Anime Monday - Mirai Nikki

Mirai Nikki, known as "Future Diary" in English, is a series I'm glad I stumbled across. I still remember the day I was browsing some anime lists online looking for something that sounded interesting, and then suddenly I came across the "battle royale" style show. At first I wasn't sure if I should watch it. There were some disturbing content warnings that kinda turned me off (telling you guys now, this show is not for kids), but after looking into it a little more I figured it was at least worth a try. And worth a try it was. What I thought would be a story about a kid trying to survive, ended up evolving into something I never expected. A part of me wishes I could completely forget what was to come, and watch it again for the first time. But just like the "dairies" in the show, I already know the future.

The Story Written in Diaries:

Future Diary begins with a kid named Yuki telling us about his life. He's a little odd, doesn't have any friends, and likes to write his entire life story down in his cell phone. Each day he'll catalogue whatever happens to him, and then return to his room to talk to his imaginary friends. He's not well to say the least. The first of his "friends" is named Deus Ex Machina and claims he is the god of time and space. His second friend is Muru Muru, and she acts as Deus' right hand woman of sorts. The two talk to Yuki pretty much every day, as they are all he has, but after awhile things start to get a little weird. Although Yuki knows they are his imaginary friends (thus fake), he soon starts to realize that this might not really be the case.

When Deus tells him that his own time is coming close to an end and that he must choose a successor, Yuki isn't quite sure how to take it. His imaginary friend is "dying?" How does that work? Well according to Deus, without him time and space will come to an end, so in order to pick his next in line he's going to hold a game -- a battle to the death. Players will be chosen for his game (Yuki being one of them), and each one will be given the ability to see the future. In order to do this, those selected will be able to read diary entries from said future. Yuki will have his phone, and everyone else will have their own book or device as well. Using this one and only tool they are tasked with surviving the game to the end.

The Game of Death:

There are many "players" in Deus' game, and each one has their own reason for wanting to win. By becoming a "god" they will be given nearly unlimited power, which in return will help them achieve their goals. At first many of these people seem to want to win only for that power, but soon it becomes clear that isn't always the case. Some want to get to the bottom of the game and stop others from dying, while some simply don't care about winning for themselves. Yuno is one such person. She is Yuki's classmate, and has a major crush on him. Calling him "her man," she's willing to do anything for him so that she gets her "happy ending" as described in her future diary. This doesn't mean Yuki himself likes her, but if there's one thing for sure, it's that the future doesn't lie. If Yuno's diary says it'll happen, then it will. Unless something changes it that is.

Another participant in the game is a police officer named Keigo Kurusu. His diary predicts the results of his investigations, and in return helps him find criminals and ensures he goes down the correct path. He isn't interested in winning the game at all, but he wants to stop the death game none the less. He's a good person at heart, and sees preventing the murders also as a part of his job. He teams up with Yuki and Yuno to achieve this goal, but even with three of them working together, things don't always go as smoothly as they hope.

Despite there being those who want to stop the game, there are many others who want to win, and it's up to the main characters to stop them. This means they'll be forced into combat situations and terrorist attacks against their wills, and they'll have to use their brains if they want to survive. Being normal humans means they can only do so much on their own, but at least their dairies are there to help keep them safe. Or are they?

The Truth:

While the death game is the main focus of the series, it's also a lot more than that. Future Dairy is not a clear cut story. You have people trying to kill each other to become a god, but why? Why is all of this happening, and exactly who or what is Deus really? There are a lot of unanswered questions right from the start, and as the show progresses more questions present themselves. Eventually you start to figure things out, but even then the answers to the questions aren't always that clear cut. This is one of the things that makes Future Dairy so fun to watch, because it asks you to question people, their motives, and the nature of the game itself. There's a greater mystery happening in the background, and some of it's revelations will have you rethinking everything. You never know what to expect, and the series' tension never lets up until it's conclusion.

Should You Watch It:

I'll be blunt. Future Diary will not be for everyone. It contains a lot of mature content and graphic imagery, and some other content that might be hard to watch. If you can get past this however, and are not bothered by death games, then it is a series I'd strongly recommend checking out. The characters are great and diverse, the sub plots are interesting, and the mystery alone is enough to keep you going. If anything the only regret you might have from watching this is when you see the ending, and you realize it is now over. It's a show you don't want to stop, but something you really will want to finish. Even if it's not really your thing, it's still worth at least trying.

Where to Watch:

Funimation - Both Subbed and Dubbed

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