In Volume 2 of The New Gate, our main character, Shin, continues to do what every MMORPG player does best: go on quests. Using the adventurer guild’s quest board, he finds rank-appropriate challenges to undertake (even though he could actually do anything he wants) and continues to gather information about the world, resolving incidents as they come along.
Reading about the quests, it had me thinking back to my own MMORPG days in games such as Runescape, where I’d spend hours getting lost in the world, grinding skills or doing excruciating long fetch quests… minus the parts where my in-game character is ridiculously overpowered like our main character.
Being a fan of lore and world-building, it was nice to see those aspects of the story being developed more in this volume. As expected and commonly seen in these type of isekai stories, a lot of the mechanics, in-game events, and characters are based off of the game that the main character originally played. However, there are always some unexpected changes that they run into, such as when Shin visits the temple and encounters two fox guardians. All of the background development is coupled with a lot of action-packed fights, which makes for a pretty light-hearted, fun, and easy read.
Looking past the world development and RPG-inspired fighting, this volume exemplifies one of the many issues that isekai series fall prey to: overpowered (OP) main characters. Shin is both a High Human and the hero who cleared the original death game that saved the entire server. As a result, he is exceptionally overpowered, even among the already overpowered characters present in the series, namely the powerful Chosen Ones that countries keep in their arsenal.
So, for all of the fights and problems that Shin encounters, rather than thinking if he will win, it’s probably more accurate to think about how he will win. This is because victory is pretty much an inevitability, but the method used to achieve victory is what makes the series flashy and more interesting.
In the situation that an overpowered main character does encounter a challenge, the opponent is probably on the same power level or higher, meaning that pretty much every other character is relegated to the sidelines or support duty while the hero magically figures out the path toward victory.
Compared to Volume 1’s “The Ugly” section, there is a lot less to talk about in Volume 2. However, there are still some things that I think negatively impact the reading experience and should probably be mentioned. The most noticeable part is that the font choice for certain types of text makes it difficult to read, such as the “Go away.” example shown in the image below.
Then, there are more subtle things that still jumped out at me while I was reading the review copy. A few of the subtitled sound effects obscure the original Japanese sound effect, which is a big no-no in lettering unless there’s absolutely no other choice, such as working in a very small or narrow panel. As a result, this made it slightly more awkward for me to read, though others may not have this same problem. Also, I felt that a couple of the sound effects were placed almost randomly and still interfered with the original artwork.
In summary, The New Gate Volume 2 continues to bring readers along for the journey that our easy going, but overpowered, main character has begun. Different quests require different solutions but Shin somehow has them all, being an absolute veteran of the game that this fantasy world is based on. So the depth of the story may suffer a bit because of this commonly seen problem in isekai series; however, it still makes for an entertaining action series that’s easy to read.