Genre: Psychological Thriller, Action, Romance
Original Name: Mirai Nikki
Yukiteru “Yuki” Amano is a loner who spends most of his time writing a diary on his cell phone or talking with his imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space; and Murmur, Deus’s servant. One day, Deus gives Yuki a special diary, mentioning something about a game. Strangely, Yuki’s new diary has entries in it spanning the next 90 days—entries about the future that come unnervingly true. Deus, revealed to be the not-so-imaginary God of Time and Space, then forces Yuki to participate in a battle royale with eleven other people, each of whom also has a diary that can predict the future in some unique way. The rules of this “Survival Game” are simple: the contestants must try to find and kill all the other contestants before the world ends on Day 90, and only the last one standing can prevent the Apocalypse and become the new God of Time and Space.
Yuki initially has no desire to win the game, but after Deus informs the other contestants that Yuki, as the “1st” Diary owner, is his favorite to win the game, he is forced to team up with the 2nd Diary owner—his obsessive stalker and lover, Yuno Gasai—in order to survive the constant attempts on his life by the other diary users, who see him as the biggest threat. Although Yuki only feigns affection for Yuno to manipulate her into protecting him, he soon becomes too afraid to spurn her after witnessing her psychopathic obsession with their “Happy End” (a prediction in Yuno’s diary that she and Yuki will “become one” on July 28, the 90th day of the game) and the terrifying methods she employs to remove anything and anyone she perceives as a threat to it. Yet despite Yuno’s apparent insanity and the mounting evidence that she is hiding something from Yuki, his declarations of love become increasingly sincere over the course of the game. Even as he learns that he cannot trust any of the other contestants, Yuki continues to trust Yuno because her feelings for him are genuine and because he is unwilling to personally stoop to the dirty tactics the competition resorts to in order to survive.
Late in the game, everything changes when Yuki’s parents are murdered. Upon learning from Yuno that he can bring his parents back to life by becoming the new God of Time and Space, Yuki becomes a ruthless, backstabbing, and manipulative terrorist who doesn’t hesitate killing innocent people for the sake of killing the other contestants. Yuki’s actions shock his friends, in particular Aru Akise, an aspiring detective who suspects that Yuno is not the person she claims to be. After Yuno and Yuki become the last contestants, Aru and the rest of Yuki’s friends chastise him on how he has become just as bad as the other contestants. Aru tries to warn Yuki that Yuno is manipulating him and that she has an ulterior motive. Refusing to accept the truth and obeying Yuno’s urging, Yuki unwillingly kills his friends under the belief that he can bring them back to life later. In one last desperate attempt to convince Yuki of the danger he is in, Aru sacrifices his life, refusing to dodge a fatal blow from Yuno in order to give Yuki a clue about Yuno’s true identity.
As the “Happy End” draws near, Yuki begins to wonder about Aru’s final clue. When he unwittingly brings it up after having sex with Yuno, with his desire to commit double suicide rather than win by killing her, she attempts to kill him with an axe and he is forced to flee for his life. In a major plot twist, Yuki is intercepted by Murmur, who reveals that Yuno is the God of Time and Space, Murmur is Yuno’s servant whom she inherited from Deus, and the universe they currently reside in is actually a time paradox created when Yuno, the winner of the first Diary game, used her newfound powers to travel back in time and start the game over. In the original Diary game, Yuki’s alter-ego and Yuno also defeated all the other contestants and decided to commit double suicide. However, Yuno only faked her death because she believed that she could bring Yuki back to life with the powers of the God of Time and Space. In a cruel trick of fate, Yuno was able to resurrect Yuki’s body but not revive his soul. Mad with grief, Yuno decided to travel back in time with Murmur, kill and replace her past self, have Murmur of the second universe trap and replace her past self, so she can take part in the game once more and be together with Yuki again.
After Murmur finishes her explanation, Yuno appears and declares that it would be useless and absurd if both of them died. She argues that since he can’t kill her, he will die anyway, either through her or the apocalypse. So she decides to kill Yuki in order to become god, travel back in time and become reunited with Yuki again in the diary game of a third world. As Yuno closes in for the kill, Yuki is saved by the sudden appearance of Minene Uryu, the supposedly deceased 9th Diary owner. Undaunted, Yuno and Murmur proceed to travel back in time to start the Diary game a third time, abandoning Yuki and Minene to the destruction of the world. To their surprise, Minene and Yuki are able to follow them, the former revealing that although she is no longer a contestant in the Diary game, she possesses part of Deus’s powers and is there on his behalf to confirm his suspicions that Yuno and Murmur are from a parallel universe and prevent them from disrupting the Diary game. Upon arriving in the past two years before the game, Minene interferes with and ultimately prevents many of the terrible events that originally happened to the other diary owners, thus creating the third universe. As a result of this, Yuno finds that her parents in the new universe are willing to defend their universe’s daughter. Yuki convinces Yuno to come to her senses and surrender as he loves her, requesting that she kill him and return to his universe to create a better world for herself. Overwhelmed by her feelings for Yuki, which won’t allow her to kill him, and their grim fate that dawns on them and will separate them forever on the other, Yuno instead kills herself, ending the game and making Yuki the new God of his universe.
Despite his new title and powers, Yuki is so devastated by Yuno’s death that he is unable to do anything but stare at his diary’s final entry—”Yuno died.”—and mourn her loss. After 10,000 years of mourning in the void of his post-apocalyptic universe, Murmur is tired of reading the same Manga and Yuki is shocked out of his depression when the space-time of his universe shatters and reveals a passageway to the third universe, created through the joint efforts of the Murmur of the third universe, the Murmur of the first universe, and the Yuno of the third universe. The Yuno of the third universe recognizes Yuki, reveals that she has the same memories as the Yuno from the first universe (courtesy of the Murmur of the first universe), and invites Yuki into the third universe so that they can finally be together. The Deus of the third universe calls off the Diary game and makes Yuki and Yuno his heirs, and Yuki is reunited with Yuno in the new, happier universe.