never Live It Down: In Nidaime, Saki reminded everyone that Madarame had a stash of S&M videos (of 3D girls). That's right, years after that chapter was published, Saki still remembers.
- Oblivious to Love: Ironically, in Nidaime, he gets four people that are interested in him, yet had no clue about it until Kousaka bluntly exposes it to him. Hato was even practically proposing to him (by declaring that he'd like to cook for him every day).
- Proud to Be a Geek
- Serious Business: He will spend food money on manga. This behavior is admired by the others.
- What really impresses his peers: he NEVER looks at price before he decides to buy a doujinshi.
- Uke: So far, every Yaoi Fangirl that comes across him can't stop seeing him as one.
A freshman when the series begins, she forms a Beta Couple
with Kosaka from the first chapter. While she is at first repulsed by the Genshiken and tries to destroy the club (or at least Kosaka's association with them), she gradually becomes more comfortable with them and falls into the role of the Dungeon Masters Girlfriend
Joins the series pretty early. Has a love of cosplay and takes over the club near the end of the series.
Voiced by: Kaori Mizuhashi
(original series), Nosomi Yamamoto (Nidaime
) (Japanese), Michele Knotz (English)
Joins about midway through the series, swiftly becoming the character most often in the spotlight. Unlike most of the Genshiken, she is very hesitant about being an otaku as a result of a trauma inflicted on her in middle school.
Tanaka is perhaps the most skilled member of the Genshiken. He can design Cosplay outfits with ease (he is even able to tell someone's measurements by just looking at them in a bathing suit) and he is also an excellent model maker. He's arguably the most down-to-earth member of the group.
Kugayama is a member of the Genshiken with aspirations of becoming a manga artist. However, he's poorly motivated and very asocial, which makes him a difficult person to deal with. After graduating, his appearances with the club become more infrequent.
Joins the series about midway. Butt Monkey
who's even more Proud to Be a Geek
than Madarame. His actions are partially the reason why the Genshiken is so small, especially near the end of the series.
With the continuation, and the graduation of most of the old cast, several new members were introduced in chapter 56,
Voiced by: Yuko Goto
(original series), Naomi Ozora (Nidaime
Better known as Sue. Promoted to main cast in the continuation, but actually became a member near the end of the original manga. A friend of Ohno's from America who visited once for Comi Fes
with Angela and grew attached to Ogiue. Now an exchange student, she speaks almost entirely in anime quotes.
- Ascended Extra
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Seems to become one in regards to Madarame.
- Cosplay Otaku Girl: Walks around campus in cosplay and willingly acts as Ohno's dress-up doll.
- Foreign Exchange Student: She is technically neither an exchange nor a transfer student, just a freshman who came from America, but nevertheless is a similar source of confusion and comical situations, with her limited knowledge of Japanese language (majority of her lines being quotes from manga and anime), eccentrically extrovert (although good-hearted) personality, creepy child-like face and exotic looks (long blond hair and blue eyes). And, of course, being an Occidental Otaku.
- Hidden Depths: Played with. She does have a regular grasp of Japanese outside of anime and manga quotes. However, her character remains impenetrable and most of the 'revelations' during her spotlight story with Ogiue were the latter's impressions.
- The Gadfly: Unlike Kucchi who is simply shameless, Sue is genuinely amused when she gets people angry or flustered and blows her own top when she fails to do so.
- Luminescent Blush: Gets those in Nidaime whenever Madarame is around.
- Nonstandard Character Design: Arguably even more so than Kucchi. Her distinctive eyes have yet to appear on any other character.
- No Social Skills: Personal space means nothing to her as she messed with Tanaka's model set without permission, reads porn in public and follows Ogiue around.
- Occidental Otaku
- Older Than They Look
- Phenotype Stereotype
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: And some of them are downright obscure or bizarre. Despite this, most of them suit the situation pretty well, amazingly enough.
- Shipper on Deck: Ships Hato X Madarame. Although she seems to be interested in Madarame as well.
- Vague Age
- Yaoi Fangirl
Cross-dressing yaoi fan who is the very picture of a shy, demure, fashionable girl. However, she is a he. Became the main focus in Nidaime, along with Madarame, as his issues take up a good chunk of the manga's frame time.
Energetic and shameless Yaoi Fangirl
Rika's younger sister, she is into playing basketball and is a Shotacon
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Yajima certainly thinks so.
- Bifauxnen: Looks enough like a guy that she can easily fool others in thinking she really is a guy.
- Big Little Sister: She is Rika's younger sister, but is taller and looks older.
- Gentle Giant: Seems to be a lot less aggressive than her older sister... until her older sister demands violence.
- Huge Schoolgirl: By far the tallest of the Genshiken's actual members with her basketball physique.
- Younger Than They Look: She is Rika's younger sister but she looks like the older of the two.
Sour and sardonic Yaoi Fangirl
. Prone to pouring cold water on everyone's expectations.
- Expy: Looks like a wider, female Sasahara; could be seen as the Sasahara/Ogiue equivalent for this 'season'.
- Green-Eyed Monster: She is very jealous of Hato, mostly because Hato is not only more feminine than her, but also because Hato can also draw better than her and knows Judo.
- Grumpy Bear
- Hidden Depths: Is shown to be laid-back and well adjusted when accompanying her friend Mimasaka.
- Only Sane Woman: Defaults to playing this character whenever the Genshiken does something unexpected but she usually opens up in short order.
- Shipper on Deck: She ships Hato and Madarame, even though she herself has feelings for Hato.
- Straight Man: Right from the start, acts as the damper on Yoshitake's enthusiasm.
- Stout Strength: Was able to escape from being restrained by the athletic Risa and seems to have become the club's erasing specialist, which she herself regards as a job needing strength.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Yajima's big, stocky and plainly dressed; Yoshitake's petite, frilly and cute.
Voiced by: Kouji Ishii
(Japanese), Michael Alston Baley (English)
The closest thing the Genshiken has to an antagonist. Haraguchi claims to be part of both the Genshiken and the Manga Club, but he has a habit of badmouthing both of them and getting on everybody's nerves due to his condescending attitude. However, he has a lot of connections with semi-professional manga artists.
The First President
The First President of the Genshiken
is a mysterious character who seems to have no presence whatsoever, but at the same time seems to be omniscient of what goes on at the College. He hands the presidency to Madarame in the second volume of the manga.
Voiced by: Kaori Shimizu
(original series), Ikumi Hayama (Nidaime
) (Japanese), Jessica Calvello (English)
Sasahara's little sister, who doesn't share his interests. She is a gyaru
. Falls hopelessly in love with Kousaka and joins the Genshiken on a whim, toward the end of the series. In Nidaime, she also works at a hostess bar.
- Annoying Younger Sibling
- Brutal Honesty: Doesn't like it when people keep denying things to themselves and will bluntly tell them about it.
- Character Development: She eventually grows out of her gyaru lifestyle and mellows out to the point of being very casual with the entire group.
- Converted Fanboy: She becomes a fan of Yaoi after Ohno gives her some. She even mentions that she has played some of Kanji's video games he left at home.
- The Fashionista: Even worse than Kasukabe.
Voiced by: Reiko Takagi
(original series), Madoka Yonezawa (Nidaime
Ogiue's rival from the manga club who was the person that drove her out of the club and into Genshiken.
Voiced by: Momoko Saito
(original series), Konomi Tada (Nidaime
A member of Yabusaki's posse who usually appears with her and has an unusually minimalistic character design. She was originally a Satellite Character
to Yabusaki but was well received enough to have an extended appearance in Nidaime
Voiced by: Yuki Kaida
(original series), Misa Kobayashi (Nidaime
A friend of Ohno and Sue, who visits regularly for ComiFes
; Cosplays and is rather flirtatious
An old friend of Yajima's from high school.