I don’t talk about a lot of individual manga on my YouTube channel. But, this one was particularly beautiful. Check it out:
by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A depressed youth is saved by a morally ambiguous angel who gives him supernatural gifts that he must use as a candidate to become the next “god”.
Platinum End has a pretty epic start but I’m not entirely confident in it’s future. At this point it may decide to go straight into battle fantasy manga, rather than really focus on the story, and that would be a shame. But, we won’t know for at least 2 volumes.
There was quite a bit of explanation on how this fantasy system works and what the rules of the competition are, so it doesn’t have as much impact or flow as smoothly as you’d hope from a first volume.
It feels a little bit like a re-imagining of death note. [A comparison that they can’t escape.] What if Light didn’t go on a killing spree? What kind of world would he create then? I think it’s an intelligent re-working of a fan favourite. And will create a different enough story from Death Note.
The concept bases itself in an idea that there are several candidates to become the next “god” and they must battle each other to find out who will be chosen. It is a pretty usual one that you’d see in shonen (fantasy battle) series like Shaman King, Hoshin Engi, Gestalt, and many others. So, if you liked any of these series, this might be for you.
However, as far as mood it might be a little darker than death note in terms of imagery, and it does deal with abuse, depression and suicide so if those are things that bother you, you might want to avoid this title.
Overall I enjoyed it! And, I’m crossing my fingers for the rest of the series.
by Hiroyuki Yoshino
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
There’s just so much going on in this comic, and unfortunately it’s too much. Would this be resolved and ironed out in subsequent volumes? I’m not sure, but I’m also not interested in reading further.
Plot-wise, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on. There’s a strange combination of religion and science. Which in modern-day are two things at odds with each other. It’s no wonder that they don’t work in this comic either.
From what I gather, there are a number of “Qwasers” who have the power to manipulate certain chemicals. Yoshino takes this idea and runs wild with it, adding in explanations based in chemistry to explain how the powers work, and why certain effects were reached. In a way, I appreciated this, but also… *snore*.
The series sits on the foundation of western religious symbolism, reworked for Yoshino’s purpose with a particular fascination with women’s (or more particularly, Mary’s) breasts. yeah. I’m often interested in the reworking of religious symbolism, but that particular fascination with Mary just goes a bit too far. He could have cut that bit out completely.
There is a potential underlining story under all of this “stuff”, but it is so weighted down by Yoshino’s ideas, in an attempt at combining all of his ideas into one comic, that it is lost.
The art is fair. I did like the character design of the blond-haired Russian, Sasha. The one bleeding eye was a clever reference of certain icons. But, overall, it wasn’t impressive.
If it wasn’t obvious by now, you can be sure that I didn’t like this comic, and I definitely won’t recommend it to anyone, especially if you’re offended by fan service or belong to certain religious groups. This will be nothing but offensive to you.
by Nobuaki Enoki and Takeshi Obata
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I am incredibly disappointed with the lolita element to this title. I get that there’s a whole genre,and some people “like” it, but it is completely out of place here. It was absolutely unnecessary and frankly very offensive. To use nudity and sexual attraction to young children (even in its minutest form) as comedic titillation (in a comic for children, no less), there is something wrong here! For that alone, I don’t recommend this title.
I thought that the story struggled to establish itself. It was a bit too extreme and obnoxious too quickly, and the main character too unlikeable. It didn’t help that his introduction to the series (as a genius arguer) was done through a barrage of nonsensical and poorly established argument. It was the argument of a whiny child… Which I guess he is. But, I believe he’s supposed to exhibit greater mental faculty which was just failed to be established from the first chapter.
However, after the pacing and scenario were fleshed out, I did begin to enjoy the title. But, I’m just not sure if I am willing to read more.
Obata’s art is the star of this title. His style is versatile; moving from the incredibly cute to the horrifyingly grotesque. But never too much of either, and always the right amount at the right time!
by Eiji Masuda
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
In general this is a cute manga — but, I had some structural issues with the story. A few times the characters were transported to new conversations or locations without prior indication. It was a little jarring. Overall, I didn’t mind, however; and I appreciated that it read as a “shounen” romance but wasn’t blasted with fan-service.