Manga by Yoshiyuki Miwa
Original Story by Shinogi Kazanami
Original Book Design by ansyyqdesign
Isekai stories have become a common trend in light novels and manga. The concept allows for stories to easily introduce creative worlds to readers that are free from the limitations of reality. Still, after reading so many series that use the narrative construct, it can become stale very fast. The New Gate tries to remedy this issue by creating a twist on the isekai formula, introducing a world that is both familiar and unknown to its protagonist.
After being trapped in the online game The New Gate, the game’s strongest player Shin defeats the final boss, but before he can leave the game, he is suddenly transported to a realistic version of The New Gate that is set 500 years in the future. With no way to return home, Shin must learn to survive in this new environment.
What makes Shin stand out is his maturity as a protagonist. He has already experienced the trials and tribulations of life, and has gained immense strength in the process. There is little room for him to grow, but that allows him to narrow his focus in this new world. Once Shin learns that he’s been sent to the future, he immediately tries to gather intel how the world has changed. The volume uses this opportunity to explain the changes to the economy, magic, and social structure. Items and powers that were once commonplace during Shin’s time in the game have become rare commodities. Shin was already the strongest player in The New Gate, but now the power gap between himself and other people is tremendous.
It’s also worth talking about Miwa’s artwork, which is consistently polished and well-refined. The manga does a good job at depicting the variety of sceneries and habitats of the world. This is especially true when contrasted with Shin, as we see his earlier attire and demeanor being drastically different than the people around him, making him stand out even moreso. While there isn’t too much action in this first volume, the fights that are present are well drawn and dynamic to read. Overall, the series’ visuals serve as a solid complement to the story and make it all the more engaging.
The New Gate is a pleasant spin on the isekai formula, providing a protagonist with a unique perspective alongside some strong world-building. While the story is still in its early stages, it has the potential to be genuinely great, and I look forward to seeing if it can live up to those expectations.