suntzuanime

A thoughtful response to current anime.

Mirai Nikki – Episode 21

Last episode on Mirai Nikki, Yukiteru and Yuno were closing in on the mayor with assault weaponry and cheerful attitudes.  Yukiteru’s come a long way from the goody-two-shoes that risked his own life to protect Tsubaki who he had just met and got betrayed in return.  Now he’s willing to place his friends and allies in mortal danger to serve as a diversion in order to get what he wants.  Remember when Yukiteru was crying as Yuno was threatening his friends, because they were the first real friends he’d ever had?  And now he himself is putting them in danger.  We’ll see if it ends up being worth it in episode 21 of Mirai Nikki.

…thirty minutes pass…

Dammit Yukiteru, you're supposed to be being *cheerful*.

Well, there’s a lot to take in from this episode.  Let’s start with the most straightforward, the deaths of Minene and John Bacchus.  They felt almost anti-climactic, I was a little disappointed.  Minene and Yukiteru had been playing off each other since episode 2, in a complicated mixture of alliance and enmity, and then Yukiteru betrayed her by letting her walk into a trap so he didn’t have to and getting the guy she sort of liked killed.  And despite all that need for vengeance, she can’t bring herself to shoot one crying teenager?  What sort of terrorist is she, anyway?  (“A boring one”, says John Bacchus.)  And Yukiteru’s little trick when fighting her to use his phone as a decoy was clever, but it had a fatal flaw – she could just as easily shoot the phone.  I dunno if she just didn’t think of that or what, but Yukiteru’s ploy basically was to expose his weak spot to protect the rest of his body, which is sort of a losing proposition.  And then finally she killed herself in an attempt to get at John Bacchus, but just plinked uselessly off his armor.  A sad end for someone who’d been pretty cool for most of the show.

And then John Bacchus died of hubris.  Or maybe he died of taking Akise Aru seriously.  Yuno was, apparently, not a fraud after all, but he was so certain that she was that he didn’t even bother to get up when she entered the room, and got shot unceremoniously in the head.  He really should have considered changing the lock.  I mean, even if Yuno had been a fraud, what if she had had the foresight to pickle the Gasais’ eyes after killing them?  I mean, you never know when you’re going to need a jar full of eyes, that would have been perfectly in keeping with Yuno’s character.

Ok, now we’re on to thornier issues.  Yuno isn’t a fraud, so we need to revisit the discussion in this post.  The simplest explanation for how this could be is that the test was just wrong, the DNA sample was contaminated, but that’s still not narratively satisfying and so it’s narratively implausible.  The next simplest is that the corpse is Yuno’s long lost twin.   Maybe she tracked her down, and was causing problems somehow (maybe trying to get at her rich adoptive family’s money?) and so she was killed.  There’s nothing wrong with that hypothesis exactly, but it doesn’t explain anything, either.  I’m actually leaning more toward the clone hypothesis, at this point.  Let me explain.

I suggested that the corpse was a clone of Yuno sort of off-hand, jokingly.  I said, given all the other wacky stuff in the show, what’s the harm in adding cloning tech on top of it?  But in fact, we don’t need to add any more wacky stuff to the show to get clones.  We have a God of Space-Time!  Surely it would be within his powers to send Yuno back in time, thereby allowing two Yunos to exist simultaneously, in a process known as “time-cloning”.  I’m not sure what his motives would be for that.  Maybe he just thought it would be interesting.  Maybe he was trying to give Yukiteru a leg up.  Perhaps in the original timeline, Yuno was not a diary holder, just a girl who wanted to marry Yukiteru but had a tragic home life.  Then, the Holy Grail War Survival Game began, and Yukiteru did poorly without Yuno to protect him, and she found out what was going on too late, and cried over his dying body, and she wished she had been able to protect the boy she loved.  And she cried out to Deus, just as Akise Aru did in this episode, and Deus heard her plea and sent her back in time to join the game.  And that took energy out of him, which is why the world is ending ahead of schedule.  Anyway, as mentioned, Yuno had a kind of a tragic home life, so the first thing she would have done would have been to try to correct that.  And so she came to the Gasai home, with a knife… and after that, what?  The time-clone Yuno would have murdered her parents, and then murdered the original Yuno so that she could take over her life?  It seems like two Yunos would be better than one, even if one of them had to wear a rabbit costume at all times to keep the secret from being exposed.  Plus you would think that time-clone Yuno would be able to use future knowledge to her advantage? So it makes more sense to think that the time-clone Yuno murdered her parents and then released original Yuno, who then freaked out at the knife-wielding doppelganger and attacked her, and managed to kill her after a struggle, so that the Yuno we have been seeing all this time is the original.  That would explain why Yuno claims she didn’t kill her parents – she didn’t, it was her time-clone.  It also explains why Yuno is so horribly unhinged – she watched her parents get killed by a girl wearing her face, then killed that girl herself.  And it also explains why Yuno freaks out at the prospect of Yukiteru learning what happened – she doesn’t know what happened, but she knows something went horribly wrong and she’s afraid of what might be discovered if the matter is looked into.

I guess the last question from this episode is, what is Akise Aru up to?  It looks like he’s found some legal loophole that means Yukiteru’s plan of “kill everybody and then bring them back to life later” won’t work out.  Maybe the issue is that since this is a survival game where you are staking your life to win the prize, the players who lose can never be brought back.  So Yukiteru can still bring his parents back, but he’ll have to permanently kill Yuno to do it.  And that means that a sizable chunk of the list of people he killed are just going to stay on his conscience no matter what you do.  Please be careful to consider all angles before murdering people!

(By the way, Yukiteru is being really selfish about this.  Why is he only bringing back to life the people he murdered, as opposed to the people who were murdered in random street crime, or people who starved to death in Africa, or people who lived in 1200 BCE and would be really jazzed if they could see the wonders of modern technology?)

Bonus Image Corner:

Who exactly doesn't want to be God? Tsubaki said she didn't, but she was lying.

 

At least Yuno managed to stay cheerful!

This is why you don't bring random middleschoolers into a war zone.

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