Review: Platinum End vol. 1

Platinum End vol.1 by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Mirai, the main character


As his classmates celebrate their middle school graduation, troubled Mirai is mired in darkness. But his battle is just beginning when he receives some salvation from above in the form of an angel. Now Mirai is pitted against 12 other chosen humans in a battle in which the winner becomes the next god of the world. Mirai has an angel in his corner, but he may need to become a devil to survive.

Mirai’s once-great life turned to hell after his family was killed in a mysterious accident. But now that an angel is on his side, things might be looking up. With his newly received angelic powers, can Mirai get over his tragic past and find true happiness…?

(Triggers: suicide, murder, abuse, depression, graphic depictions of violence).

I had high expectations for this manga and it did not disappoint. I was instantly hooked, it was exciting and unique and such a complex and interesting story! I gave it 4.5 stars.

Platinum End is from the creator of Death Note. Similarly, death, god, justice, morals and right and wrong are key concepts in this story.

The base of this story is essentially a deadly competition to become the new god. The current god decided that the time has come for there to be a new god. He chooses 13 angels to choose 13 humans as their god candidates (and give them angelic powers). From this moment on, they have 999 days until the new god must be chosen from among the chosen humans. Basically, whoever is left alive after these 999 days will be the new god, regardless of his actions, morals, wishes, etc.

The story starts with Mirai, the main character, committing suicide. (It really surprised me but this was a great start, it makes you want to keep reading). I’m not sure how I feel about Mirai yet. (I love his name though, very prophetic and even a bit ominous). He’s a lonely, abused kid who’s lived a horrible life but who still somehow retains a really good sense of morals. And I like that, even if it could be a bit unrealistic. (Plus, he’s physically similar to Light Yagami – which is… predictable, unfortunate, intentional?).

He’s saved by the angel Nasse, who chooses Mirai to be her god candidate. Nasse is a kind angel who really cares about Mirai and wants more than anything to make him happy. Nasse is described as a pure and innocent angel, and she is. (The definition of innocent:  “free from sin, evil, or guilt; doing or thinking nothing morally wrong; pure”.) She casually suggests killing and stealing as a means to an end but she honestly doesn’t seem to realize those things are inherently wrong (or a “sin”* since this is a story with a strong connection to god, angels and that sort of thing) or why Mirai doesn’t want to do it if it’ll get him what he wants. So far, I like Nasse.

(*Nasse explains that there are no demons, except for the ones living inside human hearts. However, heaven, hell or the afterlife aren’t at all mentioned.)

Mirai starts his new life by using the powers Nasse gave him to confront his family and dark parts of his past and he learns the hard way that he needs to use his powers carefully and responsibly. He’s hopeful and excited about life for the first time in his life until he sees an angel on tv, hovering above a famous actor. Later, this actor is found dead and Mirai learns his killer was another god candidate – Metropoliman, a.k.a. the antagonist who introduces himself on live television as a “hero” who wants to “defeat his opponents”. “One down, 11 to go”, he says.

Metropoliman is a clever and interesting antagonist so far, who doesn’t seem to feel impeded by morals or society to become god.

In short, I think this is a great first volume. It managed to keep me interested even throughout all the explanations about angels, the competition and powers. It had an intense, interesting story and an interesting, clever antagonist. And the ending leaves you wanting for more. I strongly recommend it.

4 thoughts on “Review: Platinum End vol. 1

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