The Let's Play Archive

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

by Solitair

Part 10: Killing in the Name

Hey hey, The McD recently finished covering Danganronpa 3 in their thread and nobody was happy with the final result. Let's rub some salt in those wounds!

Instead of making another game, Kodaka decided that the story of Hope's Peak Academy could only be concluded with an anime. Made by Studio Lerche under the direction of Seiji Kishi (Assassination Classroom, Angel Beats, Persona 4: The Animation), Danganronpa 3 aired twice a week, alternating between the Future Arc and the Despair Arc. The Despair Arc finally tells the story of how Junko conquered Hope's Peak Academy, confirming that it's not nearly as cool as what fans might have imagined.

Meanwhile, the Future Arc follows Makoto Naegi as he's about to get punished for his actions in DR2, until Monokuma traps him and most of Future Foundation's leadership in one last killing game. Instead of the class trial setup, the rules are a bit like Mafia: at regular intervals, everybody falls asleep and a mystery attacker kills someone until they're stopped. Everybody also has bracelets that inject a fatal poison if they perform a forbidden action specific to them. What follows is a whole bunch of shenanigans.

Future Foundation
Kazuo Tengan, 1st Division Head and former Headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy. His forbidden action is answering a question with a lie. Retaining an advisory position to Jin Kirigiri after the latter becomes headmaster, Kazuo is first seen in the Despair Arc trying to dissuade Hajime from pursuing drastic measures to gain Ultimate talent, though Hajime ends up disregarding his advice. He's also in favor of covering up the initial massacre Izuru and Junko cause. In the Future Arc, he's the leader of Future Foundation, though he leaves most of the decisions to Kyosuke. He professes to be a pacifist and a moderating force against Kyosuke's fanaticism, though once the Final Killing Game begins, he fights Kyosuke to protect Makoto. Before dying to Kyosuke's blade, he tells Kyosuke the attacker's identity.

Kyosuke Munakata, 2st Division Head and former Ultimate Student Council President. His forbidden action is opening doors. A cold, intelligent and paranoid man, Kyosuke's ambitions to change the world with his friends Juzo and Chisa were derailed by the rise of Ultimate Despair. The three of them are suspicious of the Academy steering committee, but fall just short of exposing their shady activities and Junko's plot before everything blows up. In the Future Arc, he has become the de facto leader of Future Foundation and the driving force behind Makoto's prosecution, and has hardened his heart in the face of worldwide despair. During the Final Killing Game, he demonstrates exceptional skill with the katana, defeating Kazuo and Miaya in combat, though Kazuo does destroy one of Kyosuke's eyes. Chisa and Kazuo's deaths, as well as the revelation that Chisa was a mole the whole time, drive him even further over the bend; he targets Makoto exclusively because he can only think of other people as threats to humanity, even preemptively stabbing Juzo, though Makoto does eventually talk him down. He and Ryota are the only new characters in the Future Arc to survive its events.

Koichi Kizakura, 3rd Division Head and former Hope's Peak Academy Talent Scout. His forbidden action is opening his left hand. A carefree man to the point of occasional irresponsibility, Koichi is nevertheless highly loyal to Jin Kirigiri and has hunches that prove unusually accurate. Before Jin's death, Koichi promised to protect Kyoko in Jin's absence. He seeks out and follows her during the Final Killing Game, making his own deductions and defending her against Juzo and Ruruka. Unfortunately, they both fall into a trapdoor during the chaos, and Koichi triggers his forbidden action in the process of helping her out of it.

Seiko Kimura, 4th Division Head and former Ultimate Pharmacist. Her forbidden action is someone stepping on her shadow. Though she can turn into a feral, bestial version of herself by overdosing on medicine, Seiko normally has a compassionate personality and takes the early deaths of Future Foundation members she wasn't close to harder than anyone else. She grew up with Ruruka and Sonosuke from a young age, and did whatever Ruruka asked of her out of guilt for being unable to eat Ruruka's sweets. One of those requests was for Seiko to provide performance-enhancing drugs that Ruruka could bake into her confections during her practical exam, but Nagito accidentally switched them with a laxative and left a detonation switch to a bomb in Seiko's possession, resulting in Seiko, Ruruka and Sonosuke's expulsion from Hope's Peak Academy. She never forgave Ruruka for her role in this, and attempts to kill her during the Final Killing Game. Thanks to Ruruka learning Seiko's forbidden action, Seiko fails, and dies to the attacker during the third sleeping period.

Chisa Yukizome, 5th Division Head and former Ultimate Housekeeper. Her forbidden action is Kyosuke dying. Despite being quirky and easily distractible, Chisa proves to be the right person for the job of teaching the cast of DR2. When she arrived, everybody in the 77th class was off doing their own thing, with only a third of them bothering to attend class, but by the end of her tenure, they function as a community, which would ironically help Junko recruit them. She helps Kyosuke investigate the steering committee and gets involved directly when she hears that Chiaki and Nagito are in danger. In the process of rescuing them, she falls victim to Junko and Ryota's brainwashing, though Mukuro has to alter her brain in order for it to take. Afterward, she leads Chiaki to the latter's death and helps the rest of her class fake their deaths as the Academy falls to despair, then infiltrates Future Foundation. Before Makoto's trial, she tries to explain Kyosuke's rationale to him, insincerely. The attacker kills her during the Final Killing Game's first sleeping period, before the rest of the participants even know the rules of the game.

Juzo Sakakura, 6th Division Head and former Ultimate Boxer. His forbidden action is hitting someone with his bare hands. A hot-headed attack dog utterly loyal to Kyosuke, Juzo hilariously ends up making several bad decisions early on in the story. After winning multiple world championships, he retired from boxing in favor of becoming Hope's Peak's Head of Security, a position from which he beats and berates Hajime for trying to get into the main building, the final straw that convinces Hajime to take talent surgery. During Junko's uprising, she blackmails him into covering up her actions, revealing that he has a crush on Kyosuke and threatening to expose that secret. During the Future Arc, he beats Makoto before the Final Killing Game begins, then beats Ryota afterwards, which kills Daisaku. He spends most of the game trying to fight people on Kyosuke's behalf, but because he has to use improvised weapons he is less than successful. Kyosuke stabs him before he can confess his love for Kyosuke, but he survives and severs his own hand to get his bracelet off. Thanks to this, he saves Makoto from suicide and shuts down the machinery that powers the game, dying before Kyosuke can apologize to him.

Miaya Gekkogahara, 7th Division Head and former Ultimate Therapist. Her forbidden action is allegedly turning right, though she can commit that action with no consequence. Despite her occupation, Miaya is so shy she cannot speak directly to people, and must do so through Usami Monomi using a wheelchair with a monitor. Her work, along with Yasuke's and Alter Ego's, was instrumental to the creation of the Neo World Program used in Danganronpa 2. She was also murdered by Monaca Towa before the events of the Future Arc and replaced with a remote-controlled android duplicate. The duplicate assists Makoto and Hina in evading attacks from those who wanted to kill them, packing several weapon systems like portable missles. Kyosuke ultimately destroys the android in a duel.

Ruruka Ando, 8th Division Head and former Ultimate Confectioner. Her forbidden action is anyone leaving the playing field. The only Danganronpa character who can rival Hiyoko in terms of loathsomeness, Ruruka thinks nothing of using her friends and throwing them away when they stop being useful. She met Seiko and Sonosuke at a young age, and was always disappointed that Seiko couldn't eat her sweets because of the medicine Seiko took. Because she couldn't have known that Nagito was the cause of her expulsion, she also blamed Seiko for that. After surviving Seiko's attack, she kills Sonosuke out of fear that he'll eventually betray her, as he was on the cusp of discovering what she thought was an exit, and mocks up his body to make it look like the attacker did it, though Kyoko figures her out. Despite barricading herself in before the fourth sleeping period, the attacker brutally murders her anyway, and she dies alone, unmourned and unloved.

Sonosuke Izayoi, 9th Division Head and former Ultimate Blacksmith. His forbidden action is letting food enter his mouth. Ruruka's lover and loyal servant, Sonosuke aids her by creating traps and throwing kunai. One of their favorite ways of expressing affection is for Ruruka to feed him sweets, which he refuses once the Final Killing Game starts. After they fight off Seiko, they find a place to make out, and Ruruka uses that kiss to sneak some sugar into his mouth, as she'd figured out his forbidden action at that point and wants him dead. Despite this, he accepts her reasons and reaffirms his love for her before dying.

Ryota Mitarai, 10th Division Head and former Ultimate Animator. His forbidden action is utilizing his talent. A timid, anxious, worrywart obsessed with creating an anime that can change the world, Ryota spends so much time holed up at home working that the Ultimate Impostor has to cover for him in class. This isolation makes it easy for Junko to hold him captive, and when she discovers that he's determined how to forcibly evoke emotions and change people's minds with audiovisual tricks, she uses that technology to brainwash Mikan and plans to use it on many other people, too. His attempt to escape just ends up delivering Chisa into Junko's clutches, and she ends up taunting him for the essential role he played in her plan, breaking his spirit. To be fair, if I had developed brainwashing technology without ever considering the unethical uses of said technology, and then it got used unethically, I'd also hate myself for being such a colossal fuck-up. He spends the Final Killing Game at Kyoko's side, envious of her and Makoto's resolve, until Kyoko's apparent death, and resolves to act once the game ends and he receives a message from Kazuo.

Daisaku Bandai, 11th Division Head and former Ultimate Farmer. His forbidden action is witnessing violence between participants. More gimmick than man, Daisaku has no lips, speaks with a young girl's voice, and makes up meaningless proverbs for fun. Everyone else has more going on than him, so he's an easy choice to demonstrate the lethality of committing a forbidden action.

Great Gozu, 12th Division Head and former Ultimate Wrestler. His forbidden action is getting pinned for a three-count. An honorable man who never takes off his mask, in keeping with luchadore tradition, Gozu serves as Kazuo's bodyguard and butts heads with Juzo prior to Makoto's scheduled trial. Of all the senior members of Future Foundation leadership, he has perhaps the strongest faith in Makoto's potential to aid reconstruction, and thus protects him during the initial stage of the Final Killing Game. Sadly, the attacker kills him during the second sleeping period.

Kyoko Kirigiri, 14th Division Head and Ultimate Detective. Her forbidden action is Makoto surviving four sleeping periods. During the Final Killing Game, Kyoko spends most of her time investigating the corpses of the people who died and looking for tricks behind its mechanisms. She deduces that Ruruka killed Sonosuke and made it look like the attacker's work, going so far as to taste his saliva for traces of sugar. When she reunites with Makoto, she does her best to strengthen his resolve, knowing that her forbidden action will trigger soon. He, Ryota and Hina wake up to find her poisoned and seemingly dead.

Aoi Asahina, 13th Division Member and Ultimate Swimming Pro. Her forbidden action is getting hit with a punch or kick. Whoever the actual 13th Division leader is, they can't be bothered to attend Makoto's trial and thus send Hina in their place. She discovers the bodies of some security guards moments before every officer is put to sleep and the Final Killing Game begins. She spends the game at Makoto's side, carrying him through the hallway and doing her best to ward off attacks on them despite the risk of triggering her forbidden action. During the second sleeping period, Monaca uses Miaya to plant fake blood and a fake knife on Hina as a prank. She's actually fine, and remains so for the rest of the arc.

Makoto Naegi, 14th Division Member and Ultimate Hope. His forbidden action is running in the halls. The subject of much suspicion from Future Foundation because of his actions hiding and rehabilitating the Remnants of Despair, this suspicion only grows at the beginning of the Final Killing Game, as most of the council suspects him to be the attacker. He and his allies spend much of the game running from Kyosuke and Juzo, who want him dead, but he's committed to defusing the conflict between them, going so far as to broadcast his forbidden action over the intercom. At the end of the game, he tricks Kyosuke into hearing him out and convinces him to mourn Chisa and people like her instead of judging everybody prematurely because of her deception.

Yasuhiro Hagakure, 14th Division Member and Ultimate Clairvoyant. Though the Future Arc OP counts him as a participant in the Final Killing Game, he really isn't, getting no bracelet and being locked out of the building as drones take shots at him. Such is his lot in life.

Other Characters
Chiaki Nanami, the Ultimate Gamer. Early on in her semester, Chiaki encounters and befriends Hajime, pointing out that his lack of talent gives him a flexibility in life that he can never have. Her video games play a part in getting the students in her class to bond, and her continued, offscreen organization of social events made her a prominent and popular figure in that class. She still worries about Hajime, especially when the Reserve Course begins rioting, and finds him looking and acting very different in pursuit of the missing Mikan. She rallies the class to rescue Chisa, but thanks to Mikan and Chisa's betrayal, she's subjected to a brutal execution, subjected to a death-march through a trap-filled hallway. Video of her death was used to brainwash her classmates, and the Neo World Program created a facsimile of her to aid in their rehabilitation.

Hajime Hinata/Izuru Kamukura, the Ultimate Hope. Hajime's insecurities about being stuck in the Reserve Course start early, not helped by witnessing the strife between Natsuki Kuzuryu and Sato before they both get killed. Though he connects the dots on the incident, he can't get through to the main course, and Juzo convinces him to take experimental talent surgery. Once his name and personality change, Junko recruits him to the cause of despair with the promise of unpredictability, and he causes the student council to kill each other, seeing promise in Junko's words thanks to one of them almost drawing a bead on him. Though he maintains an apathetic demeanor for most of the time he follows Junko's orders, his facade cracks when he watches Chiaki die, and he takes her hairpin as a keepsake, parting ways with Junko in short order. Even after his rehabilitation in the Neo World Program, elements of Izuru remain in Hajime.

Monaca Towa, the Successor to Junko Enoshima. Halfway through the Final Killing Game, Komaru and Toko hunt down Monaca, tipped off that she's up to something, upon which Monaca immediately surrenders. She confesses that she no longer cares about hope or despair; Nagito's mentorship and repellant personality made her sick of the whole dichotomy. Instead, she becomes a space NEET, but tells Komaru that one of Makoto's friends will die before taking off in her rocket van.

Junko Enoshima, the Ultimate Despair. So Junko's plan is as follows:
-Break into the compound where Izuru resides and convince him to try out her worldview.
-Find Ryota by sheer coincidence and use his brainwashing technology for her own purposes.
-Stage the student council massacre and leak footage to the Reserve Course, along with news of Izuru's existence and reminders that they're just disposable revenue sources for the school.
-I think Danganronpa Zero goes here?
-Rely on Izuru to protect her from Nagito with a gun.
-Execute Chiaki.
-Get Chiaki's class in one place and brainwash them with the execution video.
-Brainwash the Reserve Course students into committing mass suicide.
-Execute Jin Kirigiri.
-Join her class in barricading themselves in the main building, erase their memories and trick them into killing each other.

There are more characters than I listed above, of course, including but not limited to all the other classmates from DR2, Komaru, Toko, Byakuya, Mukuro, and Kyoko's father, but they're pretty much unchanged from how we knew them from previous titles and this update is long enough as it is.

Anyway, the secrets to the Final Killing Game is that the entrance is fake and the entire building they're trapped in is an underwater replica. Also, there's no single attacker; instead, whoever falls asleep closest to a monitor gets woken up and brainwashed by a video into killing themselves. In Makoto's case, he's tormented by the students who died in DR1, and would have killed himself if not for Juzo's intervention. Kazuo was the mastermind, and the entire game was engineered to push Ryota into broadcasting a hope brainwashing video to the entire world, though he didn't intend for Ryota to be there when the game started. Ryota goes through with it, brainwashing all of Future Foundation's military force to keep anyone from stopping him, but Hajime and the other reformed Remnants of Despair (he managed to resuscitate them all) break through the blockade and convince him not to rob humanity of their free will and not hate himself and stuff.

Oh, and Kyoko found some medicine Seiko made that causes the bracelet's poison to make her comatose instead of dead, allowing Mikan to resuscitate her. Makoto goes on to rebuild Hope's Peak Academy and become its new headmaster, with no guarantee whatsoever that someone else like Junko won't come around and fuck everything up again. Liberals, am I right?

I hope you enjoyed no moral theater! Will Makoto's last act of blind optimism pay off? Will it blow up in his face? Will any of these recaps have any relevance whatsoever to V3? Let's find out eventually!