“A group of powerful beings called tenkaijin are holding a special tournament. The rules of the game—each tenkaijin selects a kid in junior high to be his champion and grants him a special power. The kids take each other on in heated battle, but if they hurt innocent bystanders, then they lose one of their natural-given abilities. Every time they win a battle, they gain a new ability. The ultimate winner of the tournament is granted any power of his choosing, and the tenkajin who he represents succeeds in becoming the next god. Kosuke Ueki has been chosen to fight in the tournament. His special power—the ability to turn garbage into trees.” -Viz.com
It is time to pick the next god. Fighting for that spot are the one hundred god candidates. However, the god candidates can’t fight themselves; instead, they each give one power to one student. These students then must fight against one another in a battle royal; the winner gets a blank zai, which will become any talent the student wants and his/her god candidate becomes god. The battle royal has very few rules — the most important being that if a student uses his power to harm a regular human then that student will lose a zai (a skill/talent). Should a student run out of zais, he or she will disappear. Ueki is different from other students. He willingly loses his zai for the sake of justice.
This is not your usual shounen manga. What makes this different are the characters, flow of the plot and the manga’s length. The characters in this manga are simply very interesting. The relationships each character develops do not fall under the usual archetypes. For example, instead of being the damsel in distress, Ai Mori plays an active role in the tournament and everything concerning Ueki. Most of the time it is Ai Mori who is protecting (or at least trying to) Ueki. Although this is a generalization, in most shounen manga we know the protagonist will always win in the end. What makes us enjoy shounen manga is the means not the end. This manga provides us with an interesting plot from start to finish, and when things start to follow a pattern, new elements are added such as parallel plots or new powers. Lastly, this manga is completed and contains 155 chapters. Reading a completed manga offers joys that an ongoing manga cannot. No need for waiting for the next release.
GO Rating: 4/5