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.

Synopsis:
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…

M0rg0th’s Review:

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.

Episode-Rating: 8/10

Saranaufogus’ Review

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

-ra

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About M0rg0th

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

Posted on October 11, 2011, in Anime, Mirai Nikki, Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Agreed on several points but how do u know you’re giving the anime version a fair shake when you’ve already read the manga and that may lead to biased expectations that you might’ve not had otherwise?

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    • That’s why I just wrote this as a sort of first-impression-thingy. I will perhaps write a series review where I can elaborate more on the points that I don’t like about the story or things the series did different, whatever. But the point is that even though personally I didn’t quite like the story of Mirai Nikki, I’d rather see ten unusual shounen-series that I don’t like than another shounen-mainstream-series even if I like that one perhaps. Because seriously what I like about series like Mirai Nikki is the will to go their own path, they don’t handle the usual shounen-tropes as guidelines to make ‘another one of those’, so to speak.

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  2. Saranaufogus… one thing to say. youve not read the manga why? ! life will be complete with yunos yandere stylings and the story’s totally twisted and mindfuckd happening. truly a very demented and evil yet totally awesome manga. … yukis bitchyness works with the plot so i guess thats cool too 😄

    lol but seriously i found the manga really has put a massive influence on this viewing experience. the sheer contrast between some of the plot element and twisted ness of the manga and these first episodes rings so much anticipation and hype through u whilst watching it. so yeh my recom is def read the manga if u watch this. it really does enhance the ride alot imo. or at the very least give it a read after the anime =D

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    • “one thing to say. youve not read the manga why?”

      Lol, i honestly rarely read manga of series because I would rather watch the series. The only time I would turn to the manga is if the series felt like it was terrible and the manga would be way better or if I loved it so much that I feel the urge to read all mediums of that story. =D Since I started off this series as a person who has yet to read the manga, I shall continue down that track until this turns to crap. (since the manga does sound good)

      “i found the manga really has put a massive influence on this viewing experience.”

      Oh god, please don’t tell me it is going to be another Persona 4 situation of having played the game would be a lot better. lol =P I hope this series would be able to support itself. Since it was only the first ep and the game was only revealed at the end of the ep, it would be a little early to say what this show will turn out to be. =D

      “at the very least give it a read after the anime =D”

      I will do that. =D

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  3. I’ve seen most of the other shows, and only Marawa Penguin Drum has a better package. Guilty Crown seems way too derivative despite its superior animation, and Chihayafu is more of a slice of life, which is far less ambitious, tho just as challenging. Fate/Zero has potential but the first two episodes only tease at it.

    So far, Future Diary has the most potential, and I will read the manga. 🙂

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  4. hahah yeh i mostly agree with u on those too zam though another id give a shot on would be boku wo tomdachi. not a bad comic relief to the bloody and psychological ride that mirai nikki is 😄
    also p4a has got some serious plot potential if ur willing to stick it out and deal with the awkward main character. once again, having played the game n knowing the rest of it i def suggest it worth the commitment, albeit the story is fairly long having been based on a full length rpg so ive got some doubts as to storyline consistency. but so long as the at least stay mostly to the plot like i said def worth the commitment =D
    think im gna stick to tomdachi, p4a, mirai nikki and prob guilty crown till next set of animes. anything else ud really suggest?

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    • I would recommend Fate/Zero, even though it might be a little graphic. I like the lack of clear protagonist/antagonist roles, but sometimes I wish the character designer did a better job with several of the mages. Way too many were indistinguishable.

      & if you haven’t had the pleasure, try Marawu PenguinDrum. It’s the best anime this year, aside from Steins;Gate and Puella Magi Madoka.

      Like

    • “Way too many were indistinguishable. ”

      I agree with you. The character designs were too similar and they could all pass off as being brothers and no one would doubt that fact. =P

      Like

  5. @zammael

    “and only Marawa Penguin Drum has a better package”

    Of course! It is Mawaru Peguindrum, nothing beats it. I honestly feel like that show is the first show in such a long time where I savor every single second of screentime.

    “Chihayafu is more of a slice of life”

    Well, I think there was really not much of a qn about that, it was always going to turn out to be a SoL/Romance story especially with the production team that they had. =P Do you not like SoL stuff? Plus… its Karuta, like M0rg0th had said, it’s an old man’s game. I am still curious if they can actually make that game exciting. =_=”

    “Fate/Zero has potential but the first two episodes only tease at it.”

    I am really anticipating this series. I think it has the most potential out of all the Fall 2011 series.

    @Gee

    “also p4a has got some serious plot potential”

    I keep hearing it but I am really wondering what could happen with that series.

    “think im gna stick to tomdachi, p4a, mirai nikki and prob guilty crown till next set of animes. anything else ud really suggest?”

    Sorry for butting into your convo… Fate/Zero is a good one to watch. If you have yet to see Mawaru Penguindrum then I suggest you can give it a shot but it is pretty subjective when it comes to people’s opinion of the show.

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    • @Saranaufogus
      I do enjoy great slice of life, and last season I thoroughly liked Usagi Drop. Others I also enjoyed: Tora Dora, Denno Coil, Nodame Cantabile, and the greatest of them all: Genshiken! I would include Haruhi Suzumiya, but I’m afraid it exceeds the category rather liberally.

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      • “Haruhi Suzumiya”

        Oh god. I understand that people liked the show a lot and it is suppose to be a great show but boy did I get bored watching it. I could not stand Haruhi’s character. Lol. I did not really like it the first time I saw it and my friend convinced me to watch it a second time and I also did not really like it.

        It is a good show but just hated Haruhi and that was the end of it for me. Then again, it was so long ago I am not even sure if I would still feel the same way. *hides under a rock to avoid retaliation*

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  6. Ah you’re supposed to hate Haruhi’s character. She’s the most overbearing character I’ve ever seen in anime. I’d be worried otherwise!

    In fact, I don’t think you need to like the protagonist or main character of a story in order to like the story. Evangelion, for example. Shinji isn’t probably someone I would like to associate with. Probably end up beating him up within 10 minutes. Regardless of that, Evangelion is the greatest anime of all time, for me. 🙂

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    • “Ah you’re supposed to hate Haruhi’s character. She’s the most overbearing character I’ve ever seen in anime. I’d be worried otherwise!”

      I hated it so much I just could not watch it anymore. I pushed through but I wanted to kill her. I hated her that much. lol. The sight of her made me go “oh bloody hell” hahaha

      “Shinji isn’t probably someone I would like to associate with.”

      Neither would I but he did not get on my nerves so I could appreciate what I had seen.

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  7. Read the first volume of Mirai Nikki manga. Mostly consistent with the anime version, except the animators did a much better job with the Deus Ex Machina and with the explanation AFTER the protagonist Yukki killed the serial killer. Probably pressed for time/space reasons.

    More telling is how much better the character design is in the anime — Yuno’s freaky expression at the end is far more stylish than the manga’s plain artwork.

    That said, I’ll have to stop reading the manga past the anime in order to keep an open mind and give the anime a fair shake.

    Like

    • Oh, I wouldn’t call it ‘unfair’ to know the manga… It just gives you a different point-of-view 😉 . I mean as long as the anime is generally faithful to its source-material, there shouldn’t be that much of a difference between what you thought of the manga and of the anime.

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      • No disagreement here, but since I started watching the show before I read the manga, I’ll have to stick with the show. I realize the manga is the “source” but I think the attempt to stay “faithful” to a source often comes with a price especially when you adapt to another medium.

        See Watchmen for example. The adaptation was too faithful that it completely missed the point of the original — that it was a satire of the superhero mythology.

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  8. “Oh, I wouldn’t call it ‘unfair’ to know the manga… It just gives you a different point-of-view”

    True, but it also gives people a certain level of expectations which is hard to break away from. =/

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  9. I get what your saying but there’s one thing I’d like to point out.

    It’s that part you said: “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.”

    while that is true there is more to it then that, it’s that fact that he’s the only sane person who is otherwise thrown into a world of crazies who are trying to kill him to became god, a Goal that every evil basted wants, and all they gotta do is kill for it. as you can see the motivation in each psychopath is through the roof! I mean who wouldn’t want to be GOD?

    In short it’s how a normal person would react in a chaotic situation and the choices they make. in all honesty I think it did a good job in portraying that point.

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  1. Pingback: Anime Review: Mirai Nikki Episode 1 | This Euphoria!

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