A thoughtful response to current anime.

Mirai Nikki – Episode 1

Three years ago, I started reading the Mirai Nikki manga.  I finished the first volume and most of the second, but eventually I could not continue because the translation was so bad.  So, I’m eager to watch this show, but the first several episodes, I will already know the basic plot and so I won’t really be able to speculate.  I hope they take the story slow, because it deserves to be treated in detail, but there won’t be too much to blog about except how the anime measures up to the manga.  I’m a little leery of asread not being able to produce a good adaptation, because the second and third seasons of Minami-ke after they took it over from Doumu were notably worse.  On the other hand, it’s not like they were bad, per se.  Rather, they were closer to the original manga, which wasn’t that great, whereas Doumu had played fast and loose with the original manga to make an anime that rose above its origins.  So in this case, with a good base like Mirai Nikki to work from, we might get good results out.  Let’s see how they do with Episode 1 of Mirai Nikki!

…thirty minutes pass…

Where does an omnipotent god of spacetime dwell? Anywhere it wants to.

OK, this could be the best show of the season.  Better than Fate/Zero, even.  There was something that was lacking from the manga version, I now realize, something deeper and more fundamental than a competent translation.  It’s an absolute game changer, it will secure Mirai Nikki a place in the all-time anime hall of fame, and if the manga’s translation hadn’t been so bad I could have gone through the whole series without ever realizing it…

While watching this episode, I noticed that Gasai Yuno has pink hair.

Gasai Yuno has pink hair!  !!!!!  And it’s not the crappy sort of oversaturated, purplish magenta-pink, like Hinagiku’s hair got changed to in the second season of Hayate no Gotoku and I never forgave J.C. Staff for.  This is the real deal, the light, delicate pink that makes no excuses and takes no prisoners.  A pink that could not be confused for any other color, the pink you get when you mix a red and white together, a pink that has never heard of blue. Pink hair was great on Hinagiku, because it’s a feminine color, and it played into the juxtaposition at the core of her character where on the one hand she is a cool strong defender of justice, but on the other hand she sometimes wants to be a high school girl and go out with boys.  I don’t think it’s going too far to say that when they darkened her hair they did substantial damage to her character.  Gasai Yuno has a similar juxtaposition going on in her character, a clash of two natures more violent than Hinagiku’s.  Here’s hoping they stick to their pink guns and don’t ruin this god-tier yandere by darkening her hair.

Uh, apart from the hair, the episode was also pretty good.  I don’t want to give the impression that that was the only nice thing about asread’s adaptation.  For action scenes I strongly prefer anime to manga, since anime can actually animate the action rather than trying to convey it in static panels, and the fight with the Third was no exception.  Especially the part where he was devoured from within by nothingness – in the manga it was just sort of flat, and it did the job of conveying the message that “hooray, he’s dead”, but in the anime you got to watch his body contort as it was annihilated by the loss of the diary, and I feel like that brings the message of “holy shit, losing your diary is bad, you gotta keep it safe” much stronger.  Also it was easier to follow the scenes with Deus in the anime adaptation – the scene with the eleven competitors was impossible to follow in the manga with all the faces blacked out, no voices to go by, and the words being badly translated.  Now I finally understand what happened there.


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