Part 4: Extra - DR2 RecapDanganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair - Recap
Basic Premise: A whole bunch of high school students find themselves on a tropical resort with a weird bunny mascot called Usami that wants them to become friends with each other. But then Monokuma shows up again, takes over, and the killing game starts anew. Murders ensue.
- Hajime Hinata: Ultimate ??? and our protagonist. Has amnesia, causing him to forget his past and his talent. A bit more cynical than Makoto, as far as protagonists are concerned. Survives. More on Hajime later.
- Nagito Komaeda: Ultimate Lucky Student. One of the most complicated characters in the series. To start off, he has very strange luck - he ends up having great amounts of luck, but those great amounts of luck are then followed by great amounts of bad luck and the cycle repeats. So not only has he won multiple lotteries and gotten to enroll in Hope's Peak, but also his parents are dead and he has not one, but two terminal diseases. This means that he has basically started looking for death in some way, and storms into situations head-first, figuring his luck will get him through, and then inevitably, it turns out he was right. He is also obsessed with the Ultimates, seeing them as great hopes to aspire to, though he as a lowly non-Ultimate could never reach the levels that they have. He also has a... complicated relationship with hope. At face value, he's obsessed with hope and wants to see it conquer all despair. However, he has developed the belief that hope will always win, no matter what. As a result, he finds himself aiding despair because after all, if hope is guaranteed to win, he might as well strengthen the opponent so that hope's victory will shine all the greater, right? Orchestrates Teruteru killing "Byakuya" (by foiling Teruteru's plan to kill Nagito to stop him from killing somebody), then arranges an incredibly complicated murder that kills himself, which is made to look like a murder, and then made to look like a suicide, only to turn out to be a murder in the end, but not one that was carried out intentionally, but rather accidentally by the "traitor", Chiaki. All of this could have failed a million times over, but worked out because of his stupid luck. Of course, then the part of the plan where everybody *but* the "traitor" ends up killed failed, but hey, can't be perfect, right?
Oh, also, he tried to distrupt everything by blowing the entire island sky high with explosives. Nagito is fucking insane, and he's fucking insanely entertaining as a result. He is the ultimate wildcard character, and the climax of his insane plans, dubbed Nagito's Wild Ride, is probably the highlight event of the game, if not the series.
- "Byakuya Togami": Ultimate Affluent Progeny... apparently? He calls himself Byakuya Togami, and you can see the resemblance, sorta... except he weighs like at least double the Byakuya we know from the first game does! Also, he's way less of an asshole, instead being a natural leader that vows that because he is superior to everybody else, he will save everybody from the killing game. Gets killed by Teruteru in a plot which was manipulated by Nagito. Also turns out to actually be the Ultimate Imposter, somebody who is able to just make you believe that he actually is the person he is impersonating despite the fact that he's a massive guy and the people he's impersonating normally aren't.
- Gundham Tanaka: Ultimate Breeder. As in, animal breeder. Dictionary definition of the term "Chuunibyou". Read: He talks like a supervillain about his intentions to conquer the world with his evil magic and his Four Dark Devas of Destruction - which are four hamsters. Like, just plain old hamsters, though he has them pretty well drilled and can pull off some surprising tricks with them. He doesn't actually have any superpowers or anything, it's just all in his head. When the entire group is locked up inside a building by Monokuma with the intent being for them to either commit a murder or starve to death, he ends up fighting Nekomaru (in robot form at this point) in a planned one-on-one battle and then kills him by tying him up in such a way that him struggling leads to him falling to his death rather than just starve to death. He is of course executed for that.
- Kazuichi Soda: Ultimate Mechanic. Takes on the Yasuhiro role for this game with a bit of the "failed romantic" archetype thrown in. Is head over heels in love with Sonia, who goes from merely ignoring him to actually becoming hostile towards him. He's kind of an OK guy, I guess, but man, he just has absolutely no perception of how he comes off to people. Much like Yasuhiro, he survives because he has to stay alive as a red herring for the player to assume the worst for.
- Teruteru Hanamura: Ultimate Cook. Open pervert. Like, god DAMN, tone it down a notch, man. Equal opportunity pervert, too. Kind of a one-note character, not aided by the fact he's killed off early. Mainly notable in my mind for breaking out in an incredible Cajun accent when flustered in the Class Trial. Ends up executed for killing "Byakuya".
- Nekomaru Nidai: Ultimate Team Manager. A man determined like none other to bring out the absolute best in those he trains. Incredibly hot-blooded. Particularly enjoys taking a good shit and brings shitting up frequently enough for it to become a character trait. Takes to mentoring Akane in particular with the relationship reaching sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a knife but with no actual release of the tension (there's a big deal made out of Nekomaru doing "it" to Akane, which is resolved as him giving her a massage, which he has developed a particularly effective routine for, being a sports trainer and all). Ends up taking a hit from a bazooka in an attempt to protect Akane, who was due for being killed because she fought Monokuma, thus violating the rules. He then gets rebuilt by Monokuma into a robot, then ends up getting killed again by Gundham in a one-on-one battle in order to save the others from starving to death. Is then repaired by Soda in the form of a tiny robot... and I forgot what happens to that one. Whoops.
- Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu: Ultimate Yakuza. Successor to a powerful Yakuza family, he starts out much like Byakuya, a prick that has no interest in making friends. Has a personal bodyguard/hitwoman in Peko. Ends up getting a surprising amount of character development after Peko kills Mahiru and attempts to "frame" Fuyuhiko as the true culprit, which would have allowed him to escape, but which he couldn't take advantage of because he couldn't admit that Peko was just a tool to him and not somebody he actually cared deeply for. He ends up becoming an all-around more pleasant person, actually works with the others to get out of the killing game, and survives.
- Chiaki Nanami: Ultimate Gamer. Absent-minded, but always friendly and helpful, she acts as a mixture of Hajime's sidekick, love interest and motivational speaker of sorts. Also, really tired a lot of the time. As somebody who also likes to play video games, is also constantly way too tired and really absent-minded, I find myself identifying with her quite a bit. Ends up executed after accidentally killing Nagito and being outed as the "traitor", more on that later.
- Akane Owari: Ultimate Gymnast. Second in a line of "brown, sporty girl with large breasts, a love of food and an energetic personality" that Kodaka seems to have a weakness for. Akane, however, is constantly spoiling for a fight and isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. She also doesn't take the deaths of others, including Nekomaru, whom she developed a deeper friendship with, as hard as Aoi did. Much like Aoi, Akane survives.
- Sonia Nevermind: Ultimate Princess. A royal princess from the European country of "Novoselic". Generally kind and helpful, she finds herself becoming attracted to Gundham because of his strange "evil" persona, much to Kazuichi's chagrin. Despite carrying herself in a noble way, there's indicators that she hides a far darker side than one would expect from her, both in a not perverted way (she has a surprising obsession with serial killers, including Genocide Jack) and a perverted way (at one point, it is brought up that the entire island is under surveillance with cameras, at which point Sonia calls out in terror that she did "disgraceful things" in front of those cameras). Survives.
- Hiyoko Saionji: Ultimate Traditional Dancer. Best described as a brat due to her tiny frame and very abusive personality, which makes her an all-around unlikeable person. Seems to be in line to get some character development when her getting murdered by Mikan slams the door shut on that, and as such remains relatively one-note.
- Mahiru Koizumi: Ultimate Photographer. Has her head screwed on fairly straight and cares about the others, even if it seems like it takes the form of mostly nagging a lot of the time. Ends up killed by Peko for her involvement in the death of Fuyuhiko's sister, something that is brought up by Monokuma in the form of the in-universe mystery video game "Twilight Syndrome".
- Mikan Tsumiki: Ultimate Nurse. A girl who has been bullied so hard in her past that she feels like the only way people care about her is if she humiliates herself in some sort of way, she basically turns into a doormat that just lets one abuse her. Also a total magnet for fanservice shots, getting into the most improbable situations that somehow lead to her in some sort of unsightly position. Ends up afflicted with a "despair virus" and kills both Hiyoko and Ibuki, later getting executed by being sent into space on a giant needle. Because sure.
- Ibuki Mioda: Ultimate Musician. Fun-loving and super energetic, Ibuki is probably the most positive character in the game and maybe the entire series, and she always goes super hard on whatever she does. Was a member of the school light music club, but has now taken a bit of a tonal shift in style on her own, moving into some quite terrifying death metal instead. We even get to hear her perform at one point during the game! Ends up killed by Mikan.
- Peko Pekoyama: Ultimate Swordswoman. Very stoic, she has been raised since birth to serve Fuyuhiko as a bodyguard. Much like Fuyuhiko cares deeply about her, she cares deeply about Fuyuhiko, but they both never managed to actually get the other to figure that out, so that the whole situation ends up resolved entirely too late when Peko is executed for killing Mahiru for Fuyuhiko's sake.
- It is established that there is a "traitor" amongst the group, one that doesn't belong to them. That "traitor" is eventually revealed to be Chiaki, but that is actually not a negative thing in regards to her, because...
- ...everybody else in the group is actually part of the Remnants of Despair, fanatical followers of Junko who were instrumental in making The Incident happen. They were being pursued by a group called Future Foundation, which now counts the survivors from the first game amongst their number. Now, how did these Remnants get turned back to their old student personalities? Well...
- ...the entire thing was just a simulation set up by Future Foundation. The Remnants were captured by Future Foundation and stuck into the simulation by way of having their bodies plugged into a computer, called the Neo World Program. Well, to be exact, Makoto sticks them into the simulation in an attempt to cure their chronic despair. That was what the whole thing with Usami, wanting everybody to be friends, and turning them back into their old, far friendlier personalities was about. Future Foundation as a whole just wanted to kill the Remnants because, well, yeah. Furthermore, Chiaki was also an AI inserted into the simulation as an observer, hence her "traitor" status as the one that wasn't part of the Remnants of Despair. But that's not all, because...
- ...Junko (yes, she's back!) actually had planned for this entire thing, because she ended up injecting herself into the simulation as an AI/virus, which is how Monokuma got involved. Her plan was to download herself into the consciousnesses of the remaining students and having them wake up, essentially reviving her several times over. Her ultimate plan here is to turn the entire world into copies of her, because... uh... DESPAIR!
- Oh, remember how I was going to bring something else up regarding Hajime? Well, we never did get to his true talent, right? Turns out that he was actually not an Ultimate at all, just a Reserve Course student (short version: Hope's Peak needed more money and started allowing non-Ultimates to enroll there by paying a lot of money - those are the Reserve Course). Except, well...
- ...in a way, Hajime is actually the most talented of all. Obsessed with becoming an Ultimate himself, he volunteers for a Hope's Peak program designed to create the Ultimate Hope, leading to him undergoing a surgery which basically erases his old personality and just overwrites it with purestrain talent, which basically lead to a cold, emotionless drone called Izuru Kamukura that was very talented, but also very prone to being manipulated by Junko, which then happened. Izuru then ended up on the side of despair - though not working directly with it, more in a "just wants to see the world burn because he can't give a shit about anything anymore" way. It was also Izuru who ended up inserting the Junko virus into the simulation.
This gets a bit complicated. Basically, the simulation starts breaking down, the group ends up breaking into a secured area that turns out to be a facsimile of Hope's Peak. In there, they end up confronting Monokuma and start playing Plot Twist Pile Up, going through a lot of twists in rapid fire succession. Then a giant AI Junko shows up - because of course - and does her despair thing, and then Makoto, Byakuya and Kyoko show up and do their hope thing, Hajime has a battle inside his head with his Izuru personality and wins... apparently? Junko sets up some complicated dilemma and Hajime takes an alternate way out, beating Junko with the power of hope, or the power of future, or something like that. Anyway, Junko is beat, the survivors wake up with their memories of the simulation intact and therefore retaining their non-despaired personalities, and they look towards an uncertain future.
I have to admit, after Nagito's Wild Ride, everything becomes one big massive haze of HOPE and DESPAIR and JUNKOS in my head. Even reading parts of it in FPZero's LP doesn't lift the haze, so I'm definitely sure I made some mistakes here. Please correct what I fucked up or bring up parts I missed.