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DANGANRONPA: Kibo no Gakuen to Zetsubo no Kokosei – The Animation – 08 »« DANGANRONPA: Kibo no Gakuen to Zetsubo no Kokosei – The Animation – 05, 06

DANGANRONPA: Kibo no Gakuen to Zetsubo no Kokosei – The Animation – 07

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「新世紀銀河伝説再び!装甲勇者よ大地に立て!(非日常編)」 (Shin Seiki Ginga Densetsu Futatabi! Soko Yusha yo Daichi ni Tate! (Hi Nichijou Hen))
“Return of the New Century Galaxy legend! O Armored Hero, Stand upon the Earth! (Abnormal Arc)”

Danganronpa’s a damn consistent watch, I’d give it that. And I have already given to it multiple times. But that also makes for a hard show to blog about when nothing particularly dramatic -in the production or the writing, whether positive or negative- ever happens, and the “killing slash trials” combo is fast becoming rout to me. It’s still a fun watch in its own regards, but short of an episode recap and more speculation, I’m finding lesser things to write about Danganronpa with every passing episode. You want a fun, summer throwaway? Here’s the quintessential fun, summer throwaway.

As it turned out though, I didn’t like this class trial as much as the first two, despite my initial hopes for it. With the murder going on right under the characters’ noses, the unraveling of this mystery should’ve been pretty interesting to follow, no? But having the murders get more complex as they go on doesn’t seem to be what the show really needs, as much as I originally thought it would’ve been. This was the first time I was really put off by the pacing of the show, as well as the machine gun speed at which the trial progresses; too many clues, red herrings and misdirections that might’ve worked better had they been more spaced out to negotiate their implications. It especially did not help that the episode time given to the class trial got cut short, where previously it would’ve gotten nearly the entire episode to itself. As it stands, clues like the discrepancy in Hagakure’s handwriting and the misdirections in the numbering of the mallets feel slightly irrelevant, even tacked on, with the way they are quickly brought up and passed over to move on to the next lead. I can only see the murders staying this complex, what with Celes likely having start the trend for murders henceforth to be premeditated. And I’m hoping they’ll show some improvement in the pacing then.

I found that I like the trial better when the show was playing up its whimsical side, and it’s something the show seems to be more confident with as well. Thing like the throwaway joke of Kirigiri digging her hands into Hifumi’s underpants for evidence, and the others’ perturbed reactions to her statement that it’s not as if she dug in his socks. Or a timely tsukomi from Yasuhiro to Genocider Sho for accusing him of being a murderer. These small moments shine through the bog of the class trials, and most of all seem to be where the heart of the show wants to be. The revelation of Celes’s motives was a particular, chuckly-worthy highlight; as it turns out, she did indeed plan out this entire crime for Monobear’s 10 million yen incentive, for a dream of living the Gothic high life, complete with her own private European castle and an army of pale-faced butlers at her whim. It a pity the trial didn’t revel in this playfulness more, another reason I found the 3rd trial lacking in comparison to the 2nd.

At the death rate that we’re going at, I can see the end approaching. With the smaller cast size, it’s just about time for the bigger mystery to take center stage, and the episodes closes off with a few eyebrow-raising revelations. Kirigiri revealed to Naegi the secret room she found, with documents on the school and a foreboding letter warning them from leaving. And before he can learn more, he’s knocked out by a masked assailant, and it is anybody’s guess as to who it really is. I do have a few suspects in mind: Kirigiri as the one who led him to the room, the mastermind’s mole, or the mastermind itself. And who’s to say she isn’t one of either? But the show presses on with more questions, as Naegi stumbles upon Sakura and Monobear, ready to throw it down for unknown reasons. Are these events connected, or separate? With five episodes left, I don’t think we’ll have to wait long for the answer.

August 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm
35 comments »
  • August 21, 2013 at 2:20 pmAndré

    No romance, no drama… Just hardcore killing and mystery solving. That’s why this show is good, it cuts all the BS you normally in anime.

    • August 22, 2013 at 10:02 amAki-Chan

      A bit of drama/romance never hurt , and can sometimes make for a good plot , but I more or less agree.

      • August 24, 2013 at 2:38 amAndré

        It can help, but the drama/romance needs to be really good, otherwise it’ll be annoying. In this case, the writer didn’t want to take any risks… That’s good in my opinion.

  • August 21, 2013 at 2:21 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Nuuuuuuu, not Celestia! Now there’s only Kyoko and Aoi… =(

    • August 21, 2013 at 2:33 pmDS

      Sakura :p lol, somebody out there has to be into that… I won’t judge you.

      • August 21, 2013 at 4:27 pmMagoiichi

        I’m definitely into that XD

      • August 22, 2013 at 2:02 amHalfDemonInuyasha

        I know. I just mean that those 3 were my favorites out of the girls and now there’s only two left, lol.

  • August 21, 2013 at 2:32 pmDS

    Yea, I was severely disappointed in the episode myself. The whole thing was a big, rushed mess. This case was one of the most intriguing and well thought out in the game, but in the case of the anime, 75% of the investigation from the game was cut, some very important clues and events were also changed or just plain removed.

    Then we get to the class trial, Within the first two sentences, they explained away almost HALF the original version of the trial. It took much more deliberating in the game to get to that point, which is exactly what you are saying you would have liked.

    The original trial jumps around a lot more before reaching the final decision of who the culprit is, and Celes’ story is much more in depth and better explained as well, which sort of ruined her executions theme if you hadn’t played the game previously.

    I have to say the biggest let down for me is that they didn’t play the full, proper, climax logic for this episode (those little manga panels explaining the crime), instead opting to wedge them randomly into the trial throughout. The whole thing is much better when you see it all together.

    I still love Danganronpa if only for the novelty of seeing the game come to life in anime form, but they could have done so, so much better if they had made this a 26 episode show so they could have taken more time adapting the event’s of the game at a more natural pace instead of just break necking it through the events and cutting out so much important content.

    • August 22, 2013 at 10:01 amAki-Chan

      Hmmmm I myself found this episode interesting , suspenseful and enjoyable . I was thoroughly caught up in it all , and watched it multiple times. Then again , I haven’t played the game-never even heard of it prior to this anime , so that might have something to do with it.
      Its going a little too fast at times , true , but I don’t seem to find it lacking.

      • August 23, 2013 at 12:16 amDS

        I recommend you try it, there is a recently released fan translation for it, so all you would need is a copy of the game. Now, how you get that copy, it’s your digression, but know it has to be the “PSP Best” version, and should you choose to buy the physical disk and import it, you will need a custom firmware on you psp to dump it and apply the patch.

        At any rate though, as I said in my post they cut out A TON from the investigation and case in the anime adaptation. In the games investigation for instance, when Hagakure is discovered in the locker, there is much more emphasis on him defending that he has no idea why he is in the Justice Robo Suit, including Asahina and Naegi attempting to put the suit on to prove it could only fit him. There was also a point where you go to Hagakure’s room and discover all the plans for the suit and extra materials, which become an important clue.

        All of this was cut from the anime, and caused a large part of the trial to be relegated to simply “What if the picture was Hagakure getting kidnapped?” That’s just a small part of what they trimmed from this chapters original story, and it seems to be something that gets worse the longer the show goes on. The first investigation and case were nearly perfect, then the second had a few things cut or changed, but was still close enough, and finally we hit this one and it’s just a broken shadow of it’s originally intended self. :-/

        Like I said, I still love it if only for the novelty (which is another reason to play the game, as you appreciate the call backs so much more when you get why they are happening) but all the cuts and changes for the sake of this breakneck 13 episode pacing just ruin the story for those of us who know how it was originally intended to be told.

        I’m still sticking with it till the end though.

      • August 23, 2013 at 10:02 amAki-Chan

        I don’t even have a PSP, and me getting one is probably not going to happen…so me getting a hold of the game is unlikely….but I think I appreciate where you come from , since you know more about the original than I do.

  • August 21, 2013 at 3:00 pmRayz

    Where they about to throw down? They don’t look like they are facing each other at least. I thought it looked like Sakura was some kind of robot and they were together doing something that Naegi was seeing but shouldn’t be. Maybe I misunderstood. Obviously there was something in that hidden room no one was supposed to be from the yearbook or whatever it was, but still seems most likely it was Kirigiri.

    • August 22, 2013 at 2:19 pmAsobi

      Red/Blue opposing gleam in the eyes, face to face each other? If that isn’t a throwdown, I don’t know what is. Thought I admit, I didn’t consider the idea that Sakura could be another monobear-esque thing.

  • August 21, 2013 at 3:34 pmzeroyuki92

    Aside of the poor execution of the first three cases, it’s finally the time for the three later cases – which I saw as superior chapters to the previous three. But it’s gonna be a hell to adapt due to tons of contents, not only the murder-trial itself, and I’m kinda worried that they will not pull them properly :\

  • August 21, 2013 at 3:36 pmZen

    More complexity in the murders doesn’t seem to be what Danganronpa really needs.

    Nope, no it isn’t! Danganronpa, please make me care about the murder victims. characters with any marginally decent level of development are few and far between, restricted to 3-4 core members of the cast like Kirigiri, Byakuya and Naegi- all of whom seem to have plot armor and will in all likelihood make it out alive. I can see how this kind of story would work well as window dressing draped on the backbone of a mechanically sound game. But not for a TV show- a TV show is NOT a game and you can’t write for one like you would for a game- there are exceptions but by and large this is the rule. Fact: Most video game to screen adaptations s*ck. This is a big part of why…

    • August 22, 2013 at 2:11 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      Yeah, from what limited experience (I think) I have with games-turned-anime, one of the main things to start with is that they usually should be at least two cour series or more (24-26+ episodes per season, if there’s more than one, or even up to 50 episodes in 1 series) and not one cour 12-13 episode series. Of course, that can depend on the game in question.

      From what I remember, the Tales of the Abyss anime was pretty good and was two cour, but the Tales of Symphonia OVAs were a bit “ehh” with all of them compressed into 53 minute OVAs, essentially making them little more than 2 “episodes” per OVA so, again, everything ended up very compressed and whatnot. And it was sad because I still love playing Tales of Symphonia on my Game Cube/Wii.

  • August 21, 2013 at 3:58 pmCherrie

    I guessed the murderer right! But I got the motive wrong… =S Not that it’s obvious what the motive was until Celes explained it herself.

    • August 21, 2013 at 4:25 pmCybersteel

      Goth Loli

    • August 22, 2013 at 2:25 pmAsobi

      Don’t think anybody could’ve guessed how true she’d live up to her archtype of a gambling goth girl.

  • August 21, 2013 at 4:35 pmlivevoid

    Are Sakura and Monobear about to fight? I thought they were working together.

  • August 21, 2013 at 7:43 pmzztop

    So Celestia’s whole motive was just greed, to fulfill some fantasy of hers?

    • August 22, 2013 at 11:28 ambolton

      Not really. Her motive is also to get the fuck out of there. The show leaves out a lot of details about her character. Seeing as she is the Super Duper High School Gambler, she has a super duper profound ability to lie, deceive, and maintain a cool poker face. Celes also likes to “bluff” and appear more fearsome than she really is, which we see when she tells Yamada to remake her royal milk tea, and when she fights for her life against Naegi in the class trial.

      Celes intentionally gives the impression that she’s adaptable and survivable. She lies to everyone and herself to try and further her position in the survival game, but it’s her unwillingness to let go of her ties to the outside world that leads to her demise. Even with Alter Ego, Danganronpa Crew’s new hope, was present, it just shows how disturbed and difficult it was for her to manage under the circumstances. Celes didn’t just do it for the money, she did it because she didn’t want to live in a school with 10some kids for all eternity.

  • August 21, 2013 at 10:47 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    my question is, Is it really MURDER when you cover someone in grape jelly?
    and are you really a psycho killer “genocider..psst” just cuz u got a long tongue and look crazy…hell i find that hot..but whatever.

  • August 22, 2013 at 12:33 amRyuuzaki

    poor celes-chan. she wasnt even allowed to die glamorously like she wanted. instead, monokuma crushed her ideal death by bringing that fire truck.

    • August 22, 2013 at 9:57 amAki-Chan

      Her execution was ironic. At least she went to it bravely.

  • August 22, 2013 at 6:42 amRazorstain

    Anybody notice that you don’t actually see proof of the dead bodies during the punishment scenes? Just a black silhouette of them which for all we know, could just be a cardboard cut-out placed at the last minute. What if all the people who have died are really alive but somewhere else – perhaps stuck playing another killer game?

    An endless cycle of Danganronpa, where you never end up truly winning and there’s no way out. :D How deliciously twisted! That kind of set-up reminds me of House of Nine, where nine people are trapped inside a house and if they are the remaining survivor, they walk out with 5 million dollars and their freedom with a promise not to tell anyone about the game.

    Another theory is that the people who have died are still alive but *not* stuck playing another sick game.

    Monokuma might be a sick sadist but I get the feeling there’s more to this than meets the eye. What if he is trying to teach the students that no matter how human or how moral you are, the very foundations of who you are and what you believe in can be crumbled under pressure?

  • August 22, 2013 at 7:09 amPatsuan

    I have to say, I was disappointed with Celes’ sudden character turn around.
    It came from nowhere. The fact she killed someone or the reasons don’t bother me as much as this:
    http://randomc.net/image/Danganronpa%20The%20Animation/Danganronpa%20The%20Animation%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2011.jpg
    Yes, i was suspecting her as the murderer so naturally I expected there to be some sort-of reveal of dark sided personality but after giving an impression of an intelligent and calm persona for the whole series she just started shouting and I almost feared she’d go all “AHO! AHO! AHO!”.
    Made me cringe a little…

    • August 22, 2013 at 9:54 amAki-Chan

      Have to agree. I adored Celes’ calm and elegant demeanour , not to mention that voice….However , seeing her go all crazy like that was sort of funny…

    • August 22, 2013 at 11:15 amPringlesXD

      That behavior was hinted before during the coffee scene with Yamada back in Episode 3.

      However, I think the game made that transition far better.

    • August 22, 2013 at 11:38 ambolton

      Lying and bluffing is the basis of Celes’ character. She also gets crazy when Yamada fucks up her royal milk tea. The whole idea behind Celes is that she’s hard to read, and that you could never know what she’s really feeling. Celes doesn’t have a dark personality, all the kids in Danganronpa are trapped in a box and anyone would crack under these circumstances. Her turnaround moment was just her raising the stakes and trying to get Naegi and the others to back off. You might say that that in itself is just a dead giveaway, but there was already too much evidence pinned on her for her to try and argue her way out. To her, going all-in on a bluff was better than folding.

      • August 22, 2013 at 1:58 pmPatsuan

        I guess you are right. She is a Super Duper High school Gambler after all. Maybe I was caught up in the bluff too :)
        Its just that the transition was a bit jarring to me.
        I didn’t play the game, so maybe it’s a little better done there than in the episode like PringlesXD said.

  • August 22, 2013 at 9:57 amAki-Chan

    “It was just his underwear. It’s not like I put my hand in his socks.”
    Oh Kirigiri. You are something else completely.Definetly my random hero.
    :)

  • August 22, 2013 at 5:55 pmagr0n

  • August 23, 2013 at 6:29 amhaitechan

    After the second trial, I gave in and started to play the game. The third trial was indeed a bit rushed and now I’m worried how they will handle the last one (took me around two hours the first time and 1 hour with some dialogue skipping). Celes is one of my favorite characters (Togami, Kirigiri and Junko are the others) so I felt a little bad about her execution, she wasn’t even allowed to die in a glamorous way :C. Anyway, things are going to get more interesting in the next few episodes so I’m expecting they handle those well.

  • August 23, 2013 at 7:11 pmnhelraios

    Leaving out the Climax Logic is never a good idea. The anime being rushed as it is, those short comic panels helps alot especially for anime-only viewers to piece together all the events on how the crime went down then finally revealing the true culprit, Celes ;_;. I really cant believe that it was all just facade when she kept reminding everyone to just adapt and live peacefully inside the academy. In truth, she wanted to get out there so bad as much as everyone else.