Psycho Pass Series Review: No System Is Perfect But This Anime Is Pretty Fantastic


Psycho Pass Overview:

With the introduction of the Sibyl System Japan finds itself at peace as those who would put the system at risk or might be a danger to others are identified by examining their mental state and passing judgement. Akane has newly been appointed as an inspector and now has the job of supervising enforcers as they hunt down latent criminals, however she soon learns that things are not as perfect as they might seem.

Psycho Pass Review:

I have to give Psycho Pass credit for taking an idea that has been used in so many dystopian stories before and yet it managed to make it feel nearly fresh. From the first episode this country controlled by the Sibyl System feels like a plausible future even as it reaches to shock its audience and to make us start to question notions of justice. That doesn’t mean that the show is flawless by any means as there are definitely some moments where I might have wished for the narrative to have had a bit more polish, but the overall experience of watching Psycho Pass is one that is greatly entertaining.

For me the introduction Akane gets to the job, while thrilling, seems very unlikely in such a world. To plunge someone into the field (short staffed or not) without sufficient training or supervision seems like a reckless way to destroy someone’s psycho pass if something had gone more wrong than it did. Also, Akane’s knowledge of how things worked seemed too lacking at times for her to have received any training even if it was convenient for the audience to have things explained from the beginning.


However, Akane is an excellent character and despite her use as a stand in for the audience early on in the series, she gains her footing and by the end of the series you will be very much right behind her. And she isn’t alone as Kougami is also a fantastic character in his role and Makishima makes for a truly excellent villain. The only problem is deciding which of these decidedly fascinating characters is actually the most riveting to watch when those two are both on screen.

Some of the cases the characters end up on are not quite as thrilling as others, though ultimately all of them feed into the main narrative. The issue then is that the final reveal, while it works well enough, borders a little bit on the too fantastical to really feel as satisfying as I might have wanted. Certainly, it does work and it doesn’t contradict any of the internal logic of the story, but there’s definitely a moment of incredulity when you finally get there before you can take it in.


Kagari is the support character I ended up growing most attached to throughout the show’s run time and his role is quite interesting. Flagged by the system at a very young age he’s been detained most of his life, choosing the dangerous role of an enforcer to gain some semblance of freedom. While most of the time he doesn’t let his bitterness at this fate come through, there are one or two moments where Akane’s naivety breaks through his carefully constructed cheery persona and the resentment of one caged by an inherently flawed system comes through loud and clear.

Actually, Irina wrote a fantastic piece in honour of Kagari over on her blog so if you’ve seen Psycho Pass or are not worried about plot spoilers, definitely go check it out because he’s an awesome character.


Akane’s senior as an inspector, Ginoza presents another view of the system again. As someone with a parent that was flagged as a latent criminal, he lives with the pressure of not succumbing to the same fate while inner fears continue to eat away at him. And that fear wasn’t helped by his former partner also being flagged as a latent criminal. This makes his external personality quite cold at times even his responses to Akane’s youthful view is fairly understandable.

However Ginoza presents an interesting perspective on the system as someone who fights to maintain a system even while fearing the results of being on the other side of it. While he doesn’t take the path that many citizens have of medicating to a near comatose state in order to maintain his psycho pass, he acts as a bridge for the audience of someone walking a very fine line between ‘healthy’ and ‘criminal’ in this society.


This is a line that Kougami crossed. After the death of someone who was his responsibility he recklessly pursued revenge even though it damaged his psycho pass and ultimately he ended up an enforcer. However, unlike other characters, Kougami has gained a degree of freedom in being allowed to think of his revenge and to pursue it because he’s already a criminal in the eyes of the system. He also doesn’t bother with social graces and simply acts.

That said, he isn’t a simple character. Well educated and with a sharp mind, he pursues his goals with purpose and no longer has any real desire to answer to the system for his actions. While ultimately this will put him at odds with the Sibyl System, for Kougami revenge is more important as a goal and yet the enemy remains out of his reach.


Which actually leads us to the best part of Psycho Pass, and that is that it brings us a villain who is worth caring about. As the Sibyl System cannot judge him he feels excluded from society and as a result he acts out. But for the most part he does this via proxy. He sets up others who are discontent and gives them the means to act before sitting back and watching the show. Cold, manipulative, highly intelligent, and yet completely unbound by any kind of societal morals as the system has left him outside of it, he is a fascinating villain to watch in action.

Now, I should probably put a violence warning on this one. Given the first episode has a rape before they kind of blow up the perpetrator, it kind of sets the tone for the remainder of the series. I’m going to suggest that a story about law enforcement with the ability to use lethal force to neutralise targets in pursuit of a serial killer was probably never going to be overly peaceful, but there are some quite graphic moments that have a fair amount of emotional impact because of the believability of the society constructed.

However, if you are in the mood for a dystopian story with some action and gore and reasonably solid themes, Psycho Pass is definitely one to check out. It is one of those binge worthy series that just gets better with more watches.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Platinum End Review – Halfway Is More Than Enough

Platinum End Review

It’s always hard to know what an anime will be like before the season begins. All you can really do is read a synopsis, watch a trailer and give it a go. Platinum End had a lot of fanfare prior to launch based on the a manga created by Tsugumi Ooba who also created Death Note and Bakuman it seemed like it would be a relatively safe bet. Throw in some heavy advertising and pre-season discussion pieces and Platinum End seemed destined to sweep the season.

Tragically, after the first few episodes aired the conversation quickly shifted and soon after it became clear that even if Platinum End picked up this wasn’t going to reach the heights that Death Note had soared to. That said, Death Note has its flaws but it came out a fair time ago when there wasn’t as much competition for our attention, when we hadn’t seen that type of story a million times before and honestly for all its flaws it is still pretty charming to watch with characters who leave an impression.

Platinum End on the other hand brings little joy to the screen and the misery isn’t overly affective as the audience is left relatively indifferent to one dimensional characters who seem determined to make about the worst choice possible in any given situation.

Platinum End Episode 6

It wasn’t terminal at episode 3 or 4 as there were pockets of potential nuance or places where characters could grow from, and then the next 8 episodes happened and the only thing I can say about episodes 8 through 12 is that each one was more unbelievably stupid and tiresome than the last.

Now, if I were to compare Platinum End to the abysmal misery-fest that was Full Dive then Platinum End actually comes off a little bit better because at the very least the protagonist, Mirai, is at least attempting to make choices that will lead him to happiness and he was dumped into the whole god-candidate situation without any real choice in the matter.

But that’s not exactly high praise.

Platinum End Episode 7

Hard to say anything other than Platinum End missed the mark or tripped over its own ambition before it even got going.

For those who somehow managed to miss the discussions earlier in the Fall 2021 season, Platinum End begins with Mirai deciding life is just not worth living and stepping off a roof. Now having a story begin with a character suicide is nothing new but you would hope in this day and age that there would be some deeper reason for it other than to establish an edgy back-story for a character and provide a justification for animating scenes of child-abuse.

Tragically, there really isn’t. While the first couple of episodes kind of hint we’re going to explore how Mirai was beaten down in life to the point where suicide seemed like the better option, all too soon the story sweeps us away to… Well, in theory the conflict between the god candidates and Mirai’s now absolute conviction that he shouldn’t kill which largely just puts himself and his friends in danger but somehow even at episode 12 he’s still able to speechify about it mid-battle.

Platinum End Episode 6

What small glimmers of hope we’re given for some kind of character arc will fade as Mirai goes from quiet and depressed boy to seeing a brief (and overly repeated flash back) of his mother telling him the reason for living is to find happiness and his father telling him that the worst thing he could do is kill someone and somehow that now becomes the foundation for his existence. Why it hadn’t been motivating him prior to the angel and the confrontation with his aunt and uncle who abused him is anyone’s guess.

Basically, Platinum End hasn’t given us a compelling protagonist. They haven’t even given us one that makes a lot of sense. Mirai is largely boring and passively allows the plot to happen around him spending most conflicts waiting and seldom taking any kind of action. The few times he does involve himself usually end up with some kind of dramatic internal monologue or speech that makes little sense in context.

Platinum End Episode 5

And yet, Mirai is still one of the better written characters which kind of goes to show what kind of train wreck the rest of the cast are.

Initially I had some hope for the angels as Nasse, the angel who saves Mirai from his suicide attempt, was at first quite amusing and their moral compass was questionable which I thought could be an interesting idea to explore.

Instead, Nasse has become the glorified cheer-squad for Mirai.

Platinum End Ep10

The other angels occasionally get some of the better lines in Platinum End but mostly they just kind of stand or float around and offer largely unnecessary commentary on matters. They fill up a lot of the screen and contribute almost nothing. And part of that is because the angels of play a passive role in this story and aren’t meant to interfere but basically they’ve become weird appendages, drawn in crowded rooms or hovering on the edge of battle-grounds and serving no purpose.

Still better than Saki, who is listed as a main character on MAL but has done basically nothing the entire series and when she’s finally got her wings just before the half-way mark her contribution is still almost nothing and the only thing she did achieve she got through flirting.

Platinum End Episode 11

I know, the source material for Platinum End isn’t recent and if we look at the creator’s other works we can critique the way they write female characters to death there as well, but surely if you were going to animate this story in 2021 you would at least consider making Saki vaguely useful.

But hey, it doesn’t really matter that our protagonists feel completely devoid of common sense or interesting characteristics when they are placed against a villain who is originally coming across as coldly logical (and yet warped with the whole sister encased thing going on) and yet all too soon comes across as childish, reactive, and hopelessly inept at manipulating those around him. Plus he blames everybody else for his failures and accepts no responsibility.

Yeah, these characters can beat each other to death for all I care at this point. Platinum End has very successfully made me very disinterested in them and their actions.

Platinum End Episode 2

If I hadn’t already decided to move on at the end of the Fall Season, episode 12 would have been the final straw as characters stand around mid-battle rather than taking action and the actions they do take seem absurd (and that’s being nice about it).

With the plot of Platinum End not having really progressed in twelve episodes and little revealed about how the god candidate will be chosen in the end, I have no investment in who wins in the end and I’m not even sure it matters particularly. I know that the short term plots all seem pretty lame and basically goes along the lines of Metropoliman sets up some kind of trap for other god candidates, someone or more than one person, stupidly walks in, a fight occurs, usually someone will die, Mirai and Saki will gasp and be sad, and then we’ll rinse and repeat.

Plus the costumes the characters wear get more ridiculous as the season progresses. Metropoliman wearing his suit was ridiculous enough but then Mukaidou randomly started bringing suits along for Mirai and Saki and Saki’s has cat ears and a tail. Apparently they serve a functional purpose but so far all they’ve done is helped her flirt with a sword wielding psycho.

Platinum End Episode 11

However I’m not just mindlessly bashing this anime. The OP is actually pretty cool and dramatic and if it prefaced a much stronger story or at least a story full of compelling characters it would feel justified, and some of the visuals have been really striking and interesting (others not so much but I’m looking for positives here).

All and all, I don’t hate that I tried Platinum End. I’m actually fairly convinced older teens who come to this series without having watched a significant number of similar stories may actually even find some redeeming qualities here (provided they aren’t put off by some of the subject matter). For me though, Platinum End is an anime full of potentially interesting ideas (because they’ve been far more interesting in other anime) but it lacks characters with enough depth to anchor the plot and without that the plot is just kind of flailing about without weight.

That said, if you’ve given Platinum End a go I’d love to know your thoughts on the series.

Images from: Platinum End. Dir. K Kise. Signal MD. 2021

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Karandi James

Platinum End Episode 12 Review – He’s Melting, She’s Crying, And He’s Philosophising?

Platinum End Episode 12

As Platinum End hits its midway mark I look back on these twelve episodes and just wonder how this has stretched so long already and just why it feels the need to drag this on for another twelve episodes. For me, I’m letting it go now that I’ve finished the fall season and I’ll be writing up my final thoughts on Platinum End soon but it is pretty clear that this was a disaster of an anime and episode 12 is no exception.

Basically we’re put in a situation where Mirai needs to take action and everyone is standing around either crying, shouting at him to act, or mocking him, but no one is actually doing anything. Except the guys in charge of the soundtrack. They are working over time to try to make this Ferris-wheel standoff actually look like something vaguely tense.

Platinum End Episode 12

Platinum End continues to be one of those anime that just make you wonder who okayed the script.

On that note, I’m kind of glad I didn’t take the whole virus threat very seriously because clearly the writers didn’t either. Given the crazy girl goes to release the virus and Mirai stabs it with a white arrow.

Karandi Disappointed Transparent edited


Can someone explain to these people just how small a virus actually is? I mean, sure I saw the green ball of stuff in the capsule as well but assumed it was a large quantity of the virus that would be scattered if released. Instead, it turns out it is a single ball that can be pierced with an arrow.

Hello, scientists, you can just stab a virus to death with a magic angel arrow.

Wow. Dumb. Even by Platinum End standards.

Platinum End Episode 12

Of course that doesn’t end the standoff because now Mirai is holding the arm of the girl and Metropoliman is going to shoot him with an arrow. Meanwhile the girl is going to launch fingernail syringes at him. And everybody else is going to stand around…

Until they don’t.

Saki takes the initiative, and jumps directly in front of the syringes and hugs Mirai.

Girl if you are finally going to do something at least do something useful like attack Metropoliman while his white arrow is occupied, or knock Mirai out of the path of the syringes or literally anything other than turn your back into a giant target while you both stand there and do nothing.

Platinum End Episode 12

But the end result is that Platinum End isn’t willing to kill of Saki, despite her serving practically no point so far in the story. Instead the sword wielding guy she shot with a red arrow who is convinced he loves her jumps in to cut the syringes but he misses one and takes one for the team melting in what should be a truly horrific moment but with the farcical nature of the fight here you can’t even take a guy liquefying seriously.

More than that, he spends his whole death scene confessing his love to the girl whose name he never learned and whose face he never saw. Because he found happiness and meaning through being brainwashed by a red arrow.

I genuinely didn’t think I could take much more of this scene when it mercifully ended with both the crazy guy and the virus girl dead (yeah he somehow lodged his sword in her before melting).

Platinum End Episode 12

Apparently even the characters are over this silliness though as Platinum End decided it really didn’t need the third lackey brought along by Metropoliman to do anything and so he decided to up and leave.

Points for being the only person with brains in this scene. Having watched the last two lackeys get either injured or killed horrifically with Metropoliman not caring a bit, would you charge in and be the third act?

However, clearly they didn’t want the Metropoliman and Mirai fight until the start of the new year so instead of wrapping this up we get Mirai philosophising about happiness and killing people and justice and wow I didn’t think this episode could get worse but here it is.

Platinum End Episode 12

With that I’ll end my Platinum End journey and wish those who choose to continue it well. Review of this first cour available here.

Images from: Platinum End. Dir. K Kise. Signal MD. 2021

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Karandi James

Platinum End Episode 11 Review – Calling This A Train Wreck At This Point Would Be Too Generous

Platinum End Episode 11 Review

Platinum End literally makes no sense.

Crazy sword guy, now deeply in love with Saki, breaks through the prison and allows Mirai and Mukaidou a chance to get out but Metropoliman and three psychos we don’t care about at all and have no characteristics other than being psychos appear. You’d think all out battle was about to ensue.

But instead Saki takes the time to deliver both mother and daughter of Mukaidou, in separate trips, back to their hideout while everyone else just kind of stands around.

Then they still all stand around while the three ‘heroes’ shoot each other with red arrows to ensure they can’t be taken over. I’m sure this is a touching scene of trust or something but honestly, what are the villains doing. Oh, right, they are just kind of standing around.

Platinum End Episode 11

And then one of the psychos attacks by himself allowing three of the team to take him down.

Before another of the psychos reveals a humanity destroying virus and more or less demands one of the team allow her to test it on them or she’s going to unleash. By the way killing her will also unleash it.

Just… what?

Platinum End continues to demonstrate it does not understand how people act – ever.

Come on Platinum End. You can do better than this.

Besides, Metropoliman did the whole hostage thing previously in the stadium and Mirai and Saki let the little girl get shot with a white arrow and killed. The only reason the current hostage situation worked was because Mukaidou only has one motivation and that is saving his family.

And, do I have to ask but are the ‘bad guys’ here actually safe from that virus if it actually gets released or will they also die horribly? I only ask because the girl holding it doesn’t exactly sound like the most reasonable thinker.

Platinum End Episode 11

Did this story really need bio-terror? I mean, Platinum End started out with a simple enough 12 god candidate concept. Now we have characters manipulating others, kidnapping, and bio-terrorism threats. And none of this seems to lead to anything resembling a resolution about the whole god-candidacy thing.

Meanwhile, after sleeping the night away, rather than say taking some action to ensure the guys trapped in the mirror house were dead, Metropoliman now seems pretty determined to kill Mirai at least. It seems like a weird sudden motivational burst after so little care prior and he knew that his ‘servant’ was useless so I don’t know why he’s so surprised things have ended up this way. Seemed pretty obvious really.

Platinum End Episode 11

Meanwhile, somehow Mirai is still the protagonist even though this fight really is Mukaidou’s and not his. Yet even Metropoliman has zeroed in on him as the main threat with the white arrow. Which, for someone who can’t use it or kill anyways has to suck.

I think Mirai’s passive personality might be the biggest problem Platinum End continues to have (you know outside of a bonkers plot where events make little sense and a whole cast of characters who amount to single personality points). While it was kind of different at first not to have a gung-ho protagonist who wants to use their power to ‘help’ people or save the day, right now the short-comings of having a character who wants nothing and takes no real action, ever, have really become clear.

Platinum End Episode 11

At some point I’m sure Mirai will hit his limit and do something but for now the story is weirdly fixated on a character doing nothing fast.

Then again, Platinum End literally had villains standing around while the other side planned, ferried hostages away, and made a friendship circle so I’m not exactly expecting much from episode 12.

The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.

Images from: Platinum End. Dir. K Kise. Signal MD. 2021

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Karandi James

Platinum End Episode 10 Review – Bad Plans Don’t Matter When No One Else Is Thinking

Platinum End Episode 10 Review

More than once I’ve pointed out that anime characters reviewing their own show or commenting on events in a self-aware manner, doesn’t make a poor plot or poor character choices more interesting. Platinum End sets up a situation so ridiculous it is hard to believe this week when Mukaidou just leaps straight into the trap set by the crazy guy from last week.

Sure you might believe he’s all freaked out because his family are at risk. It is literally the only motivation this character has been given. But still, how does entering an obvious trap with no plan save them? Seriously, bad plan.

Anyway, the crazy guy watches this unfold and then just as I’m face palming so hard I nearly knocked my glasses off he points out how hilariously stupid the whole situation is.

Platinum End Episode 10

Platinum End continues to underwhelm with plots that could have been pulled from the original Batman TV series.

Platinum End is definitely leaning hard into the cackling villains, noble (yet idiotic) heroes, overwrought emotions, and eye-candy use of female characters that all come from a TV era long since past. And while I don’t actually like the current trend in stories where every character has to literally quip their way through the whole plot, watching Platinum End kind of reminds me that there are worse things than characters refusing to take life and death situations seriously.

Platinum End Episode 10

For instance, Mirai still can’t actually shoot his white arrow with any actual intent and when faced with a difficult fight and uncertain victory he chose…

Well, he chose to walk into the same trap Mukaidou was already caught in and instead of going in with any kind of plan decided to put the whole thing off and suggested they fly around frantically like birds in a cage until they came up with a better idea.

Good thing Metropoliman didn’t rig this location to explode like the last one or it really wouldn’t have mattered.

Platinum End Episode 10

As for Metropoliman, rather than thinking of literally any way to bring the situation to a close (you know like blowing the whole venue up) he simply leaves the crazy guy to watch over them and takes a nap.

Platinum End, what are you doing?

This guy plans out everything and is ruthless enough to shoot a child who had already surrendered to him and now you expect us to believe he’s just going to take a nap while the two people who have caused him the most harm are trapped in a single location?

About the only thing that makes this episode not entirely terrible, is Revel.

Platinum End Episode 10

After all his efforts to absorb knowledge mostly end in him getting a headache he tries to talk Saki out of going and getting herself killed and in the process manages to shed tears.

While he isn’t acknowledged for his efforts to learn stuff, apparently being the first angel to cry for a human is significant enough to warrant a promotion.

So Platinum End gives Saki her wings.

And so she puts on her cat suit, shoots the crazy guy with the red arrow and then instead of giving him a command or instruction, she flirts with him, because… look I don’t even know at this point.

It isn’t as if anyone else has had to flirt to make their red arrow work.

Clearly they just wanted the girl in the cat suit to look all coy.

Meanwhile she hasn’t communicated with the others what is going on so they are still just flying around. After almost a day.

Platinum End Episode 10

If I’m honest, this episode of Platinum End is no worse than any other but it continues to baffle with how ludicrous each of these characters are and how poor their decision making is. Onward to the next episode then.

The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.

Images from: Platinum End. Dir. K Kise. Signal MD. 2021

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Karandi James

Platinum End Episode 9 Review – When Everyone Else is Over-The-Top You Really Have No One But The MC To Support

Platinum End Episode 9

This week Platinum End introduces us to a guy who was sad and miserable because he was ugly and poor and after becoming a god candidate used his abilities to make girls like him, realised that was hollow and pointless, so decided to have plastic surgery instead. After all of that instead of finding who he wanted to be he latched on to the public Metropoliman as a hero and naturally decided that he should become his servant.

Given the girl in the stadium who actually did follow Metropoliman’s instructions was still mercilessly shot down, not entirely sure what this guy thinks is going to happen to him in this situation but logic does not appear to really be a priority for Platinum End so let’s just roll with it.

Platinum End Episode 9

Platinum End sets another trap for our heroes.

When every other god candidate we’ve met has been idiotic or insane it kind of makes it hard to not support Mirai. Then again, Mirai has no personality whatsoever and manages to make every scene he’s in a little bit duller so its also hard to really cheer for him.

Like when Saki, Mukaidou and the angels are enjoying their newly acquired base of operations, Mirai is standing outside staring at the garden and simply says it reminds him of a park he used to go to with his family. It could have been a touching reminiscence but instead it just feels like a line out of nowhere with no emotional attachment and ultimately it goes nowhere as the episode just moves on leaving me to wonder why they included it at all.

Platinum End Episode 9

Of course Mirai isn’t the only issue in terms of displaying emotions. I’m not even going to criticise the extreme over-the-top facial expressions displayed by the villain of the week (or I hope very few episodes before he is killed) sword wielding god candidate. However I am going to call out the portrayal of Mukaidou’s anguish when he realised his family were in danger.

Instead of any normal human response, Platinum End instead portrays emotion the only way it really can. Change the colour scheme, zoom in super close and give us a shaky-cam effect. Because actually delivering a nuanced emotional reaction has been beyond this story from the beginning. Admittedly, in the first episode it looked more like they were really just trying to up the shock factor and just went too far however now it has become clear that none of these characters can actually just emote normally.

Platinum End Episode 9

About the only points I’m giving to villain of the week guy are from the fact that he realised that shooting a girl with a red arrow and having her kiss him really wasn’t what he wanted. He recognised pretty fast he wanted girls to actually like him without being completely brainwashed and so rather than shooting them and changing their view he tried to change himself.

He did it in a ridiculous manner but points for at least not just building a harem of mindless slave girls.

Platinum End Episode 9

Though Platinum End has clearly set the bar low if that is enough to score points.

Also, casual murder continues to be a thing with a girl who simply delivered a message to Metropoliman becoming a casualty this week. Shot down with absolutely zero remorse or even reflection.

For a moment I’d kind of appreciated that at least the new god candidate was smart enough not to approach Metropoliman himself but then seeing the classmate get taken out in an instant more or less made the moment pretty sour.

Platinum End Episode 9

About the only impact this really had was the guy from last week who suspected he knew who Metropoliman was more or less has it confirmed.

Platinum End needs to use this murder for something more than casual shock. If it later becomes the news story that allows Mirai and Saki to figure out where Metropoliman is then maybe it will be worth it. I mean, girl dying in hall of school should make the news at least. However, if it just passes without serving any purpose other than establishing that Metropoliman is a heartless psycho who will kill anyone, then it really just feels unnecessary.

The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.

Images from: Platinum End. Dir. K Kise. Signal MD. 2021

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Karandi James

Platinum End Episode 8 Review – From Sad Baggage to Excessively Peppy (This is Not A Character Arc)

Platinum End Episode 7 Review

Clearly even the writers of Platinum End realised that Saki couldn’t continue to simply be as useful as a piece of furniture as they have the character herself admit that she’s just been baggage in episode 8 of Platinum End.

But is a character being aware that they are pointless and boring enough to justify having had the character do nothing for so long?

More than that, is having a sudden realisation, declaring you still want to die, changing your mind, and then suddenly being filled with excessive pep and enthusiasm for the mission all in the space of twenty minutes actually work as a character arc? I’m going to say no.

Platinum End Episode 8

Platinum End continues to flail along.

Basically, Platinum End tries to give Saki a significant character moment but due to no one caring about her character up to this point, the speed at which it is delivered, and the fact that it is about as nuanced as a brick hitting the audience in the face, largely this whole episode falls flat.

Unless you really like laughing at the angels and their commentary. Nasse gets a few decent lines this week and even Revel made me smile once or twice.

So let’s break down this episode.

Basically, Metropoliman’s human friend/hanger-on realises from his injury that he’s probably Metropoliman. This leads to about three seconds of potential tension as he considers his next steps. Then he does a Miko from Mieruko-Chan and decides to simply pretend he noticed nothing.

Platinum End Episode 8

Now, this works in Mieruko-Chan as its the central gag of a supernatural comedy that the main character is ignoring the ghosts. It works significantly less well here as it diffuses any tension the scene may have had and to be honest this was about the most engaging moment in this supposedly psychological drama that we got this week.

Though, Platinum End is unlikely to care that they shot their own tension in the foot. It’s too busy setting up the next absurdity which is having Saki ask Mirai to come lie in her bed so she can talk to him. Because that’s a perfectly normal thing to ask and a normal way to go about it.

Cue the childhood flashback sequence and the angsty self-loathing as we finally find out just why Saki wanted to die.

Platinum End Episode 8

I will admit that I wasn’t expecting the connection to Mirai’s own suicide attempt, but one minor point of interest in all of this isn’t really enough to salvage the rest of this episode.

After Saki admits she still wants to die, Mirai decides to test this out and naturally the best way to do that is to go for a night flight and see if Saki takes the plunge. Forget the fact that they might be seen and identified as god candidates by the psycho who wants to kill them all. And in case I thought that maybe Platinum End wanted me to take this scene seriously, we’ve got the two angels foregrounded with Nasse poking fun at Revel for his choice in candidate.

Platinum End Episode 8

Naturally though this whole sequence somehow causes Saki to get over herself, she asks Mirai to forgive her, which he being the non-entity he is says there’s nothing to forgive because he was never angry. Then it all jumps to Saki becoming miss get-up-and-go planning a new base for the group to meet in and to work from as her bedroom is really too small for three people and three angels.

I mean, I guess it is a way for Platinum End to advance the plot and finally have Saki do something other than sit around and chew-up scenery. But really that’s all this episode feels like. It genuinely feels like someone told the writer Saki was boring and so they wrote a stand alone plot that just kind of over-turned the character and gave them an entirely new personality by the end.

On that note, it didn’t make me like Saki any more and given the rest of the plot just kind of paused for this there’s little going on in episode 8 that feels like it matters.

The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.

Images from: Platinum End. Dir. K Kise. Signal MD. 2021

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Karandi James

Platinum End Episode 7 Review – Bad Guys Lie And Good Guys Hesitate

Platinum End Episode 7 Review

Last week, in addition to review episode 6 of Platinum End and criticising characters for being dumb enough to walk into yet another obvious trap, I also discussed my thoughts about this series as a whole so far and why perhaps it hadn’t landed so well with viewers. Episode 7, incidentally, is another good example of how these characters don’t exactly make this compelling viewing and the plot seems fairly forced to push forward even when there doesn’t seem much point to it.

Platinum End Episode 7

Platinum End continues to make me ask ‘why’.

After the tower explosion at the end of the last episode, instead of discovering that Mukaidou had used his wings to evade the explosion, we find he survives through his wearing the blast suit. I guess that gives the suit some purpose but ultimately it still begs the question why not just fly away faster than the explosion?

Or why not fly away after the explosion before Metropoliman casually shows up?

Or why not fly away at any point after you more or less decided to ignore Metropoliman’s threat to cause another explosion?

Platinum End Episode 7

See Platinum End, when you give your characters the ability to run away from pretty much any situation you then need to explain why they don’t. And Mirai and Mukaidou have little to gain from this show-down so once they attacked and Metropoliman didn’t set off another explosion, they could safely have just left the scene.

Incidentally, given Mukaidou uses a gun rather than a white or a red arrow during the battle, I suspect that Metropoliman will have figured out that he isn’t the one with a special angel. Otherwise, why waste your time with bullets that can both miss and won’t penetrate his suit when you could have used an arrow? You were directly behind the guy and had him blind-sided (hence why you managed to shoot him with a gun even if it wasn’t overly effective).

Anyway, Platinum End spends most of this episode on an aerial battle that is visually messy and not very impressive. Close ups of Mirai involve a lot of tears and mucus, kind of reminding me of Inuyashiki with how much fluid was running around at times. There’s also a lot of characters just kind of floating about while dramatic music plays.

Platinum End Episode 7

Equally, we know Metropoliman is bad because he kills people, sets traps, and uses deceit to get what he wants. Mirai is clearly not bad (I won’t stretch the definition to good), because he doesn’t want people to die. Mukaidou is more cynical and will kill if necessary to minimise other deaths.

One thing I did gain from this episode of Platinum End was an actual appreciation of the relationship slowly forming between Nasse and Mirai. Nasse’s really been Mirai’s champion from the start but there’s a scene this week where it is almost like Mirai is seeing Nasse for the first time again. When Nasse first saved Mirai’s life he wasn’t exactly thrilled, but this week, as he looks up at Nasse from his huddled position on the floor of Saki’s room, its like he is realising all over again that Nasse is an angel.

Platinum End Episode 7

More specifically, Nasse is his angel.

None of that changes the fact that Platinum End continues to have Mirai spout fairly naïve and seemingly empty statements about not killing. Even Metropoliman asks is he’s a child.

Platinum End Episode 7

For someone who tried to commit suicide and was responsible, even if not intentionally, for his aunt’s death, his moral position here seems shaky and his absolute commitment to it seems to have seemingly come from nowhere, or at the least from a series of poorly explored flashbacks to his near-saintly parents’ wisdom. Certainly this could have been developed better by Platinum End but instead it seems like someone asked why he suddenly cared about death and so someone quickly wrote a flashback of his parents telling him not to.

And yes, Mirai has in his memories nearly raised his parents to sainthood. We’ve not seen one memory of them being anything less than calm, sweet, optimistic and espousing doctrine about finding happiness. In reality I’m sure his parents were actually a little more grounded but that’s the thing about childhood memories. Cook them enough and you’ll get the dish you want.

Platinum End Episode 7

I will also mention that Saki continues to be a fairly meaningless character though there’s a small indication at the end of the episode that perhaps she’ll finally get some development soon. Let’s hope the next step after that is Platinum End actually using her to do something.

The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

What Is Wrong With Platinum End? Can It Get Better Before the End?

What is wrong with Platinum End?

Six episodes in, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed by Platinum End. And I’m probably not alone in that sentiment. But it does leave me wondering just what went wrong with Platinum End to the point that it has left me feeling so deflated. Particularly when I step back from my disappointment and realise what I’m watching isn’t a complete dumpster fire or train-wreck, it just isn’t very good.

What went wrong with Platinum End? Viewer expectations.

Putting Platinum End into context is really important. If another anime came out telling this story with Mirai wanting to die and then becoming a candidate to become god, while it would probably be mediocre at best, it wouldn’t be getting the vitriol on YouTube that Platinum End has been subjected to which further builds up the online sense that Platinum End is the worst anime ever (which it really isn’t, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it).

So why is Platinum End contextually doomed to face this kind of criticism?

What's wrong with Platinum End?

Because of who created the manga. You can’t have an anime coming out, based on a manga by the same writers who gave the world Death Note and Bakuman and not have high audience expectations. When you rank anime on MAL by popularity, Death Note is in the no. 1 position. Even though it only has a review score of 8.63.

Rightly or wrongly, people had expectations about Platinum End. The pre-release hype with character designs and promotional videos also helped to build up these expectations and honestly they set themselves up for some viewers at least to be disappointed regardless of whether what was offered with Platinum End was actually good or not.

Equally, Death Note and Bakuman flourished in a time when accessing anime was significantly harder for those of us not in Japan and so the competition for our views and likes was significantly lower.

I absolutely love Death Note and it was one of the anime that drew me back into being a huge anime fan as an adult and had me actively seeking more anime online. Then I found Bakuman and despite some general dislike at the gender norms and the somewhat silly decision by the protagonist not to talk to a girl until ‘X’ happened, I really enjoyed that series.

That said, I did have some reservations going into Platinum End. The idea that it was more of a battle royale storyline certainly made me wonder if this would click for me because a lot haven’t (though some are quite fun). But, the teaser PV and the creator, they both had me lined up to give this one a watch. Whether I wanted to or not, I was going to end up comparing Platinum End to the other works by the creator and unfortunately, Platinum End doesn’t favourably measure up.

What's wrong with Platinum End?

Sure, you could probably argue that the plot line isn’t any worse than Death Note, and if I wasn’t looking at it through the lens of familiar nostalgia I might even agree, but to be honest, I’ve watched Death Note that many times at this point and have loved it every-time, whether it makes sense or not isn’t even a point to discuss now. Platinum End however can’t get viewed through nostalgia goggles. I’d never even heard of it until the anime started getting hyped. My only emotional connection to it is what I’m feeling each week as the episode ends and unfortunately for it, it isn’t good.

Perhaps then the easiest answer to the question, “what went wrong with Platinum End?”, is that it didn’t come out twenty years ago and audiences are far more judgemental, have far too many other options now, and the moment where this could have ridden the wave of good will from prior works has passed. Much like a certain Avatar sequel that may eventually arrive in cinemas but I don’t think anyone will care. The moment has passed.

What went wrong with Platinum End? Characters

Platinum End Episode 5
What's wrong with Platinum End

Of course, you can’t actually just blame everything on context and viewer expectations. If the anime were solid enough, regardless of an initial let-down it would have recovered from that. instead, each week reviews get more negative and viewers seem less charitable in their estimates of where this story is going.

So what went wrong with Platinum End?

I found it interesting that Irina (from I Drink and Watch Anime), in her episode 6 review of Platinum End asks the question: “What does Saki do?” And you know what? I couldn’t answer that.

Seriously. Saki’s listed as a main character on MAL. Since entering the story she shot Mirai with a red arrow and since then has accompanied him to the stadium and they keep meeting in her room but has she done anything? Other than knowing Mirai has a crush on her, I actually can’t tell you a single thing about her character other than clearly she had something go wrong for her in the past, hence why she’s a god candidate, and she doesn’t speak much in the ‘meetings’ they have letting the angels and Mirai speak and more recently Mukaidou.

Platinum End Episode 3
What's wrong with platinum end?

Maybe her character will do something moving forward, but so far she’s more or less, again as Irina put it, about as useful as a lamp in the background. She’s just eating up screen but contributing nothing.

If it was just Saki, I wouldn’t actually have too much of an issue with the characters of Platinum End. Being familiar with both Death Note and Bakuman, I knew not to expect much from female characters. While there are one or two exceptions, female characters get very short changed by the creator so rather than getting into that rant I’ll actually look at the overall issue of characters in Platinum End.

Basically they are either dull and uninteresting, given too little time to make any meaningful impression, or just bonkers. So far the best character has been Nasse, a superior angel and the one who selected Mirai, but even Nasse has gone from suggesting some highly morally questionable things (leaving us wondering about god and angels and their morality) to more or less Mirai’s cheer-squad. The one slightly interesting character hasn’t done anything particularly interesting leaving us with little to focus on other than the plot.

Platinum End Episode 5
What's wrong with Platinum End?

The battle royale set-up doesn’t help either as it makes you wary of caring about newly introduced characters as they are likely to die. A point made clear when three God candidates were introduced and killed in the space of two episodes. While this isn’t actually a problem unique to Platinum End it contributes to the overall feeling that something is wrong with Platinum End.

It also should be noted that every character in this story seems to have two emotional settings which leap between stoic and uninterested to explosively emotive. There’s pretty much nothing in-between which makes them a little hard to connect with.

What went wrong with Platinum End? Plot

And that leaves me with the plot of Platinum End. What has gone wrong with Platinum End’s plot?

Is it that six episodes in I’m still kind of vague about protagonist Mirai’s motives? Given he’s gone from wanting to die, to wanting to find happiness, to suddenly being staunchly against death and murder for no real reason other than the plot demands it.

What's Wrong with Platinum End?

That the ‘villain’ Metropoliman creates obvious schemes but they seem ludicrous when broken down. He built up his reputation as a hero and then destroyed in an instant with the stadium debacle. And that only netted him three of the twelve competitors. So now, no reputation and still a whole bunch of potential rivals that you can’t identify. His next plan involving blowing up a tower was even more bonkers and seemed even less likely to actually achieve anything.

When we see said character in his day to day talking with a friend, his motives are kind of explained but they don’t provide any justification for his actions so far. If anything, they make him look kind of pathetic and it makes it hard to take his scheming seriously.

Though I guess the real problem is that Mirai still doesn’t have any skin in the game. Left to his own devices, Mirai would have nothing to do with the battle royale or the other god candidates, and so the plot keeps having to come up with contrivances to force him to take action.

What's wrong with Platinum End

This really does contribute to the many things wrong with Platinum End.

It is clear that the story is constantly having to fight its own character to get things moving in the direction it wants only that direction isn’t clear to the audience and to be honest I think we’d all be happier if the plot left Mirai alone. Its definitely a case where a square peg is constantly getting forced into a round hole but rather than give up and find a square hole we’re just going to find a bigger hammer to bash it with until it goes where we want it to.

Anyway, six episodes in and the plot of Platinum End can only be described as serviceable. Sure we have set up that there are candidates with wings and arrows and there’s a time limit in which a candidate can be chosen (though no indication of what happens if the time limit is exceeded), and we’ve had a few poorly devised traps that have been overly dramatized in order to make us feel a sense that something is happening.

The plot is most definitely a reason people think there’s something wrong with Platinum End.

Platinum End

Because really, what has happened? A few people we didn’t know or care about died. Meanwhile our protagonist went to the stadium, watched, and left without taking action. Has now watched a second trap literally explode and has not actually done anything. This might be taking a passive protagonist far too far. He could literally be replaced by a floating camera and we’d have much the same sequence of events without all the angst as he struggles with whether he should take action at the stadium.

Can Platinum End salvage its ending?

You know what, there are apparently 24 episodes in this series. If it was only 12 episodes, I’d say it was past the point of no return. Even with 24 episodes, I think the most Platinum End can hope for is to leave those who’ve stuck with it feeling a little bit smug that they didn’t drop it and that’s only if from this point forward the characters get some fleshing out and the plot starts feeling like it is actually driving somewhere.

Am I going to drop Platinum End?

Not yet. As much as I don’t love it and can pick it to pieces, it actually is pretty average in terms of stories. And for a battle royale story it is on par with something like Battle Game in 5 Seconds and I watched all of that. I didn’t love it, but it was watchable.

As is Platinum End.

Platinum End Episode 4

Sure, it couldn’t live up to the hype and it hasn’t met the expectations of those of us who loved earlier works by its creator. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are plenty of worse anime out there. Right now I’d place Deep Insanity below Platinum End in terms of anime I’m not enjoying and it is definitely better than the train wreck that was The Promised Neverland Season 2 which is my new benchmark of terrible for anime that haven’t met expectations.

There’s plenty that seems to have gone wrong with Platinum End but there has been the occasional interesting moment and the set-up is there so there’s potential. But, I won’t be too surprised if I let this one go at the end of the Fall 2021 season rather than watching on for a second cour.

Over to you, how have you found Platinum End?

The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Platinum End Episode 6 Review – When Will These Characters Stop Walking Into Traps?

Platinum End Episode 6

Alright Platinum End, I’ve learned my lesson. I won’t hope for anything going forward.

In my episode 5 review I had this hope after being given backstory on a new character: “I’m hoping this doesn’t mean he’s going to die next episode because that would set a terrible precedent going forward.” Though in fairness, if this story has any kind of internal logic he won’t be dead because technically his wings make him faster than the thing that possibly could have killed him (which also made me wonder why he was bothering with guns and bullets this episode as clearly Metropoliman would be faster than a bullet).

Platinum End Episode 6

Anyway, as I said, lesson learned, no more hope.

Isn’t that a terrible thing to say about an anime at 6 episodes in to an apparently 24 episode run?

Is Platinum End going to fall because of stupid characters?

I’m also giving up hope of these characters ever learning not to walk into obvious traps. For all their sitting around and planning, basically they come up with the most straight forward approach to dealing with the random girl murderer that Metropoliman is using as bait and it is quite clear before they ever arrive at the tower that nothing good is going to come from the situation. Much like anyone who entered the stadium.

Platinum End Episode 6

Platinum End, these are bad plans. And sure having a protagonist who isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed works in some genres and for some tones but it really doesn’t work when it seems you are reaching for something with a bit more psychological drama in it. Then again, maybe it isn’t aspiring to be a psychological drama and really just wants to be a splatter fest of stupidity.

On that note though, I’d have to agree with Irina:

“Unfortunately, there are still a lot of times where it’s not ridiculous enough to be funny but still doesn’t make much sense.”

I drink and watch anime

So far Platinum End feels more awkward than anything else. There’s potentially some solid ideas that could be explored and certainly this week, with Mirai’s unwillingness to kill, even to save Saki (hypothetically) lending some decent tension given the situation the character finds himself in. But there’s no subtlety to how this is explored and characters in this story are either wooden and emotionless or screaming wrecks. There seems to be no emotional state in between calm or hysterical.

Platinum End Episode 6

Equally, Mukaidou seemed all amazed by the revelation that you could kill someone with a knife last week and wouldn’t need a white arrow (who’d have thought), introduces guns and other equipment to Saki and Mirai, even though they don’t want it, and yet still walks into that fairly obvious trap set by Metropoliman without a thought of what other dangers there might be.

The assumption he made at every turn was that Metropoliman would be there, lying in wait, to shoot whoever turned up with an arrow. Let’s ignore the fact that Metropoliman seems to be the only one who has figured out you can shoot further by stacking arrows, a point that would have already thrown Mukaidou’s plans into disarray, and then think through every other method of killing someone on a tower there might be?

Platinum End Episode 6

It kind of made the climax of episode 6 of Platinum End anti-climatic because to be honest, it was more or less inevitable.

Another example of the lack of subtlety in characterisation that Platinum End foists upon viewers is Girl A herself. Predatory, overly-sexualised, and just plain crazy, she’s a caricature more than a character and clearly never going to be anything more than a plot piece to be discarded.

Platinum End Episode 6

Much like the crying child in episode 5.

If Platinum End wants my emotional investment when characters die it needs to give me better characters. Or it just needs to not take itself seriously and just lean into the silliness because that could equally make this more enjoyable. Right now… I’m not entirely convinced Platinum End can really satisfy either my enjoyment of poor horror or my interest in more serious supernatural thrillers.

The full review for Platinum End Episodes 1 – 12 can be found here.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James