Last week, I took a look at one of my favourite anime of the last few years, 2011's Future Diary. Late last month, a single-episode OVA sequel called The Future Diary: Redial (Mirai Nikki: Redial) was released in Japan. It fixed the one major problem I had with The Future Diary: the ending.
This review contains major spoilers for the The Future Diary anime series and mild spoilers about the general plot of The Future Diary: Redial.
As I stated in my review of the series, the ending of The Future Diary was rather abrupt. Seconds after the climax, the credits begin to roll, interspersed with brief scenes of the 12 diary holders in the Third World serving as the epilogue. Then after the credits, we see Yuki, god of the Second World alone and still in mourning 10,000 years after the end of the death game. We zoom in on the last entry of his future diary and watch it change to say "Yuno came to meet me" before fading to black. It is a horrible, emotional cock tease of a final scene that leaves Yuki's story without resolution and raises a plethora of questions -- which is probably why Redial exists.
Redial covers the events in the Third World leading up to -- and then slightly past -- the final scene of the series. It follows the Yuno of the Third World. Thanks to the actions of Yuki in the series, Yuno is a far more stable and happy person than her First World counterpart. For all intents and purposes, she is a normal 14-year-old. Despite this, she is haunted by images, feelings, and moments of déjà vu that make her feel like something very important is missing in her life.
The first half of the OVA is used to show what has become of the diary holders in the Third World where the future diary death game never took place. These are generally short, comedic scenes that take place as Yuno and her classmates -- the non-diary holder supporting cast of the series -- take a school trip to the beach. These scenes do little to add to or take away from the series and are just there for laughs. However, occasionally we get to see something involving Yuno, hinting at the inner turmoil that is taking hold of her -- like that she keeps a phone diary that is nothing but time stamps at 10-minute intervals.
The second half focuses almost exclusively on Yuno -- as midnight of July 28th approaches and she begins to converse with a voice inside her head about the upcoming end of the world and the person she can't remember.
Yuno's ever-nearing breakdown is the most interesting facet of this OVA episode. Despite her much happier Third World upbringing, the knowledge that the most important person in her life is out there, yet she is unable to meet him, pushes her ever closer to the Yandere personality of her First World counterpart. It is both thrilling and heartbreaking to watch.
And for those who need a bit more action, there is also a fun Dragon Ball Z-style fight between the still god-powered Minene from the Second World and giant mecha Murmur.
Redial comes to a close with a short extra scene that reverts back to the ending of the anime. And while this final scene may only continue a few dozen seconds beyond the end of the series proper, these closing moments give the series the feeling of completion it has been missing since it first aired over a year ago.
In the end, The Future Diary: Redial is part fan service (aka, seeing the fates of all your favourite characters) and part character development for the new Yuno -- with a conclusion that gives a much more satisfying ending than that of the series. So while it's mostly an entertaining afterthought, if you enjoyed the series, you owe it to yourself to watch The Future Diary: Redial.
The Future Diary: Redial was released on DVD on July 30, 2013, in Japan. There is currently no word on an international release.