Episode 09

「オール・オール・アポロジーズ II」 (Oru Oru Aporojizu II)
“All All Apologize II”

I should at least give some credit to Danganronpa for trying something new with this trial, taking a rather different tone to what we’ve previously seen. It’s such to a point where just for that moment, it seemed to transcend the trapping of its parody nature and fun but cheap thrills, where it delivers more than the mere caricatures. A fair number of you predicted Sakura’s suicide last episode, and while the revealed truth was indeed on the mark, the real highlight of the arc was seeing just how things went so wildly out-of-control from Sakura’s intended scenario.

In essence this trial felt a lot more personable, tapping well into the character dynamics of the remaining students and playing strongly on emotional response, with Asahina and Sakura’s friendship at the core. Sure, we haven’t actually seen much in the way of character drama, but it’s easy the get a feel for it. And it makes watching the rest of the characters more enjoyable; Hagakure is, and will always be, an unmitigated douchbag. Him shifting the blame around and away from him was just downright disgusting, when he was no less guilty of the outcome than any other character. Togami, ever the pragmatist, cannot comprehend the reasons behind Asahina’s self-destructive actions, earning a blunt “I told you so” from Kirigiri.

It’s gruff and coarse around the edges, the way Danganronpa tries to go for the dramatic angle; too much overacting (mostly courtesy of Asahina) and in-your-face “Wham, now here’s where you’re supposed to feel sad. FEEL SAD.” moments, even though we always knew Danganronpa’s been the overt sort. And the suicidal revenge plox isn’t what I’d call wholly original. But still, the package works, and I’m pleasantly surprised by it. I really digged the way the situation went so horribly, so compellingly wrong after Sakura’s noble attempt at reconciliation, and subsequently sacrifice; the context and consequences of the “murder” falls right in line with Danganronpa’s blackish humor in toying with its characters, in way the characters most involved were pulled along by the strings of Monobear’s emotional manipulation.

It’s also this manipulation that makes this trial a great deal more sinister in feeling than the previous murder. Certainly, I don’t think Asahina’s actions would’ve changed had she read the original note; given her grief and her too-far-gone mindset, she would’ve embark on her avenging crusade regardless. But the overwhelming feeling is the hand Monobear has in the whole trial; forcibly aggravating Asahina into her suicidal course of action with the faked note, pulling the rug under everyone feet’s out with the reveal of the true note, and then destroying Alter Ego (whom I’d had already guessed he knew about all along) right in front of all the students. The proceeding of this particular trial had a strong scent of being deliberately orchestrated to completely destroy the mentality of the students. Where it’s been students against students so far, now it’s starting to feel like the dynamic of the show has shifted towards the students versus monobear’s increasingly deliberate machinations in getting them killed. Except, he didn’t plan on Kirigiri finding out about the 16th student, Ikusaba Mukuro.

Episode 10

「疾走する青春の絶望ジャンクフード (非)日常編」 (Shissou Suru Seishun no Zetsubou Janku Fudo ( Hi ) Nichijou Hen)
“Despair Soup for the Teenage Soul (Ab)Normal Days”

The 16th student, Ikusaba Mukuro. The mystery that’s been hanging on the back of everyone’s mind since we first saw the empty stand in the trial chambers. Suffice to say, I didn’t think when we finally got to see her, she’d already be dead.

Of course, we can’t really be sure it’s her; the masked corpse remains unidentified thanks to a timely explosion, and is now charred beyond recognition. The only evidence that remains is that the corpse is of a female, and the tattoo on the back of its right hand. Kirigiri asserts that the corpse is Mukuro at the end of the episode, but I’ve got a feeling the truth is more than simply that. Another interesting point to make about this murder is that everything about it seems off; certainly not in accordance with the unwritten rules of the killing game up until now. It’s the first we’e seen which hasn’t been initiated by Monobear; his usual incentives are absent, though probably not his manipulations. It’s also strange that a key was found next to the corpse, which leads the students to the previously locked data room, most likely the same place where the mastermind watches over the game. There, monobear reveals to them the truth of the game; a nationwide entertainment broadcast, taken straight out of Battle Royale’s premise. But even this truth feels off as well; such a broadcast was unheard by the characters before they were trapped.

But with some two episodes left, it really does seem as if we’re getting in the endgame, so to speak, and Sakura’s parting gift was the gateway that Monobear didn’t count on. In her final moments she broke open the lock to the principal’s office (yep, super duper high school fighter) because, what do rules matter to a dead person? Kirigiri somehow manages to pick up the very, very subtle hint in her will (yes, even I too think it’s one hell of a leap in logic) and snoops around the office for information on the 16th and a key to locked areas of the school, where she presumbably found even more dirt on the truths behind the game. Meanwhile, the rest of the students were busy working on a deactivated monobear, shown to really be a robotic puppet. We’re learning more and more about the machinations of the killing game, and the show itself does seem to be closing in on the real mastermind.

So now, wild theory speculation time! Could Naegi be either mastermind or killer? It wouldn’t be the first time a mystery show has pulled the “selectively-told-story” card (Anyone remembers Another?) where what we’re seeing is only half of the truth, and there’s a whole other side to Naegi we’ve never seen. I don’t enjoy the trope done deliberately, but the timing of the late night visits to his room do seem awfully suspect, what with Naegi essentially blacking out at intervals between being visited by Mukuro, and Kirigiri appearing in Naegi’s room. There’s no telling what happened in the middle of the night that eventually led to the corpse of Mukuro. Then there’s the eerily odd visions he which tells him not to leave the school, another point which brings his character under more suspicion.

Or it could even be that in a horrible twist of fate, Kirigiri was the one to kill Naegi’s assailant in order to protect him. Pointedly enough, both Naegi and Kirigiri are the only ones without alibis, if we’re to believe the others all were really working together on the deactivated monobear through the night. I suspect I’ll be proven horribly wrong before long, but hey, what’s a wild speculation without some stretches?


  1. I thought for sure Kirigiri was the 16th student as well for most of the episode, since she wears gloves (which would hide a tattoo) and she was revealed to have amnesia. But then the 16th died and Kirigiri was still alive. So who knows.

      1. Didn’t think the stand has to be filled. I thought it would be something like the scissors girl, where Kirigiri didn’t know what she was doing when she was 16th. I certainly wouldn’t put it past the string-puller/monobear to have a 16th seat just to cause them to jump to conclusions about 16th.

  2. I always thought Sakura’s arc was the weakest in terms of mystery – but definitely the moment that I started feeling more sympathy for the characters. Up until now they’ve kind of just dropped like flies and I’m like meh… >_>
    Episode 10 escalated really quickly >_< The next few episodes will have to be watched really carefully since there's a lot of material left in my mind =X

      1. I thought Celes’ case was easy but also fun – a double murder?! That’s pretty good planning even though it was easy to spot.
        The rest of the story isn’t going to follow the typical murders though so it’s kind of a surprise from hereon out =)

  3. “That’s right… my goal is not to leave… but to stay…”

    I enjoyed the ride when I played the game, but I can understand if viewers just see this all as increasingly cumbersome when having all these mysteries popping up out of nowhere, especially when answers and clues were so sparingly given in the previous episodes. What I do like about games though is that there’s very often a set beginning, middle, and end, and so even if it does seem like a shounen trope where questions/mysteries/baddies/powerlevels just continually piles onto each other, everything should be addressed in the end– if they don’t cut any corners.. which I don’t think they should as it seems like the conclusion will have one whole episode to itself.

    Looking forward to the exciting conclusion that’s just around the corner!

  4. I don’t think Asahina would have went mass suicide crazy if she had read the actual note Sakura left for her. The very last thing Asahina would do is betray her best friend’s last wishes. Monokuma was 100% at fault for leaving the fake note which lead to Asahina’s crazy.

    And he’s 1000% at fault for god damn everything. When I played the game, I was never more mad at Monokuma than I was at the end of Sakura’s class trail. I’M SO ANGRY THAT I CAN’T BEAR IT!

  5. I never really liked Hagakrue, his stupidity is way beyond tolerable sometimes(heck its a wonder how he’s still alive at this point) and his actions in this episode never really helped either. The guy didn’t think twice and went to the recreational room as the note ordered him to(never learned his lesson from Celes). There was also that magazine which was added as an evidence bullet but was never used in the trial. One of the pages in the magazine had a message in blood saying “Fukawa” made by yours truly Hagakrue thinking it would mislead everyone.

    1. To be fair ,I think after Sakura’s trial he’s learnt something. I couldn’t help noticing the way he was looking at Asahina during the trial as the extent of her grief was eventually revealed. Maybe I am too forgiving. I don’t know.

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

  6. It appears this show definitely suffers from not having enough time to adequately adapt all content of the game in the most appropriate fashion. There’s enough source material alone in the Class Trials to last an entire season, but to try and cram all of that plus the rest of the story into a single cour? You’re just setting yourself up for massive pacing issues. Danganronpa would have benefited from an extra season, maybe more. The key to mystery is the plot development. If your timing is off, you don’t get a very good mystery plot.

    1. In defense of the show, a lot of the class trials felt padded to me. It was obviously done so that the player would be able to do more things per trial, but some of the points that are brought up could easy be solved by even the dumbest of the group. When intelligent students like Togami and Kirigiri can’t or refuse to answer simple questions even Hagakure should notice, the trial feels slow and/or demeans the player’s and the characters’ intelligence. For example, during the first trial, they had to answer “what was the murder weapon?” Really? It’s not the giant knife sticking out of the victim’s stomach?

      Having said all that, I agree that the anime should be more than a single cour in length. Some of the trials were a bit short, but the biggest problem was the lack of investigation scenes. Giving evidence with little to no context makes the anime seem like it’s taking leaps in logic. During the first trial, I had no idea that the incinerator was locked at all times, which would have given context to the broken glass ball found inside the room.

      Even with all the problems the adaptation had, I’ll forgive it for everything if *sort of spoilers*Show Spoiler ▼

      1. They definitely left out some important parts in the class trial from this week’s episode
        Show Spoiler ▼

        You could probably cut some things out that are unnecessary, but there’s still a fair amount of material to work with that was left out. Agreeable, though, is that the fact they make very light of the investigation portion of the abnormal sections hurt the development of the plot.

  7. Dude the game is the best but sometimes the anime is short on material and try it best to explain it, but there is to much to cover…the kirigi is the best 😀 and Neigi as well……….man I want a Monokuma figure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. As a person who already played the game, I think the anime should stop giving hints like [Knife found], [Poison found], [Glass chess piece found]. It’s like “hey audience, this is the clue”. This is already an anime not a PSP game.
    But I guess I can’t blame them for having a 13 episode constrain.
    So sad that this has come to this.

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