Platinum End is visually by far the best manga that the duo responsible for one of the biggest anime hits ever, Death Note created. Every single page is so crisp, beautiful, and detailed. This is a rare example of a manga that can rival all those Yusuke Murata One Punch Man panels. The characters are distinct and memorable from the first time you lay eyes on them, especially the villains/antagonists.
The manga revolves around a superpower/supernatural death game. God has chosen to retire and he wants to pick a substitute. He decides on 13 individuals, each is given an angel of a different rank. Also, all of those 13 god candidates are people who attempted suicide. The angels save them and bestow power on them. There are three different levels or ranks of angels. The highest rank can bestow upon its candidate three different attributes. First is the power of angel wings, which allow them to travel as fast as the speed of light. The second two are arrows, red and white. The red arrow makes someone fall completely under your control, lose all sense of self. Essentially they become a simp, who would do anything just to please you, even take their own life. The white arrow can kill anyone in an instant, but it has a limited range from which it could be fired at. Angels of the second rank don’t have a white arrow and angles of the third rank only give a red arrow. If one candidate kills another he gains his arrows and or wings.
Broadly speaking this is a manga based around the clash of idealists. The protagonist, a very tortured and abused young man named Mirai (get it, The Future) is unsure if he wants to become God, but he does know that if he is going to win in this game, he wants to do so without bloodshed. He is joined by his crush Saki and Mukaido, a designer with terminal cancer.
On the other side of the spectrum, for the first part of the manga is a mysterious, beautiful young blonde man, who dresses up in the guise of a superhero called Metropolitan Man. His real name is Kanade, a rich spoiled kid. He, like Batman and Iron Man, uses funding from his rich family to create his own battle suit. The reason why he wants to become God is his dead sister. He has a very machiavellian approach to things. There is no good nor evil, only what’s useful or not, that includes people as well. He is also very caste system heavy. He wants to instill a system where everyone knows their place, based not on merit, but on beauty and birthright. The clash between him and Mirai marks the first part of the manga.
The second part explores how the governments of the world would react to the presence of superhuman beings. It also tries to make arguments for and against the existence or being of a god. But it falls flat. The new antagonist who tries to promote, and very poorly I might add, an empiricist way of life feels like a cliché. The zenith of the falling flat is the ending. I thought it was a complete non-sensical copout, rendering everything that happened before totally worthless and useless.