Disclaimer: Going strictly in alphabetical order, this post should actually be about Minami-ke, but because I’ve already written about it in length I decided not to write about it again. For better or for worse, here’s Mirai Nikki instead. By the way, there will be spoilers.
When I first started watching Mirai Nikki, I was pretty inexperienced regarding anime, and I had no prejudice regarding shows widely considered divisive. So, Mirai Nikki became my first “super edgy grimdark” show. It ended up being quite a memorable experience, and I remember being impressed by certain parts of it. In the end, however, it was a disappointing experience for many reasons, and that’s why I’m now firmly in the “didn’t like it” camp. Though I will admit that I may have been influenced in that regard by the opinions of certain people whom I look up to regarding anime critique.
Certain things I disliked entirely on my own, though, such as the main character Yukiteru. I didn’t like him at the start, and while I did briefly enjoy being surprised by his “transformation” into a cold-blooded killer later on in the show, at no point did I think his character or his development were actually good. I found Yuno entertaining as well, at least in the beginning. I feel like the only characters I actually liked were the ones who showed up a lot but weren’t important enough to the story to ruin, i.e. Akise and Minene. Sure, Akise is killed off in a most brutal way and Minene basically just plays the role of a recurring antagonist (if I remember correctly), but they seemed to be the only characters immune to the absurdity that the show devolved into in the last 6 (or 8?) episodes.
What I’m talking about is everything including and following the arc with Eighth. First of all, Eighth’s character design is jarringly different from all the other characters. Secondly, this is when Yukiteru suddenly “transforms” into a cold-blooded killer. And finally, it is after this that the complicated multi-world story really begins, Yuno becomes ridiculous, and Mur Mur is eventually revealed to be an antagonist who flies around in some sort of flying saucer with laser weapons. All of these things were initially surprises to me, and I enjoyed them for that reason. However, when I realised that the show was not embracing its absurdity in a comical “rule of cool” kind of way, when I realised it was still trying to be self-serious, that’s when the show finally lost me. It had already lost me as a serious viewer after the first few episodes, but this is when I could no longer enjoy it as a joke. It wasn’t even “so bad it’s good”, because it thought that it was still good. It couldn’t laugh at itself. It was just… a waste of time.
On the bright side, though, I really like the first OP. It’s cool.