I can't stand the conventional nature of Genki. A friend of mine, recommend some starter-textbooks, I got his Genki copies, the books seens pedagogically decent and everything but.
The story "Mary and her friends fun and troubles in Japan" I looked at some pages and could see the main guy (Takeshi?) being molested (yes I see the two books) by a pevert, a character bringing a single freaking tomato to a bbq, (c'mon girl come by yourself and says, I come for the food, sounds better and more natural). The guy that slack off, the brilliant gal, the main character, the crush of my character...
I learned English and Italian by using such like books and they are kind of boring for me, I can't bash the people who use it to learn because its useful, and the disposition of the writers in trying to show the learning of language as a too nice and fun way.
Don't misunderstand me, learn a language (or a anything, from gardening to quantum physics, SHOULD be fun) it's proved that the more fun that you have learning something, the more you learn.
I wonder, if there is a more "direct" approach into learning Japanese than the cheesy cheese way?