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.
The titles of the episodes in Danganronpa 3 are always carefully selected. They mostly have to do with the main theme of the episode and with the character in focus. Last time the episode was called Ultra Despair Girls and the focus was on the protagonist of the titular game, Naegi Komaru. One of the characters of the Future Arc we haven’t had the chance to properly enjoy is Kirigiri Kyouko. The SHSL Detective is sharpening her deductive skills and it’s time to finally find out: Who Killed Cock Robin?
From the very first scenes it was evident that the episode was going to focus on Kyouko and Koichi. During the last Despair Arc episode, we saw that Koichi had promised Jin, his friend and former director of Hope’s Peak, that if anything happened to him he would take care of this daughter. We have already seen Kyouko appearing in the Despair Arc in two scenes:
A picture of a young Kyoko and her father,can be seen on the desk in the directors’s office.
Kyouko’s picture can be briefly seen on the pile of student registration forms that director Jin places on his desk.
It was easy to guess that this episode was going to be about keeping that promise.
Besides some necessary ‘let’s just check on the others’ scenes, the main action happens in the room where Ryota, Kyouko, Koichi, and Ruruka are investigating. It’s the same room where Sonosuke had found the secret exit. Kirigiri shines as her deductive skills allow her to find the culprit behind Sonosuke’s death. She also unravels an elaborate plan to keep Ruruka and Juzo occupied as she and Ryota escape.
Gekkogahara turning into a mech: Definitely one of the highlights. She goes into an automated Berserker mode to fight against the level S threat, Munakata-san, and his high-tech katana. This is a fight I am looking forward to.
Kizakura Kouichi’S Story Closure: He might have been a drunk and a very bad teacher, but he has been a cool character and I loved his hat. And when the time came, he took the right decision. He decided to honor the promise he made to Jin and save his friend’s daughter. Unlike other self-sacrifice scenes, this one made perfect sense. I have a feeling that his Forbidden Action came as a result of the scene and not the other way around, but it really isn’t that important. This was a nice closure for a cool side character.
Death: In the flashback during the pre-intro scene, Kouchi is faces with the tragic nature of death. Death is but a fleeting moment, a mere second of our existence where everything seizes to exist. Moments before we could have nbeen talking about love, laughing our hearts out, or fighting for something important. When that moment comes, it’s what we do the last moments we are alive that define our existence. Koichi decided that the most important things was to keep his promise. His subsequent death was but a mere second that ended his life. But what he did moments before will keep on living forever.
Brother Complex: The sibling complex is a reoccurring theme in otaku culture. The latest Qualidea Code episode had some sister complex moments as well, so you can check the Themes & Trivia section there for more information on the trope.
Who Killed Cock Robin: The title of the episode refers to a very popular English nursery rhyme, which has been much used as a murder archetype in world culture. Genius choice. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (pp. 130–3), “the theme of Cock Robin’s death as well as the poem’s distinctive cadence have become archetypes, much used in literary fiction and other works of art, from poems, to murder mysteries, to cartoons”.
The same attention to continuity that exists in the games persists in the series as well. The two Arcs are intertwined so well, that the promise made to Headmaster Jin in the last episode of the Despair Arc was resolved in the latest episode of the Future Arc. We are witnessing a narrative circle. What started with the first episodes of Despair Arc and continued with all the media that contain the Danganronpa story (from videogames to light novels) will be concluded here. Of course we already knew that, but nothing guaranteed that the anime would manage to do what it promised. The quality of the writing suggests that we are going to get even more than that.
Not the best of episodes in terms of action and story, but the events propelled the story if just a little forward. At least we had a proper closure on the story of one of the main characters. A closure that was interesting and made sense.
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