Platinum End Chapter 53
Mangaka: Tsugumi Ohba (Writer), Takeshi Obata (Artist)
After the hugely popular Death Note and the successful Bakuman, it’s incredible to see how far this creative team has fallen with Platinum End.
If you’ve read my past reviews, you already know I’m a big fan of Death Note. But after Bakuman, I realized that I was not only a fan of the works but a fan of the creative team itself. Takeshi Obata is one of my favorite artists in the business; his ability to draw incredibly detailed humans and clothing really brings each of his characters to life, and in Death Note, he showed that he could draw interesting and creative monster designs with the shinigami. Tsugumi Ohba created two captivating narratives with Death Note and Bakuman, along with multiple characters in each series I found myself both interested and invested in. But with Platinum End, the goodwill I have with the creative team is the only thing keeping me reading.
The initial premise of the series sounded great: a suicidal boy is saved by a mysterious angel and told that he is now a part of a game to become the next “God”. He will have to compete with other people similar to him imbued with abilities from angels. But after about 10 chapters of the manga, I realized that this wasn’t going to be the next great hit from Ohba and Obata. And now that we’re 53 chapters in, I’m wondering exactly why I still follow the series.
While the premise of the story is interesting, every single character with the exception of Kanade Uryu and Nanato Mukaido (both of whom are no longer in the story) are utterly uninteresting and flat. Our “protagonist” Mirai Kakehashi is an emotionless husk devoid of goals or ambitions beyond vaguely wanting everyone to “live a happy life” despite having attempting suicide in the first chapter of the story. What’s worse is whenever his “conviction” is challenged, he barely fights back and usually has little to no rebuttal when faced with counterarguments. Saki Hanakago merely exists to be the target of Mirai’s affection, and beyond that has no other personality traits to speak of. Beyond these two, we have other boring angels and humans who usually have one character trait and nothing else. In a story where I couldn’t care less about any of the characters, it’s hard to feel invested in the story because I genuinely don’t care what will happen.
But let’s talk about chapter 53. Because Mirai’s angel Nasse intervened in his confrontation against Gaku Yoneda, she was demoted to a second-rank angel and thus Mirai loses his white arrows (which he’d never use anyway) and his wings and is left with only his red arrows. After more discussion between Mirai and Yoneda, Yoneda attempts to strike Mirai again with a white arrow. This time, Mirai is saved by Saki.
I don’t know what to say here, guys. This chapter wasn’t interesting at all. The story beats were incredibly obvious; while Yoneda is a cold and calculating adult, his accomplice Shuji Nakaumi is a 13-year-old-boy who isn’t nearly as committed to killing and wasn’t about to murder Saki in cold blood. Mirai lost his wings, but now Saki can be his wings so it’s okay! Everything will be fine! In the current state of the series, Yoneda is probably the most interesting character, but I don’t even want him to win because his whole “God isn’t real” schtick makes for a very boring motivation when all is said and done. We’ve kind of exhausted all the characters who really have drive or purpose in the series and are left with a group of reactionary losers who I can’t stand. At least the art is good.
At this point, I doubt I’ll drop Platinum End. But there’s no way in hell I’d recommend it to anyone. If I was a God Candidate I’d want to win just so I could remove this story from Ohba and Obata’s portfolios. They’re better than this.
Platinum End Chapter 53
A series carried completely by its art, Platinum End is a manga I find myself unimpressed by week after week.