OreShura – 10


Now with five members, the Maiden Club becomes official. To commemorate it, Masuzu recommends a training trip, and they decide to go to the beach. Chiwa is upset when she learns Ai met Eita first, but Eita notices and cheers her up. The two arrange a trip to shop for a swimsuit, but Masuzu, Hime and Ai also show up. After much chaos, Eita splits his time between them equally. On the way home they encounter his Aunt Saeko, who dismisses Masuzu as his girlfriend and asks him which of the four girls he really likes.

This episode did not start auspiciously; with characters playing off the constructions of their names and each tugging at Eita, which becomes a shopping trip in which they’re all competing against each other for his attention as they try on various swimsuits (and in Ai’s case, a wedding dress that brought back memories of Crazy Gasai Yuno). The first half dragged a bit (with the exception of Eita’s really sweet cheering-up of Chiwa after she stalked off). But this episode improves when things get grounded back into the reality of how they’re going to afford a trip to the beach. And then Saeko appears and bursts Eita’s harem bubble.

Eita’s aunt and guardian has been mostly a no-show so far, but in her first meaningful scene of the series she makes a huge impact. She sees right through and LOLs, almost cruelly, at Masuzu’s false courtesy, calling their relationship fake in front of everyone. She makes Eita confront the truth head-on: he can’t keep stringing all these girls along. He needs to decide who he likes and choose one – even if he likes them all. No one said the choice would be easy, but it is necessary. Did we mention we love Saeko for finally splashing cold water on her nephew? We welcome this latest – and perfectly-timed – disruption of the status quo, and hope the last three episodes follow through.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Mirai Nikki – 15

When Yukiteru asks, his friends agree to continue to help him. With Eighth and her apprentices after him, Akise suggests they hole up in Kousaka’s manse, a massive property with a cell phone tower that will knock out the apprentices’ connection to their diary server. Their plans are foiled when Yuno cuts the power, apparently there to continue protecting Yukkii. They are able to stall their pursuers until Akise shuts down the cell tower, but the stylish couple cornering them aren’t the Eighth’s apprentices, together they’re the Seventh, Mar and Ai. A battle between couples ensues, with Yuno managing to fend off both attackers for a time, but one of Eighth’s people sets the house on fire. Yuki wakes up in the hospital with Yuno and his friends safe, but his and Yuno’s diaries were taken. Ninth shows up disguised as a nurse to gather info.

Wow, a lot happened this week, and showed just how rich and chaotic Mirai Nikki can get with so many different friends, foes, and in-betweens in the mix. And heck, Yuki’s estrangement from Yuno didn’t even last a whole episode! Here we were thinking she was on the back burner while Yuki deals with new threats, but leave it to her to show up and insert herself right in the middle of things. In typical stalker fashion, she even stopped by his house to cook him dinner without him even knowing. This episode got us thinking (as it did Yuki): left to her own devices, will she always default to drugging and confining Yuki? Perhaps, but there are more pressing matters. She can’t have Yuki if he’s killed by these other diary holders.

Here, the series pulled another fast one on us; making us believe for a while that the lovey-dovey couple were apprentices of the huge-faced Eighth. But like all the other holders, they have their own individual motives, though it’s cool that their diaries help them operate as protection for one another. For all the dark, ridiculous insanity this series cooks up, it not only provided a smidgen of comedy with the Sevenths, but also kept things realistic: Hinata and Mao couldn’t do much against the seasoned fighters. Interestingly, the Sevenths also lack that killer instinct of say, Minene (who they also managed to squeeze in, yegods!): once they had Yuki and Yuno’s diaries, they just left, and even carried the girls out of the burning house. What kind villains!

Rating: 4

Mirai Nikki – 14

Akise trys to negotiate with Yuno, but she alters her memory to forget about them. Kousaka is about to give up hope when his phone suddenly becomes an “apprentice future diary,” listing his brilliant successes, the first being escaping from the gas chamber. When he reaches the control room, an agitated Yuno pretends to make nice, but once he releases Akise and Mao, Yuno shoots him with a dart gun. She’s about to kill him, when Yukiteru – awake and freed by the tied-up Hinata kicking his cuff keys to him, rips the gun away. With three more apprentice diary holders on the way, Yuki has Nishijima get them out all out of there. Yuno remains.

Meddling Kids Akise, Hinata, Mao and Kousaka really got themselves into a pickle, with Hinata tied up as Yuno feeds Yuki (and helps him wee-wee) and the rest about to asphyxiate in a cloud of gas. When Akise’s bargaining fails, its all up to Kousaka, funnily enough – someone who’s been pretty useless and whiny up to this point (and is responsible for locking them in the room in the first place). The series introduces the birth of new future diaries, making his “Kousaka King” variant in the nick of time. It isn’t perfect, as it only sees his successess and not his failures, but thanks to some good luck (Yuki coming to at the right time; his key landing close to Hinata), it gets the job done.

With Kousaka and the trio of apprentices sent to the abandoned hotel to kill Yuki (led from their home by a woman with a freakishly big head), we now have this bred of not-quite future diary holder, and Kousaka would seem to be an apprentice to become the next Eighth. We’re wondering if this is because no one has killed everyone else fast enough, or if this just a system we weren’t told about until now. That Yuno is merely left behind – not killed outright – she’ll remain a threat to the end, but in the meantime, there will be some new faces going after Yuki. We’ll see how much more involved his friends get.

Rating: 3.5

Mirai Nikki – 13

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?

Rating: 3

Mirai Nikki – 09

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?

Rating: 3

Mirai Nikki – 08

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.

Rating: 3