Oh lawdy me, I almost forgot about this. In between all those 12 Days nonsense, there was a currently airing anime I was supposed to be covering weekly. Time to take a break from reminiscing about the great stuff that happened this year and turn my hyper critical eyes towards the latest episode of Future Diary.
Last episode I was all over Yuno’s eyes and their subtle change in design to illustrate her mental state (ie: her eyes make her look like a psychopath). This episode went and stomped all over that by showing us the change in artstyle. It wasn’t even the usual Yuno look of widening the iris just enough to make her look unsettling. No, instead they make them glaze over as though someone had literally just flicked a switch in the back of her head. It was genuinely robotic the way they went about depicting that scene in the police station.
Ooh la la la, all normal and-
YUKI IN TROUBLE
ACTIVATE DEFENCE SYSTEMS
I don’t like it. What I liked about Yuno is that her psychotic side and her apparently normal teenage girl had no discernible difference from first sight. She doesn’t activate fighting mode, she is always in that frame of mind, ready to leap into action with a carving knife at a moments notice. The method they used this episode cheapens that effect. Yuki talks about saving Yuno from that mindset, but in reality he hasn’t a hope because that is all there is to Yuno. This robotic swapping of personalities makes it feel like he could just jam a piece of chewing gum into the switch on the back of her head and they’ll both live happily ever after.
Since I’m not American and therefore know nothing about guns, it rather surprised me to learn that you’re not supposed to shoot someone in the head first. That’s what I always do in video games, and we all know video games are the perfect murdering simulators. Apparently because you’re more likely to miss them by shooting at the head first, so you shoot them in their much more open big fat belly to incapacitate them before delivering the final headshot. It was a rather surprising show of logic on the part of Future Diary, considering its usual approach to logic. That is, ignore it entirely. There had literally just been two explosions go off in the hospital, yet the policeman’s wife seemed totally oblivious to the fact.
Speaking of logic, I don’t really get what the policeman was trying to achieve with his tactic. I why he did it in the first place. Basically, he is just as messed up in the head as any other character in this show, no more so than our favourite blind super sentai hero. He has to stop Yuki and Yuno from winning the game so he can save his son, but he also must have the moral high ground. There was a manic sense of desperation to his voice when he said that, as though his psyche wouldn’t allow him to attack children who weren’t classified in his mind as The Bad Guys. I liked that revelation a lot, because it put him on equal levels to all the other diary holders we’ve encountered so far. But why did he think aggravating Yuno would be a good idea? Because he had a bullet proof vest? What exactly were you planning on doing when she shot you in the chest hmm? The recoil would have knocked you back and you only had one bullet in your gun.
I have to admit that my initial enthusiasm for Future Diary has worn off a lot. For what I had originally considered a contender for second best anime of the year (if only because Madoka is so far ahead of everything else), I now can’t in good faith even call it my favourite anime of this season. The frequent lapses into stupidity, the shoddy production values. I still like it a lot, and this episode was actually pretty good. I love its pulpy horror and that, even through breaking the boundaries of logic, it sticks to its own internal logic all while maintaining the same themes and characterisation. But Death Note did it better.