Future Diary is a well known anime adaptation of the manga of the same name. This series is what popularized the very infamous yandere trope where a psychotic (usually female) character goes extremely violent to get a partner or to protect their partner. It is also well known for its use of Greek Mythology.
The show focuses on Yukiretu Amano, a student who spends his days writing on a special diary on his phone and speaking to his supposedly imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina and Murmur. Deus Ex Machina grants Yukiretu a special gift that allows him to know the future and to change it. Yukiretu uses the gift to avoid trouble and prevent unpleasant issues to develop. It turns out he’s not the only one who has a special diary on his phone. One of his classmates, Yuno Gasai, has a special diary called the Lovers Diary and its function is to see how the relationship between her and Yukiretu develops.
When Yukiretu inadvertedly learns that one of the diary holders who is in his school is out to kill him, he reluctantly works with Yuno to stop the would be killer. Yukiretu is later forced into a situation where all the other diary holders have to be eliminated in order to win a contest to replace Deus Ex Machina as the god of space and time. Each phone diary enables the owner to change the future but if the phone is destroyed, the user dies.
The show can be very slow at times with not much happening and there is plenty fillers in the series. Many of the episodes are pretty formulaic; Yuki and Yuno fight other diary holders, diary holder has their traumatic past revealed and they die and Yuki and Yuno wins and that’s about it. The comedic parts are repetitive and lame. In fact, the shonen humor really did not fit in with the seinen nature of the show.
The most notable character and the reason why the show is notorious is Yuno Gasai. Yuno Gasai is heavily inspired by Freddy Kruger, she goes above and beyond with her love and dedication to Yukireitu. She doesn’t want him having any friends or she will literally kill them just so that he could focus only on her. Her overly dedication to him however ironically, leads him to greater danger.
Yuno seems the perfect girl, she is cheerful, smart, loyal and kind and very popular in school.
Yukiretu Amano is not a likeable character as he can be egotistical, petty and manipulative. He complained a lot and avoided doing much to help his friends out. He also has very static character development throughout the show. The only character I liked was Aru Akise, an aspiring detective who uses the Detective Diary that helps him figure out the moves of his targets to solve mysteries. He's always one step ahead of others and can easily improvise on a whim. He does not have much screen time which was a shame as he was really the best and most interesting character in the shoe. Most of all the other diary holders had basically the same motive, become a god and takeover the universe.
The voice acting was a bit inconsistent and combined with the cheesy dialogue was really annoying. The script is so ridiculous, basically nobody cares about the consequences of their actions and consequently make really stupid decisions.The art style was ok and the character designs, apart from Yuno Gasai were not memorable. Yuno has some really good weapon skills and its very bloody and the bodycount of the show is very high. The action is short as Yuno easily overmatches her enemies.
Some parts of the story were not fully established and there was many plot holes scattered across the story. The plot twists were predictable. Adding in alternate dimensions and time traveling made the story even more convoluted and confusing. It is never explained why Deus Machina chose the contestants to take part in the contest. The fanservice really didn’t fit in well especially with the story having such a gory nature. The musical score was really spot on and so was the opening and ending animations. The animation was ok but nothing to special, and some CGI was used but the results were not impressive.
Overall, Future Diary is not very good and the only reason why it is so famous is because of Yuno Gasai.
It gets 2 out of 5 stars.
In a way, Future Diary is really one of the most influential anime in the 21st century similar to how Bakuman, Lucky Star, Daioh and Haruhi helped popularize the slice of life genre.