Episode 22 – Platinum End

How would you rate episode 22 of
Platinum End ? Community score: 2.7

Yoneda fucking sucks.

I just needed to put that up front, because while it’s been implied across previous episode reviews, it deserves to be stated plainly. As a character, as a villain, as just a narrative tool serving to drive the story forward, he sucks ass harder than damn near anything else in this show. And yes, I’m including the psychotic lesbian school girl serial killer/rapist when I say that. At least she was only around for one episode, while Yoneda and his interminably stupid Genius Atheist shtick has sucked up every molecule of oxygen in this show since he first opened his mouth. At least 75% of this episode is just Yoneda talking, and talking, and TALKING and it makes for the most dire viewing experience since the episode where the cast argued about suicide for 20 minutes.

The first and most pressing issue is that Yoneda is meant to be an incomparable super genius, but the writing just isn’t capable of portraying that. The concepts and theories he spouts this episode aren’t particularly complex or difficult to grasp, and the only reason anyone in the show struggles to keep up is because they all have to be written as total idiots to make Yoneda seem smarter by contrast. But if you’ve both read Dr. Manhattan’s monologue about relative time in Watchmen and had somebody spout biotruths at you about love being a chemical reaction, then you fully understand everything he brings up this episode.

Which makes it all the more insufferable to see him go on minutes-long monologues, talking in circles to explain concepts that are nowhere near as revelatory as the writers seem to believe they are. All it amounts to is Yoneda saying he’s so super duper smart and has predicted that in the next 300 years humanity will advance to a point of transhumanist despair, and so he’s going to change that by…killing God, I guess. Amazingly, for all his talking it’s still not clear what Yoneda’s long-term plan is or what he hopes to achieve once God is dead. So he speaks incessantly, in the most annoying and condescending imaginable manner, and still manages to say nothing with any of it. It is quite literally the opposite of compelling.

None of this is helped by the fact that his debate partner is Miraithe only character (well, except for Saki) who is more vacuous than our villain. Mirai‘s big character development is he’s now decided that yes, preventing a significant number of deaths is worth making a personal sacrifice for, so he’ll kill Yoneda in order to save all the anonymous people in the world who would despair if they new for certain that God didn’t exist. It is, technically, development from the last time he had to consider killing somebody, and to his credit he seems genuinely willing to bear not only the consequences of taking a life, but becoming God himself and deciding the fate of humanity. It’s a development that came out of nowhere and in some ways it actively contradicts his stated morals, but at least I don’t have to hear him bravely refuse to accept responsibility for the hundredth time, so I’ll take it.

Of course, that choice is immediately invalidated when Yoneda takes Saki hostage, forcing Mirai to surrender and allow himself to be killed. Which was something he already did back in the fight with Metropoliman, anyway. So our hero’s big, dramatic moment is him reversing course on his only scrap of development. Brilliant. The cherry on top is, of course, that the show wants this to be a dramatic, impactful moment of tragedy to show us just how much Mirai and Saki mean to eachother, but their relationship has all the emotional weight of wet styrofoam.

Even the writing seems aware of this, as there’s a hilarious little moment where Yoneda assumes out loud that Saki must be pleading for Mirai to let her die instead, only to cut to Saki sitting in dead silence as she watches the man she loves agree to die for her. It’s frankly bizarre to see the show acknowledge how worthless its own character writing is, because presumably the people making this could have just…written a relationship they actually liked? Then again, one of Platinum End‘s defining features is its thinly veiled contempt for its own protagonist, so maybe that’s part of its charm.

Thus we get our big cliffhanger leading into the penultimate episode of this mess. Will Mirai really sacrifice himself for Saki? Will Yoneda succeed at killing God? Will anyone still be reading these reviews or watching the show to find out? Will they care if they are? The disappointing answers to all of these questions are sure to arrive next week. Same platinum time. Same platinum channel.

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Platinum End is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and Funimation.

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