[Infinite Themes] Future Diary: the Trial of a Father
[Infinite Themes dissects a series' seemingly endless amount of thematic elements]
If Future Diary is anything, it’s a look in to the emotional and the unhinged. It is an exploration of many themes, but mostly chaos. It’s like a Greek drama, and that’s the point.
Future Diary is a lesson. A lesson in raising life, the most chaotic thing imaginable.
Creating life is simple. It requires little effort, really. Raising a person to do right is something so much more complex. Future Diary is filled with so much death, that to create life in the aftermath seems almost inconceivable. Future Diary is about making life in the face of death and the hurdles it takes to do so.
The entire focus of Future Diary is on finding the new god to change the universe for their own whim. With 12 candidates vying for the position, a battle royal is declared to find the new master of time and space. Each are given diaries with a small sample of Deus’s power and are then pushed to kill each other off until the victor stands above the 11 corpses laying at his feet.
Deus is the father of the realm, but his death is drawing near. He needs someone to replace him. So the game is created to find the most suitable champion. While it seems odd that a murder game would be used to create the most ideal candidate to assume the role of God, it’s simple when you factor that it is all a test to find the new father of the universe. Someone who will use his goals to recreate the universe for himself.
This is where we are really introduced to Yukitero Amano (henceforth shortened to Yuki), who is declared by God himself to be his favored son of the game and is even given the title of First. This is not a bold claim from Deus. Yuki does become God, but there will be a twist.
At no point in this show are the other diary users tasked to battle anybody but Yuki. This is odd in a battle royal. Events happen that put a few close to each other, but ultimately each candidate is a hurdle for Yuki. Essentially we are left with Deus testing his heir’s ability to rule.
Yuki however is still a child which is showcased with his “Random Diary.” His potential can go anywhere, for it is exactly as his diary implies. Unfortunately, at no point in his introduction are we shown his potential to rule. He simply isn’t a man. Yuki has no aspirations for the world. He has no goal or understanding of the things he will be tasked with. He must know what it means to grow up. He needs a woman to guide him, to raise him up and stick with him.
Gasai Yuno will become the love of Yuki’s life. She’s batshit insane and damn good at killing people. Everything there is to fear about a woman is legitimized in her. She’s a liar, a cheater and a stalker. As the “Yukiteru Diary” user Second, she can only support her love. She can truly only win this game if Yuki loses. With her attention focused on Yuki, she helps him to grow up and become a man.
Together as a couple they can defy all odds. They defeat Third, a serial killer, and seriously wound a world renowned terrorist, Ninth. These two children are poised for perfection until Yuki discovers Yono’s dirty secret. The bodies of her mother and father lay dead and withered in a cage in her house. From this episode on is the moment where the lessons in parenting begin.
We open with the back story on Ninth. A character who lost her parents early on as casualties of a war that now has adopted the life of a terrorist. She has grown many times more destructive with her “Escape Diary,” something that allows her to escape any situation. It’s this ability that defines her role in the story. No matter her willingness to advance her goal, she ultimately runs from it. Even if it costs her an arm, an eye or a loved one, she will flee. She is effectively useless to any man no matter her intention otherwise. It is only in her death that she understands why she could never win. A person can’t just flee her responsibilities. When they do, the consequences hurt the people around her.
This is followed with the “Clairvoyance Diary” holder Sixth, who lost her cult leader parents in a car crash and became priestess of the group in the aftermath. She is forced to grow up too soon and pays dearly for this. Through years of rape by the males of the group, she becomes distrustful of everyone even though she still acts as mother to her followers. No amount of clairvoyance can shake these horrible events from her and her children are just pawns for her self destructive goal. She uses and disposes of them as if it were nothing simply because she is ultimately too weak to take care of them and ultimately destroys them with her. This effect takes shape in the form of Fifth.
Fifth is the young child brought to Yuki’s house after his parents died in mass suicide after Sixth’s death. He was abandoned by his parents in life in favor of the cult and once again in their death. His existence is a reminder of the negative consequences neglect has on a person, no matter the age.
Despite a similar situation, Yuno doesn’t have the destructive traits of these three. Her parents died at her own hands after crushing her mind with the pressure to be better. She is not sane, but she does everything in her power to serve Yuki. She is weak in mind, but dutiful in service and willing to die for the man that looks at her. The man she misguidedly loves. Ultimately, she is the opposite of Ninth. Too focused on the love she wants that she’ll destroy anything and everything to save it.
The revelation of her parents death puts a halt to the lovey dovey relationship they had been building. Their relationship is now a mess with this revelation breaking Yuki’s trust in Yuno. This is when we really start to see Yuki collapse under the pressures of becoming a man as he is presented with a handful of terrible male figures.
The first failure as a father figure comes from two completely one sided maniacs. Third, who carries the “Murder Diary” and the crazed masked vigilante Twelfth, are so focused on their tasks that they are destroyed by them. The “Breeder Diary” wielder Tenth would follow in the same footsteps with his absolute adoration for his animals resulting in a complete disregard for his family and his own health. His complete disregard of his daughter forces her to attempt and kill her school mates Yuki and Yuno. This burden placed on her drives the final nail in their relationship. Similar to Yuno’s neglectful father, their narrow sight destroys many people around them and turns in to their downfall.
Fourth initially starts as a positive role model for Yuki and Yuno at one point bringing them under his wing. He’s noble, supportive and goes above and beyond to help put an end to the game. He’s exactly what you would expect of an outstanding police officer. That is to say until his son turns ill. Fourth then compromises himself by framing Yuki and doing many terrible things in order to win. He fabricates a crime by turning his friend Yuki in to a criminal and leads a police team to kill him. To save his son, he went against what he believed in. Upon realizing this, he has no choice but to destroy his “Criminal Investigation Diary.” He tampered with what he shouldn’t and was forced to redeem himself by ending the investigation.
The collapse of their relationship leads to Yuno to respond drastically by tying up and forcefully isolating Yuki from society. Spoon feeding him until she disposes of the other diary users. He essentially snaps and needs his friends to pick him up and carry him away from her. Upon his release this understandably puts a strain on the couples relationship and Yuki finally realizes that Yuno is only useful to him as a pawn for survival. She is now reduced to his tool.
With an understanding of failed fathers established, we finally meet with Yuki’s scumbag of a dad. Yuki’s father Kurou amassed an enormous debt thereby destroying his marriage and family. In an attempt to pay off his debts, he attempts to destroy Yuki’s diary despite the many signs indicating how important this really is to him. The only time he is ever truly a father to Yuki is when he wants something for his own gain and his manipulation of his son winds up literally destroying the family when he abandons Yuki in a collapsing building and then kills Yuki’s mother. Greed turned Kurou in to a man who ruins everything he touches.
It’s in this chaos that we are met with the only two diary users that seem to have no fault. The lovers that are known as Seventh are the polar opposites of Yuki and Yuno. Two orphans that love each other unconditionally as they complement each other well. They are idiots, but they are blissful and handle their relationship with purpose. They make their counterparts look pitiful. It is their relationship that allows Yuki to see what his relationship with Yuno should be. In fact, the only crime Seventh truly commits is hubris. Their narrow scope and foolish pride focuses them in their attack. This pride in their relationship sets them up for a dead end.
With a renewed vigor to win, Yuki goes on a rampage with his assassin Yuno. Simply thinking he will recreate the world as God and bring back the people he has lost and the people he has killed. He will use Yuno to create a world where this death, destruction and chaos cannot happen. A goal he will find out later is impossible. He compromises himself similar to Fourth. He destroys Eighth’s gathering of orphans and plans a terrorist attack with Ninth on Eleventh, the mayor of the city. Eighth is a respectable person, however she put the burden of fighting upon her children. She essentially created an army and only in death did she realize that the world could only be perfect when a child doesn’t have to worry.
Eleventh is the destroyer of everything. He is the man who crafted the framework of this game and essentially uses his inside knowledge to ruin the lives of everyone in the later parts. He’s indirectly responsible for the deaths of Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Ninth’s lover, and Yuki’s mother and father. He is a con man, a strategist and a nazi enthusiast. He is the father to the game and is the cause of all the woes it brought forth.
After all of this death and destruction, the final two stand together. Yuki understands now that nothing he can do will bring back those he lost and he is stuck at the end of the world with the only person that’s supported him through this ordeal. A woman that has lied and killed to mask everything that she truly is. Yuki has now fallen in love with Yuno for all the wrong reasons.
She is Second, the God of the first game and has traveled through time to compete in these games for a second time.
That was the twist. Yuki found out the secret she had kept from him. That he had already died in a double suicide attempt in another life time and she had become God. This new found power granted her the ability to return to relive their relationship over and over and over again if she must. She was searching for a quick relationship and all she would have to do is kill and replace her double to make it happen. Doing this causes her to sacrifice pieces of herself to each relationship she recreates. This thoughtlessness would lead to her downfall.
Unable to kill Yuki (despite her best efforts), she escapes in to the past to join the 3rd game. Yuki follows to stop her from murdering the true Gasai Yuno of that timeline and assuming her place. He rescues her but in the attempt, she causes widespread damage by summoning massive eggs to attack him. Eventually she traps him in a makeshift paradise inside the egg, forcing him to live a happy existence without her. It is in this imaginary world of perfection that he finally has time to reflect and discovers what he wants and who he wants to be. He wants Yuno and he will sacrifice his happiness for it. This realization tears her heart apart and she kills herself knowing he never could.
Her action however was not in vain. In the same way she created happiness for Yuki by trapping him inside her egg, she creates something wonderful in the chaos her destructive eggs left behind. The symbolism wasn’t that subtle. When Yuki left his shell he was reborn. The effects of her eggs spread throughout the city changes the lives of everyone in this timeline.
The world that forms as a result of their interference is the most perfect form of happiness the 12 combatants could have. The destruction Yuno created and the lives Yuki saved created peace. Ninth stopped running and had to settle in to the family home giving life to twins. Seventh follows suit as the two are expecting. The mother of the games Eighth is starting a relationship with the father of the diaries Eleventh.
Fourth was able to properly care for his son, finally taking time to be with his family. With her parents still alive, Sixth doesn’t go through the horrific events the cult subjected her to and she is allowed to grow up in a peaceful scenario. She is able to live her childhood fully instead of being put in to the stressful environment of mothering the society. This directly corresponds to Fifth’s livelihood as his parents will never join the cult and will finally focus on raising him properly. Finally, Tenth is able to find something in common with his daughter and can finally connect with her.
It’s a happy ending as the parents in the game are shown to be living up to their potential. In the ideal light, they can be ideal parents. However, Yuki and Yuno’s relationship will not be in this third timeline. With the love that Yuno now receives from her parents, she has absolutely no need to depend on this timeline’s Yuki and he is shown to be having a great time with his parents and new girlfriend in a life where he is blissfully unaware of Gasai Yuno. A perfect world apparently is one that will never bring these two lovers together.
At this moment, Yuno finally breaks down as she realizes something is missing from her. For some reason, this perfect world has made her cry.
After Yuno’s death in the game, Yuki became God and is returned to the ruins of his universe while the timeline of the third Yuno Gasai lay seemingly perfect. Everyone’s issue with their families were resolved. Through their destructive actions towards continuity, they have created a timeline that begins to coincide with the wishes of Eighth. The only person seemingly unhappy is Yuno, who has no clue as to what she lost. He had essentially saved Yuno twice. Once from the game and once from herself.
That’s why the pairing of Yuki and Yuno was such an interesting couple. He is a weak person who had to grow in to a God and stumbles with love, his family and his friends. He wanted a simple life, but that was never afforded to him. In return, Yuki’s weakness needed Yuno’s strength. His weakness hurt her until he could finally stand up in front of her and bring her the peace she needs. He grows in to adulthood and accepts the role of a man. He will be the one to protect Yuno, always.
Yet, that’s how it ends. Yuki alone, unable to create life. Withering away in nothingness.
It really does beg the question, “how can life be created without a woman?”
His actions have born a world of peace and yet he rules nothingness. He is the father to a universe that has no mother in the same way that Yuno was the mother to a universe with no father. He is left in the same situation Yuno was and he is serving his penance for failing her. For letting her die in his place. As she could do nothing but wallow in the past for her lover, he is wallowing in the future staring at the final moments with he and Yuno recorded on his phone.
In sadness however hope is bred.
A remnant of the Gasai Yuno that Yuki fell in love with lies dangling from her cell phone. Yuki’s “Random Diary” suddenly flickers and reveals that after 10,000 years of nothingness, Yuno will return to him.
.Next Project Begins!
This is where the next project will be a revelation. There was an end to the manga that was not included in the show. I could spoil it here, but what’s the fun of that. This next project is rumored to be that epilogue as well as an adaptation to one of the side stories to the book. With Tokyopop failing to localize the last books of the series in the west, we’ll just end this with what we’ve seen so far and what is easy to assume.
The Yuki from the second timeline and either the Yuno of the third or some new timeline will meet. In this empty universe, the father and the mother can now create a perfect world together or destroy the last remnants of the timeline. Yuki who had grown strong enough to claim Deus’s role, could finally see his happy end. The creator could find his muse.