Future Diary Parts 1 And 2 DVD Reviews
“Future Diary” starts strong, but loses a little steam in the second half.
In the first 13 episodes of “Future Diary” (AKA Part 1), the story focuses on a loner (Yuki). Yuki is an odd duck who keeps a phone diary and converses with an imaginary friend named Deus Ex Machina. As if things couldn’t get weirder, Yuki begins to receive mysterious diary entries from the future and he discovers that Deus is a real God that exists. Furthermore, not only is Yuki told that he will die if his diary is destroyed, but he also learns that there are other diary owners who are now engaged in a survival game by Deus. The winner of this deadly game will become the Deus successor.
Throughout the first 13 episodes, viewers can expect to see plots about the other diary owners (of which there are 12), a serial killer, Yuno (a classmate of Yuki who has a crush on him), Yuki avoiding death by other diary owners, Yuno’s dark secret, Aru (Yuki’s amateur detective pal), Murmur (the assistant of Deus), a police investigator (Nishijima), game players trying to gather intel on one another and trying to kill one another.
In part 2 (which contains episodes 14-26), Yuki continues to be a target. Other key stories involve diary owners such as Kamado, John Balks, Marco and Ai (two orphan lovers and joint diary owners), Yuki’s parents, major character revelations about Yuno, Aru and Deus, Yuki and Yuno’s relationship, and character deaths.
In the first half of the sci-fi/horror anime series “Future Diary” (which plays like a cross between “Gantz” and “Steins;Gate”), the story immediately hooks you with its addicting and deliciously dark storytelling, clever twists and turns, unpredictable moments (see Keigo’s character), and well written episodes that allow viewers to get to know the diary owners and discover how this twisted game unfolds. Unfortunately, the second half isn’t nearly as interesting.
While the back half does offer more characterization with Yuki as he begins to embrace the game and have his parents become drawn into the mess, the series starts to feel a little chaotic and convoluted to say the least. There’s simply too much going on here with the technology elements, diaries, multiple worlds, time travel, timelines, the weird Yuno backstory, plot twists, the sloppy ending, etc. It all feels a bit too overwhelming as the series never lets up. Now, granted, by having the second half crammed with new characters, action, plot, and characterization, it certainly doesn’t get dull, but it’s just as engaging as the first half was. Still, despite all of its issues, this unconventional and fresh anime series is certainly admirable and deserves to be seen.
Presentation: Widescreen. How does it look? While the 3D animation is a bit hit-and-miss, the 2D animation looks solid on DVD.
Audio Tracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Japanese Stereo. How do they sound? The English track is actually worth a listem and the Japanese track is superb too.
Part 1 Extras:
* Trailers for “Deadman Wonderland,” “Guilty Crown,” “Black Lagoon,” “Lupin The Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine,” “Remnant Knights Game,” and Funimation.com.
* A better than average commentary on episode 5 by Emily Neves, Ian Sinclair, Rob McCollum. The three talk about the characters, fears, the plot, fellow cast members, etc.
* 2 Valentine’s Day cards.
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* 2 TV spots for “Future Diary.”
* “Omake #5 Yomotsu Hirasaka (Yoshihisa Kawahara Version)”- The Japanese version of episode 5.
* A dull commentary on episode 13 by Josh Grelle, Caitlin Glass, and Ashleigh Domangue.
Part 2 Extras:
* Trailers for “Blood-C,” “Michiko and Hatchin,” “Last Exile- Fam, The Silver Wing,” “Sakura Wars,” “Eureka Seven AO,” and Funimation.com.
* Commentary on episode 20 by J. Michael Tatum and Patrick Seitz. The two talk about time travel and technology, writing, the future, etc. A solid track.
* 2 textless opening songs and 2 textless closing songs.
* A U.S. trailer and 3 promo videos for “The Future Diary.”
* “Omake #10 Minene Uryuu, Masume Nishjima (Clean Dialogue Version)”- The Japanese version of episode 10 (“Family Plan”).
* A very lighthearted commentary on episode 23 by Josh Grelle and Brina Palencia in which the two chat about characters, voice acting, writing, future diaries, etc.
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