35 CommentsFirst Impressions, Future Diary / By Scamp /

Future Diary episode 1

The final 5 anime airing this season are Future Diary, Gundam Age, Un-Go, Guilty Crown and Last Exile. The season is sure ending with a bang, as has usually been the case. Time to throw aside all previous mentions of lacklustre season and dive headfirst into hype central. Well, hopefully hype central. I’ve written this paragraph before watching any of the aforementioned first episodes.

There was one short piece of conversation between the main character and the CGI monstrosity, Deus Ex Machina, that won me over to Future Diary (not calling it by the weeaboo name). The main character had just discovered that this creature he had invented in his own imagination had just given him a powerful tool and was claiming he was the God of Time and Space. Our main character was understandably getting kinda freaked out about this, so he confronts the god, telling him in a panicked tone “you’re not a god, you’re just in my imagination!”. To which our god replies “if I was a god, could I not appear in your imagination?”. It’s an incredibly clever little piece of wording, single handedly destroying what the main character had considered his own little world, revealing it was part of a much larger picture.

Future Diary is sort of like Death Note or Eden of the East. Give a group of people some sort of power and make them compete against each other. There is a key difference between Future Diary and these two series though. Both Eden and Death Note try to get us to ask what would we do if we were given this power, the assumption here is that you are the one with control. For Future Diary, giving the main character the access to his own future, if anything, takes away from his own personal freedom. Even better, his life is also at the whim of crazy psycho stalker girl, who is the very one controlling his fate. Then there was the scene at the end, where the main character suddenly has a selection of people with a similar power trying to take him out, meaning his life will now be a never-ending attempt to escape from the death flags these characters set up for him.

I was wary coming into Future Diary because the studio in charge of adapting it was asread, the calamities in charge of previous quality titles like Shuffle and the Minami-ke sequels. The animation, to put it kindly, isn’t great. Characters faces look derpy as hell when we zoom out from anything other than a close up, and any movement the characters do is limited and full of shortcuts. But the artistry is great. Let me make a bold statement here: The CGI in Future Diary is possibly the most effective use of CGI I’ve seen in an anime. I tend to rag on CGI because it makes the characters look other worldly and strangely static. Future Diary embraces this fully and makes the single piece of CGI in the anime be Deus Ex Machina, precisely because he is meant to be other worldly. He’s eerie as hell, floating around in that semi-sphere of his, his movements appearing unnatural compared to the real humans in the series. His dopey looking hair looks like it was designed by someone who only has a vague understanding of what hair should look like, but doesn’t know how it works, which is probably what is actually the case when Deus Ex took on that form.

Future Diary works. The premise and the characters come together into this neat little package that just clicks. Our crazy psycho stalker Yuno is not only a massively fun character to watch, but she fits in with the overall story of taking away control the main character has over his own life. Also, this main character has something resembling a personality for a bloody change. People may dislike that he’s a massive loser, but I hugely prefer these kinds of characters over Yuji Everylead the Bland. Plus his personality, one who doesn’t want to interact with anything and remain an observer, clashes with his new position of having his life being controlled by outside forces. It all fits together and goddam works!

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33 Comments

  1. Nebulous
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Yes!

    Was so amazed when I watched this how good it was and was earnest hoping you wouldn’t tear it to shreds and make me feel stupid for liking it. Absolutely loved the scene where Deus sets the main character up to be a huge threat so everyone else tries to take him out early. The absolute dread of seeing the DEAD END was conveyed really well, I was sure that the stalker girl would kill him (Yandere tvtropes) and was pleasantly suprised how the twist made it so much worse. He’s now like the battered wife sticking to the abusive husband due to a fear of NOT being with him, even though its so bad with the partner. Loved it.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      was earn­est hop­ing you wouldn’t tear it to shreds and make me feel stu­pid for lik­ing it

      :( I don’t normally do that, do I?

      • ペーパー先生
        Posted October 17, 2011 at 4:46 am | Permalink

        漫画を読んで。大好き!!

  2. mcm38
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t watch the anime yet so I don’t know about the animation quality, but since I’m reading the manga it is nice to hear the animation didnt give many negative points to the story.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted October 10, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      it’s a bit hurf but it shines through where it needs too

      • mcm38
        Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

        Alright! Just watched the anime and they certainly made a good choice with the bgm.

  3. Posted October 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    So, best first episode of the season, or does Persona 4 still hold that title for you?

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Probably this. Apart from the style, I’ve forgotten what I liked about Persona 4 already…

  4. JohnKrab
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    While I agree that losers are better than bland people, my problem with losers is that they tend to be pretty bland as well. And when you have two negatives against you, you might as well not be in the show.

  5. Posted October 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I found it complete rubbish if I’m honest. A character named for a plot device, constantly hoping the loser protagonist would off himself and the ridiculously cheap look to it all made me dislike it.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      If he’s going to be a god capable of doing whatever the hell he wants, calling him Deus Ex Machina makes sense. Whatev’, your taste sux

      • Posted October 11, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        May as well have a Basil Exposition character come in as well at some point and explain the plot to us all. There were just too many moments where I was thinking “that’s way too convenient” or where I was wondering if they would die if they forgot to charge their phones.

  6. luffyluffy
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Woah

    I really like Yuki’s hat

  7. Posted October 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Best show of this shitty season by far. Better than the one dimensional Fate/Zero or the vastly mediocre Ben-To.

    Agreed w Scamp that the main lead is far more interesting than your average Joe Bland. Loserville means a bunch of neuroses will be explored and his psyche will be some sort of rorschach inkblot test of the audience.

    If the writers are smart this show could turn out to be this season’s Steins;Gate.

    • mcm38
      Posted October 12, 2011 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      It’s not on Steins Gate level. After the first few Dead End it starts getting old a bit. At least it does with the manga. Maybe the anime will bring something fresh in it. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

  8. Posted October 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Minor nitpick:

    Even bet­ter, his life is also at the whim of crazy psy­cho stalker girl, who is the very one con­trolling his fate.

    I’d rather not think that Yuno is directly controlling his fate, she is simply observing it, but by observing it and acting upon her observations, she can help him change it.

    I really liked this episode, I think I have read most of the manga (though, I never finished it), and this episode did a great job of capturing those old nostalgic images. Though, I wish they hadn’t made Yuno so obviously crazy, she is supposed to be a bit more two-faced, basically the cute side of her yandere self wasn’t expressed enough.

    • Posted October 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      They supposedly work great as a pair since their diaries cover each others’ backs. But when you got a yandere on the loose…anything can happen.

      And yeah, they made her the yan part of her yandere right off the bat. She doesn’t become seriously mental until later onwards.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Isn’t that the exact same as controlling his fate? She allows his fate to take its path whenever she feels and intervenes whenever she wants. That’s still controlling his fate

  9. romulus
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    2000 seeders in nyaa. Yeah, hyped.

    I finished the manga. Mostly everything you praised in this ep was the merit of the manga. The animation couldn’t have been based on anything, (sucks as expected) so they tried to spice it up with vivid colors. Seems it worked.
    Hopefully the anime follows the manga and won’t try detours or anything. Asread can score a big point by doing this.

    I am happy that you liked it since i was sure as hell that it would suck. (I would have watched it anyway.) It could turn out as something good.

    PS: Yuji Everylead the Bland – I laughed sooooo hard… Was Shana that memorable? I effin hate(d) Yuji too.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I stole the Yuji Everylead joke from Beta-Waffle (I can’t remember the exact post)

      • Posted October 11, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

        I stole the Yuji Everylead joke from 21stCenturyDigiBoy anyway, so alls good.

  10. Posted October 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I agree the CG was used appropriately, but I wish it didn’t look so cheap. Deus was fine, but the setting where he gathered all the diary holders looked imported from an old video game.

    I liked the episode too though. :) Asread tried to make the best of their small budget. The way they framed Yuno’s face got just the right balance between creepy and campy.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Fair point, the CG wasn’t exactly Tiger and Bunny level. It works, but it does look kinda cheap too

  11. Marow
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Oh, how did I miss this when watching the episode. Since there will only be one person left, Yuki or Yono has to disappear/die. Unless there will be some deus ex machina.

    Hahaha.

    Funny.

  12. Posted October 11, 2011 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this.
    Seems like some manga fans arent taking much of a liking to it though.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Well, manga fans are retarded anyway

      • Goresome
        Posted October 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Future Diary manga was pretty meh. Given 26 ep. long anime duration lets hope it wont be another canned shit adaptation.
        Oh… apprently anime is R-17+.
        Shall we hope?

  13. 3242
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Note to self: Never imagine beings that would have power to live in my imagination otherwise I would never know if they were my imagination or not after this.

    In the future looking back, I will probably this was better than I hoped! :D!

    I predict a Deus Ex Machina around the end of the series. Yes. Yes! Yes!!!… Game= IT SHALL END, AND THE PEOPLE SHALL BE ALIVE——-..idk

  14. Thrashy
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I’d avoided the manga because on the face of it it sounded too much like Higurashi (which I *detest*), but I may have been wrong. This show makes a hell of a first impression!

  15. Philippe
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    > The final 5 anime air­ing this sea­son are Future Diary, Gun­dam Age, Un-Go, Guilty Crown and Last Exile.

    Coppelion ? http://animecalendar.net/show/410/Coppelion.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      That’s been cancelled

  16. Posted October 11, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    I thought it was OK — I don’t think I can really judge it until I see the next couple of episodes, because this is obviously an episode spent to set up the premise, so I felt zero suspense and couldn’t get into the story at all.

  17. Posted October 13, 2011 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    It looks like she’s giving me the finger.

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