I’m sure there’s a joke to be had here somewhere…
Well, here it is, the also-ran shounen show of the season, with Hunter x Hunter taking the role of thunder-stealer. While I myself have no interest in Hunter x Hunter (although I frequently get it mixed up with 3 x 3 Eyes solely for the ‘x’ included in the title), it certainly seems that that one remains ~the~ shounen title of the autumn. Of course, it does fall much more easily into that mold, given that the manga is lengthy and on-going, and it is planned for an indefinite amount of episodes, whereas Future Diary wrapped up with fifty-seven chapters and has twenty-six planned episodes.
Anyway, while I am nominally not a shounen fan, Future Diary is one of the exceptions. I originally picked up the manga after a few of the volumes had been published in English by Tokyopop, and was really irritated when said company went under this year with two volumes left to go. Although I still have hope for a license rescue here (maybe omnibuses from Dark Horse?) I finally caved and read the final two volumes courtesy of scanlations. So I come into this as a Manga Fan, and we know how dangerous that is.
Thankfully, asread is off to a solid start with their adaptation. Its a fairly faithful one thus far, although it starts differently than the manga. I’m curious to know what people unfamiliar with the manga thought of the first episode as a result; I understand what is going on in those first couple of minutes, so I can’t really be sure how mysterious it is or not. I’m not entirely sure it was a good way to start it, as I feel like it tips the narrative’s hand slightly, but I may just be failing to disregard the knowledge I already possess. Other than this, though, the episode follows the events of the first few chapters with few changes.
The voices were mostly not quite what I was expecting, although they fit the characters decently. Unfortunately, my last experience with Norio Wakamoto was as SHINING SAOTOME in Uta no Prince-sama, which is absolutely not who one would wish to picture when a character like Deus ex Machina is speaking. Yukiteru and Yuno just both sounded a bit younger than I anticipated. My only moment of zen with voice acting was for one of the other as-yet-unidentified diary holders, whose voice was perfect and much better than I had thought they would go with for said character.
My only criticism with the show thus far is that the demise of number 3 was fairly anti-climactic. While it is obvious from the start that Yukiteru isn’t destined to die in the first episode, the total lack of suspense leading up to the defeat of 3 was disappointing; it was handled better in the manga (I think the usage of cellphone cameras here harmed the scene; they were absent in the manga). But it is a minor quibble, and 3’s end is simply set-up, ultimately.
The animation is decent, nothing astounding. Violence thus far has been enacted off-camera, with blood spatters on-screen to demonstrate what we know is occurring. I’m curious as to how they’ll handle the violence and gore going forward, vis-a-vis broadcast standards, as it gets quite graphic as the story moves along. I enjoyed the soundtrack, and the ED as well. No OP this week, so nothing to say there.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with this so far. Here’s hoping asread can keep it up.