Part 84: Episode 24 - Hope Side: The School of Hope and the Students of Despair
Alright, here we are. The final episode. Helicopters are flying towards Future Foundation.
Ships are sailing in.
And an elite strike force of Ultimates is dropping in.
Also, it starts raining, because you need rain for a proper climax. That's just how it works.
Only 15 minutes to go.
A particular smaller ship has also arrived.
And with it, our old friend Hajime. He's talking to Chisa's corpse like a weirdo, saying that he now finally understands what's important and that Chiaki was right when she said that talent itself doesn't matter.
He says that he's done some horrible things with his abilities, but he's also brought everyone back with them, so it evens it out a little. And that you can either wait for a miracle, or you can make one.
Finally, Makoto is outside, staring at his destination.
Time for the final battle.
We rejoin Aoi having been found by Byakuya and Yasuhiro. Aoi asks where Makoto is, and Byakuya says that he gave him an armed escort.
And indeed he did.
However, they find themselves pinned down by fire from some brainwashed soldiers.
But then somewhere else, somebody kicks a small rock...
...which hits a larger rock...
...and eventually buries the entire group of soldiers in an avalanche. Man, that was a lucky break. I wonder who could've done something like that?
Byakuya's getting word in that the enemy forces are dwindling - the agents are getting unexpected backup. Byakyua says that it must be the 77th class - the DR2 crew. Apparently, they were the ones that helped Byakuya and his agents when they were buried by rubble a while back.
Meanwhile, Kyosuke is out fighting a whole bunch of soldiers on his own.
However, it seems like somebody is attacking them from the back as well. Who is it?
Pffft. Kyosuke's response to this is "You mock me, Remnant".
So basically, we're now going to cut around to different scenes seeing what the other members of the DR2 class are up to.
The weird thing about this sequence is the Ultimates strike force, which seems like it had a fair amount of effort put in for basically throwaway scenes. So here we have Peko squaring off with the Ultimate Frisbee, I guess?
She uses a broken water tower as cover and smacks the shit out of the guy, knocking him out.
Fuyuhiko's here, too!
Next, we get Gundham facing off with the Ultimate Falconer, I suppose?
Gundham does his thing of sounding quite menacing but not actually doing anything, aided by some very convenient lightning (either that, or he actually does have some sort of powers, which, uh, has some strange implications I don't want to think about).
And the bird decides that he wants to switch sides.
Nekomaru is throwing down with some big-ass robot.
However, there's a second robot right behind him.
So Kazuichi interferes with a squad of Mini-Nekomarus designed to be suicide bombers. Yeah. Sure.
Kazuichi immediately looks to Sonia for validation, and... she wasn't looking. However, she then says "outstanding work".
I'm pretty sure that's like the most validation Sonia has given Kazuichi period.
Somewhere else, Teruteru and Akane are working together in going up against...
...the Ultimate Circus Act, I guess. He throws knives at Akane, who just catches them out of the air with her mouth...
...and also breathes fire.
And then Akane just uses that fire to cook more meat, then beat the shit out of the guy.
Meanwhile, Hiroko is in trouble against... the Ultimate Manicurist? You know, I really want some sort of story involving these people. They seem super interesting!
However, she gets taken out by Mikan and her gigantic needle.
Hiyoko is her usual abrasive self at first, but does manage to spit out a thanks to Mikan.
She reacts as you'd expect.
Somewhere else, Mikan is perfoming her hit song Sending This To You.
And an entire crowd of soldiers just falls over in agony from hearing it.
However, there's... the Ultimate Sniper? This is getting weird. Anyway, the guy's got hearing protection.
But then Mahiru flashes him and takes care of that problem.
And all the while, Hajime is heading to the broadcasting facility...
...with a whole host of people in his way.
Hajime just tells them to step aside.
Only about seven and a half minutes to go. But then, Ryota is interrupted by an explosion!
Looks like Hajime just straight blasted through the door like he doesn't give a fuck. Alrighty.
Ryota says that soon nobody will ever feel despair again, to which Hajime replies that that would also be the end of feeling in general - so nobody could feel grief over losing a loved one or anything like that. Ryota says that he didn't expect someone like Hajime to understand, and that humans are weak.
Then, the rest of the DR2 crew shows up as well. Hajime says that maybe they all aren't that strong and that he has his share of regrets as well, which is something they all have in common.
Of course, Ryota gets to trump everybody else's regrets by being somebody that enabled Junko to do what she did and as a result essentially ruined all of the DR2 crew's lives. As such, Ryota would rather wipe the slate clean and start over.
Hajime says he'd also prefer to wipe out the past, but that's not in his power. That some things have to be remembered. That Chiaki was real, and it's only because of her that they're still here. I'm not sure you can really conflate real Chiaki and AI Chiaki like that, but eh, what do I know, I wasn't in the simulation. The DR2 crew pipes in as well, saying that their job is now to undo what they can and atone for what they've did.
Ryota believes that he's beyond forgiveness, given what he's done. However, the DR2 crew agrees with him on that. Forgiveness is not what they're after. While he was wrong, so were they. They all made mistakes. Ryota rejects that, saying that they can't lump him in with them - the blame is entirely on him.
So Hajime says that that's all the more reason for him to join them. Also, the rain clears up right then for effect. I guess the Ultimate Weatherman is in there in Hajime as well.
Ryota hems and haws about joining them while everybody tells him they'd want him to join in their own way.
And then he finally cancels the broadcast with about five seconds to go. Close call, I guess.
Looks like our crisis is now resolved.
And all the while, Makoto was just standing outside. Welp, looks like you weren't needed after all. Could've just sat on your ass and waited, no need to rush.
As the DR2 crew walks out past Makoto, he and Hajime share some knowing nods.
Mikan then stops and seems to want to ask Makoto something...
...but she then falls over as Nagito comes in to gush about how great Makoto's luck is and all that.
And then the rest just carry Nagito off becasue let's face it, he'd be there for hours if they let him.
And in the end, Makoto doesn't know what the fuck.
So with basically everything resolved, Makoto returns to Byakuya, Aoi and Yasuhiro. Byakuya is watching a video message from the DR2 group, which is being broadcast wide.
In it, Hajime and the rest of the Remnants claim responsibility for the DR3 killing game, basically saving Future Foundation from having to explain that their leader was insane and wanted to brainwash the world. Byakuya thanks Makoto for a job well done, to which Makoto replies that he didn't do anything, it was the others. However, Byakuya says that even if the others were the heroes, it's not like heroes are created in a vacuum, and Makoto's hope was surely responsible for pushing them along.
Meanwhile, the DR2 crew is having a bit of a party on the boat they came in on.
Ryota is getting educated about the benefits of eating by Imposter!Byakuya...
...and Hajime is joined by Chiaki. Uh, wait, what?
Chiaki talks about how there was an AI that got created when the DR2 gang was put into the Neo World Program. The AI searched their minds for esteemed authority figures, people they'd trust and so on. The idea was to fuse the personalities into one AI, but it turns out that wasn't necessary.
All of them had the same person in mind - Chiaki.
She says she's not a perfect replica, but if someone lives on in their memories, they're never truly gone. She asks Hajime if this is the miracle worth believing in hope for, and he says that it's a happy ending at least. Chiaki then thanks Makoto for not letting her die in vain and asks if he's ready to go into the future, since there's a lot of work to be done.
However, Hajime is then interrupted by Nagito telling him that he has to hurry if he wants to have food.
And as he heads out, Chiaki slowly fades away.
And with that, the credits roll. The ship sails out to sea.
Kyosuke shows up to tell Makoto that as the one that took on the Remnants and won, he'll now have to bear the responsibility of being the hope the world needs. Makoto accepts the responsibility - the Remnants have their weight to carry, and so does he. Kyosuke asks what Makoto will do with that hope, and he doesn't know yet. Kyosuke then walks off, saying that he has his own cross to bear as we get a flashback to the scene of Chisa, Juzo and Kyosuke standing in front of Hope's Peak at their graduation.
We then get an internal monologue from Makoto about how nobody can see the future (except if you're Junko or Hajime, I guess?), how hope and despair mingle and you can't always tell which is which. But if you sit and wait, nothing is going to happen. You have to take it one step at a time, and you don't have to know the future to move forward. Just walk with your memories, look up at the sky, and say to yourself: There's always hope for tomorrow.
Ryota drops his phone into the ocean...
...and Makoto stares wistfully at the streak of Kyoko's blood he left on his hand.
We then cut to Mikan on the ship holding some sort of vial. It contains a drug that delays the poison from the bracelets. Hrm.
Nagito takes a look at it and recognizes it as something Seiko made. Mikan goes on to say that it would put you into a coma until somebody came to help you, that she helped somebody that took that drug, and that that person should be up and about any moment now.
And there that person is.
We then cut to several months later, back at Hope's Peak.
Rebuilding efforts are going on, and everybody's contributing in their own way. And hey, Komaru and Toko are here too!
Makoto sits alone in a classroom. And then, somebody enters the room and delivers the greatest line there is:
"...yeah, I don't get this either. Pretty sure I died."
OK, I think we need a bit of an explanation here. Kyoko here actually says something along the lines of "they're waiting for you, Headmaster Naegi", to which Makoto's reply of "thank you, I'll be right there" actually makes sense. But when the dubbed episode first came out, we got the above line from Kyoko instead. It was fairly quickly announced that an outtake had mistakenly been left in the released episode, and a corrected version was released afterwards. But personally, I don't believe this was a mistake. I think this was intentional. It's just too perfect to put the cherry on top for this dub, which has several times veered close to "official abridged version". And that line is basically the perfect culmination to everything, especially how Kyoko was pretty much asspulled back to life.
Like, I'm 98% sure there is some sort of shot of Kyoko's dead body that shows a weird little thing that could maybe be a vial somewhere on the side that hints at this being the case, but that doesn't stop this from being a total asspull to just add another fakeout death in the DR1 crew to the list.
Anyway, that's the end of the episode, and that's the end of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak Academy. Have I said "the end" enough yet? The end, the end, the end. There.
What the fuck just happened?: We get a big battle between Ryota's side of brainwashed Future Foundation soldiers and Makoto's side, consisting of Byakuya's agents and the DR2 class, which has also arrived at the Future Foundation headquarters to stop this. We get a bunch of scenes of the DR2 class fighting other Future Foundation Ultimates, and they eventually reach Ryota at the broadcasting facility. They end up convincing him to stop the broadcast before it starts and join them in their quest to atone for their sins, and they end up sailing off on the ship they arrived on, with Hajime ending up with an imaginary friend version of Chiaki. Meanwhile, Makoto takes over as headmaster of Hope's Peak, which is being rebuilt. Also, Kyoko is alive because she took a drug that Seiko cooked up that delays the effects of the bracelet poison and got saved by Mikan later on. So, to recap: Makoto gets his waifu back, Hajime gets a tulpa of his waifu, and Kyosuke gets to eat shit.
So, with everything done, I suppose I should give my closing thoughts.
- DR3 was not exactly well received, and things like fake-killing off Aoi, then real-killing off Kyoko only to have that turn out to be fake as well did not help at all. It basically took a dump over quite a few things from DR1, DR2 and UDG, especially with its over-reliance on using brainwashing to solve its problems, retroactively turning Chiaki into a weirdly perfect cinnamon roll character with an obsession over Hajime instead of what she was in DR2, wasting its opportunity to focus on the DR2 class's fall to despair, rewriting characters like Junko, Mukuro and Monaca, and so on and so forth. When people reminiscence about DR3, it's mostly about the experience of seeing it with others and having a great time shittalking it and memeing things to death.
- Ultimately, however, I liked it. Then again, I'm kinda dumb that way. I just really enjoyed the journey of it all. It was really stupid and shit over established stuff, but screw it, that doesn't minder my enjoyment of that established stuff, and I can take myself away from that established stuff and enjoy the dumb new stuff as well - Despair Nazi and Space NEET Monaca, Punished Kyosuke, our boy Juzo, Dub Junko... there's a ton of stuff that was just fun to take in for me.
- Of course, there was also stuff I didn't like. I was really down on the DR3 version of Chiaki. It felt like her obsession over Hajime came at the cost of her class at times, which also made it less plausible how she became this magic glue that kept everybody together. And of course, I too wish that instead of the Despair Side we got, we could've had a series entirely focused on Junko corrupting the DR2 class one by one, but alas, it wasn't to be.
- As an aside, LPing an anime in screenshot form, as it were, is a really fucking weird experience. It's kinda like describing a cutscene... except it never ends. It's weird. Though I wouldn't be opposed to doing it again, if the situation were right.
- Finally, before we finish this, there's one more thing. I promised you a compilation video, and I keep my promises. Now, this video gets automatically blocked on Youtube, so instead, I had to find an alternative host and settled on Mega.
And with that, I bid you farewell. It's been one hell of a ride, but I think I'm now done artificially extending it. I'll see you in my next thread... whatever it may be. I'm not sure on that yet. But for now...
LET'S PLAY DANGANRONPA ANOTHER EPISODE: ULTRA DESPAIR GIRLS / LET'S WATCH DANGANRONPA 3: THE END OF HOPE'S PEAK ACADEMY - THE END