Nisekoi Creator’s New Manga Is A Great Story Of A Gamer’s Journey

e no genten starting point manga
The cover to e No Genten: Starting Point Viz/Naoshi Komi

Nisekoi creator, Naoshi Komi, is back with a brand-new story for Weekly Shonen Jump. The new manga one-shot, titled e No Genten: Starting Point , is a short story about a boy named Takumi Tomouchi and his love for video games and how that has affected his present and, as we see in the end, his future.

Komi’s Nisekoi was a great love story in the “slice-of-life” genre, but his latest delve into gaming culture is something that manga readers should take a gander at.

e No Genten: Starting Point is a simple story as Tomouchi narrates his life to the reader on his love for games ever since he was a kid as well as his new obsession with a particular fighting game. However, Tomouchi’s life is a bit more complicated as we see the time he’s spent to master his favorite game has taken away from his studies.

Tomouchi’s character is pretty unimpressive, but I think that is the point. His character design isn’t anything special, there’s no anime-style hairdo or color and while his personality has some gamer tropes, it’s subtle. Just like any high-schooler, he’s confident and tough with friends and peers, but hides his insecurities, especially his lack of direction in life. This is very evident from his inner monologues and narrations to the reader.  

The manga shares lines like,“for someone who’s never found anything more compelling than video games, getting lectured on life kind of goes over my head,” and, “even I know that I can’t be like this forever. But I don’t know what to do.” It really offers readers something to latch onto from his character and also dive into his psyche.

Tomouchi is still a kid, and although he knows what he wants to do with his life (play video games all day) he understands that it’s not something that can happen. There’s an outside pressure to follow societal norms, get into a good school, get a good job and be a productive member of society. Still, his love of video games always comes through and often pushes those thoughts to the background. It’s his happy place and no one will take that away from him. But when that happy place does get taken away from him, it’s all the more gut-wrenching.

We’re also introduced to Satsuki Minahara, the class rep who Tomouchi considers his nemesis. Unlike our lead, Minahara is portrayed as a cold and driven individual. She knows what she wants out of life and as the complete opposite of Tomouchi, she acts as a great foil for him.

Komi’s ability to make Satsuki likeable by the end of the story is a testament to his storytelling prowess. If you’ve read enough manga, the plot twist that involves Minahara is pretty obvious, but it’s handled really well and, not to give too much away, the way her character arc and Tomouchi’s intersect is poetic if not tragic.

Considering this story is a one-shot and not an ongoing series does take away some of the opportunities for character development that would otherwise be there. While it does feel a bit rushed, it’s not too egregious.

e No Genten: Starting Point is a great one-shot that explores a high schooler’s mind and his rise to be a pro gamer. The characters are good and the way the story ends really made me wish more chapters of this manga will be made. Although there’s some tragedy, it does end on a positive note. I highly recommend checking out this one-shot if you’re looking for a simple story with some likeable characters.

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