Oh, you saucy minx. A few ideas do spring to mind, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Let’s start from the events of the first episode, where the Lord of Time and Space, Deus Ex Machina, has just given 12 individuals future diaries – mobile phones with the ability to view the future – and commands them to kill each other. Last one standing gets to take Deus’ place as the Big Kahuna, and the story is set in motion.
Right. If you’ve read my comments on ExecutiveOtaku’s first impressions post, you might be wondering why I’m blogging this anime at all. Quote, “I hate the plot. Hate it. Hate hate hate. I hate these sort of survival death game things.”
It’s very simple. This is a trainwreck waiting to happen, and I want to be right there when it does. Bear with me on this.
Mirai Nikki is like Survivor. Yes, as in the reality show.
Survivor’s whole premise is spurious. People who are shipwrecked don’t suddenly decide to go through obstacle courses or cling to a pillar for 10 hours, and they definitely don’t get pizza rewards. But you’re not watching for the obstacle courses or the new car that so-and-so just won. You’re watching for the backstabbing and the plotting, and that particularly deranged contestant who’s got alliances with and against everyone who somehow keeps getting through tribal council.
That’s what Mirai Nikki is to me. I shouldn’t have concerned myself with the setting, the premise, all that stuff. The entire point of this anime is the Thirty Xanatos Pileup that will inevitably occur. Deus has picked a collection of sane, imbalanced individuals for his game, and sooner or later, somebody is going to snap (even more than they’ve already snapped, I mean). And I want to be there, laughing/clasping my hand over my mouth in exaggerated disbelief when it happens.
Basically, I love these survival death game things when there’s a healthy amount of rational insanity involved. Logical killing. The ends-justify-the-means sort of killing, not the ahahaha-blood sort of killing, yes?
Oh, there’s a second reason as to why I decided to cover this anime. I chanced upon the following well-worded, thought-provoking critique:
Suffice to say that I am more than ready to defend Mirai Nikki, gaping plotholes and all.
The first episode introduced us to Amano Yukiteru, a young man whose only noticeable attributes are:
1) His distressing desire to record down the events that take place around him, right down to the mundane details.
2) The ease of which he is easily overlooked or ignored by the general public.
3) His unerring accuracy with darts.
Let it be known that in my opinion, any person who carries a stash of darts around in what appears to be a specially designed dart-carrying case, is a likely candidate for having some sort of mental instability.
Most people who want a method of self-defense sign up for Judo, or Karate classes, but this kid goes for incapacitation through sharp, pointy objects targeted at body vulnerabilities.
This is going to be all the more awesome when he starts killing people, isn’t it?
Also in the first episode, the delightful Gasai Yuno.
Such a fragile, dainty flower of a girl. Those sweet eyes from which you simply cannot tear your gaze away. That calculating mind that seeks only to please her beloved Yukkii, and Yukkii alone…
What pleased me about the first episode was that Asread is more than willing to show a little violence.
Not in that shameless, Saw/Final Destination way. But in that Hitchcock, subliminal, allowing the audience to imagine the gore for themselves, Psycho kind of way.
I don’t always agree that less is more. But thanks to clever directing, appropriate sound effects, and an overactive imagination, the murders freaked me out more than they should have.
This seemed a little out of place. A little anti-climatic.
I always thought that having one’s Future Diary being destroyed would have been far more excruciating. I expected the body disfiguration and spatial warping, but couldn’t the dying process have been slower? So that the audience could get to see every detail of 3rd’s body vanishing into the rift? Maybe give him more time to scream a little?
Wow. I’m rather twisted, aren’t I?
On to episode 2. The bombs have been planted. The actors are in their proper place.
(Uryuu Minene, the 9th, has a name that makes me want to laugh.)
Is your body ready? I don’t think your body could possibly be ready.
Isn’t she just the sweetest little high school girl ever?
Such devotion! Such determination! Such careless disregard for her own safety! (and the safety of dozens of other students, but let’s not go there)
What I liked most about this episode was Yukiteru’s changes in mood/mindset.
At first, he was all confident and self-assured in the fact that with Yuno by his side, he’ have nothing to fear. Then he became traumatized and depressed when he realized what a loser he’d been and how much he depended on others. And finally, he wised up (snapped) and took matters into his own hands.
I’m honestly impressed. It usually takes 3 to 7 episodes for other male protagonists to get through this much character development. 3 to 7 episodes filled of whining and staring into the ceiling/clouds/camera.
Now I’m just hoping that this isn’t just a temporary thing. I don’t want to have to endure 15 minutes of the next episode watching Yukiteru going through a flashback filled angstfest.
The face of a stone-cold killer. It’s all in the eyes.
“The phone, or my face?”
We normal humans are fortunate that life doesn’t usually present us with dilemmas such as this.
Minene (scoff, chortle) is a master of understatement.
Although to be fair to her (and the fansubbers), you could be saying ‘not good’, ‘不味い’, or swearing aloud in every language known to man and it’ll still seem like an understatement.
Props to the direction once again. A cutaway to a red screen and a nauseating splatter/burst sound effect. Very effective.
Also, the appearance of a Diary-holder (Kurusu Keigo,the 4th) who wasn’t mindlessly participating in the survival game heartens me.
It is somewhat intriguing that Deus would have given a police officer a diary that foretells crime. Seems a bit of a gamebreaker.
Of course, I don’t trust the bugger. He’s too noble.
It’s more than likely that Keigo is pretending to form an alliance now, then stab Yukiteru and Yuno in the back.
If Keigo is actually evil -> backstab.
If Keigo wants to eliminate evil -> backstab, as God powers would be a lot more effective in stopping crime than a mere future diary.
It wouldn’t be personal; only business.
But until we reach that moment when Keigo’s loyalties are tested, perhaps we’ll be seeing some fun Yukiteru-Yuno rabu-rabu action next episode as a break from the action?
Oh Yuno, you’re so crazy. So crazy awesome.