Normally I don’t review manga, but after marathoning through Good Ending, I wanted to share my thoughts on the series. I’m about two years late but boy was this a roller coaster of emotions. I guess this might be more of a rant than a review, but enjoy your stay and feel free to share your thoughts on the manga! If you haven’t read GE yet, then you can find it over here.
Where do I begin? These have to be some of the most aggravating characters that I have come across in a series. All the constant misunderstandings that seemingly pop up out of the smallest things. Yet, for some reason I found myself drawn to the characters, and actually developed an emotional connection to them.
Utsumi Seiji is your typical shounen romance lead. He is inexperienced with women but that’s all about to change. He meets a mysterious girl and suddenly every girl in the school begins throwing themselves at him. He ends up in perverted situations, but deep down he’s a nice guy. Heck, he’s even too nice. He genuinely cares for others and finds it hard to turn them down, which leads to most of the misunderstandings.
Then we have the female lead, Kurokawa Yuki. She starts off as a rather harsh girl who pushes Seiji out of his comfort zone. As a result, the two spend lots of time together and begin developing feelings for each other. Yuki definitely has her own baggage though. Suffering from past trauma, she has difficulty trusting other men. She enjoys Seiji’s comfort but is incredibly insecure because of her previous relationship.
I guess the last character I’ll really touch on is her previous boyfriend, Amamiya Touru. He was a very clingy childhood friend who could never move on from the past. When they first introduced him, he gave off creepy vibes and I despised him from the start. He took advantage of Yuki’s trust in him which caused her a lot of grief. Years later, he thinks everything is okay because it was all a big misunderstanding, not understanding all the suffering she went through.
Overall, I’d say the characters were all pretty realistic. Maybe not the part with the girls constantly throwing themselves at Seiji, but all of their insecurities. I think that Good Ending really showcased some common and very real insecurities that many people deal with. Seiji who is trying his best to be a good boyfriend but his kindness ends up causing his girlfriends even more grief. Yuki who struggles to become intimate with another person after having her trust broken. Touru, who is overly obsessive, doesn’t take others feelings into consideration and can’t move on from the past. Risa who has completely transformed from weight loss but is still stuck with her “fat girl” mentality and mistakes kindness for love.
I could go on but every character had their flaws and it was amazing to read how they all overcame their issues. My only point of criticism would be how blind some of the characters were. It was difficult reading at times to see Seiji fall into another precarious situation, or see Risa still continue to try and sabotage his relationships and him being okay with it.
I guess this is where the bulk of my grey hairs stem from. Like any shounen romance, we have to have some drama. Every little thing that a logical person would think about doing is thrown out the window, causing all of these unnecessary misunderstandings.
Seiji and Yuki are in love? Great! Just don’t go and kiss that other girl over there by accident…
While some of the misunderstandings are repetitive, and insanely frustrating, they still manage to make it a compelling story. Going back to the characters, we know that they all have their weaknesses and insecurities, making these misunderstandings even more likely to occur.
Seiji starts off admiring an older classmate but soon finds himself falling for Yuki as he becomes closer to her. He’s incredibly indecisive since when both girls are within his reach, he tries to avoid hurting them, which only causes them more suffering in the end. I was pretty frustrated when he went back to Shou after things didn’t work out with Yuki. The two of them pretty much rebounded from their relationships and were afraid of being alone. Ultimately, this isn’t fair for Shou since she really falls for Seiji while his heart isn’t completely dedicated to her.
Their whole relationship was frustrating to watch since we knew Seiji and Yuki still had feelings for each other, but they just couldn’t be in a relationship due to their circumstances. I guess in the end, all of the misunderstandings and relationships that Seiji experienced helped him grow into a stronger person who could help support the recovering Yuki.
While the ending did feel a bit rushed and cliche, the story really did a great job about emphasizing these characters’ biggest flaws.
I don’t know, maybe I’m a masochist? For some reason, I’m drawn to these romance stories that are filled with constant heartbreak (like Kimi no Iru Machi). I read the entire series within 2 days so luckily I could just turn the pages quicker, rather than having to steam with anger for a whole week.
I really liked how all of the characters overcame their issues, and lived happy lives in the end. On the flip side, I kind of wish they did a better job at covering Seiji’s dream career. He kind of slipped into the role of a photographer and kind of just went along with it. Aside from that though, each misunderstanding led to more character development. I wasn’t a huge fan of how Shou’s relationship was handled, but it was necessary for both her and Seiji to see what they truly wanted in life.
It was nice to see everyone have a “good ending” where they’re all happy. A minor annoyance was seeing Touru get a happy ending, even though his character was never fully fleshed out and he seemed like a one-dimensional creep. People change and deserve a second chance, but the huge jump felt a bit spontaneous to me.
I guess that’s it for my rant or review of Good Ending. If you came in here looking for a number rating, I guess I’d have to give the series an 7.8/10. It had a lot of slow, drawn out moments, but really managed to capture my attention and emotions. Some elements could have been toned down a bit (drama, character’s making the same mistakes over and over again), but nonetheless an enjoyable series.
Like everyone else, I’m a little bummed out after finishing a manga series, especially one with closure like Good Ending so feel free to discuss your thoughts on the series, or leave me some suggestions for what to read next!