16 CommentsFuture Diary / By Scamp /

Future Diary episode 10

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.

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16 Comments

  1. Flawfinder
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s always a shame when a show you like so much doesn’t get things right. I personally liked this episode, especially because Yukiteru makes it clear why he can’t accept Yuno. And yet so many fanboys call him an idiot for not accepting her (he’s an idiot, but that reason should prove he’s smarter than people give him credit for).

    • Someone Else
      Posted December 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      The only reason I like Yuno is because she’s a good of example of the perfect nice innocent pink haired sudden girlfriend gone horribly wrong. Does that count as being stupid? Because I’m sure 30% of Yuno’s fanboys think the same

      But either way, by applying common sense, no normal human being would like to be in Yukiteru’s position

      • Scamp
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        I like Yuno as a character sure, but thinking she’s attractive is slightly different doncha think? (except maybe to a certain segment of anime fans perhaps)

  2. mcm38
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    So Steins Gate had more precision and controll while Future Diary is a bit more rough. However I think it fits the style of Future Diary.

  3. Moomba
    Posted December 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, it was a long time ago, but I really don’t remember the manga failing to convey the tone quite this badly. Maybe that’s just a form of nostalgia bias, who knows.

    The piano cover on the OP wasn’t too bad… but the ED was awful. All in all, it didn’t even serve a purpose (unless they thought it would be cool to parody the overdubbing done by Murmur… but no that would be too deep…), compared to gg’s trolling to make a point, as you pointed out (or because something is such a perfect fit and the anime is awful – I’m looking at you Sacred Seven)

    Just a minor point but wasn’t this episode 10…? D:

    Oh and I really don’t remember the section with Yuno physically digging the hole in the manga – I seem to recall wondering how the hell the hole got there in the first place. But again, that might be my faulty recollection at work.

    • Guest
      Posted December 13, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      Moomba: the digging scene is in the tankobons, but it isn’t in the fan-scanlations that done from the magazine versions, and I don’t know if it was in the original magazine run.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      durr 10, fix’d that.

      I liked the scene or her digging the hole. I just liked the idea that she did that every night in a crazy fever without realising how far she’d dug down

  4. Guest
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    We’ll see if Yukiteru accepted her or not. In the manga he does take the same vow that Yuno does. My hunch is they’re saving that for a flashback in one of the upcoming episodes.

    That said: the manga tone is all over the place but it works: it never goes all-out with art shifts and reaction faces, but from panel-to-panel it jumps around a lot from funny to serious and back again.

    The anime’s mostly avoided that, trying to stick with a single overall tone for each set piece. It’s largely worked out, but not everywhere.

  5. lostsage
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I figured the subbers were screwing around as soon as the OP started. Mostly because I had been listening to a much better version right before http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drlB2RT_XiA (starts at like 1:11)

    As for what’s missing, I feel like Future Diary is lacking in its transition. It moves from the wedding stuff to the big reveals pretty gradually and logically. It never had that Big Turn, all of its reveals in this episode had plenty of build-up and made me feel like, “yeah I kinda felt that coming.” Unlike in S;G where those creepy texts would just be like BLAMO out of nowhere or that train BLAMO.

  6. Someone Else
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    At least in this episode, the author is aware of cliches and puts an effort to avoid them

    • Scamp
      Posted December 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      That’s exactly what he’s not doing. He’ deliberately putting in the cliches to contrast them with the dangerous undercurrent

      • Someone Else
        Posted December 13, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Oh I see, I must have read the whole post in the wrong way. Thanks for clearing up

  7. Hi
    Posted December 13, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that you brought up the point about the ‘trolled’ OP/ED. It reminds me of when I took a glance at the comments on their page, boy, was I disappointed. It makes me think that most anime viewers are disappointing rejects of society. Harsh huh? Heh.

  8. Posted December 16, 2011 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Not sure if it matters entirely or if you care but I went back and checked and that whole first half of the episode with the 9th wasn’t present in the manga or at the very least the manga that I read.

  9. 3242
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    The piano thing just ruined Murmur’s dub for me, since I thought it was put in by the fansubbers at first.

  10. Duelit
    Posted December 16, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Funimation picked up the series aside from Nico Nico so the releases should be sooner than later now :D It was sad, however, when they exploited Yuno’s crazy side like that. Its true that Steins;Gate captured the essence of doom in its plot, but the skiddish presentation of her psyche every other episode throws me a bit. Sure its one thing to subtly show a scene where they are together in a normal environment but its another to have her flash her “Yandere Eyes” (Still, best face of the year) the entire episode. I’m betting, as far as the trend goes, the next episode will be better.

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