Platinum End: Chapter Two
by Takeshi Obata and Tsugumi Ohba
Chapter two of Platinum End mostly fills in holes from the first chapter. It also does a decent job of establishing its antagonist. Ohba managed to establish the latter in the first chapter of one of his most famous works. Chapter one was for the most part a grim prologue for the story to come. Chapter two slowly starts to move the cogs and wheels in the series forward, setting the plot in motion by the end of the chapter. One positive about Platinum End is that it’s easy to follow. It does not require too much effort to understand characters, motivations, and how the system the series has established works.
A moment early in the chapter, in which the protagonist relived the horrors of his past, does a good job of rounding out the character. That being said, this chapter is amazingly more graphic than the previous one in a scene in the middle that I’m amazed Viz didn’t censor. I can’t help but wonder if this series would be better suited for an older audience than its targeted demographic.
The benefit to this series taking its time is that it allows the reader to get a better sense of its world. A lot if information about setting is being thrown the reader’s way this chapter. For the most part, it does not rely too heavily on exposition in this chapter, in contrast to awkwardly giving the audience the world building as just words in a notebook between chapters.
Subtlety is not in this chapter’s vocabulary. The first villain in the series, who’s disposed of by chapter’s end, is little more than a caricature of a human being with no gripping motivation or redeeming character traits. The next antagonist seems far more compelling, so far. There’s not much about him this chapter but he might be a very interesting character. They seem to be setting him up as an anti-hero thus far, which makes a nice foil to the rather pure-hearted protagonist. Platinum End chapter two is definitely worth a read for fans of this creative team; the series has its flaws early on, mostly in lack of restraint, and antagonists without much to offer besides padding the story, but this manga has potential. It’s going to be very interesting to see how the series progresses in future chapters and if there is more to this than at first glance.