Mirai Nikki – 01 Review
I like the reaction of the teacher who’s just like ‘Whatever, just make sure to write something.’, he really doesn’t care that much about his students, does he?
Reviews by M0rg0th and Saranaufogus
M0rg0th: Mirai Nikki is one of the series that will receive probably a lot of attention due to the popularity of the original manga series. And the first episode did a good job of introducing the story while also keeping it suspenseful enough to make it entertaining. Mirai Nikki is the dark shounen-series about Yukki, an introvert weirdo, who has an even weirder friend who makes him participate in a deadly contest of survival.
Mirai Nikki is the dark uncompromising tale of Yukki, the weirdo everyone would try to avoid. He leads the normal life of a ‘homo weirdus’ spending his day making a diary of his surroundings using his mobile phone. He also has friends, ‘imaginary’ friends who spend their time making pointless chit-chat with him. But one day his ‘imaginary’ friend ‘Deus ex’ reveals himself not to be just a giant CG in his mind but being actually a real god of time and space – and he loves watching football. Since he loves contests so much he starts one using the diaries of ten people who each consider their mobile phone a nice 21st century way of keeping a diary. At first Yukki is oblivious to that contest and uses his ‘future diary’ to proof Armstrong right that life is indeed wonderful. But then one of the other contestants appears, a serial killer, who wants to kill Yukki. That’s when his personal stalker appears who reveals herself to be another ‘future diary’-holder. And Yuno’s future-diary is about Yukki and what he’s doing in the future. Helping him using her ‘future diary’ they kill the serial killer.
Something goofy this way comes…
This series won’t be a very happy experience, I can guarantee you that. I have already read the manga and despite my misgivings about the direction it took at the end, I would say it is a shounen-series that tries to be different. And this ‘unusualness’ should be already apparent just by watching this one episode.
First of all, look at Yukki who’s a wimp basically. But where other series would make it their sole job to see him man up, this series makes no compromises as to what this characterization means for the way he’s acting. I don’t know whether everyone will like that decision since he isn’t quite the valiant hero you’d like to see when it’s pure escapism you want to see. But I think the best character of the series is Yuno, the best characterization of a Yandere, I think. Her instable nature linked to her fanatic love for Yukki shows exactly what this series wants to be about.
It’s certainly a gloomy feeling one gets from watching this series. For everything good that happens there’s an evil twist waiting around the corner. Just as Yuno is this perfect girl that loves Yukki, she’s also pretty much a loony. And even when Yukki enjoyed himself using his ‘Future Diary’ this was interrupted by him being attacked by a serial killer.
As if he’s any less creepier with his ‘diary’…
But of course at the heart of it is another one of these games where the characters bash their heads together to get a barbecue-steak or something. What makes this series really distinct and not another cavemen-exercise is the thorough way the plot is developed. The Future Diary’s powers seem to be so all-powerful at first that you might think that the only way a good character can die in this series is by being bored to death since nothing really exciting will happen when you know the future. It’s the thorough plot-development that changes this as each diary has its limits. And the plot shows this in a intelligent way. What I didn’t like about the concept of the diaries was how they basically got stronger with each time a new one got revealed which made the whole contest a rather unbalanced affair that ultimately bowed before shounen-mainstream-tropes. But for now this isn’t really a problem of the anime-series.
But that I can already talk about my impression of the manga at this point shows that the first episode was rather good in showcasing what this series will be about and what kind of ambiance it will have. I think, it would’ve been better if the series would’ve gotten a bit more stylishness into its storytelling since instead it’s just this dark, gloomy, creepy story about this contest and the love between Yuno and Yukki. It’s only in specific moments where Mirai Nikki’s story-elements become stylish and truly horrifying when the storytelling can truly shine and these are mostly Yuno-related. And I think the revelation of her obsession for Yukki was one of these moments. The unconditional love combined with her psychotic craziness is really a very distinct characterization which adds to the ambiance of the series.
It was a good first episode that unlike Persona 4 was able to give a quintessential summary of the story as far as its ambiance is concerned. In terms of characterization this series made some interesting choices that make an otherwise fairly standard shounen-battle-series a distinct series with a story of its own so far.
Disclaimer: I have not read the manga.
The concept of this show is interesting and has the potential to turn into something fun to watch. Perhaps it is because of the way the main characters are, or perhaps it was the choppy manner of the show that prevented me from becoming emotionally attached to any of the characters. Whatever it was, I feel like I would be able to get a good laugh out of this series in a sadistic manner.
Don’t you just like the look of fear on that guy’s face?
I for one can’t seem to take anything that happens in this show seriously. Yukki comes across as being a whiny human being who gets an ego inflation the minute he gets an up on life and once again returns back to being annoyingly whiny when his life is in danger. The fact that he seemed to have become the new toy subject for everyone just made the show that much more interesting for me and it also made me feel like I was not the only one who enjoyed watching the poor boy getting tortured.
Throughout the show I could not help but draw comparisons between Persona 4’s and Mirai Nikki’s first episode. Both episodes were quick and very focused on the main characters. The difference is that at least with Mirai Nikki the main character has a pretty distinct personality (albeit it being a super annoying one) and he sounds like a girl (which makes it that much more funny to me).
The dark and partially sadistic atmosphere of the show where everyone is just toying with the main character comes across through the animation stylistic nature of some of the scenes, but like I had said, due to the choppy and quick nature of the first episode, I felt like I was being strung along the whole episode and before I knew it, everything had ended in an anti climatic manner.
Yeah! Show them how to tango Mr. Killer
For instance, Yukki’s sudden fear of other Diary users is not really explained until after the fact, and that did not really make any sense. Then you have that anti-climatic mood of the kiss in the elevator and the dart that killed No. 3 and ended the scene in such a quick manner. Most of the information were basically stated and told to us and the plot felt pretty undeveloped in that sense.
I did like the way the show had ended as that had opened the show up to the possibility of the series turning out in many ways. On the other hand, it does not make sense to only state the rules of the game after a person has died and after the game had already started.
The animation in this series is pretty mediocre but I do like the shading used to convey the abstract tone of the series. What I did not really like in the series (and this is a personal preference) was the way the buildings and general environment looked. They felt too CGI-ed and I am not such a fan of CGI when done poorly.
Overall, the whole serial killer situation was anti-climatic and drowned out by the introduction of the main characters’ personalities as well as the rules to the game. I don’t see myself being able to really get into the mood of the series and take it seriously but I can see myself enjoying the ride. Like I had said, the first episode had set itself up in such a way that the series can go in multiple directions and nothing is set in stone so I really am looking forward to see what happens next with this.
Episode Rating: 6.5/10