Platinum End vol. 11 – Tsugumi Ohba

5 out of 5

Razor’s edge: Platinum End can might still potentially topple into silliness, but Ohba has pushed it into a new frontier – from where we’d been – with new god candidate Professor Yoneda. Yes, my impression of this series has been successively improving with each of the immediately preceding volumes, and now… now it’s becoming something special. That magical recipe of ridiculous premise with deep-cut philosophical conversations and outwit-your-opponent ante ups at every turn; it’s also a surprisingly willful contemporary series, touching on politics and social media, but in a way that definitely makes sense for its concept – we’re going to elect a new god! – and backs up the way Ohba is boiling his cauldron with its initial shonen nonsense and, now, the public’s and governments’ responses to our god candidates.

What’s making this even more intriguing is in trying to reconcile it with that previous nonsense – that there might be some deeper layer to starting off so wrong-footed, to make the professor’s challenge of the whole election process – a conversation that essentially takes up this entire volume, in page-turning fashion – more gripping; more earned. I’m also pleased by how nicely each character’s simplistic point of view – Mirai’s altruistic one; Temari’s selfish one; etc. – has become a relevant juxtaposition, and the final few pages show how Ohba still has unexpected, smart ways of keeping us on edge.