Part 73: Episode 13 - Future Side, Episode 7: Ultra Despair Girls
So, we've officially passed the half way point. Our next episode begins with a most wonderful painting of Junko.
And below that painting, we find Monaca!
She's gotten herself a spiffy new outfit and is giving a speech to an army of Monokumas about how the side of despair has been getting their ass kicked thanks to Makoto, but that she, as Junko Enoshima II, is here to turn everything around, and declares that she will drown Future Foundation and then all humanity in a sea of desolation.
We also get a shot of her new headquarters. Having a giant neon sign with your name is the peak of villain class, I think. Oh, and in case you're wondering, in Japanese, her name is indeed written out as "Monaka", so that's why it's here like that.
Next, we see Nagisa talking to someone on the phone about Monaca and her new lair.
The other Warriors of Hope are there, too! Nagisa talks about how they can't help with fighting Monaca right now due to a lack of manpower, so getting into the building will be left to whoever he's talking to.
Finally, Nagisa says that whatever Monaca is planning needs to be shut down - but still asks that they don't go too hard on her, because she's a friend, or at least she used to be. Crushes die hard, I suppose. Also, say goodbye to the Warriors of Hope, they're not showing up any more. Yep, that's all we're getting from them. Three out of four get a single shot and not a single word.
Of course, the one Nagisa was talking to was Komaru. We cut to her and Toko making their way through the streets of Towa City, and Komaru gives us a voiceover basically introducing herself. You know, "normal high school girl", "Makoto's brother", that kind of stuff. We all know this already. At least I sure as fuck hope so.
I also appreciate that they make a point at times of showing the different types of ammo Komaru has in action. They really didn't have to do that, but apparently somebody on the team cared about UDG. So here we have Dance...
...and Komaru also uses Link on a Bomber and has it jump down on a pile of other Monokumas, then explode.
Of course, Genocider also has to get involved in the fun times. She also takes a snipe at Komaru's weight, saying that she has to lay off the carbs before she looks like one of those Monokumas.
To which Komaru declares that her weight is perfectly below average, and pouts. Good to know the chemistry between those two has also made the jump here.
We also get some Paralyze usage and a Ball Monokuma. The two continue making their way along the road, running into heavy resistance along the way. This leads to Toko declaring that she can't fail this mission, since Byakuya only asks for her help every once in a blue moon...
...and it's time for some fantasizing.
Her fantasies are only becoming more and more amazing thanks to actually being animated now. The two fantasy creations gush over each other...
...and are interrupted by their horde of children. However, there is also somebody else there. Somebody "extraordinarily homely and vulgar".
And that someone is Chibi Komaru-chan. This is referencing Chibi Maruko-chan, a manga, with Komaru being drawn in the same style and voiced by the same VA as Maruko in her anime adaptation (though it's not hard for them to do that, given that that VA is also the new JP voice of Monokuma).
And the scene ends with the two deciding to fuck right here and now. No, really.
Meanwhile, far away, Byakuya winces. Turns out that Toko's fantasies involving him are so outrageous that he literally feels it when she does it. That... actually explains some things.
We continue a plot point from earlier - turns out that indeed, none of the other branches of Future Foundation are picking up any broadcasts or other Remnant activity. If the killing game going on right now was just supposed to kill off Future Foundation bigwigs and cause despair in the Foundation, broadcasting it would be essential. Byakuya suspects some sort of other, more nefarious purpose behind everything.
Meanwhile, Komaru and Toko have made it to Monaca's hideout and are questioning her intelligence over blatantly signposting it.
They start making their way inside, but someone's watching!
It's Monaca! She pipes in with a wonderful "ewww, nobody needs to see your friendship hanging out all over the place", then questions why people can't see how great despair is and wonders if maybe despair isn't trendy anymore without Junko in the picture, and if maybe she herself isn't trendy anymore.
She then dismisses all that because "it's not like she can't blow this popsicle stand", and declares that her two options are to either leave the world, or destroy it, and the choice isn't hard at all.
Komaru and Toko make it inside the building, and Toko is completely out of breath, leading to this exchange.
"Ugh, my breath..."
"Yeah, it stinks."
"No, you jerk, I need to catch it!"
Open shittalking camaraderie is the best camaraderie.
The room seems to have several of the different boss robots from UDG in them. That can't be good. The two wonder what Monaca is up to...
...and in response, the lights go on and Monaca greets them! She's so glad they're here, and she sure ain't kitten. Good to see that the girl that made a habit of going "~nya" every once in a while has now diversified with cat puns.
Also, here's another one of Monaca's boss robot. That's not helping.
Monaca declares that she's going to completely take hope out of the equation in this conflict, and claims responsibility for what's going on with Makoto and the gang. Komaru says that Monaca won't lay a hand on Makoto...
...but, well, Monaca has home field advantage this time around. That's a lot of Monokumas! How are our intrepid heroines going to get out of this mess?
Well, Monaca surrenders. Yep.
Komaru and Toko can't believe what they're hearing.
Turns out that Monaca has a bit of a problem with the whole thing - she's convinced there's no way she can win. Even if despair wins the battle, it can never win the war. She also points out the irony at the center of everything - all this time, she was *hoping* to defeat Komaru and Toko.
She's done. Monaca out. She pushes a button...
...and all the robots explode.
When we return from the commercial break, the tower has taken a bit of damage.
Komaru and Toko crawl out from under some rubble, relatively unharmed.
They take a look behind a corner, and what do they find?
And who's inside it?
It's Monaca! Turns out this is her room.
And boy, does it look good.
Toko asks about that whole "successor to Junko Enoshima" thing, and Monaca just says that that was that phase she was going through, and she's over it now, so let's just pretend it never happened. And it is here we learn something rather revealing - Monaca isn't the mastermind. In fact, she has absolutely nothing to do with that killing game going on - to her, that tactic is so cliche, she has better things to do with her time. So what was she doing there? She describes herself as a "lurker". Basically, she just wanted to see Makoto, the Ultimate Hope, up close.
She did have a little fun with ketchup for kicks, though. So now we know who faked Aoi's death - it was Monaca being an asshole. We also get this exchange between Monaca and Toko:
"Nothing major? You murdered [Miaya] Gekkogahara, for crying out loud!"
"Oh, yeah. Well, apart from *that*, nothing major."
Nom. Komaru asks Monaca what made her turn out like this, that she had to be normal once and how she became "such a lousy excuse for a human being". Rude. Monaca replies that there was a certain someone that "turned her into an adult way too soon". I never did quite understand what exactly she is implying with that statement. Anyway, she says that she would listen to him prattle on and on about hope and despair and decided that that was somebody she really didn't want to end up like.
Yeah, turns out Nagito is quite shit at being a teacher. Basically, since his hope boner forced him to always talk about how obvious it is that hope will win in the end, he ended up implanting that idea into Monaca's head when he taught her to be the Successor. So small wonder she then decides that she can't win and therefore shouldn't really try. So now, total indifference is Monaca's thing now. She just outright quits. Komaru asks Monaca who's attacking Makoto, but Monaca just replies she has no idea.
However... Monaca does know something.
Turns out Makoto will be in for the shock of his life - because of him, one of the survivors from the DR1 killing game is going to die! Monaca knows who it is, but doesn't want to share because hey, she's just a lousy excuse for a human being after all. Komaru demands to know, but Monaca just tells her to Google it. This is one instance where the subtitled version really stuck with me - that line came out in the subs as "Google it up, shitlord", which is fucking amazing. Toko tries to feint by saying that Monaca is faking indifference and is actually still on the side of despair, but Monaca doesn't even remotely bite.
So Toko busts out Genocider to try and threaten Monaca into fessing up.
And it turns out it actually works! Monaca reveals that the one that is going to die is...
...fart. Yes. Monaca just responded to death threats from a serial killer by literally farting in her general direction like she's a French knight in Monty Python. Monaca does not give a *fuck*.
That doesn't make Genocider happy at all. Komaru holds her back since she promised she wouldn't go too hard on Monaca to Nagisa.
Then, Monaca presses a button.
It makes Monokumas show up!
But instead of attacking, the Monokumas just lift up the van, and Monaca bids our heroines goodbye. Where is she going? The one place that hasn't been corrupted by hope and despair - space!
No, seriously. Monaca's going to space, where she'll never leave her room. Her goal in life is now "space NEET".
The Monokumas start blasting off...
...but Genocider isn't letting go, demanding to know which one of the DR1 survivors is going to die. Monaca says nothing.
Komaru's also along for the ride, begging her to let go. Komaru then goes for the low blow by pointing out that Genocider has to jump down so she can see Byakuya again, which convinces her. The two jump down, and the door of the van closes shut.
Inside, Monaca plays "loves me - loves me not", just with "hope" and "despair", figuring that with two choices, it should be easy to pick.
She then declares that to be too complicated and throws the flower away. "Monaca is shutting her brain off permanently! Whoo-hooo!"
And with one triumphant shout of "Nooooo moooooore thinkiiiiiiing!" she blasts off into space.
And that's it. Monaca is fucking gone. Like, I can already tell you this, she has no more involvement in the rest of the show. She's gone to space, and she's not coming back. This was a controversial development back when this originally aired, but personally, I fucking love it. Just the entire concept is incredibly outrageous, yet so strangely relatable. I love that we actually get to see the kid side of Monaca instead of the Satan side. The side that suddenly switches from wanting above all else to become the new Ultimate Despair to declaring it all just a phase and wanting to move past it, like so many children that wanted to become astronauts or archeologists or whatever kids come up with. The side that can't be assed to really pick a side in the big global conflict of hope and despair and instead just gets out in order to eat junk food and play video games all day like a massive nerd. I can particularly relate to that part.
There's hope. There's despair. Monaca takes a third route. Utter apathy. And to be quite frank, this conclusion to her character arc has me declaring her to be the smartest character in the entirety of Danganronpa. The only winning move is not to play.
Meanwhile, Komaru and Toko are screaming towards the ground at what is probably terminal velocity, but Komaru has a plan.
She Links up with some other Monokumas down there and has them spread out a huge curtain to catch their fall with, causing them to land safely.
Komaru has a moment with Toko after Komaru thinks of the possibility that she could've lost Toko there. They also muse over what they've just seen happen, with Komaru saying that Monaca will be back eventually after she's had some time to mature a bit.
Meanwhile, back with our main gang, they're waiting for Byakuya to show up.
And then Miaya's head starts flailing in weird directions.
Also, Monomi starts talking about how the person in front of them is not real. Must be a strange sight. Also, Aoi is very confused as to why Miaya just called Makoto "big brother".
However, we then get some video patched in. Komaru gives Makoto the basic rundown of what we've learned over this episode - Monaca's not the mastermind, somebody from the first game is going to die, that stuff.
Meanwhile, Toko is giving the same news to Byakuya, who doesn't think much of the idea of one of the survivors getting killed.
Finally, we cut to Kyoko checking out the bodies, as is her wont, but she's startled by a sound.
Somebody's coming... and that's the end of the episode. Next time on the Despair Side, Junko's plan really starts kicking into high gear. Shit's gonna get real. Also, some utterly amazing lines will be uttered.
What the fuck just happened?: Komaru and Toko chase down Monaca in Towa City. Monaca gets them dead to rights but gives up because Nagito basically indoctrinated her that hope will always win, so the whole conflict became pointless to her. Instead, Monaca reveals that she was basically just an observer in the killing game, she had nothing to do with the setup. She does however reveal that one of the DR1 survivors will die because of Makoto. Monaca then blasts off into space to become a NEET because hope and despair both suck. Komaru uses Miayabot to communicate with Makoto and tell him what she learned. Also, Kyosuke seems to be coming for Kyoko.