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Future Diary: A Critical Analysis Part 4 (Episodes 8-9)

Welcome to the next part of my critical analysis of Mirai Nikki (Future Diary). Today we're going over episodes 8 and 9. The point of this analysis is to practice being critical of something I like-- not to just throw hate at an anime. So far, I've found quite a few flaws and annoying elements within Mirai Nikki, but I'm always going to enjoy the series. With that in mind, let's begin.

 

Episode 8: New Model


This episode introduces the new characters Hinata, Mao, and Akise, as well as bringing back Kousaka, the bully from Yukiteru's old school. It's usually a plus for me when potentially LGBT+ characters are brought in. It's pretty obvious that Akise is gay, but I would also canon Mao and Hinata as either lesbian or bisexual. They seem to have a thing going on behind the scenes. Anyway, the episode's plot flow felt well-paced and natural to me. The music was great as usual, and I loved the character designs and face expressions.


Before we continue discussing episode 8, I want to point a problem that exists not just in this episode but also in several of the last ones. To be honest, I didn't really think of it until now. But isn't it strange that Yukiteru shows no signs of processing all the trauma he's been through so far? We see him getting incredibly fearful the moment there's danger, but in his every day life, it's like nothing has changed at all. I think this was poor writing on the part of the creators.


Someone as traumatized as Yukiteru should be showing the signs. Instead, Yukiteru was able to have fun an amusement park with Yuno only a day or two after his school was bombed by a terrorist (episode 3). Instead of having nightmares about the cult incident with Tsubaki, Yukiteru seems to have no particular thoughts about it. Now, it's true that Yuno won't give him any down time to process things the way he needs to. Even so, it doesn't make sense that there would be so few effects of such severe stress and violence. And in episode 8, this continues. Despite the survival game and everything he's seen, Yukiteru is going back to school pretty casually and worrying about making friends. His lack of psychological issues is not believable.


A minor issue that annoyed me in this episode was the way the dogs wore those metal muzzles. I guess muzzles isn't the right word, since the contraptions are supposed to make their bites even stronger, but I don't know what to call them. Anyway, it makes no sense why the metal teeth are shaped like herbivore teeth. They aren't pointy like a dog's teeth should be. There's no way these dogs could effectively chew up or eat anything with those leaf-chewing molars. They need carnivore teeth and canines. This has absolutely no bearing on the rest of the episode or its quality, but it drives me crazy.


The psychology of Yuno and Yukiteru as they spend time with the new group is interesting.

While Yukiteru is too trusting and eager to have a friend for the first time, Yuno literally wishes death on the group for taking Yukiteru's attention away from her. She's insanely jealous. I find this character difference intriguing, since both Yuno and Yukki's reactions are indicative of psychological issues. Besides just being jealous, Yuno also clashes with Yukiteru because she doesn't have the same empathy and interest toward people that normal people do. From the point of view of a sociopath, who only cares about herself and one other person, it makes sense for her to not give a rat's ass about the others in the group. It's actually smart to think the way she does-- but it's also inhumanly cold-hearted.


Another interesting fact here is that Yuno probably doesn't realize Hinata and Mao are enemies, but still treats them as such. She probably remembers Akise from the previous world, and that's why she's extra hostile to him. But Hinata wasn't involved in the first survival game, as far as we know. It makes sense for Yuno to be especially on edge when the events of this world don't match what she remembers from the first world.


I'll keep this brief, but the other major issue in this episode was the unneeded scene where we see Hinata's panties. It was neither humorous nor appealing. Plus, Hinata is a minor. Can we stop sexualizing her please? Thanks.


And a final note: I love Akise, and probably consider him my favorite non-psychopath character in the series. I love seeing him in this episode.



 

Episode 9: Blocked Call


I watched this episode trying to find issues, but had trouble focusing. There was nothing really wrong that I could find. It was a well-directed episode with a good amount of action and suspense. After thinking it over, I realized there were a few important things to mention or react to, but they are mostly positives or neutral. So if you want criticism of Mirai Nikki, this isn't the best episode for it. I think this was the best directed episode so far.


First of all, the usual dynamic of Yuno manipulating Yukiteru is very present, but in this episode, Yukiteru questions it more than before. He keeps demanding to know why Yuno doesn't want him to have friends. He also asserts himself and takes independent action, insisting on trying to save everyone even while Yuno tries to convince him to do otherwise. However, at a certain point, Yukiteru stops being honest and assertive. He relies on a lie, saying that he considers Yuno his girlfriend now, in order to calm her down and prevent her from killing Hinata. This was an emergency measure to save his newfound friends, and he had little choice in the matter. He was being manipulated by a violence psychopath. Still, thanks to this lie, it's going to become even more difficult for him to stand up to Yuno.


Akise is fascinating character to me, and I want to point out how mentally sharp he is so far. He was the only one of the group who realized that Yukiteru's diary will continue to make incorrect predictions as long as Yukiteru believes it's true. This allowed Akise to outsmart Hinata and Mao in the coin toss game. I also thought it was awesome when Akise flipped Yuno onto her back after she tried to stab him. He's apparently pretty good at self-defense. Additionally, I thought it was interesting how Akise is already so attached to Yukki. He wagers his own life in order to play the game with Hinata and try to rescue Yukiteru.


Lastly, I'll point out that I love Mao and her moments with Hinata. That hug from behind was very cute and touching in the middle of a stressful time. It was also noticeably sensual, signaling to the audience that the two are partners, or if nothing else, that Mao has romantic feelings toward Hinata. When Yuno attacked Hinata, Mao jumped in the way and took the full force of the stab. That's love, if you ask me.

This was a minor issue, but did you notice Hinata didn't call an ambulance to help Mao? I don't count it as a flaw, though, since it kind of makes sense. I think she was too afraid to involve outsiders. After all, the whole point of this mission was to protect her father from being found out as a murderer. Calling 911 would bring all sorts of unwanted attention. Plus, Hinata seems capable of good first-aid. Nevertheless, Mao's life might have been in danger. It was a good thing Akise called ambulance at the end.

 

Takeaways from Episodes 8 and 9


These two episodes struck me as being written and executed better than the previous installments. However, there were still a few problems worth mentioning. My notes are organized into a table below.

Criticisms

Positives

Yukiteru's lack of trauma response is not believable (all episodes)

Great music, character designs (all episodes)

The dogs have metal jaw contraptions with herbivore teeth... (ep 8)

Interesting psychology of Yuno as a psychopath (all episodes)

In-your-face fanservice of a high school girl (ep 8)

LGBT+ characters (Akise, Mao, and Hinata) (ep 8)

Thank you so much for reading, and take care until next time!


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