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Danganronpa 3: Full Review

A season filled with Hope and Despair
A good story which explains the events in the game.Great SoundtrackStayed true to the GamesGreat characters
The art could have been pushed a little moreSome parts in the story were missing
9Danganronpa 3 Review
Art and Music8.1

Danganronpa 3 is the second anime season for the franchise and the first one to have an original story. It was directed by Kishi Seiji and developed by Lerche Studio. The season started airing in July and was divided in two arcs, Despair (Zetsoubou-hen) and Future (Mirai-hen) followed by a single Hope episode (Kibou-hen). The division of the two arcs is each tells it’s own story that would become one at the end. The Despair arc was the prequel to Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, while the Future arc was the game’s sequel. In the end, both stories come together in the final episode in a new arc called Hope. During the seasons, many events were connecting both arcs together, for example, a story would start in Despair and end in Future. Viewers have to watch both arcs to know the full event, read on.The Despair arc depicted the story of the characters in the second game: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. The characters are regrouped in the 77th class and they meet with Yukizome Chisa, their new teacher. This arc starts with the characters meeting each others and getting along until Enoshima Junko makes her grand entrance. It is when she enters Hope’s Peak Academy with her sister that her plans to push everyone to fall into despair start taking place. Despair is also focusing on the story of Nanami Chiaki and Hinata Hajime. They both have an important role in the second game, but there was not a lot of information shared about the origins of Nanami‘s character. Which is all explained in this arc.The second arc, Future, is the sequel to the second game. In these episodes, Makoto Naegi first has to face a trial concerning his decision of attempting to save the Remnant of Despair. His act is considered a betrayal among the Future Foundation‘s members, but their meeting is cut short when Monokuma appears. He introduces the characters to yet another killing game. In this game, all the players will fall asleep after a time limit except one. The player who doesn’t fall asleep is going to kill another player every night until he or she is killed. The night that no one will die, the game is finished. In this story, the surviving characters from the first game (Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc) meet with a whole new set of foes and allies.
Danganronpa 3 - Future Arc Episode 1
Despair – Story
In the Despair arc, the story starts in a very light atmosphere as the many characters are introduced. There are many characters, but the focus was set on only a few of them, making the story easier to follow. The arc could be divided in three story lines: Nanami‘s story, Hope’s Peak Academy‘s fund project and finally the Ultimate Despair.
Nanami Chiaki’s story was one that many fans of the games have been dying to know. Nanami ChiakiIn the second game, Nanami turned out to be only an observer, an AI made by the Future Foundation. However, the characters knew her from their past memories. Many fans were curious to see where she came from. Her story was a really touching one. It starts as a simple girl who wishes to make friends. She slowly becomes a symbol of joy to all of her classmates. However, one of her friends mysteriously disappears and that is when her story started to change. It was really interesting to see her grow as a character and become this important model that would influence all of the other heroes.
The dark story behind Hope’s Peak Academy‘s fund project was the most interesting one in this arc. The story explains some of the mysteries of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair and it introduces ushajime hinata to the other arc. Yukizome Chisa and Hinata Hajime are the main characters in this events. Chisa is sent by Kyousuke to get information about how the school’s funds are used. At the same time, Hajime meets with her and Nanami. However, he has already been offered to participate in the headmaster’s secret demand to become a part of Hope’s Peak’s project. This story was really filling in some of the missing pieces of the second game which made it very interesting. The many points of view offered in it (Chisa and Hajime’s) are giving a more in depth understanding of it as they experience the situation differently.
 Hope peak project
The Ultimate Despair’s story was already mostly explained in both games of the franchise, junko Enoshimabut was filled with new elements. The story was the darkest one of the arc and is following Junko and her sister’s arrival at Hope’s Peak. When they first meet with Hajime and the 77th class. This story line’s pace was a little faster than the others, but there wasn’t a need for a full season only about it. Assuming most viewers would know what happened from the games. The madness of this story is a big part of what made it interesting. There was also a small element at the end that made many fans happy. As the show ends, the remaining students are locking themselves in the school. These students are all the ones who were first seen in the very first game. It was a great addition for the fans to let them see themJunko's sister alive again. It would have been interesting however to add more information about what happened to the Remnant of Despairs after Junko brainwashed them. The second game starts when the Remnants are already in Makoto’s program and the arc ends with the characters first days as Despair. There is a small part of the story that is missing between those events. The origin of Monokuma is briefly hinted in the show. It would have been another interesting addition to the story, since he is the main villain in the games.
Future – Story
Future arc’s story followed the second game with Makoto Naegi as the main protagonist again. This story was another killing game from Monokuma with its own twist to it. Makoto’s survival in the game was the main focus of the story, but it was also divided in a few side storylines: Kirigiri’s research, Seiko’s form, Children of Despair and the Survivors outside the game.
 Danganronpa 3 future
The main story followed Makoto who was accompanied by Asahina and Miaya, the new character who created Monomi. All three of them are trying to survive not only to the killing game, but also to Kyousuke who will stop at nothing to kill Makoto. He believes that Makoto is a Remnant of Despair since the beginning. The idea of another killing game first sounded like it was getting redundant. However, it had it’s own unique changes to it and it made it really interesting. The story was filled with tension as the characters all had a unique forbidden action. The characters could not perform certain movements or actions because if they did, they would get killed as a part of the game. The players could not simply avoid someone getting killed because of the traitor. It made the pace go faster than in the games. The only aspects of the main story that were not developed enough were Monokuma’s appearance and the secrets of the ‘Future Foundation’. Knowing more about those two details could have brought another depth to the story.
The many side stories were also interesting in their own way. However Kigiriri’s story didn’t get a lot of attention unfortunately when she was researching for clues. It would have been great to get to see more of her relationship with her father as it was hinted many Kirigiritimes. Also, since she is the Ultimate Detective, it was easy to expect that she would play a bigger role. Even if she didn’t have as much screen time as Makoto, she was a very important member of their team when it mattered the most. Another side story inside of the game was Seiko’s story. She unleashes in a new form where she looks more like a beast than a human. This story was following an event of the Despair Arc where she got expelled with Ruruka. Their story was mostly a chase in the show as they tried to kill each other. However, it didn’t felt like it was completely necessary since they didn’t really develop their characters. As for the other survivors of the first Killing game, it was enjoyable to meet again. Those who were not a part of the game this time were actively trying to help from the outside (on the exception of one lunatic). Following the Ultimate Serial Killer who would meet with the children that used to be tainted by Despair was a unique touch. There were no children introduced in the games or in the other episodes before. Adding them to it brought another side of Despair’s reality in this universe.
Both Arcs – Scenario
Both arcs for Danganronpa were written in a way that stayed true to the game’s style, which was really appreciated. The anime was dark with its own touch of humor. There were many scenes which would have seemed out of place for someone who has never experience the show, such as a Serial Killer’s fantasy of romance or a nurse who keeps tripping and ends up in the worst positions imaginable. For the fans, these little moments are parts of story. There were also many references to other geek sources such as Nintendo’s Super Smash and Mario Kart or links to movies like Jurassic Park. These little references could bring the viewer closer to the universe which was a nice little idea. There were many unexpected turns of events in the show. This made the whole story more dynamic and it helped the progression without spoiling anything.

Both arcs – Art and Music

The soundtrack of the anime was extremely close to the game’s. Songs that were used in game were brought back in the show and were used as hints. There was a particular moment when we met with the Ultimate Little Sister. Those who played the game could know right away who she with the song in the background. It was great to hear the soundtrack used in the anime since it’s one that players we’re familiar with. As for the art style, most of it was in a rather usual anime style. It would have been different and more unique if they added more of the game’s visual elements. The game has a very recognizable color palette, the only element that was kept from it was the pink blood. There was only one scene were the palette was used again. The most interesting points for the visual was the retro style animations in the Despair arc. These were really cute and another reminder of the game.

It’s a wrap!

In conclusion, this was a great anime that the fans would enjoy! It was filling some of the missing parts in the game with an interesting original story. There were many new characters and elements as well. The scenario was staying true to the game’s style and there were many details bringing the viewer back to the games as well. There were only a few downsides to this show, but nothing that was getting in the way. However, to be able to enjoy the season at it’s fullest, it is best to know the game’s story first. There probably won’t be another season for Danganronpa anytime soon, but the third game is on the way!


All screenshots are copyrights of FUNimation, Lerche and Spike Chunsoft.


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