For a second there upon starting this episode, I thought Future Diary had swapped to an instrumental version of the opening. Which was cool and all, but why did it sound so bad? Why did they just plop a poorly played piano already the existing song? Turns out the subbers thought it would be a great idea to put that in themselves. Am I missing a joke here? At least when [gg] piss about, they’re generally trying to prove a point. Legal subs are slowly getting rid of the need for fansubs anyway, as fansubbers generally won’t bother when the streams are ripped far more quickly than they can sub it. So hurrah for that, no more bowing to the whims of moody fansubbers. At the same time though, I’m a dirty hypocrite who still downloads the fansubbed version even though waiting just a few days longer would mean I could get the legal subs. My impatience is my biggest flaw.
Oh right, the episode. I should talk about that. My current running theory with Future Diary is that the author started off thinking this story would be about the diaries and the endless cat and mouse battles between the characters, in a classic Death Note style. But he realised with the more he wrote, the better a character he had created in the shape of Yuno, and slowly switched the focus over to her. The more the story goes on, the more the central conflict seems to focus entirely on Yuno, and the more fascinating she becomes because of this. This episode was largely Yuki wondering why he couldn’t just accept Yuno for who she is. Sure, she’s a stalker, and texts him an awful lot, but why not? She’s attractive, she can cook, she gets on well with the in-laws, she definitely won’t cheat on you. She is completely and utterly devoted to you, subservient and forgiving of your every flaw. Why not accept her?
Future Diary answers this with the same answer it has been touting since the very beginning: Because she is completely and utterly psychotic. She digs 20 foot holes outside the back of her house to bury the bodies of her victims in an attempt to pretend certain previous interactions never happened. She will stab anyone you ever try to talk to or make friends with. She is simply not right in the head, and will perform these sorts of crazy acts without warning. To be perfectly honest, your own life isn’t safe from her, because who knows what idea she’ll get into her head next. Maybe she’ll want to get closer to your heart so tries to rip it out. It’s still a source of minor confusion that people find this personality type attractive, but whatever. Attraction is hardly rational.
This episode really wasn’t that good though. I saw what they were trying to do with the Minene and the cop scene. What was meant to appear like a budding romance turns at a sudden moment when she shoots him. It was meant to be jarring and shocking, but something was never quite right. Neither did they nail the tone in the second half of the episode either. I’m not quite sure what held it back. Maybe it’s because the methods they used were standard clichés of mock wedding ceremonies and falling onto boobs, but I get what they were going for here. They were meant to be cliché scenes that are very deliberately undermined by the danger underlying everything about the characters.
It’s something in the presentation that’s not making these scenes click for me, and I can’t for the life of me tell you what it is. If I could, I’d be working in film. It’s getting annoying that Future Diary isn’t able to nail the tone in these downtime episodes, because I really do like the show. I can always see what they’re trying to do, but it’s never quite pulled off. In contrast, Steins;Gate handled similar scenes with much more care and precision. What appeared to be a humourous teenage romcom scene had this element of danger bubbling underneath the surface, Steins;Gate handled these scenes brilliantly. From the stenciled panicked return to his lab when he thought Kurisu and Mayuri were in danger, or the slow frightening discovery of what the jelly bananas meant, it was all in the directing. From the BGM to the lighting to the camera angles, Steins;Gate was a master at the art when it came to these sorts of scenes. Future Diary excels when it goes all out with panic and craziness, but it just doesn’t have the handle on these sorts of quieter episodes. I guess this is the difference between
White Fox a bunch of ex-Madhouse staff directing your anime and the staff at asread.