Needless to say, I strongly discourage you from reading any of my posts on the last six episodes of Mirai Nikki until after you’ve seen the eps, because they’re going to be full of spoilers about what’s already happened in the anime. And I’m going to plead with everyone once again to please refrain from major spoilers in the comments, even under spoiler tags, because we’re so close to the end – and so much is still to be revealed – that it’d be a terrible shame for a new viewer to be spoiled now. By the same token it’s getting increasingly hard for me to discuss the specifics of events in the episodes without dropping hints, so I’m going to focus more than ever on the artistic merits of the ep in question.
And on that note, as a manga reader, let me just say “Score!” because this was a really good adaptation, continuing a hot streak the anime has been on lately. There was a lot to like about this episode, but what I liked the best was that it captured something I felt from the manga – that this was the time when we really saw the payoff for Yuki being who he is. All of the weakness and uncertainty the audiences complained about was worth it (at least for me) because what came down this week was an order of magnitude more interesting than if Yuki had been a traditional badass or a cold-blooded killer. The whole series has been subtly making Yukiteru’s case all along – that he’s really in an impossible position. He’s not a violent person by nature – he’d rather avoid conflict altogether – and he certainly doesn’t want to cause anyone else harm. Yet it’s grown increasingly clear that the only way he could survive was by entrusting himself to and then, worse, becoming more like Yuno. It’s easy to say he should have flipped a switch and changed sooner, but that’s really not who he is.
As the game has gotten closer to the end and Yuki’s resolve has solidified, the decisions he faces are getting harder. Killing Eleventh’s guards after they killed his father was hard, but much easier than setting up a bunch of Eight’s kids for their deaths as a ruse to attack Eleventh. And that was easier than being forced to shoot a friend, Ninth, or be shot by her. And of course the hardest choice of all is still to come. If Yuki found these things easy, I don’t think Mirai Nikki would be anywhere near as interesting. And the fact that Yuki showed tremendous grief over what happened in this episode – and still did what he needed to do – puts his character arc in a very interesting place.
What can I say about Ninth? If she had to go, at least she went out as she’d lived – with a bang (I hope someone feeds the chipmunks). In many ways her arc has been the most complete and satisfying of anyone in the cast. She’s a fantastic character (especially in the anime) and was right up until the end. While she clearly recognized the change in Yuki (“Did he always have that face?”) she also saw a lot of herself as the lost child she was in him, and that’s the contrast of her life – she’s a self-described terrorist and she has the black deeds on her soul to back that up, but she obviously has a compassion for the helpless – exemplified in the affection she had for them, be they human or not. You can decide for yourself whether that shot grazed Yukiteru’s cheek on purpose, but there’s no denying that something stayed her trigger finger there at the end – she was the quicker draw, after all.
While Minene’s heroic attempt to take down Eleventh with her own death failed, he wasn’t safe anyway – despite his confidence that he was secure in the Gasai Bank vault behind the second door because Yuno was “a fake”. Her retina worked well enough, and so did the bullet that ended John Bacchus – leaving the field clear of players, bar three – First, Second and Eighth – who’s currently under the protection of Akise. Akise states that his goal is to have Yuki win the game, but that he doesn’t trust Yuno – and then, the fabric of the world seems to tear and he and the remaining diary holders are transported to the sanctum. There’s Muru seems quite vexed that Deus appears to be dying too soon – but he’s not so dead that he can’t reach out and grab her as she makes a dive at Akise…
There’s really not much time to breathe in this episode, but that’s just how I like my Future Diary. And I’m pleased to say this episode made me feel almost exactly the same way I did when I read the corresponding manga chapters, which is the #1 hope I had for this adaptation going in – as I’ve said before, what makes this series special isn’t so much thinking about it but experiencing it. Rest in peace, Uryuu Minene – we’ve left one of the great characters behind, but this journey is far from over.