Deus Ex Machina is the God of Time and Space and a major character in both the Future Diary manga and anime. Co-creator of the Future Diaries alongside John Bacchus, Deus creates the Survival Game to find a suitable successor to his title before his inevitable death. Able to manipulate time, space, and the laws of cause and effect, Deus is the most powerful entity in the series, acting as the judge of the Survival Game.
Deus is an extremely large figure, towering over other characters at well over a hundred feet tall. Barely humanoid in appearance, Deus has a head resembling the skull of an unknown creature, a shock of white and purple hair, a golden crown, and long pale arms with claw-like fingernails. He wears a large dark cloak with ornaments attached, and sits in a colossal throne floating amid a shell of metallic fragments.
Despite being a god, Deus is very playful and laid-back, seeking courses of action that will amuse him in addition to achieving his goals. Unfortunately, he is completely apathetic and/or oblivious to the consequences of his "games". In his first appearance alone, he is shown provoking a war for fun, and he develops the Survival Game without thought to the consequences for the participants being forced to kill each other. He also seems to have chosen several participants based on how "interesting" they will make the game, regardless of their motives to become his successor. As a result, many of the Survival Game candidates are planning to use their eventual godhood for selfish and destructive ends. Furthermore, while Deus never outright lies, he is not above manipulating the truth to achieve his desired goals, such as evading Yuki's question over whether or not he could revive the dead as a god.
Although far from a benevolent god, Deus is not without compassion and has on few occasions done good things without any personal profit. Prior to the Survival Game, he saved Minene Uryu from death despite her hatred of him, making Minene a participant in the game despite it being clear that she was not forced to do so, among others. Additionally, while Deus's rationale for holding games is often incomprehensible, he shows a clear sense of honor when the Survival Game is in progress, answering the participants' questions and doing whatever he believes necessary for the game to be as fair as possible. He appointed/created a special observer to collect information on the participants and report any serious deviations from the game, and sent Minene on a mission to stop Muru Muru from unfairly supporting Yuno. In the latter case, he even gave half of his own knowledge and powers to Minene in order to aid her mission, despite accelerating his own demise in the process.
Deus appears to have extended relationships with the different diary owners. He is rather fond of Yukiteru, at first posing as his imaginary friend and personally makes him the "First" diary owner. Deus openly supports Yukiteru throughout the game, unphased by Yukiteru's mishaps and believes it is all part of Yuki's future to win the game. He also has a unique relationship with Minene Uryu, who does not believe in god and wants nothing more than to rid the world of the very concept of a deity. Minene has a love/hate relationship with Deus, openly hating him but is willing to ask him for advice, and even protests to receiving a portion of his powers when the time comes. Deus views Minene as an ally, using her to put a stop to Muru Muru's plans. Deus and John Bacchus seem to be good friends, creating the Future Diaries together. John seems to care for Deus, but also uses Deus' needs as an excuse to extend his own plans in the survival game, requesting that Yukiteru and Yuno be eliminated from the game to speed it up before Deus dies. The fact that he interacts with certain humans (seemingly without any explanation) implies that Deus may, in fact, be fond of some humans, or at the very least those whom he finds to be interesting.
Powers and Abilities
Deus is an ancient deity who rules over time, space and the laws of causality. It is implied that he may be able to rewind time, but leaping back in time can create parallel worlds. He has control of the Akashic Records, the universal compendium of knowledge and history. He is shown to be able to create artificial lifeforms, namely Aru Akise, revealed to be his "Observer" in the survival game to keep track of the ever-changing futures of the diary owners.
Deus operates from the Cathedral of Causality, depicted as a large domed building colored with a purple tint. Deus sits in a large throne which hovers above the ground. The cathedral also has an arena where the diary owners, Deus and Muru Muru meet for occasional meetings. The arena is covered with an eternal cloudy sky, revealed to actually be a cover for the Akashic Records. As Deus's death draws nearer, his body, throne, and the Cathedral itself all begin to crumble and fall apart.
Despite his tremendous power, even Deus has limitations. He remains oblivious to the existence of the first alternate world, implying he only has power over the time and space of the universe he lives in. While his true lifespan is unclear, it is both finite and inextricably tied to the universe; without a God of Time and Space, all of creation will be destroyed. The entire Survival Game is an elaborate means for Deus to find a successor before he passes away.
The First World
Not much is known of Deus during the first iteration of reality, but he eventually reached the end of his lifespan and began thinking of finding a successor to his title. With the help of John Bacchus, Deus developed the Survival Game as a way to choose a successor; the exact details are unknown, but Deus apparently oversaw the game from beginning to end without any apparent need to act. It is suggested he died at 28th of July, shortly before Yuno Gasai won the game.
The Second World
In the series proper, Deus is introduced as Yuki's imaginary friend. He empowers Yuki's phone to become a Future Diary; when Yuno reveals that she also possesses a Future Diary, Deus notes that he never said that Yuki was the only one to receive the gift. Following Yuki and Yuno's victory over Takao Hayama, Deus summons the remaining participants to the Cathedral of Causality to formally introduce them to the Survival Game. After explaining its purpose, the rules, and some basic information about the Future Diaries, he specifically names The First (Yuki) as his favored candidate to succeed him.
Deus continued observing the game from his Cathedral with little comment until Yuki found a secret room in Yuno's house. Opening the door caused a massive shift in the future that even shook the Cathedral; in contrast to Muru Muru's panic, Deus was amazed and pleased to see the drastic change to his game. He was decidedly less pleased when he later realized that Muru Muru had forced Keigo Kurusu into action much earlier than planned, prompting him to regard his servant with much more caution. When the Apprentice Users make their appearance, he contacts Yuki (and possibly the other participants) to let them ask questions about the new diary users.
When Yuki's mother is killed by his father, Yuki asks Deus to revive her, to which he says he can't, citing the loss of his power as the day of his death draws nearer. He is later seen talking with Muru Muru after Minene's attack on John Bacchus, before dismissing her as he went to rest. Deus is soon visited by Minene in his resting sphere, who asks him about John's Diary; accordingly, he reveals the nature of the Watcher Diary and relates how he collaborated with John Bacchus to create the Future Diaries. Deus also takes this opportunity to transfer some of his powers to Minene so that she could stop Muru Muru's scheme to let Yuno win the Survival Game, expressing his suspicions that both Muru Muru and Yuno secretly hailed from the First World where Yuno had already become god. Before returning Minene to her world, he sealed the memory of this revelation within her mind, set to reveal itself when the time was right.
By the time of John's death, Deus's condition has degraded to the point where the world is starting to collapse. At the time, he is visited by Akise Aru, seeking to confirm if it is possible to resurrect the dead. Contrary to what he implied to Yuki, Deus admits that he can revive the body of the deceased, but not their soul. He then stops Akise from leaving, revealing his true nature as Deus's Observer before commenting that he has outlived his role. Slowly vanishing into the Akashic Records, Akise tries to prove that he has a will of his own; Deus calmly and easily disproves each of Akise's arguments, almost destroying him completely until Kamado Ueshita grants him an Apprentice Diary of his own. Amused that Akise was indeed capable of something outside his assigned role, Deus lets him live on his own account.
Shortly after his meeting with Akise, Deus's body finally collapses entirely, leaving behind a core which would last long enough to grant godhood to the winner of the Survival Game. In this state, Deus warns Muru Muru that she must allow the game to run properly, as he's restrained by her seals to do so. Accordingly, Muru Muru bequeaths the core to Yuki after he wins the game, transforming him into the new God of the Second World.
The Third World
In a third iteration of reality, Deus is approached by John Bacchus, whose Watcher Diary gleaned information from Future Diaries of the second world when a few of its denizens performed a time leap into the third world. Learning of his eventual death and failure to achieve his goals, John convinces Deus to cancel the Future Diary project, therefore nullifying what would be a third Survival Game.
10,000 years into the future of the second world's timeline, the third world's Deus appears before Yuki, still the only denizen of the empty void after falling into despair with the first-world Yuno's suicide. With the first and third incarnations of Muru Muru connecting the timelines of the second and third world, Deus was able to bring along Yuno's third incarnation, who bore the memories of her first world self. Because Yuki and Yuno had both won a previous Survival Game (and possibly because of convincing from the two Muru Murus), Deus happily names Yuki and Yuno as his joint successors. It is implied that this announcement either killed Deus shortly afterwards or simply transferred his powers over Space, Time, and Causality to his new heirs.
- Deus is Latin for "God".
- Deus Ex Machina as a whole is Latin for "God from a Machine" or "God of the Machine". In fiction, it is a term used to name a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object; thus saying "God made it happen" with no further explanation. This could be a reference to Deus's actions driving the plot of Future Diary, particularly when he directly interferes with the Survival Game; however, it may also be a reference to his machine-like appearance or his pivotal role in the maintenance of reality.
- Deus' theme song is "Egoist" by Yousei Teikoku. Unlike most of Future Diary's OST, this song was never used in the series.
- In the third opening of Future Diary (the one used in Future Diary Redial), Deus removes his face to reveal Yukiteru's head beneath it, alluding to the results of the Survival Game in the second world.