Danganronpa 3 – Hope Arc

February 10, 2017

To bridge the twin simultaneous series of the Despair Arc and Future Arc, thus we have this special broadcast, Danganronpa 3 – Hope Arc to bring closure and end everything once and for all. Will the world finally be flooded with mindless hope because hope is still hope no matter how you put it. Unless that is like despair in disguise. Oh damn. I’m confused now…

Hope Floats
Hinata is seen by Yukizome’s body. He regrets the terrible things he has done with his power but because of it, he managed to bring everyone else back. Naegi is being cornered and pushed back by the elite force. But the luck of Komaeda has taken them out. It seems the Remnants are back and are now on the good side thanks to Hinata healing them back to normal. They are the ones who also helped dig out Togami’s side from the rubble. We see them display and use their talents fending off the elite force. Then they face Mitarai who is still bent on resetting everything even if it means everyone losing their emotions, etc. He claims he is not strong like them and blames himself that a lot of people died. Hinata doesn’t blame him for thinking that way but doing so means erasing history. Because it is as though they are acting Nanami never existed. Their role as survivors is to atone their sins and carry on living. Mitarai is unsure of what to do since he is always alone. Well, look no further. These guys will always be with him from now on. After a lot of contemplating, crying and breaking down, Mitarai finally finds the courage to stop the broadcast. Now you can let those tears run freely and have a big group hug. That’s a good boy. And everything is resolved without Naegi having to lift a single finger or say a single word.

Naegi returns to base where Togami shows a footage released from Future Foundation. Hinata and the Remnants are claiming responsibility on this since hope is boring and thus bringing to you this despair. Before you jump to conclusions that they are sheep in wolves’ clothing, take note that this is just an act to ‘deceive’ the world and make them think they are behind this so as not to tarnish the good name of Future Foundation. It’s like playing the villain. Nanami is heard talking to Hinata and narrating to us when Hinata entered the New World Programme. An AI was supposed to be created to monitor him which was supposed to be her. However there was no need for all that since there was someone all of them wanted to see again. Since Nanami is able to see all of them, she thinks miracle has won. The ex-Remnants leave the place via ship. Munakata warns Naegi that he is going to be a hero as the world needs one who fought despair. Can he shoulder it? If the ex-Remnants had the burden of carrying despair, then Naegi has the burden of carrying hope. Munakata also has his own burdens to carry then. Tsumiki shows an antidote that Seiko tried creating during the mutual killing game. It’s a medicine that would slow the spread of the wristband’s poison. So guessed who lived? That lucky person who was able to received Tsumiki’s treatment with this antidote is no other than Kirigiri. And this completes our full cycle of hope and not let it end in despair, right? A few months later, we see Naegi’s side rebuilding Hope Academy. Naegi is the headmaster and Kirigiri a teacher.

Hope To See You Again
Erm… Somehow I feel that there are a few parts missing here and there. Because you know, it just doesn’t explain how Hinata return back to his normal state from his super Kamukura form. Maybe there wasn’t much to it. Ushering back the ex-Remnants feel a bit rushed because they need to spend some time giving some drama to Mitarai and end it. So it ends like that? No wonder hope is so boring. And there’s this Nanami’s explanation that I didn’t get at all on how the virtual reality programme works but what the heck, as long as a good happy ending is in sight then everything else doesn’t matter. I was wondering the fate of some of the characters like Monaka because I suppose she is going to be stuck in space forever. What will be of Munakata? How will he pay his respects to Yukizome and Sakakura assuming he isn’t part of the new Hope Peak or whatever academy Naegi wants to call this new future school of his. And where are the ex-Remnants going now? They leave by ship but to where? Are they going to live on an island all by themselves seeing that they have become the bad guys in the eyes of the world? Most likely. Because you can’t blame anybody for trying to kill them seeing them walking in the streets after the despair they have caused.

And the most ‘outrageous’ of all is Kirigiri coming back to life. It feels unfair that only she is the dead one who has to return to life. She is the last person who died from the poison in the wristband but I am not sure how long it was since her death and the end of this entire drama. How long can a human body stay dead and then revive again without having any major damage to the body organs? Kirigiri looks fine to me. As though she woke up from a great sleep. And I believe it hasn’t even been a day since the mutual killings started so if Kirigiri can be resurrected, why not the rest who died from their forbidden actions? Unless you tell me Seiko only made a vial worth for one person. Too bad. But even if you think of it, if Kirigiri was administered the antidote right on time, the poison would have spread quickly throughout her body during that time interval and thus the antidote would be useless in slowing it down. I mean, if this was the case, the rest wouldn’t have died a fast death, right? So it makes no sense. Yeah, this story was written on hope, not logic.

Overall, I feel that this special episode felt a bit lukewarm in trying to end everything on a feel good note. Some bits I felt were not there but maybe they’ll show another special episode to bridge it. You know, like the big battle between Naegi and Enoshima that resulted in the latter’s death. I can only blame myself for expecting a lot after the tense and suspenseful arcs but then again, we’re all weak in our own ways. So from what I learn from what these guys said, we are supposed to accept our weakness and failures because it gives us hope? Well okay. I’m a loser otaku and have always been one for the longest time. Gee, that doesn’t make me feel better and instead just feeling more despair instead. Oh, right. I remember I’m not even a super high school level in anything. Despair seems to be so much more tempting…

If you love the original animated Danganronpa series, then we have good news for you. Make that double good news. Because not only Danganronpa 3 – Future Arc was released as a sequel, it was also aired alongside with another arc (Despair Arc) in the same season and both series run concurrently side by side with each other. Double the fun, double the despair. For this one, as its name suggests it takes place in the future after Naegi and the survivors leave Hope Peak but in the aftermath of fighting the biggest despair incident to have been brought down on mankind. However history seems to repeat itself again as this group of people find themselves in another deadly game of killing for survival. Can Naegi’s hope save the day, world and mankind once again? Can hope be unlimited like despair? Hope has never been much more powerful than prayers… If you find my opening paragraph somewhat similar to my previous blog on this series, well, you’re not seeing double. After all, I watched them simultaneously or rather together.

Episode 1
As narrated, the biggest and most atrocious despair inducing incident happened in human history. These Super High School Level Despairs fought wars that destroyed the world and humanity’s last hope was Future Foundation. They fought a bloody battle and it reached a turning point when Enoshima was killed. Humanity was victorious. However Remnants of Despair continued their activities and the war continued. At a Future Foundation branch, Kazuo Tengan is the chairman and former director of Hope Peak High School. He chairs a meeting with other executives to discuss about Naegi’s betrayal. However the rest end up arguing about the safety of this place since it isn’t on any map and how the Remnants have been increasing their attacks lately. Till Kyousuke Munakata the vice chairman tells them off and to get back on track. It seems Naegi has hid Remnants. Not just ordinary Remnants but million dollar class that served under Enoshima. Some believe Naegi put on a show to kill Enoshima to let their guard down and he was an ally of Despair all along. So when Naegi is ushered in, Juzo Sakakura immediately cuffs him and beats him up. Since he is in no position to be interrogated (thanks for those injuries, Sakakura), the meeting is suspended for the moment as Chisa Yukizome treats him. She also talks to him why he shielded those Remnants. Naegi isn’t sure but he thought at one point they had hope before falling into despair. She cautious that you can’t defeat the Remnants by being nice and that’s why they need Munakata’s decisiveness. After Kirigiri bumps into Ryouta Mitarai who is supposed to meet Tengan for the meeting, something rocks the building. They believe Remnants are attacking the place as all entries and exits are sealed off. Furthermore, all security guards are found dead in the bathroom. Once everyone gathers in the meeting room, a smoke bomb is dropped in and everyone immediately passes out. When they wake up, each of them has a wristband with a timer. A familiar laughter is heard. It is Monokuma on the monitor. Is he still alive? He ‘thanks’ everyone for Remnants’ losing streak and thus this is his way of ‘thanking’ them. They are going to play a game to kill each other. Of course nobody is going to play this game as they are all allies. It is then Munakata realizes Yukizome is missing. Then they realize her dead body stuck up in the chandelier! Monokuma adds that his killing game will determine the fate of humanity as well as the conclusion to the story of Naegi and Monokuma.

Episode 2
Monokuma explains the rules. Once the timer runs out, a sleep inducing drug will put them to sleep. However one will wake up and pick somebody to kill. So if everyone manages to find and kill the killer, the next time they sleep and wake up and nobody dies, they win the game. Also, everyone has an action they cannot perform on their wristband or else a lethal poison will be released. They also cannot take off or destroy it or else the same will be done. Good luck and Godspeed. Miaya Gekkogahara tries to hack into Monokuma but got her avatar in which she speaks through hacked instead. It seems the system is perfectly guarded from outside but somebody hacked it from inside. This further proves one among them is the traitor. Sakakura believes Naegi is the one and tries to force him to admit. Asahina defends him and he too gets violent but since Mitarai advises him not be violent on girls, he got beaten up instead. That is when Daisaku Bandai suddenly dies. His weakness is that he cannot witness violence. Of course the best course is to check everyone’s weakness but many are against of letting it be known for fear of being used against them. Munakata then has everyone pinpoint the killer. Majority votes for Naegi. Munakata tells Naegi that if he hates despair, kill himself. Since he won’t, Sakakura and Munakata are going to kill him but Great Gozu won’t let this injustice happen as he fends them off. Kirigiri releases a smoke bomb to let Asahina and Naegi escape. Asahina has to carry him and run since his weakness is that he cannot run. Gozu and Gekkogahara side with Naegi and Asahina as they fight off persistent Munakata and then lose him. It is nearly nap time as everyone scatters throughout the building. Naegi and Asahina are hiding and she is scared this killing is going to happen all over again like last time. Naegi gives her hope to trust his super luckiness. They overcame this before and know each other better this time. Nap time comes and goes. When Naegi wakes up, he finds his fist bloodied and Asahina dead.

Episode 3
Well guess what? Asahina’s blood is tomato sauce and the knife in her stomach is just a toy. Phew, right? So who got killed then? GOZU!!!!!! The plan now is to talk to everyone and Naegi can do so if he goes to the broadcast room in which Gekkogahara has regained some control over the hacking. Naegi notices Gekkogahara’s odd way of travelling in her wheelchair. He realizes her weakness is that she cannot turn right. Gekkogahara fears for her life but Naegi assures he will not disclose her secret and shows his. Asahina also shows them hers: She cannot get punched or kicked. Thinking somebody is nearby, Asahina and Gekkogahara become decoys so Naegi can carry on. He informs everyone of Gozu’s death and explains why he helped Remnants. Before they were driven to despair, they were ordinary students till they met Enoshima. Thus Naegi helped them by using a virtual rehabilitation programme, New World to restore their memories before Enoshima implanted despair in them. He talks about the need to trust each other. He is going to abandon this game. By telling everyone his weakness? Well, logically if he was the killer he wouldn’t do that, right? Of course Munakata despite calling it a fine speech finds it hollow because Naegi speaks of hope but doesn’t know true despair. We take a short detour to see Seiko Kimura having some bone to pick with the couple Ruruka Andou and Sounosuke Izayoi. Both sides accuse each other of being traitors as Seiko chases the couple down. Beast mode? As expected Munakata finds Naegi to kill him despite the latter pleading he doesn’t want to fight. As allies they should talk. Munakata chides him he doesn’t know what true despair is and he won the last time because it was a game based on Enoshima’s rules. Therefore Naegi is much more dangerous as behind his words are not hope but despair. Munakata believes in power. That is why he will make many victims as it takes to destroy despair even if it means his own death. If Naegi’s words have power, stop his sword then. Alas his shallow hope cannot stop his sword.

Episode 4
Sakakura attacks Kirigiri’s group since he believes all those associated with Naegi are traitors. However he is taken out by Tengan. Not bad for an old man. Asahina and Gekkogahara reunite with Kirigiri’s group. Mitarai feels useless and guilty as he partially injured Kirigiri during the fight. They tell him he need not be like Naegi. Just be himself. Munakata then announces he has captured Naegi and will execute him. Kirigiri knows this is a trap to lure the killer because he would have killed Naegi already. True enough, this is Munakata’s plan as he explains the rest to Naegi. He is very sure Naegi is not the killer. The worst outcome for this game is not everyone being wiped out by the killer. Because the killer would have killed everyone in one go if that was the case. Imagine if Munakata dies and nobody else is killed. Normally one would think Munakata is the killer. However there is no way of ascertaining that. This would mean the killer would easily infiltrate Future Foundation, pose as a top executive and spread despair in the name of hope. They will be controlling Future Foundation from the shadows while using Naegi as a tool to achieve their means. Tengan attacks Munakata and fights him so Asahina could rescue Naegi and take him to a safe place. Meanwhile Kirigiri and Mitarai are re-examining Yukizome’s corpse. The chase between Seiko and the couple is still ongoing. Both blame each other for their expulsion from Hope Peak. Munakata and Tengan’s fight ends in a bloody draw. Well, not actually. When they fall off the level, Tengan was pierced by a metal rod. Seeing Tengan’s resolve has made Munakata to admit he was wrong and changed his mind. He wants to know what he is thinking. Sakakura is hot on the heels of Naegi. Seeing neither Naegi nor Asahina can fight properly, Gekkogahara faces off with him. However he kicks her off her wheelchair. It seems Gekkogahara is just a robot and the real person is controlling her from somewhere.

Episode 5
Flashback reveals Seiko, Ruruka and Izayoi were friends when they were young. Ruruka was impressed by her medicine talent. However Seiko cannot eat any sweets or sugar as she has some medical condition that would kill her. This insulted Ruruka in a way since the only thing good she can do is make sweets. Over the years we see Seiko becoming Ruruka’s errand girl all in the name of friendship. Meanwhile Munakata once believed Tengan used to be stronger till he became a coward. He replies about Munakata’s naivety in thinking if he wipes out all Remnants, he can rid the world of despair. War alone cannot extinguish despair. That is why Kamakura Project was initiated. Munakata thinks Tengan is part of Remnants since this means he was the attacker. Ruruka has figured out Seiko’s weakness as she has Izayoi get some weapon (in which he discovers some secret entrance). From the way Seiko acts, she knows her weakness is for someone to step on her shadow. Ruruka can help Seiko if she eats her sweet. Of course Seiko refuses citing her condition. But Ruruka still refuses to believe that. In that case, kill Munakata. She thinks if he dies, this whole mess will end. Of course Seiko can’t do that too. When she was expelled from Hope Peak, he helped her. Seiko devours more pills to become a super ferocious beast as she takes out all the lights and then hunt down Ruruka. But their chase ended up getting caught in Sakakura’s fight with Asahina and Naegi. It gets messier when Gekkogahara returns to fire her missile. Kirigiri continues her corpse investigation to find the killer’s pattern. Tengan refutes he is a Remnant. Munakata takes his answer as that he knows the killer’s identity. For suspense, we don’t get to hear what the old man says and we see Munakata’s shock reaction. Tengan reveals his weakness: Answer questions with a lie. But Munakata won’t waver and cuts him down. Not before Tengan quickly blinds his right eye with the metal rod. As nap time is around the corner, Seiko laments how things with Ruruka turned out this way. All she wanted was a friend and did her bidding because she trusted her only to realize she was being used. Unfortunately she’ll never get to know because she became the killer’s next victim.

Episode 6
Munakata remembers his past. Just after he, Yukizome and Sakakura graduate, he tells them his plans to expand Hope Peak to overseas since there are many bad rumours about Hope Peak as an organization. When he comes back, he wants Sakakura to take over security and Yukizome to forge ties and contacts as a teacher. Making the world a better place is not his dream. It is his plan. And now Munakata might feel his plan might be a little dashed so he stabbed his sword into Yukizome’s chest? Trying to make sure she is really dead? I knew it would be too good to be true when Naegi is shocked that Kirigiri became the next victim. It was just a dream. I hope it isn’t a foreboding of something. Kouichi Kizakura follows Kirigiri and Mitarai in examining the bodies. Then they stumble upon Izayoi’s body. Making it puzzling is that Seiko’s body is also found. Is the killer breaking the rules? Ruruka is saddened her boyfriend is gone. She pleads them to take her into their group as she is a useless person. Okay. But Kirigiri will have her help them out with their investigation. Gekkogahara connects to the security cameras to find the next victim. Naegi breaks down when he sees Tengan’s body. This hopeful guy just fell into despair. He thought all he did was for nothing. Ironically Gekkogahara gives him hope that everything will be fine in the end. There is also an ‘encouraging’ note left behind by Tengan supposedly for Naegi entrusting the future to him.

When Asahina notes how she hates the game and the rules they have to stick with, it then hit Naegi they don’t have to play this game. But how can they get out if all exits are sealed? Have someone from the outside make one! Gekkogahara sets up her system trying to connect outside. It is Togami who picks up the line. Apparently he doesn’t know there is this killing game going on. There is no worldwide broadcast as claimed by Monokuma. After hearing Naegi’s story, he lets him know that a spy he sent reported that Future Foundation’s peacekeeping squad is headed towards Jabberwock Island. It means Munakata had intended to kill everyone on that island regardless of the meeting’s outcome. Since the squad only answers to Munakata, there might be a connection with what is happening at the branch and on the island. Togami has also sent his forces to the island and he will personally be on his way to Naegi. After the call ends, Togami’s subordinate wonders why he didn’t tell Naegi the truth. Because the real Gekkogahara is dead and the one with them is an imposter. Togami’s reason is that because she is close to Naegi, it might put him in danger if he were to expose her. The best thing now is to let her be and strike the one behind this. He believes the only Remnants who can do this is Monaka Towa who is hiding in Towa City. Fortunately for Togami, Fukawa and Naegi’s little sister, Komaru are there.

Episode 7
We see Monaka giving her eulogy at Enoshima’s funeral. She is blaming Naegi for this. Claiming there is still hope for despair (oh, the irony), Monaka will become Enoshima’s successor and drive Future Foundation and the world to despair. Komaru and Fukawa are pushing forward fighting an army of Monokuma troops. Komaru narrates she is neither hope nor despair but just an ordinary girl who got separated from her brother during that greatest incident. She has been waiting in this town like a video game and waiting for Naegi to end the war. The duo barge into Monaka’s tower and see Monaka on a monitor as she proclaims to bring despair to Naegi. As she sends her robots to surround them, suddenly and surprisingly she surrenders! She knows too well that somehow hope always wins. She’s done with this and detonates the place! At least half the building is still standing. Komaru and Fukawa then find the real Monaka bumming around in her filthy Monokuma trailer room. They are shocked that Monaka doesn’t want to play this despair thing anymore. It’s embarrassing. She reveals she is not the one behind the killing game at Future Foundation’s branch and although she did kill Gekkogahara, it was just to see Naegi up close and personal. She was the one that did the murder prank on Asahina. When Monaka heard Naegi talk about hope and despair a while ago, it made her realize she didn’t want to end up like him and is done with despair. Although she doesn’t know who the culprit is behind this game, what she does know is that because of Naegi, one of the survivors of Enoshima’s killing game will die. She will not say who. Monaka is bored with life on Earth and decides to head off and live in space. Blasting away into the sky! At first Fukawa wanted to follow her to squeeze more info out of her but Komaru wants them to go back. She cites Togami’s name as a good reason. You want Fukawa to do things? Always cite that guy’s name. While they think Monaka doing nothing is a form of despair, Komaru believes once she is bored staying in her room, she’ll come back. Komaru manages to hack into Gekkogahara’s system to inform Naegi about Monaka’s warning. Fukawa does the same to Togami.

Episode 8
Once the transmission ends, Gekkogahara acts like a robot. Naegi and Asahina try to leave but stumble into Munakata. If not for Gekkogahara combining with her wheelchair into some mech to fight him, the duo might not have a chance to escape. Kirigiri is still looking at every inch of the room for hints. Kizakura just dismantled all the traps set by Izayoi in the room. Because Ruruka is seemingly clumsy, Kizakura vaguely hints about her trying to form her own breakaway group in Future Foundation. Sakakura enters the room hell bent on killing Kirigiri. Kizakura fights him and manages to let him step on a trap and wound him. Kizakura’s sharp observation notes that this former boxer has been attacking using everything except his fists. Could it be his forbidden action restricts him from attacking with his bare hands? In exchange, Kizakura tells his own forbidden action: He cannot open his left hand. It must remain closed/clenched. When Kirigiri resumes he investigation, Ruruka lets off a bomb that would have sent her dropping down and to her death had not Kizakura used his hands to grab and pull her up. Oh. Did he just open his left hand? Damn. And another one bites the dust. Ruruka is going to kill all of them as she makes Sakakura eat her chocolates that will control his mind. However he fights and resists against it. Watching Ruruka’s actions, Kirigiri has deduced she was the one who killed Izayoi. He died of his own forbidden actions. It was made to look like he died via the killer’s knife. However all victims had an embedded stab in their hearts. There was none on Izayoi. It is believed Ruruka used the knife from Seiko for this deception. Kirigiri even went as far as to taste Izayoi’s saliva and tasted something sweet. Who else is a master of cooking and close enough to him? She reveals a secret door behind the shelves from the way the marks the furniture was dragged. It is believed to be an exit. Thus Ruruka’s forbidden action is for anyone who leaves the game. So when Izayoi found it, Ruruka must have panicked. Sakakura tries to open the door and leave as Ruruka desperately tries to stop him. Kirigiri and Mitarai didn’t join in helping to open the door but head out of the room. Togami has arrived outside the building. Hagakure must be happy to see him seeing we’ve seen him running around like a clown and his luck managed to still keep him alive from all the attacks. After setting the explosives, they blast away the rubble. A member carelessly activates a trap that sends the building sinking.

Episode 9
Sakakura opens the door but realizes he still can’t get out because they’re underwater! Kirigiri tells Mitarai that the secret exit was fake. This might be an identical space below and not the original room they were in above ground. When they were knocked out the first time, they were moved to the identical part below. Whoever did this must sure put in a hell lot of effort to move everyone. Kirigiri knows this because she observed some of the damage marks in earlier rooms were missing when the killing game started. She suspects Munakata as the main culprit because he was the one who designed this facility and she notices the game rules favour him the most. Kirigiri and Mitarai reunite with Naegi and Asahina. Naegi sounds like he is starting to lose faith so Kirigiri gives him the much needed motivation to continue being hope. After Munakata slashes Gekkogahara into half, he reunites with Sakakura. After a short talk about their ideals and past endeavours, Munakata then stabs him! Then he blames despair for killing him… WTF. Ruruka has witnessed Sakakura’s murder. Although scared, she thinks he deserved being betrayed. Flashback shows Izayoi after discovering the secret exit, went to seal it up and set lots of traps so no one can find it as he knew Ruruka’s forbidden action. He promised he would never betray her and assured he cares more about her than himself. Naturally Ruruka is still scared so how to you really ensure Izayoi won’t betray her? Betray him first! While they were passionately kissing, she slips a sweet into his mouth knowing his forbidden action is putting food in his mouth. Izayoi didn’t hate her and continued to love her till his last breath. It is sleeping time again. Naegi and co barricade themselves but Kirigiri thinks it won’t do them any good since the culprit has full control over the playing field. But whatever happens, she tells Naegi never to lose hope. Sleeping time is over. Ruruka has become the latest victim. So this means Naegi is alive. Yay! Mitarai is alive. Hooray! Asahina is alive. Yahoo! Kirigiri… Hey, she’s not getting up. OMFG! SHE’S DEAD!!! Death by her own forbidden action?! That is, passing the fourth time limit with Naegi alive. That doesn’t sound fair. Naegi is in despair when Munakata contacts him. He should have known of Kirigiri’s forbidden action by now. He mocks this is why his hope is useless. It is time to settle whose hope is right.

Episode 10
Although Naegi puts on a brave face, he understands Kirigiri never said anything about this for she knows he will panic and run around to help her out, losing sight of his goal. The only thing he can do now is to face off with Munakata and settle this once and for all. The cat and mouse game begins as Naegi seems to be luring him into a certain room. It looked like Naegi has taken a beating and is going to be cut by his sword but he stops short. Naegi knows his forbidden action. He has observed the times he has chased him and all. Munakata cannot open doors. So if he kills him here now, he will be trapped in this room. Naegi wants to talk and cooperate but Munakata is not convinced. He will wipe out all despair even if it means sacrificing. Naegi disagrees that is not hope. All he is ever looking at is despair. Even if he gets rid of despair, that itself won’t create hope. Munakata reveals Tengan told him the truth. There is more than one killer. Everybody in Future Foundation is a killer! It made Munakata realize that Yukizome was also tainted with despair. There was a photo of kids being massacred and she was in despair who did this. When in actual fact it was her who did it. When did she first get tainted with despair? That is why he will rid of despair even if it is only a memory. Naegi disagrees again and doesn’t want him to say that he’ll rid of others like Yukizome. He gives example had Kirigiri turned into despair and betrayed everyone and had Naegi had no choice but to kill her, no matter what he would still be glad to have met her. I guess those are the winning words because Munakata’s scream of despair could only mean that, right? As the guys sit and cool themselves down, Munakata can only lament when did they go wrong. Asahina then comes in to tell them to stop killing each other because she has found out who the killer is.

Episode 11
According to Kirigiri’s notes on her observations, she believes the victims killed themselves and it has something to do with the monitors. Naegi tests this out as he is tied up and placed next to a monitor before the next sleeping session comes into effect. Naegi then wakes up first and sees a pre-recorder video of Monokuma on the monitor. He watches some weird crap sh*t on the video and the next thing he knows, he is hallucinating and sees his dead pals from the first season. All blaming him and then tempting him to come over to their side. Naegi goes crazy as he picks up a knife dropped from the monitor and tries to kill himself. Luckily he is stopped and snapped out by Sakakura. Why is he still awake? He cut of his hand! Bloody! Naegi explains that the killer is actually the victim committing suicide. When everyone is asleep, the monitor detects the one closest via the wristband and wakes him/her up to watch a brainwashing video before committing suicide. Naegi wants his help to destroy all the monitors. Is he crazy? Does he know how many there are? Sakakura is not going to do it. He tells Naegi he hated him because he defeated Enoshima who once brainwashed him. He knew she was evil but never reported to him and this is the result. In the end, he believes Munakata abandoned him for that. When the rest wake up and learn of this, Munakata believes the only one who can set all this up is Tengan. Because he is the true Remnants. It is hard to believe that old guy is the culprit as Munakata continues that his team were once investigating Enoshima and all evidence pointed to her as the evil. But Munakata heard from Sakakura and Yukizome that she isn’t evil and he believed them despite he knew better otherwise. That is when Tengan took advantage of their weakness. Sakakura is at the breaker room and turns off the power, cutting electricity to the monitors and releasing the wristbands. OMG. That simple?! Why didn’t somebody think of this in the first place?! Naegi tells Munakata to go to Sakakura. Even though he abandoned him, Sakakura still believe in him to get him out of this game. By the time he arrives, too late to apologize to a dead body. In the aftermath, Naegi asks Mitarai about the videos because it seems as a super animator only he can make this. Mitarai is fraught with guilt but insists he didn’t do it but Enoshima stole his technology. Suddenly Mitarai gets a call from Tengan!

Episode 12
Many years before, Yukizome passed a USB containing the video that brainwashed the Remnants to Tengan. She lies she has never seen its contents. He took and kept it. Now, that call from Tengan is a pre-recorded video of him admitting he is the mastermind of this! Mitarai falls into despair as he explains how all this came to. It was his brainwashing video. He ran away then but now he won’t. Now he is going to put an end to this by showing the world another brainwashing video filled with hope. Fighting fire with fire? He can do it now since his forbidden action was the use of his talent. It seems Mitarai disagrees with Naegi’s way in overcoming despair as the former believes despair as long as it exists, humans will repeat this tragedy. He makes Asahina watch his brainwashing video and orders her to stop Naegi. Mitarai stumbles into the special forces, has them watch his video, spread it to others as well as a special order to eliminate those who gets in his way. Naegi could have been done for but Munakata saves him and hears him out. It is then Naegi realizes Tengan isn’t one of the Remnants. So he setup this elaborate mutual killing to force Mitarai into doing this? Also, the killings aren’t broadcast outside. Naegi remembers Mitarai wasn’t supposed to be in the meeting. That’s why Tengan was a bit surprised. Had Mitarai know there was going to be mutual killings, he would have used the video. Also, all the hopeful things Tengan said weren’t directed towards Naegi but Mitarai. They deduce Mitarai is going to eliminate all negative emotions with his broadcast. He is making his way to the annex where he can broadcast his video to the entire world in 30 minutes. Naegi and co rush there but are obstructed by the special forces. Now we take a detour to Enoshima and Yukizome commenting on everything. It’s like a cinema for dead people? So Enoshima explains about Tengan’s actions and the main cause of Tengan and Munakata’s hostility boiled down to their interpretations of despair. The source was Yukizome because she told Munakata to eliminate despair. There are clips of Naegi trying to ‘repair’ the Remnants in his secret location via brainwashing virtual reality but he was summoned to Future Foundation before he could learn the results. Even if Mitarai is successful, Future Foundation’s image is tarnished and nobody is going to follow it. So Enoshima thinks. She is glad despair did a good job. But Yukizome still believes even though their future is over, this is the beginning of hope. Not that Enoshima cares. They’re dead, right? Cornered Naegi is saved by bumbling Hagakure. He even suggests they surrender! Till Togami comes in and has his efficient MIBs take out the squad! Seeing Naegi in a pinch, he taunts if he is really that lucky.

Hopelessly Hopeful
Oh wait a minute. You mean it ended on a cliff-hanger? Just like that Despair arc too? Oh, I see. Looks like they are going to link up the finale with that hope arc. The final episode that converges and ends everything. I guess it is not that bad then but as far as this particular season and arc goes, I would say it is rather intriguing and fascinating overall.

Following the first season’s formula of mutual killings, this season still feels interesting since they bring in a new bunch of faces and mix old ones who survived the last killing game. The fun on my part was to guess who was going to go next while trying to also predict the culprit behind it all. Of course I know certain main characters would last longer or if not survive the ordeal. But I could never be too sure of myself either because I keep thinking that they might add and throw in some twist or revelation that the real killer is somebody else hiding outside the game (or somewhere inside the building’s super secret room) or it could be just straightforward fashion that the perpetrator could be among them.

A theory of mine for saying so is because when this arc is first introduced, there is a counter in the opening credits that always keeps track of how many players are left in the field. It started off with 16 survivors. However as I started to count and trace who those 16 players are, there seems to be one there is missing. I mean, as far as I can count and name, there are only 15 of them trapped in the building playing this deadly game. So could this extra unknown person be the real perpetrator? It’s not like we viewers would actually count who is left, right? Or do we? This is true even in the penultimate episode as it gets clearer with the reduced number of survivors. There seems to be 1 extra player but who is that person? It made me think if this was even a troll because maybe that additional person could be Hagakure who has been kept out of the building since the start of the series. Or could that other person be Monaka who is controlling Gekkogahara? Even if the android personality got destroyed, it only reduced the survivor count by one. My guess is Hagakure since his mug is alongside the other Future Foundation members in many promotion posters.

Some of the theories feel like impossible and do not make sense like Kirigiri deducing that the entire playfield is actually another very similar level below the actual building. Assuming that if Tengan was the perpetrator, how the heck can this old fart move everyone in record time without breaking his back? Well, everybody here is a super at something so it is not surprise maybe he can pull off such feat. Plus, we don’t really know how long time has passed since they passed out the first time. Then the forbidden actions on the wristbands, I wonder how it sophistically detects forbidden actions because like Bandai’s case he dies if he witnesses violence by the participants. How is violence defined? Can slapping be considered violence? Some I feel can be easily bypassed like if Munakata cannot open doors, can he just use his trusty sword to cut down the wall and make his own doors? Yeah, maybe the walls are so hard that he couldn’t. Otherwise he would have cut a hole outside and escape. Oh, they can’t. Underwater.

The most ridiculous of them all is cutting off the power to somewhat end the game. To be fair, nobody knew the monitors had anything to do with the wristbands at first but when you think about it, you can’t help feel it is just silly yet simple solution. I guess when everybody is busy killing each other, they don’t really think outside the box. Of course the mind boggling one was Tengan himself being the mastermind. So he orchestrated this mutual killing just to make Mitarai use his video? It’s such a simple thing. People had to die so that somebody would use his brainwashing talents to save the world? So this old fart is playing the role of the villain? He sure trolled us by making us think so and that he might be the final last boss till the twist in the twist surfaced. I guess it is the question of if you want to save many, a few must be sacrificed. So will Mitarai be the final last boss now? I suppose it is not good just to have all positive emotions. Because that itself is not being human.

I am not sure whether to call it spoilers or knowledge beforehand because since this arc is aired side by side with the Despair arc, many of the revelations and the character backgrounds are related. Therefore if you watch this series without watching the Despair arc at the same time, you might be confused to some of the characters’ background. For instance, the ‘complicated’ relationship between Ruruka, Seiko and Izayoi. Their story might feel like a filler and distraction to the main plot of this arc since you need to know all about the character they died. It’s like a death flag or something. But if you don’t watch the Despair arc, you won’t really understand why they hate each other.

Therefore many of the other characters’ back story and relationship greatly depend on the other concurrently running arc that tells of what happened in the past that led to the situation that is of now. It goes without saying that you need to have watched the first Danganronpa series to understand what is going on too otherwise you would be lost as the series progresses. But some like Monaka’s case feels like distraction. It was just an elaborate sidetrack to show us that there was somebody else behind Gekkogahara and to give Naegi’s little sister as well as Togami’s insane admirer some screen time.

The art and animation style remains consistent among the series. But for this one, I find the character designs to be less weird than the rest. You know, very odd looking characters that make them look cartoonish. By far, the oddest looking one was Bandai whom I thought looked creepy himself. Thank goodness he got killed off early? Gozu despite wearing a metal bull mask isn’t so bad. Oh, not to mention the pink coloured blood, one of the series’ trademark. Everything is so dark and gory so why the heck not liven it up with bright pink? And when I mean dark, some of the scenes are really dark since like the hallways and some ruined sections of the building.

Seiyuus from the previous season like Megumi Ogata as Naegi, Youko Hikasa as Kirigiri and Chiwa Saito as Asahina return to reprise their roles. Among the new casts, the weirdest one I find is Rie Kugimiya as Bandai. I know this farmer guy looks weird already but it is even weirder when he sounds all so squeaky! I don’t know if it is a good thing when he got killed off early because I don’t think I can get used to hearing him in his squeaky voice throughout the season. Recognizable seiyuus new to the line-up include Junichi Suwabe as Sakakura, Keiji Fujiwara as Kizakura and Mai Nakahara as Yukizome. Aya Hirano was behind Monaka? I guess I haven’t heard her in a long time (the most recent being Fairy Tail’s recent season) so I’m starting to forget…

The rest of the new line-up include Toshiyuki Morikawa as Munakata (Naraku in Inu Yasha), Hidekatsu Shiba as Tengan (Igneel in Fairy TailKanta), Hongou as Mitarai (Sakamoto in BTOOOM), Takako Sasuga as Gekkogahara (Hata-bou in Osomatsu-kun), Kenta Miyake as Gozu (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Inori Minase as Ruruka (Nagisa in Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa), Takuya Eguchi as Izayoi (Hikigaya in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru), Saki Fujita as Seiko (Inami in Working) and Aya Uchida as Komaru (Kotori in Love Live). Both the opening and ending themes are rock based with Dead Or Lie by Maon Kurosaki featuring Trustrick as the opener and Recall The End by Trustrick as the ending theme.

Overall, this is a great and enjoyable series especially if you like survivor genres and a fan of the Danganronpa series. I read certain comments online (read: fan boys of the game) call the anime adaptation a disappointment because certain parts were rushed and how bad its execution was. Personally I didn’t play the game so I can’t compare. Therefore for me not knowing ‘everything’, this adaptation is still interesting in its own right and I am quite satisfied with the series generally (except maybe how it ended and you need to watch another arc to complete it). So look who’s fallen into despair? It makes you wonder if hope and despair are 2 sides of the same coin. The same glass is half full or half empty expression. Both need each other to exist, like light and darkness, yin and yang. So it might get a little confusing in this series when they talk about hope killing hope and despair killing despair. It’s like saying two wrongs make a right. I guess we can only hope the next instalment would be better and the greatest (if there would be any). Where is a super high school level game developer when you need one?

If you love the original animated Danganronpa series, then we have good news for you. Make that double good news. Because not only Danganronpa 3 – Despair Arc was released as a sequel, it was also aired alongside with another arc (Future Arc) in the same season and both series run concurrently side by side with each other. Double the fun, double the despair. For this one, as its name suggests it takes place as the prequel before Naegi’s class entered the deadly survival game and details the events that led to the biggest despair incident to have been brought down on mankind. If you have not watched the original Danganronpa series, be warned there will be some spoilers here since this is a prequel.

Episode 1
Chisa Yukizome is being hired by Hope Peak’s principal, Jin Kirigiri as a teacher. She starts her first day enthusiastic but finds there are only 5 students turned up: Hiyoko Saionji (super traditional dancer – bratty girl), Mahiru Koizumi (photographer – normal girl), Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu (gangster – wait, WTF?!), Sonia Nevermind (princess – wait, huh?) and Mikan Tsumiki (health committee – hentai potential). Seeing how the class don’t get along well, Yukizome as the former super housekeeper decides to bring them along as they go retrieve their other classmates. In the toilet Nekomaru Nidai (team manager – his sh*t is so powerful it blasts through the wall!), in the cafeteria Teruteru Hanamura (cook – also super masochist), in the field Akane Owari (gymnastics – also a glutton), in the garage Kazuichi Soda (mechanic – sorry, Sonia doesn’t love you), in the animal shed Tanaka the Forbidden One (animal raiser – chuunibyou), in the music room Ibuki Mioda (rocker – is she rocking her guitar or cooking?), in the dojo Peko Pekoyama (swordswoman – don’t mess with her) and at the vending machine Nagito Komaeda (lucky – or is that unlucky?). Seeing the class is dirty, Yukizome has them clean the class while she goes pick up a couple of more missing students. One of them is Ryouta Mitarai (animator – chubby) who is trying to run away thinking she is the editor trying to force the deadline on him. Last is Chiaki Nanami (gamer) who is somehow with Hajime Hinata who is a student of the Reverse Course that was newly established last year. This course is for ordinary students but the fees are high. Hinata laments he wished to have a talent but Nanami says it doesn’t make a difference whether you have it or not. In fact ordinary people like them have greater freedom than those with talent because like for her, all she has are her games. With her students assembled (and the class clean as hell too), Yukizome is revved up that she can retrieve them the same day tomorrow. Later Yukizome calls Kyousuke Munakata to tell him she got a teaching job at Hope Peak. She assures him she will be okay without him since Munakata is planning to expand Hope Peak to overseas and won’t be around. She is grateful to this school as it allowed her to meet him.

Episode 2
Yukizome thought she has everything under control till she gets a call her class is in trouble. Owari and Nidai are fighting each other and ripping the class apart! But since they say it is for realistic combat training, she lets them continue. Nanami leaves the class believing she doesn’t mix with them since her super gaming skills will set her for life. But Yukizome advises her to make friends as it will be more fun to play with everyone. Yukizome is also doing a secret investigation for Munakata on Reverse Course. As these students pay very high fees, these funds are channelled to the board of trustees that controls the school. The issue is how the money is being used. Munakata has her investigate more as he notes if the overseas expansion is successful, it will give him a better voice. Later Yukizome talks to Hinata about why he enrols in Reverse Course. However he has low self esteem so she tells him to believe in himself. Subsequently the school’s advisor, Kazuo Tengan talks to him if he has made his decision. Not yet. Tengan is against that project because hope comes from people acting like people. Hinata is concerned his family cannot pay the high fees so Tengan tells him he can always decline and return to his normal high school and live as himself. There is nothing wrong being normal. When Yukizome returns to class, she sees everyone playing video games. Everyone chipped in to make the necessary as Nanami brought her games. She is glad that Yukizome was right that she can make friends via games. With everyone having their go at Nintendo rip-offs, Hanamura then cooks for everyone. Can’t play for hours on an empty stomach, can you? However Saionji cheekily puts Hanamura’s sexy potion into the soup and this turns everyone horny! Steamy scenes, gay scenes, lesbian scenes and sexual subtexts! It gets out of hand when Hanamura is about to rape Saionji but Nanami saves her with her super uppercut. What has Taylor Swift got to do with this?! The girls praise Nanami recuperating in the infirmary as she happily relates her uppercut inspiration from Double Dragon. Next day, Yukizome makes Nanami as the class rep. Everyone unanimously agrees so she agrees to give it a try. It lifts her spirits that she goes to invite Hinata to play a game with her. Next day in Hinata’s class, Natsumi Kuzuryu is the new transfer student. She starts off as a b*tch as you can tell how she badmouths everyone as trash and thinks highly of herself.

Episode 3
Hinata narrates his dream of attending Hope Peak. In class, Natsumi teases him since he is constantly looking at the main building. She proclaims herself as the super little sister since her brother is the heir of the Kuzuryu Gang. But if she is here, does that mean she is talentless? She hasn’t given up yet and will do what it takes to get into the main course. Natsumi is then confronted by fellow classmate, Sato who hates her guts to the very end as she warns not to pull off some sneaky move on Koizumi (seems the trio were once in the same photography club). Natsumi is not cowed as she badmouths and even threatens her with death. Typical gangster move, right? Koizumi comes by to quell the tension but even so Natsumi gives out her threats and make it sound like Koizumi is here to mock talentless people. Fuyuhiko talks to Pekoyama about his sister’s problem. He doesn’t want to jump to conclusions yet and reminds her that they have nothing between them now since enrolling here. Pekoyama is Fuyuhiko’s bodyguard and hitman. Hinata sees Sato and Natsumi arguing again. Sato is about to hit her for yet another badmouth rant but Hinata stops her. Hinata talks to Natsumi about her intimidation as he tries to advise her using Nanami’s words about life is more to just talent. But Natsumi disagrees although Hinata knows how it feels for being left behind. Apparently being with her brother and making memories with him aren’t just enough. She wants to stand by his side and be with him. Later, Hinata sees a commotion around the building and the police have barricaded the place. It seems Natsumi has been murdered in the music room!

Hinata eavesdrop Koizumi talking to Sato if she has killed Natsumi. At first Sato really wanted to kill her because she believed Natsumi was going to do kill Koizumi. However she realizes she has no talent to even kill people. So that’s that. Koizumi believes her. Hinata then confronts Sato about it but she starts panicking cooking up theories like Natsumi might have killed herself for being talentless. Then she goes crazy and runs away. Sato never turned up to class for a few days. Then her body was found. Hinata tries to enter the main building to speak to Koizumi for answers but is stopped by the head security, Juzo Sakakura. He is given an answer what happened but it felt like the authorities is trying to sweep the problem under the rug. When Hinata becomes resistant, he is beaten up. Sakakura continues to badmouth talentless people like him by making it up with money and they should just live a normal life instead of thinking they have some sort of talent. Hinata disagrees with his train thought and before Sakakura could punch him, Yukizome gets in the way. After Hinata leaves, Sakakura reminds her about her mission and shouldn’t be too involved with such normal students. Even so, Yukizome believes that was just pure violence and she should stop him as a human. He shouldn’t beat up students who don’t know anything. Sakakura warns if he digs in too much, he will be the one dying. They fear Hope Peak might be going down the wrong path and if so, only Munakata can stop this. Meanwhile Jin tells Tengan that the project about artificial hope and artificial talent has been given the green light as the subject has decided to participate. Because Hinata has finally decided to join and become everyone’s hope.

Episode 4
Yukizome informs her class about the upcoming exams. However nobody is in good mood seeing the double murders. Komaeda later pleads to her to cancel it but since there is nothing she can do, he is going to do something himself. After giving a sexy idol poster to Hanamura, this allows him to get access and up close with Seiko Kimura. He is seeking laxatives for her but because she has to entertain Ruruka Andou and Sounosuke Izayoi who are bugging her for a performance enhancing drug, Komaeda has to go get it himself. He is unsure which drug to take and lets his luck set fate in motion. After much pressure and talk about ‘friendship’, Seiko gives in and agrees to make a drug for her. Next day, there is a threatening message on the board to cancel the exam or else there will be hell to pay. Of course the authorities do not take this seriously and carry on with the exam. Little do they know there are bombs hidden in the hall’s ceiling. Ruruka serves her cream puff to the judges. Super awesome as expected. But suddenly their stomach starts to ache. Trying to find what is happening, Ruruka starts thinking Seiko intended to sabotage her and gave her the wrong drug. Seiko looks into her bag for a cure but sees a remote control for the bombs! This is when Ruruka starts accusing Seiko on just about everything. I believe they have trust issues from the start. This makes Seiko snap as she too calls her a traitor.

Meanwhile Komaeda thinks he has got everything in order. When he accidentally spills a drink and a dog drinks it, it grows into a giant! Realizing the drug he put wasn’t the laxative, he opens the bag to find only medicine. He remembers bumping into Seiko this morning and their bags must have switched. The dog runs rampage in the hall. Seiko and Ruruka panic and accidentally press the button. Boom! Hall exploded. Komaeda notes he didn’t do anything but this was the result he intended. So is this super lucky? Later Komaeda is given the talk by Yukizome. He jokes about being a trash but she slaps him. She assures he is not trash and she is his teacher. Because of this incident, Ruruka, Seiko and Izayoi have been expelled immediately. Although some are calling for Komaeda’s expulsion, he wasn’t directly involved but yet got his desired results. That takes a lot of luck. Therefore as compromise he will be suspended indefinitely and Yukizome will be transferred to Reverse Course since she is taking responsibility as his teacher. Her students are hounding for answers and if they wonder if this is a mistake. Yukizome explains that Komaeda did this in their best interest so when he returns, please give him a warm welcome. As for her transfer, she sees it as a training stint and will be back. Well, at least she is able to investigate closer the shady dealings behind Reverse Course. Oops. I don’t think that was a joke.

Episode 5
Six months have passed. Yukizome speaks to Sakakura if he could get an ID of the board of trustees for her. She explains the Kamukura Project which has begun in secret. Something big is going on since Kamukura is the name of Hope Peak’s founder. In order to investigate more, she needs an ID. Sakakura will try but if caught, he could be fired. She adds about Hinata that he suddenly quit school around the time she heard about the project. Yukizome will soon be transferred back to the main course. Komaeda has not been heard ever since but they hope to lift his suspension. When she returns to class, her students are already waiting to pop the surprise welcome. They heard from a teacher about her return and prepared the necessary. Everyone credits Nanami for pulling this together. In addition, she is the one who organized activities and supported the class during Yukizome’s absence. Other notable differences are Saionji who has a growth spurt and busty lady (curse you puberty!) and Sonia taking after Tanaka’s chuunibyou. Meanwhile Mitarai returns to his room to see a skinnier version of himself pushing to create an anime that will save everyone?! On the other hand, Enoshima returns and waits at the airport for Ikusaba. They are putting forth in motion a plan that will lead to the most atrocious despair incident in human history by enrolling in Hope Peak. There is a short narration by skinny Mitarai that he was often bullied. Physically weak, he believes anime saved him. Because he is working so hard and disregarding his own health, fat Mitarai ‘kidnaps’ Tsumiki to nurse him. He explains the truth. Both guys were living next door to each other. Fatty has no name and is a super imposter. He lives his life in the guise of others although it doesn’t last long. Noting that skinny Mitarai only wants to make anime, he views their interest overlap and requests to take over his name. Skinny Mitarai can shut himself in and make anime all he wants while fat Mitarai will take over his place. Thankfully fatty trusts his classmates so Tsumiki doesn’t have to die or sell her body. Oh God, what was she thinking? Meanwhile Hinata is in some sort of experiment. Still in a daze, he believes he will become the protagonist of his own story and someone who can be proud around Nanami.

Episode 6
At the end of Hinata’s experiment… He grows longer hair?! He is also given the new name Izuru Kamukura, Hope Peak’s founder. He will be the world’s new hope. Sakakura manages to sneak an ID for Yukizome although it has a time limit. This is also the same ID of a trustee that has recently gone missing so be careful. Speaking of that trustee, he is kidnapped by Enoshima and tortured. Yukizome hacks into the trustee’s computer to shockingly read about the project. Despite the subject will become humanity’s hope and gain every known talent in the world, he will lose his emotions, personality and ideals. It is a small price to pay to save the world. The project has already moved on to testing phase. Yukizome reports to Munakata who fears the worst thing is not the public finding out but an unscrupulous person using this for his own gain. Hope will become despair that will threaten the world. Munakata will immediately return and until then she is not to say a word about this to anyone. Enoshima and Ikusaba use the trustee’s eye at the retinal scan to enter Kamukura’s room. At first she fawns over this dude but suddenly wants to kill him for being mankind’s hope. However Kamukura easily pins her down and not even Ikusaba can do anything. He asks if he has super analytical abilities that can calculate several steps ahead, why she even tried this. Because despair is an unknown. She is bored with the world with its pre-existing harmony. Only despair sets her heart racing. Despite being overwhelmed by him, she is having so much fun. Erm, isn’t that just being a masochist? Enoshima tries to coax him to join her side. Because hope doesn’t lead to the unknown. He won’t find salvation there. Only despair can save him. Enoshima is knocked out and the next thing she knows she is in the hospital bed. It seems Kamukura didn’t tell anybody about this. He told Ikusaba to leave Enoshima a message: He will be waiting. So he is taking up her offer? Enoshima is so happy that she waltzes out of hospital. That is where she bumps into skinny Mitarai just coming in. She doesn’t know why she feels so happy to see him and starts hugging him. She believes this must be yet another fateful encounter.

Episode 7
Enoshima badmouths anime so when Mitarai counters her, she dares him to show it. Of course she is absolutely moved and no other anime crap will do! He explains how he uses everything to make such a great anime but all Enoshima must have heard was how it brainwashes others. Hearing Mitarai wants to make a better world, you don’t say because Enoshima too had the same intentions… When fat Mitarai tells Tsumiki his skinny version is missing, she goes to check on him at his room but Ikusaba sees her and kidnaps her. Sakakura tells Yukizome that many trustee members have also gone missing. Security is now so tight that he can’t get an idea of what is happening. Enoshima is providing skinny Mitarai a comfortable room to create his anime (courtesy from the trustees, if you get what I mean). Ikusaba brings in Tsumiki and they make her watch Mitarai’s anime. Touched as hell. Enoshima super analyzes the situation and forms a plan. This involves bringing Kamukura to witness something extraordinary. In a classroom where Hope Peak’s student council members, Ikusaba announces all of them to kill each other. At first they refuse thinking it is a joke but when she demonstrates by killing one of them, she gives them 2 options: Kill each other or be killed by her. For motivation, there are videos containing their darkest secrets. So if you don’t want those out… All it took is just 1 crazy and disillusioned member to start the ball rolling. Next thing you know, we see everybody killing everybody and blood everywhere. Enoshima narrates to Kamukura the unpredictability of despair that will save him a boring future. The last standing member faces off with Kamukura. Of course he couldn’t best him. A fluke made him accidentally killed himself. Jin is upset that the plan is already in motion and being covered up by the authorities just to continue their existence. Enoshima deals the fatal blow by sending a message to all the students about this project being funded by the Reverse Course’s exorbitant fees. Making it worse is how all the student council members were found murdered by this Kamukura specimen and the school is trying to cover this up out of self preservation and hide their failed experimentation. It makes the Reverse Course students accomplices to murder. Naturally all of them are enraged after reading this as a mob gathers to demonstrate against this scam.

Episode 8
With the students trying to barge their way in, the higher ups are getting worried and need to act before the government steps in. Tsumiki has turned into an obsessed worshipper and slave for Enoshima. Mitarai is unsure of how she turned like that but when he clicks a preview video in a mysterious folder, he sees footage of the student council members killing each other. He becomes sick. He thinks Tsumiki saw this and went crazy. She tries to seduce him so he can help them out to realize Enoshima’s goal but Enoshima beats the crap out of her for being a slut. And she loves it! Mitarai is scared as Enoshima explains (with video) that she plans to turn the entire world into despair. However she lacks the brainwashing power that Mitarai has and wants him to make one which is way better than his last. Mitarai tries to run but is warned she might make his classmates kill each other next. Everyone is worried that Tsumiki has not showed up in class for a long time. Even if Komaeda returns, they are not in a mood to celebrate. He then tells them he saw Tsumiki at an area. This has everyone go look for her. Sakakura is having trouble fending off the invading students. He is surprised Munakata is back and is going to lend a hand. Sakakura tries to call Yukizome but she isn’t picking up because she is busy looking for her students. Komaeda and Nanami are at the founder’s statue. By luck, he opens a secret underground passageway that leads to skinny Mitarai’s room. That guy swamped with fear as he thinks he hasn’t done anything bad yet. Enoshima and Komaeda face off. He tells her Ikusaba can’t come to her aid because he talked to Pekoyama to keep her at bay. Komaeda pulls out a gun at Enoshima. He will do anything to protect hope. He views despair as a stepping stone to hope. So he wants to test if he could kill her, it means she wasn’t good enough as hope’s stepping stone. Suddenly he senses Kamukura behind him. Komaeda pulls the trigger but it is jammed. Kamukura whispers he too has good luck. He snatches the gun from him and shoots in his chest. Luckily luck didn’t abandon Komaeda because his handbook stopped the bullet. Nanami takes a closer look at Kamukura. He’s Hinata, right? Mitarai runs away fearing for his life. That’s when he bumps into Yukizome who assures it is her duty to protect her students. She has a bad feeling about this as she heads downstairs.

Episode 9
Enoshima just warmed up introducing herself to Nanami. Yukizome throws a fire extinguisher so that Nanami can take Komaeda and leave. Enoshima explains this will be the last day Yukizome and her students will be themselves as they will fall into despair as part of her plan. She knows Nanami will call her classmates to come and rescue her. True enough, Nanami explains what is happening and despite Komaeda’s not to go against them because their despair level is off the charts, they still want to go save their teacher. Fat Mitarai reveals his true identity to everyone and also wants to join in. Munakata has done his research and no matter what, all evidence points back to Enoshima as the culprit. Sakakura will go find her and bring her back for interrogation. Yukizome is forced to watch a brainwashed student hack himself to death and then strapped down to watch a video of the killings. She is resisting hard so Ikusaba sticks some needles into her head trying to adjust the frequency or something?! Creepy! Yukizome’s students encounter the angry Reverse Course students who think by ridding them they can get their seat. Nidai and Tanaka fight them to let the rest through. Skinny Mitarai is running away and being chased by the mob. Then he trips and is surrounded. Enoshima pops up and his here to thank and say goodbye to him. She is grateful his collaboration will help turn the world into despair although he argues his works is for the betterment of the world. In the end, he is forced to run because that is what Enoshima tells him to do. Running away is his despair. He falls into a flowing river. Sakakura has found Enoshima and is going to give her a good beat down. Yukizome’s students trek down the basement filled with hope. Since Nanami and Tsumiki are at the back of the pack, Tsumiki pushes Nanami down a secret shaft. When she wakes up, she finds Yukizome by her side as she claims Kamukura freed her.

Episode 10
What a surprise. Sakakura lost to Enoshima! She then begins to mock his one-sided love for Munakata. She threatens to show pictures of him fawning over Munakata’s pictures if he doesn’t report back that she is innocent. Very unfortunately, Sakakura complies. Blinded by love or despair? Nanami is shoved into a dark elevator by Yukizome. Enoshima appears on monitor revealing to Nanami about Yukizome being brainwashed by the despair video. However she feels that she is a step away from perfection. And Nanami will be that perfection. When all her classmates finally gather in a strange room, Enoshima is on the monitor again and is going to make them watch a video called Nanami’s Punishment. We see Nanami trying to dodge all sorts of dangerous traps in a dungeon. She has already taken some damage but still tries to maintain her positivism that she will not give up. Her classmates can only helplessly watch and cannot move because of the hypnotism effect. Just when Nanami reaches the goal door, all the spikes impale her. Game over. This drives all her classmates spiralling into despair and madness. Enoshima congratulates her new ‘colleagues’ as they will bring the world ultimate despair. Nanami in her final moments sees Kamukura standing before her. She realizes he has no memories being Hinata. Even in this state, she is trying to be positive. She doesn’t want to die and continue to be with her classmates but all is in vain as she struggles till her last breath. Kamukura picks up her hairpin and couldn’t understand why tears start flowing down his cheeks.

Episode 11
Munakata is told that the overseas expansion is cancelled. No reason is given. Then he asks Sakakura about his report in which he lies through his teeth that Enoshima is innocent. Munakata has his doubts at first so he confirms it with Yukizome who also says Enoshima is innocent. It is then Munakata believes he was wrong all along. Enoshima sets off the biggest chaotic despair with all the Reverse Course students getting violent and barging into the main building to slaughter everyone. While Yukizome gives her graduation speech to her class (everybody is under some sort of hypnotic despair too) and ends it by detonating a bomb! Enoshima wonders why Kamukura asked her to erase memories of him from the memories of others. As he will meet them in the future, he wants to know if hope or despair is the unpredictable factor. That is why he too will have his own memories erased. It will be more fun that way. After that they part ways. Jin and Tengan are trapped inside the school’s building. They see on the news the worldwide chaos. While Tengan wants to escape as they can’t do anything much here, Jin wants to stay behind to entrust hope to the survivors. Enoshima ends everything by having the Reverse Course students commit suicide when they’re done killing others. Ikusaba wonders why she didn’t have them join her ranks. They might have their brains rewired like hers but they are too low specs to be of any use. She warns Ikusaba to watch out because she’ll backstab her without hesitation. Then they go join Naegi’s class. We finally get the answer to why they were barricaded inside the building is because they themselves put up the barricades. Enoshima notes Naegi’s luck and wants to test it out. He is lucky he missed getting killed by her. Enoshima rethinks her decision to kill him because she doesn’t want him to derail her plans. Yukizome’s students are somehow outside. Munakata picks up Yukizome from the rubble. As narrated, her students go all over the world to spread despair. Everything fell apart as part of Enoshima’s plan. Sakakura deeply regrets not stopping Enoshima that it has led to this. Yukizome cries crocodile tears pleading to Munakata to stop this insanity so that she can make him despair more deeply than any of them.

Zetsubou Shita!
Well, it is with mixed feelings the way this arc ended. I knew it was going to be on the tragedy side but yet I feel so unsatisfied about it. I know everything hasn’t really ended yet and the only thing that has ended is hope. Especially that final scene about Hinata and Nanami nicely meeting each other at some island resort. What the heck was that? A dream? No way, man. Please don’t troll me any further when my sentiments are already this shaky. Gosh. Am I in despair???!!! Oh my God. Say it isn’t so. Phew. At least I didn’t take up a weapon and trash everything around me. Thankfully it isn’t 100% despair because there is still hope. Turns out there will be an episode to end and bridge this as announced at the end of the final episode but that will be for next time.

Unlike the first Danganronpa series and the Future Arc, this one breaks away from the mutual killing game of picking off each other one by one. Sure, there’s that student council version of it but that lasts only for minutes and serves as an appetizer. This arc heavily focuses on Enoshima’s grand foundation in building up her plans to bring ultimate despair to the world and the unfortunate souls who became victims of her mind controlling schemes. So if you are hoping and guessing from the promotional poster arc that these would be the ‘new’ characters to kill each other off in a survival game, you’d be very far off the mark. Of course this is assuming you didn’t play the game and like yours truly came to this assumption.

This means that the class under Yukizome’s care feel like they aren’t fleshed out properly. Each has their own interesting and quirky personality that makes them all so different in every way but because we don’t mostly see them do fun things together throughout the series (like Nanami’s video game session), it feels like their initial introduction in the first episode was like some sort of trolling and has been watered down as the series progresses and focused on other happenings. So if you want to have an idea of what Nanami’s class did together, the best bet is watch the ending credits animation where there is a montage of it. Well, I’m not saying that all characters in every Danganronpa series are fleshed out. This is the case for characters who are killed off very early. However for these special super talented students, they aren’t really killed off so it makes their roles for this arc feeling a bit much more to be desired. Like as though they’re just waiting around till the final moments of the plot to become somewhat relevant.

Hence among the students of this main course class that get the most screen time or at least playing more notable roles are Nanami and skinny Mitarai. Sadly, Nanami is the only main character to die. I know you’re going to remind me about Natsumi and Sato but they’re just minor characters whom you’ll forget once this arc reaches its end. What happened to Mitarai after he got washed away? I suppose he just kept running and running and running. Supposedly strong characters like Sakakura and Yukizome who are thought to be able to put up a decent fight against despair, ironically succumb to it. At least it shows they are human, right? They too have weaknesses and not perfect. Hey, being super high school level currently or formerly doesn’t mean that you are perfect like God. You just happen to be more successful than others normally. Finally, Hinata/Kamukura felt a bit of a waste. Of course from where the plot of this arc is going, there is nothing much he can do. But I thought it was a waste to have this all-so-powerful-God like as though he is very much the last boss to fight and lose but he is just observing and biding his time. That’s all.

In one of the biggest ironies, the higher ups trying to play God and create their own artificial super level of hope instead ushered in the biggest despair instead. Normal students pay big money in return to get some sort of future hope but what they got was a big let-down and ultimately despair. That’s what happened when a large sum of money is involved. Can you now say that in addition to money is the root of all evil, it is now the root of all despair? It is no longer just a sin to be poor but sad to be without money.

Another irony is Enoshima and her love for despair. It feels like a big contradiction. If she loves despair, shouldn’t she herself be wallowing in misery, desolation and hopelessness? Instead we see her revel and taking joy in seeing others suffer and this makes her more of a super level sadist than one who is gunning for ultimate despair. I mean, she did bring the world to its knees but she is happy in achieving that goal and seeing how it is brought upon others. In that sense, she is like a hypocrite to her own goal of despair. She should be called a super high school level evil maniacal mastermind sadist instead. If she really wants to go into despair, she should look at that Nozomu guy from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series. That guy is truly in despair.

I am not sure whether to call it spoilers or knowledge beforehand because since this arc is aired side by side with the Future arc, many of the revelations and the character backgrounds are related. Therefore if you watch this series without watching the Future arc at the same time, you might not be missing anything out since this took place before all the Danganronpa series chronologically. It stands alone by itself. But if you do watch the Future arc, you will find that there are quite a few incidents that will be related. So you can consider this arc as spoiler when you do so. Or if you’re being optimistic, it gives you better understanding when you watch the Future arc subsequently. For instance, the ‘complicated’ relationship between Ruruka, Seiko and Izayoi. While you might think their cameo appearance might be seen as one of the few driving points in the story and insignificant for this arc, you will find and understand better about their role in the Future arc which in a way makes sense. It also makes sense to learn why skinny Mitarai is the only ‘survivor’ among his class. You’ll see what I mean if you watched the Future arc. So spoilers or knowledge beforehand? Either way, both these series complement each other.

It goes without saying that despite this arc is chronologically the first, for those who have not watched the first season’s Danganronpa, you will be greatly spoiled because we all know who the main big villain is, right? Therefore watching this prequel arc hinges on pretty much on the assumption that you have watched the first season and you pretty much know what has happened. Doing so makes it easier to connect the dots and lines and gives you a better idea and understanding of what is generally happening.

The art and animation style remains consistent among the series. This means that some of the character design feels odd. Characters with odd looking parts that make them look more cartoonish than anything. For example Hanamura. This guy is already creepy as a little pervert and with his cartoon-like face like as though he popped out from some baking mascot cover, he looks even creepier if not funnier. Soda looks more like a rapper than a mechanic. Just saying… One thing I find odd is how the other non-important students of the Reverse Course are drawn as what I call ‘blue mannequins’. Every time I see them I feel like I wanna go “I’m blue da ba di da ba die”. No, seriously. With all the blue people around, it feels like they are clones or something. I understand that they paid through their noses to get enrolled here and when they found out the truth they get disappointed and hence the blues (okay, I’m just bullsh*tting) but it just looks odd to see them drawn this way. Well, we’ve seen the odd pink blood which is the trademark of this series.

A handful of recognizable seiyuus lend their talents to this series such as Kana Hanazawa as Nanami, Mai Nakahara as Yukizome, Junichi Suwabe as Sakakura, Akira Ishida as the imposter Mitarai, Jun Fukuyama as Hanamura, Tomokazu Sugita as Tanaka, Yu Kobayashi as Koizumi, Yoshimasa Hosoya as Soda, Hiroaki Yasumoto as Nidai, Ami Koshimizu as Mioda, Ai Shimizu as Sato and Rikiya Koyama as Jin. Oddly, Megumi Ogata who voiced Naegi in the other Danganronpa series plays Komaeda here. It gave me an impression that Komaeda might be his older brother or something related in this sense as they both have that similar feel. I mean, one is with super hope and the other is super luck. Talents which are somewhat intangible, right? At first I thought Aoi Yuuki was behind Saionji but I was greatly mistaken as it was Suzuko Mimori instead (Sherlock in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes).

For the rest of the new casts, they are Minami Tanaka as Hinata/Kamukura (Conan in Detective Conan), Kanata Hongou as Mitarai the animator (Sakamoto in BTOOOM), Ai Kayano as Tsumiki (Kanade in Chihayafuru), Daisuke Kishio as Fuyuhiko (Suginami in Da Capo series), Kotono Mitsushi as Pekoyama (Excel in Excel Saga), Romi Paku as Owari (Hitsugaya in Bleach), Miho Arakawa as Sonia (Hanabusa in Akuma No Riddle), Haruka Yamazaki as Natsumi (Tomoyo in Inou Battle Wa Nichijou-Kei No Naka De), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Munakata (Mard Geer in Fairy Tail), Hidekatsu Shibata as Tengan (Igneel in Fairy Tail), Saki Fujita as Seiko (Inami in Working), Inori Minase as Ruruka (Chino in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka) and Takuya Eguchi as Izayoi (Kon in Ixion Saga DT).

The opening theme is Kami Iro Awase by Binaria. I’m not sure how to put it but It isn’t exactly a rock piece but it is in a way. I’m confused too. Maybe because the singer’s voice of singing the song in a calm way. Watching the opening credits at first made me think Shaft did this anime because of how similar its style is to the Monogatari series. Turns out to be Lerche who did Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Hamatora, Unbreakable Machine Doll, Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut and Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai. The ending theme is Zettai Kibou Birthday by Megumi Ogata. At first I didn’t believe it was heard because from what I can hear it sounds like a man’s voice singing this rock outfit. I thought it might be some type error. I even looked at various sources and finally the ending credits itself and confirmed it is her singing this one. Straining my ears to closely hear, I finally realize it could be her. After all, she has this low voice and this makes her suitable to voice many anime roles for young boys.

Overall, the series is pretty interesting and sets the foundation and the ball rolling for the other Danganronpa series in a chronological sense. Despite the lack of mutual killings or the main characters being killed off (unless you consider falling into ultimate despair as a metaphor for the character being killed off) the plot and turn of events make it an interesting watch. At least it is good to take heart that the writer and producers of this series are so super high level because otherwise we would be brainwashed and fall into despair. Instead we leave with satisfaction and high hopes for the series. Naturally an ideal point if you want it to be a commercial success. Because what’s worse than the world falling into despair is for your series to be ultimately cancelled and then into oblivion forever. Then it would be truly zetsubou shita!

Life is like a rat race, right? Everyone is doing their best in trying to compete and outdo each other to achieve their goals in being the best or whatever materialistic achievements they dream of. How far will you go for that? Will you even kill just for the sake of achieving that? Most rational people won’t go as far as committing murder but when you’re being pushed to a corner and being tested to the limits, humans are amazing creatures that can do the impossible. Adapted from the video game of the same name, Danganronpa: The Animation is a mystery thriller and basically a whodunit. There are 15 high school students enrolled in a prestigious academy that sets you for life when you graduate. However there is a catch. You must murder someone without getting caught to graduate. Because if you are caught, you get executed. If others fail to identify you, they get annihilated and you get to graduate and go scot free. It’s a pretty interesting premise as I presume there will be lots of clues lying around for you to spot, think and guess who the culprit and the act of murder committed. Never knew a person who wouldn’t hurt a fly could kill, eh?

Episode 1
Makoto Naegi is happy he has been chosen to attend Hope Peak Academy, a school for the elite and those who graduate are guaranteed success in life. He is supposed to be a super duper high school super lucky kid but the moment he steps in, he blacks out. Bad luck? He wakes up in a room bolted with thick metal that nobody can escape. There is a note to meet at the gym for an assembly. We meet the rest of the 14 super duper high school students: Yasuhiro Hagakure (shaman), Hifumi Yamada (mangaka), Kiyotaka Ishimaru (prefect), Junko Enoshima (model), Chihiro Fujisaki (programmer), Celestia Ludenberg (gambler), Mondo Oowada (outlaw biker), Leon Kuwata (baseball player – I thought he was a painter!), Aoi Asahina (swimmer), Sakura Oogami (fighter), Touko Fukawa (bookworm), Byakuya Togami (scion), Kyouko Kirigiri (??? – WTF is this?! Super duper mystery, I guess) and Sayaka Maizono (idol). Seems Maizono recognizes Naegi because they were classmates before. He must be honoured that an idol remembers a plain guy like him. Everyone crack their brains to find out what is happening when the principal, Monokuma, a weird teddy bear announces they are going to be living in this school forever. They’ve got a big budget so don’t worry about food and other stuffs. They can scream and yell all they want, they can’t escape and nobody is going to rescue them. But there is only one way to get out of here. In order to graduate, you must kill somebody and without getting caught. Of course they don’t believe this crap. Getting rough with Monokuma is futile. Because there is a bomb in his body and there are many other clones to replace him if that body is destroyed. He lets them off with a warning because the next time, he will execute his punishment.

With the students pretty much in confusion in what to do (because some would suspect the rest would kill just to get out), Naegi tries to diffuse the tension but was punched out by Oowada instead. He wakes up in his own room with Maizono by his side. She is happy that there is someone she knows here and they vow to find a way to get out. Everyone meets again to share what they have investigated. The doors and walls are made of steel so they definitely cannot escape. Certain parts of the area are cordoned off and for now they can only check the first floor of this building. The canteen is filled with abundant food so there is less one thing to worry about. Each of their room is comfortable but you have to live with the fact there is a camera watching you. Celestia suggests that they adapt if they don’t want to kill. She proposes their own rule for night time. As some places are cordoned at night, she suggests banning wandering around during the night. Otherwise they would have to spend every night cowering in fear that they may be killed. After 3 days, everybody seems to be living normally although they’re still looking for ways to get out. Of course this is going to get boring as Monokuma mentions. He realizes why nobody has committed a murder. Because there is no motive. He has everyone enter the AV room and each of them has a CD to watch. Naegi sees his family giving him encouragement in his new school. Suddenly in the next scene, the place is devastated. What happened? He hears Maizono screaming. She can’t take this anymore and really needs to get out. I guess everybody else also saw something similar. Maizono becomes an emotional wreck but Naegi becomes her pillar of support. He promises to get them out of here. She continues to break down in his arms.

Episode 2
Everyone’s room comes with an attached bathroom, although only the girls’ one can be locked. Also, everyone has a particular gift, which turns out to be some sort of weapon they think Monokuma wants them to use to kill. Naegi’s is a samurai sword. In addition, because Naegi’s toilet door is wrongly fitted, he has to turn the knob the other way to open. Bad luck? Later Maizono comes to Naegi’s room. She is scared that she heard her door room suddenly clatter like as though somebody is trying to force it open. Worried that somebody might break that night rule, Naegi suggests sleeping in his room. But since it won’t be appropriate for them to sleep together, they’ll swap rooms for tonight. Next morning, everyone gathers at the canteen as usual. Only Maizono didn’t show up. Naegi goes to check if she’s sick. To his shock, there are sword cuts all over his room. Even shocking, Maizono is dead in his toilet!!! So sick that he passes out. He wakes up in the gym with everyone else as instructed by Monokuma. Kirigiri suggests they play along by his rules to avoid any more casualties. Naegi believes Monokuma killed Maizono but the bear refutes. He wouldn’t do anything to go against the point of this exercise. In short, Maizono was killed by one of them.

Monokuma further explains the supplementary rules to graduate. After killing a fellow student, the other students must not find out you are the culprit. Therefore, commit the perfect crime. After a certain time has passed after a murder, they’ll hold a Classroom Trial to review their performance. They will have a chance to identify the murderer. If the culprit is correctly pointed out, he will be punished for disturbing the law and order of this place. But if the guess is wrong, all the innocent students will be punished instead. Enoshima is not going to take part in this crap and beats up Monokuma. However he has warned them. Acts of violence against the principal will not be tolerated. Suddenly several spears stab into her. She’s dead. Monokuma laments a pointless death but it is needed to teach them a lesson. Good luck with the investigation. Well, this proves she isn’t the murderer. Everyone’s PDA has extra information on Maizono’s death. It is very detailed on where she died and how she died. Just short of telling who the murderer is. Of course the first person to suspect is Naegi since she died in his room. Further investigations reveal she died of a knife stab in the abdomen, the samurai sword fractured and she wrote some sort of code ‘11037’ on the wall. Naegi watches the CD that belongs to Maizono. Seems her idol group disbanded for some reason and will never flourish again. Why did they disband? Graduate to find out. Naegi wonders if Monokuma has killed them and that Maizono had nowhere to go. Because Monokuma is bored, he wants the Classroom Trial to start. Everyone makes their way down the elevator. Well, well. 13 survivors left. Who would have thought the idol and model would be the first ones to die.

Episode 3
Everyone is in the Classroom Trial. Including Maizono and Enoshima. At least their photos. Can’t exclude them from the ‘fun’ even if they’re dead, huh? The debate begins with whoever visited the kitchen and took the knife is the culprit. Asahina mentions it wasn’t Naegi because she and Oogami were at the canteen. There was one other person visiting the kitchen: Maizono. So she took the murder weapon herself? As self defence? Kirigiri doesn’t want everyone to jump to conclusion that Naegi is the murderer yet. Firstly, the toilet door. Because the boys’ room’s doors aren’t lock, the culprit wrongly thought the door cannot be opened because it was locked from the inside, thus the knob was destroyed. If it was Naegi, he wouldn’t have gone through all that trouble to open the door. Naegi believes Maizono wouldn’t open the door just for anyone because she was scared and he told her not to even if it was him. But what if she was just pretending to be scared? Kirigiri shows him a note in his room from Maizono. It states for somebody to come to her room (Naegi’s). I’m sure any guy wouldn’t resist an invitation from an idol. But when they swap rooms, the plate on their door would also have swapped. Since Maizono was the only other person who knows about the room swap, Togami deduces Maizono wanted to commit murder and blame it on Naegi. Her plan failed because she allowed the culprit to fight back. She did this because she wants to get out but had the tables turned. Naegi realizes her dying message. If you rotate 11037 180 degrees, you get Leon. That is the baseball player’s name, right? Since her back is to the wall, it is only logical she wrote it that way.

Kuwata starts acting strange. Calling everything ‘idiot’. Near the incinerator there is a burnt shirt and glass sphere fragments. Because the culprit panicked he couldn’t destroy the evidence as the incinerator room was locked, the only way was to throw something to the button and open the incinerator door. Only a baseball player can hit it with accuracy. However he didn’t realize the fire burnt off the edge of the sleeve. There is another proof that proves Kuwata did it. The doorknob to the bathroom had screws taken out. What did the culprit use to unscrew them? The screwdriver in the toolset can’t be brand new. Kuwata can’t say he lost it and if he used it on something else, please tell where and how. Since Kuwata cannot rebut anymore, it’s time to vote. Kuwata is unanimously voted as the murderer. Monokuma congratulates them and indeed Kuwata is the killer. Kuwata pleads it was in self defence because Maizono tried to kill him. But a killer is still a killer. Now for his punishment. Kuwata is dragged to a special room whereby he is tied to a pole. Millions of baseballs are shot at him. Strike! Strike! Strike! How could anybody survive that? This leaves some of the survivors in despair. Especially Naegi who blames Monokuma for everything. Kirigiri wants him to cool down to avenge Maizono’s death. Later she visits his room to ask about Maizono’s final thoughts. How would he know? It is no doubt she tried to frame him. Her final thoughts were probably on how to save him. Otherwise she wouldn’t have left the dying message. Wasn’t it just to get back at Kuwata? Kirigiri notes it was Maizono’s hesitation that got her killed. Hesitating to deceive him, hesitating to kill. She is sure he can get over the deaths of his friends otherwise he won’t make it. Naegi vows he won’t forget everyone’s death or get over it. He’ll keep their deaths and desire in mind till he gets out.

Episode 4
Traces of those who died have been cleaned up properly. It’s like they are not allowed to mourn their deaths. Monokuma announces that every time those who survive the Classroom Trial, another level opens for them to explore. The second floor is now accessible and it has the library, gym and pool. At the library, Naegi discovers a letter from the principal. It seems this academy was closed down but will be opened in the future once all problems are resolved. They conclude Monokuma must have hijacked this school for his sick game. Togami thinks of playing this game and Celestia supporting him because just like other activities in society, everyone is competing in a rat race. It is no different here except they are competing to be the only successful villain. Togami is confident he will not lose and wants his rivals to take this seriously. Fujisaki thought everyone should be on the same time but was scoffed off that she too voted for Kuwata. Everyone had too or they’ll be executed. Togami’s arrogance makes Oowada mad and he wants to punch him. Togami isn’t going to waste his time doing pointless things with them. Fukawa is also going crazy, thinking everybody would care if she disappears. Asahina suggests taking a dip to cool down. Some of the girls are outside the changing room and are told by Monokuma that opposite genders cannot enter the changing room or will be shot. They can only enter via handbook. Since he didn’t think about others lending other’s handbook, he quickly makes a new rule to forbid so. Fukawa totally admires Togami because he is reading. He tells her to go bath since she stinks. She takes it as a sign of love. Naegi somehow is made to become the judge between Oowada and Ishimaru’s argument. They’re bickering because Ishimaru accuses Oowada of quickly losing his temper and resorting to violence. That’s not manly. And so they duke it out in a sauna battle. Both aren’t budging. This is going to take all night.

Next morning, Naegi finds that the both of them have become good friends and possibly brothers! What happened to the match? Didn’t they say there was no such thing as a draw? Oh, the match? Forget about it. Forgive and forget. And what’s this? Yamada becoming Celestia’s lackey? Everyone is made to assemble at the gym. Monokuma has gotten bored that nobody is killing. As motivation, he drops letters of everyone’s embarrassing secret. If no murder is committed in 24 hours, he’ll release it to the public. For Naegi, he wet his bed till fifth grade. But he doesn’t think it is enough to make them kill. Next morning, Monokuma’s announcement awakes everyone. Something has happened to one of them. Togami brings Naegi to the girls’ changing room. The door can now be open because all rooms will be accessible for them to conduct their investigation. They see Fujisaki dead and crucified. There is message on the wall: “Bloodshed fever”. Cause of death was a blow to a head, possibly a dumbbell. She died instantly. She is crucified with extension wires from the library. Oogami notices the coffee stain she spilled on the carpet yesterday is missing. Celestia last saw Fujisaki with a bag as though she was going to meet somebody. Togami thinks it is Genocider Sho behind it. A serial killer causing uproar in the media recently. He shows Naegi secret police files in the library. His residence also has such files. Togami dismisses this is a copycat act. Showing the file on Genocider Sho’s profile, he probably has dissociative identity disorder. His weapon of choice is a pair of scissors, victims are always male and leaving that blood message at the crime scene. One thing that only a few know is how he crucifies his victim. What does this mean? Could Genocider Sho be one of them? Asahina calls them as Fukawa is in trouble. She is holing up in her room and won’t speak to anyone except Togami. Now he is here, she apologizes she couldn’t keep her promise but won’t let Genocider Sho run free anymore. And now it’s time for Classroom Trial.

Episode 5
Togami tells everyone about Genocider Sho and his habits. He points out Fukawa as that killer. This bookworm who is afraid of blood is the killer? But she isn’t Genocider Sho at the same time too. Get it? Yes. Split personality. Once Fukawa faints, the crazy Genocider Sho (super duper high school murderer?! Is this even allowed?!) pops up. Although Togami points Fukawa would do anything to keep this alter ego a secret, it isn’t enough as a motive. Because Genocider Sho says she didn’t do it. Naegi believes her. Because the murder aren’t exactly how it was done. She would kill victims with scissors and not dumbbells. Also, scissors are used as crucifix not cords. And the all important clue: She only kills males. Hell she would kill anything as trivial as survival. She shows her scissors that she never leaves home without, all spic and span clean. Naegi suspects Togami because when they went to check the archives, Togami was aware of Genocider Sho’s killing method before coming here. Since Togami spends time in the library, the cord must be awfully familiar. Did he set up the corpse to pin the blame on the serial killer? But then, Naegi thinks again and this has him wonder if the murder did take place in the girls’ changing room. There is a possibility things in the room were moved. Especially the idol poster. In short, Fujisaki was killed in the boys’ changing room. How can she enter there when the rule says it’s forbidden? Simple. Fujisaki is a guy! Genocider Sho is shocked. She should have killed that cute trap! Naegi doesn’t think Togami is the killer as he looked shocked to learn Fujisaki’s real identity. Togami then admits he was the one who set up the crucifix just to test their abilities and shake up the real culprit, though he did find Fujisaki’s body in the girls’ changing room. But how did the culprit enter both rooms if the handbook rule was still enforced? Despite the rule prohibiting lending your handbook, it didn’t say anything about borrowing someone else’s. Thus the culprit is male. Discussing about Fujisaki’s tracksuit that Celestia last saw in his bag, everyone discuss the tracksuit colour when Oowada made a slip. How does he know Fujisaki’s tracksuit colour when Celestia didn’t say anything about it?

Ishimaru believes in Oowada and thinks their reasoning is wrong. So Naegi goes over what has happened. Fujisaki took the bag to go to the gym. He quickly hides it when Celestia saw him. He entered the male changing room to meet up with someone who is the culprit. After the murder, he switched stuffs around and used either Maizono or Enoshima’s handbook to enter the girls’ changing room. Oowada admits he killed Fujisaki and wants Monokuma to start the vote. Everyone except Ishimaru voted Oowada as the culprit. Correct. Oowada is indeed the killer but Ishimaru refuses to believe. Monokuma then explains why Oowada killed Fujisaki. Fujisaki was sensitive about his weakness since young. He was always called a wuss. To hide that, he cross-dressed as a girl as refuge and slowly became one. It was a secret he wanted to keep at all cost because if it was ever found out, people would give him a harder time. However the threat of exposing his secret made him want to change himself. He vowed to be manlier and thus went to the gym to work out. The one who helped him work out is Oowada as he told him his secret too. He was the image Fujisaki had in mind to be a strong man. Monokuma also lets everyone know about Oowada’s dark secret: He killed his older brother. His brother formed the greatest biker gang in Japan and naturally when he retired, Oowada took over. Because big brother was always charismatic, it put Oowada under a lot of pressure to keep up with the image. On the retirement party night, Oowada challenged him and he was reckless in getting victory at all cost. His brother saved him and got hit by an oncoming truck meant for Oowada. His last words were not to let his team fall apart. Oowada blames himself for being weak and this weakness prevented him from telling the truth. So when Fujisaki told him his, he saw the strength in him to try and overcome them. It made him jealous. The twisted kind of jealousy. Oowada snapped just to show how strong he is and killed Fujisaki. Kirigiri notes he also destroyed Fujisaki’s handbook to keep his secret from others. That’s why they couldn’t find the cross-dresser’s handbook. And now for Oowada’s special punishment. He is chained onto a bike and ride in a ball cage. Spinning so fast that he turns into… Butter?! Tastes good on your pancakes! Ishimaru becomes an emotional wreck. Lastly we see Monokuma talking to a mysterious person that is supposed to be the 16th high school student he is supposed to sneak in. But thanks to Maizono getting the ball rolling, it somewhat took away this mystery’s chance for the spotlight.

Episode 6
Asahina wanted to get doughnuts to calm herself when she thought she saw Fujisaki’s ghost! As the third floor is now accessible, Monokuma announces that he will be giving 10 billion Yen to the one who graduates. Some aren’t going to be taken in by the money but some you can see their eyes glittering. Asahina takes this time to mention about Fujisaki’s ghost. This leads them to find Fujisaki’s laptop in the changing room. They notice this is the only place without surveillance camera. They start the laptop and it seems Alter Ego, Fujisaki’s AI comes to life and interacts with them. There are lots of heavily encrypted data on this school in which Alter Ego is trying to decrypt at the moment. Alter Ego is sad that Fujisaki is dead. Ishimaru still blaming himself and wonders if Alter Ego resents him for failing to stop his bro. Somehow Fujisaki also programmed Oowada’s AI inside so he pops up to tell Ishimaru to be a man and the weight of responsibility he shoulders. He is confident he will walk again. Ishimaru is inspired by his words and is now a changed man. Did he turn into some Super Saiyan? Alter Ego shows them a picture that was decrypted. A picture of Oowada, Kuwata and Fujisaki together! Are they still alive? Aren’t they supposed to be strangers? Or could the photo be fake? Next day, the girls are reprimanding Yamada because he was talking to Alter Ego the entire night like as though the programme was his real girlfriend. I guess you can’t blame that otaku. Here comes Ishimaru claiming that big brother is his. Oh. But Yamada claims this ‘girl’ is his. Kirigiri chides them for their childishness and bans anyone to come here without permission.

However the next day, Alter Ego goes missing. It can’t be Yamada or Ishimaru who stole the laptop because Kirigiri ordered it to scream if they did so. Togami of course believes a traitor is in the midst. Next day, only Asahina, Oogami, Naegi and Kirigiri are at the canteen. Feeling suspicious, they split up to find the rest. They find Celestia unconscious. Seems she was attacked by a dodgy person with a mallet. She also mentions Yamada was kidnapped by this person. Then they find Yamada attacked by a mallet and he is bleeding. Justice Robot got him? Celestia’s digital camera proves that indeed it’s some mecha robot! Everyone splits up to find this person and then… They find Yamada’s corpse. Rooms away, Ishimaru’s corpse too! Fukawa just fainted so she’s not dead yet. Asahina is freaking out because at this rate everyone will be killed. However Togami states there can be no more murders because the rule states that no more than 2 murders can occur before the Classroom Trial. The survivors are stumped when the corpses go missing. The suspects would be Kirigiri and Hagakure since they’re not with them the entire time but since Naegi had an alibi on Kirigiri, that leaves the shaman as the suspect. They look for the bodies and finally find them in a room. Yamada is not entirely dead yet. He murmurs about remembering meeting them all long before. In his final breathe, he mentions Yasuhiro as the culprit. That’s Hagakure, right?

Episode 7
Everyone is convinced Hagakure is the killer but he might not have done it by himself and with an accomplice. The only other person who was missing then was Kirigiri. When everyone begins their investigation, Kirigiri calls them to the pool area. She shows them Justice Robot hiding inside the locker! And wait. It’ Hagakure inside it! But it’s freaking tight and held with a fastener. All Hagakure remembers was someone told him to meet up last night but got knocked out. Next thing he knew, he was inside this thing. Kirigiri is further suspected because while everyone was searching, how come she manages to find Hagakure so easily? She remains tight lipped and goes to investigate the corpses. During the Classroom Trial, it is obvious Hagakure becomes first choice suspect. Celestia shows proof of a box containing blueprints of Justice Robot and parts of it. However Naegi objects to it. The handwriting isn’t the same. Because somebody must have moved Ishimaru’s body with the trolley, obvious Hagakure couldn’t have done it as Justice Robot’s suit is very tight and he couldn’t move so freely. Even if Hagakure isn’t the suspect, this only means Kirigiri would be the one as she has no alibi. But think about it, how can she alone move Yamada’s heavy ass up the next floor? This can only mean one thing. The corpse moved himself. The first time Yamada was found, he was only pretending to be dead. Naegi observes the first time, Yamada’s glasses were covered with blood (which was probably used from the blood samples in the infirmary nearby). By the second time of his actual death, his glasses are clean. This means he wiped it to make his way there. While they were investigating, the art room was locked and this proves Yamada was the perpetrator locking it while he was moving Ishimaru’s body. Yamada hid the rest of the note (which was found in Ishimaru’s hand) in his underwear. This note which states about how he has found a way out and not to tell others, was used as a bait to lure Ishimaru and kill him. The numbered hammer was just to throw them off on their investigation. Although Yamada is an accomplice, the rule states only the real culprit will graduate. This means the real culprit tricked Yamada into helping commit this crime.

As everyone has ran out of clues, Naegi thinks back further and remembers the disparity in what Celestia said. It was at a time when they found Ishimaru’s body but have not told her about it but yet she mentioned about all of them getting killed at this rate. How does she know a second murder has occurred? What about the proof of Yamada being attacked by the robot? Really? Did he get attacked or is that Yamada just carrying it? Celestia can see they are trying to set her up as the culprit. Then cracks begin to show. Because she’s putting a crazy expression. Naegi mentions that Celestia is the only one who has not told everyone her real name. Everyone’s handbook shows their real name when it is booted up. Mind showing it to them? Game is over. Celestia smiles and admits she has lost. Everyone votes Celestia as the culprit and that is correct. Monokuma reveals Celestia’s real name is Taeko Yasuhiro! This was what happened. Celestia was the one who stole the laptop to deceive Yamada. She blames it on Ishimaru and tells him he was the one who stole it to have Alter Ego all for himself. Because Alter Ego was ordered to shout if those guys get close, Ishimaru forced her to get it (a lie of course). With a little bit more crocodile tears, Yamada is pissed off with that prefect so Celestia suggests to team up. Thus her plan involves playing dead and everything was an act. Yamada fell for this silly act because of the simple reason of love. Love can make you do crazy things. She also planned to dispose him from the start. Despite Celestia was the one who suggested them living them together from the start, it was obviously a big lie. She wants to get out of here real bad. She has a dream. Live in a big western castle and spend the rest of her days there with her countless man servants. She made a killing in the underworld already but Monokuma’s deal would just sweeten everything. However she is sad she couldn’t go all the way but only got this far. How can she say all this so calm and smile? She is proud of her ability to tell lies that she even deceived herself. If she was to be reincarnated, she’ll be the next Marie Antoinette. Celestia coolly goes to her execution. She is burnt at the stakes like a witch. But with a modern twist. The fire engine rams into her! Before that, Celestia handed Kirigiri the keys to where Alter Ego was. It was in the same room, only a different locker. Naegi is worried about Kirigiri’s mysterious ways because if she keeps acting like this, she’ll end up getting suspected. Doesn’t he suspect her too? He believes her because they’re on the same team so trust him. She takes up this trust thing of him and lets him know during one of her investigations, she found a room in the boys’ toilet with no cameras. There is a hidden passage behind one of the cubicles. Naegi sees a shelf of books and a note in the student register that says nobody must leave this place. Naegi is knocked out by a mysterious perpetrator but he still lives. He goes back down and sees Oogami having a showdown with Monokuma!

Episode 8
Monokuma reminds Oogami that he has hostages. This made Naegi conclude that Oogami is his agent. With the next level opened, some of the rooms are locked like data processing and principal’s room. But Monokuma makes a new room that breaking down locked doors are forbidden. Kirigiri asks about the secret room but it seems all the books were missing when he woke up. Kirigiri feels Naegi is hiding something from him but he can’t say about Oogami as an agent since he has no proof. So much about that trust thing, eh? Alter Ego has decrypted some files. It seems there was a plan to confine all students of Hope Peak and have them live here forever. The academy themselves came out with this plan a year ago because of an incident dubbed as The Biggest and Baddest Despair Incident in Human History when the academy almost closed down. The principal, a man in his 30’s came out with this plan and is believed to still be in this building. He might be the one controlling Monokuma. Kirigiri promises to find that man no matter what. There is another weird photo decrypted. A picture of Maizono, Celestia and Yamada smiling together. Monokuma announces everyone to gather. He reveals Oogami as his agent. She admits she is. Asahina cannot accept this for Oogami is her best friend. Besides, she could have been used. Naegi reveals he overheard the hostage thingy. Togami doesn’t believe and wants to know who the mastermind is. She doesn’t know. Then what has he put her up to? If no murder occurs, she is to kill somebody. She apologizes and will settle this herself, even if it kills her. She personally apologizes to Asahina for not telling her. At many times she did but she felt afraid she would be hated. Togami is less apologetic. He couldn’t care less if Oogami is dead since it would mean the mastermind would lose his agent. Asahina slaps him and tells him he should die instead. Fukawa is upset she slapped her pretty boy’s face and will kill her a thousand times. Kirigiri tells everyone to come down or else they will play into the mastermind’s hands.

Next day, Naegi heard Hagakure’s scream. Genocider Sho attacked Asahina. They had a little argument over Oogami. The guys take her to the infirmary but her injury is nothing big. Just a scratch. Oogami comes running in, obviously mad that Fukawa attacked her best friend instead of her. She assures she won’t do anything else but settle this. Isn’t that the same thing? Naegi wonders if Kirigiri is still mad at him. She understands about his consideration to keep quiet for not wanting to cause an uproar based on speculation. But it also means he doesn’t trust her. Alter Ego calls the duo. She wants to be plugged to an internet connection for she wants to help them get out. There may be a chance that the mastermind is watching the network but she is willing to take that chance. Naegi takes Alter Ego to the secret room behind the toilet cubicle and hooks her up. Naegi and Kirigiri are called by Asahina. Sakura is spotted sitting in the recreation room but the door is locked (blocked by a chair). Asahina is worried since she is not responding. Naegi breaks the window to remove the chair (technically, he isn’t breaking the door, right?) and to everyone’s horror, Oogami is dead. Asahina is the most surprised as she goes to call the rest. Kirigiri immediately investigates all the clues around the room and body. When everyone assembles, Asahina accuses Togami, Fukawa or Hagakure as one of Oogami’s killers. Because Oogami called them earlier to this room. She is certain one of them is the culprit.

Episode 9
Classroom Trial is now in session. Asahina wastes no time in accusing the trio because they received a note to meet her. Togami says he did not go. Fukawa went and reached first but since she was scared, she hid in the closet. She saw Hagakure coming in next. She heard Oogami wanting to end this so Hagakure got scared thinking she was going to kill him and took a bottle and smashed her head and killed. Asahina wants to vote for the killer now but not so fast. Naegi objects that there were 2 blows on her head. After Hagakure fled, Fukawa came out of her hiding but fainted at the sight of blood. That’s when Genocider Sho came out. Both split personalities have no memories when the other is awake. Because the bloodied sight of Oogami scared the sh*t out of her, she took another bottle and smashed her head. However Oogami died slumped on the couch and not in front of the bookshelf were the attack took place (there were blood spill there). Togami explains the reason behind her death: Poisoning. There are a few cabinets in the lab that separates the drugs and one of them contains poison. A bottle of poison was found in the nutrients’ rack. Togami drinks this poison. He is still standing. Kirigiri examines it and finds it to be protein powder. This means somebody switched the contents of the bottles and gave Oogami drink the poison. As for the spilled powder at the lab’s cabinet with footprints, the culprit must have messed up and spilled it. The only way is to examine their shoes. However Asahina reveals she is the one who killed Oogami. But they’re best friends? How could she bring herself to kill her? That’s precisely it. She used that friendship to her advantage. Oogami requested for protein shake and will not hesitate to drink it if it’s from her. However Naegi feels something amiss. Could she really kill her best friend? Besides, how did Oogami locked herself in? If Asahina can’t explain it, she isn’t the culprit. Kirigiri shows another piece of evidence: A glass shards in the poison bottle and some were found underneath the protein shake (if Naegi broke the glass, it should have been over it). This means while the gang were distracted when they found the corpse, somebody placed the protein shake there to cover up Oogami’s death. Besides, the same powder is found on Oogami’s shoes, proving she was at the lab and accidentally dropped it while trying to take the poison herself. Thus the conclusion: Oogami took the poison and killed herself. She locked the door so nobody could prevent her suicide.

Asahina reveals Oogami told her she was going to talk to the trio and reminded her they are not their enemies. When she saw Oogami bloodied, she was told to get some protein shake. But she saw the powder on the floor and realized too late. It was then Oogami locked the door and drank the poison. Everyone votes Sakura as the killer and got it right. Togami is not happy with the truth. Kirigiri has warned him about making light of people’s emotions so this is what he gets because people don’t act on calculations or profit-and-loss arguments alone. As for why Asahina tried to cover up her death, Oogami has written a will to her and told her this battle left her in despair and would rather end this herself than to wait for someone to kill her. Feeling guilty she was the agent, she tried to get everyone’s forgiveness. However after getting hit by Hagakure and Fukawa, it drove her to despair and suicide. Asahina blames them for trampling over her feelings. She too had a delicate side. It’s as good as they’ve killed her and have no right to live. So she purposely tries to frame or make herself as the killer to get everyone killed. Monokuma disrupts this tear jerking moment and reveals that will was something he scribbled. The real one is in his hands and reads it aloud. The mastermind took her family’s dojo as hostage and is forced her to do his bidding. Not wanting to betray her friends, her death will stop all the in-fighting and prevent future killings. She will gladly give up her life for this purpose. She wants all of them to survive. Asahina feels bad that she tried to get everyone killed and make her death in vain. The rest agrees with those words. Togami announces that he is dropping out of this game to hunt and punish the real mastermind. Genocider Sho will gladly go where Togami goes. Monokuma is not to be defeated and dishes out his punishment on a special guest: Alter Ego. The computer gets repeatedly smashed by an excavator. Monokuma adds he long knew what Alter Ego was doing. He continues reading the rest of the will but only hints the important parts. The mastermind has done something to their body and Oogami will get revenge on this. At about 3am, Kirigiri wakes up Naegi to meet her at the data processing room. However it is locked and there Monokuma is telling them to go to sleep. As they leave, she whispers into Naegi’s ear that the 16th student, Mukuro Ikusaba the super duper high school despair is hiding somewhere in this academy.

Episode 10
While exploring the fifth floor, they come across a botanical garden, a shed and a classroom filled with blood and destruction. Supposedly that incident Alter Ego was talking about. Kirigiri wants to go investigate so Togami doesn’t trust because she always goes off by herself. He wants her to reveal her true identity but she can’t because she can’t remember. Togami doesn’t believe this convenient story and will restrict her movements. He asks for the keys to her room and she willingly gives it. After Kirigiri leaves, Fukawa shows them a survival knife she found. Togami lets Naegi keep it since by deduction he is the safest. Monokuma calls everyone because he is upset that somebody stole his treasure. As Kirigiri is not here, she is the suspect but Monokuma curses them all. Later Kirigiri calls Naegi to show him the key she found to the principal’s room. She managed to enter and found some information. This is thanks to Oogami as this was her ‘payback’. Ikusaba is a girl and a dangerous person. She is certain the principal wasn’t behind this but doesn’t have proof. As she wants to investigate further, she hopes Naegi can distract Monokuma for a while. He agrees but she must promise to come back alive. Naegi calls Monokuma to ask about the treasure. He’s not saying. Naegi falls asleep and has this weird dream. He doesn’t want to leave but needs to stay here. He opens his eyes to see a mysterious character with the survival knife. The next time he opens his eyes, Kirigiri is standing before him but couldn’t hear a word she says. Then he passes out. When he wakes up next morning, the knife is gone.

He walks about but nobody is around. Everyone is at the gym and trying to dismantle Monokuma, which is some sort of robot. Togami last night confronted Monokuma about the treasure but since he was nothing but a toy, he called everything to dismantle it. Inside is a bomb but the sensors are off. Togami thinks something bad may have happened to the person controlling Monokuma. They’re going to open the locked principal’s room so Togami orders Fukawa to get the pick from the shed. But she returns empty-handed and as Genocider Sho. She mentions about a corpse in the garden. The masked perpetrator with a knife stabbed in her back. Genocider wants to unmask her and the moment she does it, the bomb goes off. They think she is Kirigiri since she is not among them. But Naegi mentions about the 16th hidden person. After putting out the fire, they notice a funny crest on her hand and a key. It opens the data processing room. It is filled with monitors of the surveillance cameras around the school. Monokuma surprises everyone that he is back. He was just playing dead? He reveals that they are being filmed for the ultimate despair reality TV. They can’t believe they’ve been broadcasted to the nation because won’t the police or authorities take note? Who cares? This is just TV, right? They’re enjoying what’s on it and won’t come to save them. Besides, Monokuma purposely lured them in here so to make it as entertaining as possible for his audience. And since a corpse is found, it’s time to investigate before the Classroom Trial. Then Kirigiri returns. She announces that corpse belongs to Ikusaba.

Episode 11
Right when Classroom Trial begins, Togami instantly accuses Kirigiri as the culprit. Based on the fact the time the corpse was found in the garden and the time everyone else was at the gym taking apart Monokuma, only Kirigiri lacks an alibi. Naegi cannot be the culprit too because as the sprinklers are timed to go off, the corpse could have been wet. Only the upper part was because they put out the fire. At that time, Naegi was with them in the gym. But Kirigiri mentions the body was covered in vinyl sheet which she found in the shed. Naegi is surprised as Kirigiri tries to paint him a suspect. The knife sticking out of the back is fake because Ikusaba died with a blow to the head. The knife with blood was taken from a missing chicken in the shed (they keep count of the chickens too?). Togami still accuses her as the culprit but she reminds him he has her room key. Naegi feels that statement was a lie because just now she just showed him a master key she got that is accessible to all rooms. Didn’t she contradict herself? He tries to trust her on this and believes she has a plan. Kirigiri whispers if she is executed, the mystery of this school will never be solved. Monokuma suddenly wants to end the trial and vote. Naegi finds this weird. Monokuma pushes to end it while Kirigiri suddenly makes a last effort to make Naegi the culprit in which everyone seemingly believes. Naegi is voted as the killer and it is correct! His punishment is supposed to be crushed on a conveyor belt but at the final moment, Alter Ego’s face pops up and Naegi is sent falling down the deep hole. Monokuma is not happy that Alter Ego must have plant a virus before while infiltrating the network. The rest realize Naegi is not the culprit but Monokuma still believes so and dying a slow death at the bottom will be just fitting. Naegi wakes up at the bottom filled with trash. He knows Alter Ego saved him. But he can’t get out. He sleeps to preserve energy.

Then a big trash comes dropping down. Actually it’s Kirigiri and she’s here to save him. She explains that Ikusaba wasn’t supposed to die but Naegi. That wasn’t a dream. Ikusaba was to kill him but Kirigiri saved him. It was the mastermind’s plan to murder him and frame her so she could be executed as she was considered a nuisance and a series of events were designed to trap Kirigiri for her execution. Because Naegi felt the trial was weird, he too was considered a nuisance and was executed instead. Kirigiri possesses the master key so they can get out. But it’s a long way up. Really. It makes me wonder how Kirigiri survived the fall. Ah. Trash to break the fall, I guess. Kirigiri mentions she got a little of her memory back. She is a super duper high school detective. I figured that out ages ago. It’s because of her detective skills, her memory got erased. Her goal to come here is to meet the principal who is her father she has never seen in a long time. That’s why she is certain he isn’t the mastermind. When they get out, they speak to Monokuma. He will have Naegi executed again but Kirigiri dares him. If he does so, what will his audience think? They’ll think he forced his execution just because he can’t beat them head on. In other words, despair cannot kill hope. If he wants to beat them fair and square in despair, hold a retrial of Ikusaba’s murder again. However simply identifying the culprit won’t be interesting. Monokuma adds another rule. If they can figure out the mystery behind this school, they’ll walk free. Or they will all die. Naegi returns to the rest who are feeling guilty for accusing him. He doesn’t blame them a single bit as it was the mastermind’s objective to make them in despair. He tells them about the final trial that will take place. If they work together, they’ll get out of this alive.

Episode 12
All rooms are open to facilitate their investigation. One of the newly unlocked rooms is a corridor with destroyed dorms. There is also the principal’s room with a secret room. There is a box that contains bones of the principal! Kirigiri knows her dad has died some time ago because from what Monokuma said, only 16 high school students set foot in this academy alive. Naegi finds the principal’s electronic handbook among the bones and an SD card behind a picture frame. Watching the video, it is shocking that he sees all the students being interviewed by the principal. They are asked if they want to live in this confinement forever and they answered yes. Before the video could finish, Monokuma pulls the plug and the SD short circuits. Meanwhile Togami is looking at Ikusaba’s profile. She is a super duper high school soldier. Naegi enters the decimated locker area and using the principal’s handbook to open some of the locker, there are stuffs belonging to some of them like Hagakure. There is one notebook from Kirigiri mentioning she wanted to confront the person who proposed the plan of living together, the principal. However Naegi feels weird. Didn’t Kirigiri say she hasn’t seen her father since she was little? There is also a note that states the despairs are among them. There are 2 of them. At the morgue, Naegi sees Fukawa passed out. But not for long. Genocider Sho isn’t interested in examining the dead bodies especially this one from Ikusaba with multiple stab wounds. Naegi realizes only 9 of the corpse containments are in use. Monokuma then leaves him a picture. It is a group photo of everyone including Ikusaba. However only Naegi is not in it. The others also receive pictures.

As the Classroom Trial begins, Monokuma reminds that if they fail to identify Ikusaba’s murderer and solve the school’s mystery, they’ll be executed. Of course, if Monokuma loses, he’ll be executed too. Hagakure accuses everyone as the mastermind because the photo shows everyone except him. However everyone has a group photo without themselves in it. Fake photos to trap them and fight among themselves? Naegi argues the reason why they don’t remember. He mentions the stuffs in the locker and Kirigiri’s notebook. She confirms it’s her handwriting. Naegi concludes they all have amnesia. Then he tells them about the interview with the principal. This video and group photo proves they have amnesia. Of course it’s not just plain amnesia. The question is what memories were taken from them. Bu Naegi knows who the mastermind and Ikusaba’s murderer is. It’s not exactly one among them now. Because there are 9 corpses but 10 deaths, it could mean the corpse they found in the garden was a recycled one. It was filled with stab wounds like Enoshima’s. Does this mean Ikusaba is still alive? The one who tried to kill Naegi that night is the culprit and mastermind. But something was lacking on the hand and it is the crest on her hand which belongs to some mercenary group. Thus Ikusaba can’t be Naegi’s attacker. But Monokuma points out that means one of them here is the culprit and somebody has been wearing gloves all the time: Kirigiri. She takes it off to show the hideous burn marks she got when she was an apprentice detective. Naegi reveals the mastermind controlling Monokuma who has pretended to be dead: Enoshima! Because in all the group photos, her face is somewhat blocked out. Because they could have figured it if they took one look at her face. The girl in the pictures and video isn’t Enoshima they know. But they’ve all met her, right? That’s why they have amnesia. Big conclusion: Enoshima and Ikusaba switched places from the start! She also had someone else use her name making it impossible for them to notice. Then she faked her death by killing Ikusaba who had switched places with her. Therefore the real Enoshima is still alive and the real mastermind! Then poof! Monokuma turns into Enoshima. She adds Ikusaba is her older twin. And thus they are the twin despairs. Here’s your maniacal laughter to top it off (with her tongue sticking out and whatever hand signs she is doing).

Episode 13
Enoshima shows a video clip that should make them remember. This is what the outside looks like. Riots! Chaos! Disorder! Pandemonium! Anarchy! Why is everyone wearing Monokuma mask?! Even famous landmarks have Monokuma’s face! But nobody remembers this. Naegi thinks Genocider Sho may remember but Fukawa is too scared. Till Togami tells her she is their last hope, she instantly changes personality. She explains The Biggest and Baddest Despair Incident in Human History which resembled a natural disaster and turned the world into that in a blink of an eye. Was it the dystopian outlook or the Monokuma clones? Or both? Togami thinks this is stupid but Enoshima mentions his entire family has been wiped out from the calamity. Now do you feel despair? Everyone thinks they have just entered this school for only a few weeks but Enoshima points out they have been here for 2 years! Thus, their lost memories are all those other weeks and months. They have really been spending 2 years in school together and this also means they were killing their friends. Though the first year was peaceful, it didn’t last long and I am guessing with Enoshima and that incident coming into the picture, the school was driven to despair. The principal turned it into a shelter but he never expected the twin despair sisters to enrol here. Therefore, the shelter that was supposed to keep them safe became a cage that prevented from escaping despair. It was everyone who tightly sealed the windows and everything. Kirigiri thinks an organization is behind this but Enoshima puts it that despair is contagious and everyone caught it. Time for the last vote. However it will be different. Everyone needs to unanimously vote for despair of hope. But if one of them votes differently, everyone will be punished and Enoshima wins. Of course she herself won’t vote. But letting them live here and grow old peacefully will be boring so Enoshima points to Naegi as the sacrifice. If they sacrifice him, they can live peacefully. Oh, she forgot to mention that if they kill her, the air purifier that keeps the air clean here will shut down as outside is contaminated. Enoshima loves the despair look on their faces.

Naegi refuses to give up or lose to Enoshima. Stubborn he may be but if despair is all that exists around, he just needs to infect everyone with his hope. And so he loads up his hope bullets and fires them into their despair looking friends. His hopeful words were enough to make them fill with positivism and back to their natural ways. I guess everyone except Fukawa gets a hope talk because as we know, her motivation hinges on how Togami feels. Kirigiri concludes that Naegi isn’t the super duper high school luckster on unluckster but super duper high school hopester! Someone who is there to defeat the super duper despair. Naegi continues not to give in to Enoshima’s despair and the mastermind herself is starting to feel gross that hope is filling the place. Everybody votes Enoshima the guilty party but she is unfazed. In fact, she is happy! This is the ultimate despair and she loves it. She came up with the most detailed despair plan, killed her own sister and eventually the plan failed. Isn’t this just the best? From a despair’s point of view, of course. Now she would like to punish herself. Nobody can stop her as she sees no hope in living. She wants to experience once in a lifetime despair of death to the fullest. In this super duper nasty torture, it is a mix of all previous punishment we have seen before she gets crushed to a bloody death. The survivors are preparing themselves to head outside for the first time. The world is vast and they’ll be looking for hope. So long as they don’t give up, hope will push them forward no matter what the future holds. Are you prepared for the outside where hope and despair co-exist?

Judge Or Be Judged! Death Is Always Around The Corner – Live Hard, Die Hard Easy!
Honestly for someone who hasn’t played the video game, this series was quite exciting and interesting watch. Just like Hyouka, the deductions and evidence are the ones that kept me glued to the screen for as long as the episode. However something about the ending that makes me feel unsatisfied. I’m not saying that the ending is bad but it somewhat makes me feel despair! I don’t know what kind of ending I wanted but I thought everybody would have died at the end! I know that’s my despair and sadistic side speaking but even at least I didn’t expect slightly less than half of the casts to survive and even if there were survivors, it had to be Naegi and Kirigiri or just Naegi alone. If that happens, this show would have ended on a despair note. With the mastermind and mystery behind the school solved, everyone taking their first step outside (goodbye, despair academy for good?), the teaser ending that Monokuma somewhat still lives and another Monokuma-like creature called Usami beckoning us, it just leaves me curious than ever and never knowing the answer is what leaves me in despair! Oh, woe and despair! Despair! The word of the show.

Halfway through the series I did ponder the possibility if this mutual killings would work and that everybody would die either being a murder victim or getting punished. Because let’s imagine this. Say that there are 3 people left. Somebody gets murdered. The murderer would be very obvious, right? In that sense, there is no need for any Class Trial and the murderer would have been straightaway found guilty. So if you follow strictly by the game rules, who would want to make the kill when there are only 3 people left? Unless you kill the remaining duo. That’s why I started wondering if the mutual killings will get this far. Even if there are only 4 people left. One dies and it won’t be long or hard just to guess who the killer is, right? Besides, it would have been somewhat boring if they follow this formula so when the number of survivors are halved, there is a change in the game play and surprise, surprise. I certainly didn’t see this coming. Perhaps I was trying too hard to understand and digest all the information that was thrown to me that I wasn’t putting on my thinking cap.

Although I am satisfied with the execution of the series in terms of the occurrence of the murder and the Classroom Trial that has the survivors debate with clues to catch who the murderer is, sometimes I feel that everything presented is too rushed. Usually it’s one episode for the murder and one concluding episode for the trial. For example, when a murder is occurred, the time shown for the survivors to investigate is somewhat ‘fast forward’. We are then rushed in being shown the several clues and objects at the crime scene before proceeding to the Classroom Trial. It may be boring just to see them going around and pointing to us important clues that will uncover the culprit. So why not just do it all during the trial? Thus in this sense that’s why I thought that it feels rushed. Although a big majority of the items shown are related, a handful I noticed aren’t and perhaps to throw us off. You must be a very observant person and one who has a photogenic memory if you want to make quick deductions like Naegi. It’s because the scenes again are shown too fast and for a casual viewer like me, you would definitely miss it until it is pointed out in the trial, then you go back and re-examine that scene again and realize it was there all along.

One thing I find it weird is that before Classroom Trial begins, we see some animation of a gun chamber being loaded with bullets. I suppose this is some sort of symbolism to indicate that these are ‘ammunition’ for Naegi to fire back when there is a contradiction. Each time there is one, Naegi objects and ‘fires’ this objection bullet. You can pretty much tell if the character is lying or contradicting when words of what he/she said pop up on screen and then Naegi goes into his usual ace attorney “I object!” voice. And it always seems he is correct in his objections. Not a single bullet ‘missed’. Then in the final episode, his bullets turned into super energizing hope. Better than any energy drinks or drugs to revitalize a person filled with despair. You could say it is like a hopeful soup for the despair soul!

I thought that having 15 characters for a survival show wasn’t enough and more the merrier for the mutual killings, right? But I think for an anime with only 13 episodes and seeing the direction it was heading, I think it is sufficient. As I read, fans of the game aren’t pretty impressed with the anime and one reason being that the characters are not properly fleshed out. Unlike in the game where you get to know more about the characters, those who are killed off early like Kuwata and Maizono are not properly developed. I mean, how can you develop a character who is already dead? It is as though they have become part of the death statistic and you don’t feel that they were once there. But with the pacing of the where the show is going, I don’t think there will be enough time to get to know more of them since, well, they’re going to be killed anyway, right?

For the surviving characters, Naegi as the hero and main protagonist shines in the area of deduction and the one in the Classroom Trials who gives the vital clues that turn the tables on the culprit. I think he is both lucky and hopeful the reason why he gets this far. Lucky in the sense that he could have been killed by the murderer who wants him framed but was saved by Kirigiri. He could have also died during the execution but was saved by Alter Ego. Isn’t he lucky? He never gives up hope and right till the very end triumphs over despair. Kirigiri serves as the biggest mystery among the main characters (aside the mastermind) because of her ability to go off by herself and snoop around. That’s why it came as no surprise when she finally remembered that she is a super duper high school detective. But the mind boggling part is that how can she go around snooping and finding evidence without getting caught if there are surveillance cameras everywhere. Unless you tell me Monokuma is sleeping on the job (which I doubt the bear is) or allowing it to make things more interesting. This mysterious part of hers feels like they want us to suspect Kirigiri as an accomplice but we know she’s too good for that.

Surprisingly I didn’t expect Hagakure to survive right till the end. Because he was just dumb, lazy and a coward. You can see his true colours unfolding as each trial passes. This is what a super duper shaman is? Probably it is part of the producer’s ploy to throw us off because dumb, lazy and coward characters get killed off early or somewhere in the middle of the show, right? Whereas beautiful and cute girls don’t really get killed (unless they’re dumb blondes that you hate). And there you have it, the shaman who doesn’t even use his ability to predict his future and anybody’s future, survives. Asahina is a plain girl too so I thought she too would somehow get killed. But I suppose her will to live for her best friend and not let Oogami’s death be in vain spurs her on. Amazingly a pessimistic Fukawa also survived. Maybe that’s why she is still breathing. Despite Fukawa being an annoying b*tch (her fawning over Togami is so irritating), it is Genocider Sho that is the most lively and amusing one. Despite her crazy colourful character that doesn’t hold back, something in her still feels lacking. Maybe she’ll just cut up everything had she had more screen time. You need an arrogant bastard and someone who feels he is superior to others like Togami in such groups. I thought he too would have died because of his arrogance but surprise, surprise. I guess to show that he isn’t really a heartless bastard, there are times that he shows his humanity but that is just for a short while before he returns to his proud self.

I certainly didn’t see it coming that Enoshima was the mastermind and the one behind Monokuma. Everything was cleverly planned out and things worked in her favour thanks to her pathetic sister-loving Ikusaba who unknowingly became a pawn in her hands. There was an early statement in one of the early episodes made by Oogami that Enoshima does not look like she does in the magazines and she convincingly and easily brushed it off as edited photos. I guess this explains a lot and puts many of the puzzle pieces together. I thought it was just a causal useless statement but apparently that was a big hint to who the real Enoshima was. I’m not sure if Enoshima had several split personalities but I don’t think that is the word to describe her because in the last episode when she is explaining, we see several different personalities that range from a cute naive model to a strict teacher to a crazy b*tch and even one who is full of true despair. She really loves despair, doesn’t she? She should watch the world news more often. That will be more depressing. Monokuma is equally mysterious because he pops out of nowhere and knows everything. Imagine if he becomes the teddy bears of the world, that would be total despair! Among the deceased, Oogami is certainly the noblest since she was even the sacrifice her life for her friends. I feel Ishimaru would have been the same but he didn’t last that long…

Watching this series raised several questions for me. Now that it is known that there is some sort of disaster outside and that it is inhabitable, are there any other survivors outside? If it is lawless and chaotic, whose audiences are Enoshima showing this reality TV? I mean, outside is decimated and I doubt there is going to be any living thing surviving on the surface (unless there are lots of shelters made like Hope Peak) so who is she transmitting reality TV to? People are trying to survive rather than watch this sh*t. Unless of course they are so in despair that watching others in despair has been defined as the new standards in entertainment. Such sadists. Now that Enoshima is killed, will the air purifier stop working? The survivors are leaving but will they be contaminated since I didn’t see them going outside wearing any sort of contamination suit. Unless she was lying. Unless they have this hope thing as their protection. Gee, I didn’t know hope was this useful. Then there are those decimated classrooms. Going by what Enoshima said, if they have been killing each other since a year ago, to say that the mutual killings have been going on ever since with Enoshima as the host for as long. This must have been the umpteenth mutual killings and probably these are the final 15. Or was there some battle royale before the final 15? But how come the photos only show them instead of others? Another thing to ponder is how Enoshima manage to take selective memories from them. Does she have some sort of device or her despair works like a hypnotism charm? There were perhaps many other mind boggling things but I choose not to bring it up here because it will leave me in despair…

Of course I couldn’t stand to be in the despair for all the curiosity so I went to do a little reading up around the internet. So it is to my discovery that Enoshima is part of the group of people and organization whose goal is to spread despair all over the world. They are the ones who caused that Biggest and Baddest Despair Incident in Human History. The reason why she is showing this reality TV to the world is also part of her goal to make everyone who sees it into despair. The execution right in the beginning of the first episode that has the victim being sent into space in a space rocket before it comes crashing down was actually the principal. She hijacked Hope Peak and sent the principal to his doom. Now I suppose everything (if not most of it) has become clear to me. There are also a number of sequels, prequels and spin-offs of this series (which means more weird and colourful characters) whether it is video game or novels but if it is ever adapted into anime, I would love to watch it. Not that I love being in despair or anything, mind you.

Some of the character designs are weird but it gives them some personality. I thought I might be seeing shades of One Piece that is famed for character designs for odd body parts here. I won’t go so far to say that the characters have odd body parts but many of them just look weird. For instance, Hagakure’s spikey hairstyle makes him look like a giant walking sea urchin. Those hair spikes could even put Dragonball’s Goku’s towering spikes to shame. Then there is mole-faced Yamada who is so fat like a ball that it makes him cartoonish and Oowada’s Pompadour or Regent hairstyle that makes it look like some sort of armadillo shell. Hey, doesn’t Asahina’s hair look like a turd? Not forgetting Genocider Sho’s wavy tongue like a jinn and Oogami is so beefed up with muscles bulging from every part of her body that I thought she was a manly man in drag. I thought Ishimaru had draught pieces as his eyes. I also thought Fujisaki looked weird and the way he sounded it was like as though he was a cross-dresser. Because everyone looked weird, I didn’t give much thought about it till it is revealed he was indeed a trap! During execution of the murderer’s scene, the drawing style turns into something like a paper mache play. It’s quite interesting but I think this is how the original video game artwork looks like. Another odd thing I find is the blood colour. They are pink! I know it lessens the gruesome effect because it would have been scarier should it be dark red but personally, I thought being pink just takes away the realism and makes the murder looking a bit cartoonish.

The voice acting part is pretty decent but nothing that extraordinary since this anime is a heavy dialogue one. If I had to point out the best one, then it goes to Nobuyo Oyama as Monokuma. This person who was the voice of the titular character in Doraemon is now voicing a teddy bear who is just creepy, mysterious and mischievous all in one. Upupupu! The rest of the casts include Megumi Ogata as Naegi (Yume in Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate), Youko Hikasa as Kirigiri (Mio in K-ON!), Akira Ishida as Togami (Gaara in Naruto), Megumi Sawashiro as Fukawa/Genocider Sho (Inaba in Kokoro Connect), Chiwa Saito as Asahina (Aika in Aria The Animation), Masaya Matsutake as Hagakure (Ren in Jigoku Shoujo), Kujira as Oogami (Otose in Gintama), Hekiru Shiina as Celestia (Todoroki in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Kappei Yamaguchi as Yamada (Usopp in One Piece), Kousuke Toriumi as Ichimaru (Cecil in Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love 2000%), Kazuya Nakai as Oowada (Zoro in One Piece), Kouki Miyata as Fujisaki/Alter Ego (Ahbmad in Magi), Takahiro Sakurai as Kuwata (Suzaku in Code Geass), Makiko Oomoto as Maizono (Miki in Tenshi Na Konamaiki) and Megumi Toyoguchi as Enoshima (Revy in Black Lagoon).

The opening theme is Never Say Never by TKDz2b featuring The 49ers and has a little R&B and hip hop in it. It’s not so much the despair lyrics that you’ll notice but the way Monokuma does his body touching dance. Sexy? Creepy? There is a special opening theme, Monokuma Ondo which is very much like a festival song but the lyrics about calmly devouring each other would make you raise an eyebrow or two. A festival of killing each other, I guess. The ending theme is Zetsubousei:  Hero Chiryouyaku by Suzumu featuring Soraru. It sounds like a video game song but the crazy and frenzy pace of the song makes it suitable for the insanity that is happening. The lyrics itself is frantic like as though the singer is going crazy. The amusing part in the ending credits is that those who have died will be marked clearly with a big ‘X’ as the credit rolls. More interestingly, the group photo which shows those who have been killed. But oddly, Naegi is always in the picture and this made me think, hey, is he dead and a ghost wandering around?! I mean, the group picture is only for the deceased and Naegi as the hero of the show is still alive and breathing, no? And when the mutual killing stops, everybody is in it. The final ending theme for the last episode is Saisei -rebuild- sung by Megumi Ogata. This lively rock piece sounds so much different than the rest like as though it gives us much hope after all the despair.

There are lots of lessons we can learn by just observing a group of people trying to survive together. It brings out your true colours when lives are at stake. You can see the things people would do just to have things their way or in this case, just to get out and survive. The great lengths that people will do to cover up a murder. However when all the lies and truths have been uncovered, you can see how they start acting strangely and it is a telltale sign that they are guilty and starting to falter. It is obvious and only human that they act so because these are super duper high school students and are not murderers (Genocider Sho is an exception). How many of us can kill and then keep a straight face? Seems pretty well till they get cornered. It also asserts the age old idiom of never judge a book by its cover. Especially in Maizono and Oogami’s case. You never thought that the sweet loving idol would make the first move and kill, right? Her backfired plan only reveals she was selfish, deceiving and a b*tch and it was probably a good thing she died early. We never cared so much about her anyway. Oogami looked like a killer with all her bulging muscles and scars, someone that looked like she will not hesitate to kill a fly. But in the end it shows she too has a delicate side and that she cares very much for her friends. It’s sad that good people like her had to die just to make others open their eyes and move forward. Also not forgetting that hope and despair are like light and darkness, they co-exist and can’t do without the other. Human’s feelings and state of being are volatile and fluctuating so it depends on how strong the influence of hope and despair has on that person. It could make or break you.

Overall, this series is quite good and entertaining and those who want to watch a whodunit series without anything too complicated should find this enjoyable. Of course, please don’t organize such mutual killing events so that you can fall into despair. Come to think of it, wasn’t Enoshima the one enjoying the most in watching the despair of others instead of being in despair herself till her final moments? Putting myself in such a situation, I don’t think I would fare well either. I would either be the first one out or get killed. Given that I am a shut-in (almost) otaku and in the wildest of possibilities that I survived till the end, I probably won’t survive long outside. I know there is no meaning to living a life that is in despair as Naegi puts it but what will I do without my animes? How can I live without the things I love, the things that define me the most? You could call me a super duper high school useless person or super duper high school pessimist because that’s all I’m good at. Ah, ah… Suddenly that left me in feeling despair. To quote a line from an infamous Mr Despair, “Zetsubou shita (I’m in despair)!”.

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