The Future is Bleak (Future Diary Review)

Topic started by Elfenlied1012 on Aug. 4, 2012. Last post by sickVisionz 1 year, 11 months ago.
Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

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.

Post by Tiferet (149 posts) See mini bio Level 6

That girl, the way she's described, it's something. I think I will.

Post by AURON570 (539 posts) See mini bio Level 15

You should proofread what you write. I can understand the gist of what you're saying, but sometimes it's hard to understand the details when some sentences are badly structured.

I was really excited to hear about Future Diary. After watching Steins;gate I was ready for another sci-fi thriller and planned on watching Future Diary as it was airing. But it wasn't available anywhere legally, so I haven't gotten around to it yet. =\

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@Tiferet: Good show enjoy it and tell me what you think, though if your in to manga check out that version its more worth your time.

@AURON570: A. Yes I would totally proof read what I say, but I'm not paid for this and seeing as I have other things to do with my time and am very busy I'd rather jut get it down make sure the spelling is right and post it. If anyone where cared that much about grammar the average fan translation of a manga would make their head explode. I understand people will complain about grammar, but complaining about grammar is about as good a logical argument as Ad Hominem. This being said I dont mean it aggressively, but factually. (because I do think your intending to be helpful not insulting) I dont get paid for this and as such, I really dont have the time to proofread. I earnestly apologize.

B. while its a great show its not strict sci-fi its more horror fantasy with sci-fi elements. If your more looking for Strict hard sci-fi planetes is apparently really good and more in line with that, and no I promise I'm not spelling it wrong.

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@AURON570: oh and here its on Hulu

Post by Tiferet (149 posts) See mini bio Level 6
@Elfenlied1012: I'll let you know. And if I hate it, expect a very angry fan letter with curses and such. Nah, I'm just messin'. No, not really. Okay, yes.
Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@Tiferet: I look forward to the debate old chap

Post by Tiferet (149 posts) See mini bio Level 6
@Elfenlied1012: I prefer young chap, thank you very much!
Post by AURON570 (539 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@Elfenlied1012: I don't live in the U.S. unfortunately. :( Thanks for the recommendation for Planetes though, I'll keep an eye on it. :)

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@AURON570: tthey're are other sources but yeah I very much respect staying legal, it'll keep the internet from killing itself.

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

So, I just found out that the 12 players of the survival game each represent, and very cleverly so, most of the gods in the Roman pantheon. Did I mention I f@#king love this series?

Post by sickVisionz (4,223 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator

I ended up dropping this show twice. The first was around episode 5 when someone summoned a motorcycle ad missiles from their skirt. That was a bit too ridiculous for me so I let it go. A few weeks later I checked it out again and started following it regularly.

One thing that I both love and hate is how it can swing from being super dark and having gang rape scenes (on a tangent, pranking someone into getting gang raped is something I've seen so much in anime that I wonder if kids setting up people they don't like to get gangraped isn't a rare occurrence in Japan) to something super stupid and goofy like people with ridiculous 80s bansho hair, a character who looks like someone inside of a Disney character costume, and other just outlandish and silly stuff. One thing I always hated was the male lead. He was too much of a pansy for the bulk of the series (yet another Japanese teen who hates the female body and gays up all the time... no wonder their population is shrinking) and when he finally realized it was kill or be kill, he turned into like a crazy maniac who was executing kind old ladies who ran an orphanage and gunning down hundreds of people like it was nothing. The way the lead and the tone of the series could instantly flip-flop between two extremes was always weird.

Anyways, I dropped it like one episode before the end. I hadn't watched it in about two weeks and when I came back, I watched 5 minutes and couldn't figure out why this was something I was ever interested in to begin with.

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

@sickVisionz: While you are entitled toy your opinion entirely, and it does have some merits I dont really find those issues too deal breaking. I have a response at the bottom but your entitled to your own opinion as with all things, nothings for everyone...except for like food and water.

The oddness in character designs I think are weird in a way I think is meant to be deceptively goofy as a sharp inverse to the dark world the series actually deal with, its being s contrast that make both appear sharper, like that happens when you have red on white in colors. The bike thing is a bit difficult to stomach but if I wasn't able to accept that (which is hamfistedly, but functionally justified by the story) then how am I suppose to accept 90% of the sillyness in almost everything with an action premise especially when you add the world of anime into the mix.

The main character is a middle school kid with severe social anxiety, in an environment where 12 other people are looking for him with the intent to murder the f@#k out of him. The only thing protecting him is a Woman I would trust about as much as I trust a thief with my wallet and his own cleverness. To be honest as much has he does seem whinny I think in a way its a lot more realistic for him to be in tears afraid constantly then totally in control. As a culture I think we expect protagonists to be braver the we've ever needed to be. Plus he mans up quiet a few times. I mean I could be wrong I dont know anyone thats been hunted by people who can see the future, for all I know its as stressful as a deep tissue massage.

Third the specifics of why he did that seem justified (killing everyone) when you consider the intrinsic Idea of death being irrelevant, he was under the impression that he could resurrect the dead at will so it makes sense why he can so easy kill people, plus considering the constant stress I can totally accept him losing it.

Post by sickVisionz (4,223 posts) See mini bio Level 24
Moderator

@Elfenlied1012 said:

The oddness in character designs I think are weird in a way I think is meant to be deceptively goofy as a sharp inverse to the dark world the series actually deal with, its being s contrast that make both appear sharper, like that happens when you have red on white in colors. The bike thing is a bit difficult to stomach but if I wasn't able to accept that (which is hamfistedly, but functionally justified by the story) then how am I suppose to accept 90% of the sillyness in almost everything with an action premise especially when you add the world of anime into the mix.

I've never really gotten into irony solely for irony's sake. Even beyond the character design, the show swings from incredibly dark to incredibly silly or ridiculous in a heartbeat and on a regular basis. To me, that just comes off as completely unfocused and throwing disparate elements at a wall. It's not like School Days where it starts as one thing and then transitions to something else, it's constantly flopping back and forth. It's fun in a what crazy nonsense will the show throw at me next kind of way but also a negative for me because well, it's a show that's always throwing crazy nonsense then tries to get serious all of the sudden.

And that's ultimately my gripe. The dark and serious parts are generally wrapped around something so ridiculous that the darkness just feels like spectacle or shock value. For all the silliness, none of it is actually funny so it's doesn't come off as a dark comedy, it just felt like a show that doesn't have a clue what it's trying to be. I'm reminded of Tom's review of Rideback where he says something like, "nobody on the staff seems to have noticed how goofy this all looks." The serious parts are so straight laced, but they're being carried out by someone straight out of the Strawberry Shortcake cartoon; there's a scene about gang rape... delivered by a guy doing a really cheesy accent and acting ridiculous; you've got a school shooting, but the attacker summons motorcycles from her skirt. Every episode is like a mashup of something serious surrounded by nonsense and for me it makes the goofy stuff to dark to be comedic and the darker elements too ridiculous to take seriously.

Then on top of that, they start throwing in more plot twists than Death Note, as if disparate elements and shake-ups were something the series was lacking and needed more of.

At the end of the day, I just didn't think the show did much more than be entertaining in a so bad it's good way or shock value.

As for the main lead, I'm not expecting him to be an action hero. However, he does things that I just can't imagine any teenage boy with raging hormones would do. But I guess that makes him like a harem lead, which would be another disparate element for the writers to throw at the viewer.

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