Deus initiates the game sometime during April 2006. Thirteen individuals were selected as participants, with two people (Marco Ikusaba and Ai Mikami) being treated as a single candidate. Each of the candidates are given Future Diaries, devices that allow them to predict the future to some degree. They are then tasked to kill each other (either directly or by destroying their diaries) until only one candidate remains; that candidate will become Deus' successor. The game is judged by Deus himself, with his assistant Muru Muru handing out the diaries and acting as his secondary judge.
Three survival games are known to have occurred; two in the manga and anime, and one in the drama Future Diary: Another World.
Future Diary Survival Game Overview
The Survival Game has several rules which are vital to the diary owners and the game's progress:
- All diaries predict the future in different ways.
- Each owner is assigned a number from one to twelve and are referred to by their titles (e.g. "First"). Until their true identities are discovered through the diaries, the owners are referred to by their titles.
- The futures of the diaries are not set in stone. If a diary owner or another person does an action that contradicts the entries on the diaries, then the future will change accordingly.
- The diaries literally carry a person's future. If they are broken, then the diary owner will be erased through existence and removed from the game. In the manga and anime, their bodies collapse into a tiny black hole, while in Another World, they disintegrate into a burst of floating numbers which vanish, symbolizing their spent futures.
- No diary owners are allowed to quit or retire from the game; however, a diary can be stolen or temporarily given to a third party.
- The game will officially end when only one diary owner is left alive. The winner shall become God.
- Deus and Muru Muru must not interfere with the actions of the game. (Both characters break this rule during the second game.)
The official timeline takes place between April and July, ending on July 28th. Contradictory dates between the manga and anime make the starting date for the game difficult, but it is likely between April 21st and April 24th, on the day after Yuki receives his Future Diary from Deus. It appears that Muru Muru handed out the diaries to the diary owners in a random or reversed order, with Yuki being the last one to gain his.
Occasionally, Deus holds meetings between the diary owners in the Cathedral of Causality to monitor their progress, update them on relevant events, and give the owners an opportunity to ask questions regarding the game.
Deus and Muru Muru act as the judges of the Survival Game; following Deus's death, Muru Muru takes over his role to ensure that the throne of God is filled. It is revealed that there is a third judge called the Observer, an artificial human designed to secretly observe the game from within. The Observer is actually Aru Akise.
There are technically thirteen diary owners, although two are counted as one. The diary owners are:
- Yukiteru Amano - The First diary owner. A 14-year old middle-school student who carries the "Random Diary". His reason to win, at least in the second game, was to resurrect everyone else who had died during the game, chiefly his parents Rea and Kurou Amano; prior to their deaths, he was actively trying to avoid playing the game.
- Yuno Gasai - The Second diary owner. Another middle-school student, and Yukiteru's personal stalker. She has the "Yukiteru Diary". Her reason to become God was unknown, but it was presumed that it has something to do with Yukiteru; probably to spend eternity with him, as she tried to resurrect him at the end of the first game.
- Takao Hiyama - The Third diary owner. A teacher who moonlights as a serial killer. He has the "Murder Diary". His reason to become God was unknown.
- Keigo Kurusu - The Fourth diary owner, and the chief inspector of Sakurami City's police force. He has the "Criminal Investigation Diary". He originally had no intention of becoming God, but eventually decided to win the game in order to save his son, Yoi Kurusu, from dying.
- Reisuke Houjou - The Fifth diary owner. A 5-year old toddler with genius intellect. He has the "Hyper Vision Diary". His reason to become God was to be a "super elite", presumably his view of a God or a better person than his parents were.
- Tsubaki Kasugano - The Sixth diary owner. The priestess of the Omekata religious order, armed with the "Clairvoyance Diary". She wanted to become God in order to destroy the world as to both avenge and escape from her nightmarish life.
- Marco Ikusaba and Ai Mikami - The Seventh diary owners, a pair of lovers raised at the Mother's Village orphanage. They share the "Exchange Diary". They wanted to become God in order to spend eternity together.
- Kamado Ueshita - The Eighth diary owner. Director and head worker of the Mother's Village orphanage, and user of the "Blog Diary". She had no desire to become God, but wanted the winner to make the world a better place for children.
- Minene Uryu - The Ninth diary owner. A terrorist who targets religious organizations and structures. She has the "Escape Diary". Her reason to become God was to wipe out religion and the very existence of God, including herself.
- Karyuudo Tsukishima - The Tenth diary owner. A dog breeder and owner of a dog care home. He has the "Breeder Diary". His reason to become God was unknown, but he promised his daughter Hinata Hino that he would rewind time to make up for his poor parenting (although he later admitted that was a lie).
- John Bacchus - The Eleventh diary owner. The Mayor of Sakurami City, and co-creator of the diaries. He has the "Watcher Diary". He sought to become God in order to help humanity evolve.
- Yomotsu Hirasaka - The Twelfth diary owner. A blind vigilante. He has the "Justice Diary", and his reasons to become God were unknown.
The First Survival Game
The first game occurred when John Bacchus approached Deus with the proposal to help evolve humanity by giving them some of his power. Deus agreed, knowing his own death was approaching, and the two created the first Future Diaries. As the concept was refined further, Deus decided to hold a Survival Game to choose a successor to his throne and title.
Choosing twelve individuals who all had existing diaries and journals, Deus created specific Future Diaries for each of them and granted them to each candidate. The known distributions are as follows:
- Using data gathered from the prototype Future Diaries, John Bacchus developed the Watcher Diary for his use in the Survival Game.
- Minene Uryuu gained her diary when fleeing from the police after a failed attempt to murder a cardinal. As she fell out of a high story window, Muru Muru convinced her to play the game in exchange for Deus saving her life and giving her the Escape Diary.
- Muru Muru appeared before Yomotsu in his secluded log cabin as he lamented on his inability to perform justice. She sold him the Justice Diary for 50 yen.
- Muru Muru attempted to infiltrate Karyuudo Tsukishima's mansion by disguising herself as a dog, only to be found out and dropped through a trap door. She later explained the Survival Game to him while having a drink.
- Reisuke Houjou needed convincing to participate in the game, so Muru Muru pretended to be an alien in order to convince Reisuke that the Future Diaries told the future.
- Muru Muru teleported into Tsubaki Kasugano's isolation room, mimicking her writing on a scroll before making herself at home with various items summoned from thin air. She believed that the future Sixth was unable to see her; when Tsubaki proved her wrong, she explained the Survival Game and gave her the Clairvoyant Diary.
- Keigo Kurusu received his diary from Muru Muru when they spent time together at a café.
- Muru Muru visited the Mother's Village orphanage to give Kamado Ueshita her diary. She also attempted to trip Kamado with a rope when the Eighth went to prepare some tea, only to be dumbfounded when Kamado simply landed right-side up, completely unharmed and without spilling a drop of tea.
- Takao Hiyama gained his diary from Muru Muru after killing someone, but ended up destroying it twice before Muru Muru could fully explain what was going on. Muru Muru restored Takao each time, but privately expressed doubt in his viability as a candidate.
- Yukiteru Amano was granted his diary by Deus himself, who he believed to be his imaginary friend.
After a few days of getting used to their Future Diaries, the candidates were summoned to the Cathedral of Causality to meet with Deus and Muru Muru. There, Deus formally began the Survival Game, explaining its rules and his need for a successor to prevent the destruction of the universe.
Details on the first Survival Game are vague, but Yukiteru, Yuno and Kurusu formed an alliance to locate and neutralize the other diary owners; eventually, the trio became the last surviving members of the game. Kurusu ended the alliance when he learnt his son was going to die from a terminal heart disease, but he was eliminated, leaving only Yukiteru and Yuno. Unwilling to kill each other, they decided to commit a lovers' suicide, seemingly dying together by swallowing lethal drugs; however, Yuno faked her death by not swallowing the drugs, believing that she could become God and revive Yukiteru to be with her.
Following Deus's demise, Yuno officially won the Survival Game and became the new God of Time and Space. However, she went insane after realizing that not even her newfound power could bring Yukiteru back; she could restore his body, but not his soul. Having become enamored with the chaos of the Survival Game, Muru Muru suggested that Yuno leap back in time, creating a parallel world where she could reunite with her beloved Yukiteru. Yuno complied, murdering the alternate version of herself in the days leading up to the Second Survival Game. To assist Yuno's scheme, Muru Muru imprisoned her own alternate self in an Illusion World created by Yuno, giving her God a second Future Diary to improve her chances of winning the second game.
Order of Elimination
The order of eliminated diary owners is revealed in the anime's first ending, "Blood Teller":
- Takao Hiyama - His diary was broken by Yukiteru and Yuno.
- Reisuke Houjou - Shown being strangled by Yuno in the anime's twenty-third episode.
- Yomotsu Hirasaka - Shown being stabbed by Yuno in the anime's twenty-third episode.
- Tsubaki Kasugano
- Marco Ikusaba and Ai Mikami
- Kamado Ueshita
- Karyudo Tsukishima
- Minene Uryu
- John Bacchus - Implied to have been killed by Yuno due to events in the second game.
- Keigo Kurusu
- Yukiteru Amano - Committed suicide with Yuno, but she faked her death.
The Second Survival Game
The second iteration of the Survival Game began similarly to the first, but things changed dramatically as it went on. While travelling to the second world had sealed most of Yuno's memories and all of her power as a god, she still recalled enough of the First Survival Game's events to actively try and manipulate events in her favor. Yukiteru further altered the course of the game when he discovered the bodies of the second-world Yuno Gasai's and her parents in Yuno's house, greatly affecting his relationship with Yuno and their subsequent actions.
During the battle between the forces of the Tenth, First, and Second, Muru Muru approached Kurusu and told him about his son's terminal illness, leading him to execute Tsukishima and betray his alliance with Yukiteru and Yuno significantly earlier than Deus intended. In response, Deus began taking actions of his own to keep the Survival Game on track, sending his Observer to monitor the participants' actions more closely and preparing Minene as an emergency check to Muru Muru's interference. The latter action also drained his power significantly, accelerating his imminent demise.
Eventually, Yukiteru learned of Yuno's true nature as the God of the first world, prompting her to try and kill him before travelling back in time to redo the Survival Game once more. However, Minene interfered with the help of Deus's bequeathed power, allowing Yukiteru to also travel to the newly-created third world and alter events to convince Yuno to abandon her plans.
With Yuno's suicide, Yukiteru becomes the winner of the Second Survival Game. However, Minene possesses a portion of Deus' powers, while Yuno's memories and powers were transferred to her third-world self, who later becomes a deity as well. Therefore, the second game can be seen as concluding with three winners.
Order of Elimination
As a result of changes to the future, the participants of the Second Survival Game were eliminated in different ways and in a different order:
- Takao Hiyama - His diary is pierced by a throwing dart thrown by Yukiteru.
- Yomotsu Hirasaka - Yuno slashed his throat with an axe.
- Tsubaki Kasugano - Her diary is pierced by a throwing dart thrown by Yukiteru.
- Reisuke Houjou - Yuno stabbed him in the chest with a knife.
- Karyuudo Tsukishima - Shot in the back of the head by Keigo Kurusu.
- Keigo Kurusu - Eliminates himself from the game by breaking his diary in half.
- Marco Ikusaba and Ai Mikami - Ai bleeds to death after her throat is slashed by Yuno. Marco dies with Ai in his arms when the Sakurami Tower collapses on top of them.
- Minene Uryu - After losing an arm to a claymore bomb and being shot by Yukiteru, Minene sacrifices herself by trying to blow the safe doors off the bank vault John Bacchus is hiding in. After destroying her diary, Minene seemingly dies in the explosion of a bomb activated when her heart stops beating. However, she is saved from death by Deus, who gave her a portion of his powers to interfere with Muru Muru's manipulations. Because of this, Minene is no longer considered an official participant.
- John Bacchus - Decapitated by Yuno (the anime changes this to a headshot).
- Kamado Ueshita - Stabbed in the abdomen by Yuno.
- Yuno Gasai - Stabs herself with a knife to let Yukiteru survive. However, Muru Muru manages to salvage her memories and put them into the third-world Yuno, technically letting her survive.
The Third Survival Game
A third Survival Game was attempted by the first-world Yuno and Muru Muru, but their own alterations to the future alerted John Bacchus to his impending death. Realizing that his plan to evolve humanity was doomed to failure, he convinces Deus to abandon the development of the Future Diaries, preventing the Survival Game from even beginning. Instead, Deus peacefully passes his title to Yukiteru of the second world and Yuno of the third world, making them the joint Gods of Time and Space.
Another World Survival Game
The Survival game for Future Diary: Another World works the same as the manga's; formulated by Deus, the Survival Game involves seven individuals using their Future Diary Smartphones to predict the future. The diaries were developed by Tohru Kibe, CEO of the Chronos Seed Corporation, who issued a number of releases with the owners being potential candidates. The ultimate prize for the game is to make a new future for the winner, at the cost of the other participants' lives. The rules are the same as the manga's survival game, but the Dead End feature has two stages - the first being a warning of the date and time a diary owner's death will occur, and the second being a thirty-minute countdown to the Dead End. The only way to stop the Dead End is to kill another diary owner or eliminate one's own diary.
It is revealed that all of the diary owners are within a virtual reality called Olympia, actually a part of a state-of-the-art life support system. All the diary owners fell into comas from smoke inhalation, and were placed in Olympia for safety. Deus is in fact the computer program managing Olympia, having gone rogue and dubbing itself the God of the virtual world. Yuno was inserted into the program at her request to be with Arata. Rui Moriguchi, Arata's friend, along with every other person in the virtual world are NPC-like characters.
- Arata Hoshino - The First diary owner. A 21-year old university student. He has the "Perception Diary".
- Yuno Furusaki - The Second diary owner. A 19-year old university student and Arata's stalker. She has the "A-kun Diary".
- Yousuke Okuda - The Third diary owner. A 24-year-old man who murders people possessing the Smartphones. He has the "Murder Plan Diary".
- Kinjiro Hagito - The Fourth diary owner. A 33-year old Sakurami police detective. He has the "Evidence Diary".
- Megumi Fuwa - The Fifth diary owner. A 17-year-old high school student. She has the "Trust Diary".
- Tohru Kibe - The Sixth diary owner. CEO of Chronus Seed Corporation, and creator of the Future Diaries. He has the "Action Diary".
- Haruna Okie - The Seventh diary owner. A 21-year-old girl and Rui's sister. She has the "Description Diary".
- Rui Moriguchi - The Eight diary owner (only in the second survival game). A 21-year old university student and Arata's friend. He possessed four diaries, which he gave to Arata, Yuno, Megumi, and Hagito to save his sister. He is not an official member until the second Survival Game. He has the "Revelation Diary".
- Kurou Hoshino - Arata's 48-year-old father who works at Chronos Seed Corporation. He has the "Family Diary". He is not an official participant.
Another World First Survival Game
There are seven diary holders and two unofficial players. Yuno Furusaki won the survival game.
Order of Elimination
- Kurou Hoshino - Stabbed by Yousuke to protect Arata. An unofficial player.
- Megumi Fuwa - Diary broken by Arata.
- Yousuke Okuda - Stabs his own diary with an ice pick.
- Kinjiro Hagito - Shot by Tohru Kibe, and his diary then broken.
- Tohru Kibe - His diary is broken.
- Rui Moriguchi - Falls off a bridge to his death. An unofficial player.
- Haruna Okie - Crushed by rubble and her diary is broken by Arata.
- Arata Hoshino - Stabbed by Yuno.
Another World Second Survival Game
There are eight diary holders (Rui Moriguchi becomes an official participant) and one unofficial player. Only two participants were eliminated. Arata Hoshino won the survival game.
Order of Elimination
- Yuno Furusaki (from Olympia) - Her diary is broken.
- Rui Moriguchi - Shot by Deus.