Before you read what I hate to say about this show, please read what I have to say about reviews. A good review critiques the show on an objective level and determines whether a show has the characteristics that deem a show good or bad. Just because a show is "bad" or "good" doesn't mean a person is incapable of enjoying it. Please understand that if you enjoyed Mirai Nikki TV, I will not attack you in this review. Thanks for reading ^_^
Normally I don't like to write a review of an anime before seeing the whole thing, but for this show I had to make an exception. If you haven't watched the show, then here is some background info that I will refer to.
"Yuki is a disaffected middle school boy who has no dreams or goals in life; in fact, the only thing he has is his diary. Writing down everything he observes and documenting every thought, the young boy uses it as an outlet for his imagination. One morning, however, Yuki wakes up to find his cell phone filled with diary entries for the next ninety days. Thinking nothing of it, he continues his morning until he begins to realize that everything on his phone is rapidly coming to pass, and it isn't just mere coincidence. Now, Yuki suddenly finds himself thrust into a survival game against other future diary owners to become the new Lord of Time"
There are numerous problems with this show, so many that I could easily write a 10 page essay. But I'm going to try to keep it short and stick to some of the major problems. The problems I will be discussingare the tone, background/setting, pace, and characters. I'll start with characters.
I haven't seen enough of the show to determine whether the characters are shallow or not, so I won't be discussing that. What I will be talking about is the blatant stupidity of the charcters; its almost like the characters are using horror movie logic. Let me give you some examples. After a terrorist tried to kill Yuno and Yukiteru by blowing up half a high school (along with a good number of the students). Kurusu says he doesn't want anyone else to die from the survival game. So what does he do? He uses Yuno and Yukitera as bait and sends them to a crowded amusement park. I could understand using them as bait since their diaries work together, but why would you send them to a crowded amusement park? On top of that, no one seems to question Kurusu's decision! I will acknowledge that Kurusu seemed confident that the terrorist wouldn't show up, but that doesn't mean one of the other diary owners wouldn't! Another example of poor character decision is when the terrorist is trying to kill Yuno and Yuki with explosives (the terrorist planted explosives all throughout the school and has remote detonators). As Yuno and Yuki are hiding in the rubble of one of their classrooms, they come to the decision that the two of them should make their way over to the other students who are alive, explain to them the whole diary survival game, and then ask them for help. Stop. Think about that decision for a second. If you someone was trying to kill you with large amounts of explosives, would you go to a crowded area? I would like to point out that moments ago, the terrorist blew up half the school just to get everyone's attention, so she isn't messing around.
By background, I literally mean what’s going on in the background. As my friend put it, the show literally feels like it splits off into a different world, and not in a good way. It’s like the characters will suddenly separate from the world they are in and nothing that is happening around them will affect them. One situation that comes to mind is in the fourth episode when the fire breaks out in the cage. Yukiteru is sitting next to the cage while Kurusu (a police officer) and Yuno are standing by the door when the fire breaks out. People who are obviously brainwashed charge into the room and start killing each other. Amidst the chaos, Yukitera rushes to let Tsubaka out but is stopped by Yuno who warns him not to help her. The two proceed to have a conversation for roughly 40 seconds. During the conversation, people are shown hacking each other apart with axes no more than 10 feet away and you can hear their screams (which are toned down so you can focus on the conversation). The characters don’t react to what’s going on around them. It’s like they don’t even notice that people are killing each other while they are talking. The actions and words of the characters don’t match the situations they are in. While Yuno and Yukiteru are having their conversation, there is another huge problem; Tsubaki isn’t screaming for her life. We don’t hear one peep from her once the fire breaks out. You could argue that her screaming would have distracted the viewer from the conversation, but I whole heartedly disagree. If done right, her screams could have added to the tension in the scene by reminding the viewer that someone’s life is at stake. This is what I mean when I say that its like the characters are in a different world. It's almost like they have been completely removed from the world they are in.
What is tone? Well tone is how a movie feels. Generally speaking, you shouldn't break the tone, you transition. What do I mean? I mean that you can't make a rape scene and then suddenly throw in some weird slap stick comedy in the middle of it. Why? Because it takes away impact and emotion depth. So now that you have an idea of what tone is, let me explain where Mirrai Nikki has problems.
Throughout the show, Mirrai Nikki goes back and forth between weird slapstick comedy to extremely dark and seirous, which, in my opinion, is one of the most glaring problems. Episode 5 is probably the biggest problem child in the series. If you haven't seen the show, let me tell you what happens. You learn that one of the diary owners was gangraped at a youngage at is still repeadedly gangraped. They show several graphic depictions of rape (almost as graphic as Girl with the Dragon Tatoo), throughout the episode at least 4 times. Yet at the same time, this episode also has numerous instances of bizarre slap stick comedy that border on the absurd. They even make fun of the power rangers at one point. I shit you not, (without going into too much detail) a group of people in costumes that were merely different colors showed up and did some weird power rangers like entry. 30 seconds later, one of the diary owners reveals her true, and evil, intentions, so Yuno attacks her and cuts her hand off with an axe. I couldn't believe what I was watching.
Thoughts so far
Mirai Nikki is far from perfect. Some people will like Mirai Nikki TV (especially Yuno Gasai and her yandere antics). If you're willing to overlook the absurd tone and other problems then give it a try. If you like the first two episodes, then you'll probably enjoy the rest of the series.
Im still working on the show so I'll update this review later on.