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.
Mirai Nikki 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 whichAru 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 released beforehand.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. Most are expies of the original characters with some differences. 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.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".Definitelynot to be confused withYume Nikki, although there may be some connection in there somewhere.
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.
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.
Tsubaki's backstory can hit too close for comfort for victims of rape.
Then she tries to inflict the same gang-rape to Yuno. Yes, she may be an Ax-Crazy yandere, but even she doesn't deserve that! Imagine being in Yukiteru's shoes, especually when he hears Yuno's terrified screams, and especially in the anime where she's stripped down to her underwear while resisting and screaming—poor Yukki has to witness the sight of that, but thankfully saves her in the nick of time.
All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": Actually an in-universe example: since the diaries all give the DEAD END of the user, it forces the user to change tactics in order to avoid it. However, there are unwritten portions that are found within the diary, and, when given the option, the user can take that hidden option, such as when Yukiteru decides to open a suspicious door in Yuno's house that causes every Diary to be rewritten and even surprises Deus.
It's shown that the 3rd world is less of a Crapsack World than the 1st world because all of the events that made the main characters' lives crap and motivated them to turn evil never happened. Almost everybody (including Yuno) lives happy, normal lives.
Note that this is mostly because the game was scrapped once the Mayor read Second World!Yuki's diary and talked with Deus to forget about it. Since the game, and thus the diary creations did not happen, the Twelfth, Eighth, Sevenths, and Third did not die due to the events that occurred because of them. The commotion stopped the Sixth's parents from dying, which prevented the Ometaka cult from degrading, and consequently prevented the corruption and death of the Fifth's parents, which also led to him being a normal little boy. Minene got Kurusu (the Fourth) to check his son ahead of time, so his son was saved, eliminating his reason for his Face Heel Turn IF the diaries had been made. God!Yuno's death ended the struggle, which caused Third World!Yuno's mother to show she still loved her family. This led to Third World!Yuno being a normal girl. The rest is inherent to the world however, as Hinata and her father (the Tenth) reconciled, Yuki's parents never divorced and thus, he did not grow up thinking himself a failure. This ostensibly led to him developing the confidence to becoming a couple with his original crush. The only thing that didn't change was that Third World!Minene was still a terrorist at large.
Aluminum Christmas Trees: "Cell Phone Diaries" are not uncommon at all in Japan, but the practice is nigh-unheard of in the west, leading to the set-up to be a little funky for audiences unfamiliar with the subtler aspects of modern Japanese culture.
Always in Class One: Averted. Yukiteru and Yuno are both in class 2-B initially, and they end up in 2-C and 2-D respectively in their new school. While that can still be considered somewhat lazy, it looks like this was a deliberate aversion.
Attempted Rape: Tsubaki orders her servants to gang rape Yuno, the same way they did to her for years, as a way to draw out Yuki and kill them both. Yuki manages to destroy her diary before anything happens.
This pretty much sums up the majority of the cast, really.
In Chapter 57, there is Mur Mur's true form.
Ars Goetia: Mur Mur and Gremory from the manga adaptation of Redial appear in the story.
Babies Ever After: The epilogue depicts 3rd-world Ai (Seventh) and 2nd-world Minene (Ninth); the first of which is pregnant and the second of which has two babies... who have apparently inherited part of Deus's power which was in her.
Badass: Yuno without a doubt. Naturally smart and cunning, she's also deadly with just about any weapon from melee weapons to guns; a true armsmaster.
He definitely earned his title of the strongest non-Diary holder in his spin-off, Paradox, where in one fell swoop, he seduces the Sixth, befriends the Fifth, and allies himself with one half of the Seventh and one of the Eighth's followers, all without use of a diary. This because he got bored of following Yuki's path, and so decided to Screw Destiny.
Later, he obtains a secondary diary from the Eighth, allowing him to scry the actions of diary holders and fool their predictions. He ends up losing it in the chapter following its debut, however.
Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted in Chapter 52 after being played straight for the rest of the series.
In Chapter 54 Minene saves Yuki from falling off a cliff he was climbing.
Big Entrance: Twelfth (Yomotsu Hirasaka) does this when introducing himself to the First, Second, and Sixth in a manner that imitates the Power Rangers thanks to giant explosions going off in the background, a deranged entrance speech, and a five man group colored in 5 different colors doing a "Super Sentai" Stance.
In the first chapter, when Yuki almost stabs Yuno, she tells him "You didn't stab me, that's not the future." In the final chapter, Yuno considers stabbing Yuki, but stabs herself instead, saying "I can't stab you, that's not the kind of future it'll be."
Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: At the end of Chapter 23 when Yuki asks Yuno why she can't leave some luggage. She says she can't because of important things like "underwear, towels, meds, and a bunch of other stuff". The "other stuff" is shown to the viewer as the skeletal heads of her parents.
The Starscream: In the last few chapters, Yuno becomes Yukiteru's final enemy after he refuses to kill her and he discovers she is actually the Yuno from an Alternate Timeline.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Yuno chains Yuki up and feeds him herself, Yuki refuses to eat. It doesn't help that she's in her underwear and sitting on his lap. The following conversation occurs:
Hinata: He doesn't want it! Yuno: Nah, he's pleased with it.
Yuki is shown to act this way towards Tsubaki, quickly trusting her and wanting to protect her. Granted, some of this is probably due to the fact that she looked to him like a beautiful Damsel in Distress that is one of the few sane people he had seen recently. Too bad he's very wrong.
Akise is shown to act this way towards Yuki in the Alternate Timeline spin-off Paradox. He just met Yuki, yet quickly decides to use Mur Mur's wish she promised him to save Yuki and comes to the conclusion that he's going to fight in Yuki's place, allowing Yuki to become God.
Distressed Dude: Yukiteru spends the better portion of an entire issue chained to a wall.
Downer Ending: Subverted at the very end of the manga. The series ends with Yuno dead and Yukiteru moping about it for 10,000 years, not even bothering trying to recreate his own world. Then you reach the epilogue which goes full reverse into an Earn Your Happy Ending. The anime plays it straight until The Stinger and Redial OVA.
Drum Bathing: Near the end, Yukiteru and Yuno take a bath in a oil drum together.
Easily Forgiven: Yuki forgives people a little too easily, especially his crazy girlfriend.
Taken up to eleven when he forgives his own scumbag father for killing his mom in the span of one episode.
There are several examples of this throughout the story. Yuki being forgiven by the police, even though he accidentally shot one of them in the stomach. But particularly Yuno, who killed and dismembered several police officers but was allowed to walk free. There's also how Minene kills many of Yuki's schoolmates, and this is apparently forgotten soon afterwords until near the end on the series when Kosaka mentions it.
Ecchi: The series occasionally delves into this, mostly with Yuno.
Yuki shares a number of character traits with Shinji, especially in the beginning. Both are timid and lonely but unable to connect with the people around them even if they really want to and forced to fight even though they really don't want to. Both seem to want their father back in their lives, but both end up betrayed. The main difference seems to be that Yuki has his mother and Yuno, the latter being something of a mixed blessing.
Deus himself looks a bit like an Eva in some panels of the manga.
Akise is a close expy of Kaworu from the same series, and the Japanese dub even gives him the same seiyuu. The parallel is at the same time taken further than expected with the revelation that Akise is an Artificial Human created by Deus, just like Kaworu is an Angel, and harshly subverted when Deus denies that Akise's love for Yuki is genuine and an example of Akise's "free will", while it's commonly accepted that Kaworu's love for Shinji, born from his free will, was what made him disobey his orders.
Minene can also be considered as an expy of Misato.
Kurusu seems to be modeled after Kaji in his first appearance but his willingness to perform a Face-Heel Turn in order to become God for his family, specifically to save his dying son make him more similar to Gendo in personality. 5/6 expies!
Everyone Calls Him "First": The diary owners are all referred to by the order in which they were given their diaries. Most of the diary holders don't even get any other name most of the time they are mentioned. Particular mention goes to Tenth(not called by his real name until his murder is being investigated) and Twelfth(his real name isn't even mentioned until his diary states his death).
Evil All Along: In Chapter 50, Akise claims that Yuno is the actual villain, who used Yukiteru, and plans to drive him to the brink of despair and kill him in order for her to become God. Of course, Akise is the one who said it, so who knows if it's actually true. As of Chapter 53, it seems that Akise was right and wrong at the same time. Yuno wants to kill him, but only so they can betogether forever via an endless time loop.
Food As Bribe: In the last chapter of Mosaic, Akise uses Minene's hunger to get her to compete in a beauty pageant with the incentive that she can use the prize money to buy herself food. He keeps it up by deliberately eating food in front of her as a constant reminder to why she's competing.
Gainax Ending: The manga epilogue most certainly counts. 1st-world Yuno commits suicide because she can't hurt Yuki. This leaves Yuki as God of the 2nd-world, only he's so depressed about it he doesn't do anything and lives in a vacuum for 10,000 with only Mur Mur for company. Then Yuno breaks the walls of time and space with a hammer. It turns out third world Yuno inherited 1st-world Yuno's memories. Then, 3rd-world Deus invites the two to become his successor — presumably this is because they've both already won the game once each. Both get a Happy End from this.
Played with — despite all appearances, none of the characters believe themselves to be God or have Godlike powers. They are competing for his position, but each has their own, unique, reason for wanting the position and power, very little to do with their ego. Not to say the reasons are good...
Gratuitous English: Akise agrees to give Hinata his diary provided she can guess which hand he's holding a coin in. LEFT OR RIGHT?
The 2nd OP is entirely in ENGRISH.
Grotesque Cute: Particular mention should be given to Yuno, Reisuke, and Mur Mur.
Heel Face Door Slam: Remember Yuki's father? The guy that only came back into Yuki's life to steal and then break his cellphone so that his debt will get paid off? Remember how he took Yuki's parachute to escape, leaving his son to die? Remember when he stabbed and murdered his ex-wife to avoid going to the police? Well, he had just spent the entire day praying for forgiveness and buying a telescope to watch the stars with his son. He promises Yuki to turn himself in...right before he gets stabbed in the stomach, while his son watches. Door slam, indeed.
In the Alternate Timeline spin-off Paradox, Akise maintains that he isn't gay — he only feels this way about Yuki. This is also Akise's reason to Screw Destiny in Chapter 48 of the main storyline. He states directly to Deus's face that he loves Yuki, which is why he meddles with others' plans beyond the will of Deus.
In the main storyline there's Mao, who's not-so-secretly in love with Hinata — she can't stop looking at/thinking about/lusting after/recording in a diary Hinata's impressive bust (for a 14 year old).
Ironic Echo: In the manga, Minene outs Yukiteru as The First by reading the look in his eyes when she pieces together the clues leading to his identity. Later on, Yukiteru manages to avoid running on one of her landmines by reading her in the same way.
Yukiteru: You said it yourself! The eyes have it! *cue Eye Scream*
Just Hit Him: Double Subverted in Chapter 23. After the flash grenade explosion, when Yukiteru and Kurusu regain consciousness, Kurusu grabs Yukiteru and actually starts to beat him up... but then either throws him or lets him fall down, with Yukiteru conveniently landing right next to the dropped gun.
Kill 'em All: In the 2nd-world, literally everyone — except Yukiteru (god) and Mur Mur — dies. Even after killing every character with a face (except Minene, who bails out to the 3rd-world), the world simply ceases to exist. Which by that stage is probably euthanasia. Of course, in the 3rd-world, all the characters live happy lives.
Knife Nut: Yuno prefers the ax, but she knows her way around knives too.
Yuno wanted to meet Yuki's mother, but she was worried that him mom wouldn't like her. So she brought some tools with her just in case, and by tools she meant a duffel bag filled with knives.
This was more of a subversion or playing with the idea of a Lotus Eater Machine used as Fridge Horror. While the Machine is utilized, Yukiteru is VERY aware he's in one as he's flat out told so and Yuno does nothing to mess with his mind or memories. So it's more like a very pleasant jail in which he can have anything he wants than a true Lotus Eater Machine.
Manipulative Bastard: Happens with almost Death Note-esque frequency. A particularly disturbing mention must be given to Yuno in Chapter 49. Akise has stabbed Yuno and left her for dead and is trying to reach Yuki before he kills the Eighth and Hinata/Mao/Kosaka. Yuno, bleeding to death on the ground, calls Yuki and tells him that her diary told her that they were going to betray and kill him. Yuki, in the middle of a mental breakdown at the time, believes her and shoots Hinata. Yuno, on the other line, starts laughing her butt off, while a shot of her diary reveals that Yuki's friends weren't lying. She didn't want them to have him.
The kanji for "Gasai" (seen here) means "my wife".
Not to mention Juno "the goddess of marrige" which according to the Master Wiki is pronounced "Yuno". Coincidence?
The fact that Juno was the most possessively jealous yandere goddess helps a lot. Also, Yukiteru's own name is a corruption of "Jupiter".
Heck, all the diary holders have names that associate them with some Roman god or goddess.
Each Diary has an identifier attached to it, reflecting how each diary was used before the game and thus how each diary reflects future entries in the game. For example, Yuno's is the Love Diary; her entries always center around Yuki. Yuki's is the Random (or Indiscriminate) Diary; the fact he took note of everything around him (though notably not of him) means his Diary is one of the most powerful in terms of sheer information.
Listen to Deus Ex Machina's leitmotif ("Egoist"). The choir in the background constantly chants the names of Roman gods.
A Million Is a Statistic: The conflict between the diary holders has resulted in a total body count that numbers somewhere in the hundreds. Most of the diary holders have no reservations against killing countless innocent bystanders in pursuit of each other, and even the First, Yuki, ends up crossing his moral boundaries.
Moment Killer: Nothing gets in the way of a marriage proposal like learning that the Big Bad has succeeded in his plan when you thought you'd foiled it.
Yuno invariably kills her own moments. Usually by doing something completely insane.
Mood Whiplash: The relationship between Yuki and Yuno constantly and abruptly switches between "Aww aren't they such a cute couple" and "What the hell is wrong with that girl?!"
Moral Dissonance: In the later chapters, Yuki's plans to win the game involve having Yuno murder the Eighth's children so they can seize her diary, and later, murder innocent bystanders in order to cause a huge stir and put the Eleventh and his diary at a disadvantage. Somewhat justified by Yuki's desire to become a god at all costs after having had his parents killed. In his defense, he did keep a list of the people he killed so that he could remember to resurrect them all later. Of course, that would only work if he was truly able to bring them back.
Yuno went from having an appropriately-sized chest for a middle schooler (fairly small in the beginning) to having large breasts in the course of about two chapters.
In one of the last few chapters, she gets her HAPPY END sans censoring.
Minene also gets in on the action occasionally. At one point, Twelfth chains her up in her underwear sans bra, with only Godiva Hair to protect her naughty bits. Oh, and she gets a gratuitous Shower Scenewithout censoring twice in the series.
Mummies at the Dinner Table: Yuno keeps her parents' corpses in a cage and talks with them. Later, she chops off their heads and carries the decayed skulls around with her.
Mundane Utility: In the grace period between Yukiteru getting his diary and Deus announcing the game, Yukiteru uses it for things like cheating on a test.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Both Yuno and Akise (in Paradox) are willing to do this and much more in order to keep Yuki for themselves.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Originally Yukiteru alone was supposed to have this position, but due to Yuno keeping him from having free range of movement which prevents him from fulfilling his responsibilities. His way of resolving this was to give part of the position to someone else more available and he decided it would be Minene.
Self-Made Orphan: Yuno. Subverted by the revelation that she was actually adopted, so it wasn't her biological parents she killed.
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?.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The anime includes some parts of the Mosaic spin-off.
Takao Hiyama (The Third) also got a bit more screentime to better illustrate his presence in the first episode.
Some things from the manga are reworked to make more sense (such as averting the Talking Is a Free Action described above, and changing a room filling up with concrete into a room filling with gas).
Some content is added between scenes from the manga (such as Yukiteru's futile attempts to inform Kurusu about the dead bodies in Yuno's house).
In the anime adaptation of Yukiteru's and Yuno's second battle with Seventh, there is an added scene of Yukiteru's father asking Yukiteru to give him his cellphone and promising to buy him a new one after his debts are erased, indicating that he didn't know that breaking the phone would kill Yukiteru. In the manga it wasn't made clear whether he knew this or not.
Also expanded is the Seventh's past together, with a story from their high school days, leading to Rape as Backstory for Ai and Interrupted Suicide for Marco. It also adds more to Marco's reason for not leaving Ai in the tower, despite him also being injured.
The anime also expands on Yuno's family situation and the reason why her mother's depression led her to take such abusive measures. Apparently Saika felt she couldn't fulfill her role as a wife to her husband for being unable to conceive a child, and felt neglected herself as she had trouble dealing with his long work hours and business trips. He also either missed or ignored her phone calls to him while he was away. Coupled with this was the fact that she also felt like a terrible mother to her adoptive daughter as well; she believed that neither of them loved her or wanted her in their lives. She demanded so much of herself that she started pushing equally high demands on Yuno as well, taking out her own feelings of inadequacy on Yuno in the form of abuse.
The time spent in the 3rd-world in general, from the other characters' lives to the fight scenes between the last survivors of the second world, is expanded upon.
The Redial OVA shows what happened leading up to Yuno finally reuniting with Yuki.
Altum Videtur: The first opening features a rapid firing-off of the names of the Dii Consentes, the twelve Roman gods and goddesses that were considered to be the highest deities. In the manga, the twelve diary holders (each already a potential god) are named and themed after one of the gods with Bacchus added and Neptune replaced with Pluto (then again, Minene Uryuu also references Neptune).
Art Shift: Weirdly done with some Medium Blending at the end of Episode 5 in Mur Mur's ending segment with Twelfth; the art is suddenly some crudely made clay figures in stop-motion, with some slightly bizarre 2D animation spliced in between. It's because Twelfth is blind.
Bittersweet Ending: As opposed to the manga's ending, the anime doesn't explicitly show Yuki and Yuno ever reuniting (at least until the Redial OVA). But it still shows the repaired lives of the 3rd-world characters.
Kosaka's phone, which is shaped like and obviously is an iPhone, is apparently an iBone.
In a scene where Yuki is buying drinks, he attempts to get some Dr. Papper.
Censor Shadow: A fairly obvious one once Yuno starts smashing heads in Episode 4.
There's also censor steam in Episode 20 when Minene showers.
Of course, the DVD release totally averts this with all gore and boobs visible. note Save for when Hinata and Mao have their Mur Mur segment, which still removes the censor bars covering their breasts (the ones covering their vaginas are left in).
Conspicuous CG: A two-second appearance in the first opening is pretty much the only time Deus is hand-drawn. There are some bits of architecture and a few objects in the opening credits as well.
The ferris wheel scene in Episode 3 switches jarringly from CGI to traditional animation depending on whether the audience is viewing the car from the outside or inside.
Tenth's dogs are CG in several shots.
Episode 19 also has CG cars.
Death Is Cheap: The Stinger for the first episode has Mur Mur attempt to deliver Third's diary, only for him to err on the side of caution and destroy a phone that seems to be monitoring his criminal activities in painstaking detail before she can properly explain the natures of the diary or the game. This happens several times and she rewinds time to reverse his death every time.
Depending on the Artist: The anime features a noticeably different artstyle than the manga's, the characters look slightly older than their manga counterparts, also many expressions taken directly from the manga are more extreme: Yuno's shots in particular got a tad more lustful towards Yukiteru, and crazier towards everyone else.
Early-Bird Cameo: The anime shows Third carrying out one of his murders and teaching Yuki and Yuno's class before the point at which he was originally introduced in the manga. Minene also shows up early in her disguise from Mosaic.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the anime a lot of diary entries can only be read if you pause. The more important ones are usually read out or explained by the characters, but there are some funny unmentioned ones.
Gainaxing: There's a lot of attention paid to Yuno's chest in Episode 3.
If Jesus Then Aliens: When Mur Mur tells Reisuke that he's been chosen for a Future Diary, Reisuke says to her "If there's a God, it's not strange for there to be aliens, right?" and refuses to participate in the game until she shows him an alien.
Karma Houdini: The girls who arranged for Ai to be gang raped simply because they didn't like her and thought she was pretentious.
Lethal Chef: In the first Stinger of the anime not taken from the manga, Murmur manages to send Yukiteru and his mother to the hospital with her miso soup.
Spoiler Opening: Strongly so, but at the same time it's very vague and you might only see the importance on hindsight. Yuno killing a copy of herself and then the two joining hints at her origin in this world. The first opening also foreshadows every diary owner, shown in shadow with a sequence of items relating to each one.
The second opening is also very much a Spoiler Opening, but for a slightly different reason: Faylan's lyrics are absolutely filled with huge spoilers of the story.
And anything colored blue (after the title card) in the second opening is destined to die/cease to exist. It includes all the diary owners except First, Second, and Ninth, Yukiteru's four friends, explosion flames that represent Ninth's terrorism, and the candle flames that represent the Eighth's foster children. By contrast, Ninth is grey-colored, Yuno has her hair tinted with real color, and Yukiteru who is the nominal winner, is the only fully colored one at all.
Teens Are Monsters: Apart from the already messed-up protagonists, there is Ai's backstory: some of her female classmates set her up to be raped. For no real reason other than the fact that they didn't like her.
Also, the final scene of the anime after the credits, which leaves the whole ending rather ambiguous. Rather than include the whole epilogue where Yuno manages to break through the wall of space-time to see Yukiteru, the last message on Yukiteru's phone changes from "Yuno died." to "Yuno came to see me." This is followed by an announcement of another new project for Future Diary, which turned out to be an Adaptation Expansion of the Happy End.
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.