Mirai Nikki is a supernatural mystery / horror / survival regarding an antisocial boy named Yukiteru (Yuki henceforth) receiving from his imaginary friend a magic cell phone that has a diary with all his future actions. Thus in effect he knows the future and can be prepared for anything. At first he adores how he knows all the answers in the tests at school, or how he can avoid meeting the school bullies since he knows where they will be waiting for him. Things get soon out of hand, when he realizes there are more people with similar diaries, and that his imaginary friend is not so imaginary after all. Deus Ex Machina (lol the imaginary friend is like an internet God) prepared an “interesting game” as he calls it and gathered a dozen cell phone owners to participate in a death game where there can be only one remaining alive in the end.
1) The premise is very interesting; you have a dozen people who must kill each other for a grand prize. It does not mean the outcome is foretold because they all know the future. Every time they change something, which was normally meant to happen, all their diaries are altering their entries to show the new outcome of each action after the change. Thus nobody actually knows who will survive or not; at best they are just prepared to change the future in case someone is ambushed by another player. Also, the diaries are NOT really predicting the future but rather mention the future impressions of their owners. So if the holder of a diary makes a wrong assumption about an event, then his entry will also be mistaken. This practically makes the story to feel a lot more tactical than it appears to be. Another gimmick is that initially nobody seems to know all the identities of the other participants, thus they can’t just gather in a warehouse and finish the whole thing in an hour. It will require some sort of strategy and mind games to outsmart each other.
2) Catchy main songs.
3) Yuno is a horny yandere. 99% of the people who liked the manga, it is only because of her. To hell with whatever the story is about; it has a pink-haired horny yandere in it that keeps doing ecchi stuff with the pussy protagonist! So let’s not kid ourselves; she is both the mascot and highlight of the whole series. Heck, the very introduction video shows mostly her and barely the protagonist or anyone else; they might as well call this show Yuno Diary. No one else in this show is close to being that interesting; they are all a basic stereotype and don’t improve later on.
Early on, I found several annoying features which ruin the interesting premise from episode 1. And no, I don’t need a magic cell phone to prophesize the future, nor to read the manga. It is all plain facts.
1) Nothing great in terms of animation / artwork. It is in all an average production and even has lots of scene follow-up errors.
2) The songs are terrible if you don’t like j-pop; especially when it has high pitched female singers and stupid lyrics. And surely, outside the dynamic tunes the lyrics are EWWW! “Twelve Gods, One Two, Three, in Latin, English, and German to make it sound cool.”
3) The directing is very sloppy; expected from Hosoda Naoto, a guy who only directs softporns and aimless goofball shows. Same for Studio Asread, which never made a proper show in its whole career; its roster is nothing but shitty ecchi shows and work assistance for equally shitty GONZO sci-fi shows. Oh, the irony in that name. “As read”? How about “Ass read”? Here are a few examples of what they did wrong.
The transition from one scene to another happens fast and dry, which makes it feel amateurish and ruins the mood.
- If someone dies and half a second later we see the hero doing something irrelevant half a city away, it kills all the gravity of the death.
- If someone is shocked for half a second before he calms, then there is again no gravity given in his emotional state.
- If some unimportant character is standing next to a major character on one scene, and in the immediate next scene he disappears into thin air, you are not made to think there is something going on beyond the noses of the protagonists. The rest of the world is like it doesn’t exist. The whole show is so myopic it would make Alfred Hitchcock to go kamikaze on their asses.
The director did many typical newb mistakes and ruined everything.
- He rushed to shoehorn as much plot as possible in each episode and the result is rushed development and oozing apathy. I hear how many people complained about the Kaiji anime having a slow pace and too stretched emotional outbursts. To all you naggers, I suggest you watch this anime and realize the error of your ways. Kaiji’s directing is awesome. This is not.
- He used the Idiot’s Plot trope in its finest form and the viewer is supposed to think like a dumbass in order to enjoy the slightest detail.
4) The storyboard is retarded; I spotted a million inconsistencies, plot holes, and examples of bad scene transition but because of space restrictions I couldn't post them here but you can read them if you follow this link and open the spoiler tag at the bottom.
5) The characters are pitiful. I know many who consider them great and developed but they are all Narutards so that explains it. Seriously, they are (beside one) pitiful and badly handled.
6) This is a death tournament anime and if you follow the latest shows then Fate/Zero kicks Mirai Nikki’s ass with one hand. Jeez you guys, don’t offer identical premises in the same season if you want it to sell. And to heck with that; this is not even presented as a situation where each one has to watch out for all rest. All the players target Yuki and he has to beat them all himself. They are even polite enough to wait in a line for their turn to come up. In the meantime, it’s like they don’t exist. That’s not much of a tournament if the participants are not separated into duals or they aren’t doing anything while someone else is trying to kill Yuki. Furthermore, it is not EVEN Yuki vs the World, since two of the other players joined his team and help him survive again and again instead of trying to win for themselves. Seriously, without them the hero would be killed a dozen times every day. So he only wins because he gangs up on his enemies, who are always working solo. What kind of a lame tournament is this? Does anyone even remember Battle Royal and how awesome that was?
The show is clearly not smart or mature as it might wants you to think it is. It is basically another Eden of the East premise with Deadman Wonderland characters. And just for the record, both those shows were far more retarded than they wanted you to think they were. Mirai Nikki is a coo-coo show for people who like the Rule of Cool or can identify and sympathize with completely retarded and lame characters. Not recommended if you want to watch something smart and well-directed.
And yes, there are thousands of people who are crazy over this show and claim it is the most intelligent thing after Albert Einstein. To them all I say “You are all retards” because the show easily enters the top ten of most stupid anime of all times. Seriously, do not believe all the good things they say about it because they are the usual BS people with no brain spread around and mislead newcomers to consider manure as bon fillet. It is a terrible show and by no means a good one. Other than laughing at its over-the-top retard level, that is.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 4/10
General Artwork 0/2 (generic and with lots of scene follow-up mistakes)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic and stupid looking)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 5/10
Voice Acting 1/3 (corny and retarded)
Music Themes 2/4 (dynamic j-pop with retarded lyrics that makes them ear cancer to a more demanding audience)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (too slow or too fast or full of dead time towards the end)
Complexity 1/2 (seems complicating at first but it is not much in the end)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy and somewhat open)
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Presence 1/2 (dumb and sexy)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (it’s there but it makes no sense at all)
Catharsis 0/2 (it’s there but since the show goes for a reset in the end it’s like nothing really changed)
VALUE SECTION: 2/10
Historical Value 0/3 (although famous to many retards, the show will not leave any mark in anime history and will only be remembered as an example of how NOT to write a good story)
Rewatchability 0/3 (too much nonsense to deserve a rewatch; unless of course you want to go on a hunt for mistakes in the plot)
Memorability 2/4 (the premise is interesting to remember and Yuno is a memorable slut but everything else is meh)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Too bent on shallow entertainment and it’s otherwise filled with continuity errors and bad directing.
When I first started watching anime, this was the first horror title I picked up. Considering its popularity, I assumed that it must be very scary. And that is true; this anime can be pretty scary at times. But it also exceeded my original expectations because throughout the story, there was so much character development and character interaction. I was even surprised by how many characters I actually liked. Every episode just made me like the show more and more and kept me interested in the plot until the very end. While the anime does have its notable flaws, it was still executed very well.
This was really a great idea for a story. Twelve different people have the chance to become the god of time and space by participating in a battle royal survival game where they must discover each other’s identities and kill each other until there is only one left standing. In order to help them increase their chances of winning, they are each given diaries that can tell the future. The competitors can use the information in their diaries to make strategies, avoid danger, and of course, change the future. And thus, we get a ton of crazy action. While the outcome of the game was obvious from the beginning, it was fun figuring out who the other diary owners were and see how our two leads planned to fight them. All of the fight scenes were great and really exciting and were one of my favorite things about this show. What I was not expecting however, was the surprising plot twist and the development of romance between the two leads. They are by no means my favorite anime couple, but they did have some really touching moments that almost made me cry in one case.
The animation was incredible throughout the entire series. There were various settings which all looked unique and were very detailed. I liked most of the character designs, but some of them looked extremely weird and unnecessary. Like I said before, the action scenes were amazing and none of the characters’ movements looked awkward. Overall, the animation team did a solid job.
The sound was very good. The openings and endings fit well with the series. The background music never seemed out of place nor did it overpower the sounds of explosions or the characters’ voices. The characters all had the right voices to go with their ages and personalities.
Admittedly, the male lead was a pretty corny character. I liked the female lead, but there were times when she really got on my nerves. But she has a good backstory which explains some of her behavior in the series. I was surprised by how much I liked some of the other diaries owners. Despite being the antagonists of the series, some of them had great personalities and were just fun to watch. Some of them had interesting backstories too.
This is a great anime. I recommend watching it.
There are a lot of “high stakes game” anime out there that really don’t seem to be that high stakes, nor contain the kind of drama I’d expect of something executing that genre. I’m looking at you Eden of the East. And while I have had a few run ins with series with great ideas for these games, but terrible execution, Mirai Nikki has broken that trend and given me both an interesting plot, as well as a good execution of said plot. That’s not to say that Mirai Nikki is not without its faults, for it does inevitably have many areas where it falls short.
Mirai Nikki translates to Future Diary, which is what is given to twelve contestants in a game to win the seat of God. All twelve of the participants of this game are given various forms of diaries (whether they be scrolls, a sketch book, or cell phones) which tell them different things about what will happen in the future. For instance, our hero, Bitch Boy…I MEAN YUKITERU AMANO, has a diary that tells him about his surroundings. Meanwhile, his stalker, Gasai Yuno, has a diary that tells her all about what Yuki is doing. The different holders of the diaries are made by God, named Deus, to fight for his position in the universe as he is dying. Why did he pick twelve random people to fight to take the place of God instead of find a worthy candidate through an application process or something like that, who knows. But for the purposes of not going into too much nitpicking, let’s just go along with this.
From the start, our heroes (or hero(or anti-hero(this show gives us a cast of very gray characters))) are made to fight some strange characters, including a teacher who kills on the street, a terrorist who has a seemingly infinite number of explosives at her disposal, a cult leader, an insane super-hero, and a guy who has turned his dogs into mechanical monsters. All the while, Yuki and Gasai are establishing one of the strangest relationships you’ll ever see, as well as forming alliances, breaking alliances, and generally going insane with the fact they can trust no one.
What makes the execution of this show good compared to shows like Eden of the East or Deadman Wonderland is that it creates a game, and it sticks with the game. It never goes off into side-crap and there’s never a point where everyone comes together and battles the big bad guy so that nobody has to die and everyone is happy. While the show does have a happy ending, the ending is attained through a lot of good ol’ fashioned violence, insanity, and gore. The gore is so bad that it has to be blocked out on Japanese TV. That’s not to say this is in any way competition for Tokyo Gore Police or any horror movie along those lines; the gore may be a little too much for some, but for me was just the right balance, never too disgusting, never too friendly.
Another reason the execution is good is the psychological aspect that is played out throughout the show. This is especially prevalent in an episode concerning Yuki choosing his friends or Gasai. These moments are tense, dramatic, and slow; they play up the drama just enough, but never overdo it. They leave you at the edge of your seat, queuing up the next episode despite the fact it is well past your bedtime. This show has a real sense of drama about it, and it is character driven, but it’s also the basic psychological aspects of putting a bunch of people into a fight for their life. While much of the drama is forced, I must at least commend the portion spoken of before and a couple of points throughout where I did want to keep watching to see what would happen.
One of the major factors to this show is that none of the characters are infallible. Every character has issues and problems that come up to either bite them or help them, and the fact that every character, even the bad guys, are given at least a tiny smidgen of exposition and backstory really helps us care more about them. And I know this is not true of the first bad guy we encounter, he was more for story exposition. Future characters are all given some time so you can figure out whether you like them or not. Of course, there are many unlikeable characters to be found (I.E most of them), but the fact that these characters are given a bit of backstory and humanity really helps Mirai Nikki not be totally unbearable.
Our main character, Yuki, is a huge pussy. He’s a bitch who cries at the slightest inclination. It’s not fun to watch. There are some points, toward the end especially, where he does get bearable, but half the time you wish he’d just die so we didn’t have to deal with the torrent of tears that comes with every death, toe stub, toilet, and revelation.
I much prefer Gasai Yuno, who I would like to consider the main character. She gets enough screen time and attention to be the main character. She’s a creepy stalker at first, then she’s an insane creepy stalker, but she slowly grows on you if only because she is the complete opposite of Yuki and provides some insane bloodshed, rather than some little bitch baby tears. That's probably the only reason I liked her was the respite I was given from dealing with Yuki.
Minene Uryuu was my favorite character. While Gasai is a badass, I thought Minene was even better. From the first time seeing her blow up half a fucking middle school, I knew she was going to be amazing. As the series progresses she lightens up a little and takes on a certain humanity that is both touching and well executed, but watching her go insane and hearing her scream is pleasant. She’s a no nonsense kind of girl, kind of like Gasai. But more badass. Because she has an eyepatch.
Let’s talk about the ending, which is truly where the show loses itself and becomes a bit sloppy. Now, people have complained about everything about this show from the poor art to the poor direction. I didn’t really give a damn about either, because I was just here to see people get the shit beat out of them. What I have a problem with is the overly complex and almost Madoka like ending. What is up with time travel in anime recently? A second world and a third world? It wasn’t exactly confusing as much as an excuse to create a happy ending. And while I love a happy ending, I’d have been perfectly happy if Mirai Nikki didn’t attempt to be smarter than it was and instead ended the tournament, explained Gasai’s intentions, created the infinite loop that was sure to come, and then ended it there. I didn’t need to have the Dragon Ball Z style fighting between Murmur and Minene…that kind of killed her character for me (I preferred the explosive part of her, not the panty shot flying part).
And on top of that, the ending...is weird. Not weird because it is strange, it’s weird because it ends five pages before the manga does. Instead of just showing Gasai and Yuki living happily ever after, it teases this, then ends. YOU COULDN’T FIT THE LAST FIVE PAGES OF THE MANGA IN? SERIOUSLY?
Mirai Nikki is bound to get a lot of shit, but as far as entertainment goes, it’s got that in the bag. The plot could be considered stupid by some, but I thought it was decent enough. The characters can be considered bad by some, and I can see that. Yuki is a horrible main character and Gasai, while a badass, is very inconsistent in character. This could be attributed to her insanity, but I like to attribute it to bad writing. That goes double for the romance, which seems to develop out of nowhere. Yuki pretends through most of the series, yet suddenly falls for Gasai? For no reason? He even asks why he fell for her at one point and doesn’t come up with a clear enough answer to give me any sort of warm feeling. And of course, the ending becomes something huge and painfully broken. If it had ended with a bad ending where everyone dies and Gasai keeps replaying the past over and over, it would have left a better taste in my mouth than the ending I was given.
It’s not amazing, but, at least for me, I found myself really enjoying a lot of it. I’m a sucker for dumb violence and gore, and Mirai Nikki provides in that respect. In the respect of good characters and ingenuity, it doesn’t have much…other than Minene.
-No nonsense with the blood and gore.
-Some tense moments.
-Yuki: King of Vaginas.
-Gasai's inconsistent character
-The overly complex and terribly executed finale
Story: I have to give this series props for having an interesting story if nothing else. In my opinion, it was set up very well; the diaries, the game, the way the gods work (I'll leave it at that for fear of spoiling too much) all made for a very engaging and at least acceptably original story base. I'm sure the scry vs. scry idea has been the basis of at least a few stories in the past, but the way it was done in Mirai Nikki, with the whole cell phone diaries idea, made for some engaging games of wit and cunning since the owners' future predictions had unique and major limitations that kept every battle from being exactly the same. The rules of the game the plot revolves around were basically the bare minimum in the way of rules, so there isn't much to be said. It did a good job of moving the plot, but I think a god could've come up with something better. I also really liked the god's relationship with the universe, and the way gods in the series tended to behave. Normally I hate any supreme being aspect of a series, but I actually made a connection with this one. I've never seen a supreme being system QUITE like this one; it got a plus for me.
I also have to admit that I really liked the final eight-or-so episodes. But, once again for fear of spoiling anything, suffice to say they were done well.
However: Once we get into the more intricate details of the story, it begins to fall apart. The thing that most stuck out to me was that all of the emotions seemed really forced and jumpy. For example, if someone died, a character who witnessed the death would be upset for maybe a moment then get over it like it never happened. It genuinely seemed like everybody in the series had some sort of selective short term memory loss, or a Jesus-like capacity for forgiveness. (And on that same note, Hinata and Mao were seriously wounded several times and shrugged it off like it was nothing.) Another issue I had was the fact that Yuki and Yuno basically danced the same on/off, trust/no trust dance throughout the entire series, and their relationship waffled back and forth so frequently I began to get bored with their entire dynamic. And, perhaps most importantly for me, the beginning of the series felt really awkward. It seemed to me like everything was really rushed and contrived, like someone had listed the events and set a deadline for each one -- not that I doubt this actually happened, but a show isn't supposed to FEEL like that. Not only was there no real flow between events, but, in my opinion, there was not nearly enough time dedicated to important conflicts -- such as the battles with 9th and 4th -- as was necicary to give them the appropriate gravity, while very minor characters who probably should have been killed off in their debut episode or not showed up to Yuki at all, got the same time of day. The story also felt very contrived in that Yuki had an encounter with every single diary owner, and while I grant he is the main character and all, one could realistically expect that at least one or two would be killed off before they got to him, since the game is a free for all, not two against ten. And as I said above, that would leave more time to develop characters who actually mattered.
Basically, I liked it, but at no point did I become immersed in the story. I was fully aware of the fact that I was sitting at my computer watching a show the entire time.
Animation: I don't know, I really liked it. One thing that captivated me was the eyes; I've never seen that style before and something about it makes me really like it. Other than that, I just thought the whole art scheme was nifty. It wasn't super detailed or anything, and it's not like it would have taken a tremendous amount of work, but it had a subtle unique style to it I guess. As you can tell, I pay more attention to plot than aestetics.
Sound: Nothing really stuck out to me personally. I'm sure if you're reading this you may be thinking "Screw you, it's obvious the sound is amazingly well done because of reasons," or "Screw you, this series has the worst soundtrack in history becuase of words," but for me, the sound just got me through the show. I did, however, award two extra points to it for the intros, specifically the first one.
Characters: They didn't do anything for me. Yuno was the only slightly original and engaging personality in the whole series, for starters. With the exception of one I'd rather not spoil, Yuki and Yuno were the only characters who seemed to flow (and even that didn't make itself apparent until the last eight-or-so episodes). All of the other characters were either extremely flat or light switch dynamic (they were one way one second and then completely different the next). Once again, it seemed very contrived. I also was irked by many of the characters because of their aforementioned unrealistic capacity for forgiveness. Lastly, everybody cried too much, especially Yuki. There were a few times when I sympathized with them, but I usually just wanted to tell them to suck it up. I guess I just never really made a solid connection with any of the characters like I felt like I should have.
Overall: Despite my criticisms, at the end of the day I would recommend Mirai Nikki because it's a pretty interesting and original story, but I would tell the potential watcher to whom I was advocating not to expect a super memorable series. I enjoyed it all the way through, and while I thought it was of above average in quality, it wasn't particulary distinguished for me.
I was EXTREMEY disappointed with this anime which (in my opinion) had a lot of potential, but fell flat. Not very likeably characters, bad plot and some ridiculous logic... no I'm sorry, but this is not a good anime. The only thing that made it watchable was the comedy and suspention. Even though I hated the story and many of the characters, I couldn't stop watching. It was never dull and had me saying "WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? HOLY SHIT!" many, many times.