Mirai Nikki Redial – OVA

mirairedial

Ridley Scott intended for his cyberpunk/future noir film Blade Runner to have an ambiguous, non cut-and-dry ending, but the original American theatrical release in 1982, the studio insisted on a cheesy voiceover by Harrison Ford at the end, essentially pulling a “perfect happy ending” out of nowhere. The 2007 Final Cut, which we were lucky enough to experience on the big screen, ditched that voiceover and restored the open ending.

Why are we bringing up Blade Runner’s alternate endings? Because for us, this Future Diary OVA was that voiceover ending: tacked-on, cheesy, and unnecessary. We didn’t have a powerful need for a happy ending; the original one was fine. We were fine with Yuno and all of the others involved in the game returning to their normal lives, and the ambiguity of Yuno kinda sorta remembering someone. We were fine with Yukiteru brooding in the void for millennia with only Murmur and his brain for company.

Okay, so maybe we’re being a bit harsh. It’s been over two years since Mirai Nikki wrapped, and for many it was probably a thrill to see all the characters alive and well simply enjoying regular life. There were probably quite a few who relished Yuno picking at the scab in her brain until she finally ended up in the position to get her memories fully restored, enabling her to find Yukkii and reunite with him. And that’s fine. We’re just saying it wasn’t really our thing.

4_fair
Rating: 4
 (Fair)

Stray Observation: The strange realm in which Yuno races to the Murmur holding her memories looks a bit like Orphan’s Cradle, the final dungeon in FFXIII…only less pretty.

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Mirai Nikki – 26 (Fin)

As she prepares to kill her, Yuno recalls how her past self used to dream of becoming a happy family. When she delivers the killing strike, it hits her father instead, shielding his daughter. Kurusu arrives and holds Yuno at gunpoint. In the Deus fragment, Yukiteru gradually realizes there’s something he needs to do; his parents support him. He breaks out of the fragment with the Second Murmur, who catches Kurusu’s bullet. Yukiteru tells God-Yuno to kill him, but she stabs herself instead, as neither of them could stab the other in the end. Amano wins the game, and the Third World begins. All the former diary holders, including the other Yukiteru, carry on normal, happy lives, but Yukiteru remains in a void for 10,000 years, unwilling to create a world without Yuno…

Mirai Nikki delivers a powerful and rousing finale, in which everything Yukiteru and Yuno did, and everyone they killed are restored to the time before the game touched them, and it seems to be for the better. The Yuno who sought to reset the game and court Yukkii once more decided on her own to stop the cycle, and while Yukiteru’s love and devotion to her played a part in it, witnessing her mother and father and the other her come together also had an effect. Her father was always away at work, her mother suffered from depression, and she took it out on Yuno until she snapped, locked them up, and let them starve to death. In short, this Gasai Yuno had bad luck. The cards just didn’t fall her way.

But something Yukiteru did in that fragment, whether it was intentional or just the result of his determination, gave Yuno and everyone else a second chance at life, including himself. In the new Third World, the third Yukiteru doesn’t even know Yuno, but Yuno seems troubled by something she forgot, while the Yukiteru who became a god wallows in self-pity in some void, alone save for Murmur…for ten millenia. After all those happy endings, seeing him end up there was equally troubling. So Yukiteru and Yuno are troubled, despite how things worked out – and you know what that means…their story doesn’t end here.


Rating: 4

Car Cameos: The cops show up in black-and-white Toyota Crown GRS180s, while Kurusu and Nishijima pull up in what could be a black Subaru Legacy B6 (judging from the headlamps), an interesting choice of detective’s car.

Mirai Nikki – 25

Yukiteru flees to the school with Minene and Past Yuno, but with her Yukkii diary it doesn’t take long for God Yuno and Murmur to find them. After warning Kurusu about his son’s heart condition, Minene duels with Murmur as Yuno chases Yukkii. Finally, she catches him in a Deus Fragment, an illusory world in which Yuno doesn’t exist and all of his dreams can come true; even his parents are alive and together. Yuno releases Murmur’s seal, making her infinitely more powerful, and Minene is killed. As Yukiteru loses himself in the fantasy world of the fragment, Yuno prepares to kill her defenseless past self…

Throughout this episode, God Yuno struggles with her feelings for the Yukiteru trying to save her from herself, but ultimately she fights them back. She reveals the truth that Yukiteru probably knows, but neither of them have brought up before: Yuno would have loved anyone if she became dependent on him – as she did Yukkii – just as Yukiteru would have loved anyone as long as she protected him. It’s harsh, but it’s true. Still, she doesn’t want to lose him, nor does she want to return to the second world, so locking him away is her answer.

In the fantasy world of the Deus fragment, she even dangles a pliable Wakana before him. Initially, he protests, but once she seals him in he seems to go along with things. After all the crap he’s been through, could he be ready to settle for the dream world Yuno’s given him? Is it better than death, or worse? At what point will he forget his world isn’t real? Minene is dead (again) thanks to a downright frightening Demon Murmur (after a stunningly-animated fight), so it would appear he’s fresh out of allies with godlike powers to free him. We’re very curious to see how this all comes to an end, and if the other diary holders – still alive in this world – still have a role to play beyond Yuno’s prey.


Rating: 3.5

Mirai Nikki – 24

Yuno prepares to kill Yukiteru so Murmur can help her become a god and restart the cycle, but Ninth flies in to save him. Deus brought her back to stop second and Murmur, who try to escape by time warping, but Ninth follows them with Yukiteru in tow, to two years in the past in a third world. Despite Ninth’s warnings, Yukiteru interferes with the third Yuno by calling an ambulance, but Murmur and God-Yuno show up, forcing Ninth to retreat. She urges Yukiteru to choose who he really wants to save.

With the second world about to end and no winner to the game yet, the series had nowhere to go but the past, and so back we go, to a third world where one of two things will happen: either Yuno will kill herself again, restarting that vicious cycle we talked about last week, or Yukiteru will stop her. Both have powerful sidekicks in their corners: it’s great – and indeed actually plausable within this series’ mechanics – to see Ninth alive and kickin’, now infused with Deus. Watching her fly around, manipulate matter and travel back in time like, well, a god, is fun stuff.

Yuno, meanwhile, has Murmur, who as it turns out isn’t playing favorites out of some desire to rebel against Deus. This particular Murmur isn’t beholden to the dying Deus, but to Yuno. When Yuno became a god, Murmur became her loyal servant. We love how things are fitting together in these final weeks. And now we see how Yukiteru could bring back his parents, friends and Yuno: by becoming a god, going back in time, and preventing the game from ever being developed. That’s the key to saving everyone. Is that what he’ll choose to do? Will the ‘rules’ allow that?


Rating: 4

Mirai Nikki – 23

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…


Rating: 4

Mirai Nikki – 18

The episode flashes back to when Yuno first falls for Yukiteru. Her emotional problems stem from being caged and starved by her parents, and in turn she cages and starves them to death. She then tries to sabotage a “date” between Yukiteru and the class rep Moe, but Moe turns him down anyway. Back in the present, Nishijima needs to know who the third body in Yuno’s house was. Yukiteru’s dad shows up at home, knowing he’s about to be caught by the police and wanting to spend his last day of freedom with him. However, agents from Eleventh kill him while they’re at a shrine. Yukiteru kills a couple agents in turn, then turns the knife on Yuno, learning from Murmur he can bring back his parents if he becomes a god. Yuno doesn’t resist, and Yuki spares her for now.

Oh man, poor Yukiteru. These last couple days have been pure Deadman Wonderland, and now he learns that the current god is literally crumbling away in his realm, now unable to further manipulate the “causality continuum.” Only the new god can bring back Yuki’s mother and now father – and I doubt any of the other diary holders other than him consider that a priority. Yuki may be a weenie but he is one of the saner characters, and I’m sure stabbing someone to death and using another as a human shield was tough to do and will haunt him. Unfortunately if he wants his parents back he’ll have to spill a lot more blood and shed more of his humanity; Eleventh is a tricky and obviously well-protected bastard.

We knew this score though. What we didn’t know was the slightest thing about Yuno’s past, specifically why her house had corpses in it and how she became the gorgeously unhinged lunatic she is today. Well, not surprisingly, the answer to both is abuse. Yuno’s parents were as cracked as she was, trying to mold her into an elite student through the use of incarceration (mirroring Yuno locking Yuki up earlier, in desperation), starvation, and general contempt for her very existence. Her parents were awful people, so Yuno paid them back in kind, but then she was alone. All it took was a token promise from Yukiteru to make her his ‘little bride’ for her to latch onto him, and presumably that’s when the stalker diary became active. Regular guys never interested her. It’s also clear she harbors no plans to become a god. If she has to die so Yukiteru can become one, so be it. By his hand, so much the better.


Rating: 3.5

Mirai Nikki – 06

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…


Rating: 3