Future Diary at a Glance

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.

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3 Responses to Future Diary at a Glance

  1. Vucub Caquix says:

    I was getting caught up in the story as well, and his exploits with the diary after he first gets it were brisk and really well paced and I found it to be quite compelling. Plus that Yuno, my goodness!

    But, man, the CG arena thing at the end was horrifying. Worries me that the 1st episode, the one with the budget, should look like this, what will episode 15 or so look like?

  2. Set says:

    I can give you my impression of the first episode as a non-manga reader. Basically, I thought hmm interesting opening scene, didn’t particularly make sense – some chick in a cage was (presumably) killed. After watching the episode I decided to go back and take another look at the scene.

    What I made of that scene was a little speculation. Something along the lines of, if the protagonist dies, then pinky haired girl dies. So this episode she went to save the protagonist from dying as a means to prevent her own death in the future. Complete speculation, how accurate and how this plays into the future, time will tell. Perhaps from this point onwards is like an alternate world where protagonist and pinky live on – but were originally destined to die.

    Other than that, I found this overall episode to be very engaging and this show to be one I’m looking forward to following this season.

  3. Nazarielle says:

    Just watched the first episode and while I know a bit about the manga (mostly just that this Gasai Yuno chick is a crazy stalker bitch), I enjoyed the first episode for the most part. Looking back, I have to agree with you that the way they handled Third being Dead Ended was pretty… anticlimactic. At the time I didn’t really think about it too hard, but I think Yuno must’ve voiced my opinion for me, as she says something pretty similar.

    I was mostly just really looking forward to a truly crazy chick, and Yuno seems to deliver in a huge way. While some anime will try to give us crazy chicks, they usually come with a caveat of it being a split personality or *~*~*MAGIC*~*~* causing her to go temporarily crazy. Yuno, on the other hand, seems to be truly unhinged always. Why this is probably the sole reason I’ll watch the show probably says a lot about me, but let’s not go there.

    On the topic of voice actors, I’m actually a bit relieved that Yuno’s is almost completely new. While it’s sometimes fun to see VAs I know in different roles, it can also tend to bias me one way or another, so I think I’m glad to see someone new for Yuno. Now the question is whether or not she can handle playing a completely unhinged chick. Yuki’s VA kinda irked me a bit. It makes him sound like he’s 10 years old. He’s supposed to be in middle or high school right? He shouldn’t sound like that when the guys around him have guy voices.

    The first few minutes were kinda strange. I’m not sure if you’re referring to tipping his hat to the rest of the episode or the rest of the entire story. If you’re talking about the first scene in what looks like the Deus world, I can only guess at what’s going on. If I had to guess, I’d say a suicide attempt by Yuki. Why he would do that or when it’s going to happen, if it happens, I haven’t the foggiest. Whoa, wait a second. That bit after the Deus room stuff, when I watched it for the first time, I just assumed it was just one of the many killings of the street killer that we see more of in this episode, but watching it again it sounds like Yuno. Then again, Yuno seems to call him Yukkii, not “Amano-kun” so I’m not entirely sure. It seems like one of those teasers meant to keep you guessing, but guessing is completely useless at this point, because we have so little information. It could be any number of things and only the manga readers will know for sure.

    Well, in any case, I enjoyed the first episode. Now that I’ve watched it again, I have plenty of questions as well. Hopefully they won’t be jerking us around and leaving those questions hanging forever while they dick around, but I’m not holding my breath. At least there should be a lot more Yuno from here on out, right?

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