Title: Platinum End Vol. 2 Author: Tsugumi Ohba (Story), Takeshi Obata (Art) Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 192 Genre: Thriller Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Volume two of Platinum End didn’t seem as rushed as the first volume. The manga definitely slowed down its pace and built upon the story volume one set up, but that isn’t to say that there were some parts that were rushed, though. When we left off, Mirai was pierced by a red arrow from Saki, his love interest. It was revealed that her angel, Revel (although the Japanese version has it as Rubel) was simply using their love so Mirai would go face Metripoliman and die in the process, thus thinning the ranks of the God candidates. Nasse intervenes and reveals the plan and it, oddly, ends up as a partnership between the four of them.
Once the partnership is established, the volume turns the attention fully on Metripoliman, who lures the other God candidates into an obvious trap. Saki and Mirai attend the stadium and try to remain in incognito mode as they watch Metripoliman’s plan unfold. To avoid spoilers, I won’t reveal what the plan was or what happens, but afterwards, an apparent new ally shows up on Mirai and Saki’s doorstep which leaves us on a bit of a cliffhanger.
This may sound vague to avoid spoilers, but I was actually shocked that Ohba and Obata went down the path they did when it came to Metripoliman’s plan. The outcome isn’t really anything new that you would see in any anime or manga, but one of the circumstances is something I could see getting cut if this were adapted into a television anime just for morality sake. It did push the envelope just a little bit, but don’t mistake my words as I am not condemning what I read. In fact, I rather enjoyed it because they dared to do something not a lot of authors would do. It was a risky decision, but I think it paid off well and the characters’ reactions to it was played off very well.
After the rushed intro volume, the series has seemed to find a nice pace. Although I did feel it was a bit rushed at the conclusion of the trap scenario, there is still plenty of things left to build upon and it has me excited to see what volume three will bring to the table.
Mirai doesn’t go through much development in this volume until the very end. Even still, that development is only beginning to plant its seeds so we’ll have to see if anything grows out of it. Mirai is starting to have a bit of a moral dilemma and with the flashbacks to aid it, you’re starting to get a glimpse of who Mirai really is. It is obvious that the Mirai of today and the Mirai back at the start in volume one are two completely different people, but just because his personality changed doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to explore and I think we’re just starting to get to the surface of this character and I like it so far.
Revel (or Rubel… whichever you prefer) seemed to do a quick 180. He comes off as passive aggressive and prefers to be called a tactician… even though he quickly gets put in his place by Nasse. There still seems to be some cunning or hidden intent with Revel, but the volume just kind of forgot about that towards the end. Maybe it did that on purpose to make you forget that Revel is a tactician only to be reminded when the situation calls for it. It is a classic misdirection tactic, but we’ll have to wait and see if this truly is such a tactic. I hope so, otherwise Revel may have broken a speed record for becoming a character that can be considered as a background afterthought.
Metripoliman is pretty straight forward. He simply wants to become God and understands that there can be only one. He just wants to eliminate everyone in his way, but his true intentions for becoming God, outside of greed, are not really known. On the surface, he seems ruthless and cunning, but some of his dialogue suggests that there is a level-headed humbleness about him. It’s really hard to get a read on this character. I guess “calculated” would be a good way to describe him. I’m just not getting a “major villain” vibe from him and since this is a battle royal-style story and Metripoliman is being portrayed as the first major obstacle, I can see him just being nothing more than introductory cannon fodder. We’ll see, though.
No use talking about the other characters since they came and left before I could make a cup of coffee. I will say one thing, however. It really does annoy me when series treat characters like that. They get introduced, next to no development and then those characters disappear. Making characters like that is just pointless because they end up as nothing more than plot devices. I’ve always been a supporter of developing characters first so that when it is time for them to write them out of the story, their departures are more impactful and meaningful. Not everyone shares my style, though. That is the reality of it.
This was a much better volume of Platinum End, pacing wise. I hope the series can keep up with this kind of pacing from here on out. The character development feels like a slow burn and I’m completely fine with that. I want to grow up with the characters and I want time to ingest and digest every bit of information about them so I can appreciate them more. Platinum End looks to be heading that route and, honestly, it’s to be expected. We saw the same kind of character development in Death Note and Bakuman so it would be weird to see Ohba and Obata change their style now.
I have this nagging feeling that this new “ally” is nothing more than another trap. It was, most certainly, set up that way so we’ll have to wait until volume three to see if that really plays out as such. While it wasn’t the biggest cliffhanger they could have gone with, it was still pretty interesting. Just the art style and character design alone made you guess if this was legit or another trap. In fact, I think it would have worked a lot better without any dialogue whatsoever! Just have the tapping on the window, the face of the new character and then a reaction shot of Saki and Mirai and end it right there. But yeah, apples and oranges I suppose.
Still a great volume and another good addition to this new series. If you haven’t read Platinum End yet, go ahead and pick this one up! It’s shaping up to be another epic like Ohba and Obata’s previous works!
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