The fourth chapter of Platinum End is out now, but we’ve still yet to have covered the third chapter! Let’s take a look and see what new excitement and depravity awaits.
Platinum End #3 (Viz Media)
Drawn by: Takeshi Obata
Translated by: Stephen Paul
Following the death of one of the God candidates, Mirai Kakehashi has been deep in thought about who could have killed that man and whether or not it will affect him. However, the answer soon becomes apparent when a huge news broadcast is aired and a person called Metropoliman appears. What does he want and what does this event mean for all of the candidates?
While the second chapter felt lacking when it came to story in some regard, this third outing easily makes up for that. Platinum End #3 balances both story and character progression very well, leading to a very engaging chapter with an out-of-nowhere sucker punch of an ending twist. Story wise, we see more of the mysterious individual that killed Rodriguez in the last issue, now identified as “Metropoliman,” who is also revealed to be our new antagonist. Mirai and Nasse get to see him in action and learn about his “motivations;” how he poses a risk and threatens to ruin Mirai’s newfound happiness. We get to learn about more angels like Nasse and what exactly entails being a God candidate, which clears up possible plot holes and questions that might arise (like why doesn’t our lead just give up being a candidat?). Then comes the ending, which brings the story to a new potential setting with new characters and of course the rather surprising twist (which is good regarding what Mirai and Nasse have been saying about the red arrows). It’s all a very solidly constructed story; even though it continues to do a lot of setup and exposition, it keeps you engaged and wanting to know more.
The characterization is really good as well and helps contribute to the story. In particular, we continue to get good development with Mirai, who is having to deal with this new threatening situation. He reacts naturally to the revelation regarding Metropoliman and what the figure wants to do, going into a deep funk and being unsure of what to do now. How he gets out of it and him deciding to go to school regardless makes a lot of sense given what he says and how he has been developing so far. The same extends to his feelings regarding the white and red arrows, seeing how destructive they could be. He’s developing rather nicely and it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next chapter given the ending.
Shopping and mind control. Truly the most fun things ever for an angel.
While we don’t get much of a read on Metropoliman’s personality given that he is acting most of the issue, he still makes a strong impression. He seems to have a better understanding of his own angel powers and appears to be good at manipulating people, with or without the use of the red arrows. His own angel is still a mystery, though her design at least is interesting. Then there is twist with Saki at the end and the fact she has an angel as well. Her angel comes off as rather imposing and confrontational, while she seems meek and quiet in comparison.
The artwork was really on point this issue. While the usual praises for the characters and designs still apply, the real highlights go to the action and the double-page spreads within the comic. There’s an action sequence where we get to see Metropoliman in action as he takes down some bank robbers. While slightly static, the artist does a great job making this character’s movements look fast and flow naturally enough from panel to panel so you can easily follow. It looks intense, especially when there’s gunfire going on and people get shot. The double-page spreads, even though there are not many, are beautiful in how they are laid out and shown. They are often used to convey the intensity or shock of a moment, like when an arrow is shot at someone and it pierces through them, and the detail really gives the moment power.
Luckily, there are only a few problems in this volume overall. There is one plot point that’s rather disappointing, making it seem like all of the God Candidates are in Japan. While the fourth issue confirms it and gives a reason, it seems a bit too contrived that all of the candidates are confined to one country when the angels should be looking for candidates all over the world. There are a few moments that feel too familiar to other mangas,–for instance, Metropoliman’s big introduction is kind of reminiscent of L’s first appearance in Death Note. There’s also the tap dancing around the ugly and uncomfortable issues with red arrows and mind control. While the main character seems to acknowledge the problems they cause and that using them would require a lot of thought, he never seems to get the darker implications of them (it’s hard to tell if it’s just the character or the writer who doesn’t get it).
Platinum End #3 is a solid continuation of the last issue, even improving on the lack of story progression from the last issue. The characters are continuing to grow in obvious or subtle ways, while the cast is expanding in good ways as well. This is shaping up to be a good series so far and hopefully it continues to be so into the future.