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Future Diary: Critical Analysis Part 8 (Summary So Far)

A few weeks ago, I began a project to analyze the anime Future Diary from a slightly more critical perspective than what I normally use. Future Diary is an important anime to me, and I still love it despite criticisms. But that doesn't mean the anime is without flaws. The point of this analysis isn't to hate on Future Diary, but to practice my abilities in offering balanced critique. In addition, I usually point out the positive or well-done elements in this series, as well as providing commentary on things like character psychology. So far, my critical analysis covers a little over half of the anime: episodes 1 through 15. Today's post is a summary of the issues we've encountered during those episodes.


1) Overview of Issues

Provided below is a table that lists significant and insignificant points of contention in Future Diary. After that, I'll summarize the issues in text and provide examples.

Major Issues

Minor Issues

Instances of absurdity in some episodes

Minor audio and writing mistakes in ep 1

No explanation for Deus' impending death

Mistake regarding Tsubaki's followers ep 4

Generally over-the-top

The dogs' metal jaws in episode 8

Fanservice/sexualization of Yuno ep 3

Too much fluff at bridal fair ep 10

Weird, forced humor with Yukiteru's mother in ep 6

Forced humor and romance with Ninth and Nishijima in ep 10

Inconsistencies/things that make no sense with the poison gas in ep 7

Strange things like going to the hospital for no reason in ep 11

No explanation for Ninth saving Yuno and Yukiteru in ep 7

Casual sexism in episode 12

Yukiteru's lack of believable trauma response episodes 1-15

A few strange but minor things from episode 14

Fanservice of underage characters episodes 8 and 13

Yuno's lack of visible wound in ep 15

Instances that challenge suspension of disbelief in most episodes

Based on this table, the primary problems with Future Diary are the frequent events that challenge suspension of disbelief, the occasional outright absurdities, and the generally over-the-top, edgy atmosphere. Additional issues include rare but unnecessary fanservice and specific mistakes within certain episodes.

Although this may sound like a lot, it's nothing out of the ordinary for flaws in anime. In other words, Future Diary doesn't seem much worse than any other popular anime series. However, one's opinions about the characters might ruin it and leave one with an extra bad feeling toward Future Diary. Most viewers hate Yukiteru for being weak, and some hate Yuno for being, well, a psychopath. Since I enjoy the psychology and development of both characters, however, I still immensely enjoy Future Diary. It certainly has its issues, though.


2) Examples of Issues

Allow me to remind you of a few examples of the problems listed. We can look at episode 15 for a fresh example of something that challenges suspension of disbelief. The untrained Yuno uses her combat knife to deflect an onslaught of incoming blades thrown by Ai, who has trained for this. Yuno can even stop more than one incoming blade at a time. Some would call this an example of Yuno being "OP" or overpowered. This character's many amazing feats and talents could leave audiences with a broken suspension of disbelief. Another example is how Ninth escapes from cops and diary owners so many times. Once or twice is believable, but if it's more than that, it starts to feel too unrealistic.

In episode 1, there's a good example of a case of outright absurdity. Yukiteru throws a dart that pierces and breaks Third's cellphone. Even if the dart was steel-tipped (as many throwing darts are), it would not have sufficient weight or force to break a hard-plastic phone. As for an example of the edgy atmosphere, look at Tsubaki the Sixth diary holder. She wants to become God and destroy the world. She hates the world because she was abused and repeatedly raped by the cultists. Some would say this story is just too extreme and dark. It's over-the-top. I have a few more things to say about edginess in Future Diary, but that can wait a bit.


3) Crazy Characters and Akise Aru

There are also two criticisms that I haven't specifically talked about before in previous posts. The first one is the idea that the characters in Future Diary, while diverse, are all too crazy and over-the-top. For some audiences, it's off-putting to deal with a psychologically warped cast without the presence of a few stable characters. We all know Yuno is a psycho, and Yukiteru is mentally unstable in his own ways. Fifth, Sixth, and Twelfth were also incredibly insane. The list goes on and on. There just aren't any characters in this anime who are well-adjusted and steady. That is a deal-breaker for some people.

The second criticism may be minor in comparison to the last. It's about Akise Aru. Even though I love this character, I don't think he is original enough. He is basically a ripoff of Kaworu from Evangelion. There's the similar character design, along with the fact that Kaworu and Akise are both angels of some variety. They are also both love interests for the weak main character (Shinji/Yukki). The two characters even have the same voice actor (in the Japanese version anyway). Akise does have a few original characteristics, such as an inquisitive mind, analytical thinking patterns, and sometimes a provocative attitude. Still, an argument can be made that Akise is simply a cheap knock-off of Kaworu.

Another thing that annoys me with the character of Akise is that the creators apparently just couldn't make him naturally gay. They provided an excuse for Akise's "gayness." He was programmed to find the truth about the survival game, and Yukiteru is at the center of it all. So his "love" is only a programming thing that Deus added for quicker results. Why didn't the creators just write Akise as a boy who is naturally gay? Japan is still very homophobic, and it shows in examples like Akise Aru. In summary, a good criticism of Future Diary is the way they explain away Akise's gay love to make it seem unnatural.


4) Closing Thoughts: Violence

Now we'll return to the topic of edginess in Future Diary. We already talked about how this series is generally over-the-top. But in addition, some argue Future Diary is specifically too violent. This is another potential criticism of the show. If you need an example, just remember that lovely scene where Twelfth pried open Ninth's eye and then ripped it out of its socket. Was it necessary to actually show that? It feels a bit like Future Diary is just going for shock value with its intense violence. Personally, I like some animated violence to make a show feel more intense and thrilling. Nevertheless, one can also argue that appealing to violence for shock value and edginess is bad writing.

To restate, the biggest issues in Future Diary are: absurd happenings, events that are too unbelievable, and a feeling of everything being exaggerated and edgy. Other problems included mistakes from specific episodes and fanservice of underage characters. Besides the issues addressed in episodes 1-15, I also introduced a few more possible points of contention in Future Diary. We talked about the problem with having only crazy characters. We also discussed Akise Aru and the issues related to him. Finally, we questioned the level of violence in this anime as being another part of its edginess. Clearly, there are a number of serious issues with Future Diary. I hope you'll join me next time for the analysis of episodes 16 and 17.


Thank You For Reading


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