I think it’s pretty safe to say that if you were bored with this episode of Mirai Nikki, this probably isn’t going to work for you. In actuality over half of the surviving diary holders were in the shrine complex at the same time, and it was pretty much a nonstop cluster bomb of insanity from start to finish. It’s easy to see now why it was such a good idea to split this story into two chapters, because I really think all meaning would have been lost on new viewers under the sheer rush of action and depravity otherwise.
It’s a good thing Asread is treating this with a sense of humor – and not just in the omakes – because as grisly as this show is, it would be insufferable if the absurdity of the story weren’t celebrated. You certainly had a bit of everything this week, including both a gang rape and at attempted gang rape, limbs being chopped off, exploding diary holders and even a full-on Super Sentai musical introduction complete with fireworks. I’ll miss you, Twelfth – you’re crazy as a loon, but you were never boring.
It was a big episode for Yukkii, too. He’s finally come to realize that Yuno is the perfect girl, except for that one nagging flaw – she’s a stalker and her house is full of bodies. I feel you, Little Brother – haven’t we all been there? Of course Yuno was exactly right about Sixth trying to trick him, and of course he had to spend some time cowering under the shrine to gather his thoughts and have a good cry. But in the end, when Sixth was trying to inflict on Second what had been done to her, First came to her rescue rather than let her be defiled. Not only that, it was his wits that managed to turn the tables on Sixth by using her mother’s hand ball and the dart of doom (fortunately Yukkii has a pocket full of those). Baby steps, I know – but a corner has been turned and while Yukiteru may be a virgin, he’s no longer an innocent (and I’m not talking swapping spit with Sixth).
Yuno’s overall kill count is already approaching Gimli’s and Legloas’ is in sight, but Twelfth was her first diary owner kill – and there, Yukiteru has her beat by one. After seeing her predictions borne out, seeing the depth of feeling in her diary entries, and seeing her almost work herself to death trying to save him the last thing Yukkii can doubt now is Yuno’s fidelity to him. Everything else in his world may be bewildering and unpredictable, but at least there’s one anchor – the love of his yandere.
And then there were nine. Three have been eliminated, and alliances are forming and dissolving all the time. Of course, in reality Sixth’s story was a tragedy – used by her parents to form a cult, orphaned, brutally assaulted after their deaths. You’d have to be heartless not to feel badly for her, but the surprising part is that Twelfth was telling the truth all along – he really was trying to use his Righteous Diary to defeat Sixth’s wicked plans. While we still haven’t met half the diary owners, we’ve learned enough from the six we have to know that none of the diaries is infallible – they all have a weakness. Rock blunts scissors, scissors cuts paper… It was certainly interesting to see Fourth set Ninth free in exchange for nothing more than her email address – a random act of kindness? Perhaps a crush? Hmm…
On balance, I’d say Director Hosoda and Writer Takayama nailed this arc’s conclusion – it was as close to perfect as I could have hoped for. The pacing was as breathless and exciting as I remember from the manga, the sheer brutality of events both past and present wasn’t glossed over, and the ludicrous depth of Twelfth’s craziness was brought to life in all its glory. There’s more than one speed to Mirai Nikki, as bombastic as it is, and the evidence points towards the production team having a handle on both the frenetic and more relaxed sides of the series. It looks to me as if the adaptation is just behind the pace it will need to be to adapt everything in 26 eps, so there might be some corners cut or speeding up of events down the line – but they’re not far behind, so I don’t think it will be insurmountable. I’m just thrilled to have two cours and thus to avoid another Deadman Wonderland disappointment, and even more to have an anime that so effectively captures the spirit of one of the best mainstream manga of the last decade.