I started watching the show because it was entertaining, then got slowly sort of intrigued by the way they were laying the groundwork for Yuno/Yuki, having them go from possessive stalker and guy who only uses her as a meat shield so he won't have to dirty his hands, to finally getting the sense verbally smacked into both of them by Marco, who gives them the exact words they desperately needed to hear. And from here, I thought the show might have been going places apart from just mindless entertainment.
And at the end, it tries. Oh, it tries. But it's at that point the show has sort of lost me, with the focus shifting from Yuki and Yuno's mission to kill the remaining diary holders and reset reality back to normal, to there having been a preexisting continuity all along, which explains some confusion about Yuno and--it's a little much to swallow, especially when the elephant in the room that is the abusive side of Yuno/Yuki's relationship (Yuno lying to Yuki, Yuno drugging and kidnapping Yuki a while back) just gets ignored in favor of the plot and Yuki's now fully-fledged love for Yuno. And it was acknowledged before (Yuki slapping and flippantly telling off Yuno after he's rescued and she says she "can't live without him," what Marco told the both of them, and I'm pretty sure there were a couple instances were Yuki asked Yuno why she lied to him), which makes the show's priorities and intent even stranger.
Mirai Nikki is strange, in that it's both a show you need to take strictly at face value and not think too hard about in order to fully enjoy...and yet it also invites you to think hard about what's going on, or at least towards the end.
Other, disconnected thoughts:
- Marco/Ai for best couple
- Minene/Nishijima for worst couple (he pins her to the ground, wraps his arms around her and flat out says "You belong to me" without a single drip of irony and, unlike Yuno/Yuki's relationship in the beginning, there is no sense of creepiness portrayed here, it's played up as cute awww look Minene is just being tsundere god I hope they got together differently in the third world)
- I ACTUALLY THOUGHT THE 12TH WAS GOING TO BE MINENE'S LOVE INTEREST which would have been infinitely better than Nishijima because nothing says true love like taking care of an injured person and then plucking their eyeball out
- The 12th just needed to be a major recurring character, period
- I also liked Kurusu and wished he was a longer-lasting character