Anime of the Week: Mirai Nikki (Future Diary)

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Mirai Nikki, or Future Diary, is one of those anime you’ve probably heard of or at least seen clips from. If not I’m guessing you’ve at least seen one of the main characters. Her faces are some of the most heavily used anime memes ever. Now if you’re anything like me and enjoy your dark gritty anime, check this out. I should warn you that Mirai Nikki is an action horror anime that’s rated R+ with mild nudity. So, if you’re not into that you probably shouldn’t watch this. But if that doesn’t bother you, maybe this article will intrigue you.

Art. I very much enjoyed the art style of this series. In all honesty, it wasn’t anything spectacular so I don’t have many words to necessarily describe it. But unlike most other shows with ‘non spectacular’ art, it didn’t take away from it. The characters designs were simple and the overall color scheme wasn’t much. After all it’s a horror anime so there isn’t much color unless it’s something important. Still, the simplicity was done very well. I especially enjoyed the way the hair and eyes were drawn (eyes are what I pay closest attention to). If anything, the chosen style added to the feel of the show.

Animation. I don’t normally talk about the animation in a series and so I thought about sticking it in with the art, but I feel that I have enough to talk about regarding it. Being that Future Diary is of the horror genre there are a lot of squeamish and gruesome scenes and so the animation should be at least on par with what’s happening in the scene and I feel as if they’ve successfully done that. Now don’t go expecting Yuri on Ice type animation. Even though I think they’re at a similar level (Yuri’s is better than Mirai Nikki’s) Future Diary uses it in a very different manner. Where Yuri on Ice uses a more fluid and elegant animation, this show has quick or sudden animation used to either show unwanted intimacy or a large-scale view of a situation. The series even has sharp animation for scenes with a character resisting a knife in that cliché close quarters slow way that’s in almost every action show or movies ever. But it’s done well. You don’t see the jumps between frames.

Characters. I don’t have much on characters this time, but that’s mostly because character personalities are pretty important in how this show plays out and I don’t want to spoil anything or even implant an idea in your head that may lead to an accidental spoiler. However, I will tell you this. I enjoyed every character in this show, even the ones I hated. I was because I hated them that I enjoyed them. Sort of how like everyone hates Dolores Umbridge. You absolutely hate her guts (in my case even more than Voldemort) and yet you enjoy Old Toad Face because the story wouldn’t have been the same without her. You’ll probably find at least one character like that in this series, the rest you’ll probably absolutely love. A warning, though. This anime’s character development isn’t much above average. It’s still good, don’t get me wrong, but it won’t be as in depth as other gritty anime. So just be prepared. It’ll be just enough to mostly satisfy you, but don’t expect any enlightenments.

Plot. I found the story very interesting a unique. It took a simple concept and made it much more complex that you originally would have thought. And in this case, the complexity definitely added to it. So here’s the run down. Yukiteru Amano is a lonely high school student who writes down everything he sees that day in his phone diary. He also has an imaginary friend, Deus, but as it turns out Deus is not only real but also a god (real sneaky with the name). Deus chooses Yuki to be one of twelve contestants to fight to the death in a battle royale in which the surviving victor takes their place as god.