Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata is one of the few series that broke through that glass ceiling to become a mainstream success. It never got to the level of Sailor Moon or Dragonball Z but it was a title that would regularly appear in magazine articles, became the object of TV controversy, the subject of parody, and regularly appear on the list best-selling manga in the US. It even got the standard rumors about there being Death Note TV series and movies being made in Hollywood. It was series that had an unstoppable momentum that even got it a new live action TV series in Japan and is still discussed today.
With a mega success like that the natural question is what would the duo as a follow-up. It turns out that their next work was Bakuman. It was a very meta manga about a pair of friends trying to make it in the manga industry. It was undoubtedly a success but it was not the juggernaut that Death Note was. Bakuman got an anime, a drama, and sold well but while it is a show that has name recognition on anitwitter it has no where the same cache of its predecessor at an anime convention among the average attendee.
Once again Ohba and Obata are working together on Platinum End. It is a good deal closer to the supernatural mixture of supernatural suspense and horror that made Death Note a success as opposed to the relatively more realistic comedy of Bakuman. The question on everyone’s lips is how does this compare to their last two hits.
Shonen Jump has been bringing out a lot of new material lately. It is exciting to see this team back together to do something more with the supernatural which gives Takeshi Obata’s art time to shine and let’s Tsugumi Ohba play with no-limits in the story.
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