What would you do if given the power to freely go anywhere you want? What would you do if you had the power to control the heart of anyone you choose? From the makers of Death Note comes a new story which challenges our perception of human nature with its very dark emotional plot line, Platinum End. Given the power of freedom, how far would you go for the chance to become God?
Saved by an Angel
Young Kakehashi Mirai has just graduated middle school but unlike his peers,holds no enthusiasm for the future. Ever since the death of his parents and little brother in a tragic car accident, Mirai has been living with his abusive aunt and uncle. Convinced that he will never be happy Mirai goes to the roof of a tall building and jumps off end it all.
“Everyone is born to be happy. Everyone lives because they want more happiness”
Instead of death, Mirai finds himself saved by his Guardian Angel Nasse who wishes to give him hope and make him happy. Nasse offers him the power of Angel Wings to fly faster than the human eye can see and the power of Angel Arrows to control the hearts of others and for a moment, Mirai finds that he would like to live and find his own happiness.
By accepting the Nasse’s gifts, Mirai becomes one of 12 God Candidates, one of which will be chosen to become God in 999 days. Before Mirai has a chance to properly process this new reality, other candidates begin to make their own moves landing Mirai in an inevitable battle for the life he has finally decided that he wants.
Angles and Man
Right from the start its easy to see that the characters of this manga are much more than what one would expect. The primary duo of Mirai and Nasse are the perfect example of the complexity of the manga’s characters. Mirai is a depressed loner and although this is explained early on with the introduction of his family tragedy it is not changed after his decision to live. In fact, it is slowly alluded to that his depression may not be fully rooted in the tragedy, so much as the view of the world. Mirai shows signs of being wise beyond his years, and while emotional, he is also capable of approaching situations in the most reasonable and responsible manner, such as getting his Uncle arrested.
The other half of the duo Nasse has a bright, upbeat personality, but a certain ignorance of reality which can be explained by her angelic existence outside of realm of humanity. Nasse’s mannerisms show a certain innocence which soon becomes borderline sociopathic as she is constantly found encouraging Mirai to use his Wings and Arrows to commit acts she believes will bring him happiness such as murder or forcing his crush to fall in love his him.
The contrast in their personalities makes for a great dynamic as they both simply strive for Mirai’s happiness, but their approaches, rather than causing conflict, forms a sort of harmony in their forward strides together.
As the story progresses beyond the first chapter the world begins the expand and various other characters begin to appear. The candidacy for God is explained and it is briefly shown that each of the thirteen angels have their own motivation in selecting their candidates. Where as Nasse genuinely wants to make Mirai happy, there are angels who just want to get things over with, angels who just want to play with the humans, and of course, angels who seek power for themselves by being the one to find the next God.
When the first few candidates begin to show up we slowly begin to see what these seemingly simple powers are truly capable of based on the intent of the wielder. Where as one God Candidate uses his arrows for the personal gains of having a celebrity orgy, another issues a challenge, becoming a hero to the public as he declares his intent to take out all other candidates till he is the last man standing.
The mix of characters, intentions, and personalities make the story a curious tale as no one is what they at first appear. As the volume began to shift gears into a more climactic nature it became obvious that one of the thrills to this series is definitely the things we aren’t being told.
Volume 1 Final Verdict
If you loved Death Note or Bakuman, Platinum End is like coming home. I honestly don’t recommend it for everyone as some people aren’t able to cope with the high level of emotions and this kind of fantasy tale; however, if you can handle it, this is a must read.
Platinum End’s art style is reminiscent of its predecessors while remaining modern. The characters are interesting and can easily pique the curiosity of anyone and if all else fails the volume does not fail to lure you in with the pure shock value. The final pages of chapter 3 will leave you stunned and begging for more. I can’t wait for Volume 2.