We head into a world where God rules all in Platinum End, by Tsugumi Ohba and art by Takeshi Obata. He has strived to do his best in bettering the world, but has decided to step down. He has set up a contest, where thirteen angels choose a candidate and one will become god after 999 days. His one requirement is that all candidates must have given up on life. God wishes for his successor to be able to bring happiness to everyone, not just themselves.
We start with Mirai Kakehashi, a boy without the will to live jumping off a multi store building without second thoughts. However, before dying Mirai is saved by the angel Nasse who offers him the chance to find happiness for himself. This fated meeting would begin his involvement in the contest for the position of God, and where one of thirteen shall become God. Dragged into this battle, Mirai must use the tools given to him by his angel, and band together with other candidates to survive these 999 days. Else someone unworthy may become God.
Each candidate has a tool set. Based on the angel’s rank, a candidate can have a Red arrow, a White arrow, wings, two of these three, or all three. The Red Arrow will make anyone shot with it fall for you, and will follow any command you say, within some restrictions. First, you could not order them to kill themselves unless they had wronged you warranting death. Second, you could not order them to die for you, as they would escape, negating the mind control if their life was in danger. The White arrow is an instant kill ability, leaving no trace of the perpetrator. Lastly, the wings give you the ability to fly at incredible speeds and the ability to avoid arrows.
Mirai Kakehashi treads on after an attempted suicide as Nasse, his angel, gave him a reason to live. He has a tragic past, losing his family at a young age, abused by his uncle and aunt, and bullied in school. The discovery of his family’s murder by his aunt and uncle drove him into a frenzy however, making him use his powers for the first time. This event would traumatize him though, as Mirai made his aunt commit suicide right in front of him, and vowing to never use it again. Mirai is surprisingly good hearted, despite his past as he doesn’t like using his power for selfish reasons. He needs a push to use them, and feels no happiness in doing so.
Saki Hanakago is Mirai’s childhood friend, and mutual crush. She shoots Mirai without a second though with a red arrow, making him fall for her. She however wait for the effect to expire before getting closer to him, showing she only used it for precautions. It is unkown as of volume 3 why she lost hope in life, and if she attempted suicide.
Nanato Mukaido is another God candidate who finds Mirai and Saki after the stadium incident. He is suffering from cancer, and has accepted his inevitable death, knowing he won’t win the contest. Despite his death looming over his head, he has decided to help Mirai and Saki end Metropoliman. Nanato despises Metropoliman for taking lives as if they’re nothing, and vowing to end him before his own time ends. He used the red arrow to ensure his wife and family have a safety net after his passing. Something to note, Nanato did not commit suicide, he only gave up on life until his angel arrived to greet him.
Metropoliman (Kanade Uryu) is a God candidate who has decided to kill all other candidates to become God by default. He has no qualms about kill the others, and constantly tries to lure them out, often using unsightly means. He donned the look of Metropoliman to hide his real identity and not be discovered by other candidates. His goal as God is to resurrect his dead sister, whom died for unknown reasons. It is unknown if he attempted suicide, or lost hope in life.
The Angels Nasse, Mirai’s angel, and Lepel, Saki’s Angel, are supporters. Nasse is a light hearted angel who cares for her candidate, Mirai. While she can say some cruel and unusal things with a straight face, Nasse only sees unnecessary murder in a bad light. She genuinely wishes him happiness, and does what she can to help him find it. Lepel, is a little more aggresive, talking his candidate, Saki, into forcibly taking Mirai’s heart with the red arrow. While he cares little for anyone else, Lepel guards Saki well, and in turn Mirai, as he knows without him, Saki would die. Metro and Nanato’s angels are hardly seen, so we don’t know much of them.
Thoughts on the Series
Platinum End is a interesting series, as while some may think it’s using the death game plot, its not. Neither the angels nor God himself stated that any candidate had to fight or die, only that one would be chosen out of the thirteen. Metropoliman himself decided to turn this game into a death game, possibly due to his selfish wish. God stated that the new God should be able to bring peace to the world, which Metro has not done. Because of this, I think that Metro decided to kill because he cannot become God through the contest
Currently, Mirai is the best contender to be God, as he has no desire for power, and only wishes for happiness. He is as saintly as someone can be in this situation, even stating that he would rather die than kill. That he would rather be bullied than bully. This does raise issues though, as Mirai’s don’t kill mentality makes for some nerve wracking moments. The best example being that he would rather die than kill, showing that he has no mental fortitude to do what is necessary. Mirai seems like he would have a mental breakdown if he killed Metro, which seems inevitable.
Another aspect of Platinum End I like is the psychological side of it. Mirai isn’t exactly a mentally stable person due to his trauma and . In fact, most characters at least have a screw or two loose. Metro is willing to kill anyone and everyone that would get in between him and his sister. Nanato is understandably a little off, as he has death looming over him every moment, and with almost nothing to loose is quite dangerous. Saki seems like a broken person, held together only by her feelings for Mirai. While there are deaths early in the series, they are drawn in such a grotesque way to draw out feelings of horror, sadness and helplessness in the characters, not only us the reader. This allows us to see that Mirai and the others are human, not demigods, like us.
Overall, Platinum End is a thrilling read, which hooked me in instantly withing the few pages. Nanato seems to be my favorite character so far, as he has a strong will and won’t stand by as Metro does what he wants. I do hope Mirai toughens up, since his weak mentality will only get in the way. Saki also needs to gets up help the others in taking down Metro, since they need all the help possible. I look forward to see how they develop and try to alter the path Metro has set to end the contest.
Please note that this review was on Volumes 1 through 3. This series still has many loose ends to cover, but it is still ongoing.