CONTENT ADVISORY: Upon further research, I’ve discovered that Platinum End is rated M for mature audiences (18+) for violence and some sexual themes. Viewer discretion is advised.
Oh… my…. freaking…. God!
Review: Platinum End by Tsugumi Ohba. Illustrated by Takeshi Obata.
My rating as a series: 4 of 5 stars
Okay. Let’s do it! Before I really get into my thoughts, let’s give a quick summary.
Mirai Kakehashi is a young teen who is struggling with his will to live.
When he tries to commit suicide, however, he is saved by an angel named Nasse who tells him he is now in the running to become the next God of the world, as the old God is stepping down.
However, when Mirai meets another God candidate intent on wiping out the remaining people in the running, he finds himself in a war for the top spot as God.
Will Mirai be able to stop his enemies before innocent people are harmed? Or will his personal demons work to destroy him first?
Holy crap, that was fun! I don’t know why I ever had reservations about whether or not I would like this series.
(Okay, admittedly my reservations were because the plot at first glance sounded too similar to Death Note, but still! I feel like I should’ve had more faith in the fact that I’ve immensely enjoyed Tsugumi Ohba’s work in the past.)
This series is not Death Note. Not even close.
It has some truly heart-pounding moments. I didn’t know Ohba was actually pretty skilled at writing fight sequences!
And the villains were competent enough that I was genuinely worried for Mirai, Saki, and Mr. Mukaido.
Each confrontation felt more intense than the last and I love that I was even able to feel a little sympathy for the main villain.
In the second arc, I was really intrigued by the professor character. I kept saying in my Facebook updates on the series that I didn’t trust him, but I also didn’t feel like he was truly evil.
I kind of felt bad for him because of where his mindset came from. He just seemed incredibly sad and cynical.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about some of the characters in more detail!
And here I was afraid that this kid was going to be Light Yagami 2.0. Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Not at all!
Joking aside, Mirai is awesome! I love that he is a genuinely good person and just wants to do what’s right.
I like that, when he’s first given a taste of the power of the angels, he’s hesitant to use some of his new abilities.
Seeing him grow was amazing! His reservations about the white arrows actually got me thinking a bit about what the right thing to do was.
In this series, red and white arrows are given to certain god candidates and red makes your target fall in love with you, while white is the lethal one.
I bring all this up because I was worried that part of Mirai’s character development would have to be learning to use the white arrows and the way that’s done actually subverted my expectations, because it doesn’t change that he is still genuinely good.
It’s just that he resolves to only use them if absolutely necessary to bring the God contest to a close.
I also love his reaction to learning that Saki made fun of him in middle school (which is what drove him to suicide in the first place).
I won’t spoil what he does, but I will say it was awesome and I wanted to give it a shoutout.
I also want to give mention to his time as the Red Warrior.
It was really awesome seeing him team up with Mukaido and Saki in order to defeat the villain Kanade Uryu.
I love that Mirai eventually gets into a situation where he’s able to face Uryu all on his own in a confrontation that ended up being very intense and thrilling to read!
Admittedly, the way Saki was handled at first had me concerned. I know Ohba has something of a reputation for his female characters being – well – not the best (not that that kept me from enjoying the story, but still).
That said, I like that Saki eventually gets involved with the main action, at least. She probably could have done more, but that’s really my only complaint.
I like that she is genuinely a good friend to Mirai and wants to see him succeed. Their relationship is genuinely touching, even if I have some issues with it.
That being said, I like that Saki can really take care of herself, even if we see very little of it.
Seeing her hit a government agent with a red arrow was a nice touch. She clearly doesn’t mess around! I just wish there’d been more of that during the big battle sequences.
I probably feel the most sympathy for him. He just wants his family to be safe from Metropoliman/Kanade Uryu and I completely get that.
Seeing him rush to his family’s aid after Uryu captured them was great! I love that it gave him the desire to live long enough to see the end of Uryu.
That aside, his relationship with Mirai and Saki is really great, too. I could tell that he’d grown to genuinely care about the two of them.
It was awesome to see the three of them stand together against the threat Uryu posed.
Finally, Mukaido’s last scene in the manga really moved me emotionally in such a way that I still feel something, even now.
I won’t go into too much detail, but I will admit that I felt butterflies during his last scene in the manga.
If there’s one character I wanted dead in this series, it’s Kanade Uryu.
Oh, don’t get me wrong! He’s a great villain – it’s just that he crossed some lines for me that were really unforgivable.
I have to admit, when we were first introduced to him without the Metropoliman suit, he reminded me of Near from Death Note. It was the white hair! He looked kind of like him, minus the somewhat innocent face Near had.
Anyway, Uryu was a great villain. I love that his motivations are clear and he goes far enough in his plans to kill the God candidates that he’s genuinely frightening.
I also love that his motivations for becoming God are somewhat sympathetic, even if his plans once he became God were completely insane and left me hoping he’d either die or be arrested!
I also need to give quick mention to the end of his arc. Because I don’t want to spoil it, I will only say that I felt the end of it was very fitting and left me feeling completely satisfied.
Professor Gaku Yoneda
Ah, yes, the character I didn’t completely trust. He’s not Uryu, but I still didn’t trust him.
I admit, it was kind of hard to see what the professor’s ultimate plan was and why he was always only willing to meet with Mirai on his own terms.
Some interesting discussions about the nature of what God really is are raised when he’s around and I really liked that, even if I didn’t trust him.
That being said, I like that it’s made clear that his mindset is an obstacle to the God contest being decided and it makes Mirai feel the need to use more drastic tactics if necessary.
Mirai’s final confrontation with him was great, although I don’t want to say too much about it.
I guess I’ll just say that it was wonderfully intense and had me worried for all the main characters in the story.
That’s all I really can say for now until the final volumes are officially out.
This series is set up into two main arcs over the course of about 58 chapters over (probably what will be) 14 volumes.
Metropoliman/Kanade Uryu Arc
This arc was my personal favorite.
While I at first thought Kanade Uryu being in the superman-type suit was a bit much (I was basically thinking the entire time, “Come on! Show your face, you coward!”) I was still on the edge of my seat the entire time!
The action sequences (once I got used to them) were great and I found myself pleasantly surprised at the conclusion to the arc. It was great!
Not to mention, Kanade Uryu scared me!
He’s only sixteen yet he has no qualms about killing anyone who gets in his way! I was genuinely afraid of whatever he would do next!
Professor Yoneda Arc
While it’s not as heart pounding as the first arc, I did appreciate that the Professor Yoneda arc wasn’t an exact repeat of the first.
It’s not as action-packed, but it left me with a lot to think about, given the questions it raised about God.
I like that the series took some time to seriously ponder these questions.
I don’t know where I stand in the debate, but it’s left me with something new to think about, which I appreciate.
And that’s not to say that the end of the arc wasn’t exciting or anything.
Seeing Mirai face off against the professor was a great moment, because you could see all his personal growth. Like I said before, I won’t say much beyond that.
What can I say about the artwork? It is Takeshi Obata’s work, after all. His work is usually great!
I will admit that it was interesting to see the panel composition during the more intense scenes. It was a little hard to follow at first, although I eventually got used to it.
Besides that, the artwork is really beautiful. I especially love the cover designs, which is not something I usually consider, but they’re great and they give hints to some main elements in that particular volume.
I love Mirai’s design a lot. You can see the innocent, well-meaning nature in his face.
Kanade Uryu’s design was a great contrast to Mirai. I really like how there’s that sort of dichotomy between the two designs.
Some of the designs for Metropoliman’s minions felt kind of silly (particularly a character that has a resemblance to a certain president), but it didn’t bother me too much, as they were more in the background, anyway. And that character was really the only one that struck me as silly.
The God candidate Hajime Sokotani had a funny-looking design at first, but that was intentional given where his arc goes.
I will say that seeing Sokotani team up with Uryu was concerning. I was afraid that he would both become a major threat and that Uryu would kill him once he outlived his usefulness.
Like I said in my Death Note review, I really wish I could show one of the panels, but I’m concerned about copyright protections. It’s why I couldn’t find any pictures of Mirai or Saki to put in the review.
In the end, I’m really glad I gave this series a chance. It’s intense, engaging, dark, and really had me on the edge of my seat all throughout.
I can’t wait until the rest of the volumes officially release in America. And the anime’s coming out in Japan in just a few months! In my opinion, this series fully deserves the anime treatment.
Anyway, I guess that’s all and I feel like I’ve talked a lot. I really recommend this series for Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata fans.
Don’t let the premise fool you if you’re a Death Note fan. This series is not that and I promise it will pull you in and keep you guessing until the very end!