I was going my my huge anime backlog and noticed something called “Mirai Nikki” which I learned meant “Future Diary”. I was unsure where this came from as no one who has suggested anime to me has seen it and I don’t know where else I would have found it. I decided to watch it as it was there so I might as well and I was pretty shocked after the first episode but strangely hooked.
The anime follows a 14 year old boy named Yukiteru Amano. He doesn’t really like talking with people because he’s scared of getting hurt. So he has something to do he started a diary on his phone where he basically writes whatever he sees around him. He has two “imaginary friends” in Deus Ex Machina (or god) and Mur Mur that he spends time with after school. One day he wakes up and notices his diary entry was already filled out. He dismisses it as he was tired last night but the things his diary had written start coming true. Yukiteru becomes excited as he basically has a diary that tells him the future. They have a pop quiz (that he knew about) and a girl doesn’t seem to be paying attention, in fact, she starts modeling clay telling the teacher it’s a stress reliever. When class lets out Yukiteru notices what she modeled looks exactly like Mur Mur. The girl (Yuno Gasai) walks up behind him and they have a conversation he thinks she’s stalking him and runs. He ends up going to a construction site and it turns out a serial killer is trying to kill Yukiteru and is waiting there. Yuna meets up with him and basically saves him from the serial killer by giving them a plan. It is also revealed both this serial killer and Yuno have diaries that can tell the future. The serial killer’s predicted his killings and Yuno’s predicted things relating to Yukiteru.
Eventually we go to where Yukiteru meets with Deus Ex and Mur Mur with multiple others. It turns out Deus Ex really is god and he’s dying and needs to find a successor. To do this he decides to run a Hunger Games style death match with 12 participants and whoever is the last one standing becomes god. They all have future diaries relating to whatever the wrote about in their diaries before they came future. They also all have been given names to the order they got their diary (with Yukiteru being first, Yuno being second, the serial killer, who is Yukiteru’s teacher, being third and so on). I’m going to stop describing the story here as a lot happens and I don’t want this to go on for too long but basically Yuno is in love with Yukiteru (you find out why exactly near the end) and they team up.
Mirai Nikki is a huge gore fest. Take the amounts of blood spilled in Akame ga Kill and multiply that by 2 or 3. Ninth also gets stabbed in the eye with Yukiteru’s dart and her eye gauged out by Twelfth among other violent things. Personally, I’m not one that normally likes huge violent scenes like what this is full of but it never really bothered me. Yuno is also one of my favourite characters from this series. I feel her writing was just so great with a constant struggle of knowing shes hiding something but also trying to protect Yukiteru but she lies to him and until the very end I was having a personal struggle on if I loved her or hated her. Yukiteru also is going through this exact struggle and for him it also goes until the very end. One other thing I really liked was the ending. I’m not going to say anything specific about it but I did not expect what happened. The ending pretty much lasted Episodes 20-26 and an OVA and constantly during those 6 episodes it stopped everything you thought was going to happen and often did the complete opposite.
Now things I didn’t like. They are all minor nitpicks but I need to mention them anyway. The first is how did Third not only know this was a death game but knew that Yukiteru was part of it before Deus Ex told them about it? Sure his diary might have given him a hint but no one else knew in the group meeting at the start and some of their diaries should have mentioned it too. Another is how stupid some of the diaries are. Some make sense like Fourth the cop’s tells about crimes or Yukiteru’s tells about random events around him but others like Ninth’s tells her how to escape. She’s a terrorist so it makes sense to write about how she escaped but shouldn’t she also write about the terror she’s caused? Or Eighth’s is basically a server farm making fake future diaries so I have no idea what she was writing about. Another is how Yukiteru’s diary seems to change depending on what the plot needs. The very first thing it predicts is how he hits a bulls-eye in darts but then later it can’t predict anything about himself due to him on writing about events around him and not himself. One last thing is how I was expecting this to be just some violent anime with maybe a decent story as an excuse for killing and it was for over half the anime then around episode 17 they took us on a feels trip. Normally I don’t mind feels trips (My previous anime reviews being Clannad and Angel Beats! point to this) but it seemed really out of place. Episode 20 on wards was basically a giant feels trip so I was used to it there. I kind of wish there was some way of changing episode 17 even though it was a great episode, or having minor feels through-out the whole anime and not just suddenly at the end.