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Mirai Nikki: A review of the past in the future

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I should start writing a diary too XD

We all know why this HAS to be the feature picture.

We all know why this HAS to be the feature picture.

So, as you guys may be well aware, Mirai Nikki is from 2011. As per usual, I’m catching up with older shows that I should’ve probably watched when it first came out, but I simply don’t have the time. I actually remembered how people reacted to Mirai Nikki when it first came out, but I never gave it any extra interest as I didn’t have the time to.

While Mirai Nikki is often mentioned for it’s “yandere” features, which of course is a central tool of the show, but there’s a lot more to Mirai Nikki if you looked beyond its surface value. Yes, Gasai Yuno is a crazed teen. Yes, she’s a yandere. Yes, she’s a bishoujo. But so what? While Mirai Nikki doesn’t go beyond that until much later into the show, the developments at the end were what made the show went from nonsense to something decent.

Psychotic, yet so deserved?

Psychotic, yet so deserved?

Plot

When I first heard of Mirai Nikki, I was pretty unattracted to the whole “bitch goes crazy and murders people because a diary said so” mentality that some of my peers gave off. However, after watching the show for myself much later into the “future” and being able to marathon the show, I truly appreciated the story-line because it was so much more than random killing. Undeniably, there were certain moments in the plot where I felt it was poorly explained or was confusing, but without a doubt, the whole “future diaries” and “survival game” aspects of the plot was fairly well planned; or at least the whole concept.

What I wasn’t so impressed by, as I had previously just said, was that certain parts were poorly explained. While that doesn’t mean that the story is hard to follow, it’s just that there’s an obvious imbalance of focus on certain parts of the plot. Again, it’s not that it’s distracting, especially if you “watched it as it aired”, but if you marathon it, you’ll feel like there’s particular emphasis on parts that weren’t necessary or parts where you felt that it should’ve been elaborated, but wasn’t.

This is the beauty of Mirai Nikki

This is the beauty of Mirai Nikki

Character

Although you might wonder why I touched so lightly on plot, it’s not entirely without reason. For starters, in my opinion, I felt like the character development was the ultimate driving force of the plot. In order to do justice to character development, I felt like it was inappropriate to discuss it in the plot section.

Now, when we are first introduced to Yukiteru, we all know him as some sort of crybaby loser who doesn’t have friends. While in the end, he’s still a crybaby loser, it’s that there’s a transition of his “emotions” and that there was a peak of his development during the latter part of the show.

As for Yuno…it’s not what I’d call the “developing” of a character, but more like the “unraveling”. Being the show’s ultimate climax, Yuno’s identity and motives were withheld until the last 3 or 4 episodes, which served perfectly as a climax due to the buildup of tension in the 2nd half of the show. While the explanation was accelerated near the end, it wasn’t too fast to understand…just uncanny for the revealing speed of her true self throughout the show.

While the main protagonists each went through their own marvelous changes, what makes Mirai Nikki a very comprehensive show is the side development of supporting characters. Though the development of Nishijima x Minene wasn’t very clearly explained, the thought of producing such a side story was pretty well done; and gives the show a “complete” picture.

Although Minene is the most well-developed supporting character, Mirai Nikki doesn’t neglect other characters either. For example, each of the “survival game” players, after introduced, have an episode or half an episode dedicated to their pasts and reason why they’re trying to win the game. In addition, if you pay close attention to the names of the characters, they take after the Roman gods. For example, Amano refers to Jupiter, and while Marco Ikusaba (Mars) is…well…Mars and his last name “Ikusaba” is a literal translation for “battlefield”. Or…in a cuter rendition, Minene comes from Minerva (I love Minene lol).

Furthermore, even characters who didn’t “originally” possess future diaries such as Akise Aru turned out to be crucial to the plot and played fairly big roles. Because of a transition from possible minor supporting character to BIG supporting character, I felt like the character and plot development tie-ins were very appropriate, and if not, excellent.

This was actually quite a sad moment in the show for me~

This was actually quite a sad moment in the show for me~

Psychological Tie-Ins

Despite people focusing mostly on Yuno being all psychotic and what not, the amount of actual psychological development isn’t much on Yuno. Yuno, actually, is quite easy to understand: being that she’s just “insane”, or more likely traumatized to the point of mental instability during childhood and having to kill people.

While Yuno is perceived to have “split personalities”, switching between yandere and being sweet, it’s mostly that she only acts nicely to Yukiteru, which if observed in the show, is pretty evident. Though that is the trait of yandere characters, it’s not as if that’s anything close to a psychological disorder. Hostility to others other than your loved one is often observed, and even if you had a dark or insidious mentality, it’s not necessarily bad.

Look, anyone doesn't look bad holding a knife if they're cute and not making creepy faces!

Look, anyone won’t look bad holding a knife if they’re cute and not making creepy faces!

OP/ED

While not much focus can be put here, I can’t stress enough how “important” the first OP was. Pretty much essentially, the lyrics to the first OP more or less foreshadows the show and allows for a connection between the Roman gods and the characters. While that doesn’t make sense, it more or less reveals the character and/or what they do. Other than that, it sounds great!…except for the second OP…which has a nice tune…but it just had to be sung in English ORZ.

Conclusions

Since this is my first anime after “coming back”, you could say I was surprised at the quality. Originally I had lost interested due to most shows being centered around moe girls and harems, I felt like a drama-romance show like Mirai Nikki was quite rare. Although the quality was pretty decent, but in comparison to all the moe shows that aired at its time, it made Mirai Nikki feel pretty good.

Since I marathon-ed the show, it felt like it was a quick 26 episodes. I wish’d there would be more I could watch and more of an explanation of events at the end, because I felt like all Yukiteru did at the end was mourn for eternity. Of course, not that I’m complaining about the ending, I do have to say the wrap up was…at best, mediocre. Partially because the buildup of the show was in itself, fairly good, but the ending was somewhat not up to par.

Aside from that nitpicking, I’d say the show was a pretty decent effort and somewhat did the manga justice. The character development was an extra drive to watch the show and the plot felt pretty original. After all, only after watching Mirai Nikki was I confirmed of my good-vibes of the show with an 8+ rating on MAL.

Altogether an enjoyable experience and a pleasant welcome back to anime. I’d definitely recommend a watch, especially since I’m still super biased and convinced that all anime these days are is moe stuff. However…what I probably wouldn’t recommend is a rewatch anytime soon because the plot is very definitive…and it’s hard to enjoy Mirai Nikki if you already know what’s going to happen…just like having a Future Diary.

This is how Mirai Nikki should've ended...but oh well. She's beautiful in a wedding gown.

This is how Mirai Nikki should’ve ended…but oh well. She’s beautiful in a wedding gown.

Author: Sabishii Miruku

Venti cup of Tsundere and Imouto service. Free of charge~

5 Comments

  1. You just reminded me that there was a new OVA for Mirai Nikki I haven’t watch yet, lol.

    Mirai Nikki is a great show, and I’m glad to see you like it as well. Indeed, the concept of survival game and psychological warfare was nicely done. Some elements of the story does seems like it would do better with more details, like you said, but it doesn’t quite ruin the anime experience in any way.

    About the character’s names reflecting on the names of the gods, the first OP and at the very first verse, names of all the Gods were already sang on it. NIce way to make a relevant OP xD

  2. You just reminded me that there was a new OVA for Mirai Nikki I haven’t watch yet, lol.

    Mirai Nikki is a great show, and I’m glad to see you like it as well. Indeed, the concept of survival game and psychological warfare was nicely done. Some elements of the story does seems like it would do better with more details, like you said, but it doesn’t quite ruin the anime experience in any way.

    About the character’s names reflecting on the names of the gods, the first OP and at the very first verse, names of all the Gods were already sang on it. A nice way to make a relevant OP xD

    • Oh yeah I have to watch that OVA too! It came out in like November lol…

      True, any additional details would’ve only made it from good to excellent, but it’s fine without it~
      I’m not hating or anything, but because I was so absorbed by it, I really wished there was more to it.

      Yeah I can’t believe how they made it tie in. I was really annoyed by all the Roman god names because I didn’t see any relevance, but after a couple of key characters, it became pretty blatantly obvious -though some character required extra research.

      I actually don’t know many people who “like” this show at the end. The last time I heard of this show having any thoughts on it was a couple of episodes after it started airing and it was mixed feelings with a whole lot of “what the hell did I just watch” kind of feel.

  3. Oh god, I still get nightmares from Yuno’s voice xD
    Yuno: Yuki….
    Me: OH DEAR GOD WTF….

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