Future Diary, Vol. 1

It’s hard to deny that there’s been a bit of a Twitter boom. Bloggers, celebrities, parents, kids–even fictional characters have and maintain Twitter accounts. It’s such a simple concept: in 140 characters or less you can tell your followers what you’re doing at any given moment. These status updates are called “Tweets,” and they allow your followers to peek through the keyhole of the door to your life. It’s usually meaningless blurbs like, “work is boring” and “some jerk cut me off,” but imagine what would happen if you could read your Tweets before you made them. This is essentially the plot of Sakae Esuno’s manga, Future Diary.

Yukiteru Amano is a social outcast. He spends all of his time updating his cellphone diary. The only friend he has exists in his head. It’s important that you pay very close attention to this next part. His imaginary friend’s name is Deus Ex Machina and he’s the King of Time and Space! When Deus is introduced, Yuki asks him what he’s up to. He responds, “I’m adjusting the law of cause and effect right now.” By the way, this is only the first ten pages. It gets much, much better dumber better.

Deus said that he was messing with cause and effect, and he wasn’t kidding. When Yuki checks his diary the next day, he notices that it’s already been written for the day. This allows him to see into the future, but only kind of. Most people don’t tweet about every detail of every day (at least, I hope not); likewise, Yuki only updates his diary a few times each hour. The future entries are also written in character, so if it’s not something that Yuki would’ve written about, then it’s not going to appear in the future diary. But wait, there’s more.

I know what you’re thinking, “This already sounds like the best manga ever made. What could possibly make it better?” Prepare to have your mind blown. There are 11 other people with future diaries and they’re going to fight to the death! That’s right, this is Kamen Rider Ryukki meets Twitter. Before you get too excited and Rider Kick Yuki in the face, it’s important that you know this rule: if your cellphone breaks, you die.

That is a terrifying thought. I’ve gone through two phones in six months without people trying to destroy them. It also makes me wonder if different models reflect the power of the user. Is someone with an iPhone going to massacre someone with $20 pay-as-you-go phone? The UI for reading the future diary is probably a lot better in the iPhone, so how is that even fair?–IT ISN’T! Maybe these are issues that are dealt with later on in the manga, but I seriously doubt it.

The first two volumes of this “chilling shonen masterpiece” have already been released by Tokyopop, with the third volume coming out in September. Trust me, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the incredibly intricate plot of Future Diary. If you’re looking for a crazy book about a kid who’s special power is text messaging, then do yourself a favor and pick up the first volume. Afterward, you can Tweet about how cool it was when Yuki threw a dart in that stupid girl’s eye. But be careful, “every [tweet] could be you last.”