Among anime series, "schoolboy is granted godlike powers by a whimsical and capricious entity, then engages in complex Batman Gambits" is a plotline so common that it has practically become a genre unto itself. Mirai Nikki does very little that the series that came before it did not, but it handles the ideas so badly that it becomes, in its own way, brilliant. The plot veers between Wangst and Angst What Angst. Being thrown into a fight to the death barely bothers Yukki at all, while characters cheerfully murder civilians with no compunction yet the show never seems to acknowledge this: in one episode, a hundred schoolkids die, and Yuki is be unaffected, yet as soon as the topic of his diary is broached, he decides to fling himself to the floor weeping about being a "bystander" even as a killer hunts him down. Even Shinji would tell this guy to get a grip. The idea of a diary that predicts the future is interesting, if not really unique, but trying to find a dozen-plus variations on this clearly strained the writers. A crime log? Sure. A stalker's scrapbook? Fine. An "escape diary"? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense given that future diaries are supposedly based on the diaries they kept beforehand, but OK. A "future diary" that controls dogs? Err... The animation is generally pretty, but Deus Ex Machina - a monstrous god so over the top he may as well eat blood bananas, with a name so stupid that it will shatter your Willing Suspension Of Disbelief in the very first episode - is a CG effect so awful that every scene with him in automatically becomes a PS 2-game cutscene. Before long though, the one-note sociopathy of the characters becomes hilarious, the inconsistent attempts at symbolism become Narmful, and the frequent Shocking Swerves become a joy to behold. Mirai Nikki/Future Diary is definitely worth watching if you need a laugh.
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