I love this shot of Yuno. I can’t tell whether her eyes are wider than normal, making her look mentally unstable, or whether that’s just my imagination and knowledge of her character playing tricks on me. If it’s the former, it’s an incredibly subtle piece of artwork change that we instinctively know on a gut level looks off but can’t instantly put into words. If it’s the latter, then it highlights the strength of her characterisation in that we start seeing abnormal things in a normal scene. For all the talk of yandere this and yandere that, she’s certainly a fascinating character to watch.
My positive little introduction out of the way, time to get to the nitty gritty of how this episode was not very good. I get why they have these down time between psychotic killing sprees and cat and mouse games between diary holders, but that doesn’t explain away the fact that they’re incredibly stupid. The first time they did it, it worked. The amusement park scene worked because of how we were unsure whether Yuno was totally insane or just embraced it for that one episode, as well as the fact it kept up with a dark sense of humour with Yuki’s mimicking people on the Big Drop falling to their deaths. The episode where Yuno meets the in-law wasn’t as good, mainly because it kept repeating the scene of Yuki whining the same whine over and over again, but at least it served it’s purpose fairly well. The underlying sense of danger Yuki found he had let into his home over what appeared on the surface to be a normal embarrassing meet the parent scenario. This episode though? The accidental pulling down of trousers? Really Future Diary?
Higurashi had a similar problem. Yes, the downtime episodes where they spent their time doing goofy cute stuff was meant to contrast the eventual spiral into horror and chaos that characterised the rest of the arc. But that didn’t change the fact these segments were mind-numbingly stupid. Perhaps they were ‘meant’ to be stupid, but doing it deliberately doesn’t make it any better. I get what they were trying for here. Yuki has no idea what friendship is, so when a group of people suddenly decide to be his friends, he’s shocked and goes along with everything they say. However they’re only pretending to be his friends, Guilty Crown style. But their interactions were still so stiff and dumb, spitting out grape juice, discussing serial murders like they were their favourite breakfast cereals, and pulling down trousers in class.
Not that there weren’t good parts of this episode. The butler having grand meals for his precious canines while digging into a pot noodle himself was hilariously ridiculous in classic Future Diary mode, and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing him in action more in the next episode. On the other side, the gay vibes coming off Akise when he fondly stroked Yuki’s face were bizarre, but again that’s something that I enjoyed more for what it could potentially bring down the line. It’s more interesting because of how I foresee characters reacting down the line to that, such as how Yuno bristled at his closeness to Yuki. So for this episode I have very little to say, except perhaps to comment on the sheer level of idiocy Yuki reaches at times. I know you’re all excited because you have new friends and stuff, but revealing your future diary to them that quickly has to be one of the most retarded things he’s done all season.