When it was released in 2011, "Mirai Nikki" (I'm not going to bother with the "TV") became a smash-hit. Practically everyone was praising the survival-horror anime. I never got into it; I don't know why, it just never managed to catch my interest. But when an anime I was watching didn't work, I switched over to episode 1 of "Mirai Nikki."
I was hooked, and before I knew it, I had seen more than a third of the series.
So it really pains me to say how much it disappointed me.
Story: The story of "Mirai Nikki" sounds so good--Amano "Yuki" Yukiteru discovers that his cellphone can predict the future and that he is entered in a survival game where the winner becomes the God of Time and Space. The current God, Deus Ex Machina, is dying and needs a replacement. Gasai Yuno, a young girl, is completely infatuated with Yuki and her mirai nikki (future diary) is about Yuki--she knows where he is and what he is doing. Together, they try to beat the other diary owners in a life-or-death battle royale.
This storyline has been done before (the excellent novel "Battle Royale," for example), but it never gets old. Plus, who the hell doesn't want to rule over time and space?! (You know what? Don't answer that.) Unfortunately, what starts out as a kickass survival anime ends up as a sappy romantic chick flick with some tragedy thrown in. And then they try to give the thing an ending which practically punches you in the face with its awfulness.
Animation: I'll give them this much; asread made a slick-looking anime. The fight scenes are well-animated and the blood splattering looks good, in the beginning. But I'll start with character designs. Yuki looks completely average and Yuno's pink hair seems cliche. The other designs contain a spark of creativity, but only a spark. And, since this is a gorefest, the blood should be well-animated, right? Wrong, apparently. There is a ludicrous amount of censoring, even for things as simple as a stab wound. I, personally, can't stand when gore is censored. If you can't handle it, don't watch it in the first place! Another thing which gets that damn blackness is nudity. A character is naked? Great! Make sure nothing is seen! Okay, I get it, but why not give her some clothes instead of a fuzzy black bar? But, by the end, even (wait for it) PANTSU are shown. OMG, that's hardcore, man! Censored blood+very few panty shots not maketh a kickass anime. It maketh "Highschool of the Dead" for five-year-olds. But I digress. Background art is suitable.
Sound: The OP and ED are great, but you have to enjoy J-pop. If you don't, well then... The voice acting is fine; Yuki's seiyuu sounds like a whiny schoolboy, Yuno's sounds like a Ryuugu Rena-wannabe, and most other voices sound okay. OST and sounds range from average to very good. Unfortunately, only the final OST left any impression on me.
Characters: There were very few I truly liked. No development and very few backstories (which seem forced!) and confusion abounds.
(Sorry for the weird picture.) This picture contains the names of the diary owners (and the numbers), so I'll let you squint and destroy your eyesight instead of wasting my time. (I can't find a good picture of the non-diary owner main characters which isn't from a certain site which deleted my original picture COUGH COUGH WINK COUGH, so I'll try to find another one.)
Amano "Yuki" Yukiteru: A kind way to describe him is "annoying wimp." A rude way would be getting kind of provocative, so I'll stop. He is, from square one, useless. He needs sexy yandere girl to protect him, and he really takes advantage of that. How pathetic he is becomes really apparent during the later episodes.
Gasai Yuno: Aforementioned sexy yandere girl. If people watch "Mirai Nikki," it's because of her. She is often called a terrifying character, but I don't see it. So what if she's obsessed with Yuki? 99% of this site is obsessed with anime/or manga. So what if she murders people? So does Yuki, and he sure as hell doesn't scare me. But that's not the real reason (I mean, Ryuugu Rena is freaky, and she's like this). They just make Yuno too fanservice-y for her to be scary. She's supposed to be too sexy, she forgets pants too many times, and she wears too much lip gloss. She's more scary before she tries to look f*ckable in every single scene. Way to tone down her yandere-ness!
Murmur: What the heck is up with her? I swear, she is confusing and not in a good way. But I don't want to spoil. Oh, loli alert.
Hino Hinata: Fanservice no. 2.
Nonosaka Mao: Lesbian no. 1.
Akise Aru: I think roriconfan put it best: "Nagisa Kaworu wannabe." He looks like him (albino, smirks a lot), acts like him (supposed to be all smart and sh*t, yaoi, fanservice-providing) and probably idols him. I actually liked Akise (and Kaworu, if anyone cares), but not for any particular reason. I didn't actually notice any resemblance until...
Can't you just hear the fujoshi squealing off in the distance?
Really. I haven't read the manga, but this scene confused the heck out of me in the anime. This isn't shounen-ai, so why the f*ck would he kiss him?!?!?!?
Fanservice. Everything about this show comes down to fanservice.
Kousaka Ouji: A poor attempt at comic relief.
Uryu Minene: One of the few characters I liked because she seemed to march to the beat of her own drummer. However, she was, really, fetish material for the entire series. First she wears a lolita dress. Then she's naked (but, of course, not ENTIRELY naked). Then she wears something else. Then she's naked. Then she's put into an awkward spot where she blushes. Then she's naked. Then she's all badass. Then she's naked. Then she wears a minidress. Then we see her pantsu. Then she's OH SHUT UP!
Nishijima Masumi: I liked him, too, for some reason. Then he became the reason 14% of male watchers enjoyed the series so much.
Everyone else: Fanservice, fanservice, female fanservice, loli, fanservice, blood, fanservice, awkward sex scene, fanservice, shota, fanservice, tiny amount of censored gore, fan-freaking-service.
As you can plainly see, poorly done fanservice effed up the show.
Ending: Crap. That is all.
Overall: "Higurashi" for five-year-olds. "Rosario+Vampire" for five-year-olds. "Evangelion" for five-year-olds. Any yaoi anime for five-year-olds. But, above all, "Highschool of the Dead" for five-year-olds... if Takashi and Kouta start having some make-out sessions.
Oh, and because I just couldn't resist the temptation...