After a five-month wait the battle royale between deity candidates, who own cell phones that can predict the future, has finally resumed – let’s hope that in the interim they didn’t replace their soothsaying mobiles with newer models! Seriously Kaze, can’t you do something about the protracted gap between DVD releases? I have been waiting since February to see how Mirai Nikki concludes. My goldfish like memory means that I struggle to remember what I ate for dinner last night. Do you really think that after almost half a year I can still recall the events of Future Diary’s convoluted plot? Oh well, as they say, good things come to those who wait.
The second and final DVD collection of Mirai Nikki (also known as Future Diary) begins from where the last volume left off. Yuki Amano’s possessive girlfriend Yuno Gasai refuses to share her main squeeze with anyone, which leads her to drug Amano and keep him hostage within the confines of a derelict motel. Thankfully for the protagonist, Yuki’s resourceful chums eventually rescue him from Yuno’s clutches. It doesn’t take long however for Yuki and Yuno to reconcile their differences and reunite. Sure, Yuki may have misgivings about being partnered with a homicidal maniac – but there’s no denying that Yuno’s gift for manslaughter comes in handy when repelling the other Future Diary owners who are after his head (plus she is rather cute.)
How effective Yuno will be remains to be seen though, given that her upcoming adversaries have her grossly outnumbered. First up she finds herself in a two v one clash versus a pair of lovers and things only get worse when Yuki is challenged by a competitor who commands an entire orphanage’s worth of lackeys. Also waiting in the wings is the elusive eleventh diary user, a follicly challenged chap who has the resources of city hall at his disposal. Surmounting those trials won’t be easy and even if Yuki and Yuno survive what will happen next? Much like Highlander, in the end there can be only one. The stalemate must be broken before the fabric of reality unwinds, but how will Yuki/Yuno decide who should triumph in the end? I vote for a game of rock, paper scissors!
My rating for Mirai Nikki (Collection Two) is four and a half stars. Along with Haikyu this is without doubt one of the better series that I have watched in 2016. Future Diary’s second instalment maintains the levels of gore and skulduggery, which made the previous collection so engrossing to watch, plus it also succeeds in fleshing out the character of Yuki. Up till now Yuki was nothing more than a Shinji Ikari crybaby, but when personal tragedy strikes he eventually mans up. Motivated by the prize of godhood, Yuki transforms from a pacifist to downright ruthless – justifying his actions with the promise that omnipotence will permit him to undo the horrors he is forced to commit.
Despite enjoying the series I am unable to award Collection Two full marks, as the final few episodes got a little too whacky for my taste. Series creator Sakae Esuno does however deserve credit for keeping his audience guessing right until the end. His knack for adding narrative twists, whenever you think you have the story sussed, makes me wonder if he owns a future diary that forecasts what his fans are thinking. The show’s eventual finale is both happy and bleak – in keeping with the tone of an anime that contained both gruesome murders and hilarious after credit skits. If episode twenty-six’s conclusion isn’t to your liking please note that an OVA epilogue titled Mirai Nikki: Redial exists, which fleshes out the original ending. I can’t predict if the OVA will win over detractors though, as my personal future diary is currently recharging due to Pokémon Go’s appetite for battery power.