The 6th epiosde of Genshiken 2nd, while not bad, doesn't speak to me in the same way as previous ones have. It's a really light episode, which surprises me more than it should.
Looking back on it, it's a little strange that I consider Genshiken utterly and unremittingly realistic. It's filled with bizarre excesses, like Ogiue's BL fantasy episode from season 2. But those don't outweigh the serious and character-defining bits in my mind -- when I look back, it all hangs together, and I think of them as real people -- as us, really, as we might have been.
People complain that Genshiken 2nd isn't really doing that for them. But that in itself raises an interesting point -- Genshiken 2nd, we're fairly sure, isn't about people like me. It's about a subtly different crowd, a new generation whose existence doesn't displace our own. (There are still otaku like us. I've met them. But there are others now too.)
But that doesn't necessarily mean they've hit their mark. Would the current generation of female otaku identify as strongly with the cast as we identified with Madarame, Sasahara, Kugayama, and the rest of the original cast?
(We leave out Kousaka, of course, because there's no way he's realistic. Even Hato-chan can see that much.)
There's honestly no way for me to know of my own impressions, and I don't know anyone else watching it. It's a pretty problem.