GE: Good Ending by Kei Sasuga

I am not well-acquainted with the visual novel format, as I have played through very few of them. As such, I feel the need to touch base upon the fact that I am not the best judge of the quality of a one-shot whose name is more or less a direct tip of the cap to the industry’s nakige type ending(s). Regardless, I can see why Good Ending caused such a stir originally after it came out — eventually reaching the point to where it developed into a more fleshed out version of itself. Overall, this is an appealing and compelling high school rom-com, both in spite and thanks to its brevity.

Story


Good Ending opens up with an introduction to the male MC, Utsumi. In a typical romcom fashion, he is standing atop his school’s roof, leaning against the edge while intently observing the girl who causes his heart to flutter. Utsumi is in love with his senpai, Shou. In the midst of this intimate [stalker] moment, there is a unanticipated intrusion. Another girl witnesses the scene; she understands exactly what is going on and calls Utsumi out on it.

Upon his love for Shou-senpai being made manifest, Utsumi is taken aback. His concern mostly extends to whether or not this new girl will sound the alarm and tell the whole world about the inner workings of his heart. With blatant intent in her eyes, this new girl (i.e. Yuki Kurokawa) says she will not tell anyone upon one condition: she gets to watch Utsumi confess to his senpai.

Thus, this is where the story begins and unyieldingly releases its narrative and grabs readers by the haunches.

Analysis


After the aforementioned excerpt of the story, I assume that one would be able to made an educated guess on where the rest of the story will lead. Without being too forthright, I will say that it is absolutely predicatable yet only relatively obvious about how it will come about. This is to say that one can only assume the ending is the [GE] ending, but the path to getting reaching that conclusion is where the wonder lies.

If one is not fond of a high school romance, then they may not have the best time with this. To me, that goes without saying. Personally, I really enjoyed this. No, it did not make me come to terms with anything that could be called earth-shattering, but that is not really why we approach manga in the first place. What this one-shot did provide me with was a brief time of a genuine enjoyment that happened to be enveloped with feelings of nostalgia, glee, etc.

Apart from the narrative structure itself, I was drawn into GE: Good Ending because of its art. Honestly. It is generically shoujo in some respects and shoujo in others; nevertheless, it maintains its own distinct qualities. The art accentuates the story and makes it more immersive of a reading experience. Though it could have been due to the quality of the scans that I stumbled upon, the blushing scenes had a bit more oomph — if I can call it that. I do not know what it was about it exactly, but those panels really stood out to me. At any rate, I feel the need to have my fondness of this art style made manifest. Good stuff.

Given its identity as a one-shot manga, GE: Good Ending succeeds in reaching (even exceeding) its potential for a fulfilling story. The nature of the yomikiri format is a bit broad to encapsulate it as nothing more than a issue which has no intention of continuing its storyline. There are just too many factors that come into play for manga; it would be blatantly dishonest of one to categorize one-shots in this manner alone. Though if we do leave it at that, I would say that this one-shot does reach its aim as a stand-alone work: the story here, which is presented in its entirety, completely ties itself up and leaves its reader with a satisfying ending.

Final Thoughts


To conclude, I just want to say that this is an enjoyable reading experience. It goes without saying that not everyone is fond of romcoms, but this exists for those who are. It is a pleasantly [ever-so-slightly] surprising read that will leave one satisfied and perhaps looking for more. I cannot say that I am 100% surprised, given the context surrounding this one-shot and how well it was received. I guess that is why they explored and unpacked the Good Ending universe in the serialized format.

A good read that definitely works, given its nature as a one-shot. I cannot speak on the full adaptation, but this is some good fluff.


Yeah, so right before posting this, I came to the realization that this work is from the mangaka of Domestic na Kanojo fame. Honestly, I had no idea, but it does make some sense now that I can sit back and think about it. Just thought that I make note of it because it is something I would have addressed if I realized it earlier on. Anyways…

Thanks for reading.

Take care,

Joe

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