Future Diary 10

March 13, 2012

Sakae Esuno – Tokyopop – 2011 – 12 volumes

It occurred to me why I like this series so much early on in this volume. I could never put my finger on what was quite wrong with it that drew me to it so. Yes, the premise is good, and it’s been extremely well-executed, and there’s some truly scary stuff in here, principle among them is Yuno Gasai.

But no. The reason I love this manga is because there are scenes like the one at the beginning of this volume. Yuno and Yukiteru calmly discuss the fact that Yuno is, for some reason, faking her own identity while burying the bodies of people they’ve murdered without comment. And these are high school students. Yuno’s fake identity is weird enough, especially considering she seems to have endured a lot of child abuse because of it, but I like that that is paramount, and that murdering people and concealing the bodies is just so much a part of the plot that it passes without comment. At one point, Yukiteru seems slightly chagrined, but that’s it. This isn’t even part of what makes this so scary. This is just a brief flashback that happens.

And that’s why Future Diary is worth reading.

Anyway, the action scene is primary in this volume. Yuno and Yukiteru are trying to defeat 11th, of course, but there are several problems associated with this, primary among them is the fact that 11th has a Future Diary that tells him everything that they’re going to do. 8th is also not amused by the stunt that Yuno and Yukiteru are pulling, and threatens to kill Yukiteru more than once in this book. And she comes very close, too. Her last scene here was a little disappointing, because it went all sentimental. It goes against her crazy, murderous nature, and quite frankly, felt out of place in this batshit insane series. But I was never fond of her, so I didn’t think about it over-long.

Another plot point involves Aru Akise. His role in the story… uh. Changes here. This does fit in with the nature of the story, even though it breaks some of the rules and doesn’t make sense. But then again, that’s why Future Diary is such a great read. It’s really hard for me to predict what’s going to happen. And then Aru Akise happens.

I can’t spoil his role too much. But I think what’s most interesting to me at this point is the fact that Yukiteru has to “win” and “become God” by killing a whole bunch of people, including those close to him and a few innocents. This… is not something that manga characters do. Yukiteru isn’t even that heroic. He simply wants it in order to bring his dead parents back to life. That in itself isn’t strange, but the fact he’s willing to be a cold-blooded killer just seems wrong for the lead character in a manga story. The plot is sympathetic, so it’s not like Yukiteru is portrayed as evil, but that’s also part of the problem I’ve mentioned earlier. The series is trivializing all this bad stuff. It’s very good at it. It makes for an extraordinarily interesting read. The other rule that it’s breaking is the fact that Yukiteru even wants to be “God.” Typically, omnipotence like that is portrayed as a bad thing, and you would put that in the hands of the masses. Not Yukiteru. He wants to be a murderer, and he wants to be God. There’s your main character.

There are some… puzzling mysteries at the end of this volume. I thought we would be reaching a clear stretch of resolution at this point, but I should have suspected that nothing about the ending of this series would be clear, nor would the climax really and truly last for two volumes. At this point, I have no idea what choices Yukiteru will make, because the moral standards of this series is so warped. It’s an utter tragedy that this will never finish in English, because I’m at a complete loss as to how this could finish without the whole world ending, or without Yukiteru landing himself in a depressing and lonely role. Maybe the latter happens, I don’t know. What drives me crazy is that it’s apparently very significant that Yuno isn’t Yuno Gasai. How, and why?

Bah. I’ll buy the last two in Japanese. I’ll order it along with the final volume of Your & My Secret. Tokyopop, you’re still making me cry.

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