Platinum End vol. 8 – Tsugumi Ohba

4 out of 5

Aaah, ya got me, you bastard. This is a tricksy way of plotting things – making me question the writer’s competence, and then doubling back to explain that discrepancy – but something kept me reading, and that something paid off here. This was the first time Platinum End has had that ol’ Death Note spark, in which you’re turning pages in a hurry to find out what happens next, or at least without the resounding disappointments P.E. has been offering up, in which the “next” has often been: let’s just move on and ignore whatever we were just talking about.

Mirai and Metropoliman square off and stuff actually happens. Major stuff. No playing around. With Mirai, like, having legit ideas and not just bleating about integrity. The denouncement from this showdown – the second half of this tankobon – is also well-handled, walking a nice line between the naivety of these characters and niggling acceptance of their larger-than-life actions and decisions. Ohba starts to revisit the fomenting relationship between Saki and Mirai, which has the potential to be obnoxious, but it still feels tasteful at this point, and within the realm of believability for how these characters have been established.

I don’t think readers will necessarily be surprised by the new addition to the playing field revealed here, but it’s well played, nonetheless, and offers the ability for the text to get a little less good guys versus bad guys black and white. Obata is given a nice balance of battles and dialogue to work with – leaning too heavily on the former hasn’t been great for his page-filling artistry; it’s beautiful stuff but gets too “big” when the battles are hectic.

If Ohba continues to develop on the work done here, Platinum End will be more rewarding – rereading will feel better, knowing it’s building to something. Of course, the next chapter might just dump it all again. But I’m looking forward to finding out!