Review: Future Diary


Anime: Future Diary
Animation Studio: Asread
Number of Episodes: 26
Length per Episode: Approximately 24 minutes

Figured I should get at least one post in my backlog out today. I’ll handle the next two tomorrow. Though I’m also working on two other posts behind the scenes that won’t be out for around another week. Ooh, mysterious.

But anyways, time to type this up so I can get back to working on those.

The biggest and most obvious point to make about Future Diary is that it has a long-distance relationship with logic. But the thing is, that’s not a problem. It’s not uncommon for psychological thrillers to do this, and it works extremely well as long as it’s done correctly. Since Future Diary never uses leaps in logic to preach anything, and always does it to increase the entertainment, it’s definitely doing it correctly.

That’s the thing when it comes to psychological thrillers: they’re allowed waltz around normal conventions to a certain degree. Their main goal is to provide you with pulse-pounding entertainment, and if they have to make some shortcuts, they’re not only allowed to do it, they’re encouraged to.

However, it’s a double-edged sword. There’s still a line that can’t be crossed, and it’s much harder to see in this genre due to the liberties it’s allowed to take. For every leap of logic that immerses you further into the story, there’s always one that could fling you right out of that immersion. The thing is, there’s no set line for this. Every person that watches will have a different limit, and so each show has to be careful.

That said, I’d say Future Diary did a pretty great job of handling this. It set up its own little universe pretty quickly, so it wasn’t all that jarring whenever it decided to start taking shortcuts with logic. In fact, it was probably the most fun when it did.

Future Diary isn’t perfect, though. My biggest complaint is easily the ending. Now, I’m part of the minority that actually liked the manga ending, but that isn’t why I disliked the anime ending. The problem with this ending is that it just lacked conclusion. It had the little nod at the end that Yuno actually showed up again, but because it doesn’t explain it or show Yuki reacting to this at all, it mainly just comes off as a dick move. This is the kind of thing movies would do for a sequel hook, and we all know Future Diary isn’t getting a sequel.

You can’t just leave the viewer with more questions than answers in any form of entertainment. It causes the ending to lack any closure, and the viewer is just going to stare blankly at the screen, wondering what they’re supposed to do. The only time this is acceptable, as I already mentioned, is if it’s obvious that an inevitable sequel will descend from the heavens, answering every possible question you could have.

It’s a shame that it had to end like that, because otherwise I would have had no problem giving Future Diary a perfect score. It was entertaining every week, it was unpredictable, and it had a truly great female lead with Yuno. Though, speaking of Yuno, that does bring up an interesting thought I had the other day.

How well would that show have worked if the leads’ genders were swapped?

A male yandere, helping the hapless and pathetic female lead. Yikes, that practically screams of inevitable rape. Then again, it was the same with Yuno and Yuki, just a helluva lot less creepy. Double standard? Perhaps, but it doesn’t change the creepy factor. It’d be interesting to explore why tsunderes can work with males or females, but yanderes only really work with females.

Getting back on topic, Future Diary was a fun ride. Some people may not be handle the leaps in logic, but I thought it handled them well enough. It did have some technical difficulties at the end, but it wasn’t enough to ruin the enjoyment of everything beforehand by much.

RATING: 9 out of 10.


9 Comments on “Review: Future Diary”

  1. TRazor says:

    It always irks me when people call Mirai Nikki a psychological thriller, because it honestly wasn’t. It was a brash in-your-face blowin-shit-up action ride. Real psychological thriller was Death Note and in a different light, Aoi Bungaku Series. The Future Diaries were completely out of the picture several times and the long distance relationship with logic you mentioned make it far from “psychological”. I’m not criticizing the show for that, I’m just saying that’s how Future Diary rolls.

    And yeah, I hated the ending. Like with Angel Beats, I wish the last 5 sec never happened. I’d rate the series 1 lesser than you though…

    But “Survival Game” and “Filament” make me reconsider…

    • Riyoga says:

      Strictly speaking, a thriller is something that makes use of suspense, tension, etc. for its story. A psychological thriller is the same, but with more emphasis on characters, usually motivations, and Future Diary did exactly that. I’d even go as far as to say Yuno is one of the most brilliant examples of characterisation that other shows should aspire to also achieve.
      Death Note was also one, but I think the way you’re thinking of psychological thrillers is more like philosophical thrillers.

  2. ciddypoo says:

    “How well would that show have worked if the leads’ genders were swapped?”

    I don’t think it would be on par with Suzumiya Haruki no Seitenkan, but could be good for a laugh or two until the last two episodes or so. At that point, it’s got ‘bad press coverage’ written all over.

  3. Krest265 says:

    I,m not gonna lie, at the end i started to tear up, its emotional. :'(

    • Riyoga says:

      The last few episodes of it were indeed intense. Though it lost it’s impact slightly because I had already read the manga and knew what was coming.

  4. Krest265 says:

    But i read the manga and i like the ending, but i wish they would continue

  5. MiraiNikkiFanatic says:

    Sequel? Come on its just like four months after the anime’s ending. There might be a sequel. Hopes up :) Lets just wait and see.

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