Platinum End by Tsugumi Ohba, Takeshi Obata

Any worry that Ohba wouldn’t be able to follow up on the complex storylining and tense drama of Death Note need not worry – by volume 3 it is clear that this is going to be just nailbiting a psychological cat and mouse game with once again very conflicted characters.

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Synopsis: Mirai and Saki were faced with an unprecedented situation when a man appeared on their balcony demanding they shoot him with an angelic red arrow of compulsion. But upon talking with him, it appears he, Mukaido, wants to side with them to fight Metropoliman. But Mirai can’t face the thought of actually killing another human being – even to stop someone from killing others. Meanwhile, Metropoliman creates a unique trap to flush out other god candidates: he breaks a teen murderer out of jail so she can continue to kill other young girls. Mirai and his group know that it is a trap – but can their conscience allow them to just ignore the murder spree that has begun? And will Mirai be able to face the invariability he will have to kill another human being, especially since he may be required to kill Metropoliman in order to stop him from killing the other candidates?

The mind games are here with many of the hallmarks of Death Note: unknown candidates, tense psychological games, and two protagonists on opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Where this differentiates is that we have some very interesting god candiates with very unique and distinct backgrounds. If anything, the perspectives have reversed and now we are following the L character fighting Light.

There is a lot of depth to this horror story. In this volume particularly, it’s clear that Ohba isn’t adverse to plumbing very appalling depths of human nature in true manga/anime fashion. That’s a huge trigger warning that this volume goes disturbingly ecchi and square into the horror category. It’s the mark of a good storyteller but I’d warn off the faint hearted at this point. It’s like a car crash that you can’t turn away from in morbid curiosity. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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