30 CommentsFuture Diary / By Scamp /

Future Diary episode 7

After being given a week to think it over, I get what episode 6 was trying to do. It put Yuuki in the one place he thought he was comfortable and added the layer of unease and fear to it. It appeared on the surface like a happy, if a touch dysfunctional, family home, but had the layer of crazy bubbling away beneath the surface, ready to break at anytime. It didn’t really succeed, mainly because it committed the cardinal sin of any entertainment by simply being boring, but at least it fits within the context of the show. Plus, when you consider what that episode was trying to do, it makes this episode that much better.

The idea behind this episode, and the last episode, and was it took the generic anime family home and made it a creepy place. Where everything on the surface might look normal but really it’s just a constant battle of wits and lucky breaks to prevent the characters from being electrocuted or poisoned. I guess this was also the reasoning by making these episode’s token psycho be a child. Something that, on the surface, is harmless and cute, but there’s the constant attempts to brutally kill you off. Compared to the series so far, where all hell frequently broke loose, Yuki really tried to keep everything under control. This is where his mum lives. He specifically orders Yuno not to bring the brutal murders of the game so far into his home.

Of course though, he can’t stop it from happening. It fits into the story of him constantly trying to prevent these crazy things from happening, but always ends up going along with the flow of events. It’s rather fitting, giving the warning bomb lady imparted to him at the end of the episode, that the one who ended up actually hurting his mum was Yuno herself. When he tries to confront Yuno and stop her from doin’ yo thang, it backfires and they almost get killed. It’s only when he accepts the flow of Yuno’s mind and attacks the kid himself does he succeed. It’s back to the central story here. The Yuuki’s only control he has over his own destiny is when he leaves it to the hands of Yuno.

I really like this show, have I mentioned that yet? I love how focused it is and how it sticks to its themes and strengths. Take the kid from this episode. Yes his knowledge of the conductivity of water when salt is poured in stretches the sense of disbelief a bit, as does the idea that he somehow fit a gas mask under his hat without anyone noticing, but as a character in the Future Diary universe he still works. It even did the classic Future Diary thing of humanising his actions. His attempted murders are his cry for attention when his life previously had been with two abusive cultist parents who totally ignored his child genius status. Guilty Crown, take note: You can have crazy psychotic villains and still make them human characters. Every character in Future Diary has had their motives explained so far and not with a handwavy excuse that they are ‘just like that’, with maybe the possible exception of Yuno.

In fact, let’s talk about Yuno. Despite anime fandom being apparently quite knowledgeable in what a yandere is, their prevalence in anime has been suspect in their absence. Maybe I’m just not watching the right shows, but off the top of my head the only other ones I can think of are School Days, which I haven’t seen, and that one from Shuffle (maybe asread just have a thing for yanderes?). Future Diary is the first anime I’ve watched with an almost textbook yandere. Crazy, possessive, clingy girlfriend who would happily dispatch anything that would get in the way of your relationship, including you yourself if you tried to break away. I’ve never really given the character archetype any thought before, but I can see how it works it context with Future Diary. Yuno is the imaginary perfect girlfriend gone horribly wrong. Like the titular Future Diary itself, it’s something that seems like a dream come true but only comes back to make your life worse.

Which is why I find it rather baffling that people fetishise Yuno. I mean sure, she’s attractive. She has to be for the trope to work. She has to appear like she could be desirable if it wasn’t for the psychotic side her possessiveness brings. But it’s the yandere side people find attractive. While it’s true that I may find Senjogahara from Bakmonogatari to be the sexiest thing since sliced sex, a rather possessive girlfriend in her own right, it’s the domineering side that’s being sexualised there. With Yuno, it’s the mental instability. It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the show or anything, because she still works perfectly fine in context. I just find it bizarre that people fetishise the very thing that’s supposed to be off-putting about her. It’s like thinking the Future Diary would be great because your freedom over your own life has been destroyed, idolising the very thing the show is trying to say is bad. I dunno, whatever you guys are into I guess.

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  1. Posted November 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    If you’re really into “sliced sex” then you should be all over Yuno. She’d totally cater to that sort of thing.

    Or maybe not. Axes are more of a chopping implement.

  2. Guest
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, exactly: a momentary detour into “normality”, followed by an extended game of charades while Rei and Yuno try to kill each other “discretely”, ending with a bang once the facade of normality shatters.

    I doubt Yuki can keep his sanity much longer in the face of such twisted events, lol. Even here, he reacted pretty calmly to Yuno hammering his mother, no?

  3. Posted November 21, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    How about Misa Amane, Hiro-chan from Narutaru, Rolo, Belarus, Russia, Namie Yagiri and Mika Harima (and Saika) and Ringo-chan? :D

    • Scamp
      Posted November 21, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Misa is weaksauce as yandere material. I haven’t seen Narutaru. I suppose the rest fit, even if Rolo is kind of a lulzy one. Belarus is comedy, so it doesn’t really count. Thing is, the likes of Mika Harima and Ringo is that they aren’t violent towards other people, which is what makes Yuno that much creepier. If it’s towards you, then there’s a certain sense that you can let her do her thing and it will be happy. But with Yuno you can’t control what she does to other people.

      • Posted November 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        Is Yuno a possessive or an obsessive type of Yandere? I’d go for the latter if only for the fact that she really doesn’t possess Yukiteru.

      • A Person
        Posted November 22, 2011 at 1:43 am | Permalink

        I’m gonna have top put my money on “obsessive”, possessive Yanderes have a tendency to go into the “If I can’t have you no one can” realm of thought and off the love interest.

        Yuno seems pretty incapable of these thoughts, there is simply no “if” in her mind. She WILL have Yukki, her diary says “good end” and anything anyone, even he himself, says to the contrary be damned. Her emphasis is squarely on “being with Yukkiteru” as opposed to “possessing Yukkiteru”

  4. Posted November 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why it took me so long, but this episode finally made me realize that I have to say “fuck logic” and just enjoy this mindless fun.

    but then again Anime = logic? lolol

    It is kind of weird how people adore the whole yandere thing, what ever floats your boat I suppose.

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted November 22, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know, maybe some people don’t like their mothers

  5. Posted November 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    The difference between Future Diary and Guilty Crown as thrillers is that the former has enough things it does well and are of interest to mask all the contrivances, whereas Guilty Crown is the opposite. Just about every thriller ever made has a mountain of contrivances and stuff they just plain pull out of their asses. The good ones make you not give a shit about that.

    That said, this kid annoyed me, even with his actions humanized to an extent. I find it sort of weird that the story goes through the motions of humanizing characters and explaining actions when it literally was like, “Yeah, God fucked up time and therefore CRAZY SHIT CAN HAPPEN” earlier in the plot.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m going to have to talk about plot holes and contrived logic in an episodic post one of these days. I have different ideas of what consists of a plot hole than most people seem to have

      • lostsage
        Posted November 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Oh please, please do. People seem to think things like the kid hiding a gas mask under his hat are plot holes. They aren’t. He could pull a fucking chainsaw from under his hat and it would still not be a plot hole because it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PLOT.

        Anyway, should leave the rest of that rant for your actual post.

  6. Redcrimson
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    As someone who finds Yuno’s yandereness alluring… I can honestly say I have no idea why. Is it her obsessive level of devotion? Is it her dominant and forward nature? Is it just some deep-seated need to fix her brokenness? Is it because her mental instability makes her multitudes more interesting than the typical submissive lunch-making anime heroine? All I know is that crazy chicks are hot.

    • Posted November 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      I concur from experience. Too bad I never learn from my experiences, even when I end up burnt or scarred.

  7. Ty-chama
    Posted November 21, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s because yanderes prevalence in anime is suspect in their absence that people find them attractive…?
    Sure makes a refreshing change from tsunderes!

  8. Posted November 21, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Exactly why do we find Guilty Crown ridiculous but not Mirai Nikki? It’s something I’ve been wondering about.

    • Posted November 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      What Shinmaru said makes a lot of sense: thecartdriver.com/future-diary-episode-7/#comment-23276

      To expand on that, these shows have ridiculous premises and contrivances, but these are the frameworks we accept and within which we expect some sort of internal consistency. With Guilty Crown, both the action direction and the plot lines are so messy and contradictory that we can’t let it fly even though we accept that Shuu can pull weapons out of people’s chests.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        The key word there is contradictory. Future Diary keeps within its own boundries and doesn’t contradict what it has already set up (well, most of the time anyway). Guilty Crown does contradict what it has already established. That’s what makes a plot hole

    • Flawfinder
      Posted November 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      It’s mostly because Future Diary is almost always aware it’s a pulpy thriller, thus whenever something stupid happens, it fits within the context of the show. Guilty Crown seems to be trying to tell a good story, but the problem is that it’s failing so horribly at that because of the terrible writing. On top of that, I don’t think it knows its audience all that well. Besides, Future Diary has likable characters and is done by asread. With the talent assembled for Guilty Crown, there’s just no excuse for mediocrity.

      In fact, one thing I like about Scamp blogging both shows is that they’re so similar to each other, yet so different. They’re both stupid and plotholed, but one is entertaining because of this reason, while the other one is mostly boring for the same reason.

  9. Posted November 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    As you alluded to at the end of your post, trying to explain the fetishes people have is mostly pointless because it does come down to taste, and no one should ever have to justify his or her personal tastes.

    That said, I do see a pretty simple explanation for the appeal of Yuno and other yanderes: she loves you SO MUCH that she’s gone mad. She’s willing to throw away ethics, morality, humanity, all JUST FOR YOU. I’ve heard this referred to as the “sociopathic edge.” One who loves you should do so to the extent that she is willing to throw rationality out the window if it’s to help you. Same kind of idea as the appeal of bad boys, but taken to the way extreme.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      As someone who considers themselves a reviewer, I believe that you should always be able to rationalise taste and feelings. If you poo-poo the idea of examing your feelings, then you are basically mocking the entire idea of psychology

      • Posted November 24, 2011 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        There’s a difference between justifying and rationalizing/explaining. Yes, it’s important to attempt to find explanations, but it’s equally important to understand the limitations inherent to a person trying to “get” the preferences of another. Which is why it is my principle to always seek to understand, but never with judgment.

  10. Posted November 22, 2011 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    +1 for Senjougahara being the sexiest thing since sliced sex.

    I think Yuno’s kind of crazy only works in fantasy; in reality, even most of the people who think it’s hot would call the cops.

  11. Posted November 22, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve always thought the same thing about yandere…ism. People seem to regard it as this overused trope that pops up all the time in anime, yet I can count the number of actual yandere characters I’ve seen during 5 years of regular anime viewing on one hand. Obviously it is a well known character archetype, but it always baffles me when other bloggers mutter in disdain at how popular it is.

    I’ve seen more characters with fantastical self-image complexes and related speech patterns show up in the past year knocking off Kuroneko and Okabe than I’ve seen of the yandere archetype ever. Curious, isn’t it?

    I could list a dozens reasons the trope appeals to me, but I think most pertinent among them is simply that any series with the gumption to do it is already well above the baseline. Horrible otaku wish-fulfillment series don’t include dangerous psychopaths because that wouldn’t be safe, harems devoid of character development can’t sustain a yandere member, and something always has to snap.

    Likewise, it sucks to admit it, but yanderes tend to be the best if you’re looking for any kind of developing relationship between two characters that alludes to any hint of intimacy. I don’t know why anime is so deadly frightened of couples and romance, but it takes one party being completely bonkers just to see like… a goddamn hug these days.

    In a word, yandere characters are anti-status quo – they always make something interesting happen.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 22, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      I’ve seen that mentioned before in other places too. How its a bit worrying that the only time two characters in an anime can have a more physical relationship is if one of them is a psycho. Not Future Diary’s fault, but it highlights the issue

  12. ペーパー先生
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 3:23 am | Permalink

    When comparing Future Diaries with Guilty Crown, I think that it is worthy to note that Future Diaries was originally a manga, were as Guilty Crown can out of some anime studios ass. I’m not saying that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but Future Diaries became an anime because because it was a manga that was proven to sell, while the creators of Guilty Crown Had no fucking idea weather or not it was going to be any good.

    • Flawfinder
      Posted November 23, 2011 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Yeah, but I don’t think that excuses the incredibly bad writing that Guilty Crown is currently going through. And it’s not like you can just copy a manga and expect it to sell either, as there’s a lot of adapting issues to take into account when going from one medium to another (TWGOK manga sells decently in Japan, but the anime sold poorly for example). Honestly, whenever I watch an adaptation, I forget the original source material exists. It’s more fair that way.

      • Redcrimson
        Posted November 23, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Being an original anime is no excuse for tired clichés and lazy writing. Madoka was original too, and still managed to tell a great story and break sales records. Whether it’s from a manga, Light novel, VN or out of thin air, every anime starts out as an idea for a story. And the best adaptation in the world can’t save an anime from mediocrity if the story isn’t told well.

      • ペーパー先生
        Posted November 24, 2011 at 1:00 am | Permalink

        I’m not making excuses for Guilty Crown, just trying to explain why it’s so shitty. It’s true that not all Manga Adaptions are good, and there are plenty of original masterpieces. I was simply pointing out a pattern I noticed.

  13. Sarif Fice
    Posted November 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I think the reason so many people like Yuno’s yandere tendencies is because she loves the character more than anything. I think it is the complete devotion and dependance. Maybe a lot of the people who love her are those who worry about or have been cheated on in real life.

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted November 24, 2011 at 1:03 am | Permalink

      It plays to the base desires of any otaku; A beautiful girl, who is head over heels in love with you, and a way of brutally murdering everyone who has ever given you shit.

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