As we further approach the conclusion of Genshiken and continue Kuchiki’s farewell trip, things around Madarame’s harem start to come further and further to a head, and we start approaching the answer to the question of who will Madarame choose.
When we last left off, Hato (dressed as a guy) and Madarame were taking Kuchiki back to his hotel room as he’d had too much to drink and he needed to sleep it off – and Madarame was going to stick around to presumably make sure Kuchiki didn’t choke on his own puke.
So, well, remember in my review of last volume (linked in the first paragraph), where I suspected that Madarame might be Bi? Here, I can definitely say he’s Bi – as very early in the volume Madarame decides, basically, that with the amount of booze he’s drunk, he now feels comfortable coming on to Hato – who, I should remind you, is currently dressed like a guy and is using his male voice.
We even get a lampshaded “lucky moment” with Madarame falling on top of Hato in a bed, with them talking about in a romantic comedy anime a moment like this could lead to a kiss. The moment very nearly happens and is only interrupted by Kuchiki getting up to go to the bathroom to loudly vomit.
From there, we get to what is clearly meant to be the main event of this arc – a visit to a local shrine, which is one of the resting places of Tokugawa Iyesu (and another Shogun who gets brought up very briefly next volume), and is thus a major tourist site. This leads to an unexpected callback which also feels like something of a bookend to the series – using an improvized kujibuki to pick pair everyone off in the groups, explicitly in order to give Madarame time with each possible member of his harem.
That said, from here, this volume is basically eliminating people from the running who we pretty much knew were already eliminated. Sasahara’s sister (or Sasa-sister as Madarame has nicknamed her), and Angela both get eliminated as basically being too aggressive for Madarame, with the main tension being with Sue and Hato both being on pins on needles, ending with a big revelation that there is actually another member of Genshiken who is romantically interested in Hato, leaving us with actually something of a cliffhanger – one that I kind of suspected, but wasn’t certain about.