I’ll go for the pithy quip and say that this is the show that STEINS GATE really, really wanted to be.
The notion of a cell phone delivering ominous messages from the future seems so… pedestrian a source of scares that you've really got to play along a lot to take it seriously. It’s maybe a click or two off from the notion of a cursed Twitter feed. Why it seems so much easier to work with here (over STEINS GATE) is that there’s more going on with the show, idea wise, than just a handful of people fretting about what some mysterious texts mean. You've got dream god and a whole BATTLE ROYALE-style game of death to spread the burden. I was going to question how silly the one serial killer with the Halloween mask seemed but, by that point, the series had already established itself as an outright fantasy...
...so it was all OK.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been perplexed enough by anime’s different visions of masculinity to feel it worth commenting on. Still, the lead kid in this show seemed notably pampered (particularly in the moment where he’s gloating about how he’s managed to evade getting beat up by those bullies behind the school) that I can’t help but suspect that his, uh, “demeanor” is due for some comeuppance later. I read some commentary somewhere that, supposedly, a lot of Japanese women are flustered with the steadily-dwindling dearth of manly man in their comeuppance (which would seem to fit into the depictions of heroes I’ve noted in these shows) - - and that’s enough to make me feel like this kid’s in store for some humbling. Or at least some growth.
I give kudos to this show for how it set up the other “seers” our hero is going to have to fight against. Maybe it’s an easy tactic to build mystery and anticipation when you’re literally depicting future foes in silhouette, but I did appreciate the subtle detail that neither he, nor his girl, were obscured because they had already known to each other. I don’t know if THE FUTURE DIARY will wind up on the top of this growing pile of possible shows, but it’s certainly a solid start.
Watch this episode, "Sign Up” below and decide for yourself.