Future Diary (Shonen) by Sakae Esuno – Rating: 7.5/10
Synopsis: Yukiteru Amano is a sad case. He speaks to no one, has no friends and basically spends all of his time writing in his cell phone’s “diary”. His only social interactions are with his busy mother, his “imaginary friend” Deus ex Machina — the master of time and space — and Deus’ servant Murumuru. One day, Deus gives him a wonderful gift; his “diary” will display events surrounding him from the imminent future for a period of three months. This gift, however, quickly turns out to be more of a curse, involving him with Yuno Gasai — his psycho-stalker classmate — and the elimination game to determine Deus’ successor. And thus the battle of the 12 “Diary Holders”, who all have diaries predicting the future in various ways, begins.
Mood: At first one is inclined to believe this is a lighthearted tale of teens overcoming the challenges their lives present them. Well it isn’t. In fact, the series has something of a gritty, maddening feel to it, especially with all its unexpected bloodshed. There is humour to keep things from getting too serious, but the psychosis is palpable and character emotions are very much placed up front-and-center. Overall, the mood is a little like our universe; dark and cold, with just enough light to keep it from being downright scary (think stars folks).
Artwork: Sakae Esuno’s characters have all been given unique appearances, ranging from the ordinary, to eccentric, to just downright strange. All of them (with the exception of Deus and his massive, imposing body and monolith-like face) tend to appear gentle and good-natured. But then, in an instant, their faces frequently change to become more savage. Yuno takes the cake here. For me, whenever the words “psycho bitch” come to mind, her smiling, knife wielding visage accompanies them. The action bits are nicely choreographed and (again, usually because of Yuno) often seem like bloody, bladed dances of death.
Conclusion: Future Diary (or Mirai Nikki for the purists) is good, no doubts there. It’s got great action, interesting characters, situations (often of betrayal) that require strategy to survive, and a sex scene… It’s simply a great ride. However, Yukiteru is a bit annoying in the beginning and the insanity level has been turned up to 11. There are times you may find yourself grinning in a scary way while reading, or maybe that’s just me. The final few chapters really amp up the epicness, but the end in of itself is both appropriate and a bit disappointing. An anticlimax with the gradient of a sheer cliff, but still perfectly suitable…I hate these conflicting situations. In the end it really is worth a look and, at 59 chapters, it won’t take too long to finish. Now if you’ll excuse me, *grabs mobile phone and kitchen knife* I’ve got to go start a riot and massacre some unsuspecting fools.
Status: Completed (59 Chapters) + Spinoffs [Mirai Nikki Mosaic & Mirai Nikki Paradox (6 Chapters each)]
Age Rating: 16+
DISCLAIMER: The images displayed in this post do NOT belong to Super Manga Fighters GO! Future Diary is the property of Sakae Esuno. Diary Holders Image Source: zerochan.net. Yuno image source: zerochan.net.