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.
If you are a Danganronpa fan then you must have seen this episode coming just by looking at the title. For those of us who haven’t played the games, we must not forget that this series, both Arcs, is a closure to a story that spans three video games. One of them features Makoto Naegi’s little sister, and this episode is all about her.
There are ten people left alive in Monokuma’s killing game, and the episode starts with the person that had the lion’s share in the whoisthehunter votes. Monaka Towa wants to be the second Junko Enoshima and her determination to bring despair to the world seemed to be the only motive the main villain of the series would have needed. Expect that she isn’t. By the end of the episode, we learn that she has nothing to do with the killing game and that the only reason she infiltrated the event was to take part as an observer out of sheer curiosity about Makoto Naegi. The ketchup prank on Aoi was her doing, but other than that, she has nothing to do with this. After the encounter with her old antagonists, Naegi Komaru and Toko Fukawa, she decides that this whole hope vs. despair ordeal is not for her. She surrenders, attaches a few monokuma rockets on her room-van, and flies into space because she “was bored of Earth”. That’s the kind of brilliant silliness you expect from a series like Danganronpa.
“Even if I fight, hope always ultimately wins”
The last minute made the connection between Komaru’s world and Makoto’ situation. They managed to communicate through Gekkogahara so that Komaru can warn Makoto that one of the survivors of the first killing game is going to die because of him. At least we know that in the next episode we are going to return to the killing game.
Tokawa’s Sudden Surrender: I didn’t see this coming. Tokawa has everything going for her: giant cool mechs, monokumas ready to kill, a whole arsenal of weapons, and suddenly she destroys everything because, well, she is bored of this hope vs. despair thing. She just wants to leave everything behind and remain in her room doing nothing. I’m not sure what his scene wanted to say but it was unexpected and interesting. Maybe it has something to do with Fukawa’s comment:
“Doing nothing is just a form of despair”
Fukawa’s Daydream: There is always place for silliness in an anime. After all, it’s a form of entertainment, and when its premise is not extremely serious (like in Monster) a little humor can go a long way. Her obsessive daydream about Byakuya was just the right length to not feel intrusive and provide the building suspense with a touch of lightness.
Ultra-Despair Girls: The title of the episode refers to the third game in the series, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. It takes place between the events of the first two games, and it follows Makoto’s younger sister, Komaru, and her sidekick, Toko Fukawa, as they try to read Towa city from the murderous group of children called the Warriors of Hope. The leader of this group proved to be Monaka Towa, who is once again up against her former antagonists, in what seems to be a replay of the game.
“I’m waiting in this town that’s like a videogame.”
Since the series are a closure to the story featured in the videogames, it was to be expected that Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls will have its own final episode.
Google it: Even though we want to believe so, Google doesn’t have all the answers. Even though, the expression has become a synonym for “search it on the internet before you ask a dumb question”. There is a site called Let Me Google That for You as a parody for people who find it difficult to do some basic online research using a search engine.
Kudos to the writers for making this episode feel like a natural continuation of the Future Arc. The last moments of the previous episode made the transition smooth and relevant, while the last minute of this episode will get us back into the killing game like the events in episode 08 were absolutely necessary for going forward.
I really enjoyed this episode. It was fun, exciting, and relevant, despite its change of theme. Now that we are sure that Monaka is not the mastermind (or even the hunter) I am even more curious to see how this killing game will end, and how this whole story will find a fitting closure.
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