Hello Anime Vice! It is I, M, here again to bring you my own taste and perspective to all the anime I’ve seen, and if there’s one thing I’m good at its being opinionated. Today’s review is a break from the Deadman Wonderland and a small aside into another anime that myself and a few friends watched, Mirai Nikki known as Future Diary in the states.
The story is basically the highlander meets steins gate for lack of a cleaner comparison. It follows the events of a survival game created by the god of time and space to decide his successor, this survival game being decided by twelve people all given a future Diary, basically whatever their previous diary was but already having ever record they would have put in it for the next 90 days, giving the power to change the future to all 12. Now these unknown 12 must kill one another to become god. The main characters being middle schooler Yuki Amano, the 1st (his diary recording everything around him indiscriminately) and the mysterious 2, Yuno Gasai, his Yandere perfected stalker with the “Love diary” records everything about him in ten minute intervals.
This anime has a bit of a history for me. I remember buying the first manga when it was released out in the states by now debunked Tokyo pop because of an ad in the back of something else. From their I passionately purchased even volume from Amazon when they came out and eventually breaking and reading them as they came out in japan. From the get go it was my second favorite manga ever made hands down, and I have read easily over a hundred seeing as I spent a good portion of my middle school life in a book store with friends. That being said I was insanely skeptical of the future diary anime and kept it away from me for the longest time in disbelief it would ever match up to its predecessor. So I suppose this is where I get into whether or not it did?
Short hand is no it did not match up, but damn was it just an inch behind. In plot and development it follows near exact to the manga, much to its benefit, with minor cut outs to skin it down to 26 episodes. As a series both versions craft a distinctly creepy and uncomfortable world without feeling too forced or shifted from our own, just with a narrative pushed dark cloud that begins to consume the work as things progressively get darker and more bleak and uncomfortable. The atmosphere of Future Diary is that of constant tension mixed with deceptively calm and happy moments meant to muddle your attempts at growing cold to the world as Future Diary presents it. In terms of being dark serious story with some very clever series of turns Future diary is a complete success. This all complimented with a incredible cast where even the shortest lived characters seem surprisingly well done, likeable and at worse interesting.
Its greatest cardinal success is its lead female, Yuno. She set the absolute bar of being that perfect uncontrollable force that Yandere main character is suppose to be. Go to the concept page of Yandere and there is a reason she is its poster girl. Perfectly bordering on a mix of madness and docile pleasantness that makes anyone no matter how much you want to resist let your guard down a little. She is, without being superhuman, one of the most hyper lethal characters I have seen in anything. She has gone beyond a sadist, who takes pleasure in death thus accepts its relevance, to something more alien and frightening, something that simply does not think of death any more then I think of walking. It is simply the shortest path to her, and while many try to present characters as such few are done so well that they actually become incredibly creepy in a way that makes me a 6 foot 3 man of impressive strength afraid.
Future Diary while it looks great and tells a fantastic story it does have some fairly relevant flaws, the sound design while often great does pull one too many of the classic and generic horror movie sounds out in too serious of moments that it rips a little out of the immersion, and while everything and I mean every nearly irrelevant anime thing in the series is explained in fiction well enough some of said explanations are rather cheap. The major issue with the serious however deals with the ending, it’s basically as if the writer thought of about 8 endings and picked all 8 of them. Going right to the point where the book naturally would be sealed and reopening it again to just keep going, and while it’s done well enough it was still done, making the end somewhat of a cluster f@#k. Lastly on the negative side of things where the anime does leave it off is an odd point, it stops halfway in the final chapter of the manga leaving out the explanation of the final event and the closure that its suppose to bring instead giving a mild feeling of not exactly a cliffhanger, but not too far from it. This all being an off putting in comparison to the rest of the series which is meticulously thought out and executed.
Everything being said Future Diary the anime is an up there on my all time favorites. No surprise that I argue so heavily that it should be dubbed and put on Toonami. Future Diary is something that is just perfectly representation of the dark side madness made for our own twisted entertainment. That all said it is the inferior of the series and though just barely held back from a 5 I give it the still just a positive and very rare 4.5 murmur end skits out of 5 (which are by the way funnier than any single episode of Yuru Yuri has ever been)
Well vice this is M and I'm off. I’ll leave you with the yuki song, enjoy the madness vice and check out Future Diaries its worth your time. Oh and Hopefully we'll have another podcast recorded this week.