The rules are simple: Outsmart and kill all the others to become a god.
"What are you scheming?"
"An interesting game."Future Diary
(known as Mirai Nikki
in Japan) is a dark manga
about the asocial Yukiteru Amano
, who obsessively keeps journals. One day, he finds that his imaginary friend Deus Ex Machina
, the lord of time and space, has made his cell phone diary able to predict the future. After getting over the initial shock of having a supernatural cell phone, Yuki enjoys his newfound powers until he comes across a diary entry stating his exact time of death...
After taking out his would-be murderer, Yuki is invited to a gathering with ten other people, where Deus explains that they are now in a Battle Royale
for the position of God
. Some of the diary holders have personal reasons to claim the throne; others are psychotically insane. And soon enough, young Yuki finds himself without any true friends or allies aside from the curiously Yuki-obsessed participant, Yuno Gasai...
The common traits of all twelve diaries are as follows:
- All diaries predict the future. Each diary does so in a different fashion, based on how the owner used it before they were selected.
- Each owner is assigned a number from 1 to 12, and until their identity is discovered by the other owners, is only referred to by that number, Yukiteru, for example, being called the 'First.'
- The diaries can take any shape or form, but the most common by far are cellphones.
- Should a diary owner do something differently or influence events so that the results turn out differently from a diary prediction, the diary changes accordingly. These changes can also influence other diaries should their owner be involved. In short, the futures set by the diaries are not set in stone.
- In particular, if a diary owner's current path leads to their death (particularly at the hands of another diary owner), the diary's entry will contain the words "DEAD END" to warn the owner is at risk and therefore must change the future if they can.
- Most importantly, a diary is its holder's future. If it is damaged beyond working order by whatever or whomever, the diary's owner will cease to exist.
also has two spin-off manga. The first is Mirai Nikki: Mosaics
, focusing on the ninth diary holder Minene Uryu
and expounding on several of the minor characters
. The second is an Alternate Timeline
spin-off, Mirai Nikki: Paradox
, in which Aru Akise
replaces Yuki as the main character.
The manga was licensed by Tokyopop
, and released in the United States as Future Diary
; 10 of its 12 volumes were released before the US branch of the company went under. An animated adaptation aired between October 2011 and April 2012 with a pilot OVA
A live action drama called Mirai Nikki: Another World
began airing in Japan on April 1st, 2012, based in an alternate world featuring a familiar plot but with a new cast of characters, of which some (but not all) strongly resemble the anime cast. Arata Hoshino takes Yuki's place, a Lazy Bum
of a college student who has no interest in his future. That is until he receives a limited release cell phone from his friend Rui Moriguchi which happens to have the Future Diary's powers. Now stuck in his own survival game, with his own version of Yuno for company. The plot however develops into a very different direction from the anime.
An expanded epilogue, titled Mirai Nikki Redial
, has been released, featuring a similar ending to that of the manga.The Future Diary
is licensed by FUNimation
, and all but Redial
has been released.
Compare and contrast Death Note
, which also features a "notebook" as a centerpiece, although in that case the diary controls
the future rather than predicts it. Also compare and contrast Kamen Rider Ryuki
which also features a "There Can Be Only One
" style royale amongst 13 individuals; also compare Dangan Ronpa
, which features a similar Battle Royale setup. See also Devil Survivor
, for the counterpart "Laplace Mail
".Definitely not to be confused with Yume Nikki
, although there may be some connection in there somewhere
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The manga features the following tropes:
- The Abridged Series: By the guy who brought you Higurashi Parody Fandub, found here.
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Yuno is typically armed with a variety of kitchen implements, but the damage she does with them is out of this world.
- Abusive Parents: Yuno's parents were originally nice to her, but soon gave her only enough food to barely survive to condition her into an "elite" person and imprisoned her in a small cage at the tiniest infraction. The depths of their insanity are particularly exemplified in how they kept and posted for her view detailed statistics on each such infraction, from talking back to coming in late, which is why she eventually reversed the situation and kept them captive in the cage, waiting for them to turn back into doting parents. They never did, so she never let them out.
- It's revealed later on however that her mother was the abusive one while her father wasn't around to stop it making it Parental Neglect in his case. The anime also portrays her mom as being not all there and mentally unstable like Yuno as well.
- Adult Fear: Yuno, who stalks and obsesses over Yukiteru to the point of creeping him out. Mind you, real-life stalking and possessive lovers are NOT fun things to deal with.
- Nay-Theist: Minene. Until she became a diary holder she only attacked religious targets, due to losing her parents in a religious struggle as a child. Her attitude comes off as justified, in a Strawman Has a Point kind of way, when you think about it. Her beliefs are basically that if there is a God, he is unworthy of reverence because he is clearly indifferent to human suffering — if not outright malevolent. The whole backstory bekind Mirai Nikki is that Deus, who to all practical purposes is God, considers the best solution to the problem "I'm dying and I need to choose a replacement" to be "pick a dozen deeply deranged and often violent individuals and incite them to kill each other until only one survives, and never mind how many innocent bystanders die along the way!"
- Necromantic: Yuki becomes a rare protagonist version after his parents die. He decides to win the game to bring them back to life. It won't work.
- Nobody Poops: Subverted in that Yuno mentions taking care of Yuki's "potty breaks" when she kidnaps and holds him hostage and she later has to pee in a corner in front of Yuki while they are hiding out.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Yuki's friends try to warn him that not even God could bring back the dead. They get killed by Yuki for their efforts.
- Non-Action Guy: Until he Took a Level in Badass, Yuki didn't do much fighting. Yuno was usually the one to kill their enemies. The Seventh diary holders eventually called him on it.
- Off Model: This series is neither well animated or consistent in its art style.
- Off with His Head!: It's how Akise dies.
- Official Couple: Yukiteru/Yuno, Marco/Ai, Nishjima/Minene, and a bit surprisingly, 3rd-world Yukiteru/Wakaba. Also, in the anime Kamado Ueshita and John Balks are unambiguously shown to be a couple in the 3rd-world.
- Once More with Clarity: When Minene was asking for info about how Eleventh's diary works. Deus runs his arm through her though it was dismissed as an illusion and was never mentioned again. Later it was revealed that Deus had transferred half of his powers to her to combat a threat which is threatening the flow of the game and makes her forget about it for a while until the right time.
- Only Sane Man:
- Yuki starts off as this, but then loses it when his parents die.
- The Eighth is relatively sane — she doesn't have the will to kill. Her children, on the other hand, do. The only reason why the kids are fighting though is because they want to protect the woman who raised them from the other diary holders.
- OVA: The manga was given an 8-minute one in September 2010 that rapidly covers the first several chapters.
- Personality Powers: Each one of the diaries reads the future in a different way, this as a result that each Diary reflects its Holders, in terms of personality, traits, desires, etc. Thus, each has a name.
- The First's diary (Random/Indiscriminate) reflects on him being an indifferent, reclusive bystander.
- The Second's diary (Love) reflects her obsessive love towards the First.
- The Third's diary (Murder) refects his murderous tendencies.
- The Fourth's diary (Case/Investigation) reflects his job as the police chief.
- The Fifth's diary (Hyper Vision) reflects his childish impatience.
- The Sixth's diary (Clairvoyance) reflects her role as the leader of a cult.
- The Seventh's diaries (Exchange) reflect their mutual love as a couple.
- The Eighth's diary (Server) reflects her kind and giving personality.
- The Ninth's diary (Escape) reflects her survivalist nature. It also reflects her desire to escape from all the hardships she endured since childhood, and to be saved from it.
- The Tenth's diary (Breeder) reflects his obsession with his dogs.
- The Eleventh's diary (Watcher) reflects his megalomania as well as his status as the creator of all diaries.
- The Twelfth's diary (Justice) reflects his justice seeking outlook.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Each diary has its own strengths and weaknesses, thus, one diary's strength can be another's weakness and similarly, a diary strength can balance another's weakness. An example is how Yukiteru's diary predicts things around him, but does not predict things about him. Coupled with Yuno's diary (which predicts everything Yukiteru does), the two diaries make a near perfect prediction of future events. Another example is when Twelfth pointed out that Tsubaki's Cairvoyance Diary trumps Minene's Escape Diary, since Tsubaki's diary predicts a wider scope than Minene's.
- The Plan: In a series about dueling future readers with magical diaries, you need to do this to get anything done. Thankfully, due to the... unstable nature of the future (with up to 12 people actively changing and screwing with it), there are no plans which are durable enough to get to the Roulette stage of gambitting.
- Plot-Induced Stupidity: Without this, the plot would be stupifyingly complicated. As it is, though, the main character often only checks his diary just before or after an event. Even though it is initially described as being able to see 90 days into the future, it is very rare for anyone to even bother to read more than a little bit ahead. Vaguely justified in that the future is constantly changing whenever any of the diary holders does anything at all while knowing the future, so anything more than the immediate future would be pretty useless.
- Please Dump Me: Chapter 56 has Yuno doing everything she can to get Yukiteru to hate her.
- Poisonous Friend: Yuno is about as poisonous a friend as her body's volume of plutonium.
- P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl
- Pre-Climax Climax: Yuno and Yuki.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality
- Psychotic Love Triangle
- Quit Your Whining: Kosaka calls out Yuki after he murders his friends.
- Rape as Backstory: Tsubaki. Also Ai and Marco's backstory in the anime; he interrupts an attack on Ai.
- Reality-Writing Book: Future Diary features journals which contain the future entries of characters, allowing them to see what they'll experience in the future, and react to them. The journals change as they do things. Most of these journals take the form of diaries entered into cellphones. However, Sixth has hers on a scroll, Fifth's on a picture book, Twelfth's on a voice recorder, and Eleventh's on a tablet.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
- Marco gives Yukiteru a healthy dose of this during every encounter they have. He says that Yuki and Yuno will never beat him and Ai simply because Yuki is a coward that lets Yuno fight all of his battles and never gets his own hands dirty. This occurs the first time after they have just knocked Yuno down and right before Mar throws Yuki from a balcony.
- Even after Yuki tries to change his ways, he is still given one of these in the form of a The Reason We Suck Speech by Yuno in Chapter 57 as she tells Yuki the reality of their relationship.
- Which would make both Yuki and Yuno a case of Becoming the Mask as their experiences together sparked genuine and mutual love.
- Redemption Equals Death:
- Yuki believes so, and as he asks Yuno to kill him and become God he thinks to himself that it's his atonement for killing all those people. In response, Yuno from the first world stabs herself and dies. Her memories are transferred to the third world Yuno.
- Red Shirt: The policemen and the orphans.
- Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: A few days after the confinement incident, the attacks of Seventh forces Yuki and Yuno to come back together to beat Seventh. It helps that after this Yuki was convinced by Seventh to reevaluate their relationship and give Yuno an important Armor-Piercing Question about her love for him.
- Reset Button Ending: An inversion on the usual good-to-bad, in that the '2nd-world', in which the story takes place, ends, and they create the '3rd-world', in which everyone — including most of the diary holders — live happily ever after.
- Sadistic Choice: In Chapter 55, Yuno forces one of these on Yuki after they, Minene, and Mur Mur jump back in time. Either Yuki hands over the third world's Yuno to be killed, or first world Yuno will kill Yuki's parents.
- Sakurami Is The Center Of The Universe: Almost every diary holder, who are destined to rule over all of space and reality (and the 6 billion people on this planet in that regard), live in Sakurami.
- Justified — Deus Did It. He chose Sakurami because John Balks, its mayor, and Eleventh Diary Holder, asked him to.
- Also justified that the game has to finish in 90 days, or else Deus dies, and the universe with him. Stretching out even a fraction of the twelve across the globe would likely guarantee a longer game than that.
- Screw Destiny: These are people with future-predicting diaries fighting to become a god. Of course this is going to happen.
- Scry vs. Scry: The entire premise. The protagonist Yukiteru and tritagonist Minene are co gods of this trope.note
- Self-Made Orphan: Yuno. Subverted by the revelation that she was actually adopted, so it wasn't her biological parents she killed.
- Shades of Conflict: A combination of Black and Gray Morality and Evil Versus Evil.
- Shipper on Deck: Yuki's mom seems absolutely intent on getting Yuno "closer" to her son. Chalk it up to Values Dissonance.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Yuno's crush on Yuki. Also Akise, both in the spinoff Paradox as well as in the MAIN storyline.
- Sleuth Dates Cop: Uryuu (9th) has Detective Nijishima, who swings between wanting to help her and wanting to help someone else in favor of her throughout the series. Near the end, he decides he wants to help her because he has fallen for her. He proposes about ten minutes screen time before his death. At the end, she goes back in time and marries him before he was supposed to die, and averts his death.
- Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: Yuno's Yandere behavior can be this at times, especially when combined with Yuki's facial reactions.
- Snicket Warning Label: Inverted. The series ends on a downer note with Yuki sulking in a void of nothingness and 2nd-world Mur Mur reading the same manga for the ten millionth time. 3rd-world Yuno, while now well-adjusted, still feels that there is something missing. The manga lists some credits, and cuts to a black double-page spread. Then comes Future Chapter One — 1st-world Yuno has managed to sync her memories with 3rd-world Yuno and smashes the time-space continuum open with the Biscuit Hammer, allowing her and Yuki to reunite. 3rd-world Deus decides to not hold a game and instead appoints Yuki and Yuno as the new gods of the 3rd-world automatically, and everyone lives more-or-less happily ever after.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Yuno's nickname for Yuki should be written as "Yukii" if you go off the katakana for it, though Tokyopop writes it as "Yuki" instead. Most scanlations stick to the former.
- More notably, the Eleventh's name is romanized as John Balks in most of the scanlations and the dub, but Tokyopop and the Niconico subs romanize it as John Bacchus.
- That cute little girl in the Causality Hall, ムルムル? Most translations and webpages romanize it as "Muru Muru" or "Murumuru", but the opening for the series reads clearly "Mur mur" (in two lines) in the background behind her. Any relation?.
- Spanner in the Works: Minene near the end of the manga, by Deus's own intervention.
- Stab the Scorpion: Happens a ridiculous amount of times in the series.
- One chapter ends with Yuki looking as if he's going to abandon Yuno when Akise reveals that she's not the real Yuno. Next chapter reveals that he let go of her hand so that he could push to the ground to avoid gunfire from the Eleventh Diary Holder.
- Subverted later in the twin towers when Minene points her gun at Yuki. Turns out there was just a mook behind him. She then explains that she will kill him if the plan fails, and nearly does. Ends up truly being double Subverted once she doesn't go through with shooting him and instead helps him to reach Eleventh.
- Stalker with a Crush: Yuno. In one of the more disturbing chapters, right after the hero and audience think she's not so bad, the girl drugs the hero and chains him to a chair. Of course, this is after we learn that she killed her parents.
- Stalking Is Love:
- This series loves playing ping-pong with this trope. The status of it by the end seems to be "Stalking is love, but only because you're as crazy as her now."
- In Chapter 57, Yuki states that he fell in love with Yuno because "she was always by his side".
- Star-Crossed Lovers: Yuki and Yuno will never be together, since one of them needs to die to complete the Survival Game. At the end, Yuno dies to ensure Yuki lives, but her memories are given to her third world self and she becomes god to be with Yuki.
- Stealth Insult: Yuno does this during the second fight with Sevenths after recovering her and Yukiteru's diaries. She comments that the diaries that were put on display by Sevenths were obviously fakes and that only an idiot would mistake them for the real ones. Yukiteru's father made that exact mistake moments earlier.
- Suicide Pact: 1st-world Yuki and Yuno decide to do this, as neither could stand the thought of killing the other to become god. Subverted in that Yuno fakes her death, attempting to bring Yuki back to life by becoming god. Unfortunately, in the Future Diary universe, it is possible to bring a person back from death but the god's power can only bring back the body, not the soul of the person. All the god gets is an empty shell should they attempt it. Yuno is not pleased at this last bit of news, to say the least.
- Supernatural Phone: The series has almost every major character having and using a supernatural cellphone or similar device that can tell the future in various ways.
- Superpower Lottery: The Future Diaries. There are vast differences in their ability to predict, each with its own weaknesses.
- The First's is one of the strongest but still has the weakness that it doesn't predict his own actions.
- On the other hand, Second has the weakest diary, only predicting one person's actions. But she links up with said person — First. Their diaries complement each other and together are much more powerful than either one individually.
- Then there is Fifth who can only make three predictions a day.
- Fourth's can only predict crime cases.
- Let's not even get into the Eighth's Diary and what it does and gives to Akise.
- Ninth's is constantly updated with escape routes. It fits well with her survivalist personality.
- The undeniable winner of the lottery is Eleventh, who can see other diary users' diaries.
- Take-That Kiss: Tsubaki and later Akise plant one of these on Yuki when they think they have Yuno cornered. Unfortunately for them, Yuno doesn't like that one bit.
- Taking the Bullet: Nishijima takes a grand total of eight bullets for Minene and dies. If both of them had survived, Minene would have married Nishijima and gave up being a terrorist. Tear drops...
- Taking You with Me: How Twelfth wants to finish Sixth. Yuno kills him.
- Also when Yuno was fighting Kurusu and his goons in the hospital.
- Subverted in the fact that Yuno probably didn't know that the grenade she used was only a flash bang. Nobody ended up dying.
- Talking Is a Free Action: Oh, so much. "Yuki! There's a mine one meter in front of you! Go to the left!" Doesn't sound ridiculous, until you realize that he's sprinting forward, and Yuno's shouting directions to him. And it's commented that he's a good runner, too.
- The anime makes this more believable: "Yuki! To the left! ... Now the right!"
- Texting is also a free action. Most of the diary holders have lightning-fast thumbs.
- Reading seems to be a free action too, since in various occasions characters are shown being able to predict their opponent's moves by reading their diaries. During fist-fights. Between one blow and the next one. Yes, characters close in on their opponent, then, while the opponent is dealing a blow, look at the diary, read the next move and dodge accordingly. They are able to do all this in the time a punch takes to be dealt.
- Tears of Fear: Yuki, especially in the beginning.
- Teens Are Monsters: The protagonists, hands down.
- Their First Time: Chapter 52. Twisted later, as Yuki confronts Yuno on Akise's message and she goes Ax-Crazy.
- There Are No Adults: Vastly averted. Although the two main characters are school age, others are not, and the school-aged kids' parents end up central to the plot. That is to say, dead most of the time.
- There Are No Therapists: Considering most of, if not all the characters, can be classified as mentally unstable if not outright insane, you think half the cast would be in an asylum by now.
- There Can Be Only One: God has apparently decided that if he's going to die anyway, he might as well see people fight to the death first. And what better way to chose a successor? Subverted in the end, as 3rd-world Deus permits both 2nd-world Yukiteru and 3rd-world Yuno to succeed him.
- Together in Death: The Seventh.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- According to Mur Mur, Third is seen as this.
- Tsubaki, did you just kiss Yuki in front of Yuno?
- Akise crosses into this when he kisses Yukiteru in front of Yuno to get her to attack him.
- Well, to be fair, Akise no one but Murmur and Yuno knew she had a second diary.
- The police officer who got shot by Yuki. He confronted an extremely frightened teen with a gun in an enclosed staircase. So what does he do? Fires a warning shot.
- Took a Level in Badass: After his father is killed, Yuki retaliated against his would-be assassins using the knife which took his father's life, his darts, and blocking gunfire directed at him by using one of the assassins as a meat shield.
- Yuno takes a level during the fight with the Sevenths, when Yuki's praise gives her the motivation to block half a dozen thrown knives in an instant.
- Tsundere: Mur Mur pegs Minene as one as she watches the Dating Catwoman antics between her and Nishijima. While Minene insists that she's not going to follow some "shojo manga formula", she can't seem to shake Nishijima off of her, culminating with him proposing, getting her uncharacteristically flustered.
- In Chapter 56, Yuno's feelings for the 2nd-world Yuki are very confusing, so she plays this trope with her unique style:
Yuno: No, no no no! I've already abandoned this Yukki! I don't like him or anything.
Not only that, I'm the one trying to kill him right now! Yuno's phone screen: Yukki said that he'd even die for me. I'm so happy!
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Eighth. She is a gigantic, Pillsbury Doughboy-like woman roughly three times the size of the children she takes care of. No one seems to notice this, beyond a one-shot joke.
- Villain Protagonist: Oh, and how. The female lead would kill anyone, as would the male lead, later.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- Yuki calls Yuno on her claim that she locked and chained him up in her room and tried to kill his friends because she loved him.
- In Chapter 50, Kosaka calls out Yuki on his cowardly decision to kill all of his friends rather than face the Awful Truth they were trying to tell him. He is later called out on this again, this time by Yuno of all people. This time it sinks in.
- Why Can't I Hate You?:
- Chapter 56 has an inversion. Yuno desperately tries to get Yuki to hate her so that she can kill him with no regrets, up to and including killing his parents in front of him.
- Played straight when she finds out that she still loves him. She goes even crazier than before.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Yuno Gasai. By the time the 3rd-world rolls around, people will want to give her a big hug.
- Also, Tsubaki becomes one of these when her tragic past in revealed.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Yuki gives one of these speeches to Yuno, telling her he loves her and that she is irreplaceable to him. He vows to save her, all while climbing up a sheer cliff with his bare hands.
- Yandere: Yuno isn't just an example, she's the poster girl and goddess.
- In case we haven't hammered it home that Yuno is the mascot of this trope, it's now become a rather large trend to copy other characters, Yandere or not, onto Yuno's face from the first episode in the anime. You probably know at as 'The Yandere Face.' meme. They sell posters of her making said face at some Hot Topics, even though the anime had just finished airing in Japan. Poster girl indeed.
- People love Yuno because of this. Really, really love her. There are people that read this manga solely for this reason.
- Year X: The series is set in 20XX.
- You Are Number Six
- Younger Than They Look: Other than Yuki, none of the middle school characters actually look like they're in middle school. Particularly the girls.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Deus.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Chapter 54 comes across as an epilogue, until the last two pages in which Minene comes back to save Yuki.
The anime features the following tropes:
The live action drama features the following tropes
Mirai Nikki: Another World tropes
- A God I Am: Deus.
- Alternate Universe: Hence the title.
- All Deaths Final
- Ax-Crazy: The new Yuno, although not as much as her other self. That could change, though.
- Chekhov's Gun: Haruna has a tazer which she uses to defend herself and Arata during their visit to Chronus. This tazer also leads to the death of Rui.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Whoever locked Arata, Megumi and Yuno into the warehouse disappears without a trace. It's Haruna.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Yuno.
- Creepy Basement: Yuno has one in her house. She keeps someone trapped there.
- Death by Irony: Megumi death is caused by their inability to trust another player
- Dreaming The Truth: Arata eventually starts remembering how he and Yuno met.
- Driven to Suicide: Kibe decides that they won't be anyone's pawn. They then destroy their diary, rather than be subject to the rules of the game.
- Expy: Most of the characters are expies of the manga cast, most notably Yuno is pretty much the same characters minus the pink hair and now nineteen.
- Averted in Arata's case. He is meant to be like Yuki, but actually has friends, is very apathetic, takes a surprising interest in Yuno and takes a stand against the serial killer.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Arata's father Kurou, a fellow diary holder, is stabbed by the serial killer, to save his son.
- Rui runs in front of Haruna to prevent them from killing Arata. Unfortunately, Arata's savior is forced off of the bridge they were all on in the process.
- Insane Troll Logic: Kurou's diary shows him that his wife would be killed by a burglar soon. So what does he do to save her life? DIVORCE HER AND ABANDON HIS FAMILY! Instead of, say, just telling her to stay inside the house that night. That'd have been too easy.
- Lazy Bum: Arata.
- Love Makes You Crazy: Episode 2 has shown Yuno has these traits, forcing Arata to tie her up temporarily.
- Stalker with a Crush: Yuno, as expected.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Haruna gives this to Arata, claiming that he sacrifices everyone else, rather than take responsibility for his actions and his status as a player in the game.
- There Can Only Be One: It has not been said how many diary holders there are in the drama but the rule still stands that the last person standing shall be the winner.
- You Don't Look Like You: Deus appears in the show as a talking, purple, sun-shaped emoticon. Although this may be a mere representation since he is God.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Rui's sister.