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Platinum End – “Gift From An Angel” Recap

Posted on the 12 November 2015 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Platinum End splashWhat would happen if Mashiro from Bakuman lost his family, lived with people that treats him like dirt, and suddenly was granted power like Light from Death Note?

You’d get Platinum End, and I’ll stick to my what-if scenario because it works somehow.

Editor’s Note: This will be a spoiler-heavy discussion on the first chapter of Tsugumi Obata and Takeshi Obata’s Platinum End. Those who intend to read the first chapter probably should wait to read this.

Platinum End -

“Every human being is born for the sake of being happy. Every human being lives for the sake of being happier.”

From the first two sentences in Platinum End, the manga’s theme is clear. That leads to one question: how much will it beat that theme over our heads?

For now, a lot.

It starts with middle school student Mirai Kakehashi attempting suicide. He doesn’t do it immediately — he first steals melon bread, then goes home and jumps off his apartment building. He doesn’t get to see Heaven or Hell, as he’s saved by a guardian angel, Nasse. She tells him he can have one thing: freedom, to go wherever he wants, or love, to make someone love him. He chooses both since he believes she’s lying. When she does grant him these powers, reality starts to set in.

Platinum “Gift From Angel” Recap

When he used “freedom”, to gain wings and fly wherever he wanted, he cried. He didn’t know why, but this is when he starts to understand happiness. He’s never known that since he showed a drawing of his family to his mom as a kid. He’s been treated like crap by his aunt, uncle, and cousins since having to live with them, and has no friends. Flying can be considered freedom since there are places you can go by flying, so, for someone who’s been unhappy since childhood, it’s a new feeling for him.

If only this was a story about Mirai’s happiness though. I think everything is being done for Nasse’s happiness. What’s Nasse going to accomplish by being with Mirai? She’s granted him powers, but she’s doing this to please her god, an aging god ready to retire. God wants a human replacement, and I can tell she’s doing whatever she can to have Mirai be that god, since it’ll benefit her. You don’t suggest granting powers without having ulterior motives, and if casually revealing to Mirai that his family was killed by his uncle and aunt will help her attain that goal, then so be it.

Nasse’s not going to accomplish this easily though, as she has 12 other angels that are tasked to find human replacements. You wonder what’s the criteria to become god, as it wasn’t explained who’s an ideal candidate. Could it be themed? For those who lost happiness? Lost someone important? Or someone born with fortune, or is corrupt? I guess it’ll relate to the angels and their personality, but that could be inaccurate since Nasse has the “angel” personality yet encourages stealing, mind control, and could not care less that Mirai’s aunt killed herself since she was complicit in the death of Mirai’s family.

Platinum End - Their relationship will become clear the more this series continues

Miscellaneous Thoughts

  • It’s really hard not to note the similarities between Platinum End and Death Note. Aside from character personality, both Mirai and Light are given powers by otherwordly beings, both manage to believe it’s a scam, both manage to accidentally kill someone, and both change their beliefs on life. You could say there’s a difference between what Mirai’s goals are compared to Light, and with only one chapter out, it’s a fair question. My thinking is Light ultimately was “happy” killing people who were criminals — I have reason to believe so far Mirai will do whatever he can to be “happy”. If anything separates the two, it’s Ryuk and Nasse. Ryuk couldn’t care less what’s done in the Death Note, and maintains neutral throughout his time. Nasse, however, has a goal, and that should differentiate it from Death Note the more this goes on.
  • Do numbers play an importance in this manga? God has given his angels 999 days to find a successor. As the internet proves, 999 is not a throwaway number. When Nesse revealed to Mirai he can make someone love him for 33 days with the angel arrows, I immediately thought, “there’s no way that’s random.” Lo and behold, it’s not. As the story takes shape, I think it’s important to keep numbers in mind. They have to come into play at some point right?
  • Nasse claims that the only demons that exist are in man’s hearts as Mirai questions why, as an angel, she’s promoting stealing and mind control to him. That was her response, alongside saying demons don’t exist. This is a good way of saying there are good angels and there are bad angels. This also makes you question whether Heaven or Hell actually exist — this was actually something Mirai wanted to know when he thought he killed himself. I imagine this work will go over that, and wonder if it’ll be good.
  • Obata’s art is wonderful, and it’s great in this chapter. His drawing of Mirai’s aunt after she was hit by an angel arrow and spilled the beans on how Mirai’s family died felt fake in its depiction of her struggling. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t really love him, but I’m not going to take it that far.
  • Further explanation of the Bakuman scenario — the first page has a drawing by Mirai of his family. That’s confirmed when he speaks to his mom and shows him the picture. The quote about being happy is from his mom to Mirai.

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