You can take your wibbly wobbly timey wimey's, fuck'em with a 13 inch dildo, and send them off to Microsoft for privilege checking; this is Mirai Nikki.
Yukiteru Amano is a loner in school in life, his only companions being his imaginary friends Deushowever, Deus turns out not to be a figment of Yuki's imagination, but an actual god of time and space. Now Yuki is dragged into a game between eleven others to fight over becoming the next god, given special devices know as Future Diaries, items that allow the user to see specific parts of the future. Yuki is not alone though, as Gasai Yuno, another member of the game stands by his side, ready to fight and die for the unlikely loner. Will Yuki survive this crazy game, or will a terrible turn of events change the course of his future?
The story is paced verily well, being part shonen battles between Yuki, Yuno, and the ten other players in the game of death, each with their own future diary that holds a unique power for letting them know the future, and part creepy love comedy. It would have been easy enough for the players to all have the same power of seeing the future, but Mirai Nikki adds another level to this by giving each player a different diary based on who they are; some examples being Yuki's diary, which before the game he would use to record his surroundings as he considered himself only a bystander things happened around, so his diary would only record the events around him, but not what happens to himself, the 9th's, which only predicts how she can successfully escape from a situation, or the 12th's diary, which is an audible diary as he's actually blind. This adds a new level to the game, giving each player special rules they have to follow with their diaries, and even putting advantages and disadvantages on players depending on who they face, creating an intense level of action and excitement as different diary holders face off.
You may have noticed I referred to other players by their numbers in the game instead of their actual names, and they do have names, I just came to know them by their number because that's how the series refers to them. Each player does get their introduction, but after, they are referred to by their number; our main cast knows that the 9th name is Minene Uryuu, but no one ever calls her that. The same goes for even Yuki and Yuno when referred to by other players. Everyone is made to be a number in this game, always showing that no matter what's happening to these people, the game is first and foremost. This doesn't stop the players from getting time to establish themselves, however, as each player gets a chance to establish their twisted personality; each player was a joy to watch and wonder just what they'll do next, along with a pleasant side cast to compliment them.
I also mentioned this was a love comedy, and that was half right. Yuno walked this great line of being a wonderful romantic love interest and a creepy stalker villain all at once. This creates some great dark comedy as Yuno tries everything to keep Yuki safe and in her arms, while also being the symbol of every man's deepest dating fear, the crazy over-attracted girlfriend. Yuki works well off this as his weak-willed nature makes him easy for Yuno to drag him along through the game as it changes him from the inside out.
The Artwork in Mirai Nikki is alright. It starts out a bit wonky, a few faces drawn a little weird, but does get better as the series runs its course, and each character does have a unique design, ranging from normal to downright wacky. There's also a bit of a darker tone to this art work that works well with the stories tone. The only real complain I would have is with the 8th's strawberry shortcake design seems like an odd choice. I'd call this a nitpick, but with her later importance in the story, she seems out of place with the rest of the cast.
Recommended: Fans of Psychological Thrillers, Fans of Supernatural manga, Fans of Shonen Battle Series.
Not Recommended: People who don't like any gore, People looking for more standard Shonen Action.
I'll admit, I kinda went into this series worried I was gonna read a Gantz style gore fest with a little time based gimmick, but I was surprised with what I got. This was a fun read with a well flowing story, great action both physical and mental, and plenty of twisted and memorable characters that you'll be rooting for and hating all the way to the end.
Mirai Nikki was created by Sakae Esuno, and was originally published in the monthly magazine, Shonen Ace. The Series has been completed at 12 volumes, 59 chapters. 10 of the volumes were released by Tokyopop; however the series was never finished stateside.
In the end, I'm really glad I read Mirai Nikki. It was a fun read, and honestly, I can't remember the last manga I read that made it impossible for me to do anything other than keep reading. I just enjoyed it that much. Of course, we're not done with Mirai Nikki just yettill next time folks.