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I decided to give Mirai Nikki (also known as Future Diary) a second chance.

The first time I tried it, my expectations were rather high: everywhere I looked, people were praising it for its qualities as a supernatural psychological thriller. I happen to be a fan of "deadly game" plots, and the idea of diaries that can predict the future held a lot of promise for strategic battles. I also heard a lot of good things about Yuno, the disturbing psychotic cute girl who pretty much codifies the Yandere trope; it got me curious.

What I was expecting: a relatable main character, suspense, creative use of foresight, morality issues and, above all, a believable, heavy take on human psychology. Save for a few clever tricks with the future diaries, I was disappointed on all accounts.

I gave up on the manga on chapter 4, when a Diary Holder pulled a motorbike out of her ass (literally) to get away. A scene like this kills all manner of suspense, folks: from then on I knew that whenever this character would be in a tight spot, I would wonder: "Why don't you just use the motorbike again?"

The second time I read it was for a much stupider reason: I had completed the game The World Ends With You and was browsing its tvTropes page because I missed the characters. That's where I heard of a certain Akise Aru, a character from Mirai Nikki I had yet to meet, whom Joshua Kiriyu from TWEWY might have been strongly inspired from:

Joshua Kiriyu   Akise Aru
Damn you, Josh.

As it turns out, the two do have many things in common, from appearance and behaviour to the lyrics of Akise's theme song, Aru Shinjitsu no Uta (Song of a Certain Truth), which fit Joshua surprisingly well. (It is a beautiful song, by the way. Check it out.) In both cases, other characters and readers/players alike spend most of these kids' screen time wondering how dangerous they really are, and whether or not they are trustworthy.

In many regards, Akise is in fact a better developed character than Joshua is: he is more human, and the conflicts he faces are more noticeable. This is why it is such a crying shame that he is the only round character in Mirai Nikki. (And has terrible taste in men, but I will get to that one in a bit.)

So here is me complaining about everything in Mirai Nikki save for Akise Aru, who effectively steals the show. Spoilers are marked.Collapse )

For all that Akise steals the show with his sympathetic motives, daring personality and many talents (outbalanced by believable flaws and weaknesses), he doesn't save the plot. Given how popular the series is, and the fact that he made me read this stupid manga almost all the way through, I have to admit this much: good job Mister Sakae Esuno, your strategy is working. Gore and fanservice plus one or two interesting characters (if you can count Yuno) made you rich!

That being said, it doesn't make for a good story.

Really, I can't recommend Mirai Nikki. No character consistency = no suspense = failure as a psychological supernatural thriller. No amount of pool episodes and crazy cute girls chopping people up can make me look past that.

If you want to read about the believable struggles of relatable characters trapped in a deadly game with supernatural powers (and fanservice), I suggest you either watch the Mai HiME anime (stay away from the manga though) or play The World Ends With You on the Nintendo DS. They have their own flaws (especially Mai HiME; TWEWY is great), but this much, they both do right.
Fandom: Pandora Hearts

Story title: Ambidextrous

Chapter title: Vessalius

Characters: Gilbert, Alice, Oz, Jack and others.

Disclaimer: All characters except for Joseph (the coach driver from the second chapter) were borrowed from the mangaka Jun Mochizuki. The copyrights go to Square Enix.

Rating: T

Warnings: SPOILERS up to Retrace 81, to be safe. Slight gore.

Word Count: 18,358.

Status: Ongoing (three chapters out of four).

Summary: No matter how many times he changed his name, Gilbert would never belong anywhere. He simply hopes that his master can be saved. The question is: does he still have one?

Chapter I: Baskerville

Chapter II: Nightray: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Chapter III: Vessalius: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

AN:     I love Retraces 78 to 82. These chapters were amazing, much better than anything I could ever pull off       here. However, fanfiction isn’t about doing better than the author: I just love to write about these characters. As much as I prefer to stay close to the original, Ambidextrous has already taken a different direction, and some things simply won’t fit with the plot I had in mind. All the same, beware of spoilers: I am still fitting everything that does serve my plot in.

Now, on to business, I have a story to finish. A billion thanks to my sister Stingmon for her help as a beta-reader. Since it has been a while (sorry for writing so slowly), here is a summary of what happened previously:

[Previous Chapter Summary]Previous Chapter Summary:

Glen Baskerville, Zai Vessalius, Sheryl Rainsworth, Rufus Barma and Gilbert Nightray successfully used the power of their five Black Winged Chains to prevent the destruction of the world. But in the meantime, Gilbert found out that Glen intended to send the three of Vincent, Break and Oz to the lowest level of the Abyss.

Unable to oppose his master directly, but determined to find a third option, Gilbert decides to keep his last promise to Oz, and use the Nightray key to go into the Abyss and rescue Alice.

Every move Gilbert made seemed deafening in the silence, yet strangely muffled. There wasn’t enough air to carry an echo. It was suffocating.Collapse )


Finally got around to trying the Princess Tutu anime:


My first impression was that it was very beautiful and very weird. (So the goat teacher is proposing to the cat teacher and there is a crocodile wearing a tutu, okaaaaay...?)

Then I was ridiculously proud of myself when I recognized the Giselle ballet. All the research behind this, oh my God... And the visuals, and music...! Really enjoying it from an artistic point of view.

And these characters are all so adorable, I honestly didn't expect to love every single one of them this much, but they are so sweet, relatable and human.  (Fakir, I thought you were a creep, how did you become my favorite character? Drosselmeyer is a close second though; such a perfect, insane storyteller. X) ) Gee, I will ship Ahiru with everyone at this rate...

The plot, too, is engaging, creative and poetic all at once.

So I just finished watching episode 13. It hit me like a freight train. I cried like a baby. IN FACT I AM STILL WEEPING. Heck, I never expected to be heartbroken and moved to tears almost simultaneously, three times in a row, ALL IN A SINGLE FREAKING EPISODE. ;O;

I love this show. If you haven't yet, you should definitely give it a try. I am only halfway through, but really, I would be hard-pressed to find a single flaw. It blew me away.

PH 81 and TWEWY: Square Enix Owns my Soul

This manga is full of adorable badasses. I freaking love it. <3

Time to reread and fangirl like no tomorrow! SPOILER AND IMAGE-HEAVY POST!Collapse )

Ridiculously long ramblings aside, I am still writing Ambidextrous' third chapter, which is about a quarter to completion. I am writing slower than usual because I have yet to get over my newfound obsession with the Nintendo DS game The World Ends With You. And who developed this wonderful time-consuming baby? Why, Square Enix. This is turning into a problem.


Christmas just came one month and two days early.

Let's reread this together! 8D


PH 78: I think I'm in love

This rant is very late, but I needed time to collect my thoughts and stop squealing like the hysterical fangirl this series has turned me into. Ehm. Still. Gilbert... my proposition still stands. Just so you know.

Okay, so, if you haven't caught up with the manga yet, I am begging you, don't read any further! Not only will half of the rant not make sense, but the spoilers will make you go prematurely bald. If you did read all 78 chapters... feel free to laugh at my expense for over thinking and overreacting! ;D