With all other diary holders destroyed, the world will end on July 28 until either Yukiteru or Yuno are killed. After a few days of reflection and guilt for doubting Yuno, Yukiteru decides to express his love for her. The night before the last day of earth, they make love, as Yuno’s diary said they would. However, when Yukiteru brings up Akise’s text about Yuno being the winner of the last game come back to the past, she snaps and tries to kill him. Murmur shows him the past, and how the Yuno he loved and who loved him was killed by her copy.
Now that was awesome. The other diary holders may be dead, but this episode opens up a whole new can of worms by finally confirming that Yuno is far more than she seems. And hey, our man Amano finally gathered the courage to finally get it on with Yuno, even if it was the wrong Yuno. Mirai Nikki got super-metaphysical this week in order for Murmur to show him the truth, but we can hardly fault the means when the ends are this satisfying, and fit so well with what we’ve seen of Yuno and the game.
It would seem they were already in love in the first world, but her plan to become a god for him failed, and he didn’t wake up, so she went back in time to be with him. Only there was that other Yuno in the way, so she killed her, making that mysterious third body. Of course, nothing either she or Yukiteru do will change the fact that they can never really be together, as the world will end if one of them doesn’t always die. Is this a cycle that can be broken? We’re guessing not if Yuno becomes a goddess again…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mirai Nikki is a scant six minutes and 45 seconds long, but it gets a lot done in that short period of time. There’s a decidedly Death Notey atmosphere as a kid comes into possession of a phone that tells his future. But in exchange for that precognition, the phone itself represents his life; if it’s lost, so is his life.
He also discovers he isn’t the only one with such a phone: his female classmate Yuno has one as well, and so does a deranged terrorist in striped kneesocks who bombs the school. Apparently they’re all of them participants in a game, and the last one surviving gets the “throne of god.” Now that sounds like Eden of the East…especially with the phones.
Overall, some nice ideas, and nice animation, but this felt like more of a teaser and set-up than an actual full story, but perhaps that’s just due to the brevity. Subsequent installments that delve a little deeper would be welcome. Rating: 3