「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.