The Worries of a Future Diary Manga Reader

Or, Deadman Wonderland part two?

Last winter, I was excited to see that a Future Diary OVA was listed, only to be disappointed when I finally got to watch it; it was just a test-the-waters venture, a roughly five minute piece of animation roughly covering the first volume of manga. Sure, it wasn’t as if this was supposed to be satisfying in and of itself… but it didn’t quite cut it since the expectation had been for something much more. And when time dragged by without a hint of anything more, I gave up. Ah well; I would’ve liked an anime adaptation, but I’d live without one.

So I was a bit excited when it finally got announced for the autumn season, even though it was Asread as the studio. I’ve already talked a bit about why I was still willing to be optimistic (if only mildly so) despite the crap studio involved, so I won’t bother going into that again. However, as the date has approached, I’ve become leerier and leerier of the whole venture, and, no, its not that the director did Akane-iro, and, no, it isn’t that Asread thinks that Shuffle! Memories is an acceptable thing to produce. It’s something that would be so regardless of the studio involved.

Quite simply, the more I consider it, the more I fear that Future Diary as an anime will have exactly the same problems as Deadman Wonderland. It doesn’t help that it had a similar path to television, with the producing studio announcing it, only to then keep delaying it season after season, with fans of the manga all the while chattering about how awesome the manga was and how awesome it was going to be to get an anime of it.

Deadman Wonderland is an apt comparison as well since they have similarities in material as well. They may have some rather large differences on the surface, but the core story is the same – our hapless teenaged protagonist finds himself embroiled in a struggle for his life, his only steadfast support from a weird girl. Bad things happen, people die, and we bite our nails, wondering how our lead will manage to get out of the latest mess in one piece. And underpinning it all is a breakneck pace where the reader is given little time to breathe during individual volumes.

When Deadman Wonderland wandered onto the screen, though, a lot of the problems that had not been obvious on page became astonishingly apparent. I specified that the pace allowed for little down time in individual volumes because this is a very important piece of the puzzle – the gap time between each volume also made it possible for problems in the narrative and story to slink out of sight, forgotten in that space between. Alternately, for people who read the entire manga in one go, these same problems got completely lost amidst all the action and noise. However, in TV anime format, there is just enough time between episodes to take notice of the gaps in logic and the silly items and to connect them to those issues that follow. The inconsistency you missed because you read volume one in April and volume two in November is now three weeks apart, and you’ve caught it this time.

And while Future Diary was a very enjoyable read, I also was aware of some of the negatives of the manga while reading it. I was able to dismiss these rather easily, however, since the first time I read the first nine volumes, it was spread out over a few years. The second time, I was able to overlook it because I spent an entire day reading it from chapter zero to chapter fifty-nine. You forget the bad stuff when you read it over a long period of time, and you just blast right past the bad stuff when you’re blitzing your way through.

Of course, there is also the fact that the ending is kind of stupid. There’s no way to cover it up. After the previous overall tone of the manga, its weirdly out of place, and the… well. I won’t say anything more, don’t want to spoil it, although I’d recommend cutting out before they give the final scene, anyway.

So, yeah. If you don’t like the anime, you heard my defense of the story here first. Don’t drink and drive, chillens… you will get caught. By the Grim Reaper.

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One Response to The Worries of a Future Diary Manga Reader

  1. Fang-tan says:

    I’ve read up to volume nine I think and I can say for sure I am not that excited about the anime. I think it’s overhyped and Yuno is a terrible character. I haven’t read DW and I only watched a little bit of it but i understand what you are getting at. I just hope they wrap this up in a single two cours series instead of dragging it out. A 12 episode series would be asking for trouble.

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