28 CommentsFuture Diary / By Scamp /

Future Diary episode 4

I’m going to have to drop Last Exile from my blogging schedule.  It’s an all right anime and it’s not like there’s a lack of things to talk about. I liked how the third episode introduced the fact that the so-called ‘heroes’ of this story are a bunch of religious fanatic pirates, charging into a ‘holy’ land to use up its dwindling resources and severely piss off the locals. Sound familiar? But the subs for it are slow enough that it has ended up clashing with Future Diary. Hence my blogging duo for this season are this and Guilty Crown. You might ask “Guilty Crown? Surely not that crapfest over the glorious Last Exile!?!”, in which case you would be one of the many people who apparently totally ignored what I wrote in my episode 3 post. It was a bit disconcerting to see almost every comment write what appeared to be a rousing agreement with my declaration of its awfulness, even though the post I wrote was largely positive.

Since I’ve had to keep with Future Diary instead of Last Exile, I’m feeling mean and in the mood for incessant nitpicking. The CGI seems like a good place to start, since we’re comparing with Last Exile here. The CGI cars here were bad enough, but what made the scene doubly hilarious were the incredibly awkward CGI hills. It’s a goddam hill, it’s hardly something that’s difficult to portray accurately in hand drawn animation. CGI Norio Wakamoto is also in CGI and therefore also looks awkward and out-of-place compared to the hand-drawn characters around him and moves in an unnaturally smooth fashion. However he was meant to look out-of-place. I don’t think those hills were meant to look like they came from another dimension. It’s extra jarring when this is the season where I think anime has finally realised how to use CGI well. The mind-blowing beautiful fight sequence in Fate/Zero 5 was a great example of this, as is the entirety of Last Exile. I suppose I should amend that statement to say ‘big budget anime know how to use CGI well’ because even the Dues scenes, where the CGI fits, look cheap.

Even the regular animation in Future Diary isn’t very free-flowing, but it does make up for it with rather imaginative art direction. Between the various types of lighting and imaginative camera angle, subtle changes in facial expression and lighting up the characters eyes at the right times, Future Diary is incredibly well-directed. Good art direction is timeless and can make anime that are several decades old like Rose of Versailles look more interesting than, say, Gundam Age. Future Diary may not have the budget of Guilty Crown or Fate/Zero, but better art direction means it looks more interesting than those two put together, and next to Gundam Age looks like a Ghibli film next to Mashiro-Iro Symphony and…oh dear, I was supposed to be nitpicking but ended up just praising the show.

Lets pick something else to nitpick on. The hypnosis seems like a safe target. I did mention in the last episode that I didn’t think we had a particularly accurate depiction of hypnosis here, but on reflection it wasn’t far off. I’ve been hypnotised before…well, actually I haven’t. I went to a stage show with a hypnotist and, when he asked for volunteers, I could not run up to that stage quickly enough. There was about 10 of us up there but, disappointingly enough, I was one of the few who couldn’t be hypnotised. This may be because my brain is so large that it couldn’t be fooled by measly mind tricks. Although I suspect the real reason is because the hypnotist had a thick Scottish accent, so when he said “when I snap my fingers you will fall asleep”, all I heard was “when I snap my fingers you will herpy derpy derpy doo”. I did stay on the stage for a while and I can assure you the looks of terror on the other participants faces when the hypnotist rendered himself invisible and dangled a hankie in front of their faces was genuine. Convincing someone that a block of wood is their phone isn’t much of a leap of faith.

On the other hand, convincing a horde of people that they are zombies and to start murdering each other is a bit of a stretch. Future Diary did set a precedent for this thought by introducing the hypnosis in the episode before. It wasn’t like the army of hypnotised zombies came out of nowhere. Plus the whole hypnosis thing falls quite neatly into the themes of the show. Hypnosis takes away control of your own actions, which is exactly what Yuuki’s life is all about now. Zombies fall into this category too, albeit a bit more loosely. You are now a mindless creature who can only charge mindlessly towards your targets.

I should probably call out Future Diary on the naked eyeless chick being tied up in a dungeon as being creepy, misogynistic and exploitative or something, but honestly the scene didn’t bother me at all. If anything, I’m surprised Future Diary doesn’t have more boobage. The show is campy and pulpy enough to get away with more sex-fueled material, but it seems like the creators are more keen on focusing on the horror aspect. I guess most people would prefer that, but I honestly have no preference between gore or boobs. In fact, I’d probably say I prefer boobs, because at least boobs for boobs sake is arousing, while gore for gores sake is just kinda off-putting.

I do seem to be using the pulpy ridiculousness as a fall back criticism shield for Future Diary, but there are some things this tone doesn’t gel with. Genuine heartwarming or heart-wrenching drama and melodrama do not fit and come off as fake or forced. This is partly why I didn’t like the flashback sequence in the ferris wheel in episode 3. I didn’t mention it at the time though, because it didn’t tell the full story. I have a feeling Yuno’s extra reason for liking Yuuki will be something ridiculous, like she ate his mum. But what this tone does allow for is sleazy fanservice, of which Future Diary has surprisingly little off. All we’ve had so far have been Yuno loosing her top in the swimming pool (a fairly tame affair all things considered), and the above scene, which I’m pretty sure I only found arousing because I’m weird and creepy and into BDSM.

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28 Comments

  1. Posted October 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    As far as camp goes, it’s pretty good quality overall. This is the one show of the season, Penguindrum aside, where I felt myself completely lose track of time and want to see the next episode instantly. The guy dressing up like a superhero also reminded me a bit of the detective’s assistant in Paranoia Agent, so I was pretty happy about that.

    As far as I can tell, Yuno’s fixation on Yuki is also a marriage of convenience. Since he can see more than what happens to him in his Diary, and she can see what happens with him, it’s basically assured that there would be no vulnerability that the two won’t be aware of. At this point, it’s basically a question of who will crack first and end it: Yuno, or Yuki.

    And as for the CG, those hills were some of the worst I’ve seen in years.

  2. A Person
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really think marriage of convenience,

    Well actually I KNOW its not a marriage of convenience because of reading the manga, but lets put that aside and focus on the anime only.

    We know that Diary holders get their powers based on their personalities and what they already do. Yukiteru already kept a record of everything around him, 9th had a need to record escape routes after various acts of terrorism, and 4th kept a record of the cases he was working on. Deus just game them future sight. Yuno’s Diary records Yuki’s actions because she was OBSESSED with him before the game even started, ergo why her Diary does that in the first place. I find it hard to believe working with him is anything but a demented dream come though for her. If it was just convenience she would not have been blushing so hard over the “Happy End” that showed up on her diary last episode.

  3. Posted October 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Don’t worry, there’ll be some more boobage later on.

  4. 3242
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    ..
    The wait for this episode caused me to read the manga non-stop, save for a shower, in the course of 7 hours.
    ….
    I already forgot every thing that happened.
    How did I–
    ah well, the manga wasn’t as fun without the colors or movement for once. That, and the faces weren’t as epic ;A;

  5. CS
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I expected it to be an anime of extremes. Extreme gore, extreme nudity and sexual situations a bit like HSOD.

    But it looks like they are holding it back for they right moment. Like dart in the eye, and when Yuno start axing the cultists on the floor.

    Another good testament to great directing.

  6. Shogun
    Posted October 31, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    Scamp, stop giving media the benefit of the doubt! You can’t hypnotize someone while they’re in the midst of the crippling pain that tends to follow your eye being stabbed with a dart.

    Hypnosis can only work with an individual’s moral code, unless you inflict repeated psychological trauma combined with psychoactive medications (read: LSD).

    Such a buzzkill that the media still demonizes what’s proven to be a very effective form of psychotherapy.

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      I don’t really care about the hypnosis, after all, this is an Anime about people with magic diaries fighting to become God. Cut them some slack!

      • Shogun7
        Posted November 1, 2011 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        Right on. Most people won’t care, so I’ll post in the hopes that one person will. In the mean time? Just blame it all on the wounded pride of a psych major. [=

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Man, this anime. Demonising both blind people and hypnotists

      • Shogun7
        Posted November 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        I knew you would understand…

  7. romulus
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    So it turned out to be a Guitlty Crown-Mirai Nikki deathmatch! Hoorray! My favourite for the first quarter is clear, just look at the pure fear they conveyed before the opening.

    In this ep were 2 moments of the manga I still clearly remember: the Uryuu Minene captured scene and Yuno massacring people with an axe. Both were heavily diluted.

    I cant believe that the most glorious, most violent trademark bloodshed was cut in two… I had my jaw dropped during that chapter of the manga.
    As for No.9, while the manga isn’t exactly filled with fanservice (adaptation is faithful… T.T), it was much more ‘open’

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      eh, as I said in the post, I’m not too keen on overly gory stuff. Leaving it to my imagination is more effective most of the time anyway

  8. lostsage
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    You have to realize that hypnosis is just this guy’s schtick. Some of the characters have them, like Minene is a terrorist so therefore she has an ton of bombs and can set them up insanely fast. Same way this guy can hypnotize people and make them do whatever he wants. Does hypnosis work that way? Of course not, unless you’re this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_KUNXbkGmM I bet you can even understand him.

    Also you like that dungeon scene because Minene is making eye-patches the new moe. No one can resist her (psycho) charm

  9. DarkEnergy
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    >>I’m weird and creepy and into BDSM.

    Yet another thing we have in common.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Connecting with my readers hurrah!

  10. V
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    This was a good episode. I mean, it had some silly parts, but hey. Like a lot of people have said, Yuno’s psychotic tendencies could get tiresome if she goes insane in every episode… I’m still just hoping that we’ll get an answer to all those bodies in Yuno’s house soon. My friend says it’s her parents, but I have read some interesting theories that it could be the other Future Diary users, since the simple act of opening that door caused the time-space causality continuum to corrupt. Who knows.

  11. Ryu
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    uh being surprised that there isn’t a lot of fanservice in a gory, if camp thriller doesn’t exactly excuse the camera from constantly lingering on the naked body of a tortured woman in chains???

    • Scamp
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      And it only took 13 comments before someone complained about that. Took longer than I was expecting

      • Ryu
        Posted November 1, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        So?

  12. Kiseki
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Oh yes. Yes yes yes yes.

    • Kiseki
      Posted November 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Html fail, whoops.

      Genu­ine heart­warm­ing or heart-wrenching drama and melo­drama do not fit and come off as fake or forced.
      I just need to stress how I agree with this so much. ;__;

      • Kiseki
        Posted November 1, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Snort. I give up.

        I wonder if the anime will ever show the females’ nipples.

      • Ryu
        Posted November 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        what and lose out on DVDs that go for an extra 20 bucks with the label “uncensored” to slapped on the cover?

      • Scamp
        Posted November 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Her hair was in the way

  13. stupid commenter
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    looks like they copypasted the cgi cars from Initial D.

  14. Guest
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    This has some interesting changes from the manga.

    The manga jumped straight from Yuno staring through the mail slot to them both being in the car with 4th driving. The manga also didn’t mention the 9th or the 12th at all until the scene in the basement, with like a sentence or 2 explaining how they got in the basement. The stuff with them in the last episode is from the side-story volumes that were written later.

    Without those changes you’d have had a lot more to nitpick, b/c the pacing and continuity in this arc were pretty weak in the manga.

    And yeah, the violence and fan service are both turned-down from what’s in the manga, probably for censorship reasons. I prefer the toned-down fanservice but wouldn’t mind the violence getting turned back on in the blu-rays, and I’m not usually a fan of violence: it’s not as shocking as it should be, I guess.

    The classroom flashback scene is also modestly changed from the manga: Yuno has a small internal monologue at the start of her flashback that would’ve added some nuance to the scene, not sure why it got cut from the anime.

    And I have to agree: the art direction for Mirai Nikki has been amazingly good in terms of scene composition, color selection, and so on, but at a technical level it uses every cost-saving technique it can. Sometimes it just looks cheap, but stuff like the hills just looks derp. When they do do smooth animation the in-betweens look solid too, so it comes down to Asread having a fraction of the budget I wish they had.

  15. Someone Else
    Posted November 2, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    There seems to be more people who doesn’t care on becoming a god, which makes this show more interesting since it makes it harder to determine what the characters really think. Yuno’s train of thoughts is starting to get a bit more predictable though, makes me wish for a twist to have her fall for the police guy then kill the main lead lol

    Also I doubt they would explain the hypnosis thingy, and omg am I seeing another harem to be forming!? Yuno kill that oracle already so that Yukiteru’s all yours! No harems plox

  16. Posted November 2, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    >because I’m weird and creepy and into BDSM.

    The sadist in me cheers. Also, you are not creepy or weird. Plain BDSM is not even weird enough to get onto /d/.

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