Yesterday, the first Episode of the Future arc of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak Academy aired in Japan. What’s up with all those terms? Well, as you may know, the first two parts of Danganronpa are visual novels. Plot twist: The third game is not a game, but an anime.
The games feature trials to solve murders between students, after they have been forced to kill each other by the iconic black and white bear Monokuma. The first game takes place in a school where the students are trapped in, the second game takes place on an island, where a similar incident happens. Both games were originally released on PSP in Japan only, had ports for PS Vita that came over to the west and are now also available on PC via steam. A spin-off, that takes place in between, extends the story in form of a puzzle/action - shooter.
You may now think “But wasn’t there a third Danganronpa game coming to PS4 and PS Vita, too?”. Yes, Danganronpa V3, but that isn’t a continuation of the story of the first three games plus visual novels, plus anime, but a reboot of the series. Why they chose to scare of new players with the “V3" then? I have no idea.
Now back to the anime. The anime is being aired in two arcs simultaneously: The Future arc airs on Mondays and takes place after the events of Danganronpa 1, 2 and Ultra Despair Girls, the Despair arc takes place before the games. With that out of the way, I get into the actual material. So there will be heavy spoilers for Danganronpa 1, 2, maybe Ultra Despair Girls (which you shouldn’t even know of before finishing Danganonpa 1 and 2) and the first episode of the Future arc. So play all those games and watch the first episode before reading on. (They are all good!)
*** HEAVY SPOILERS ***
Shit just got real very fast. I honestly didn’t expect this to be a killing game again. But it’s quite interesting for several reasons.
But first things first; the anime’s hook beforehand is that Makoto Naegi, the protagonist of the first game, is being accused by Future Foundation (the organization he became a member of after the first game) for freeing the Ultimate Despairs during the events of Danganronpa 2. We get some glimpses at the Ultimate Despairs, the Worriors of Hope and fights between the Ultimate Despairs and Future Foundation right at the start of the first episode, which is awesome. Those fights might have been the events that led to the capture of the Ultimate Despairs prior Danganronpa 2.
After that, the new characters relevant for the Future Arc get introduced, and make a rather grim impression for an organization, called Future Foundation. With the exception of Byakuya and Toko, the remaining members of class 78 come to the Future Foundation Headquaters which was build by one of the new chracters, Munakata. Like in the teaser images, Makoto Naegi has handcuffs, because of his actions during Danganronpa 2. Some banter between the new and old characters happens and before the Future Foundation can decide their judgement for Makoto, the headquaters gets attacked by a new Monokuma, who stages a new killing game, already revealing the first victim.
After Chisa was treated quite prominently in advertisement before the airing, she was the first one to die in the new killing game. But this will likely not mean, that she doesn’t appear on the show anymore. During the first episode, she revealed to Makoto, that she was the homeroom teacher of class 77, which is the class of the cast of Danganronpa 2, who became the Ultimate Despairs. This will most likely mean, that she will have an important role in the Despair arc. Weeby Newz talks about that at at length.
There are some interesting details established in the first episode, which I’d like to address.
- For example, Yasuhiro is was standing outside the building the entire time, so he isn’t part of the killing game. He again bought an overly expensive glass ball, which again gets destroyed in the first act. He never learns...
- As Makoto already observed, it’s strange, that there is a Monokuma again, as Junko Enoshima and her AI are both dead. I guess he is especially shocked, as this must mean that the Ultimate Despairs are behind that, which would mean, his hope at the end of Danganronpa 2 was in vain. My guess is, that the rest of the Ultimate Despairs aren’t evil anymore, but Nagito is behind that, because of his hatred for Makoto.
- Monokuma is not referring to Chisa as the first victim directly, but he is stating, that the killing game already started, which would mean that she was killed by one of the characters in that room. That would also mean, that whoever killed her, must have known about the attack beforehand.
I’m thrilled and can’t wait for the first episode of the Despair Arc the day after tomorrow! I guess, the mood of both arcs will be the complete opposite from each other. If everything will end well, the mood at the end of Future will be quite hopeful, while the end of Despair will be in a really dreadful mood. I’m looking forward to this contrast from now on.
Edit: Some time has passed and the second episode of both the Future and Despair arc are already out with much interesting/hilarious/despair-filled stuff in them. I will write more about that later when I find the time to.