Title: Platinum End Vol. 4
Author: Tsugumi Ohba (Story), Takeshi Obata (Art)
Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
In volume four of Platinum End, Mr. Mukado and Mirai are facing off against Metropoliman atop the tower. They are put into a situation where they must choose between sacrificing one of their lives or Metropoliman will end up blowing up another building. A back and forth goes on between Metropoliman and Mirai in which they decide that Metropoliman is bluffing about the second bomb. Despite them feeling that it’s a bluff, they take no chances and Mirai attacks him in and attempt to hit him with a red arrow. Eventually, it becomes 2-on-1 when Mr. Mukado recovers. Metropoliman takes a blow to the face and his mask shatters, partially revealing his identity! This causes him to escape the scene.
With these clues, they all congregate at Saki’s apartment and try to hash out the details, thinking that they can use this information to narrow down their search for him. Being a couple of years older than Mirai, they suspect he is a student, but because of privacy protection laws, asking around for student information is going to be rather difficult. Due to the injury he sustained when his mask shattered, they thought about looking for students who may be absent from school, but that didn’t produce any results for them, either.
Meanwhile, Saki wants Mirai to sleep with her because she has something to discuss and asks Nasse and Rubel to leave them alone. We’re given a nice backstory on Saki and it explains some of her emotions. After an eye-opening moment between the two, Saki makes up her mind and this is how our volume ends.
Story-wise, it seems we’ve hit a bit of a transitional period. We wrapped up the first battle with Metropoliman and now it’s time to simmer things down with a bit of an information analyzation. Add in some much-needed character development for Saki, who just seemed like a fly on the wall up until this point, and we have a pretty well-balanced chapter that’s setting up some bigger things next volume!
Saki got the bulk of the development in this volume. When Mirai lost his family, the kids at school picked on him. After being friends since kindergarten, Saki succumbed to peer pressure and joined in on making fun of Mirai. This made her feel uncomfortable and decided to offer her apology to Mirai during graduation, but she witnessed Mirai’s suicide attempt instead. Thinking that she was part of the reason that drove him to such lengths, she wanted to commit suicide herself. That is when she met her angel, Rubel. She was relieved when she discovered that Mirai was alive, but she always felt that deep down, Mirai hated her. She still wanted to die because she couldn’t live with the guilt, but Mirai put her in a life or death situation and her true feelings came out.
Saki’s backstory gave her a bit of depth, but it didn’t really connect with me all that much. I get the whole thing about feeling guilty… about thinking how you drove someone to kill themselves and how it weighed on your mind, but why would you want to die after you knew they were alive? Especially when that person is there in your very own home? I can understand letting out your feelings and coming clean with Mirai, which she did, but to continue to have a death wish seems a little far-fetched. I was fine with the development up until that point. I just think they could have handled it a little bit better.
Mirai’s development is still very flip-floppy. His battle with Metropoliman was the first time he had ever been in a real fight. We learned how he just absorbed his parent’s abuse and how he pretended not to hear people making fun of him. He was never a confrontational person so this experience was very new to him. He was a complete and total mental mess after his battle, but Mr. Mukado was there to help him through it, giving him support. Still, he decides to continue to press on, which was a bit of a big pill to swallow. Mirai changed his mind a bit too quickly. I would have drawn those emotions out further… perhaps even splintering from the group for a bit until a situation made him realize that he had to fight. Maybe it’s a bit cliché to do things that way, but I’m a fan of slow burns and Mirai’s quick turnaround on his decision was anything but a slow burn. It felt a bit unnatural, to be honest.
I have some mixed feelings on this volume of Platinum End. While I think the hunt for Metropoliman’s true identity is off to a good start, I think they rushed things a bit with the character development. While it’s nice to see Saki finally get some attention, I would have liked to have seen Mirai’s conflicted emotions play a bigger, more integral role than what they have.
One key point to remember is that Metropoliman still has more bombs planted around the city so we know that this isn’t going to be the only encounter between them. The end of the volume has our team gearing up to take him on again so it feels as if a second battle is not too far off in the future. I don’t know if this means that Metropoliman is going to turn into the series’ main antagonist or if this is just one big, giant arc, but I guess time will give us the answer to those questions. We still have yet to explore the other God candidates in bigger detail so I would like to see those characters introduced in future volumes.
There was one revelation in this volume that made things even more interesting. Mirai noted to Metropoliman that it was never stated that the God candidates had to kill each other to win this “battle.” Only Metropoliman put that idea into our heads which completely changes the dynamic of this series. It makes you wonder it this will continue to be a Battle Royale-style story once Metropoliman is taken care of. Just that one little speech bubble opens the door for a wide variety of directions that this series can go in and with Ohba and Obata at the helm, I’m excited to explore those possibilities in the future!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheAnimePulse
You can also check out other The Outerhaven reviews on your favorite social media networks:
This item was provided for review by Viz Media