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THE FUTURE DIARY is a Confused, Offensive Mess -- DVD Box Set Review

This is my THE FUTURE DIARY diary. It says what I thought when I was watching THE FUTURE DIARY.

THE FUTURE DIARY is a show where characters' diaries write themselves and predict the future. In response, I kept a diary of my thoughts and feelings while watching the show, late at night. Be forewarned, though, because the results weren't pretty...

11:29 PM – This is... dark. In both the literal and figurative sense. It begins with an apparent suicide. I should make sure to say that this show contains heavy subject matter, just to be safe.

11:31 PM – Opening theme in the first episode? You don't necessarily see that too often nowadays. Starting with an eyeball crying blood? That's a bit goth - - wait did that knife just bleed? No, that's silly; it just rusted away over time. But those dolls are definitely full of blood. As is that ball? Oh gosh are those people made of blood!? OK the pile of skulls seals it: this show is going to be a serious, possibly grimdark story. I am now psychologically prepared.

11:39 PM - Yuki Amano has resigned himself to not participating in life, and merely to observe it. He meticulously logs everything he perceives in his cellphone diary, to the point of weirding out his classmates. He also doesn't notice the serial murders taking place around his school.

11:42 PM - Yuki's only friends are ones he made up, so he hides himself in a fantasy world inhabited by Deus Ex Machina and his assistant Murmur. Deus is animated with cel shaded computer graphics at a low frame rate, in contrast to the more traditional animation style of the show, making him disconcertingly other-wordly. Murmur seems to be a two-foot tall demon child and the mascot of the show. Ah well, shows need mascots.

11:45 PM - Yuki wakes up to find that Deus has given him a gift: his diary for that day has been completely filled out for him, including answers to a pop quiz. Yuki, being a detached slacker, thinks this is the best thing ever and nothing bad can come of it.

11:47 PM - Deus explains that Yuki and his diary are one, and if anything happens to it Yuki will die. Yuki reads his diary and discovers he's going to be murdered, and there's nothing past an ominous entry that simply reads "DEAD END". He's approached by the beautiful and bright Yuno Gasai, who reveals she knows about his Dead End.

11:50 PM - Yuno corners Yuki in an elevator. She gets real close to him and then... makes out with his face. Yuno has apparently been stalking him for ages and has a Future Diary of her own, but hers follows everything Yuki does. Yuki's stalker is also his best hope at staying alive.

11:52 PM - The killer is their homeroom teacher, as he is the only other person to talk in the show and had long hair (lending further proof toward Roger Ebert's Law of Economy of Characters). He has a phone diary also, and Yuki dispatches him when he breaks it.

11:54 PM - There are 12 people who hold Future Diaries, and each one functions differently. They must now kill each other, and the last one standing will inherit Deus' throne as Lord of Space and Time. It seems only the Diary Holders have any form of free agency in the world. Their actions and only their actions can alter what's in each others' Diaries.

11:58 PM - I'm struck by the stark contrast between Yuki and Light Yagami from the conceptually similar DEATH NOTE. Light is a Holmesian ubermensch, his forethought and analysis allowing him to go blow for blow with the best minds of his time. Yuki, on the other hand, barely qualifies as an everyman since he's so withdrawn. It's as if they wanted to cast Shinji Ikari as Light, but he was unavailable due to his movie schedule. It will be interesting to see how Yuki adapts to the scenario and, more importantly, to Yuno.

12:04 AM - This maid is another Future Diary holder. She rigged Yuki's school to explode because she's a terrorist. Is this really the same show I was watching on episode ago?

12:09 AM - This show is going to have a lot of shots of people looking at their phones, isn't it.

12:12 AM - The police chief is also a diary holder? I suppose the problem with having 12 of them is that they're going to make up a large part of the cast. He's interested in preventing needless deaths in this tournament and protects Yuki. I'm glad not everyone is out to kill Yuki as that would make for some repetitive, shonen-showdown stuff.

12:16 AM - Except now, because there are bombs everywhere, the chief instantly caters to the maid's demands and points his gun at Yuki.

12:18 AM - Yuno goes psycho, sacrificing everyone in the school by setting off motion detector bombs to get to the maid and bash her with a fire extinguisher. Now that the tables have turned, the chief switches sides again!? This character is totally untrustworthy and I bet Yuno will never work with him.

12:20 AM - Did the maid really just shoot missiles out from under her skirt then escape on a motorcycle? This show is silly.

12:22 AM - Yuki, no, don't be this stupid. Don't forge an alliance with a man who was willing to kill you in a game where everyone will try to kill you. He says he doesn't want to become god (which anyone with brains would say), but doesn't he also want to live? Yuno, you're supposed to be the smart one—how are you also ok with this? This show is clearly much sillier than the pilot lead me to believe. I will adjust my expectations accordingly.

12:25 AM - How can the third episode be the fan service episode? And yet, here we are in a water park, supposedly to "lure out" the terrorist maid by being out in public. Not only is this a poor excuse to get Yuno is a bathing suit, it puts the entire park at risk.

12:32 AM - It occurs to me that this is the third episode and consequently the third major change in tone. THE FUTURE DIARY has no idea what tone it's going for and is schizophrenic and stupid as a result. I will adjust my expectations accordingly.

12:34 AM - Yuno finally has Yuki exactly where she wants him: her a rundown yet palatial home. Conveniently, her parents are out of town and a storm has knocked out the power. Yuki checks his Diary to see where the bathroom is. This is the most creative use of his Diary to date.

12:37 AM - Yuki stops at a door that isn't mentioned in his diary, wondering if opening it will alter the future. The answer is yes, Yuki. That's exactly how your power works, you dumbass.

12:41 AM - It occurs to me that Yuki's Diary has the ability to predict the next 90 days, yet has never bothered to read more than a few hours ahead at a time. Despite having (barely) survived what he has, he refuses to accept the situation he's in.

12:45 AM - The next day Yuki doesn't tell the chief that Yuno has a room in her house full of decaying bodies which caused him to run home screaming. He can't tell the chief this because Yuno deftly prevented him from talking about that night by implying the had sex. The idea of telling the chief what he saw anyway never occurs to Yuki.

12:46 AM - The chief's Diary tells him all reported crimes. This is a convenient excuse to move the plot, since it tells him the terrorist maid has been imprisoned by a local cult.

Crazy Eye Delivery Service! I GOT YOUR CRAZY EYES RIGHT HERE
Crazy Eye Delivery Service! I GOT YOUR CRAZY EYES RIGHT HERE

12:49 AM - I suppose it's too much to ask that the cultist in charge of the terrorist maid keep all her clothes on while he tortures her for information. Her tormenter is another Diary Holder, who dresses as a demented superhero.

12:56 AM - The cult is led by a nearly blind girl who has yet another Future Diary, which records everything her cultists will tell her throughout the day. At least it's a scroll and not another damn cell phone.

12:58 AM - The cultists are suddenly and inexplicably zombies. This is show is asinine. I will adjust my expectations accordingly.

1:06 AM - It occurs to me that Yuno is the protagonist of the show, not Yuki. Yuno makes decisions that affect the plot, while Yuki seems incapable of grasping what's going on. Instead of watching Yuki evolve to meet threats, we will instead see Yuki do something psychotic like hack people apart with an axe.

DEAD END WARNING

1:14 AM - It makes sense that the cult leader would have something dark happen to her; she does lead a cult after all. Her parents set up cult to help her with her poor eyesight. Parents die unexpectantly and violently, leaving her in charge. Cult leader is ritualistically gang raped by her cult. I fight with myself not to cause property damage to my apartment.

1:52 AM - I finally calmed down enough to continue the show, in spite of the image framed on my television of a young girl's lap streaming with semen. I hate you, THE FUTURE DIARY, for showing me this image. While you want me to believe you've plumbed the darkness of human nature to give me these shocks, the only impact you deliver is due to your juvenile approach to these repulsive acts.

2:10 AM - Yuki, Yuno, the chief and the cult leader run to escape the zombies and are confronted by the superhero, who apparently has hypnosis powers which made the zombies. He does a sentai intro dance and attacks them with dopplegangers. After showing a rape scene not ten minutes ago, you now have the gaul to try to make me laugh.

2:17 AM - The superhero, the most visually interesting and creepy human character in the show, gets a chump death because he bull rushes the psycho with an axe.

2:19 AM - She manipulated all of these characters so that her cultists could kill them for her. She wants to win the game because she is evil; she is evil because she was ritualistically gang raped. We are done, FUTURE DIARY.

DEAD END

THE FUTURE DIARY has severe tone issues, its characters are idiotic, and it doesn't respect its audience. If you want to be offended - - or perhaps want to see just how off-concept a show can go - - maybe you should watch it. Otherwise, stay far away.

Matt Murphy is a freelance nerd who has contributed to many nerd websites. You can reach him by going to where the light meets the shadow, by sending out zeta-brainwaves or by following him on Twitter @Murphix

Kino88on Oct. 17, 2013 at 3:06 p.m.

but, why is this show so madly popular?

well then again so was Elfen Lied, yuck!

zaldaron Oct. 17, 2013 at 3:36 p.m.

Wow Matt I REALLY disagree! Oh and who are you by the way haven't seen you on the site before. Yes the tone of the show changes, but then a consistent tone in a long running show is overrated in my opinion. Yes somethings that the characters do is crazy but they are in a crazy situation remember the main characters are middle schoolers so expecting them to tell the policeman know we can't go to the park as it is to dangerous for the park is rather silly. Yuko in case you didn't notice is VERY mentally unbalanced - so she wouldn't care. Later it becomes very obvious that she would sacrifice the entire world for Yuki. Being raped the way the blind girl was can certainly have turned people evil the way it did her and simply showing the image is in no way juvenile (and for me the humor afterward was needed to bring the show back up can't wallow in the gutter forever). I have not finished the show (to many other things to do when you are in law school) but your review of about the first six episodes is unduly harsh. Yes it is violent, yes it turns into ten little Indians and yes the main character is withdrawn and not overly intelligent (aka a normal middle schooler) but it is always intriguing and I certainly have found it interesting. Watching the long running plots and manipulations (the police chief is playing a VERY long game) is extremely interesting.

YotaruVegetaon Oct. 17, 2013 at 4:19 p.m.

Hey, the man is sensitive, possibly to tumblr levels. I don't need rape in any anime I'm watching (even porn), but I don't shy away from it when it's presented, and I didn't feel as jarred as Matt did with comedy being presented in the same episode as dark moments are. If it was rape> joke within the same scene, I would not be writing this, but it's not like Hellsing Ultimate, where comedy totally busts in unexpected.

Destinyheroknighton Oct. 17, 2013 at 5:25 p.m.

I watch Future Diary and stop at the rape part, there are few things that make me stop watching an anime and rape is one of them. I looking for entertainment, not stuff that make me sick to my stomach

takashichea moderator on Oct. 17, 2013 at 6:01 p.m.

As sickVisionz said, "different strokes for different folks." I just recently got into the anime last month. The rape scene isn't that traumatizing as the ones I seen in Seikon no Qwaser. I can't stomach rape, but I either move on or drop the show. For Future Diary, (not to be a dick) I didn't have any pity for that girl when she tried to have Yuno raped.

Don't want to talk about rape. Future Diary is a guilty pleasure thriller show of mine. Don't know why I like it. I guess I'm a sick person as well. The obsessive yandere combined with a wimpy, indecisive boy really made the show stand out. There are so many survival anime shows out there: Gantz, Btooom, Deadman Wonderland. None of them could top of Future Diary.

@Kino88:

Any shows that are disturbing tend to stay in the back of people's mind.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 17, 2013 at 7:45 p.m.

@takashichea: Naw i wouldnt think of ya as sick.Tho i only got to episode 9 of this series.Just did not like male lead,an Yuno kinda got on my nerves.This is a psycological horror/drama seires.That sub gene itself is just not for every one.

This one i described to a friend as a combination of Highlander ( their can only be one) an Death Note.An if he couldnt handle Evil Dead then this is not for him.

Is cults a big problem in Japan?I can think of sevrial anime that touch on them . Bakemonogatari,Golden Time,Future Diary,Gosick an Dusk Maiden of Amnesia just to name a few.

YotaruVegetaon Oct. 17, 2013 at 9:32 p.m.

@Destinyheroknight: Murder doesn't make you sick to your stomach?

Destinyheroknighton Oct. 17, 2013 at 11:17 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta:

That a little different, the only murders that make me sick to my stomach are the really goring ones (like Gantz). Other then that, I ok with it.

With rape, is a personal reason I don't like it (I don't want to talk about). I just don't like rape being use to make a story "dark and edgy"

Baal_Raamon Oct. 18, 2013 at 3:48 a.m.

I gotta say that, this show pissed me off more than once.

sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 18, 2013 at 5:59 a.m.

I thought the series was a mess. It would switch from being ridiculously fantastical like people summoning missile shooting motorcycles, to some ultra dark and morbid rape scene, then next week you've got a character who literally looks like a giant Strawberry Shortcake Muppet, then another rape scene, then we have some 4 year old that's a psycho murderer.

It's tonally all over the place, which can be kind of enjoyable in its own right but I found that after taking a break from the series right before the last episode, I couldn't remember why I enjoyed watching it or why I should bother to finish it up.

Ballistic_zon Oct. 18, 2013 at 6:05 a.m.

I made it past up to episode 18. Now usually these things do make me feel sick. but I remember Black Lagoon was talked about in how cool it is for north american viewers on this very site as an article. [SPOILER]And I saw Revi's past/ how she grew up in Raberta's blood trail. and she was raped .[/SPOILER] which explains her situation and why she's on that messed up island of killers worse then Marevl's madripoor.

Now next to anime shows like freezing and RIN Daughters of Mnemosyne(one of the sicker animes keep away from that one too)

(not sure I know If I spelled that right) I'd say you should make a list of anime's that some people shouldn't bother with, unless your like a FBI profiler that's looking into the studies of what turns people into "serial killers" like some character's like the ones that appear in this show. Yuno looks like some one the joker from the batman comic's would raise if you look at the way she act's.

But this is cause she was a abused by her parents. it can be used as case study. oh and yukie dad's wow. the point is there's a trigger for some people and this seems to be show casing that in a way besides it's semi si fi elements.

Cause it's not that different''t what been said/shown in a show like "Criminal minds" or Dexter but unlike those prime time shows this anime show among others is graphic. but some comic's in north america have also danced to a degree in this direction. just saying other then that keep away from them or look them up be for hand . some of them have wikia pages.

Oh and for the life of god keep away from Angel sanctuary. that will not be good for your mind at all. stick to shonan like one piece and bleach cause these as I said heads to area's you don't want to see unless your the type that's looking into a career of FBI profiler or CSI. cause it'll mess you up.

takashichea moderator on Oct. 18, 2013 at 10:46 a.m.

@sickVisionz:

I got to that part in the anime with that strawberry shortcake grandma. I was like "wtf is this?" So far, I'm enjoying it which I don't know why. I wanted to stop, but I want to find out how it ends just like Deadman Wonderland and Btooom. Oh dang, another rape scene. Got to watch something happy to wash my eyes out. Thanks for the warning. The anime was more revealing on the rape than the manga version, interestingly enough.

This show is really similar to Btooom since it both takes rape and murder to new level. Though, Btooom was more graphic with the rape scenes than Future Diary. I heard Gantz was worse with the murderers. I haven't watched it or read it.

@Ballistic_z:

You may want to tweak your comment. Got some spoilers on it. I haven't read Black Lagoon past the Yazuka arc. Though, I haven't watch the Black Lagoon anime yet.

@Marshal Victory:

I don't know what to feel for Yuno, sympathy or disgust. I haven't finished the anime yet. Cults are pretty big. People arent' shy about putting shrine maidens and other religion with rape. Seikon no Qwaser doesn't shy from ethnic cleansing. Don't sugarcoat me. I'm a sicko.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 18, 2013 at 11:37 a.m.

@Ballistic_z: Hmm your onto someting with Yuno an i think thats what finaly got to me. She is like a bland version of Harely Quin.I can even see saying pud'n to the male lead.I couldnt place it but that makes sence.

@takashichea: Well i try not to sugar coart things.I might try to diplomatic from time to time tho.One has to rember in a insane world the sane seem insane.When i was high school i used to say every young pervert hopes to grow into a dirty old man.As i got older i learned most peoples moral compass have bent needles anyway.

Basicaly its subjective an very much based on persepction.Some define obscene with a wide brush while claiming a moral high ground.Not understanding from others perspective they only climbed a hypocritical mole hill.More people will be outraged over animated viloence than what happened in the Nairobi, Kenya Westgate Mall attack.Worst yet more people will pay more attention to animated vilonce to.

So with that in mind, in this world ,in my humble opion your not a sicko.

takashichea moderator on Oct. 18, 2013 at 11:41 a.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Wait a moment, was Harley a yandere? I don't read as much comic books, but I only watched the animation. I know Joker and Harley's relationship is like battered wife with an abusive husband and more complicated.

Damn, we got off tangent here. Well, Yuno and Yukiteru's relationship was normal in the park and wedding. Fudge, Yukiteru needs to stop being a wishy washy person. I hate it when he uses Yuno just for him to survive. Later on, he said he loved her. That was in the Fourth fight. I have trouble believing him. I stopped at grandma's arc, the beginning of the fight.

zaldaron Oct. 18, 2013 at noon

@Destinyheroknight: Art should never be afraid of showing things how they are and doing more than entertain. Shows that make you think and have multiple twists and turns (like this one) are always better than breezy light fare.

Destinyheroknighton Oct. 18, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.

@zaldar:

Yeah, from what I saw of the show, it wasn't making me think. There are tons of other shows out there that are better and don't relay on rape to be dark or interesting. I'll be watching them

Again, I have a problem with rape. It make me physically ill. I like dark shows, but I don't like when they make me ill

sickVisionz moderator on Oct. 18, 2013 at 1:29 p.m.

@takashichea: I don't want to go too off-topic but I would have loved if someone was just like, "umm, I don't want to be mean... but why do you look like that?" Everyone else is proportioned like a regular anime character but has a massive 4-feet wide head. Even if it wasn't to her face, it would have been fun for me to see the show acknowledge her oddness by having people whisper behind her back like, "omg look at her head, she's like a mutant or something."

I also thought it was the main kid takes a crazy turn at one point. I swear I didn't miss an episode, I swear it, but it feels like one episode he won't hurt a fly and in the very next, he's on a murder fiesta. It's not like he was just killing when he had to, he was just murdering anyone if it was the quickest option. That felt like a crazy extreme stretch and I hate when things change so quickly and radically in a series that I feel like I missed an episode or an entire arc.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 18, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.

@takashichea: Harley Quin originated from the Batman the animated series.Comic version has changed over the years To point i couldnt tell you the curent version is ( NuDc 52 ewww ).But the carton original version was a psycoligist at arkham an the Joker got to her.While not as mad as the Joker,but she was off her rocker.

She did then as i recall have a abusive relatin ship with the Joker an was insanly devoted to him.Which runs fairly parel to Yuno .Who is as insane in her devotion.

Supose i should warn vid might have what some call "fanservice" .But ya Harley Quin like Yuno is a " one loon woman."Not the exact same by any means but the insane devotion/stalker/infatuation just reminds me of her now.I just couldnt think who Yuno reminded me of.

Ballistic_zon Oct. 18, 2013 at 3:49 p.m.

oh I'm sorry. I did put up a spoiler. I thought now that the BL's anime was dubbed most people would have seen the subbed version. My bad I'll fix that. but as I was saying a character like Yuno is indeed some one that would show up as a Batman or Daredevil character seeing she wasn't saved from her abusive parents on time. that could also be said of the anime called Baccano they had mobsters and people from a time period where mobters were big part of history that reminded of character that would show up in ether DD(Dare devil) and batman's comic's with the insanity they showed in that anime. It was pretty graphic as well, but it dealt with immortality as it's sifi angle . yeah that show would fit in the marvel universe more so. I guess it depends

Yuno she's a victim it's sad to see happen. Man I wish Yuki had known and tried to have saved her before she lost her mind. But apparently he had one unstable parent him self as I found out which he didn't know until later. but if any had rescued her in time she wouldn't have been like this.

Ok I'll try and cover up all the stuff that are spoilers. I think I left some that are even in this one since i'm so far ahead. sorry I didn't mean too.

On to Harley Quin's she's a weird representation of Stockholm syndrome I say that cause her case is similar to Hannibal's manipulation of that agent that was chancing him in the silence of the lambs movie series but in Harley case she just emphasis with joker too much since she was supposed to be his psychologist and,, yeah I as said it's weird.

the thing with yuki is he inverted since his parent's divorce and not sure what his feeling are for yuno yeah he wanted a girl friend but a normal is what he wanted not the thin he was forced into by deus ex.

Right now it's about him doubting and thinking she's cute and not wanting her to kill every person that's close to him besides her.

She wants him for herself and she doesn't care about anyone else. I'm not gonna say any more cause I don't want to spoil any more but there too much on his plate to think straight cause he has too much to deal with for someone his eye and it keeps getting worse for him that he loose's his mind for a bit too.

@ takashichea Yuki will only head there after the loss of both his parents and what semblance of a normal life was taken from him was told to him by deus's imp assistant that if he become the ruler of space time he can set things right and bring them all back. That little cute imp pushing idea's into his head and the fact people close Yuki are being just by standing next to him are making him insane.

He's not acting any different than some normal people. Even when finally gets some help like say a cop (not 4th but his subordinate ) that cop can't do much. And he's with him often.

Ok I have to stop now. I'm headed to spoilers again. The situation is messed up. if Yuki could turn the table it would be a nice change. But he can't end the stupid event early.

zaldaron Oct. 18, 2013 at 4:36 p.m.

@Destinyheroknight: hmm ok, it was for me and the scene didn't make my physically ill, it was disturbing yes but then that was the point. Other dark shows that are better (and can be watched legally) I'd love to know about!

Dig Deeper into Future Diary

Future Diary (未来日記 Mirai Nikki) is a Japanese Manga series written and illustrated by Japanese manga author Sakae Esuno. It was later released into a Hit Anime Series.

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