Anime First Reaction: Platinum End

Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata have produced two incredible series thus far in Death Note and Bakuman. I’ve been a fan of their work and when I heard that they were collaborating once again on a new series, Platinum End, that was all I needed to know in order to check it out. The manga is finished in Japan and is one volume away from finishing in the US as of the time of this writing. It has been a manga I have been reading and reviewing for VIZ Media so I was pretty ecstatic when I heard that it was getting a TV anime adaptation! However, I have learned my lessons the hard way that being a naïve anime-only watcher gave me the best satisfaction when watching a show. Did Platinum End deliver a faithful adaptation or did it make me wish I had never read the manga first?

Let’s Go!

First Episode Synopsis

Mirai wants to die. He feels that he can no longer be happy in this world and that happiness is something that is no longer possible to obtain. To end it all, he chooses to throw himself off of the roof of a skyscraper; however, before he hits the ground, he is saved by Nasse, a special-rank angel. Nasse wants to prove to Mirai that he can have the happiness he desires.

She offers him both wings and arrows. Wings will allow him to fly faster than the human eye can see so he can go wherever he wants and be free. As far as the arrows go, his are red. If you pierce someone with a red arrow, it will force them to fall madly in love with you. Mirai doesn’t believe it but when he tests out the wings, he gains a sense of true freedom that he had never felt before.

When it comes to the arrow; however, he has to test it in a way he never expected. Nasse knows everything about Mirai… which means she also knows that it was his aunt and uncle who killed his family. Apparently, they had a lot of money and that’s all they were after. When Mirai learns this, he fires the red arrow into his aunt and forces her to confess. He then wishes she would die and since she now unconditionally loves Mirai… and has done something that death is an acceptable atonement (that part is pretty important as you can’t kill people with the red arrow if they haven’t done anything worthy of having death be a form of atonement), she takes a butcher knife and stabs herself in the throat, committing suicide.

Mirai escapes the scene and uses the red arrow on some hotel clerk who lets him stay there for free. There, Nasse remembers what she meant to tell him before… that there are a total of 13 candidates just like him to become the new God, each with their own angel and powers. As she’s explaining this, we see a man in some sort of superhero suit using a white arrow… one that grants a peaceful death instantly to anyone it touches… killing what we can presume to be one of the 13 God candidates.

Ladies and gentlemen… we have a battle royale on our hands!

Worth Watching?

YESPlatinum End was/is a phenomenal manga series. While I don’t think it’s as good as Death Note or Bakuman, it’s not really worse by a huge margin. It’s still very well-written and the first episode of the anime did a great job of adapting it faithfully. I do not know if it will continue to do so; however, there is a bit of a sneaky timing with this that suggests we won’t have to worry about it going the anime-only route.

The first hint is that the manga is done. There is no reason to change anything! (I know, I know… The Promised Neverland). But the difference between Platinum End and The Promised Neverland is that Platinum End is a shorter series (14 volumes vs 20), and we are being given 24 episodes to let this play out!

If you do the math, 24 episodes will cause the anime to end in March of 2022. Conveniently, that is the same month the 14th and final volume of the manga is scheduled to publish outside of Japan. Of course, you can go to any scanlation site and read the conclusion to it now if you wanted to but for someone like me who tries his hardest to stay faithful and not read ahead on series I am reviewing for a partner company, seeing the conclusion in the anime and the manga at the same time is pretty exciting.

In any event, this should be a great series and if you are a fan of Ohba and Obata, then this should be a show that you check out!