Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mirai Nikki Review

Studio: asread
Year: 2011
# of Episodes: 26
Genre: action, drama, supernatural, thriller 

Synopsis: [Anime News Network: Mirai Nikki]
"Yukiteru Amano (Yuki) is a loner who never really interact with people and prefers writing a diary on his cell phone with his only companion being an imaginary friend named Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space. However, Yuki soon learns that Deus is not a figment of his imagination but real when Deus makes him a participant in a battle royale with eleven others. Within this "Diary Game", the contestants are given special diaries that can predict the future with each diary having unique features that gives them both advantages and disadvantages."

The "future prediction" trope certainly isn't anything new in anime, so when I first read about Mirai Nikki my expectation wasn't all that high. I mean sure, the "battle royale" premise with a time warp twist sounded promising, but it also run the risk of being convoluted.  To my pleasant surprise, Mirai Nikki managed to avoided that downfall through an unique plot twist, complete with psychological thrills that I haven't experienced in anime since Death Note. Of course, I think Death Note is still a notch above all the rest of its genre, but Mirai Nikki with its defining character will go down in history as something special. 

I don't want to delve too deep into the plot because there is not much to say without spoilers and that would defeat the whole purpose of being thrilled. The "Future Diary" game was created to determine the successor of Deus, who was rapidly losing its (I don't want to gender stereotype, so "it" it is) power at this point in time. I guess in this world, even a god's power is finite. So these lucky contestants will attempt to kill each other until the last one remains and the said person will become to next god of time and space. Sounds straight forward, except that's not what the story is all about. In reality, if there is one (ohohoho), the game is set up to fulfill a goal, a goal that's driven by an intention that's more than meets the eye, but let's leave it at that. 

The two main characters, Yukiteru and Yuno are fascinating to watch. It's safe to say that rather than the mechanism of the game, the relationship between the two is what drives the plot and what makes this series standout. Yuno is the epitome of what's defined as a Yandere character. She's mentally unstable, destructive and extremely obsessive over the male lead Yukiteru. I usually have trouble develop any fondness for this type of character, mainly because their personal qualities are hard to relate to. I think when characters are designed for the sake of being deranged, they often lack the personality range that can be explored in more wholesome characters. That being said, I like Yuno as a character. It's not to say I find her totally attractive, it's still cringe worthy every time she utters "Yukki" with her highly irritating voice, but good attempts were made to rationalize her behavior. If anything, it kept me interested enough to find out more about her and I felt like I was given the opportunity to see the world from her perspective. The discovery was thrilling and certainly creepy at times, but ultimately the different emotional phases I went through watching the story unwrap made Yuno a memorable and believable character to me. In short, She is what makes this series shine.

As for Yukiteru, I don't have much love for him. For most of the series, he was socially awkward, pathetic, indecisive and cowardly. On one I hand, I do find his character relatable on a psychological level, especially his opportunistic mentality when he manipulated Yuno for survival, I think it reflects a natural human instinct. On the other hand, all the whining and self justification becomes obnoxious and even somewhat despicable overtime. Rationalization doesn't make him a likable character, it only makes his whining a little more bearable. But regardless of my complaint, his character really works in favor of the story.

The supporting cast pales in comparison to the two leads. Perhaps due to the nature of the plot, the side characters, which include Yukiteru's friends and the game contestants, were not particularly well developed. Case in point, save for one character who had more screen time, I can't even remember any of their names. For some characters, the attempt to justify their motivation to win the game was poor, it felt cheesy and superficial. True to every sense of the word, the supporting cast was merely supporting, they exist for the sole purpose of facilitating the Yukki-Yuno relationship while keep the game going. 

That concludes my thought on the series. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It did was it was created to do, which is to thrill. No grand moral message or inspiring dialogue was needed, Yuno was the only truth.

Story: 8.5/10
Character: 7/10
Animation: 8.5/10
Music: 8/10
Directing/Style: 8/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Overall: 8/10


  1. Awesome review! I think I got all the info I need prior to watching a show like this. ;____; thanks for all the efforts, babe~

  2. lol~ aww , thanks for commenting..xD Yeah, it was an entertaining watching, one of the most unique series I've seen. It won't go into my favorite list though, because I don't find the urge to watch it more than once. I mean for this kind of story, where plot twist is the main appeal, you can't really experience the same level of thrill twice.

  3. LOL I totally get what you mean, on a level that's similar to some k-dramas. xD

  4. omg babe, I finished watching this finally. You know what babe..if I watched this series before your review, I'd say that you watered down quite a lot of the elements that goes on in this show. Some of the things..WOW. I can't even bring myself to remember without wanting to vomit. >< Maybe I'm not used to some gory contents yet in animes, but if I ever do, it would be the day that I'd aspire to become a psychopath. -_-''..LOL ANYWAYS. All I can say is that, reviews can be so decieving and next time I read another review, I'll make sure to think outside the box as well. XD

  5. LOL?...YOU FINISHED AN ANIME?! xDD Good job. I bet you didn't see that twist coming. Hey, for your information, I DID drop hints that Yuno was the key and the battle really isn't the battle at all lol.

  6. Oh..>>..I did skip the gory details because well, maybe I'm so desensitized that I totally didn't consider those details significant. Maybe I'm well on the way to become a psychopath, a professional one at that?..xD

  7. LOLLLLL don't say that!! It's creepy to just think about it...especially when it's someone of your profession that's going "provide" therapies, not the other way around. Other wise..that's just too morbid. LOL >__>''

  8. OH btw I forgot to mention some more things about this show. Regarding the level of enjoyment I had (if there was any) watching this show..all I can say is that, if not in the negatives; it's definitely in the low scoring region. -_-'' If I had to evaluate the problem, the core of it probably lies with the unfamilar sense of morbidity and messed up mentality the characters of this show exhibited through out the show. Sure, they all provided enough background stories to justify their becoming, so the story lines had no problems accepting. BUT the fact that the main character himself had a lack of resolved personality, just made the whole show hard to watch. I rmb thinking back to the last ep with Yukki making some sorta decision, while resolved it might somewhat be, it was still hard to accept what his decision was. The ending served him right, I guess..but in the end, looking at this show as a whole, what did I learn from this other than recognizing what a messed up world the japan's anime industry still is? Do people honestly watch this kinda crap to learn something from it? Or are they too numbed by the pressurized society they live in now?..Either way, I may be making a big deal out of it and sounding like a ignoramus right now, but this is how my type of genre of show. Nor would it ever become one in the future. I just feel too stressed thinking about the underlying problems with the details. LOL anyhow, better a gory genre with more rationally accepted elements, than this thrilling yet cynical reflection of society. Life is better off without these shows.

    1. Hmm, i actually think the show is probably one of the best of its kind, though you are right thrillers don't usually have much food for thought, but that's hardly the point. I liked the plot twist, but that's all, it's not going in my anime hall of fame. What I consider a masterpiece needs to have likable characters and Mirai Nikki is underpar in that aspect, they are designed to fit the genre. To be honest, the anime was a lot creepier than many series classified as horror, I had shivers down my spine during a couple of scenes. So yeah, my point is there IS nothing moral or insightful about the show, it was never its intended message, so babe you did over think. The details in the show don't really hold up to scrutiny either as there are too many weak characters and plot devices. You really can't compare this to something like FMA, where the level of intricacy is matched by few in the realm of anime, at least in my opinion. But that's a whole other discussion. xD..But I'm glad you are trying out different things.

  9. I agree about what you said. If this is how this anime was designed, then I should just stop obsessing over the meaningless problems and see the better things about this show, such as as you mentioned the plot twist. xD

  10. lol...I just read your complaints again and was thinking back on the details, which I sorely missed in the review, and I think I've finally came to understand your perspective. By that, I mean I finally remembered the morbid details you are referring to.....ritual rape, domestic abuse amongst other twisted portrayals. Yeah...if it wasn't for the brilliant plot twist, some of the ideas in show are definitely unappetizing and to a degree, reflect the psychopathic mentality of the creators. But yeah, let's stop obsessing over that and enjoy it for what it is.