Alternative titles: Eiji’s Bizarre Adventure: Future Geass
Manga adaptation by Asread
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Ten years ago, so-called “Orders” started showing up – people granted incredible powers to make their wishes come true. Eiji is one of them, yet after he foolishly wished for the power to destroy the world and caused a great calamity, he has decided to dedicate his life to caring for his sickly sister. Until another Order shows up who claims Eiji’s wish killed her parents, and Eiji finds out he might not have been responsible for the world’s destruction after all…
Aqua’s verdict: Irredeemable
I still think about Future Diary a lot. Mostly in an attempt to make sense of its Moffatesque ending, but sometimes also about why the hell I liked it so much. Future Diary was not a good show. It was wonky and puerile, rampantly misogynistic and pointlessly audacious. Yet there was something about the utter disdain it had for the conventions of logical plot progression that made it stand out, an ability to amidst all of its CGI gods, time travel shenanigans, spandex-clad vigilantes, apocalypse cults, neo-nazi mayors, cosplaying terrorists, preschool-aged psychopaths and that one scene where Yuno ties Yukki to a chair in her underwear and forces him to eat her homemade curry, Future Diary actually managed to spin an engaging tale full of dark secrets, exciting twists and turns and a surprising serving of genuine characterization, albeit all incredibly stupid.
Big Order, based on a manga by the same author, might as well be Future Diary‘s Earth-2 alternate self. Once again Sakae Esuno delivers another perverse maelstrom of ultraviolence, tone-deaf absurdity and questionable attitudes to women, yet unlike Future Diary, Big Order doesn’t have that same menacing atmosphere. Here, it’s evident from the get-go that shit’s fucked, and in a way, Esuno has himself to blame. In Future Diary, everyone betrayed everyone and no one was safe, and in Big Order it’s very much the same, leaving all of its already boundless swerves to feel obligatory and predictable, rather than actually shocking. The revelation that Rin is a deranged psychopath will shock absolutely no one ever, resulting in her boundless facial acrobatics having none of the memetic appeal that made Yuno such a memorable character.
Count in the even for Esuno’s standards repugnant final scene, in which Eiji uses his powers to force Rin to ‘submit’ to him – with all the implications you’d expect from a show as tasteless as this one – and you’ll realize that Big Order has given up any and all attempts to have its token yandere be more than just a poster girl. And that’s symptomatic of the general issue with Big Order – it feels like an obligation, rather than anything anyone actually wanted to make. It looks drab and muted, the voice acting feels phoned in, the special effects are hilariously sub-par and the trashy, cartoony humour that elevated Future Diary to the very top of the train wreck ladder has been replaced with the saccharine “onii-chans” of an oh-so-tragic sickly little sister character.
It’s these entirely unwanted and unwarranted attempts at honesty that make Big Order feel so dishonest. If it wanted to be honest, it could have used its frankly interesting premise – kid got to make a wish, wished for the end of the world because he was an angsty little git, now has to live with the consequences and try to use his destructive powers for good – to spin a solid coming-of-age tale. What we get, however, is a nonsensical clash of Code Geass, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and all of Future Diary’s worst bits. It will be worth it just to see what new and creative ways Esuno can come up with to make his new baby crash and burn, but then again, this is the season that has The Lost Village in it.