|02, 03, 04, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 19|
|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
It's been quite a while since I've seen a series as laughably bad as Future Diary. Focused on a survival game with our weak-willed male lead Yukiteru and a yandere gal named Yuno obsessively in love with him, this series is a huge mess with plot and character developments, proper logic, mood consistency and relishing in its graphic and depraved content way too much.|
The biggest issue that stems with Future Diary is that it seems to get too fixated in advancing its plot head-on without any regard for proper depth, buildup and consistency. There are a number of unexplored elements to the series like how Yukiteru became acquainted with Deus and why many of the folks Deus chose for the survival game are a bunch of psychopaths, criminals and loons. Logic is tossed out the window with how certain plot setups occur and characters making decisions that don't make much sense like one character able to rig a ridiculous number of bombs throughout a school without anyone even noticing and Yukiteru continuing to trust Yuno despite knowing full well how much of a nutcase she is. A number of the players in the survival game don't get much depth beyond being crazed loons and criminals, and those who do get some sort of depth only get them in a scope of a couple episodes where their mentality for the violent and depraved acts they commit don't make any sense and seemed sloppily pasted together. The series lacks a consistent mood as it tries mixing around deadly serious storytelling and comedy at a number of points with the interactions between Yuno and Yukiteru, which felt awkward and ill-timed in execution. The final episodes of the series seemed sloppy in their execution with convenient developments and plot twists that either get convoluted or are poorly explored. And lastly, it tends to relish too greatly at many points in its graphic and depraved content with a good number of violent and gory scenes, a good amount of nudity and sexual content, torture, rape, child abuse, terrorism and a diverse number of ways to murder folks. It's like whoever made this series wanted to make it a seinen title, yet winded up with the immaturity and cheesiness you would find with a cookie-cutter shounen title in the way it is set up and structured.
The visuals to Future Diary are on the plain side with character designs sporting the typical mainstream look and scenery shots being decent with what they deliver. The CG animation for this (used mostly with vehicles or rendering the world of Deus ex Machina) is a bit sloppy as it looks awkwardly rendered and clearly sticks out from the typical animation of the series. The animation is nothing to write home about either with flat choreography during fight scenes and a decent number of animation shortcuts used throughout the title's run.
Overall, Future Diary is one of the biggest messes in quality that I've seen in a while from a title getting plenty of hype from anime fans. With no regard for proper depth, consistency and buildup in the treatment of its plot and characters, as well as relishing in its objectionable content and themes, Future Diary is a lovely train wreck of a title that may get either disgust or unintentional laughs from fans with its content and sloppy execution.
Last updated Tuesday, October 29 2013. Created Tuesday, October 18 2011.
(All episodes watched):|
This show is a mess--a fun mess to watch, though. I think it is safe to say that Mirai Nikki suffers from a chronic case of poor storytelling. The action is often confusing and implausible; whoever made this show just didn't bother to think twice about what makes sense and what doesn't. Yet the bizarre characters had a strange charm to them, as they did crazy and unexpected things. I really had no idea where this was going, but I couldn't help having fun while trying to figure the plot out. In spite of a mountain of problems, somehow the show held my interest as I wondered where all this was leading to.
A poor man's Gantz/Death Note imitation? That was my first impression of Mirai Nikki. However, the show had some virtue and has piqued my interest. The notion that a boy has dreamed up a complex alternate reality is pitched to us in a take-it-or-leave-it manner, because we must suspend disbelief and accept it without expecting many answers to the questions that leap to our minds. If I understand it correctly, twelve contestants have been drafted to take part in a bizarre fight to the death, and the sole survivor will be granted divine status as the God of Time and Space (naturally, the contestants accept this explanation without blinking an eye). What makes things interesting is that each can forsee the future to a limited extent, using a cellphone. But they will be continually screwing with each other, which means your premonitions are only good until somebody else alters the future yet again. I was sure this wouldn't be anywhere near as good as Steins;Gate but it might be interesting. What happens to the losers definitely grabs your attention.
Mirai Nikki strikes me as a mixed bag; sometimes the plot has interesting twists; instead of sticking to one relatively simple formula it expands its envelope and explores new concepts. On the other hand, as a whole the show seems disjointed and hard to follow. Events are poorly explained, which partially cancels out the novelty and cleverness. Sometimes I can only roll my eyes at the simplistic, patronizing manner in which events unfold, with absurd coincidences and unrealistic reasoning by Yukki and others. If only a bit more effort and talent had been invested in it, Mirai Nikki might have been a excellent show. Sometimes it is violent, sometimes comic--I wonder what the makers were aiming for. Is this cleverness or is it just totally screwed up? One thing I can say for it is that it keeps you guessing. Allegiances seem to shift with every episode, you wonder if anyone can be trusted, and in general nothing is for certain. Yukki may be the closest thing to a sane person in the cast. The show also has a touch of comedy to it. Episode seven was a riot as Yukki's mother turns up, and, as luck would have it, she is delighted to find that he has a girlfriend, even if it is the patently insane Yuno. A little bit after the credits each week was fun too.
On a sidenote, I took a look at the ANN page regarding this show and was surprised to find that it has gotten very high ratings (the highest possible one got the most votes of any) and very few poor ratings. Go figure.
I guess it was just the weirdness of this show--the notion of people being able to get a glimpse of the near future, and use it as they try to outsmart each other--that kept me coming back, because everything else is so damn sloppy. This is a show which feels like the scriptwriter completed one hasty rough draft, then somehow it was decided that this was good enough and production went ahead. There is supposed to be a fight-to-the-death, winner-take-all contest going on, which was arranged by a God himself, yet it doesn't feel all that serious. The contestants repeatedly spare opponents which they could have easily finished off, and thoroughly trust and cooperate with one another--are they taking this contest seriously at all? And nevermind that everything they thought they knew about God and religion would have been swept away. Instead, we get a relatively simplistic take on human emotions and motivations. And the events which really do take place are often so implausible as to make this more of a comedy than an angsty drama. Guns are shot out of people's hands by complete amateur marksmen, characters flip-flop between trying to kill each other and liking each other at the drop of a hat, crazy gimmicks like the 'Heartbeat Bomb' are employed, and in general Mirai Nikki is a largely nonsensical show. And yet I remained impatient to see what would happen next.
In the second half the way things are working out often left me scratching my head. Events which ought to be--and no doubt were supposed to be--tragic didn't move me, because they, and the series as a whole, had been presented in such a slapdash manner. I was confused, and as a result didn't feel much of a thrill when events of monumental significance came about. But Nikki actually gets kind of intriguing near the end--Too bad it spent so much time on shallow fighting subplots before getting serious like this. It gets kind of cool in some ways, but remains absurd and implausible in others. With quality having been as all-over-the-place as it was earlier on, I had feared that the series would end with a nonsensical conclusion which would demolish any desire to re-watch it someday. But while I don't completely 'get' how and why things turned out the way they did, the way things wound up was kind of cathartic. I understood enough to be pleased with the ending, even if I'd probably have to watch the entire series again to understand everything. The startling way that Yuki and Murmur wound up at the very end was an especially neat touch for a show which hadn't raised my expectations very high. And what do the words 'Next Project Starting' mean--a sequel already in the works? The conclusion reinforces my earlier opinion of the series as a whole: a neat story which was handled in a sloppy manner and might have been much better, yet nevertheless managed to be intriguing and well worth watching.
My favorite line: "Not good. Yuno went wacko again" –Yukki
Last updated Monday, November 04 2013. Created Thursday, October 13 2011.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://www.future-diary.tv/|
|Nicovideo Website for the series (japanese)||http://ch.nicovideo.jp/channel/future-diary|