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Photo: ‘The Future Diary’
Visually beautiful and full of utterly adorable romantic moments, the new lovey-dovey reality series ‘The Future Diary’ has now premiered on Netflix. With its comical segments and times where it feels story-like as though it’s straight out of a visual novel, this lovely reality series is exactly something we all need in this weird and crazy time. This especially applies to those (like me) who aren’t too fond of romantic reality TV shows, because this series will make you sunken into your couch and eat ice cream along with the people in the show as you wonder what will come next.
The show follows only two individuals, one being in college and the other being a chef in training. These two lovebirds are Maai Nakasone (19, in college) and Takuto Wakamatsu (24, chef trainee); and at the beginning of the show, they are strangers to one another. But it’s truly thanks to the series, and its rather romantically devious tactics, that these two will certainly become more than just acquaintances.
Love Is (Suddenly) In The Air
The general premise and story of ‘The Future Diary’ follows the above-mentioned two individuals as they read the secret diary given to them separately, and stick to the love story that the show has laid out for them to follow within the book. The idea for this show simply seems original and out of this world adorable; but, funny enough, it has been done before. ‘The Future Diary’ is based on a Japanese variety show of the same name that ran from 1998-2002, and it is through this basis that the directors of the series perfectly replicate the foundation of the original show.
The romantic scenarios in this show are meticulously placed so well within the progression of Maai and Takuto following their pre-conceived love story that it nearly feels as though you’re actually watching a drama series rather than a reality series. Maai and Takuto seem to have their rightfully so moments of “Whoa, what?” when first reading the scenarios that they chronologically come about as they read the diary. But, eventually the two warm up to the scenarios and just live their life to the fullest and completely go for it. This leads to some cute moments that make this show utterly charming, such as the two going on a cruise ship and having to work together to solve a problem or pushing a car in tandem to reach a destination. I loved these two and how they handled suddenly dating a stranger so well; especially Maai, who was super cute in how she went about forwarding the blossoming romance between them and discussing her feelings with the audience and crew.
However, despite all of this sweetness and fairy tale stories, there is sadly a twist to all of this. At the end of the diary entries, the contestants are told that they have to part ways after all their dates together; no longer able to maintain contact or go on any further dates (which is also a current element whilst they are still with one another, only able to see each other during filming). But, for right now, let’s not focus on that sadness but enjoy all the magical moments the two get to spend with each other with the time that they have.
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‘The Future Diary’ – All According To The Book
We have more than just these two darling lovers on-screen in this series. Behind the filming of the show, we have four guest stars who sit together in a library (of sorts) and act as commentary on their thoughts of the show as it all progresses; interjecting their scenes after memorable moments as though we’re all taking a break together to take in what’s happened. Two guests especially are notable: Daigo Naitō (singer and actor) and Reina Sumi (TV Toyko announcer). I found this section of the series to be interesting, and to be an unexpectedly calming part that made me feel more connected to the show; along with feeling like I was watching it with other people, which made it extremely more fun to watch overall.
The whole concept of following (essentially) a storybook is also what makes this show so much fun to watch. It’s so charming to see a real-life love story play out as though a hopeless romantic sat down at their desk and wrote a book that would entertain audiences worldwide. And that is exactly what ‘The Future Diary’ is gaining the potential to do after its three-episode premiere: Entertain people worldwide.
I also found that this three-episode premiere was a wonderful idea of releasing the series before we await new weekly episodes, mainly because it fully established the general premise along with what is likely to come for the ill-love-fated duo. Episode three ends with a cliffhanger that begs this notion of wondering what will come next, and I find that to be a wonderful tactic in being the catalyst of building up a true audience for this series. It throws a curveball and it feels wonderfully daunting, which is what a fan of this series needs.
We Bid A Kiss Farewell
It’s incredibly sad for us as viewers to know right off the bat that Maai and Takuto will eventually have to part ways, leaving us with memories they’ve made along the way and showcasing the impact that they will mark on each other for possibly the rest of their lives. But, ‘The Future Diary’ amazes us and deviates our attention from the sad inevitable by giving us romantic situations that some of us merely expect to only be able to fantasize about. As mentioned at the beginning of this, even those who don’t typically enjoy reality shows will adore ‘The Future Diary’ through its use of tender and intimate scenarios that would make even those who dislike romance go “Awww”.
This series proves to be why we should always give reality shows the benefit of the doubt, and why love can be what we need in a weird time; even if we know that the love will have to end sometime. People may come and go in our life, but ‘The Future Diary’ reminds us that this aspect of life is essential to our future growth as human beings; and that we cherish the time we have with that person as our story develops along with them.
By Leah Donato
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