Yuki was an outcast at school who kept to himself. He thinks of himself an observer, keeping notes in a diary of events happening around him. His only two friends are imaginary. Or so he thought. They reveal they truly exist, and speak through his mind. They're also hosting a contest to the death which Yuki is now a participant, with the victor becoming the god of time and death. Each participant owns a diary which writes itself, showing events which happen in the future.
Yuki isn't suited to this kind of conflict, but finds a classmate willing to ally herself with him and also a future diary owner. Yuno is an attractive girl he'd never spoken to. She seems sincere, but it's clear something is very off about her. She is the only hope of his survival in this game, but also the biggest threat.
Future Diary is a huge damn mess, and anyone who's seen the show could probably rattle off many reasons why. Does that mean it's not worth watching? Surprisingly, no. Despite the many issues this anime has, it can be an entertaining enjoyable sloppy which may leave you shakeing your head but keeps your attention all the same. The idea of phones (diaries) foretelling the future sounds intriguing, but is a weak hook in practice, riddled with logic failures. The story is generally okay, but liberal use of "plot convenience" will be a big turn-off for sticklers on continuity.
Lets get started with the biggest problem: Yuki, the main character. Holy shit did I hate this kid. He spends the ENTIRE show whining about everything and crying. Besides that, he's a total idiot. While I might have otherwise grown to love Future Diary, Yuki is an incredible drag on the show that prevented me from doing so.
But then there is Yuno. Holy shit did I love Yuno. Admittedly I have a soft spot for the yandere (psycho girl) character type, but anime almost never goes full tilt with such a character, certainly not with a main one. In fact Future Diary isn't so much about the fortune telling battle, as it is about her. Whenever something threatens Yuki, Yuno goes absolutely psycho - she'll do anything and kill anyone interfering with her path to the "happy ending". Future Diary does incredibly well capturing her insanity. Even as much as I like her, I admit she is very very creepy.
What makes this show good isn't just Yuno, it's Yuki's tenuous relationship with her. She's clearly insane, manipulative, and delusional. However she's Yuki's only chance to survive. As others repeatedly betray Yuki, it's always Yuno who saves him. Despite countless warning signs, she proves herself "trustworthy". Will she stay that way in the end? Suspicion arises about 3 bodies at her house. She's candid about the many others she's killed, but silent about those 3. Who are they, and why; amongst all the people she's killed and messed up things she's done, does she avoid talking about them in particular?
Unfortunately there is the rest of the anime, which doesn't approach the great character interaction between the two lead characters. A few of the other diary owners are interesting in their own right, but others are not. I found myself either hooked, or indifferent through the progress of the story. It's hit and miss, but good enough to keep watching. The contest is the focus for most of the anime, but later there is the shift into the god of death stuff and it feels wrongly merged in the same show. Two things held my interest: What is Yuno hiding, and how would it end? In fact it's the ending which impressed me the most. Although it's a wacky spaced out mess, that unexpected craziness is oddly fulfilling entertainment wise.
A word of warning, Future Diary is intensely graphic sometimes. There's death, torture, rape, among other things. Don't think it's "soft" just because it's a TV series.
Good? Yes and no. I liked it anyway. There are many things wrong with this anime, but it has a few good features which are fairly unique. It may be messy, but the ending was an entertaining spin save nothing else. Might be good for a change of pace, but if Yuki grates on you too much, you might want to drop it.
5/05 17.40: Yuki is completely scared in front of Kusaugano Tsubaki. She's the 6th. Damn, I need to protect Yuki.
5/05 17.50: Yuki is talking with the 6th. She's badmouthing me. That bitch! I only want to live happily with Yuki.
5/05 18.00: Yuki is looking at me suspiciously. It's that bitch's fault.
5/05 18.10: Yuki's lost. It's that bitch's fault.
5/05 18.20: I feel sorry for Yuki. I need to kill that bitch.
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reviewed by archen in 2016