There have been lots of shows lately where the plot is nigh unpredictable. As you watch these anime, you just have no clue what’s going to happen next. This week, Yuki and Yuno find themselves amidst a group of crazed cultists. We then cut to Ninth’s mysterious assailant doing hip thrusts in the air while wearing some a ridiculous costume. I dare anyone to say that they saw this coming. On a more serious note, however, when crazy shit gets trotted out week after week, I think I develop a bit of a tolerance to it.
Take Mawaru Penguindrum, for instance; at first, it was a huge surprise to me when Shoma got run over by a car. He’s one of the show’s main characters so what will this mean for the rest of the series? Unfortunately, when plots usually swing wildly, they also tend to shrug these developments off all too easily. Shoma’s accident didn’t mean anything in the long run; he instantly recovered the following day. This sort of thing happens over and over in Mawaru Penguindrum too. Oh, Yuri might rape Ringo? Well, no, she won’t. Stories like this drive me crazy because I feel as though crazy shit happens for the sake of crazy shit.
Mawaru Penguindrum is a bit of a mystery though. The audience is just as long as the characters in the anime so even though I’ve developed a tolerance to the show’s cliffhangers, I still want to see how everything turns out. Mirai Nikki shares Mawaru Penguindrum’s narrative strength and weaknesses without any of that mystery factor. I can’t predict what will happen next in Mirai Nikki, but I’m not exactly at the edge of my seat? Why? Because it just doesn’t feel like there will be any real consequences for the main characters. This little incident at the Sacred Eye compound — I’m sure Yuno will get Yuki out safely. Sixth will probably die, but who cares about her? We just met her.
My point is that no matter what trouble Yuki and Yuno find themselves in, there’s no way a completely life-altering consequence will come about at this early stage of the series. Much like how Shoma’s accident amounted to nothing even though he could’ve been written as a cripple for the rest of Mawaru Penguindrum. This problem actually reminds me a bit of a comparison someone made between Dexter and Breaking Bad. The former is a show about a serial killer trying to seem like a normal dad on the outside, but he constantly runs the risk of being found out. Well, guess what? Dexter‘s on its sixth season by now? I like the show, and it’s not as though absolutely nothing of consequence ever occurs. After all, the second and fourth seasons had some serious “There’s no going back” endings. At the end of the day, however, the show’s titular character doesn’t get caught and then it all gets very tiresome.
Breaking Bad, on the other hand, does a better job at actualizing the consequences of the main characters’ actions. The lead character, a poor high school chemistry teacher dying of lung cancer, starts cooking meth so that when he dies, his family will be financially secure. But like I’ve said, he’s a goddamn high school chemistry teacher; he’s got no idea (at first) what it’s like to “break bad.” There are actually consequences to his actions; his wife leaves him when she finds out what he’s been doing.
Anyway, you probably didn’t click on this post to read about two American TV shows. For that, I’m sorry, but I thought this was the best way to get my point across. I’ve written before that no one in Mirai Nikki is likeable. I still stand by that sentiment. So when crazy stuff occurs, I don’t really care. I actually do want to see Yuki get his just desserts, but four weeks into the season? I just know nothing will happen to him. I just know Yuno will go into yandere mode and save Yuki’s whiny ass. All of the stuff about Twelth and Sixth… I don’t care. They’re throwaway characters, i.e. meatbags put into the show to be slaughtered for effect or exploited in other ways (see: Ninth’s near-naked status throughout this week’s episode).
So in a strange way, a plot that is unpredictable is simultaneously predictable. I can’t imagine what trouble Yuki and Yuno will get into next, but I know that nothing will really happen to them… at least not yet. Ultimately, I find this a little dissatisfying.