Mirai Nikki – 18
There are an awful lot of revelations in this episode, some more obvious than others, but I suspect it will mostly be remembered as the one where Yuki finally “manned up”. I doubt that will satisfy the legions of haters out there, but at least the specifics of the complaints might change a little.
This was a mighty important ep, and none too soon as we’re down to 8 weeks left and there’s not a moment to spare. I think think Asread can make it without drastic changes, but it’s going to be close, and there are going to be weeks when multiple threads converge like this one. Not a lot was changed from the manga, but a lot of the manga found its way in here, starting with the revealing flashback to a year before events of the series’ present, where Yuno’s nascent crush on Yukiteru was beginning to solidify. The tone of the guys in the schoolyard – “She’s hot, but I don’t have enough lives to go there” – was the prevailing attitude amongst Yuno’s male classmates, I suspect. Yukiteru’s virtues to Yuno were simple and understandable – he was nice, and he didn’t judge her (largely because he was as much a social outcast as she, and a little oblivious to his surroundings).
I was hoping the scenes with Wakaba Moe would survive intact, and they did. There’s lots of interesting stuff here – Yuki’s interest in another girl, for starters, and she’s one that looks eerily like his mother. Here we see Yuki in one of his few “normal” adolescent moments, shyly working up the courage to confess via a letter, and we see Yuno in proto-stalker mode. It’s her misfortune that her “strict curfew” leads the teacher to send Moe instead of her to accompany Yukiteru to buy supplies for the class’ maid café for the culture festival, and even more misfortune that she can’t speak up and say why her curfew no longer matters. So she dons a bunny suit and tails Yuki through the mall, terrorizing a small boy but basically seeming to be an eerily benevolent “lite” version of the yandere queen she’ll become. But when that trip is over, we see that things have already turned deadly with Yuno – and why. Bad parents are quite the hot topic in anime lately (and certainly in Mirai Nikki), but despite what she did to them it’s impossible for me to feel much sympathy – they seem like pretty sick bastards. We now know the identity of two of the skeletons the police found at the Gasai house, but not the third.
In the present day, Yuki has taken it upon himself to go to Deus and demand that his mother be revived – something the God declares he cannot do, as he no longer has control in the space time continuum. What has been hinted at, Deus confirms – he’s dying, literally falling apart – and if no one fills his place, the world will collapse and all within it perish. Murumuru suggests to Yuki that there’s only one way his mother can be saved – for him to become God himself. As this is happening Nishijima is trying and failing to find out the identity of the third body from Yuno, and Yukiteru’s father is hiding from the police and eventually, coming to Yukiteru’s house to “make his peace” with Rea. He neither confirms nor denies Yuki’s accusation that he killed Rea (which Yuki has learned from his diary) but when Yuki tails him the next day to a pawnshop, looking for proof, it turns out that Kurou is instead buying back his telescope – the very one Yuki and Yuno was on their way to pick up to watch the stars on the day she kidnapped him. Just as Kurou bares his soul to Yuki and declares his intention to turn himself in and make amends, several men dressed as police offers accost the pair and Kurou is stabbed.
Deus and Muru haven’t been interactive participants in the story much lately, and this certainly serves as a reminder of why this game was started in the first place. But the main focus will surely be on Yukiteru, who now joins Yuno as an orphan and seems to have finally been pushed past his limit. Yuki isn’t a natural-born killer, and it doesn’t come easily to him – but as his father lies dying it appears that he’s finally decided he has nothing left to lose, and when the attackers turn their attention to him, he fights back in a way he hasn’t done before – spontaneously and with anger in his heart. Three dead attackers later, Yuno arrives on the scene to finish the fourth – and Yuki is forced to confront the hard reality that in order to bring back those he loves, it won’t be enough merely to kill off strangers and those hostile to him – he’ll have to kill Yuno too, and while she declares herself “ready to die at any time for him”, it remains to be seen if he has the stomach to finish the job.
If you’re keeping score at home, the anime has averaged almost exactly two chapters per episode as of this week, and to finish the manga they’ll have to average just under three the rest of the way. That won’t be easy but it can be done – this ep covered just about three chapters – although I suspect there are going to be quite a few things left to the viewer’s interpretation rather than implicitly spelled out. Fundamentally this story is about Yuki and Yuno, and episodes like this do a lot to flesh out their characters and shed some light on how they got to be who they are – and who they’ll become – and that makes the job of wrapping up the story easier. People will likely fixate on the fact that Yuki finally stepped up and got his hands dirty in his own defense, but more than anything I think what happened is that this was the episode where he truly realized for the first time what the stakes were – the stakes of success in the game, and of failure. But even whatever small peace that might have provided him is short-lived, as the boy who’s been systematically betrayed by everyone he’s ever depended on realized that he could only achieve his goals by killing the one person he might still be able to depend on. In short, with these two, it’s no wonder they’re as messed-up as they are.