And so here we are at episode 4 with two characters, also dressed as super-heroes having charged into the stadium clearly assuming they’d have some advantage because there were two of them, ready to take on the self-declared Metropoliman.
It’s kind of stupid given there’s clearly more to this trap but whatever.
Also, they do that really annoying thing that some anime do when they introduce a disposable character, who you know is going to die fairly soon or at least not be particularly relevant, but they’ll still waste time flashing back and giving back-story on them. Almost like they are desperate to make us care at all about characters we have no reason to be concerned about. It kind of reminded me of the approach taken by Juni Taisen in that they’d introduce the character who was going to die that episode only really in that episode.
When you throw in the fact that the god-candidates in Platinum End were all people who were apparently suicidal (or at least I think that was mentioned) seeing these two guys before they met the angel doesn’t do much to endear them or make them characters I’d particularly want hanging around anyway.
Platinum End sets a bizarre scene and yet it all feels kind of pointless.
Let’s be real: Platinum End creates a situation that they try to present as tense and emotional and yet all I can think is that if none of these characters had shown up nothing would have happened.
This was an easily avoidable conflict. There was no need to turn up at all.
The only character in the entire episode they succeeded in making me feel sympathy for was the young girl who despite announcing herself as a god-candidate probably didn’t deserve what is happening to her simply because she’s a little too young to be expected to reason things out.
Though the part of this episode that really gets me is that we have a stadium full of spectators and even news commentators who can’t see the wings or red or white arrows so looking at the situation from their perspective it would be either a bizarre or pointless exchange as people in costumes show up and declare a lot of stuff that means nothing, a flying girl appears, more people in costumes show up, and then some of the costumed people start falling over dead.
What do the spectators here actually get out of being there? Is the world of Platinum End so devoid of entertainment that people will just sit around hoping something might happen?
Weirdly, they drag this whole scenario out with this character getting hit with a red arrow and then that costumed character being a fake and so on for most of the episode with our main characters Mirai and Saki just kind of sitting in the stands and keeping their heads down as they watch the tragedy unfold of the characters who did walk straight into the trap.
It would be far too sensible to hope that they’d maintain that and leave the stadium without incident.
I’m guessing the whole point of this scenario is to have Mirai come into conflict with Metropliman and that doesn’t happen if Mirai just passively watches him butcher the last of the identified god-candidates and leaves and so we end on a particularly sour note with that young girl’s life being threatened and no way for her to escape on her own. Mirai was struggling with doing nothing as it was and then Saki cries out for someone to help the girl.
Yep, Platinum End isn’t going to let our protagonist be passive and make the choice that leads to safety and survival. Instead, here’s an emotional heart tug that will work on someone like Mirai and force him into action and the consequences will push the plot along. It doesn’t really matter that everything in this episode could have been avoided at this point. Events have played out the way they have and now our characters will have to deal with the fall out.
The best thing is that at least it was two random characters who stepped onto the trap initially, at least allowing Mirai the chance to look like he was going to make some sensible choices. Because if Mirai had barged into the stadium first to talk to Metropliman, it would be really hard to take him seriously as a character for the remainder of Platinum End.
Charging in to save a girl though, while that is still a little foolish, at least allows him to take the moral high ground.
Of course, given in four episodes this anime has seemed to favour cheap emotional shocks, it is quite likely that Mirai’s decision to act is entirely too late and the girl is going to die regardless. I guess we’ll see in episode five.
The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.
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