8 CommentsTwelve Days / By Scamp /

12 Days of Anime #4: Through the Unseeing Hero’s Eye

The Murmur segments in Future Diary are humourous little asides that have little to do with the plot. Realising that sticking these segments into the main storyline would jar horribly with the usual tone of the series, the creators decided to stick these segments after the ending credits. Usually they’re just silly side stories that provide a quick giggle and swiftly move on. But the one for episode 5 was a stroke of pure genius.

Firstly, the presentation was not the usual animation style, but instead stop motion footage of rather poorly made figures of the characters, made out of bits of old twine and felt. For a series as clearly lacking in budget as Future Diary is, it was hilarious to see such a different style used. I’m not sure if this was intentional, but since this side story concerned the blind character, it provided us a rather unique view of what he probably thought the world looked like. Even better was the story of this little aside. In the main part of the episode, our blind character was portrayed as an absolute nutcase. Swishing his hips and doing a rather frightening dance routine as he donned his super sentai hero outfit. The costume looked as though someone had described what it should look like to him, but he never fully grasped what it was supposed to convey. Again, rather fitting given that was almost certainly the case behind its design.

But what was best about this side story was how it humanised him. He dressed as a superhero because he genuinely wanted to save people. He didn’t really understand what he had to do, but his heart was in the right place, and all that happened was he was misunderstood by those around him. This is doubly effective when you realise that he was serving justice in the main storyline itself, trying to uncover the cult leader’s inevitable betrayal. But we, the audience, had misunderstood him and branded him a freak too. OK, he had brainwashed a bunch of people to become zombies, but his heart was in the right place! His Future Diary was a godsend. A diary that told him the good deeds he would commit. Someone who understood that all he wanted to do was help people and be on the side of justice. My heart went out to the guy, and all this was portrayed through this silly little stop motion side story.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted December 22, 2011 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    I… I never realised that he was blind. :(

    Great post, Scamp!

  2. Posted December 22, 2011 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Man, this was my favorite moment so far in the show too. For what you said, and also the fact that this conveyed a sense of can-do and whimsy from the folks at asread. After this little segment, you definitely got the sense that they LOVE working on this show and are probably really grateful to be given a shot at adapting a hit property like this one.

    I hope they capitalize on this and further hone their craft in the future.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      And hopefully get a better budget too. The more depressing fact is we both know this will not sell as well as Shuffle did

  3. fathomlessblue
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    This was such a wonderful little segment which made re-watching episode 5 a completely different experience. Twelfth, so far, has been the only character I can sympathise with in the show.

    Mostly I loved it because of the old-fashioned stop-motion. There was something particularly innocent and nostalgic about the whole experience; after all stop-motion was most popular in children’s tv programs, pre-1980’s. The approach really summed up his naive and pure sense of justice; it was just so beautifully childlike and heartfelt. I’m reminded of works from the late Oliver Postgate, creator of classic British kid’s shows of yesteryear like Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and The Clangers. The scene really captured the same simple honestly, both in presentation and in Twelfth’s actions.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 22, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Hadn’t even thought of it like that, but that fits it even better. He views everything through the childish stop motion because it mirrors his childish world view

  4. Someone Else
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    So far he is the best of the enemies that were shown because he never really had darkness in his heart unlike most of them. I hate Deus for adding the poor him though, he shouldn’t have died early, nor any reason to be the god either but since Yukiteru is included as well I guess I shouldn’t think too much about it

  5. DarkEnergy
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    No tags for this post?

  6. Posted December 29, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, he’s really one of the truly good guys in the game… shame he died so early.

    It was him that pulled out Ninth’s eye, wasn’t it? Even doing that, wasn’t that also to help her? Having a bleeding, punctured eye is worse than having no eye – even if it was painful, at least now it reduces the risk of her eye being infected.

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