Monday, January 23, 2012

Mirai Nikki - 15

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The pacing was pretty breakneck in episode 15 of Mirai Nikki, along with episode 5 maybe the fastest yet.

OP2: “Dead END” by 飛蘭 (Faylan)
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With three chapters to cover and a new OP and ED to highlight, it’s no wonder the omake was skipped this week. It’s probably a good thing too, as just about these were jam-packed chapters that were crammed into the ep. In spite of that I didn’t think it felt insanely rushed, just busy. But I’ve come to the same conclusion with the anime that I did with the manga – more so than in most cases this is a scenario that works better when things are happening really quickly. The impact of Mirai Nikki is strongest when the reaction is visceral, not reflective – to be honest, the series is better when you don’t think about it too much. At it’s best, the show is a ride in a really fast car with all kinds of scary and interesting things whizzing by so fast that they’re in the rear-view almost as soon as you’ve seen them.

Last week’s setup turned out to be something of a troll, and a rather convincing one at that I thought. While the strangely-shaped woman at the child care facility was indeed Eighth and she was indeed making “apprentice owners”, that wasn’t really where the story was headed. Deus himself did respond to it, inviting the surviving diary owners to a meeting at the “Causality Cathedral” to discuss their concerns over this aspect of the game, and Kousaka did indeed have one on his iPhone (there’s an app for that) - until Yukiteru destroyed it in a rather callous experiment, anyway. But the more immediate problem is those folks we saw in the speeding car last week, who were only using the apprentice diary plan as a cover to hide their true identities – two of them are, in fact, the Seventh diary holder.

Two of them? Indeed – Ikusama Marco (industry heavyweight Seki Tomokazu) and Mikami Ai (Kuwatani Atsuko) are a matched pair, their “Exchange Diaries” allowing each to keep close tabs on their true love. If Ai looks familiar it’s because you saw her at the religious compound in episode 5, posing as one of Sixth’s followers – which means, of course, that over half of the total diary owners were present in that gigantic kerfuffle of an episode. She and Mar are deeply in love, their diaries allowing them to work in perfect harmony with each other – and Mar, especially, sees this is a duel where their love will be measured against that of Yuki and Yuno. That’s a bit of an issue because, of course, Yuki has washed his hands of Yuno in last week’s episode. But despite the fact that Yukiteru did get the help of his four friends, to his dismay it immediately becomes apparent that when it comes to defending him, four friends doesn’t equal one yandere Goddess.

You know it wouldn’t be that easy, of course – every time he thinks he’s out, she pulls him right back in – but it sure didn’t take long for Yuki to have to make the hard decision about whether to put himself in Yuno’s hands again. Hinata, Mao, and (barely) Kousaka are willing helpers, and Akise is clever – but once again, his plans (like my cat) get him into trouble, but not out of it. Kousaka’s house burns and Hinata and Mao lay wounded, and Yuki has no choice but to free Yuno from the bonds they’d tied her in to prevent her interfering with their plan. Fortunately he discovers that a small word of praise from him elevates her already stellar combat abilities to super-saiyan levels, and she’s almost able to fight off Marc and Ai – but they have a backup plan that leaves Yuki and Yuno unconscious and helpless. Seventh flees the scene with their captured diaries.

This seems to be a low-water mark for Yukiteru. He’s had to place himself in Yuno’s hands again, his friends have proved themselves unable to protect him (and two have been badly hurt trying) and he’s admitted to Marco that he’s “pathetic” and weak. But for Yuno’s part, she seems a lot more cogent than she did when we left her in her undies in that hotel basement. In fact, she tells “Yukkii” an important secret – he just has to tell her to save his friends, and she’ll do it. All he has to do is pretend to be in love with her. It seems simple, but it’s a lot more self-aware than anything we’ve heard from her to this point. And in fact, that admission of helplessness is more self-awareness than we’ve gotten from Yuki at any point up until now as well – so in spite of their defeat at the hands of Seventh, both of them seem to have entered a new phase in terms of their relationship, and their own existence.

Looking forward, we have Seventh now in possession of Yuki and Yuno’s diaries, and off-hand references to a “Ka-chan” they seem to be working with. We also have Ninth, who’s made her long-overdue reappearance at the hospital where Yuki and Yuno are recuperating – though at this point her motivation for doing so is unclear. As for the new OP and ED, my initial inclination is that I prefer the first ones musically, though these new ones have same interesting stuff going on visually (especially the ED).

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ED2: “filament” by 妖精帝國 (Yousei Teikoku)
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9 comments:

  1. Amazing episode. Great pacing in adapting 3 chapters and good OP & ED sequences.

    Since I haven't read the manga I'm not sure how spolerish they may be.

    A little disappointed in Yukiteru's regression to the mean-- heck he had that dart throwing skill in episode 1. Where did it go?

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  2. The new OP gives away too much I think. Especially as it applies to Yuno.

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    1. A very, very common problem with OPs. If you watch Fairy Tail...

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  3. I like how Bleach does it where they mix in stuff that never happens. The OP might show 2 of the characters fighting against each other and yet that scene NEVER happens in the series. That way you can never be sure whats going to happen and what isn't.

    I also agree about Fairy Tail. You can almost tell how the whole arc is going to play out. Even when folks long gone make a surprise appearance. The OP ruins the surprise. Its happening right now in the newest OP.

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  4. Huh, I didn't find anything spoiler-ish about the OP. Most that I can find is with Yuno but it's subtle unlike in FT where the whole arc is summarized in one fell swoop. That was a nice touch there with the colors of the diary holders though.
    I prefer this OP song than the previous. Never liked the previous OP one bit.
    No comment on ED. Only those who know will notice it. Song was ok.

    And I find the pace somewhat...off. Must have been because you say that this is 3 chapters of the manga. It covered quite a lot of ground but suffered some issues with details like the police helping but being useless, Ai getting a new stock of knives and Yuno not having a scratch despite Ai throwing a knife at her(face?).
    Tomokazu Seki gracing us with his GAR voice(how did they afford him? :P) and Yuno deflecting those knives was nice(been waiting for this).

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  5. If you look at the OP you can see there are more then 1 Yuno.

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  6. @Guardian Enzo
    Like! I wish there was a like and dislike button here too.

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  7. @Anonymous
    For the comments, you mean? I put one in for the posts themselves - a "like" one, anyway.

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  8. @Guardian EnzoYup, I was actually referring to the comments. I just noticed the "like" for the post.

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