Imagine an anime that opens a new universe, doesn’t suffer from Down syndrome, and is immune to lazy writing. Frankly, Mirai Nikki isn’t on of those: with its multiple plot holes, at times rushed artwork, and a premise that is weakly executed, Mirai Nikki barely passes my mark of recommendation. That being said, it still succeeds in bringing in a message, making lovable characters, and generally offering good entertainment.
The main story revolves to be about Yukiteru (Yuki) - a teenager who’s socially awkward and has a habit taking notes of his surroundings, may it be what happened in class or the color of his feces, he gets everything. Of course, his hobby soon enough becomes something more than just a way of spending time; Yuki finds himself predicting his future through his phone diary and becomes an honorable contestant in a battle royal with eleven other people. If he beats everyone, he’ll become the Master of Space and Time and will replace Deus, the current God, and if not, I guess, nobody will even notice that he’s gone.
Okay, let’s stop at this part for a second. I immediately questioned this whole Diary Game thing. I’ve no problem accepting Yuki as a contender but selecting an terrorist, serial killer, and just mentally ill people for becoming lords of the Dimensional Continuum seems a bit out of the ordinary. I don’t know what criteria Deus has, but I wouldn’t want to live in a universe lead by maniacs (no offense). I get what Seake Esuno (the Author of the manga) was going for – interesting cast - however, I don’t see the purpose of this Diary Game even happening if Deus can manipulate with space and time, logically he could just create an ideal substitute or even better lengthen his own lifespan.
After everything gets cleared up, we sorta meet the other diary owners. Of all the bunch, clearly Yuki is the only sensible one... and also the weakest one. Nothing comes close to Yuki’s incapability to deal with daily events – he’s such an impotent at life you just pity him all the time. On one hand, you understand that Yuki isolated himself from society; therefore, making contact with people or experiencing death is a bit too much; on the other hand, seeing our main protagonist crying endlessly gets irritating freaking fast.
So if the story already makes no sense, leading character is a crybaby, what keeps you going then? Well, Yuno. I’m a total sellout when it comes to cute characters, and Yuno meets the occasion, definitely one of those few gems this anime has. The purpose of her is protecting Yuki, and Yuno does it well. Again, she’s a great heroine; however, we meet another plot hole – Yuno’s fighting skills. She’s kinda of a mystery person, that’s okay with me, but I’ve yet to meet a student that can fight like a samurai with the power of love. Nothing gets cleared out about Yuno’s ability to slaughter people; it just happens that she can take out an army of highly trained men with just a butcher’s knife.
And we come to another subject – violence – this is one of the best parts of Mirai Nikki. Schools with pupils get blown up, toddlers get brutally stabbed, and people get cruelly mutilated. It perfectly stays on the line between being unbearably sick and socially acceptable. Therefore, Mirai Nikki greatly strengthens the element of unexpectancy and that’s a thing that I find unique in anime. All the horror flicks nowadays are aimed to people who enjoy jumpscares, so it’s a nice change of pace.
But as soon as I give this show a praise it ruins everything, again. Seake Esuno (or who the hell wrote the script) definitely thought that people only feel empathy towards someone if the subject has experienced a loss or tragedy, for example, according to Mirai Nikki I’ll only care if you get raped, your parents are ruthless scumbags, or everyone who’s dear to you gets slaughtered. It’s just a cheap way to cut the whole introduction bullcrap and make you all soft instantly. As result of this nonsensical strategy - there’s no character development whatsoever, and every new diary holder gets only about one episode of screenplay before slayed. By the way, how do our bellowed heroes handle death? They don’t. Everyone in this anime is as forgiving as Jesus Christ itself. Seriously. If you would, for instance, cut off Yuki’s index finger while he was picking his nose, he’d continue mining gold with one of the nine left.
Moving to a much enjoyable part - the design. The introduction theme and the graphics that came with it were superb, I can’t describe how I rejoiced the start of every episode! Also, another design choice that I particularly enjoyed was the cliffhanger like closing in most of the episodes, always left me hyped for the next part. Nevertheless, towards the ending of this anime the quality of the artwork suffered "a bit", for example, in a scene in where Yuno chops logs of wood and tries to build up the atmosphere for a romantic climax; you can clearly see the improper body proportions that shouldn’t have made it in the final cut but did in the result of time lack (see the picture above).
In conclusion, even if the story had its flaws, even if the artwork wasn’t extraordinary, even if the dialogue in various places was retarded, I still got sucked into the Universe and attached to the characters. I don’t know what people expected from the ending, but for me it actually worked, and somehow this is one of the few shows that left me sobbing like a little baby. The whole ‘it could be different’ vibe really got me. Mirai Nikki is just like a puppy, you know it’ll piss in every corner of your room, you know it’ll mutilate your bellowed sneakers; still you adore this little monster and wouldn’t want anyone to hurt it.
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