Middle school 2nd year, Amano Yukiteru, is a boy who has problem making friends. He thinks of himself as a bystander and will always write down everything he sees in a cell phone diary.
Tormented by solitude, Yukiteru began to imagine things like a friend called Deus Ex Machina who is apparently the Lord of Time & Space. Seeing Yukiteru's miserable state, Deus gives him a new ability. His diary will now record events that will happen in the near future. Yukiteru is then forced to participate in a game whose winner will become Deus' successor.
Mirai Nikki was published in English as Future Diary by Tokyopop with 10 volumes released from May 12, 2009 to April 12, 2011 before the publisher went defunct. VIZ Media rereleased digitally 9 of the Tokyopop volumes under the VIZ Select imprint from May 27 to December 16, 2014. The series was also published in Italian by Star Comics from December 10, 2011 to September 14, 2013; in Spanish by Ivrea España from June 15, 2012 to June 28, 2013; again in Spanish by Editorial Kamite in México from May 28, 2015 to December 29, 2016; and in Polish by Waneko from November 2014 to September 2016.
Why did we decide to call it a spoon? Does the breakfast club exist? Is this intro eye catching enough or should I just cut this grandiose intro crap everyone does go back to straight out harassment of the manga?
How on earth does this manga have a fanbase?
This manga is so, so terrible. I do not understand at all the high rating. Is...is this like a troll rating thing? If so, please tell me and restore some of my faith in humanity
but more than likely, and sadly, this doesn't appear to be a troll fanbase. People actually think this...this thing is good for some
This mangaka has no concept of transitions - we are quite literally thrown from arc to arc without a care in the world. It got to the point where I actually thought I was missing pages or chapters.
Arcs are thrown into your face without any explanation, characters appear out of nowhere - there is no foreshadowing nor people actually lurking in the shadows; one moment you will be looking at a shrine, and on the next page you'll be in a cave with some random person for one panel, and thats the last you see of them for the chapter, so when they get hurled into your face again, it immediately jerks a "who the fuck is that?" response over and over.
And dear fuck, the deus ex machina.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you might be thinking - "OH TEE HEE DEUX EX MACHINE THATS THE NAME OF THAT GOD PERSON IN THE MANGA HES DOING IT ON PURPOSE!!!"
No. If the mangaka is doing this on purpose, hes a moron. If he's not, hes still a moron. There is absolutely no meaning whatsoever to the plot-deux-ex-machina. At all. It's not satire on other mangas, its not some game changing plot device abuse, its not the breakfast club, its just total shit.
This manga actually appears to only annoy the living fuck out of people with its inconsistencies. And I don't mean a kind of minor annoyance, like the inconsistency of a pudding. This level of inconsistency is like being hurled around in a plane that drops to ground level about 50 times from 10 thousand feet up in 1 minute.
That's not even possible.
At many points throughout the manga I felt that it would've been better if the characters did not speak. Not for dramatic effect, but just because all the characters are fucking morons and should keep their mouths shut the hell up. This is most prominent in the "transition" page we get every few chapters. Completely full of shit that makes no sense. It might seem like I'm being dismissive here - and that's because I am. This manga should simply have been dismissed from the editing office, but instead, we're here and I have to write this review to sate my massive why-the-fuck-who-the-fuck-where-the-fuck headache.
The sole redeeming point of this manga, aside from it having a yandere, is how the main character changed at the end of the series. He actually became a pretty cool guy, and made the last few chapters actually enjoyable.
Unfortunately that does not change the fact that this manga is shit. What I would compare this to is you being force fed shit, literally, for the majority of your life, but for the last few days, you get pudding. Just a normal pudding, ya know? But compared to the shit you've been fed, that pudding is god. It also helps that your tongue is probably numb from all the shit
I actually recommend you read SOME of this manga, especially if any of you are interested in writing. This manga will provide a perfect example of what not to do for transitions, storyline, and will make sure you thoroughly check your work for swiss cheese.
If you choose to read the entirety of this manga, please: remember what you've been fed for the majority of your life.
Okay, now, I know I'll certainly get a lot of people who'll dislike this right now only for the low rating. But holy potatoes, this manga is one of the most overrateds I've ever seen. And with this I hope I can get someone not to waste their time reading the manga Mirai Nikki (or Future Diary, whatever you want to call it).
Now, let's begin the review. Well, first of course I'm going to say what I think about the story, and there's not much to say about it really. It isn't good, it's far from that. The manga had everything to be very good,
but it screwed everything up. And when I mean everything, it is everything, from plot to characters. I found it interesting when I read, at least the beggining. But... Dude, the story develops in a very weak and forced way, that makes it almost a non-sense plot.
The way that violence and murder is treated during the story is just ridiculous, and completely useless. I even think the manga would be better if all the non-sense fighting and carnage were abscent from it almost completely. Look, I understand it is a survival game, where you need to kill people. But, seriously... At first I was surprised in seeing that the manga would focus more on the intelectual side (plans, strategies and such). But, of course, I was wrong. Because it only focus during the first few chapters, turning then into a game where you only make a plan full of flaws and then kill someone that also was chosen for the survival game.
The story has indeed strong points, like some of the mysteries involving the game itself and lots of other things which would be spoilers, so, I would usually tell you to go read and find out what those mysteries were, however, don't do that, please. Even if they are something that sorts of pushes you into reading more, when you find out it is in a strange way that doesn't actually surprises you like in most stories out there.
Also one thing that truly irritated me was the fact that the characters were just horrible. Literally, horrible. Yukiteru (the main character) was ridiculous, annoying, and looked like a crying baby almost all of the time during the beggining of the manga. And when you think he'll slowly develop his personality, what happens? Nothing. And suddenly he changes into a strong boy who can handle weapons and kill lots of men with Yuno. That's just ridiculous. It would've not seem strange if the development of the character wasn't sudden or it could've been "hidden" underneath the story if that one was actually good.
Then we have Yuno Gasai, the only great character in the story, but she couldn't save it of course. Her personality is very interesting even for me, who personally doesn't enjoy yandere that much. Her strange affection for Yukiteru can be odd sometimes, and even annoying, however, it is interesting and, of course, odd in a good way. But, unfortunately, she wasn't able to save the manga in my opinion. But of course without her I wouldn't be able to give a 5 as the rating.
Then, apart from Yuno (and Uryuu who I will talk about in a momment) all the other characters are dumb and have no depth on their personalities at all, even if a few may seem appealing some times, like Akise who wanted to be a detective, and was supposed to help on the intelectual part of the story, and also, the terrorist Uryuu Minene who was meant to have a tragic and sad past, but we cannot feel much about her, since this past isn't worked a lot during the story. However she probably is a, let's say... Medium-Good character that I personally cared a little about for.
And also, I would like to point that out: I didn't care for any character except from Uryuu and Yuno. Literally, when a character died, I showed no emotion for them, it doesn't matter who it was. Characters are the weakest point in Mirai Nikki, without a doubt.
The ending of the manga totally screwed up. It is a completely stupid, dumb and ridiculous plot-twist with no basis. A manga which could have a medium-quality story ended up with an ending that was just baseless. The first plot twist is just dumb, but tolerable. However, after what we all should think was the ending, there's the thing that just crushed the story in pieces and was only for those who want every story to have a stupid cliche ending.
Moving now to a different topic, we are going to talk about art. Well, the art of the manga is not bad, and not surprising. It is okay in most parts, mediocre in others and can even impress a little on... Oh no, sorry, it doesn't surprise you. Most fights on manga and anime are made with dinamic movements and poses that gets you excited to see what more that fight is going to present you. Not in Mirai Nikki. Though the explosions are pretty well drawn - something that is, in most mangas, pretty simple and sometimes unrealistic - the rest of the fights doesn't pushes you on to wanting to know more about everything that is happening. They are not exciting, not well-drawn at all from an artistic point of view, and also, are most of the times useless to the story to develop, and only are put there to prolongue it more and more.
The character designs aren't bad, but aren't very good. That is what the art presents, it's nothing awesome or stunning, but also it isn't just blurry images or characters and shade-less images like lots of shounen manga today (you probably know which ones I'm talking abou).
But of course, the art didn't count much for me to give the final score, so the bad storyline, awful characters and the abscence of excitment and stunning mysteries still overthrow the somehow good art the manga presents.
Well, since there is nothing too much about the story, the enjoyment truly isn't something I can give a high rating. I have to admit I enjoyed the manga for the first few chapters, however, that was the time where I had no experience with actual good anime and manga except for Death Note and Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebelion, so, after I discovered great anime and manga I also discovered that Mirai Nikki was nothing but an "okay" series.
All in all, Mirai Nikki isn't great in any of its aspects, okay on the art, mediocre on the story and awful on the characters the plot shows the readers, us. It is completely overrated, and people shouldn't be reading manga/watching anime like this one, because there are a lot of short ones that presents a much deeper storyline, better characters and outstanding art.
No, I don't reccomend Mirai Nikki (neither manga, neither anime) to anyone who is reading this review, search more for other anime and manga, because this one is only going to get your time wasted. And please, don't spend money on buying volumes from this. I'm trying to help you, but well...
If you're a fan of the series, and you are reading this review, well, I'm pretty sure you're going to click the "not helpful" button. And if you wish, you can do that. Just don't considerate the final rating as a review, I tried my best to talk about each and every aspect of the manga, saying the good points and bad as well.
What is the recipe of making a successful manga? If you ask Esuno Sakae, the answer should be like this – mix Death Note and Battle Royale (or Gantz), then add some Neon Genesis Evangelion and throw in some anime/manga clichés, and as a result you will get Mirai Nikki.
This manga follows the story of Yukiteru Amano, an unsociable, reclusive middle-schooler, who has no friends (practically another Shinji Ikari) and therefore only observes the life from the side not participating actively in it. The only joy he has in his worthless life is talking to imaginary God – Deus Ex Machina. However, it appears that
Deus is not as imaginary as Yukiteru had thought – he turns out to be the God of Time and Space who's approaching his life's end and is eagerly looking for successor because of that. And so, Deus gives Yukiteru the Future Diary – a mobile phone that predicts the future for 90 days and will help Yukkii in becoming God(hence the Death Note comparison). But everything is not so simple for our protagonist, as he’s not the only one who was awarded with such an artifact – there are altogether 12 diary holders who indulge themselves now in a survival game(yes, like in Battle Royale or Gantz) in order to decide who is worthy to be the next Lord of Time and Space. The one and only one who kills the others will be the winner – so it is ‘kill or be killed' situation for our main hero.
Featuring such an interesting premise, Mirai Nikki could be a very interesting psychological thriller – and it really is for many people, seeing how popular this manga has become. Well, I guess Mirai Nikki really has its strong points – good story, with a certain amount of mystery that unveils with every new chapter, atmosphere full of suspense, solid cast of characters, some unexpected but enjoyable plot developments, good(although not brilliant) art. Looks like it is enough for success – judging by the hype and the praise this manga receives. However, in my opinion there are some flaws that prevent Mirai Nikki from being truly enjoyable (there can be some minor spoilers ahead, but don't worry – nothing of crucial importance will be revealed, you can read on).
The first point would be the very idea of Future Diary. The thought of a diary that tells us the future seems to be very promising, but as the story unfolds we can clearly see that this idea is not executed perfectly. Let’s make my point clear. If the diary tells us the future, then it also should be able to predict the actions of other diary holders. But in the manga we see that that the Future Diary can’t do that, so we assume that in the diaries in question don't take into account other diaries. What’s more – it can't even foresee the actions of other diary holders if they are based on their diaries’ information and are aimed towards changing the future. No matter how logical it may sound – after all, the diary holders are placed above other people as they struggle to control time and space – there lies a contradiction here because at the same time diary holders continue living their own lives, so they still remain part of this world. But still, in the situation with diary holders, Future Diaries prove useless. Basically, that means that diaries can't predict the future – what they tell their owners is a rather distant from the truth vision of the events that comes true only in the case of other diary holders’ non-intrusion. And that is a very rare occurrence. So we have Future Diaries that have nothing to do with predicting the future. I consider this a flaw of the concept, because if Future Diaries could foresee the changes in the future made by other diary holders, the plot would become too complex and lose its fast-pacing nature. As we can see, there's a problem with the fundamental idea of the manga. So what? As we just saw, Future Diaries that don't really predict the future, are better than future Diaries that can do that – but still, an inconsistency remains, however small it may appear to the readers. If it was the only problem, though, I wouldn't pay much attention to it – yet there are other points and I’ll tell you about them next.
The second point will be minor plot inconsistencies (or holes, if you like it that way). It goes without saying that in such a genre a well thought-out plan is absolutely imperative, as the manga is basically story-driven. And yes, the general plot is solid (putting the first point of concern aside), but the minor details are sometimes not very carefully planned. Let me explain. Although the time frame of events is unclear – we only know that it happens in the 21st century – but it's easy to understand that not much is different from today's world. But in this case the lack of realism is apparent. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against sci-fi, fantasy, action etc., but if the author decides to follow a realistic path in his work, then he should stick with it to the very end. Basically, the author creates a universe that functions by its own rules or doesn't have any rules – but it must be stated, directly or indirectly, in the manga itself. Here we have a world just like ours – so, it goes this way: throw 12 Future Diaries into our own world, and here's what you may get. To put it simply, apart from the Future Diary concept this manga claims to be realistic – just like Death Note (Deus=shinigami, Future Diary=Death Note). But, unlike Death Note, which did a good job in following this way, that's where Mirai Nikki fails. For example, how could a weirdly-dressed terrorist come to school and plant the whole school with bombs and land mines completely unnoticed? Or how could a supposedly weak middle-school girl kill nearly all the members of a religious cult with just an axe? Or how could an elementary school kid make such a device that a package, if opened from the wrong side, emits poisonous gas? These questions go on and on… Yes, you can say that they are not very relevant in terms of the main plot – but well, even minor(and not so minor in my opinion) details piling up can cause the plot to break or lose its credibility.
The third point would be lack of originality. Well, even if you managed to get through the first two points by turning off your brain, you still ought to notice similarities to other manga/anime titles. Frankly speaking, the feeling of déjà-vu never left me while reading. As I have already stated, Mirai Nikki owes a lot to Death Note, Gantz, NGE in terms of concept. But similarities don't end here – the whole manga is a series of intrigues, intricate (although not intricate enough) plans, mind battles between characters (a-la ‘I know what you're up to, and you know what I'm gonna do, so what will you do?’) on the difficult path of becoming a God. And of course, we have seen it before – in Death Note, Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning, even in Detective Conan – and executed much better to top it off. But that's not all – in Mirai Nikki we have a standard set of anime/manga characters: a pathetic protagonist who's only good at whining, a yandere that kills whoever offends her beloved Yukkii(although this girl is probably the best thing in the whole manga), a tsundere(though it takes quite some time before she reveals her ‘dere-dere’ side), a typical shounen-ai character, a Nagisa Kaworu clone, who also loves Yukkii(my, is he popular…), nearly every character has a tragic back-story, and of course – the theme of undying friendship is also explored in a way that was done many times before (‘I have to protect my friends!!!’). There also similarities right before the end, but I won't spoil them.
So, what do we have in the end? Mirai Nikki can be considered a well-made creative compilation of the existent very successful mangas. That doesn’t mean that it is bad (as you may have thought after my long criticizing speech) – it is quite good, has value on its own, and I don’t consider the time I spent on Mirai Nikki as wasted. I repeat – this is an interesting read. However, if you want something really amazing, go read the above mentioned mangas – they are much better.
I wish Esuno Sakae luck and hope that he improves with time – although ‘Big Order’ at the first glance seems like another ‘Mirai Nikki’(I haven't read it yet)… This mangaka clearly shows potential to do something that is not good(like ‘Mirai Nikki’), but great in the future – and I don't even need a Future Diary to say that if he continues his work, then this possibility will turn to certainty in no time.
Mirai Nikki got a rather large following pretty quickly on the internet community, mostly due to an interesting premise and the promise of a new shiny Yandere lead (which is rare nowadays). The interesting twist of dueling minds, fortunetelling, and romance was a strong selling point for the series... but sadly it was unable to truely live up to the high standards it tried to achieve. It had the potential to be rather good, but ended up being rather sub par.
As stated... Mirai Nikki has a very intriguing premise to provide. A group of people, ranging from pathetic school boy, to homicidal terrorist, to
upper-class business man, quite a good variety of people lets say, are given a gift from god (aptly named Deus Ex Machina). They are given the power to see the future, but in a unique sort of way. Each person in question had one thing in common... they all keep a diary of some sorts, and the future they see is dependant on the type of diary that the person keeps (for example, the lead Yukiteru keeps a diary of everything he sees, as such he can tell what will happen to everything that he can see around him). Even better they are given a chance… a chance to become god. This all comes at a large cost however; they must kill all the other people with a diary in order to achieve such heights.
For the first couple of volumes, this plays out quite well. A lot of the battles turn more into a battle of the minds, where each person tries to dupe their future opponent… so that their diary will not be able to predict a way to avoid their demise. There is a twisted kind of logic to the diaries, which doesn’t totally hold together… but is about as good as you can get when you have people accurately reading the future outcome of things. For a while this kind of battle is really intense. Situations get hairier and hairier and the solutions are usually pretty clever and well thought out. But eventually a shift starts to take place… and around volume 7 – 8, the books start to take a real nose dive. You see, while the battles previously had used a sense of wit and cunning to get resolved, the newer ones started to fall back on a plot device as old as time itself… deus ex machina powers (although I guess that kind of works in a way… considering these are powers given to them by a guy named Deus ex Machina). The reasons for them surviving in near impossible situations become hazier and less thought out with each passing volume. At the end, a couple large plot points are basically forced upon the reader, and little rhyme or reason is used. I don’t want to give away the ending, but let’s just say the author writes himself into a corner here. He’s creates a dramatic and decisive point for the protagonist to overcome, but realizes he has no logical way to get out of it… and so just quickly writes up some contrived reasoning for the ending, before quickly just cutting it off and ending the damn thing.
The characters are probably more subjective than anything else… so I can’t really comment on them without my own bias. Their interactions are pretty decent, although at times it feels like people just turn out good or evil for no real reason at all (the ninth is really guilty of this). The two leads, Yukiteru and Yuno, rather un spectacular in my opinion. Yukiteru is the typical lead… pathetic, weak, lonely, and most of all a huge whiner. Yuno is a psychotic killing machine, who only thinks about her love for Yuki, and kills anyone or anything that gets in their way. I personally find her to be unnerving and really annoying at times, but a lot of people seem to enjoy that “Psychotic for love” trend, so don’t let me burst your bubble. I also kind of detest how the author tries to make us “feel” for their romance when really they both deserve to die when compared to the other numbers… Overall the cast is a decent group, nothing spectacular but enough to keep the manga on its feet.
So… overall, Mirai Nikki is a decent manga that could have been a whole lot better. The first couple volumes feel fresh and interesting, but the last few feel rushed and contrived. In the end Mirai Nikki is like a virgin’s first time. He prepares and finesses over everything, starts out strong, everything seems to be going great, but then it suddenly ends early and just leaves everyone involved with a feeling of disappointment.