I have to give this show some credit. Future Diary has to be one of the most unique and creative Anime I've watched in recent memory. It definitely has a "Death Note" vibe to it, but is alot different at the same time. Personally, I enjoyed it more than the aforementioned title as well.
Future Diary is about a socially awkward 14 year old boy named Yukiteru Amano(Josh Grelle, referred to as Yuki), Yuki keeps track of everything he does in his Cell Phone's diary. The only friend he really has is imaginary, named Deus...Although Deus turns out to be very real.
Deus (Kent Williams) is the god of time and space, his life is slowly starting to come to an end, so he is looking for a successor to become the next to take his throne. He selects Yuki as 1 of 12 participants in A free for all battle royal. The participants are unknown to each other, and they have to use their Future Diaries to figure out who they are to kill them. Future Diaries are able to tell certain aspects of the future, for example, A character we get to know early on, Keigo Kurusu (Rob McCollum, he's also referred to as 4th), who is a Detective, his diary will only work on a case he is working on, or 3rd, who is a serial killer, his diary will tell him who his next victims are, where to find them and how he kills them. Anything someone does that pertains to someones fate can alter the future.
Yuki meets a classmate named Yuno (Brina Palencia), who turns out to be a diary user, her diary is called the "Yukiteru Diary" Her diary completes Yuki's (Yuki's tells him about his surroundings, without going into detail about him like the others would, Yuno's diary gives the future of Yuki), so they decide to team up along with Detective and fellow diary user Keigo Kurusu. The bad thing is, she is the definition of a stalker, I don't want to go into any more detail about, because it will ruin some of the best parts. Let's just say she is hopelessly in love with Yuki, will kill ANYBODY in her path to be his one true love. Yuno is one of the most intense characters I've seen, and her developing relationship with Yuki really makes Future Diary such a joy to watch.
Each Diary user arc is handled in 2 or 3 episode incriments, so it's a nicely paced show. The 1st 13 episodes included on this set covers an assortment of different diary users... A few of these are a deceivingly adorable child, a crazed serial killer, a Priestess of a Cult, a rich dog breeder and a crazy blind man with a sense of justice. They're all handled pretty well, but I do wish they would have fleshed out some of them a bit better.
Positives: A aspect I loved about Future Diary is it has a little bit of everything for everybody; it has a horror, romance, thriller, comedy, drama, and it's able to balance it all quite well. As A hook for Part 2, Part 1 ends on quite the cliffhanger that will make you instantly want to watch more.
Negatives: Not many of the characters are really developed in this 1st set. The only characters that are an exception to this are Yuki, Yuno and to a lesser extent Kurusu and 9th. Luckily, character development is better in Part 2.
Performances: I only watch Anime in English dubbed format, Future Diary is handled very well. Josh Grelle and Brina Palencia are both fantastic in the roles of the 2 leads, Brina is the stand out for me as she is able to nail cute and innocent perfectly, and yet is able to play psycho even better, she was an amazing choice for the part. Emily Neves plays the role of 9th quite well, I haven't heard much of her work before, but she was impressive here (and even better in Part 2), Ian Sinclair does a fantastic job as always although his part was too brief, and lastly Rob McCollum, who I've always thought to be an underrated talent, does a solid job with Kurusu.
Future Diary looks fantastic on DVD, so I hope we get a Blu-Ray release some day. The animation is fantastic in the series, the colors are vibrant, animation is fluid & highly detailed.
For the audio tracks, we get our standard Japanese stereo track and 5.1 English dub track.
Other than a feature called "Omake #5 Yomotsu Hirasaka" we get our standard FUNimation Extra's. We get our basic FUNi trailers, Textless Opening/Closing themes, TV Spots, the U.S. Trailer for the dub, and a pair of Commentaries. The actors participating are...
Episode 05 - Emily Neeves (Minene/9th), Ian Sinclair (Yomotsu/12th) and Rob McCollum (Kurusu/4th.)
Episode 13 - Caitlin Glass (Hinata), Joel McDonald (Kosaka) and Ashleigh Domangue (Mao.)
The limited edition box set also comes with a chipboard artbox, Yuki and Yuno on the cover holding their Future Diaries, with the words DEAD END written, It's a nice presentation, but not FUNimation's best.
One of the most unique anime I've watching recent memory & having already finished the entire show, it only gets better from here, definitely one of the best I've watched as of late. I cannot recommend this one enough! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.