Mirai Nikki – 17

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Sometimes in an anime, a character will say something that’s been obvious to the reader all along, but never muttered aloud on screen. The interesting part comes in seeing how the characters react to it.

I’d say that Marco has the honesty of the doomed, but he was pretty much a straight shooter all along. In Mirai Nikki the line between nobility and insanity has always been a blurry one, anyway. It should be obvious to any viewer by now that all of the diary owners so far are broken in some way – these are not people plucked from idyllic lives of happy contentment in the bosom of their loved ones. The common thread among every one we’ve met so far is that their family lives are shot through with dysfunction of various kinds, and one of the interesting things in watching the story unfold is seeing how each reacts to their own pain in their own way.

In many ways, the prologue (over seven minutes) reminded me a bit of the landmark seventh episode of Kamisama Dolls, though it wasn’t by any means its equal in terms of execution. What’s fascinating is that the flashback scenes with Ai and Marco were much shorter in the manga, cutting out the high school scenes altogether. I’ve already had displeasure over the anime’s artistic choice expressed to me directly by a reader, and I can definitely understand why one might be offended by the direction the Asread team chose here. My honest answer is that I’m not – in fact, I think the added buildup for Seventh made the climax of the episode much more emotionally powerful. The fact that we’ve already had rape in a diary holder’s tragic past (Sixth) does call the decision to use it here into question, no doubt – perhaps it reflects a lack of imagination. But this is a brutal story that treats its characters harshly, and I didn’t feel that the horror of what happened to Ai was minimized or that the attackers were painted in a kind light. I thought it was effective – your mileage may vary, and I won’t say you don’t have a right to feel that way.

There were obviously some key lines of dialogue in this episode, starting with Marco’s screed about Yuno and Yuki. Of Yuki, Marco said that he was weak and a hypocrite – letting Yuno do all his dirty work for him so he could keep his hands clean. Of her, that what she had with Yukiteru wasn’t love or cooperation – it was just manipulation and domination. Is there anyone in the audience who would disagree? In it’s twisted way what Marco and Ai had was at least a true partnership, and the depth of feeling was never in question. What does Yuki do with this knowledge, now that it’s slapped him in the face and he can no longer pretend it isn’t true? And does Yuno resume her on-again off-again relationship with reality long enough to acknowledge that what she has with her Yukkii right now isn’t remotely love?

For his part, it was indeed Yuno’s hand that Yukiteru reached for in the beginning, and who can blame him? For all her insanity Yuno is the one person in his life whose dedication to him has never come into question, and the fact that his father was present only drove home the point. For Yuki the key question is the obvious one that’s been hanging over his relationship with Yuno all along – “Do you really love me or are you just insane?” I’m not sure those two are mutually exclusive, but confronted yet again with what a coward and a selfish bastard his father is, what choice does Yuki have but to ask it? Even not yet knowing the terrible truth that awaits him once he and Yuno fall back to Earth, Yukiteru has come to fully realize that he can’t count on his parents to give him the support of a real family.

The paradigm has certainly shifted, and bridges to Yuki’s old life burned. And with Seventh gone, we’re officially down to five diary owners left – our main pair, Minene, the oddly-shaped Eighth (who hovered on the fringes of this arc without ever quite becoming directly involved) and the mysterious Eleventh, about whom we know almost nothing. I equate that owner’s role thus far to dark matter’s role in the physics of the universe – we can’t see it, but we know it must be there because we do see things that can’t be explained any other way…

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  1. d

    Does that statement really stand true?
    Eighth and Eleventh seem to be contend people.

  2. I won't answer that for fear of spoilage, but I did say "so far"…

  3. d

    So far the eighth have been seen a number of times.

  4. b

    I don't remember much about 7th's backstory. Is this something new or not? I remember they had a tragic past but raep? Dammit. I could even hear some weird noises in there.
    Now I kinda wish for a spinoff where these two win.

    And splendid performance by my favorite male seiyuu Tomokazu Seki. Really makes a difference here, his GAR voice having delivered some already good lines from the manga. Add the music in that and this was really good episode.
    That cliffhanger was also exactly how I remembered it. Nice.
    Though 9 episodes left. Will they be able to finish it well?

  5. 9 episodes is plenty I think.

    The whole high school sequence, including the rape, is anime original.

  6. d

    Thank you, I do not like Rape. Thank you, I now would would skip this episode.
    I think I would start next next episode. The last boss should be out by then??

  7. A

    I think this is easily the strongest episode since #10 for many reasons, and I do not see why a single scene is enough to skip it.

    If censored scenes of a rape bothers that much then there is the fast forward button.

    I wonder how such people with intolerant views manage to get buy more graphic depictions elsewhere, or even in episode five.

  8. d

    i have already finished the manna. so i am only waiting for good anime episodes to watch

  9. t

    Interesting that during this episode I was rooting for 7th. I thought they deserved to win more than Yuno and Yuki. For the first time I didn't mind if the main charcters lost.

    Of course the character I most want to see dead now is Kurou…

  10. F

    People say that Shu from GC, is very similar to Shinji, but i disagree, yukkiteru is the perfect doppleganger, and now that his mother died, i guess we will see full power shinji mode on this one, is a shame, i havent read the manga but im almost sure this isnt going to be a happy ending anime.

  11. F

    Episodes Left: 9
    Manga Covered: 33
    Manga left: 26
    Episode per manga: 2.5
    Episode x Episode per Manga: 9×2.5= 23 rounded up

    Assuming this, there is a incongruence of 3 chapters, im wondering what parts they will cut.

  12. A

    I suspect the solution is more esoteric than this prosaic prediction. Adaptations aren't necessarily limited to only two and half chapters per episode cuz the story is not quite consistently paced in the manga like it is in the anime: the manga has the luxury of space regarding the action scenes, while the anime is fixed to the minute per episode. In other words the slower the story gets in the manga the smaller the panels get. This elongation doesn't apply to the anime.

  13. F

    Yeah but we got a bunch of animators and writers and their jobs is to make an approach similar to the one i proposed, at least if they're going to finish in the couple of eps that're left.

  14. A

    Now that I had some time to cool off (and also get slightly better health wise) I reassessed my earlier impression about including this backstory to the 7th past.

    The result was that I'm still pretty offended.

    Mind you, I understand the pros to why they've done it. You mentioned yesterday about how this event not only affected Ai but Marco as well, since he became a murder, as well as pointing out now that this build up helped the 7th demise have more impact and flesh them out a bit more, and that it fits with the shows theme about bad things happening to the dairy users (and Sakket on AS brought up the excellent point that this development was to help attach Marco to Ai, since he felt like he had failed her back then by letting her get raped) and also that this helped strengthen the bond between the two since they refused to abandon each other no matter what. These are all fair points, and I'm not going to say that this anime-original scene was useless.

    However, that doesn't change my stance. You asked me yesterday if I was going to be offended had this been included in the manga, and I answered if it had been done in this manner, I would've absolutely been. I'm not saying that because I'm a prude who thinks that rape shouldn't be included in any work of fiction (anything is fair game with me in any sort of fictional work, as long as it's handled in a mature manner and executed well). You brought up Kamisama Dolls 7, and I'll agree with you that the way that episode handled the rape was leagues ahead of anything here (we got to understand why the rapist did the deed (trying to enforce his superiority on the women who constantly rejected him and general pettiness towards his illegitimate brother) but also set it up in advance so it didn't come out from left field like it had done here. Hell, look at even 6th story, the inclusion of rape made sense there and didn't look like it was just for drama's sake. Using rape as drama like it was done in this manner might have not been the worst I had seen, and it certainly had some positive effect on the 7th characters, but it was a notch up from usage of rape in comics and animes/mangas like Balder Force and Nononono.

    The thing is, why did Ai have to take the fall here? I mean we had sufficient reason for her sticking to Maroco (being abandoned by her parents, sharing that with him and being the first person to find her etc.) so there was no need for any further sympathy. If it was for Marco … why couldn't he, for example, have gotten himself in trouble with a gang and ended up dragging Ai into it? Or that he ended up making her commit a crime on his behalf? Or have her get hurt? Or better yet, betray her trust in some way? There lies my problem, that Ai suddenly ended up being the one getting raped for no reason at all, only to act as a morality pet to Marco and make us feel sorry for her being a girl. There were a dozne or so different ways they could've gone about this, but they went with the one that had Ai be the one to cause the break down.

  15. You make a very reasonable, articulate case. It just so happens that it doesn't strike me the way it did you, and I have no problems with the scene the way the anime presented it. I think this is really a visceral, gut-level thing, at least that's how I see it.

  16. A

    Arabesque, you make a solid point, that alternative possibilities were there for the anime to take other than rape.

    But that is a double-edged sword: why pick one over these others?

    Why are you singling out ONE as "no reason" instead of any of the alternative choices? Rape continues to be a reality, and perhaps it is indeed a cheap avenue to take as an artist/writer to establish quick sympathy with the audience.

    However, the decision to go with rape is entirely consistent within the Future Diary aesthetics: events & characters are outlined in extremity.

    But here's hoping that the directors don't go to this well too often.

  17. K

    Yukki seems the kind of guy that if he wins and becomes god maybe he could bring the "good" dead ones like Marco and Ai (and his Mom) back to life maybe?

    Maybe now that Marco woke Yukki up to the fact that Yuno has been saving him all along and doing the dirty work (as well as his moms murder by his father) he will grow some stones and do the hard job when it needs to be done. ONLY 1 person can win which means they have to kill all the others or break their diary. This also means they are gonna have to kill their friend #9 as well.

  18. A

    The more interesting question is what happens to the winner of the Future Diary game: as the lord of space & time, what are the limits of your power? can you roll back time or resurrect the dead? If so, then what happens if First & Second are the last ones standing? Do they come to some sort of agreement?

  19. Heh, so much interesting stuff still to happen…

  20. E

    The problem is, I can even hear some heaving voice there.
    Is this hentai anime?
    The animator is too perverted.
    I know some female blogger who also watched this anime.
    I am looking forward for her reaction.

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