Title: Platinum End Vol. 11 Author: Tsugumi Ohba (Story), Takeshi Obata (Art) Publisher: Viz Media Language: English Format: Paperback Pages: 208 Genre: Thriller Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Volume 11 of Platinum End sees the God Candidates assemble and hold a discussion with Muni, Angel of Destruction. He wants to know what each of them will do should they become God. If their answers are satisfactory, they can meet with the final God Candidate who was teased at the end of the last volume. They don’t really say anything and Muni disappears. They enact a plan to each go to different TV station buildings in order for them to focus their broadcast on them. They would then declare their intentions to everyone all over the world.
Everyone states their claims until they get to Mirai who says that he will do absolutely nothing. That answer convinces the final God Candidate to show himself. He ends up being revealed as Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Gaku Yoneda… someone who is highly respected as one of the world’s greatest minds. Yoneda goes into his own personal philosophies pertaining to God and religion. It’s actually a pretty interesting discussion that really makes you think about a lot of things! Despite that, in the end, their discussion is interrupted.
The world reacts to said interruption as Dr. Yoneda tells them to observe the world’s reaction and then choose a time and place to meet again for another discussion. Mirai wants to tell Dr. Yoneda that even if God doesn’t physically exist, there needs to be some symbol of God for people to believe in. The plan is to try and find a way to convince Dr. Yoneda that his theory is wrong and to find a mutual solution.
I didn’t really expect this volume to go deep into religious philosophy but here we are! Still, it was a pretty interesting read and it makes you wonder if it’s a shared philosophy of Ohba and Obata or if it’s just them channeling their creativity through a character? I did like the shocking turn of events but I don’t really want to say much because it would end up spoiling a big moment in the volume. Still, things are taking an interesting turn!
The big focus here is Dr. Yoneda. We learn of his background and how well-respected he is as a person and as a scientist. He is so respected that he even has a direct phone line to the Prime Minister of Japan. He even goes so far as to plead with him that the candidates much be protected rather than captured. This made Yoneda seem like some sort of paragon of virtue at first but it’s becoming clearer that he’s wishing for something a bit more complex… the destruction of the realm in which God exists. To do so, it would plunge the religious world into complete and utter chaos. Still, Yoneda doesn’t make it seem like such a big deal as it would only affect 0.1% of Earth’s population but that’s still 7 million people.
Mirai notes that and, of course, Mirai’s strong sense of justice that he had developed over these past ten volumes has kicked in. Mirai even goes so far as to make his decision that he will become the next God. As God, he really wants to do nothing as people being influenced by a higher being isn’t being a God at all… it’s being a Tyrant. That was something Yoneda shared his beliefs on which lead to their initial discussions.
I’m really liking Yoneda as a character. He’s calm and calculated and he seems to be reaching of a loftier goal than he initially led everyone to believe. He definitely has the respect and admiration of the people and top government officials. In fact, there are instances where people flat out stated that if Dr. Yoneda said it to be true, then they would blindly believe him. When you have that kind of influence and pull in the world, there is no way your ideals and goals are anything but pure and well-meant. Yoneda has all the potential in the world to be this series “final boss.” He certainly is in a position to do so and I can’t wait to see how his character develops!
Ohba and Obata, once again, prove to be a cerebral duo. Bringing religion and philosophy into the mix was a bold move as it could rub some people the wrong way. Some people may not realize that this is entertainment and it could come back to bite them in the long run. Still, despite taking the gamble on these kinds of sensitive views, I felt that it was all well-executed. I didn’t see that shocking moment coming and it actually took me off guard. Especially with the orders that were given and Yoneda’s conversation with the Prime Minister.
Also, I couldn’t help but laugh at the manga version of Kim Jong Un. He wasn’t mentioned by name and only addressed as “Supreme Leader” or “Dear Leader” but I found the subtle (and blatant) jabs at him pretty entertaining!
There wasn’t really a huge cliffhanger here in this one but it did serve as a way to make you question everything that happened and realize that there is a bigger picture to be had here. I wonder how the second discussion with Dr. Yoneda is going to go? There was also a quick reference to how time is running out and God is disappearing. I wonder if that has anything to do with Yoneda’s theory about God only existing off of the power of people praying to him? It really does make you think and I believe that this is the most interesting story arc yet!