Story by Tsugumi Ohba
Art by Takeshi Obata
Platinum End showed promise in the beginning chapter, and it gradually declined in quality through the next few chapters. If chapter four did not set off any warning bells, chapter five likely will. The super sentai angle with Metropoliman seemed like a minor novelty before, yet this chapter introduces four more costume clad characters, two of whom are god candidates, named Shogo and Saburo. The reason for the costumes are not entirely clear, and said costumes seem to serve no purpose in the narrative at the moment, apart from possibly concealing the character’s identities from the public. Thanks to the chapter’s need to cram in as much material as possible, it is hazy whether one or both of the newly introduced god candidates are murdered by Metropoliman by chapter’s end.
Which brings about this chapter’s biggest issue: pacing. So much happens this chapter it never allows time for events to sink in. It is a struggle simply distinguishing Shogo and Saburo apart from each other despite this chapter revolving around the pair almost entirely. It was not necessary in the slightest to give these two a tragic back story only to have them killed within the same chapter. The villain, Metropoliman, himself has a needlessly complicated plot to eliminate the other god candidates too. This feels like such a problem, as if more thought was put into his plot than even the equally unnecessary backstories given to Shogo and Saburo.
Yet another god candidate is introduced this chapter: a young girl named Chiyo. If chapter two felt like it covered some questionable content, chapter five features a scene in which Metropoliman uses a love arrow on a girl who appears to be no more than ten, followed by her calling him “master.” Adding to the evidence that Ohba is incapable of writing female characters well, this scene coupled with the fact that Chiyo adds nothing to the plot apart from further over stuffing the chapter to pad the series out longer. Despite the fact Ohba and Obata wrote at least two series together, it is amazing that this is only chapter five, and yet, it feels as if too much and nothing were simultaneously accomplished.
It feels like a child was saying “and then… and then…” the entire time. Mirai and Saki hardly appear in this chapter at all, and rather than introducing characters that might have importance later on all that remains is question marks. I honestly could not tell you what is happening much of the time, even within the universe’s own logic. This chapter is a spectacle to say the least. At no point is it clear who this manga is actually geared towards.
Platinum End will appeal to people who enjoy “so bad it’s good” type media, but that does not feel as if it was the intent. Five chapters deep, with plenty of mature rated material, super sentai costumes, printed in a magazine targeted towards teenagers does not help matters. Platinum End is both a baffling and awful piece of entertainment with plenty of discussion points. It feels as if even the surface of this series has barely been scratched at this point.