Story by Tsugumi Ohba
Art by Takeshi Obata
With the nonsense behind it, Platinum End explores actual ideas and themes this chapter. Chapter six sees the end, as well as the fallout of the spectacle the series has been revolving around the last few chapters. Saburo and Chiyo are murdered one after the other by Metropoliman who threatens the other god candidates to come forward. The entire time Mirai feels he needs to finally intervene, but is prevented from doing so by Nasse and Saki. This chain of events, and the aftermath that follows, rattles the series to the core. Some of Ohba’s most well-known previous protagonists feel like sociopaths and/or outcasts who have little attachment to humanity, so it is refreshing too see a leading character who has a moral code he abides by.
Platinum End feels as if it is a reaction of sorts to Death Note, Takeshi Obata’s and Tsugumi Ohba’s previous, more famous collaboration, with a fundamentally different message: what is right and wrong, and what makes life the way it is? The potential answer in this case is that people should do what is right because it will hopefully lead to a better world. This message is conveyed through Mirai’s father in a flashback to a seemingly ordinary moment in Mirai’s childhood. It is a moving scene: Mirai feels conflicted between a message he learned, that his now deceased father taught him, and his current circumstances, which will inevitably involve taking innocent lives. Metropoliman finally feels like an excellent foil to Mirai.
Metropoliman’s argument for murdering the other god candidates is simply that he is tasked with carrying out the end goal all god candidates are tasked with. That being eliminating the other god candidates, thus ending the game. Nasse and Saki also finally get to have a more active role in the plot. Saki has been in the background through the past few chapters and it was nice seeing her finally being allowed to have a proactive role in preventing Mirai from risking his life against a foe that neither of them is ready to face. This all being said the foul taste the last chapter left has not been completely forgotten, as there was absolutely no reason Metropoliman’s plot needed to be so needlessly complicated, it is just nice to see some positive after effects from it.
The pacing has also mercifully slowed down, allowing some room to process matters. It also gives the events more meaning: instead of leaping from plot point to plot point, it is nice seeing Platinum End being allowed to dig into what is easily one of Ohba’s best writing qualities thematic elements. Equally pleasing is the fact that Saki is allowed to feel more like an actual character as opposed to being feeling like a doll.
Although, of course, it is not given much room to be explored in the chapter because of whom Platinum End’s writer is, Saki seems equally rattled by the situation. I wish Saki’s emotions were allowed to be explored in this series. Nasse is allowed to have more of a personality in the manga since she is not the romantic interest, thankfully, and the same goes for Lepel, whose calm and collected throughout the chapters and is thinking mostly of what to do moving forward by the end. Platinum End seems to be implying there is more to Nasse than meets the eye, and that her motives are more complex than the angel companions for the other god candidates introduced thus far. This becomes completely clear through her interactions with Metropoliman at the height of the chapter’s conflict. Nasse states that she wants “happiness” for Mirai although what that happiness entails is not yet entirely clear.
Chapter six marks a significant improvement over most of the previous chapters, save for the pilot, as the series seems to have more of a direction and identity now that the events at the stadium are in the past. Chapter six also does much better with pacing rather than rushing matters. I remain cautiously optimistic for chapters to come.