By Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba
The creators of Death Note reunite, once again, to tell another psychological thriller. Platinum End, however, makes Death Note seem like rainbows and a field of daffodils. That is not to say it is bad, but needless to say, there is a reason why it was bumped up to a mature rating soon after its release. As with most protagonists from this creative team, Mirai feels isolated from the rest of society. The first chapter follows his attempt at death and his rebirth at the hands of an angel. The angel herself, is among about a dozen others tasked with determining the next god.
The premiere chapter of the story is an origin story of sorts for Mirai. It really drives the point home of how traumatized he is by the entire situation. At least thus far, Mirai feels more human than Light from the creative duo’s most famous series Death Note. The reason Death Note is to be mentioned is due to the fact that the two share a few very common aspects prominently. First, both feature a winged figure from their respective series’ interpretation of the afterlife. Second, both series feature a twisted game or what is ostensibly treated as one.
This is probably among the darkest Shonen Jump offerings to be brought over to date. In the first chapter alone, the protagonist attempted suicide and murdered his aunt, to name a few of the chapter’s more grim aspects. The artwork in Platinum End is slick and very detailed as one would expect from Takeshi Obata although it is not on the same level as his artwork for his work immediately prior to this, Gakkyu Hotei. Gakkyu Hotei’s artwork, especially in its earliest chapters, practically has the characters and backgrounds leaping off the page brought the world to life. That Level of detail and visual innovation was partly missing from the premiere chapter of Platinum End, although it was still rather refined, this is Obata after all.
The first chapter has a slight tendency to borrow ideas and concepts from other titles including the duo’s previous work but that makes it no less compelling in its own right. What the chapter does with those ideas are spun differently, to an extent, and the book is still a trill to read. Chapter 1 of Platinum End does a fantastic job of establishing its world and characters, is a must read for fans of the creative team, or even those who just follow Obata’s work.
You can check out the first chapter of Platinum End on Comixology.