Is Platinum End Good? An Honest Review of the Anime and Manga
One of the most highly anticipated anime during the second half of 2021 was Platinum End. Of course, considering that this anime came from the brilliant mind of Tsugumi Ohba, the same person who gave us Death Note, it would be easy to think that Platinum End would be just as good. So, with that in mind, is Platinum End a good anime?
Platinum End isn’t necessarily bad, but it isn’t the best anime out there as well. It has a subpar 6.31 rating on MyAnimeList, and while that doesn’t mean it’s bad, it certainly doesn’t stand out. The anime is the victim of the author’s success, as people simply compare it to Death Note and Bakuman.
The problem with certain anime is that expectations tend to be their downfall, especially when people are putting them on a high pedestal. That is the same case for Platinum End, which necessarily isn’t bad but ended up disappointing people when it couldn’t reach their high expectations. With that said, you might want to look at our honest and in-depth review of Platinum End.
How Good Is Platinum End Anime?
Context Is Everything
When it comes to talking about Platinum End, it is important that we take context into consideration because of how context is everything in an anime just like this one. Of course, in terms of context, we are going to make sure that we look at this anime as objectively as possible.
So, contextually speaking, Platinum isn’t the worst anime out there, but it could have certainly been better if you would take into context the fact that expectations are really high for it. If some other author came out with this anime, it might have received better reviews from viewers and critics alike. But while Platinum End isn’t the worst anime out there (it certainly isn’t), it could have done a lot better.
In a manner of speaking, Platinum End became the victim of its own success because of the very fact that it came from the same author that gave us both Death Note and Bakuman, which are anime that have received remarkable reviews from audiences and critics alike. So, if you’ve already seen what the author is capable of, you would simply expect the same product on a consistent basis.
Think of it this way. When you’ve already seen LeBron James play at his best, you would always expect the best from him. Anything less than his 100% would be a disappointment, and that’s the same case for Tsugumi Ohba and Platinum End.
Expectations were already high when Platinum End was announced, and the promotional materials certainly helped in building the hype, especially for those who haven’t read the manga. And while studios are supposed to promote their anime, the promotion for Platinum End just placed it on an even higher pedestal when compared to the other anime.
Of course, the author also entered an entirely different world compared to Death Note and Bakuman when he created Platinum End because we are looking at a battle royale here. The story follows Mirai, who has had a bad life due to the death of his parents and the abuse coming from his relatives. When he finally decides to end it all, his “guardian angel” saves him and gives him new abilities that he needs to use against 12 other individuals for the right to become the next God.
So, if you look at the story, it does seem like it’s interesting, but the fact of the matter is that it enters a different world when compared to Death Note or Bakuman. It’s going to be very difficult for anyone to wear the lens of nostalgia when viewing this anime because it has a different setting, plot, and environment when compared to its predecessors. And that means that it’s an entirely different world that may or may not be good for the anime’s plotline.
However, we can’t blame everything on context and viewer expectations when it comes to looking at the success (or lack thereof) of Platinum End. It is just as important to look at the characters objectively and how the story flows so that we will be able to get to the bottom of why it isn’t that good of an anime.
First off, the characters feel dull and uninteresting. Sure, Mirai is supposed to be someone who is dull and sad because the author wants us to relate to his despair. But the problem here is that, even though the goal is for us to see him as a tragic character, the way he was portrayed lacks the magnetism that forces viewers to get drawn to him.
For comparison’s sake, Eren of Attack on Titan is just as tragic of a character, but the way he was portrayed and written kept us glued. Mirai just doesn’t have the “IT” factor that allows viewers to relate to him. It certainly is difficult to compare him to Light Yagami because they are entirely different people. But Mirai could have been written in a manner that isn’t dull.
Speaking of dull, Saki is another one of the dullest characters in the anime. She is listed as a main character, but she doesn’t really do anything. This is something we expected because Ohba is known to write women as background characters in his works. However, the problem is that we’re already in 2022 and that, while women shouldn’t be forced to have bigger roles for the sake of wokeness, there’s no point in including them in the story if they’re not even going to do anything.
Saki’s character does move forward, to some extent. But, at this point, whatever she’s contributing to the story isn’t even remotely interesting or something that would make people view her as a relatable character. At this point, she’s just eating valuable screen time that could have been given to the other characters.
Another problem that we saw about the characters, including the ones who were introduced just to die in a matter of a few episodes, is that they are either too apathetic or are far too emotional. There are no gray areas in terms of their character settings, and that ruins the way the story proceeds because people shouldn’t be given random outbursts of emotions from people who are portrayed as stoic characters. One or two characters that are portrayed like that should be fine, but it’s going to be problematic if all of the characters tend to do that.
Then there’s the overall plot. As mentioned, Mirai wanted to die early in the series due to the despair he felt in what was a life that had become unkind to him. But, ever since getting saved by an angel so that he could find meaning in life again and join the battle royale to become the next God, his motives aren’t exactly clear.
This isn’t the same as Light, whose motives were already clear from the very beginning. Watching half the series will still leave you wondering what Mirai wants because his motives and his personality tend to take different turns from the beginning of the series to the middle portion of the story.
Then the so-called villain, Kanade Uryu or Metropoliman, also seems like a confusing character with equally confusing motives. We don’t understand why there was a need for him to build his reputation as a hero only to ruin it early on in the story. While he does explain his motives, they still don’t allow most viewers to understand his actions. It’s difficult to look at his scheming from a serious point of view because it just makes him look rather silly and pathetic at times.
The story also forces a lot of things on the part of Mirai, who wanted nothing to do with the battle royale at the start. However, the plot finds ways to force him to take part in the game so that the story will be allowed to proceed. While that doesn’t hurt when done a few times, it certainly didn’t help Platinum End because we are always forced to see Mirai needing a push just so he would actually take action.
In a sense, the story needs to fight Mirai just so the plot can move forward. Without that, the story wouldn’t even proceed at all in the direction that it wants to head to, and that’s not something that audiences actually enjoy. People want to watch a story that proceeds naturally and with nothing that seems forced.
Truth be told, Platinum End did get better near the middle of the series. But not a lot of people tend to have the same patience that others do. The anime makes a bad impression that is already enough to turn off some viewers, even though it does go from bad to watchable.
So, at this point, what we can say is that Platinum End isn’t a bad anime, but it could’ve been a lot better than it is. But the problem here is that the faults of the anime aren’t in relation to how the studio handled the anime itself. And that leads us to our next point.
How Good Is Platinum End Manga?
One of the things that tend to be common when it comes to anime is that they were handled in a manner that actually is far from how the story was written in the manga. For instance, The Promised Neverland started off amazingly because the first season was a faithful adaptation of the manga. However, when the studio wanted to shift the direction of season 2 and forced the anime to end, it became a bad anime.
We cannot say the same when it comes to Platinum End because the anime is actually a somewhat faithful adaptation of the manga. Sure, the manga does have some scenes that will allow you to appreciate the story better. However, when you compare the anime and the manga, you would understand that Platinum End’s problems go deeper than just the way it was handled by the animation studio.
The Platinum End manga has a rating of 6.87 on MyAnimeList, and that isn’t an improvement of the rating of its manga. And trust us when we say that people are more forgiving when it comes to rating manga compared to how they rate anime.
In that regard, the problems that plague the anime are also apparent in the manga, even though there might be a few improvements in the story’s written counterpart. This is why the issues of Platinum End are more systemic and deep-rooted in nature, as you have to go back to the way the manga was written to see why people aren’t really too high on this work.
So, all that said, the Platinum End manga is better than the anime. But everything that you see wrong in the anime is just as apparent as they are in the manga. And that means that the improvement isn’t as huge as some may think.