Part 83: Episode 23 - Future Side, Episode 12: It is always darkest
We're back on the Future Side for the final time, and... we're flashing back again. Jeez, this is supposed to be Future Side, not Past Side! Anyway, we seem to be at some sort of military base of sorts.
We have Kazuo sitting in front of some sort of radio, and Chisa shows up as well.
Chisa's got a USB stick, and says that this contains the video responsible for The Incident. She also says that the brainwashing technology used in this video was developed by Ryota, and that he would be a valuable ally if they could track him down.
She also has a USB stick with the suicide video.
Kazuo takes both of them and just kind of stares at them. And Chisa?
Well, she seems happy with whatever she's just accomplished.
Anyway, back in the future, as we saw on the last Future Side episode, Ryota got a phone message from Kazuo.
It's a video message. Kazuo says that if Ryota is watching this, then it must already be too late for him. He says that his time has run out and hope needs to be entrusted to those that come after him, and that Hope's Peak was his life's work. All the students growing up to become leaders, taking the reigns of the Foundation, it was all very wonderful. If, however, this vanguard of humanity were to suddenly lose their way, turn on and massacre each other, the pain would be more than what the rest of the world could bear. He asks them if they can't feel the abject despair of it...
"...better yet, isn't it wonderful to see it all come true?"
Ryota can't really deal with this new information. Looks like Kazuo was on the side of despair all along.
Aoi and Makoto don't really care, given that, y'know, the guy's dead and this whole thing is essentially over, but Ryota keeps beating himself up over letting despair win, with him running away when Junko confronted him and hiding while the Remnants did their work.
But now, he's not going to run any longer. He's going to do what's right. What is that? Well, first of all he's going to tell the true story, so basically just recap what we already know - Ryota wants to make an anime that fills everybody that watches it with hope, but runs into Junko and is forced to make the despair video instead. He says that it's all his fault because all this time, he was too scared to say anything. The suicide video must be using the same tech he used in the despair video, and so all Kazuo had to do was program it into the monitors and watch the Foundation fall apart.
Aoi asks the most important question at this juncture - why exactly Kazuo had turned to despair. Ryota says that he must have watched the original despair video at some point. So now, Ryota wants to put a stop to all of this.
He's got another video. He did in fact create the video that will spread hope to everyone. Makoto and Aoi aren't so sure that's a good idea, since no matter how you dress it up, it's still just brainwashing.
Ryota knows that, but accepts it. The way he sees it, humans are ultimately weak and susceptible to despair, and it grows inside of them until that's all they know and they can't get on top of it anymore. Makoto disagrees, saying that despair could be defeated if they all just worked together.
But Ryota basically just throws that right back in Makoto's face, saying the reason why the world is in the state it is is exactly that humanity can't deal with despair, that Makoto is the exception here, not the rule. He then just walks off.
Aoi wants to stop Ryota and asks if they can't just talk this through...
...but Ryota's had about enough of that and shows Aoi his video.
With her now brainwashed, Ryota tells her to not let Makoto interfere...
...and so she restrains him as Ryota walks off.
However, before he goes, he points out that what Makoto said earlier was right - he was now free. What was Ryota's forbidden action in the end?
Yep. All this time, he was being prevented from using the video he has by his forbidden action. But not anymore.
Meanwhile, somewhere else in the building, what one can only presume to be Future Foundation forces come in.
After running through the halls for a while, they eventually spot someone.
It's Ryota! Now, what do you think Ryota is going to do now?
If you answered anything but "use his brainwashing video", well, you're wrong. He then tells the soldier to broadcast this to everybody, and if anybody resists or interferes, to eliminate them. Ryota is absolutely done fucking around.
Ryota has essentially graduated to a level beyond Punished Kyosuke by believing that humanity is inherently vulnerable to despair, and as such, for despair to be defeated, humanity itself has to be rewritten.
Meanwhile, Makoto is still struggling with Aoi.
Then, some soldiers show up. They're saved!
Oh, wait, right.
Thankfully, Kyosuke is there to make a last-second save.
So, with the soldiers now restrained and Aoi snapped out of it, Makoto brings Kyosuke up to speed. Kyosuke says it's ironic that while Kazuo aligned himself with the side of despair, it'll be because of him that all despair is wiped out. But then, Makoto figures something crucial out - Kazuo was in fact not aligned to the side of despair. The opposite in fact. He set this entire fucking thing up just to push Ryota over the edge, to get him to snap out of his depressed, self-loathing funk and use his video to truly wipe out despair. Remember how all the way back at the beginning, Kazuo seemed confused that Ryota was there? That was because he wasn't supposed to be there in the first place.
Kyosuke then asks a poignant question - why not just steal the video? But according to Makoto's logic, that's not the point. The point was for Ryota to realize his potential as an icon of hope.
That's what the message Kazuo wrote was about - it wasn't addressed to Makoto, but to Ryota.
So, that was Kazuo's plan all along. Now, there's a lot of issues with this, but I'll not go into that. It'll probably be easier to discuss that in the thread, because there's several angles you can look at this from, especially given that there are two fairly different plans - the one Kazuo originally came up with, and the one he had to bullshit together after Ryota fucked everything up by showing up to the meeting.
Anyway, Kyosuke has a bit where he goes on about how you can't call it real hope if you rewrite what it means to be human, which is kinda rich coming from the guy that previously said he'd be OK with it if he was the last human left on Earth if it meant despair was eradicated. Makoto then asks where Ryota would have access to a large broadcasting facility, and Kyosuke says that there's something in the annex with which he could boost the broadcasting capabilities.
However, they then hear soldiers approaching and have to bail.
They hide behind a corner with soldiers in the hall ahead. Makoto asks how they're going to get past, and Kyosuke makes his intentions felt wordlessly.
Indeed, he just runs straight in and draws all their attention, while Makoto and Aoi slip by unnoticed.
All the while, Ryota has already made it to the exit point, thinking to himself about how it'll be just a bit longer.
Kyosuke barricades himself inside a room...
...namely, the meeting room where it all began. Kyosuke laments to himself that he never should've left Chisa's side.
The soldiers set up to breach the door...
...but Kyosuke bursts out before that happens, now dual-wielding.
He's also left his makeshift eyepatch with Chisa's corpse.
The other two meanwhile try to run past some more soldiers...
...but Aoi gets caught in the leg with a bullet.
Ryota slowly climbs a rope.
Makoto tries to patch Aoi up, but she tells him to leave her and deal with Ryota, she'll wait for him here. So Makoto heads out, vowing to return.
After he's left, Aoi then conks out, be it from blood loss or general exhaustion.
Ryota has meanwhile reached the broadcasting facility. Thinking to himself about how there can be no more hesitating or second-guessing...
...he sets up the broadcast.
Thirty minutes left.
Ryota then imagines what the world would be like once the broadcast starts.
How it would be a better place with no more suffering or betrayal.
We're also shown that his broadcast would have quite the range.
Quite the range indeed.
Also, Makoto, Aoi and Kyosuke all find themselves staring down several gun barrels.
Kyosuke charges the firing soldiers...
...the timer continues ticking down, Ryota imagines that soon we'll be at the end of this nightmare of history, and... we get the musical stinger indicating the end of the episode. Huh? But we're only like three quarters through!
Well, the episode is kinda done as far as plot advancement is concerned. Instead, we find ourselves back at this mysterious movie theatre that we saw Chisa in way back in Despair Side 1. However, this time, she's not alone!
Junko's here too! She's here to welcome us to the first episode of "What The Housekeeper Saw"!
Well, this is basically just a recap, which, let's face it, is kinda warranted. So, Junko goes over the following points in her usual fashion:
Kazuo is the mastermind. He used to be pals with Kyosuke, but they had that whole falling-out because Kyosuke got that whole hardon over eradicating despair by murdering everybody that looks vaguely despairful. That bug, to note, had been placed into his ear by Chisa, who had been messing with Kyosuke's head while in despair mode to fuck with Future Foundation.
So Kazuo's whole plan was to get Ryota to use his hope video, but Kazuo still wanted Ryota to make that decision on his own, which is why he didn't just steal the video or something like that.
We also still have that whole dangling plot thread of the DR2 crew, which Makoto tried to rescue from despair, but he got arrested before he could work out whether that actually worked or not.
Junko then takes a second out to point out that regardless of how this goes, Future Foundation is kinda fucked. After all, their leader was a homicidal maniac, which is kinda shit PR.
And in a way, Chisa gets to bring home the MVP. She ended up being a vital part of driving the DR2 crew to despair, drove both Kyosuke and Kazuo insane, literally reduced Future Foundation to a pile of rubble, and to top it all off, killed herself right infront of her beloved just to make sure he goes nuts. We then get a short monologue from Chisa about how hope never really had a chance, with despair winning the war before it even really began. And now, the future is yesterday's dream come home to die.
And yet, she still thinks that their hope is just getting warmed up.
However, Junko doesn't really care, and gives what is probably the best comeback ever with this line: "Get over yourself, slut. We're dead!" And that's the episode!
So yeah, this movie theatre is apparently the Danganronpa version of hell, or the afterlife, or something like that. Insert joke about hell being having to watch DR3 here.
But this episode too has another post-credits stinger. Makoto's still having a lot of guns pointed at him, but somebody is coming to the rescue! It's...
He doesn't do too well at this whole "rescuing" thing.
However, somebody else shows up as well.
And he's not happy at all about having guns pointed at him.
Byakuya and his cavalry have arrived.
And meanwhile, somewhere else, there's a lot of... dead? Knocked out? Soldiers, anyway.
And off into the distance walks somebody familiar.
And that's it for the Future Side. Only one episode left - next time, everything comes to a head on the Hope Side.
What the fuck just happened?: This one might get long. Basically, it turns out that Kazuo is the mastermind of all this shit. He got the despair videos from Despair!Chisa quite some time back, and knew that Ryota had in the meantime made a corresponding hope video that would brainwash anybody that watches it to destroy their despair. This entire rigmarole was basically just a way to get Ryota pissed off enough to actually want to use his hope video instead of just moping, and the video message he sent Ryota that implies Kazuo was on the side of despair all along finally sends Ryota over the edge. He uses his hope video to brainwash anybody that gets in his way and makes his way to a broadcasting facility in the building and sets up a worldwide broadcast that is due to go off in thirty minutes. Makoto, Aoi and Kyosuke try to chase him down. Aoi gets shot in the leg and can't continue on, Kyosuke is last seen charging a group of brainwashed soldiers, and Makoto seems to be captured by the soldiers, but Byakuya and his agents show up and rescue him. Finally, Hajime seems to have arrived on the scene. Also, the movie theatre we saw Chisa at way back when is apparently hell or something, and Junko is there too.