Platinum End delivers our main characters a trap. An obvious trap.
It’s a fairly common trope where the main characters identify that something is clearly a trap or bait set out by the villain but for whatever reason they usually head straight into it anyway. Whether it is because they think its the only way to find out what the villain is up to or whatever, it always strikes me as a particularly stupid decision (the kind that can only be made by narrative protagonists with any expectation of survival). Episode 3 of Platinum End concludes with Mirai fully embracing this trope and it kind of dulled some of the better moments of this episode.
Platinum End brings us more angels and more arrows.
After two episodes where Platinum End has largely followed Mirai as he goes about freeing himself from the toxic family situation he was in, episode 3 decides it is time to really get this character into the game. The episode begins exactly where we ended the second episode with Mirai trying to walk past the angel at school but given he’s already reacted to its presence it is already too late to play dumb.
In a twist, we learn that this angel isn’t following the crazy guy who is set on killing the other god candidates. Nope, this angel, Revel, is working with Saki who conveniently is Mirai’s childhood crush only she seems a little damaged by the passing years and I guess at some point will learn what her childhood trauma was.
I somehow suspect none of these characters are going to have happy back-stories so I’ve just kind of resigned myself to the tragic back-story trope. As with all staples of storytelling, there’s nothing wrong with a tragic backstory, the problem comes if that is literally the only characterisation the characters have.
Anyway, Saki shoots Mirai with a red arrow to make him fall in love with her. Turns out in Platinum End shooting someone who already has a crush on you just makes them slightly more expressive and not weirdly obsessive the way Mirai’s aunt got. Or maybe Mirai just has protagonist plot armour against being portrayed that horrifically.
It was kind of nice seeing Mirai reunite with Saki. For two episodes Mirai has had little hope and little light in his life so seeing him genuinely wanting to connect with someone and being happy to be with them was a little sweet even if Saki is about as emotive as a bag of hammers (again, I’m sure they’ll do something with her character but this episode really just had her standing around like a wooden doll).
However, as with the Mirai/Nasse pair, Saki’s angel, Revel, is actually kind of fun. He’s apparently only a second level angel so saki only has the red arrow (not white arrows or wings) but he’s pretty good at planning (also pretty happy to throw Mirai under the bus). I suspect that Nasse/Revel as a pair will complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses nicely along as we can trust Revel not to betray Mirai (which at this stage I’m not convinced of).
Interestingly Platinum End decides on a time skip here and the red arrow controlling Mirai has worn off but Saki and Mirai are still working together. It’s at that point that the god candidate posing as a superhero gets on TV and invites the other candidates ‘to talk’ at a stadium. Seriously, this plot is straight out of a Sailor Moon episode. Literally. Okay, Jadeite actually appeared as a hologram in the sky and demanded the scouts meet him at an airport but more or less same scenario.
It makes it hard to decide if Platinum End is wanting to be taken seriously or not. At times it feels like it wants to be a serious psychological story but the plotting and characterisation make it far sillier. And honestly I’m fine if it wants to embrace being that bit sillier but at the moment I don’t think this anime really knows what tone it is trying to achieve and the end results are mixed.
I guess we’ll find out in episode 4 what happens to Saki and Mirai at the stadium (because of course they went).
The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.
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