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.
For a school that is supposed to be the symbol of hope, the road it chose to go down to is certainly more akin to despair. We still have a few episodes before Junko Enoshima realizes her plan, but still, the first phase was so horrifying and wonderful it made for a thrilling episode.
Japanese Title: 希望ヶ峰学園史上最大最悪の事件
Ryota shows Junko the anime he’s been working on, telling her all about the way brainwashing techniques can influence the viewers’ minds. He believes that in the right hands these techniques can save the world. The problem is that the hands that‘ll probably get a hold of this anime want to bring despair on the whole planet. Junko is overwhelmed by the anime’s power and wants to use it to pass her own subliminal messages.
Intermission 1: Komaeda is stranded on an island where he is bathing naked under a waterfall.
The Ultimate Imposter is concerned about Ryota’s disappearance and sends Tsumiki-chan to investigate his room. There she is captured by Mukuro and brought to Ryota. Tsumiki’s bondage still was probably the best fan-service bit of this episode, along with the sexy Junko scenes.
The rest of the episode was probably the best scenes in the whole series until now, with Junko going forward with her first killing game and using the massacre and Kamukura to turn the whole Reserve Course against the school.
Junko Smashing Mitarai’s Anime Collection: Ryota is a true otaku. He believes that:
“Anime is an important part of our culture”
After Junko watches Ryota’s anime, she is so overwhelmed by its emotional power that she believes no anime could ever come close. For that reason she smashes all of Mitarai’s collection to smithereens while an on-screen message reads: This is solely her opinion. It seems like a reference to entertainment critics who are quick to judge and dismiss certain works based on their personal preferences and prejudices.
Teruteru’s Sexual Simile: There are many ways to make a successful sexual simile, but Teruteru’s food metaphor was one of the best comedic scenes of this episode. Tsumiki’s doughnut and Mitarai’s banana may not meet soon, except if you count the stomach of Fuuinsareshi Tanaka’s bear.
Junko’s First Killing Game: This was by far the best scene in the series. The whole premise of the games is based on these killing games, and seeing Junko on her first one was amazing. From the Battle Royale references to Munuko singing Tsubada wo Kudasai (you can learn about both in the themes & trivia section) there was something poetic veiling above all the killing.
“Friends don’t kill friends.”
Subliminal Messages: When Ryota explains to Junko how his anime works, Junko throws the term ‘subliminal messages’. The use of subliminal messages in advertising has been a controversial subject for decades, Just Google it and you’ll find hundreds of pages with examples of subliminal messages in advertising. These subliminal messages are hidden words or images that are not consciously perceived but may influence the viewer’s attitude or behavior. If you want a very simple example (which in fact is not so much a subliminal message as more of an example how external stimuli are affecting our decisions) imagine you are in a restaurant and you want to order a wine. As it happens, the owner recently bought a basement’s worth of Italian wine and he wants to start selling it. All of a sudden the restaurant starts playing Italian songs. I bet my carbonara that when the waiter comes, you are going to get yourself one of those Italian wines.
Villain POV: No villain believes he is a villain. The antagonist is just the protagonist of his own story, and if you ever had the chance to sit down with a good, honest villain and asked him what he thinks about his actions, I’m sure he would light a cigarette and bitch about how no one understands him. He just wanted to save the world, like Junko Enoshima. Despair is good.
Tsubasa wo Kudasai: The song that Mukuro is given to sing by Junko, Tsubasa wo Kudasai (翼をください , Please Give Me Wings) is a popular Japanese folk song written by Michio Yamagami (山上路夫) and composed by Kunihiko Murai (村井邦彦). You have to listen to it performed by Tokunaga Hideaki. Pure awesomeness.
Battle Royale: The killing scene was probably a tribute to 2000’s Battle Royale film. The similarities are uncanny: When the students in the film are told to kill each other or else they all die, they are inside a classroom. The weapons come inside bags. The first student to protest is killed. A couple commits suicide as an act of defiance. Battle Royale is one of my favorite movies and I was thrilled to see so many similarities.
Jason – Freddy Chainsaw: The chainsaw used in the student council killing game has two names engraved on it: Jason and Freddy. They are probably referring to Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th and Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street. Both are huge horror franchises and the two protagonists are two of the most recognizable horror icons of all time.
I know it happens in nearly every episode, but I must note once again the great use of the trademark pink blood as well as the subtle inclusion of sounds from the videogame. It really feels like I am playing a Danganronpa game. I did miss Junko and her craziness. I don’t know if there is something wrong with me, but I would have gladly followed her into despair, if only for that awesome outfit and sexy pigtails.
This episode is a testament to the brilliance of the Danganronpa writers and especially of the wit of Spike Chunsoft, The student council killing scene is officially one of my favorite moments of SUMMER 2016, and maybe one of my all-time best killing scenes in anime. What do you think? Am I overreacting? Maybe, a little bit. Do you have a favorite killing scene? Let me know in the comments below.
©Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd./希望ヶ峰学園第 3 映像部 All Rights Reserved.