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.
Spoilers for Part 1!
Where my Future Diary Part: One left off, After Kurusu's sudden death, Yuki and Yuno had a moments peace and were enjoying spending time together, until Yuno decided to show off her psychotic side again... drugged Yuki and sealed him away as her prisoner, leaving Aru (Todd Haberkorn) and Yuki's friends to track him down and attempt to save him.
At this point we are left with 7 diary users, Our 3 leads, Yuki, Yuno and Minene, we get a couple who are in love, and is meant to show the mirrored image of Yuki and Yuno. A woman who runs a foster home and just wants to live in peace, and a Mayor. Thankfully where the 1st set lacked, Part 2 makes up for substantially, we get a lot more character development in this set compared to the 1st, especially to 2 of the series more interesting characters, Aru and Minene. The diary users are all fleshed out and well developed which I was absolutely thrilled about considering the lack of development in Part 1.
There is quite a bit of character progression for Yuki as well, whom up to this point was a stereotypical wimp without a backbone that had no intention of winning the tournament, all of that changes when the numerous mysteries revolving around Yuno come to light, and he has two people who are very dear to him ripped away when they're caught in the middle. Yuki will stop at nothing to become the new god and try to restore the damage that's been done, regardless of who it is in his way.
The final stretch of episodes in this series were very intense, there were so many well placed twists. There is one twist in particular that is just brutal to watch and made my jaw hit the floor. The triangle between Yuki/Yuno, the remaining diary users and Aru/Yuki's friends was compelling to watch and you can't click 'next episode' fast enough when each ends.
Dub Cast: Josh Grelle and Brina Palencia continue to impress in the lead roles, I know Brina was not a popular choice for Yuno going into it, but I don't know how she hasn't proved those people wrong, she is fantastic as both sides of Yuno in what i consider her best work to date, easily the best performance in the dub. Todd Haberkorn does his usual good work here as Aru, Chris Smith is great as the Mayor, Bacchus. Lastly, Emily Neves, who i haven't heard much of before this series, blew me away, absolutely loved her performance as Minene!
Positives: A very unique show that deserves a lot of praise for it's originality. Well executed plot twists. The fights between the diary users were all great and a blast to watch, surprisingly the developed relationship between Yuki and Yuno was just as compelling.
Negatives: The ending left a bit of a bitter taste, the story does not completely wrap up in the series, it ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, but the buildup was too great to stay disappointed with it, there is an OVA that is not included (nor been licensed) that has been made in Japan, and wraps up everything completely. I really hope it gets the dub treatment some day!
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 dolby surround sound English dub track.
Other than a feature called "Omake #10" 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 20 - J. Michael Tatum (Nishijima and script writer), and Patrick Seitz (script writer.)
Episode 23 - Josh Grelle (Yuki) and Brina Palencia (Yuno)
Future Diary hits on all the right levels, A unique plot, great developed lead and supporting characters, a well written story that is tightly balanced between the romance and the fight against the diary users. I cannot recommend Future Diary enough. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.