Mirai Nikki – 02

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You may have figured this out already, but Mirai Nikki probably isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for something to restore your faith in humanity.

OP: 「空想メソロギヰ」 (Kuusou Mesorogiwi) by 妖精帝國 (Yousei Teikoku)

[한샛-Raws] Mirai Nikki - 02 (CTC 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_00.58_[2011.10.18_14.51.54] [한샛-Raws] Mirai Nikki - 02 (CTC 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_01.07_[2011.10.18_14.52.02] [한샛-Raws] Mirai Nikki - 02 (CTC 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_01.15_[2011.10.18_14.52.10]

You may have also figured out that there are no sacred cows in this story either, and I’m glad it’s so obvious – this alleviates some concern on my part that Asread would soften the material for TV. I think exploding middle-schoolers (and French-kissing middle schoolers) are a pretty good indication that the manga is going to be adapted pretty much as is content-wise, which is a good thing because any attempt to sanitize Mirai Nikki would effectively kill it. It has to punch you in the face to be really work.

And effective it is, at lest so far for this manga reader. I’m impressed that Asread have managed to capture the paranoid, exhilaratingly out-of-control feeling from the source material. It’s not an adaptation that throws a ton of polish and ostentatiousness at the subject – the voice acting is heartfelt but raw, and the animation is hardly cutting-edge. But it has a certain amount of style to it, capturing the look of Sakae-sensei’s drawings while adding a little theatrical flourish. The OP and ED match the manic tone of the show quite well, especially the OP. Asread may not be a top-tier studio, but what’s clear to me after two episodes is that they know what they have here – they understand the material. And frankly, that’s more important.

What I especially love is the way the anime captures the trapped feeling Yukiteru has at the moment, when all this is new to him. I can’t talk about later events, of course, but it’s important to understand who Yuki is and the fact that the kid you see now isn’t necessarily the one you’ll see later – this is the boy who just found out he’s in a game where losing means death, and lots of scary people want to see him die. And the only person he can turn to for help is just as scary – though also hot, which can’t be discounted in the 14 year-old mind – his very own stalker. You see something of Yukiteru’s survival instinct and cleverness creep in here, as he makes a conscious (and very wise) decision that allying with the insane Yuno Gasai is better than going it alone. “Protect me.” Two simple words, but a watershed moment in the series, and ones not everyone would have had the smarts (and cojones) to say.

Ah, Yuno. She’s a girl, she’s a noun and a verb, she’s a trope. If you think about it, this is a perfect match – a guy with absolutely no self-esteem and a stalker who adores him utterly.  If Asread are playing up her horny side a bit I’ll forgive it, because it’s so much fun to watch. All you need to know about Yuno (for now) you see in the scene where she runs through the school setting off bombs after seeing Yuki betrayed. You may think you know yanderes, but typical yanderes are to Yuno are what dirty magazines are to real live supermodels. She’s the gold standard, the real deal – and what really makes Yuno great is that she’s totally sincere. Everything Yuno does makes perfect sense to her. She has so many other admirable qualities – loyal, fearless, brilliant. It’s just a shame she’s…

If things seem to be moving quickly story-wise, it’s not Asread rushing them – it pretty much plays that way in the manga in the beginning. Two new major characters this week – Ninth, Uryu Minene (Aizawa Mai) and Fourth, Kurusu Keigo (Tanaka Masahiro). It should be obvious by now that each diary has a unique ability to read the future, all with limitations. What’s more, each of the diary owners is delightfully unique, and their diaries match their personalities and circumstances. Ninth seems pretty straightforward – she’s using her “Escape Diary” as a terrorist, and saw Yuki as an opportunity to draw out her real target, Fourth, and kill two birds with one gigantic cluster of bombs. In the end she sacrifices her own eye to save her diary from the dart that will pierce the heavens.  Fourth seems pretty straightforward, too – wanting nothing more than to use his “Criminal Investigation Diary” to keep the peace. To this end he offers an alliance to poor innocent kids Yuki and Yuno, to meld the power of their three diaries into one unstoppable force. What could be better?

Without even touching on the attention required to follow a story where nothing and no one is as simple as they appear, it can be difficult just to follow the diary entries (I pause a lot, obviously highlighting the advantage of manga for material like this). There’s a lot of information being thrown at the audience, which is why I rather enjoy the fact that Asread have chosen to use the omakes not just to highlight Murumuru in comedic situations, but to offer a little explanation about the events that have transpired – retroactive spoilers, if you will. I think that’s a really clever idea and should prove very useful for viewers not familiar with the source material.

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ED2 Sequence:

[한샛-Raws] Mirai Nikki - 02 (CTC 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_21.10_[2011.10.18_14.52.26] [한샛-Raws] Mirai Nikki - 02 (CTC 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_21.14_[2011.10.18_14.52.29] [한샛-Raws] Mirai Nikki - 02 (CTC 1280x720 x264 AAC).mp4_snapshot_21.17_[2011.10.18_14.52.32]


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  1. A

    To bad shes a he? Is that the to bad part.

  2. @Anonymous


    Rest easy there, friend.

  3. U

    Epic screenshots.

    The episode itself was very good. There are plenty of praise to be said, but i would like to specifically talk about the colors.

    What a great color scheme! The contrast between the character designs is incredible. Yuki, with plain black hair and cute submisse blue eyes, is presented just like the simple and gloomy character he is. Yuno, on the other hand, has in her colors a very contracting look to her personality. Ninth is very agressive, but the colors here are more to complement her hair style.

    Upon finishing this episode, i had to read the manga! I couldn't resist. Part of me feels bad to be spoiler. On the other hand, i am relieved that so far (chap. 20), Mirai Nikki continues to surprise me.

    P.S.: i generally don't like yandere characters, but Yuno is spot on. The scene where Yuki ask her "Please protect me" was incredible! I could feel just as helpless as him. This must be the appeal of a yandere (to make you feel helpless, and yet, enjoy it).

  4. Wow – great post Ulisses, very well said.

  5. d

    "highlight Murumuru"
    Hrmmm, giving away a small hint already? hehe.

  6. Not intentionally, no! You have to really be looking hard to call that a spoiler…

  7. b

    Didn't like the OP. ED was ok.

    And somehow I didn't like it as much as the manga.
    The pacing somehow felt a bit off at times and I'm still not used to the voices. Maybe it's the difference in media adaptation? Or I guess it's just me. Oh well.
    The music was good though and they got the eyes changing with each emotion which was one of the things I liked.
    The eye stab was as cringing as I remember and the motorcycle out of nowhere was as wtf as I remember.
    Hopefully I warm up to this as this was one of my favorite mangas.

    Must be hard not to give out spoilers.
    It's nice to see one of your blogs from the point of a source reader compared to the other blogs in which you're a pure anime-only viewer.

  8. d

    @Enzo: ever thought of doing 2 Mirai Nikki blogs? one for fresh blood and one for those who have read it?

  9. d

    P.S. some peeps over @ RC forgot that something called spoiler tags exist. YiA is without spoiler tags but can still operate fine.

  10. Yes, I appreciate people respecting that – if I could offer spoiler tags, I would.

    So – two blogs? LOL! If I had time for that… This is kind of the opposite of HxH and Gundam and Persona, where I actually know the source material and most of the readers don't.

  11. d

    Well the new blog can feature your thoughts as someone who has read the manga. And as you don't have to worry about spoilers and that everyone reading it should be understanding perfectly what is happening, there should be free flow writing = speed quick writing

  12. T

    Man, I'm really liking how this series isn't holding back with regards to actual plot twists. Each major twist holds some powerful impact, and the interactions between the wimpy Yuki and the rest of the group does give a very chaotic, uncertain feeling to the story.

    Uncertain in the sense that you don't quite know what will happen next, and there is a thrill that comes with that uncertainty. Got to love these crazy types of series, provides quite the entertainment, lol.

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