The dream team is back. From the creators of the smash hit Death Note comes a new series about a boy who wants to die and the angel who saves him.
On the day he graduated from middle-school, Mirai Kakehashi decided that he wanted to die. Fed up with the depressing nature of his existence, Mirai closed his eyes and jumped off a nearby skyscraper but when he opened them again, he found that himself in the arms of an angel. Revealing herself to be his guardian angel, Mirai is given the choice between wings to fly anywhere and arrows make anyone fall in love with him for 33 days. Seizing the chance to take both powers, Mirai uses them to discover the truth about his life, allowing him to finally find a reason to live.
Chapter 1 of Platinum End is full of potential, delivering a fantastic opening which establishes its premise in bombastic manner. Much like Death Note, Platinum End’s story is darker in tone, following Mirai’s first meeting with his guardian angel and his first use of his new powers. Ohba presents a compelling hook by taking the inherently optimistic conclusion Mirai comes to in deciding to live and adding a very dark undertone in foreshadowing the lengths he might go to achieve this. This is reminiscent of an early Light Yagami in the sense in that both characters receive life-altering powers and while Light’s initial reaction is to use his powers to create the ideal world, Mirai’s ambitions are potentially much more selfish in nature.
Platinum End also appears to be a successor to Death Note’s continual contrast between “good” and “evil”, and its commitment to showing relativistic nature of these concepts. This is made apparent in this chapter through Mirai’s angel, who gives advice strongly suggesting Mirai use his powers for his own gain, even if the surrounding results are darker than one might expect an angel to tolerate. The end of the chapter excitingly ties this all together in revealing the wider context behind her sudden interest in Mirai. It’s definitely worth witnessing firsthand so I won’t spoil it, but I loved how many potential directions this story could go in. It will be very interesting to see if Mirai does indeed go down the dark path that Ohba appears to foreshadow but either way I can’t wait to see what will happen to Mirai and his angel.
In terms of its art, Platinum End delivers more of the fantastic art that Obata is known for. I can’t say enough about how well Obata’s art complements Ohba’s writing, perfectly emphasizing the thematic contrast between light and dark. There are several standout panels in this chapter that Obata’s realistic yet stylized design renders perfectly, showcasing the sense of wonder Mirai feels at this new powers. Most strikingly, Obata portrays the angelic in a way that conveys their almost unsettling perfection, which notably accentuates the difference between the conventional understanding of “good” and the one seemingly represented by Mirai’s angel.
Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata have done it again, delivering a new series that manages to be unique and fresh while feeling like a logical progression of their work on Death Note. This chapter delivers an incredibly compelling hook in 70 pages, opening a whole range of possibilities for the series. Jump in, this series is going to be a winner.
Verdict: Yes, you should read this! (We’ll wait on providing a score until there is more out)
Platinum End Chapter 1 was released on November 4th, 2015. Written by Tsugumi Ohba and drawn by Takeshi Obata, the series is currently serialized in Shueisha’s monthly Jump SQ magazine. The series is licensed for simultaneous digital publication by Viz Media and each chapter is available for purchase digitally for $0.99 the same day is releases in Japan.
You can find Platinum End for legal purchase right here from Viz:
This review was done reading the official and legal release sold digitally by Viz Media, and all images shown in this review are excerpted from this version. Please support manga creators by reading legally.
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