Mirai Nikki – a whole new way to use your mobile phone
November 27, 2011 3 Comments
So, Mirai Nikki (Future Diary) is an anime based on a manga of the same name, and is the story of a blood royale between 12 people who all have a diary with the ability to see the future; the one who wins becomes god of space and time.
Yukiteru “Yuki” Amano is a loner who never really interacts with people and prefers writing a diary on his cell phone with his only companion being an imaginary friend named Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space. However, Yuki soon learns that Deus is real when he makes Yuki participate in a battle royale with eleven other people. Within this “Diary Game”, the contestants are given special diaries that can predict the future, with each diary having unique features that gives them both advantages and disadvantages.
Within the next 90 days, the contestants must try to kill each other and survive until there is only one person standing, the winner becoming the new God of Time and Space. In order to survive, Yuki tries to find allies, with one of them being another diary user named Yuno Gasai, a girl who is madly in love with him. As the game continues, Yuki soon learns that not everyone can be trusted, not even Yuno, whose obsession to keep both of them alive no matter the cost terrifies him. Yet despite her faults, Yuki continues to trust Yuno since he manages to survive the game thanks to her.
At the center of this story is a romance that spans space, time and quite probably a very large field, honestly this show is mad. In fact this show is so mad I can finally use the phrase ‘mad as a hatter’, and my god am I loving it. I have read the manga, and I did approach this show with some trepidation, since from my experience reading the original material can potentially ruin the impact of a show. Mirai Nikki has so far managed not to do that; in fact, even though I know what is going to happen the series is able to still maintain the right amount of tension to keep me entertained.
The premise of the story is relatively simple; a god creates a game in order to produce his successor, and of course everyone with these future diaries must kill each other, with the last one standing being the victor. However, ot me that is simply a the framework of a much more complex and interesting story. Essentially what Mirai Nikki hinges around is the relationship between Yuki and Yuno, and more importantly the mysteries surrounding Yuno herself.
Yuki is a classic main character, basically he’s a wimp and doesn’t seem capable of making decisions for himself, you can probably think of him as Shu from Guilty Crown, only he’s covered in more blood. Quite frankly he is pathetic, but interestingly as the story is progressing we are seeing another side to him, that his he is being manipulated a bit by Yuno and is steadily getting used to the ‘kill of be killed’ mentality that is apparent in this battle to the death.
Yuno on the other hand is a fascinating character; at the beginning she is seen as smart, quite diligent and essentially the model student who is also very beautiful. She is utterly obsessed with Yuki and stalks him constantly, her diary is the ‘Yukieru Diary’, a diary that gives her details of whatever Yuki is doing every 10 minutes. Yuno is the very definition of the ‘Yandere’ character, being beautiful, sweet and innocent on the outside, but when provoked going totally mental.
Yuno is so utterly obsessed with Yuki that she is willing to hurt or kill anyone who hurts him and is constantly jealous if anyone other than her is getting close with Yuki to the point she won’t hesitant to sacrifice them because to her, what’s only important is that she and Yuki survive the game. Yuno’s eyes when she loses it are fascinating and rather scary, they show someone who is pretty much insane with only a single thought in her head. What is interesting about Yuno is that she often seems to be capable of predicting the future or realising that there is something wrong about a particular character. There are many mysteries surrounding her, such as why she is so mentally unstable, along with certain issues to do with her parents and her house.
The art and soundtrack are both very good, and while the action scenes don’t quite have the same flare as shows like Fate/Zero, Guilty Crown or Last Exile, it is nonetheless enjoyable to watch. It has a very dark, ‘grey’ tone to it, which fits the morbid elements of the show, but isn’t afraid to add in some colour in odd places. I particularly like the idea that Yuno, who is quite probably the most dangerous person in the show, is the one with bright pink hair and eyes. I like these touches of ‘out of place’ colour and feel it adds to the overall feel and aesthetic of the show. There are also rather interesting comedic elements to the show that aren’t all that out of place considering the overall story.
Quite frankly this show is insane, like I said ‘mad as a hatter’, the story half the time makes no sense, but at the same time I don’t really care. I do have some issues with the show however. There are episodes that have been quite boring for example, and the explanation of the game seemed a little ham-fisted, essentially it moved to fast. Also I find Yuki at the moment to be an incredibly annoying character, again, he’s like Shu from Guilty Crown, but there is more blood on him. The tragic back-story in episode 5 about Tsubaki Kasugano (the sixth diary user) being gang raped by the followers the cult that she leads. Rape is a convenient tool to use for tragic back-stories, very much like the tragic car crash, which ironically is also added into this tale.
However despite these little flaws I think the show is rather good overall. I particularly like the character of Yuno, who is very likely the only true Yandere I have seen outside of School Days and of course Kaede from Shuffle, although she was only briefly mad. Yuno is fascinating; she is crazy, possessive, a clingy girl friend, and willing to dispatch anyone who comes between her and Yuki, including Yuki himself if he tries to break up with her. Importantly for me, it is the mysteries surrounding Yuno, not only can she not be trusted, but potentially she is also the most dangerous one there.
The story itself is fascinating, we have the perfect girl friend gone horribly wrong, plus what could be considered the perfect power in the form of a ‘future-diary’ (Mirai Nikki), gone horribly wrong. It is essentially a story of a world gone wrong and a twisted romance that is both beautiful but also deadly. This show is just mad enough for me to largely ignore the flaws and simply enjoy watching it as a piece of condensed and concentrated madness with a cherry on top.