The characters are great. The story is also great. Artwork fits the mood pretty well.
What really sold this story to me was the twists. They were such great twists I couldn't believe it. It has plenty of action and dialogue, but from start to finish I couldn't stop reading.
I like the concept a lot, and the art is nice (I like the style of drawing hair) but the characters so far don't seem to be very complex or realistic. This is a problem since the entire story is driven by how the characters play off each others' actions. The main characters is pretty relatable and believable even if he doesn't do much or have very complex emotions, (hey, he's a teenager) but his stalker doesn't make a lot of sense, (if she's the popular girl, why didn't she just tell him she liked him? She's obviously not shy about it. Stalkers stalk from a lack of confidence..) and so far none of the other players in the game have shown any fear or insecurity, even though they're in exactly the same position as the main kid. They are very flat characters, mostly portrayed as simple enemies.
Also, the diaries. When do they get written? Come on, don't say it's their future selves if they don't ever end up doing it. Sloppy writing. (Plus why are they all phones? Doesn't anyone write on paper?)
I'll change this review if these things change, but it doesn't seem like they're going to.
Mirai Nikki is a 14 volume manga by Sakae Esuno, about a young boy called Yukiteru Amano who is a complete loner and spends most of his days writing down the details of his life into a diary on his mobile phone. Naturally, he has no friends and is teased constantly by his classmates. However, he does have two friends in his imagination: the god of space and time, Deus Ex Machina, and his little demon assistant, Murmur. Deus Ex Machina comes up with a game one day that could change his life forever. He takes Yukiteru's phone and makes it so his diary gives him little memos of the future ahead, the Random Occurences Diary.
At first, Yukiteru uses it for the mundane things we all would. He escapes a group of bullies by walking another route, he uses it to cheat on tests, etcetera. However, his sudden prowess is noted by a beautiful, smart girl in his class called Yuno, who, it turns out, is obsessively in love with him and has been admiring him from afar for a while now. She also has a terrifying violent streak. Yuno explains that her diary is the Yukiteru Diary, which gives her details of what Yukiteru does day in and day out. Yukiteru and Yuno's Diaries work in tandem with each other, and that this game has now become a battle royale with 12 participants fighting for Deus Ex Machina's throne.
As other diary users come into their lives and nobody can be trusted, Yukiteru and Yuno are going to have to work together... even if Yukiteru really doesn't want to.
This manga is absolutely thrilling. I never read it before I watched the anime, but I started reading it after episode 3 or 4 of the anime came out, and haven't looked back since. I haven't finished it yet, but hey, I've been busy. Them's the breaks.
I love the survival/battle royale aspect of this manga. And I love how Yukiteru and Yuno's life permanently warps simply because of the choices they make in the game. Already Yukiteru has grown as a character, he's no longer a complete and utter drip, and Yuno still scares the bejesus out of me in tense situations.
There are 10 volumes of the manga available in English, but unfortunately the publishing company, Tokyopop, closed its operations before the final four volumes could be released. A shame, since the eleventh was set for release in September. x_x Plus, the first few volumes are very expensive for manga. We're talking upwards of £20 for the first few (and the tenth) volumes. Sad but true.
This was the first manga I read that introduced me into the whole psychological thriller genre, Death Note be damned. If you can stomach some bloody scenes/deaths, and some twisted characters, be prepared for a good story.
Story: The story starts off pretty simple. Here's a kid whose "imaginary friend" Deus Ex Machina forces him into a murder game to see who the next God will be. However, with each new character, the story deepens and darkens, always showing people in their worst light and never assuming that there's good in everyone. After a while, the story isn't just about this game, it's about why the game exists, for how long it has existed, and is the prize as good as it seems. It's a mystery wrapped up in blood.
Art: I've DEFINTELY seen better. More details, more care, just more. However, there is something about the art style, as simplistic as it is, that enhances the experience. It makes each death, each character reveal that much more revolting, surprising, and captivating. The world of Mirai Nikki is distorted and the art style supports that.
Characters: THEY MAKE THIS STORY. Yuki's realistically (so much so that it gets annoying) portrayed as a kid who is terrfied of the trouble he has gotten himself into. He is just an average teen who cannot fight, and cannot win, because he has never had to before. Yuno is...I don't want to give anything away, but she is PIVOTAL as a character. She continued to surprise and amaze me with the depth of her love and just how far she was willing to go for it. As for the side characters, they become much more than that. They all have their own reasons for having diaries and fighting. Sometimes, what they are fighting for outweighs Yuki's initial reason: for his own survival. I don't want to give away anything more, but suffice it to say that each new character introduced is essential to the plot.
Overall: Besides the simple, but oddly appealing art, this is one heck of a good manga. It's a page turner that requires some attention to get, especially towards the end. It may be like other psychological thrillers but it is definitely one of the better ones.
Story - It was so good that I literally read it within a few hours. Not all at once of course. The first 3/4 of the manga was good but that last bit seemed kind of weird. It was a good story and I enjoyed it. First manga I fully read.