Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
Just before this season begun, I wrote an article about the series I most looked forward to. It was a subjective list, driven by two things: my inner fanboy and my videogames addiction.
I am particularly excited by ‘Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School’ (ダンガンロンパ３ –The End of 希望ヶ峰学園) because, unlike Tales of Zestiria, this is not a retelling of the events in the game.
It is also divided into two separate arcs that will play simultaneously. I am not sure if this is the right show for viewers that have no idea what Danganronpa is about, but that remains to be seen.
I used to put the creators in the comments section, but I thought that this part is more suited for both the overarching plot and the people who are behind the production.
‘Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School’ is an anime series directed by Seiji Kishi of studio Lerche. It is based on a very popular videogame franchise created by Spike Chunsoft. Since the next game on the franchise will feature new characters and new settings, the series will serve as a conclusion to the ‘Hope’s Peak Academy’ storyline that was established in the previous videogames.
The anime is divided into two different arcs (2 ‘Danganronpa’ episodes per week, YEI!). The Future Arc, which takes place right after the events of the videogame ‘Danganronpa 2’. The story will follow Makoto Naegi and the members of the Future Foundation against Monokuma. The Despair Arc will take place just before the events of the first game, and explain the events leading to The Tragedy That Changed the World and show us what happened to Hajime Hinata and his classmates.
I don’t know if the series will try to explain the backstory or any of the characters for those not affiliated with the games, but sometimes it’s better to be prepared. If you have no idea who these fellows are and you want to watch these two arcs, go and read the wiki for a general overview.
The opening theme for the future arc is ‘Dead or Lie’ by Maon Kurosaki and Trustrick, while the ending theme is ‘Recall the End’ by Trustrick.
Both arcs are written by Norimitsu Kaihō, directed by Seiji Kishi, while the music is written by Masafumi Takada. The series is also supervised by the Danganronpa creator Kazutaka Kodaka who is in charge of the concept of the original scenario.
The plot is pretty similar to the games that precede the series.
After the events of ‘Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair’, Makoto Naegi, the hero that stopped Junko Enoshima, is charged with treason. He is placed under arrest for saving the Remnants of Despair who continued the work of Monokuma following her death.
The top members of the Future Foundation, the organization tasked with stopping the Remnants, are having a meeting to discuss Makoto’s future and his eventual punishment. During the meeting, the building is attacked by an unknown enemy that cuts off all exits.
Trapped inside, the members are contacted by a familiar face: Monokuma is back and ready to start another ‘Battle Royale’ game. He wants the Future Foundation members to kill each other or else…
Battle Royale: A common theme of ‘Danganronpa’ (and not only) that plays on a lot of levels: friendship, love, justice, and honor. When you are obligated to take part in a killing game, parts of your psyche you never knew ever existed are bound to come to the surface. As a fan of similar plots, I am looking forward to some great encounters.
The Downfall of the Hero: There are two possible outcomes to the heroic journey: the ‘happily ever after’ outcome and the ‘people are sadistic and will kill their idols’ outcome. Ok, I may be oversimplifying it, but it’s generally true. In this episode, the hero of the story is accused of treason.
At first I was put off by the low animation quality. The whole presentation is levels below the games. The inspiring voice acting and music from the games seem to be missing from the anime.
But, and that is a big but, if you know what Danganronpa is about and you are here for the plot and for closure, I don’t think it will be much of a problem. It might discourage new viewers, but I kindly encourage those to play (or watch a playthrough) of the game before watching the series. At least you’ll know what you’re missing.
If you can ignore the lousy visuals, the story is classic ‘Danganronpa’. New and old characters will compete in a twisted ‘Battle Royale’ game that might have been better as a stand-alone videogame, but might as well work as an animated series. The creator certainly thinks that way, so we just have to trust him and see what the next episodes bring.
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