Platinum End by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata

With roots more directly in Death Note than Bakumon, Platinum End is a layered psychological thriller featuring a tense battle of wills. And as with previous works, the author/illustrator bend the rules of evil and good, redefining right and wrong through a journey of moral ambiguity. It’s intriguing and certainly this first volume ends on quite a cliffhanger.

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Story: Teen Mirai has survived his parents’ death, cruel abuse by his Aunt’s family, and decides it is time to end a life of pain. When he jumps from a tall building, he is saved by an angel who bestows gifts upon him. One can turn people’s hearts to him, another can peacefully kill a person, and the last gives rapid flight wings. Soon, Mirai learns he is part of a special group all chosen to potentially become the next god. But the angels’ views of good and evil are surprisingly blurred – and even altruistic intentions can turn into acts of horror. Will Mirai stick to his morals and die or will he choose to change in order to survive?

With shades of Death Note here, our hero Mirai has already encountered a foe intent on murdering the god candidates. Also, the adversary has a hidden identity within the very same school as Mirai. What looked like a redux of DN, however, instead greatly changed by a surprise on the last page. Certainly, there are still many places to go with the story.

Platinum End is dark and mature, dealing with sex, suicide, and moral ambivalence. As such, this is meant for adults and not for early teens. The art is assured and the read very quick for such an intriguing plot. I look forward to seeing where the author/illustrator will take the story from here. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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