Amano Yukitaru obsessively records everything he observes into a cell phone diary, while interacting with the rest of the world as little as possible. He then escapes into his imagination, where the god of time and space, Deus, grants him the future in the form of predetermined diary entries that foretell the future. When he reaches a “dead end”, he learns there are others with “future diaries” like him, including his classmate Gasai – and that the goal of Deus’ game is to kill all the other diary holders, in order to gain his throne.
A six-minute sneak peak of this show way back in December was enough to intrigue us. So, Future Diary is basically Death Note. When you have a future diary, your only threats are those with the same power as you. In Amano’s case, these seem to be people who aren’t just content to survive using their diaries as Life Cliff Notes; they want to become gods. Only one can, so there’s gonna be death. Of course, Death Note had a lot more setup, and it was a while before Light was aware of other death notes in existence; the pace of key revelations is much quicker here.
This episode purposefully got most of the technical stuff out of the way, set the stakes, and introduced the main players. Basically, Amano needs to Gorilla Glue his phone somewhere on his body, because it’s his life now. He’s been sought out by Gasai, who works with him to off a serial killer, but considering how creepy she acts around him and the fact she’s a rival, trusting her isn’t the best idea. I wonder how long their uneasy alliance will last. Shows that mess around with time in a clever and compelling way are always welcome. Here’s hoping this is one of them.
Amano’s school is bombed by the terrorist Minene Uryuu, AKA the Ninth. She then holds the school hostage and promises to finish the job until they hand him and Yuno over. They do, but the Fourth, a policeman, arrives and evens the odds. They’re able to defeat the Ninth with teamwork, but she escapes before they can kill her. Amano, Yuno, and the Fourth agree to form a “Diary Alliance”.
A school being bombed: we remember that about the brief OVA preview for this show. Turns out the perpetrator is a psychopathic pink maid with purple hair who was able to fill a school with bombs and mines. She wants godhood, and she’s good and ready to kill whoever gets in her way. This episode did a good job establishing just how much danger Amano is in, but also how his future/destiny is always changing as his actions deviate from what the diaries say.
And it isn’t only his phone. Everyone has a special diary that gives them an edge. Amano’s sweats the details; Yuno’s is all about him, whom she calls “Yukkii”, while the detective and bomb maid have diaries of investigation and escape, respectively. It’s a neat plot device that I hope the series continues to use in clever ways. It is indeed an interesting narrative that comes right out and gives you an outcome, and then puts the onus of preventing that outcome on the characters. It’s also nice that they didn’t forget about Amano’s prowess with darts, which will surely keep coming in handy moving forward.
Keigo, a detective and the fourth diary user, sends Amano and Yuno off on a fun-filled, romantic date to serve as bait for Minene Uryuu, whom they have to finish off. She’s sneaking around the city, staying in the shadows and suffering from the pain of losing her eye. A mystery dude who turns out to be another diary user carries her to a secluded cabin where he drugs her in hopes of gaining intel on the other users she knows. Just when Amano’s fears about Yuno are allayed, she brings him to her house, where he pokes around and finds rotting corpses, making him flee from her in terror.
For some reason, we kept noticing unintentional references to other series this week. Like Deadman Wonderland, you have your girly-sounding guy (Amano, actually voiced by a girl); your seemingly harmless, cute girl (Yuno); amusement park complete with ferris wheel; and the pretty but psycho bitch with a horrible, pain-filled childhood (Minene Uryuu), who gets more depth this week. Like Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, there was your sexy pool scene. Like Blood-C, you have things starting out all happy and bubbly, but with hints of unease, and then it gets real dark real fast, and our whelpish hero is in a very bad way. We have to say, while we were somewhat convinced Yuno was helping Amano out of love, we had no idea it would be “I want to use your entrails as hair ties and eat your face” love. Poor Amano…
With Minene – the would-be top threat – neutralized this week by the man with the bag on his head, Yuno is our wolf in sheep’s clothing this week. What’s so scary about her is that she’s really capable of anything; but hasn’t yet to come out and said what she wants or what she’ll do, which is good for a horror story, because what’s more fearsome than the unknown? Creepier still is the fact Amano will have a very hard time avoiding her, since her diary is basically set up to stalk him. So kudos to the show for starting out with a bafflingly placid date complete with acute bikini top loss, and taking it in the complete opposite direction. Now Amano needs to grow some bullocks.
Yukiteru’s level of anxiety continues to rise as he contemplates Yuno’s potential to kill him at any time. Meanwhile, Kurusu brings the happy couple with him to check out a cult called Sacred Eye, where he believes Uryuu is being held. The Eye, called Tsubaki, is also the Sixth, and in possession of a “clairvoyance diary” that tells the future similar to Yuki’s. She’ll let them have Uryuu if they help her avoid a Dead End, but everything goes pear-shaped when the psycho Twelfth hynotises the cult into hacking each other to bits with axes, then reanimating the corpses. Axe in hand, Yuno gives Yuki an ultimatum: Tsubaki and death, or her and life.
This episode hikes up the horror factor while revealing two more diary holders, so now we know more than half of them. We also still don’t know exactly what Yuno’s goal is, because with the power she has, if she wanted to kill Yukiteru, she certainly could have. Could it be she’s too conflicted between love (or rather fixation) and the desire to become a god? Whatever the case, this week she’s jealous, and Yuki’s life depends on whether he chooses Tsubaki or Yuki.
Since the episode ended with that cliffhanger, it’s not unrealistic to expect some kind of third way defusing the situation next week. After all, we have the Fourth, Ninth, and Twelfth in play; between those three, We’re confident Both Yuki and Tsubaki could yet emerge with their heads firmly attached to their bodies. We really wish Yuki would take Yuno’s reigns and start manipulating her rather than cowering from her presence, but he’s just not that kind of character. He’s a wuss to the core. But Yuki, seriously: Next time, don’t call a nutcase a nutcase to her face.
Yuki waffles over whom to choose – the Sixth or Yuno, so when Yuno takes him by the arm to escape, he grab’s Sixth’s arm as well. But as her flashbacks show, the Sixth has been victim to some awful acts, which have made her bitter. After letting Yuno dispatch the Twelfth, she plans to kill her, Yuki, the Fourth, the Ninth – everyone with a diary – so she can become a god. Yuno sacrifices herself so Yuki can escape, but he returns to save her, throwing a dart into the Sixth’s diary and killing her. As Yuno’s phone reveals to him, she really does seem to love him, and has been protecting him all along.
He’re’s a Mirai Nikki Top Tip: if you’re half blind, try to do a better job of protecting your enormous roll of paper containing your life force. Also, if you’re a whimpering, waffling coward, better the crazy girl you know. And he knows Yuno much more than he knows the Sixth, who as it turns out is prepared to have Yuno gang-raped in order to bait Yuki to his death. Yuno, for her part, manages to hack a lot of people to bits, including slicing the Sixth’s arm off. The Twelfth, meanwhile was just kind of a bad joke; too stupid (or just too nuts) to live.
The Sixth’s sudden but inevitable betrayal makes the choice pretty easy for Yuki, as she really did stick her neck out for him this time. She’s quite the enigma. With three diary holders down, it will concievably come down to the two of them, and then what? We somehow doubt the DEM will allow the game to end without a victor. So after five episodes, it’s pretty clear that most everybody is whacked out of their gourd, with the exception of our Olympic bed-wetting protagonist.
On a three-day leave to take care of an orphan of the “Sacred Eye Incident” Yuki’s mother catches up with him. When they get home, Yuki learns that Yuno has broken in, cleaned his room and prepared dinner, knowning from her diary that she’d get to meet his mother, who approves of her. Yuki is weary, but Yuno’s diary tells her he will fall for her one day. When the orphan arrives, he turns out to be a diary holder, and makes an unsuccessful but innocent attempt on Yuno’s life.
As Murmur points out to Deus Ex, the game will only end when there is only one diary holder left. Because Deus Ex is on the verge of “decaying” (strange, since he’s a god), it’s probably best if someone rises to godhood to replace him. But if Yuno and Yuki are the last two standing, we doubt one would kill the other, leaving Murmur and Deus Ex in a bind. The solution would be to kill one of the two lovebirds, as this new orphan kid tries to do. We’ll be honest, we spent much of this episode wondering what the hell is wrong with Yuki and why he’s such a pathetic weenie. He was particularly insufferable this week, going so far as to call the best day ever the worst.
Yes, we know Yuno is touched in the head. But as long as Yuki cooperates with her, she won’t hurt him or anyone else. What the hell’s so horrible about getting with a cute-as-all-hell girl who’s totally devoted to you? Someone with a stronger will would take Yuno by the reins, but Yuki is voiced by Romi Park, so he’s about as far from a man as you can get before you’re a woman. All that said, it was pretty funny – and ludicrous – that a relatively tame domestic episode contained so much horror-film camerawork and close-ups. But Yuki’s panic is misplaced. Yuno is not the one he should be worried about. You’d think he’d learned that last week…
Now a guest in Yuki’s home, Rei makes several attempts on Yuno’s life, and when she and Yuki figure out he’s a diary holder, he sets a trap that releases gas into the house. Yuno manages to find Rei and stab him, securing the antidote, but Uryuu, who arrived to watch the fight, is the one who has to administer it to the lovebirds. Rei, the fifth, is gone.
It’s one thing to have nutzo characters like Yuno and Uryuu…but a five-year-old kid? It just…doesn’t work for us. Especially a kid Yuki’s mother just randomly brought into her home who just happened to have his parents killed by Yuno back at the Sacred Eye cult. We can tolerate insane people trying to kill other insane people. But we have to draw the line somewhere, and that’s with really annoying little kids who talks to himself with sock puppets.
The questions abound: how is this toddler so intelligent? Where did he get all the syringes? How did he set up such elaborate traps so quickly without detection? Why does Yuki continually tell Yuno not to kill him even though it’s ultimately him or them? This episode doesn’t bother with logic or reason; it only seems interested in killing off yet another fairly pointless, uninteresting diary holder, and now half of them are gone. Rei does echo a point we’ve made previously: what will Yuno do when she and Yuki are the last two standing?
Yuki and Yuno start their first day at their new school, and much to Yuno’s irritation, Yuki almost instantly gains new friends: Hinata, Mao, and Kousaka. They set out in a group to survey crime scenes of a serial attacker, but Hinata runs off on her own and has her arm bitten off by a pack of feral dogs with metal jaws. The rest, along with another kid, Akise, seek refuge in a glass pavilion, where Yuki directs them on which windows to lean up upon to absorb the impact of the pouncing dogs. When the dogs give up, Mao puts a knife to Yuki’s throat, and a very alive and two-armed Hinata reveals she’s the holder of the Breeder’s Diary, and she’s after Akise’s Future Diary.
This is an episode full of…interesting choices. First of all, Hinata’s scheme to corner Akise seems awfully roundabout and random; you’d think there’d be a more elegant way than pretending to get your arm munched off then setting a pack of dogs on him. We’re to understand her grandfather is actually the diary holder, but passed it to her, and we assume she’s trying to win the game that will net her godhood. Of course, before we knew this, she just seemed like a cute, friendly, outgoing girl who has a moe friend, gets away with belly-baring shirts in school, and reacts very slowly to having her panties exposed. But just ’cause somebody pretends to like him for an afternoon, Yuki reveals his deepest secret? That’s idiotic even for him.
The episode tried tossing red herrings like Akise – who’s probably also a nutso killer too, just not as immediate a threat as Hinata – and Kousaka, who somewhat inexplicably gives Yuki a hard time for running from the school bombing, then makes nice later one. But as usual, Yuno’s suspicions are our suspicions. Anyone who is friendly to this little pipsqueak probably has unsavory plans for him. That includes Yuno, but Yuno’s never done anything but protect him so far, so we’re not ready to believe smiling moe faces over her judgement. Lastly, what the heck is up with Yuki’s get-up? He’s enough of a weenie as it is without dressing like some Oliver Twist muthaf***a…Yuno, get that boy some damn regular clothes.
Hinata took possession of her father’s diary so she could help him become a god, turn back time, and start over with his family. She accepts several “left or right” challenges from Akise, with his diary and Yuki’s on the line. However, Yuno discovers he has no diary, and is merely guessing and gambling. When Mao makes for Yuki’s phone with a knife, Yuno stabs her, and everyone escapes. Hinata sics her dogs on them, but Yuki doubles back and asks for a truce, declaring Yuno his girlfriend, and offering his friendship. Fourth kills tenth, ending his role in the game, and Hinata is free.
This week serves up a much-needed helping of sanity to what threatened to turn into a show in which we can’t care about any of the characters because they’re all too damn crazy and random. Don’t get us wrong, Yuno still exercises her constitutional right to psychopathy, threatening to kill anyone and anything that gets between her and Yuki, until Yuki finally realizes if he’s ever going to make friends, he has to take her by the reins. That means acknowledging her as his girlfriend and future lover.
This works, and it redeems Yuki somewhat, who had been really driving us mad with his endless optimism. Turns out Hinata wasn’t as nuts as we’d first thought, as she just wants her family to be together. And Mao was just into Hinata, and thus fiercely loyal to her. Akise’s still a wild card, but that’s alright for now. We don’t know what guessing which hand a coin’s in has to do with being a world-class detective, but what are ya gonna do?
Minene tries to take out the Third, holder of the Murder Diary, but his suit is impervious to gunfire and bombs. She’s cuffed by Detective Nishijima, but manages to escape his custody by getting on his good side and shooting him. Meanwhile, Akise sets Yuki up with Yuno for a day at a wedding rehersal, which only makes it harder for him to confess to her that he’s not really in love with her. When night falls, Yuki takes her to her house, where Akise has been snooping around. The room full of corpses is gone, as are her memories of Yuki’s first visit.
Yuno may be whacked out of her gourd to the point of burying memories – and whole rooms of her house, but she’s not half as annoying as Yukiteru Amano. Seriously, his inner monologues are like nails on a chalkboard. Are we really supposed to hate him this much? Because we do. You’d think he’d realize by now the only reason Yuno is remotely lucid and under control is because she thinks he loves him. Why in the name of all that is holy would he go back on those words? Forget that she’d be crushed, she’d crush him.
At least he briefly enjoys a day of pretending to get married – which is frankly a pretty odd yet effective diversion while Akise checks out Yuno’s creepy, powerless house. At this point, the house is almost like a silly set for a horror movie. It’s dark, dirty, and threatening. But there are some practical issues that vex us; like how Yuno manages to stay so clean in a house like that, and how she shows no signs of physical stress from digging such a humongous hole out back. But it definitely helps her crazy cred.
Detective Kurusu wants to become God so he can save hi son You’s life. To that end, he brings Yuki and Yuno in for interrogation, and activates Yuno’s “Protection Mode” to bait her and Yuki into committing a crime. This way he can track them with his investigation diary. Yuki and Yuno escape after shooting several cops and become fugitives. They follow Kurusu’s wife to a hospital where Uryuu is waiting for them, and proposes the three of them form an alliance, using the Fourth’s wife and son as their trump card.
Yuki’s snappy-dressing psychopathic girlfriend proves beyond a doubt that she is his guardian, and it isn’t even her choice. Anytime he’s in danger – real or percieved (and her perception is pretty wide) her eyes go dull and she goes full commando (and no, I’m not referring to the scene where she has to pee in front of Yuki, though when you’re fugitives, that’s the kind of thing you have to do). Kurusu was even able to manipulate her nature in order to get her and Yuki in deep trouble. We really like how utterly crazy Yuno is, but we’re starting to not envy Yuki.
We’re not quite sure why he had to shoot a cop, but we’ll chalk it up to panic, which is never in short supply with the young whelp. As for Uryuu, well, considering what’s going on and what she plans, she provides a surprising amount of levity to the episode, when everyone is bickering at once about who’s betraying whom. This show remains unapologetically ridiculous and over-the-top, but also doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Uryuu’s threats fail to spook Kurusu, who has his men storm the hospital. Yuki is cornered by his men, and he goes in the hospital to take over. Yuno stops him, and there is a standoff, until a flash grenade and one of Uryuu’s bombs go off, turning their floor into rubble. Kurusu has Yuno by the throat with a scalpel, but Yuki manages to shoot him. Nakajima arrives to arrest his chief, after hearing voice recordings on Uryuu’s phone. No longer a detective, Kurusu snaps his phone, killing him. After everything blows over, Yuki and Yuno take a trip to his dad’s house, and Yuno deletes a warning from Akisu from Yuki’s phone.
Whenever four diary holders converge, you know there’s going to be potential for lots of explosions and blood. This week doesn’t disappoint, with a Godhood-hungry Kurusu hunting Yuki and Yuno and Uryuu working diligently to stay on everybody’s and nobody’s side. His motivation is clear: save his kid’s life once he’s God. Once that’s no longer possible, it falls to another diary holder to save his son. A a cold, crazed lunatic the past two weeks finally softens and accepts his dead end. We’re now running out of diary holders.
Now everything’s tied up with a neat little pink bow, right? Not so fast; while Yuki has arguably never felt closer to Yuno – even confessing his love and using that love to aim his gun true to save her – the fact remains she’s still nuts. The series goes out of its way to make their lovers’ getaway as forboding as possible, what with the skulls and syringes in her duffel. We’d gone off about how Yuki should just stop worrying and go with the flow vis-a-vis Yuno, even if it kills him. But lord knows what she has planned.
Yuno has escaped into the sparsely-populated mountain towns, but Akise works with Nishijima to track them down with the help of Yuki’s schoolmates Hinata, Mao, and Kousaka. Yuno is ready for them though, and sets up a variety of booby traps, ending in their being locked in the basement of an abandoned hotel and about to be gassed. Meanwhile, Yukiteru is holed up in a dark room with Yuno, who drugged his soda. Murmur wagers Yuno will win the challenge, while Deus keeps Yukiteru as his favorite.
This week mostly followed around pretty sane group of kid detectives, all of whom Nishijima put at dire and unnecessary risk. A good detective Akise may be, but there was no way for him to prepare for whatever threats Gasai Yuno might send his way. So what we have is all of these normal kids being locked in a celler, about to be killed, all thanks to the terrible judgement of Kurusu’s former assistant. While they’re free, Akise, Hinata, Mao and Kousaka spend some time at a bathhouse as a pretense, but seemed more like a showcase for Hinata’s boobs and Mao’s attraction to her.
Aside from Yuki, Yuno, and Uryu, there are only three diary holders left, so we have to wonder exactly what Yuno is up to with those guys still out there at large. After all, if what she really wants is Yuki all to herself, then it stands to reason she’d have to kill all the holders in order to make that happen. Of course, reason doesn’t play that big of a role in Yuno’s plans, which is why they seem so random to us. It would seem all of Yukiteru’s attempts to “center” or “tame” were for naught; she’s going off the deep-end, all CCTV and underwear and skulls. How will Yuki’s friends get out of this one? How will he?