OP: 「カミイロアワセ」 (Kami-iro Awase) by Binaria
「ただいま希望ヶ峰学園」 (Tadaima Kibougamine Gakuen)
“Hello Again, Hope’s Peak Academy”
While Mirai hen could’ve been a bit rough around the edges and somewhat direct and to-the-point, Zetsubou hen is surprisingly lighthearted in this premiere. I was actually surprised by how quickly time went by and how well integrated it was with the former. There are some noticeable differences and I’d like to think it’s done on purpose to highlight how both anime are linked but the mood is completely opposite. While Mirai hen went straight to the killing and dying and dark tones, Zetsubou hen was more hopeful and cheery. It was actually not what I expected out of both series at all and I think that’s why I’ve enjoyed watching both premieres. Anyway, moving along to the story…
If you weren’t confused by Mirai hen, then Zetsubou hen might have you scratching your head. For one, this “sequel” is actually a prequel for all the characters featured in DANGANRONPA 2 – the visual novel. You might not NEED to read it for Mirai hen, but you most certainly should if you’re going to follow Zetsubou hen. And I only say that because you have a lot more context as to what’s going to happen and you’ll actually build a connection with the characters. You might not get the same empathy or feelings towards a cast when you have no idea what happened to them in DANGANRONPA 2. And spoiler alert: (although not much of a spoiler anymore) this is the cast which Makoto was “protecting” and therefore chuffed for at the beginning of Mirai hen. They were captured by the Future Foundation and forced into a virtual reality because they were part of the Despair group led by Enoshima Junko. In DANGANRONPA 2, a large portion of them fall into a coma because they were “killed” in this virtual reality, while the remaining members stayed on a deserted island to try and revive their friends. However, the surviving students also changed a great deal during this traumatic experience and Makoto left them there hoping that they’ve changed and won’t be “Despairs” anymore.
Now I’m going to provide a quick summary of all the students in the class because not everyone is going to remember their names or who they are…
Now that everyone has gotten a taste of our cast and characters, I hope it’s not a surprise that we know they all survive and make it to the end… so the story is certainly not about how they die one by one (yet). Instead, the story is about how they become Despairs after being influenced by Junko and how that impacts the class. Their teacher, Yukizome Chisa (Nakahara Mai) – who died in Mirai hen’s premiere – is trying to round them up one by one to attend class and does so in an interesting fashion. I don’t know how her role will impact the students; or maybe she’s in on the secret? Hmmm… but she looks like a good person at heart and she only wants the best for everyone. That kind of makes it all the more sadden to know that she’s the first to go in Mirai hen but even worse to hear that her students are on the brink of destroying the world. Anyway, I hope the first episode wasn’t too overwhelming for folks that are new to the cast. Like I said, I highly recommend everyone at least READING up on what happened in DANGANRONPA 2 to get the full experience of this prequel. I actually really like the contrast in OP and ED compared to Mirai hen and I’m looking forward to how Junko will play her role. She’s not in the credits yet… but I just know she’ll make an appearance soon enough. I’m expecting Junko and her twin sister to make an appearance and with any luck, the anime will animate their past as well.
Overall I’m surprisingly impressed by how Lerche has been able to pull off these two series simultaneously this season! That’s two very different but interconnected stories with no real source material to go from. I’m excited to see how they intertwine and impact one another – with one story based in the past and one in the future. I love how Chisa is “present” in both and I like how it also brings back a lot of old characters (Kirigiri Jin (Koyama Rikiya) who is Kyouko’s deceased father in the first season) we’ve seen in passing and hopefully it’ll provide more context for “The World’s Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History.”
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Great cast on #Danganronpa Zetsubou hen! This prequel actually surprised me more than Mirai hen. Love <3 Can’t wait to see how the cast all ties together and I give Lerche credit for handling both series simultaneously this season.
ED: 「絶対希望バースデー」 (Zettai Kibou Birthday) by 緒方恵美 (Ogata Megumi)