Lonely high school student, Yukiteru Amano, spends his days writing a diary on his cellphone, while conversing with his two seemingly imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina, who is the god of time and space, and Murmur, the god's servant. Revealing himself to be an actual entity, Deus grants Yukiteru a "Random Diary," which shows highly descriptive entries based on the future and forces him into a bloody battle royale with 11 other holders of similarly powerful future diaries.
With the last person standing designated as the new god of time and space, Yukiteru must find and kill the other 11 in order to survive. He reluctantly teams up with his obsessive stalker Yuno Gasai (who also possesses such a diary), and she takes it upon herself to ensure his safety. But there's more to the girl than meets the eye, as she might have other plans for her unrequited love...
Notice: this review will contain a few spoilers. I'll mark them but if you haven't watched this yet, proceed with caution. Sorry about that.
Survival games have always been one of my favorite kinds of stories. I just love them. So naturally, when I heard about Mirai Nikki's premise, I was greatly looking forward to it. Unfortunately, after an excellent first episode, this series began to get worse and worse; by the end of it all, it had become nothing but a huge disappointment.
Let's begin with the positive aspects of this show. The art and animation in Mirai Nikki are, for the most part, rather good, but nothing very impressive. As for character designs, it's pretty hit-and-miss. Some characters look OK, while others are so ridiculous it makes the anime seem/feel less serious than it should be, which is NOT a good thing for a thriller/mystery.
The music is great. Most of the tracks are somewhat memorable and fit their scenes well. The OPs and EDs are also very nice, with the first OP being particularly awesome. I never skipped them. Voice acting-wise, everyone does a solid, consistent job, except for Yuno's seiyuu. I'm sorry, but her voice was annoying and hearing that infamous "Yukki!" every god damn minute was painful.
Now let's get to the bad stuff. While the premise is amazing, the story & script are very poorly written. Thing is, Mirai Nikki is a shounen trying (and failing) to be a seinen; thus, it lacks the maturity and depth needed to handle the kind of story it offers. Many questions are left unanswered, some of the writing choices are just plain stupid, half of the characters have a very low IQ and, for a mystery, there aren't that many twists, and those the anime DOES have are often predictable.
The whole concept of using Future Diaries to outsmart opponents in deadly, tense battles is BARELY explored, plus the battles themselves seldom involve complexity. When you've got tools as powerful as those, you'd think there'd be gambits just piling up on each other, but no. Many battles are over within a minute and are so basic it's insulting. Speaking of insulting, this show has a nasty tendency to have its world just forget about some of the big events related to the diary holders. Normally the media would be all over a series of bombings, massacres, etc... but here? Nah, it's just Tuesday again. It's astonishing how everyone can easily get away from anything.
Another problem with this anime is its bad habit of throwing in bits of humor in the middle of serious moments. It really kills the atmosphere and it's not funny. Even in the more lighthearted scenes it's not funny. Since we're talking about the atmosphere, have I mentioned that some details in crucial moments are overlooked, which obliterates the immersion? Empty hospitals, incompetent cops, silent bystanders...it's the little things that can make or break the mood. A shame, really, because the anime IS able to create a good, creepy atmosphere at times (ex.: the end of episode 3).
Remember what I said about there being a lot of predictable twists? I kinda lied. The biggest twist in the whole story, which unfolds in the last few episodes, took me by surprise. Did it make sense? Well, yes, at least until the anime began to blatantly make shit up on the spot. Did it answer a few questions? For sure. Did it raise even more questions - most of which remain unanswered - and present to us an INCREDIBLY STUPID twist later? OH YES.
Now for the worst part of it all. The characters. If you're already angry at me, stop reading because I will not be gentle.
For starters we have the male protagonist, Yukiteru (or just Yuki). This guy. Let me tell you something about this guy: he might just be one of the worst written characters I have ever seen. No hyperbole there. Not because he's a wimp 95% of the time - I can understand why. No-one normal would stay frosty after being dragged into a survival game full of maniacs. So why is he so bad then? It's because he's absurdly inconsistent. Most selective memory of all time, gullible when not paranoid (never with the correct timing), ability to forgive that defies common sense and, later on, he can't even settle on a personality (which seems to run in the family). Worst part is, his personality shift happens suddenly; he gets almost no development for 18 or so episodes then BAM! complete 180. If you're going to change a character's attitude, make sure it isn't baffling and that it sticks.
Then we have our female protagonist, Yuno, the main source of yandere-ness, fanservice and body bags. THE poster girl of Mirai Nikki, to the point where she may be more popular than the show itself - just look at how many favorites she has here at MAL. The creator knew of this, so s/he made her the most complex character in the whole cast and genuinely fun to watch. Unfortunately, that complexity only really shows up in the last few episodes, so until then she's pretty much a one note character - crush, kill, Yukki!. Moreover, the yandere trait eventually wears off, meaning she can get kinda annoying afterwards, even with all the carnage she provides. If it cannot wear off for you, then Mirai Nikki will be considerably more entertaining. Either way, Yuno was a hit-or-miss character for me.
The supporting cast - Yuki's friends and the other diary holders - is where it gets ugly. Out of the former group, the ONLY truly memorable character (and, might I add, one of the few characters in this anime that I liked) is the intelligent Akise. His personality and abilities are a perfect match for this kind of story, which is a shame because he didn't get enough screen time. The other three, despite getting some things accomplished, end up being inept at almost everything, to the point that Akise pretty much has to carry the team.
As for the other diary holders...just where do I begin? For starters, they're pretty much all insane or very dangerous individuals, except for maybe 2 of them; that alone raises a pretty important question: "why did Deus even consider letting one of those crazy bastards be his successor?". Another problem is that some may as well have "fodder" written on their foreheads: most don't even last for three episodes, plus they're lucky if they get a mediocre, unpolished back story full of cheap shocks to make you feel bad for them.
*SPOILERS PRESENT IN THE NEXT PARAGRAPHS* What kills me is that some of the diary holders are such piles of stupid writing it's absurd. I mean, one of them is a 5-year-old kid who's just as messed up as the others, somehow has access to stuff like toxic gas and who can formulate rather elaborate plans. Another is the mama bear of an orphanage composed of people who are willing to erase anyone for her - dressed as ninjas, no less. Yet another is a blind Power Rangers fanatic who dresses up as an eyeball (and who can somehow bring dolls to life. Never explained!) to fight crime. Remember, this anime takes itself seriously.
There's also the eleventh diary holder, the Hitler wannabe who gave Deus the idea for the diaries. Since the anime never even tries to further explore such an important character, allow me to ask some questions: how did he (or any of the diary holders) meet Deus? Why did Deus even listen to this obviously crazy man? Why future diaries, and not some kind of superpower? By the way, why is Deus decaying? What is MurMur's origin? Why did EVERY ONE of the diary holders only gun for Yuki? The questions pile up fast once the characters are taken into consideration.
Was there not a single diary holder that I liked? The answer is yes. That would be Minene, the ninth, the series' resident internationally wanted terrorist (at the tender age of 18. Seriously). She was pretty awesome and likable for most of her screen time, which made watching her turn into a textbook tsundere even more painful. And let's not talk about her ABSOLUTELY STUPID role in the final marathon of twists. *SPOILERS END HERE*
What about enjoyment? Believe me in this one: if you pay attention to the writing, Mirai Nikki will be painful. The mountain of questions, the absurd decisions that some of the characters make, etc...you just won't get a lot of breaks after the first few episodes. So what if you employ the good ol' "turn off your brain" strategy? It probably won't be all that enjoyable either. As I've said before, this is a shounen trying to be a seinen. You can just FEEL it try. And fail. I don't know about the rest of you, but that really kills the experience for me.
In conclusion, Mirai Nikki is a huge disappointment. Its messy story and weak characters are simply not fit for the genre it belongs to. Even if the art was OK, even if the soundtrack was great, even if the anime has its moments and holds the potential to be enjoyable should one ignore the writing issues, it simply does not live up to the hype. I'm probably gonna get lynched by its fanbase; however, I don't really care. I'm done. I needed to get this out of my system, and there it is.
This is the first anime review I've ever written, so hopefully everything will turn out ok. Any feed back would be appreciated as long as its constructive ;)
This review won't contain any spoilers.
What would you do if you had something that told you the future? If you already had all the answers for an upcoming test, or knew how to avoid bully's on the way home from school? What about if it told you were going to die?
Mirai Nikki is a brilliant mix of a Psychological Thriller, Action, and Romance. Yuki is a boy who gains the ability to read the future through his personal diary, which is awesome until he finds out that there are 11 other people who also have their own diary's and are his opponents in a competition to become a god. But thats not all bad, he happens to have someone to protect him. Enter Gasai Yuno, a cute girl who goes to Yuki's school. She also has a future diary, and it turns out she has a bit of a crush on Yuki.... and is an insane psychopathic stalker, or Yandere if you will. The story follows these two as they try to survive in the killing game they've been placed in.
Personally, i think the anime is a 10/10, but for this review i gave it a 9 because of a few small problems in the story.
Story 9 - The story of Mirai Nikki is at its core a Romance, though its so much more than that as well. It explores how ones actions and willpower can change the future and how good people can do go insane or do terrible things because of traumatic experiences. The pacing is fairly fast, but not forced, even when there's no intense action going on, you find yourself on the edge of your seat knowing that an enemy could pop up at any time. I experienced all sort of emotions throughout the anime, fear, happiness, excitement, sadness.The shock value was insane. My reason for a 9 instead of a 10 was that some of the things that happen in the anime are soo over the top ridiculous and unbelievable that i just couldn't reasonably give it a perfect score and that some of the things that happen in the last few episodes get a bit out of hand, you'll see what i mean when you watch it.
Art 10 - Don't know what all there is to say about the Art. It's not the best ive ever seen, but there's no problems with it. The action scenes are fast paced and well animated and the characters all look fine. I see no reason to dock an anime points unless the animation is so miserable that it has negative effects my viewing experience, and one of my favorite animes is Berserk, which is terribly animated.
Sound 10 - The Opening and ending themes are fantastic, and go along perfectly with the anime. The first opening theme is my favorite song of all of them and does a perfect job of maintaining the feel of the anime. The music generally goes very well with the scenes that its played over, especially when Yuno does something awesome.
Character 10 - I would rate this higher if possible. The characters is where Mirai Nikki truly shines. Yuki is a kind of a wimp who has to rely on others to protect him, and ive seen plenty of people complain about this, but in all honesty i think that makes the anime so much better. He's a 14 year old boy thrown into a battle royal with people trying to kill him, I would probly be a bit of a wimp if that happened to me too. He's forced to seek aid from and rely on others in order to survive. And he isnt without redeeming moments either. All the side characters are well developed and have their pasts and motives explained in the story and a few of them are just plain awesome. All that being said, the part of this anime that got me hooked, and the reason its become one of my favorites of all time, is the female lead Gasai Yuno. She's incredibly cute, and incredibly psychopathic, and the perfect yandere. Shes also one of the most unique characters I've ever seen in an anime. Most of the psychological thrills stem from trying to figure out what the heck shes going to do next. At one moment your scared of her, another you can't help but smile at how cute something she does is, then you notice the knife in her hand and your scared of her again. Sometimes you want her to do something insane and at others your shocked about something insane shes doing. She's the selling point on the entire anime for me.
Enjoyment 10 - I couldn't stop watching Mirai Nikki, i watched it over the span of 2 days. And spent the entire day at work the second day anticipating what would happen in the anime after i got home. I have yet to watch an anime that kept me on the edge of my seat to such an extent as Mirai Nikki.
Overall 9 - Mirai Nikki is a great and unique story, the characters are excellent especially Yuno, who is one of the most unique characters ive ever seen in an anime. Mirai Nikki is certainly worth giving a shot.read more
I'm going to tell you all a story. Once, there was a man. A man who loved trains. This man loved trains so much that every year or so he would put different things on the train and send it off for other people to see and enjoy. Sometimes he would put fruit on the train, othertimes he would put toys. All to see the end result that his precious train would deliver.
One day, said man decided to put as many fucked up things that he could find on this train. He put razors, cyanide, bombs, and even decided to mix in some sweet things with all of this, like boxes of sugar and a pink dress fit for a loli. He piled the train up, barely being able to fit in all of this stuff onto it, and set it off - awaiting for the end result.
Of course, with the train being overloaded with a bunch of different shit on it, it was only natural that the man's train would crash. And crash it did. However, the man did not care. For he would see it that this trainwreck made all the way to its destination, no matter how much shit he had to pull out of his ass to make it work. And so, with everything in the train clashing into one another as the man pulled his own strings to make the train continue going (no matter how much logic it defied in the end) he eventually got the train to reach the end.
Some people looked at the mess of the train and thought, "Wow! Look at all of this stuff! There's knives in this train? Stuffed animals? Explosives? Books? How marvelous! What a wonderful thing this train has brought everyone!" while others looked at the end result and knew right away what a terrible mess all of this stuff was. Rest of the town was too busy watching K-On! to care.
The moral of the story? When you take as much random crap as you can and load it all into one train, it will crash. And if it crashes you should end it. Oh, and people like trainwrecks.
If you haven't already voted this unhelpful for the seemingly irrelevant story, I'm here to tell you that this tale was my description of "Mirai Nikki's" story - a trainwreck. I won't give you a rundown on what the story is about. You have the synopsis and Google for that, so I'll just get straight to the point. The story doesn't really have any idea where it's going or how it should be directed. They made sure to throw in as many psychotic characters, themes, events and mix it in to be able to attract as many viewers as possible. Seriously, you'll find everything from rape to child abandonment to feeding children grass - all to make the story and characters look like they have depth and the viewer to feel "cool" for watching such miscellaneous shit. The transition between events in the story doesn't flow and all seems very random at best. It's as if these events happen just because the plot demands it.
The story had some strong points - while the fighting scenes didn't always make the most sense or had little to no build-up, they were very entertaining to watch and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested in seeing how it played out. However, the poor writing and lack of common sense in most of the story is what makes it so terrible. The plot loses all of it's purpose by the end of the show as well, which just makes everything worse. It's a good story to be mindlessly entertained, but for those of us who were paying attention you can tell just how often things failed to make sense. It was all driven off of shock value and crazy, psychological things.
Speaking of crazy, psychological things, let's talk about the characters, or as I like to call them, "plot devices." Each of the character exists only for convenience of the plot and nothing more, and same goes for their past. Every diary holder, save for First & Eight, has something that makes them insane or crazy in some way or another so that way they can serve purpose to the plot. If these characters weren't all deranged or had these insane backstories than they would be of no threat. So why did a bunch of characters with messed up lives get chosen to be diary holders, and then someone like Yuki (I won't focus on the Eighth) who lives a completely normal life gets chosen as well? It doesn't add up.
As for the characters themselves, Yuki is just a normal guy thrown into a pit of madness. Many hate him, some pity him. Me? I pity the guy. You can't help but look at it realistically - he's a normal kid thrown into this survival game where everyone has some type of mental issue and is out to kill him. This doesn't make his crying and patheticness any less annoying, but it's justifiable. At the same time you can't help but wonder why Yuki was chosen to be a diary holder in the first place considering how out of place he is. Then we have Yuno, the main reason why everyone watches the show. Yandere. That's pretty much her whole personality. (save for her own fucked up past that tries to give her depth and reasoning.) Yuno is like a robot, per say - only programmed when desired to scream "Yukii!", act innocent, then kill people. And apparently that sells. She's a selfish, unreasonable character who's popularity is earned from her constant blushing and murdering. While she was indeed suffering from major emotional trauma, none of that justified the actions that she had towards Yuki and the people he cared about. Despite her "love" for Yuki, she still constantly hurt him and the friends that he loved - doing what she can to turn him against them instead of letting him be happy with both him AND his friends. She's simply an annoying character with no actual depth or personality.
As for the other diary holders, they're mostly forgettable and run a cycle of "appear for a few episodes, fight Yuki/Yuno (mostly Yuno), win, reveal traumatic past, fight Yuno, lose" and repeat. In short, most of the diary holders were just forgettable and used only for the sake of being killed and adding excitement to the show. Side characters like Yuki's friends (namely Akise) are on-screen more and provide more to the story then even most of the diary holders. That doesn't change the fact that everyone is pretty flat. No real development is given the the majority of our cast. The development that does occur for a few of our characters is written or presented pretty poorly with very little reasons to back it up. I won't say too much as to not spoil the series, though. As I said before, these characters are nothing more then plot devices - created to make the story more "interesting" and to shock the viewer into thinking they're looking at an emotionally deep character.
Artwork is nothing to be fawned over and is mediocre at best. Character designs aren't terrible but they aren't something that I'd call memorable either. The bloodbath scenes are the ones that look the most realistic and it's obvious that the animators took their most time in animating these. The animation is pretty fluid throughout the fighting scenes, but it's an overall forgettable performance save for the blood and gore that they flesh out so well.
The soundtrack was again, not very memorable, but you can at least say that it stood out. Emotional music fit those so-called "sad scenes" pretty well (despite the lack of real feeling in the scenes themselves) and was well-played out. The battle music and of course, suspenseful tracks were also well-fitting and it's easy to say that those tracks were what helped keep you on your toes as to when something may be getting ready to happen. The seiyuu's did a pretty good job considering their roles, but based on a personal experience I can't say that hearing Yuno screaming "Yuki!" every episode and listening to Yuki cry every episode didn't get annoying or ear-aching. But overall no real complaints here.
Did I enjoy "Mirai Nikki?" I don't know, do I enjoy not knowing where the hell a story's going? Do I enjoy watching pink-haired girls who only exist for "love" do a bunch of random, messed up stuff to everyone every other episode? Do I enjoy trainwrecks? No, I can tell you right now that I don't. The thing that made this show bearable, however, was Minene and Akise, who were probably the two most interesting characters in this show for me. Minene got more screentime then most of the diary holders and was actually tolerable, while Akise held that intelligent personality that always spices up a show for me. Otherwise no, this show held little to no enjoyment for me. Even though I'm a sucker for thrillers if there's nothing to hold it up, not even a simple plot that can be explained in a few words, then I won't enjoy it.
Overall, "Mirai Nikki" left a bitter taste in my mouth. The lack of any reasonable directing - or even reason at all - along with a mix of unlikeable, forgettable plot devices, or as we all call them characters made this show nearly intolerable for me. It took as many different, fucked up things as possible in order to appeal to the general audience, threw in some blood and a horny yandere and viola! A masterpiece! Or so says the people who only look on the outside of the trainwreck. For those of us who are examining this train and everything that actually happened for the end result to be.. this, then you'll be able to see just how terrible "Mirai Nikki" actually was.
I basically had went to the trouble of signing up an account for myanimelist.com just to write this positive review for Mirai Nikki after watching episode 5.
Like the synopsis said this is a psychological thriller, with murders, gore, sins and some demented killers.
However unlike most thrillers the story is extremely good, the characters are all very unique, each with deep, well developed personalities that are slowly revealed to the viewer as they watch more and more episodes of the series. Its a mechanic that makes shows very addictive to watch, just like how you want to spend more time with your date as they reveal more and more nuggets about their interesting personality.
Story 10 - Story is amazing, the first 5 to 10 minutes of the first episode was pretty typical, and it was deceiving (in a good way) because the story quickly ramped up and starts to deliver. Every time I watch an episode it delivers something new and unexpected, like a plot twist, or a revelation about the certain existing characters. And every time these plot twists had me wide eyed in pleasant surprise, thinking "Wow this is so cool!" or something like "OMG, holy S*&t! I didn't expect this!"
Art 8 - Art is decent i guess, the action sequences are well done, but pale in comparison to this season's "Guilty Crown" for action. Overall art is 8 as I compared it with last season's artistic masterpiece "Hanasaku Iroha" , which the art was so good for a weekly anime series that I believed it set a new benchmark for artistic quality in weekly anime.
Sound 8 - The music (OP and ED) are decent, they wisely avoided sound during some of the intense, dark & scary moments where they let the suspense and fear build up in the viewers.
Characters 10 - Characters are fantastic, awesome for an anime (or manga). Each and every starring character had unique personalities that are uncommon to the typical person. I am only at episode 5 of the anime and I have never seen such a demented and crazy cast. Only the main character Yukiteru-Kun seems the most normal, but even he has his fears and complexes that makes him withdrawn. The best thing about the characters is that the story only reveals small nuggets of their personality and motive every now and then as you keep watching the series. This means that the uniqueness and most likely, the demented craziness of each character drives the storyline further and further as each character's motives are revealed.
Best thing is that most of the time you don't expect the revelations made about these characters, giving you a "wow" moment and surprises you with a plot twist.
An yea, many reviewers give props to "Yuno" the other main character of "Mirai Nikki". And I agree, a pretty girl who has a hidden killer personality, stalks the lousiest loser in school like the most diligent killers in slasher movies, and hacks and slashes everyone else with a handaxe. How cool is she! She stays a mystery and keeps viewers wanting to see more and more of her real motives, personality and her backstory.
Enjoyment 9 - I would give this a 9.5 if they allowed it in the ratings system. After watching 1 episode of "Mirai Nikki" at a random anime livestream channel it drove me to find and watch all the other existing episodes and wait fervently for the release of the latest ones. Only thing is that I probably can't have a good appetite while eating and watching this anime, due to the gore :)
Overall 9 - Again I would give Overall a 9.5 rating if allowed, "Mirai Nikki" has a great plot. A psychological thriller with gore is not your typical anime. Most of the time anime makers would turn away from such bloody twisted story for the fear of censorship and lack of young viewers. However "Mirai Nikki" is a great watch for anyone above 16. Everybody can enjoy the suspense of a good thriller and be hooked to the various character developments and plot twists. I would easily rate this anime as my choice for anime of the year 2011. Basically if you are even reading this review, find a way to watch the show by any means possible, yes it is that good, enjoy "Mirai Nikki" :)read more
Sometimes Japan makes movies with real people. Sometimes they're not even based on a manga! Sometimes they're even *GASP* masterpieces of world cinema! There's a wide world of live-action Japanese film out there to explore. These seven masterpieces should get you started.