Anime Review: “Mirai Nikki” (“Future Diary”) – Detailed Record

Written by Emily Stewart July 05, 2013

28213-mirai-nikki-yuno-and-yuki-everything-was-going-well“Mirai Nikki”, also known as “Future Diary”, is a thriller anime based on the manga by Sakae Esuno. The concept of the anime is quite intriguing. It’s easy to become addicted because every fast-paced episode contains plenty of detail and ends on a cliffhanger. However, the relationship of the principle characters, along with the choice of censorship, is the most bothersome aspect of the show. Despite that, it’s one of the key plots. Yuno’s constant violent actions make her so frightening, it’s surprising Yuki ends up falling for her. The development of the anime as a whole, however, is interesting to watch.

Scribbling Notes

“Mirai Nikki” follows fourteen year old wallflower Yuki. He writes in his cell phone diary and talks to The God of Time and Space, Deus Ex Machina. Yuki soon befriends classmate Yuno, and the two become participants in a survival game set by Deus. The last one standing out of 12 competitors will become the new God to replace him. The characters’ diaries can predict the future, and each one has a specific ability.

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The fast paced narrative is the best aspect of the show. Each episode, including the last, ends at such a crucial moment the following becomes highly anticipated. All of the characters, primary and secondary, have interesting origins as well-from youngster Reisuke Houjou to couple Marco Ikusaba and Ai Mikami to even terrorist and Minene Uryuu. The concept of using a diary to predict attacks and even prevent deaths is an interesting one and adds more suspense to the survival game.

Opposites Attract?

All of the characters have different motivations and plans for what they’ll do when they win. While the focus is on Yuki and Yuno, their allies and opponents are more likable because of their motivations. For instance, Officer Keigo Kurusu wants to win to save his ill son. Although the competitors can be eliminated just by destroying the diary itself,Yuno will kill them directly, especially if she’s convinced they will snatch her beloved Yuki.

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It is very hard to like Yuno at first because she seemed to look to violence as the only solution, but her character is well rounded and sympathetic later on in the anime. Her actions affect Yuki greatly; he falls in love with her and kills his friends after she says they would betray him. However, he usually has morale and wanted to bring back the deceased characters to life after he became God. Since the narrative is fast paced  (like their relationship) they even have a mock marriage after he calls her his girlfriend, and he didn’t even mean it. While it’s hard to believe he loves her, watching his feelings develop and his motivations change is interesting and thought provoking.

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The best aspect of the show is the pacing of the narrative. Despite a lot of detail in the storyline of “Mirai Nikki”, the anime moves very quickly. The episodes end right at a cliff-hanger, so it’s not hard to watch a chunk of the series at a time. Despite the amount of violence, the animation itself is colourful and bright, with the exception of the two openings in “Mirai Nikki”. The grey contrasts with the red (blue in the second opening) very well and suits the mood of the anime. The score of the show is pretty good, but contains an overused sound effect to indicate suspense, thus ruining it.

Selective Censoring

This anime is so gory and filled with blood, it’s hard to believe there is a peaceful resolution for the characters (they are seen again in a different world) after the lone victor is left. However, “Mirai Nikki” seems to censor some explicit content and not others. Although lots of blood will be shown, the killings are not always directly displayed and missing limbs will be blocked out. Also, Yuno, Ai, and mistress Tsubaki are violated yet all are shown differently: the assault on Yuno was attempted but still shown, Ai’s is implied, and Tsubaki is seen after the fact. Despite the selective censorship, any disturbing content in the show is uncomfortable.

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Every episode of “Mirai Nikki” finishes with questions and suspense. Actually, there are quite a few questions left unanswered after the series ends. “Mirai Nikki” is recommended for those who enjoy horror, but be warned of sensitive content. If slasher films aren’t appealing, better look elsewhere.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Emily Stewart

Emily is a Media, Information and Technoculture student at Western University who likes to put her critical thinking skills and passion for writing to good use, including reviewing TV shows for We Eat Films.

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