OP: 「DEAD OR LIE」 by 黒崎真音 feat.TRUSTRICK (Maon Kurosaki and feat.TRUSTRICK)
「Third time’s the charm」
In case you haven’t read my preview synopsis (which was very hard to write in a concise manner by the way), DANGANRONPA 3 is meant to be a sequel for the visual novels and not the actual anime. Why you might ask? Well that’s the question we all want answered… but in short, I think it’s mainly to appeal to the visual novel fans of the franchise rather than the anime-only viewers. There IS a DANGANRONPA 2 but only in visual novel form and this IS intended to be a sequel for the novel. DANGANRONPA 3 is however, an anime-original so it’s weird that they would “reward” fans with a sequel but not in the medium that they’re used to… while also “penalizing” the anime-only viewers because they’ve never read the visual novel… so yes, I’m confused but let’s go ahead and spoil what happened in DANGANRONPA 2 so if you’re watching Mirai-hen, you have some context.
What happens in DANGANRONPA 2 is that a new cast of characters (whom all have no recollection of their past) get trapped on an island and forced to kill one another in order to get off. Sounds familiar right? One by one, someone dies and after each death, there’s a trial to see if the main character can guess who murdered whom. As the game goes, you learn that the “island” is actually a virtual reality created for everyone inside it and in fact – the students playing the game are all the Ultimate Despairs who work for Enoshima Junko. They were captured and forced into this virtual reality which was hacked by the virtual version of Junko. Naegi Makoto contacts the main character in DANGANRONPA 2, Hinata Hajime, to ask for help to purge the virtual version of Junko. The good ending results in Hajime “refusing to graduate” from the program and instead, Makoto is able to delete the virtual Junko. However, at the same time, the students who “died” in the program remain in a coma in the real world. The survivors of DANGANRONPA 2 come out of the program and decide to change their view on life while finding ways to revive their comatose friends. In the end, Makoto allows them to live on the island as a result of all they’ve been through.
At the end of DANGANRONPA 2, Naegi Makoto (Ogata Megumi) is fully aware of what’s he’s done and even tells his friends that they will have to work hard to cover-up the glitch in the system and what’s happened to the remaining Despairs. Now that we’re in DANGANRONPA 3, we find out that he’s pretty much caught and apprehended by the other members of the Future Foundation. All the top-ranking members have decided to come together and decide on Makoto’s fate… and little did they know, they’re now all trapped inside their own tower, forced to play another kill-or-die game orchestrated by Monokuma (Tarako) . The rules are the same (I’m assuming) and after each murder, there’s going to be a time for everyone to investigate and then a time for the trial. If you guess the right person, you escape and if you don’t, you die and THEY escape. The kicker here is that there are members here that have already been through the first terrifying game: Asahina Aoi (Saito Chiwa), Kirigiri Kyouko (Hikasa Yoko) and Hagakure Yasuhiro (Matsukaze Masaya) and of course, there’s a mole amongst them. Bum bum bum…~ There’s a ton of new characters whom I would introduce but I’ll do so after the next episode. Some of the notable ones so far are Munakata Kyousuke (Morikawa Toshiyuki) who is the VP of the Future Foundation and Yukizome Chisa (Nakahara Mai) who appears to be the closest to Kyousuke but also a very warm and friendly person in general. Obviously that means that Chisa is the first to go though and we see that at the end.
So what does this mean? Well as an anime-original, I actually think the series has started very well. It’s not AS confusing as I thought it was going to be and honestly, you don’t really NEED to understand what happened in DANGANRONPA 2 to enjoy this sequel. You DO need to have watched the first anime, but that’s probably about it so far. There are no references that are too difficult to understand without context and given that all the new players are new (except the returning handful), the audience can really start fresh with this sequel. I don’t want to guarantee anything (because who knows what might happen), but so far, I’m enjoying it and I’m speaking from an anime-only POV. Given that it’s also not based on a visual novel, the anime does have a different feel and I hope that’s reflected in the trials as well. One thing that I didn’t really care for in the original prequel was how the trials were executed because there’s no interaction from the audience and you’re just watching things unfold while being told what happened. I hope there’s a bit more mystery this time around to really get the audience engaged. Of course, there are some bits and pieces that might feel very convenient for the sake of creating the story – I’m talking about you, “hidden island” for all the top Future Foundation members that “just happens” to be discovered at this moment to capture everyone. Well then… there goes the world’s last hope right? Asides from this little “coincidence” in the episode, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it really brings back what the original DANGANRONPA was like.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #Danganronpa premieres better than I thought it would. There’s still some gaps in the story but for the most part, still interesting. A lot of new characters and without a lot on the previous game, I’m surprised that it still works. #Danganronpa
ED: 「Recall THE END」 by TRUSTRICK