Future Diary continues its trend of following up relatively poor episodes with great episodes. I hope this doesn’t become A Thing, because I don’t want a full half of these series to be tedious dribble and accidental de-pantsing. I would like more Yuki being emotionally tortured by Yuno. Call me a freak, but that’s what I call entertainment. None of yer bunch of pleasant twats being insufferably nice to each other. I want wimps, freaks and psychos pitched together in a battle royale.
Since his general stupidity was a large part of the reason why the last episode was so dull, it’s only right that Yuki was the main reason this episode clicked. Not that he’s stopped being stupid, oh god no. He wouldn’t be Yuki if he wasn’t so brainless. What I loved is how the other characters just sorta rolled with it. Yuno agreeing to punch him in the gut was flat out hilarious, if only for the image of her agreeing with Akise earlier that indeed Yuki was a moron so they needed to use that to their advantage. It does bring up the question of why Yuno, and indeed Akise, fell for him in the first place. Motherly instincts? There was the other vital part to Yuki’s personality in full force in this episode: Mortal Fear and Panic. His controlled falling manoeuver down the hill when trying to run away from Yuno was brilliant. Something has gone gloriously wrong when you’ve started running in fear away from your supposed comrade and towards the lady who controls a platoon of dogs with enhanced iron jaws.
Two observations that bugged me this episode, the first of which I only pegged when I went back for screencaps. How did Yuno figure out Akise wasn’t a diary holder? When everyone’s diaries made that whirring clicking sound they do when the future changes, Yuno looked directly at Akise’s phone and realised it wasn’t making a noise. Obviously his diary might not be his phone, but he was pretending his phone was the diary so obviously something was up.
The other observation comes from that above screencap. Dog lady’s friend clearly stabs her in the hand, right? I knew there was something up with her, and I’m personally convinced she’s a diary holder. Her hat is featured in the OP on a skull, there’s a silhouette that looks a lot like her in Deus’s chamber, which draws the conclusion that she was aiming to stab Yuki’s phone. But for the rest of the episode, there was no bleeding on dog lady’s hand. No bandages, no gripping in pain, no blood, nothing. I thought maybe I had imagined the stab, but there it is, clear as day…umm, clear as night. Is it relevent to the plot that she hid it, or is it just asread being derpy?
I mentioned Yuno’s eyes in the last post, and because of that I found myself paying closer attention to the change in patterns with her eyes. She’s got this weird design where she doesn’t exactly have a pupil. It’s more a slightly darker shade of purple that grows and shrinks depending on how the director feels like we should perceive her in that scene. The more desperation in her eyes, the large the pupil grows. There’s also the fact she seems to have two irises. The more evil menace supposed to be in her eyes, the more they seem to light up, generally when she’s in mid-stab. What amazes me is how the right level of craziness comes across with each of these scenes without me ever realising what they’re doing. I don’t know where exactly in the rules of reading human expression it says that a glowing iris means evil intent. It’s not like anime eyes are a particularly accurate representation of human eyes. All we do know is that instinctively they don’t look right.
It’s part of a much larger subject of how anime teaches us to read its language. There’s the more obvious ones, like the giant sweat drop or the massive stress mark, but everyone knows about these and are aware that they are interpreting what these mean. The crazy Yuno eyes, however, are a sign of a more subtle reading of cartoon drawings that we’re not even necessarily aware of. Future Diary has taught us that these glowing eyes means she’s a psycho. Not that Future Diary has full credit for teaching us that, it’s just added onto years and years of manga refining the way they get their points across. I remember reading once that the earliest pre-WWII manga are rather dull because the authors had to explain the visual language they were using, otherwise people wouldn’t get the jokes. I’m sure, if you traced back far enough, you’d find early examples of Yuno eyes in Tezuka’s manga.
Since we’re talking Yuno’s crazy facial expressions, I have to bring this up. Remember this good old shot from right back in episode 1? Well, this is sort of a thing now.