First and foremost, episode 2 does not disappoint.
This episode of the anime is adapted from chapter 58, four pages of chapter 59, and chapter 60 of volume 10 of the manga (Or 1 in the U.S. version). In comparison to the manga some changes such as references, jokes, and the scenes with alcohol occurred. Sadly, most of Chapter 59 was removed.
The first half of the episode focuses on Hato’s cross dressing tendencies and Yajima’ and Rika’s reaction to it. With Rika’s extrovertedness and her comedic perverted self when it comes to coming across a trap (Hato) couldn’t help but make you laugh. In the meantime, Yajima’s attitude towards Hato provides the viewers with subtle comedy.
The second half of the episode shows us how cross dressing is seen as nothing but a gag when it comes to anime. The change of tone from a character that was involved in the comedic first half of the episode provides us with a more realistic response. In doing so, instead of reminding us of the message of the stigma of being an otaku, Genshiken showcases how there is a stigma in terms of cross dressing.
I felt that Yajima’s heated objections when it comes to Hato’s cross dressing tendencies brought sheer seriousness to the series even if it was for a short period of time.
I really admired how they brought up One Piece as Two Piece, Durarara!!, Full Metal Alchemist, and Natsume Yuujinchou as anime references in this episode.
One thing I didn’t really like was the fact that whoever translated this episode constantly referred to Hato as a “she”. Obviously, Hato is a “he”. I know that Hato can totally pass for a female, but I don’t think that slip up is necessary. Hopefully next episode, the same translation mistake will not arise again.