"To Change The Future…" – Future Diary (manga) – 9/10 Pumpkins

When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened. ~John M. Richardson, Jr.

Genre: Horror/Psychological/Action/Supernatural/Shounen

Review Status: Partial (6 Volumes/? Volumes)

Licensed: Licensed in the US

Art: Good, solid. It may not be anything special, but it isn’t bad by far!

Summary: Middle school 2nd year, Amano Yukiteru, is a boy who has problem making friends. He thinks of himself as a bystander and will always write down everything he sees in a cell phone diary.

Tormented by solitude, Yukiteru began to imagine things like a friend called Deus Ex Machina who is apparently the Lord of Time & Space. Seeing Yukiteru’s miserable state, Deus gives him a new ability. His diary will now record events that will happen in the near future. Yukiteru is then forced to participate in a game which the winner will become Deus’s successor. (Mangaupdates)

Review: This manga came out to little fanfare a while ago. I picked it up, not quite knowing what I was going to find. It turned out to be a Death Note-esque blend of plots, action, and sheer excitement.

The characters are all very different, with understandable (and sometimes despicable) motivations for participating in the game to become Deus’ successor. Yukiteru, our protagonist, doesn’t want to participate, but soon realizes that unless he wants his existence wiped from the face of the earth he must. Along his way he picks up a motley crew of other players and friends. They help and support him in his battle to keep the others from winning, because if he doesn’t then his family and friends are at risk. Explosions and gunfights abound here as they try to kill eachother of- some in fairly simple ways, others in ways that are pretty out-there but fantastic to watch!

The story develops wonderfully, and quickly. He encounters his first rival within the first volume, discovering that truly anyone could be a fellow player. The players are willing to do anything to win, including threatening those he cares about. There are certain restrictions to the usage of the Future Dairies. Each one has its own restrictions and limitations. There’s a lot of interesting ways to see how different ones work together, and how the loopholes can be exploited.

The only thing I have against this is that around volume six-heck, in volume three there’s a big one!- definite moral ambiguities comes into play. Some people would probably put this down to certain moral lines being crossed, though others would likely understand or still want our protagonist to win, hoping that when he does he will set things right as the new Deus. I will continue the story myself to see how it all works out.

Overall, this is a solid psychological series that will leave you at the edge of your seat!

Recommended: Yes. It does have a lot of disturbing deaths and some gore, there is some sexually suggestive stuff (including rape), some partial nudity, so 16+, please!

Other titles you might enjoy: When They Cry (anime and manga),
MPD Psycho (manga),
Elfen Lied (anime and manga),
Perfect Blue (anime),
Doubt (manga),
Deadman Wonderland (manga and anime),
Liar Game (manga),
Future Diary spin-offs (Future Diary: Mosaic, and Future Diary: Paradox)(manga)


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