*An hour passes after Nitsuj got knocked out with a baseball and he slowly gets back up*
Ugh~ my head. Where did this vase come from?
*Looks up at the clock*
Oh shit, the review! I have to start Ani-ween!
*Quickly sits at his desk*
Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj and welcome to another month of Ani-ween. Since I’ve been looking at a lot of sequels this year why not take a look at the Danganronpa animes. The first season of Danganronpa had a lot of mixed opinions as it split the fans in two. Some fans liked it while others didn’t. Personally, from an anime only perspective it did get me interested in the series and even though the series might have been rushed I thought it was a good anime in the end. However, it did leave a lot of questions such as what would happen next and how did despair spread throughout the world? Well after much waiting we finally got answers with the despair arc and future arc. Based off the games, the despair arc and future arc were done once again by Lerche (Assassination Classroom) in 2016 and aired around the same time. The whole idea was to watch these two animes as one. The despair arc would serve as a prequel showing us how despair spread throughout the world while the future arc would serve as a sequel to the first season and wrap up the series. So as you can imagine I’m not sure entirely sure which anime to review first as these animes were intended to be watched side by side. That way in case you watch something in the future arc that had you confused, the despair arc would be there to explain what’s going on. I guess with stuff like this it’s best to leave it up to fate.
*grabs a coin*
Heads, we watch the despair arc first. Tails, we the future arc first.
*flips the coin into the air and lets it land on the table where it comes up tails*
The future arc it is. Let’s start Ani-ween by taking a look at the sequel and seeing how hope outshines despair. This is Danganronpa: Future arc.
Opening and Ending Theme
The opening is “DEAD OR LIE” by Maon Kurosaki feat. TRUSTRICK. It’s a good song. I like how suspenseful and dire it sounds. The whole opening is just full of despair as whenever a major character appears there’s a silhouette of how they’ll possibly die which makes you worry all the more for that particular character. If that wasn’t nerve-breaking, there’s a counter at the end of each opening of how many people are still alive.
The ending is “Recall THE END” by TRUSTRICK. The melody is nice and does help deviate the anxiety you felt throughout the episode which is kind of want you’ll need after each episode. Not much to say about this one, the melody is nice, the singer is nice, and it’s probably my second favorite ending in the series.
The series starts off with an opening narrative where we see the world is in complete chaos (thank you, this is what I wanted to see at the end of the first season). Once the biggest despair of mankind happened students calling themselves the Super High School-Level Despairs took the stage and initiated simultaneous and multiple terrorist attacks around the globe. They issued no demands or reasons for their own actions, all they did was bring nothing but despair upon the world (sort of like a troll. No reasons for their actions they’re just assholes bringing despair upon the world). Humanity created a division to fight against these despairs known as the Future Foundation which was mostly composed of graduates from Hope’s Peak High School who waged war against the despairs using what seems like super powers (not quite sure myself). The war was in a stalemate with the Future Foundation losing but this all changed with the death of Junko who was the leader of the despairs who after learning of her death (she died with a smile on her face after achieving the highest orgasm of her life) went into hiding for a bit and reemerged as the Remnants of Despair (same band different name). We go to Future Foundation’s island headquarters where we find out Naegi has been accused of being a traitor by Kyosuke the vice-chairman of Future Foundation. Apparently, Naegi found the Remnants of Despair and rather than kill them he let them get away (I’m sure there’s a really REALLY good reason why he would let the most wanted people in the world escape). He gets taken before the directors of each branch (each one more whacky than the characters in the first season) by Kyoko and Asahina where one of them roughs up Naegi a bit and the interrogation gets suspended. Later on, the island gets attacked with all the exits blocked and security guards dead (holy shit real blood. They’re taking this seriously). They all gather in the conference room where they suspect one of the them is a traitor but before they can figure out who someone unleashes a sleeping gas in the room which knocks everyone out. They wake up with the monitor coming on to reveal Monokuma (oh this guy again) who’s return to host the game of life and death and settle his fight with Naegi once and for all. He says they’re going to kill each other and treat it like a game but they all refuse and Monokuma shows them that the game has already begun with Yukizome someone very close to Kyosuke hanging from the chandelier dead.
Episode 2 begins with Monokuma explaining the rules of the game. Everyone is wearing a bangle where after a certain amount of time the bangle will inject them with a sleeping drug. One of them will wake up and will be given a time limit to kill exactly one person (so basically one of them is a traitor and they have to find out who it is). If they all wake up and nobody’s dead they win the game. However, each bangle has a restriction that the person wearing it can’t do and if they do it they’re dead. One of them already gets killed because he witnessed a violent scene when someone tried to Naegi (of course the black person is the next one to go. It never goes well for black people in a horror series). So Kyosuke tries to kill Naegi believing he’s the traitor but Kirigiri covers his escape with Asahina getting him to safety since he can’t run and they’re both being protected by the guy wearing the bull mask (I’m sorry, I know I should be naming all these characters but it is next to impossible to keep track of all these characters). They manage to escape Kyosuke and reunite with the mute girl who uses the computer to speak (what is she Steve Hawkins? Also, it’s her it has to be her) just as the time limit is about to elapse and put everyone to sleep. When Naegi wakes up he sees that someone has been killed and that someone is Asahina (oh sure, kill all the dark-skinned people in the goddamn episode, https://youtu.be/3N7uoFNNrBU).
At the start of episode 3 we see that Asahina is still alive (alright, maybe they aren’t racist) but Gozu (the bull guy) isn’t as he’s hung from the ceiling in wires (man this is like Saw level of violence). Neagi believes they all need to come together and talk it out with each other showing their trust so he decides to make his way to the monitor room to talk to everyone with Asahina and mute girl protecting him (also, Asahina is in a tank top. We are hitting all the horror clichés here). Naegi makes it to the monitor room where he tells everyone his restriction and tells everyone he’s dropping out of the game meaning if they want to kill him they can now do it. He also talks about how he found the Remnants of Despair and tried to save them all by reverting their memories to a time before they met Junko and got injected with despair (why are we treating despair like a sickness? Have you seen that class, those kids were crazy?). But something happened in the experiment and they all escaped but Naegi has faith that they’re all okay. This has little effect on everyone and has no effect on Kyosuke who says that Naegi’s words are hollow and that he knows nothing about true despair (he was in a school where people killed each other for some whack job’s own amusement. What about you? You just lost your girlfriend) and prepares to kill him to end the episode.
So in episode 4 Juzo finds Kirigiri and Tengan and tries to take them down but Tengan shows his stuff and takes down Juzo all by himself (damn Tengen, you’ve been holding out on us). After Juzo gets taken down Kyosuke uses the PDA system to tell everyone he has caught Naegi and is about to execute him but in truth he’s not. Kyosuke isn’t an idiot (no, but you are full of yourself), he knows Naegi isn’t the guy killing them but he also knows that Naegi is an important figure in the killer’s game. The killer’s goal is to use Naegi as a puppet to spread despair throughout the world under the guise of hope so if Naegi dies than their plan is ruined. So Kyosuke figures out that once the killer knows Naegi’s life is in danger they’ll come running to save him (not a bad plan, except he’s got like two friends who like him and will risk their lives to save him so there’s a good chance you’ll kill the wrong person). Kirigiri offers to go and negotiate with Kyosuke but Tengan says he’ll go and talk to him along with Asahina and mute girl. They arrive where Tengan takes on Kyosuke in a fight as Asahina and mute girl get Naegi to safety. They have a pretty intense fight where Tengan jumps off a bridge with Kyosuke on the ground below. Kyosuke is alright but Tengen got pierced by a metal pole and is slowly dying. Back with Naegi’s group, Juzo chases after them and mute girl decides to fight him since the actions of Naegi and Asahina hinder them from fighting (again, it’s her. It has to be her). She fights him and gets knocked down (dude, respect for the handicapped) and we see she’s a robot being controlled by this Junko lookalike (called it).
Not much to cover in episode 5. Seiko tries to kill Ruruka because of what happened in the past but can’t reach her because she’s hiding behind thick glass and it gets revealed that Seiko’s restriction is that no one can step on her shadow. We do see a little bit into their past where we see they really were friends but somewhere down the road their relationship became acts of dependence on each other. Seiko needed Ruruka because she was the only true friend she had so Seiko did everything for her. Ruruka needed Seiko because she couldn’t do anything else besides make delicious sweets which Seiko couldn’t eat because of her medicine so Ruruka could never repay Seiko for everything she’s done (and then there was that whole misunderstanding of getting each other expelled but that’s a story for another time). Ruruka says she’ll help Seiko if she kills Kyosuke. While Ruruka isn’t with the Remnants of Despair she believes that if they take him out this whole mess will stop (it’ll solve 50% of the problem, we still have to figure out who the traitor is). Seiko goes berserk and manages to break the glass using her bare hands and Ruruka escapes where she runs past Asahina fighting Juzo where mute girl returns and gives them a chance to run away. While this is all going on the blacksmith guy finds a hidden door and Kyosuke and Tengen talk where he reveals who he believes the traitor among them is (mute girl! Mute girl! Mute girl! Say it with me now) and Kyosuke has no choice but to believe him because Tengen’s restriction is that he can’t lie when answering a question. While Kyosuke thanks him for this, this deal won’t cause him to waver in his decision to use war to destroy despair and he finally kills Tengen with a sword slash across the neck but Tengen does manage to pierce his eye with a pipe. The time on their bracelets finally hits zero and everyone falls asleep where we see the person who died this time is Seiko (aww~ I really wanted her to live).
So in episode 6 we not only find out Seiko’s dead, but also Izayoi as well (now Ruruka has nothing). Back with Naegi, he finds out that Tengen is dead and begins to doubt himself but Asahina and even the Miaya impostor (mute girl) encourage him not to lose hope (don’t stop believing) telling him he doesn’t have to carry the burden alone. He has friends and the Future Foundation who would gladly help him (most of them. Some of them. A few of them. Who are your closest friends Naegi?). After calming down a little, Naegi comes to the conclusion that they don’t have to play the game, they can just escape the building and end this whole thing once and for all (you know, I was thinking that this whole time but I assumed all of you would of came to this realization sooner). In order to get out they need to contact somebody on the outside so they contact the person who can pretty much solve everything, Togami (best episode! Bringing back Togami, too sweet), where they explain the situation to them and he reveals that their whole event hasn’t been broadcasted at all meaning that Monokuma lied to them (of course he did. He’s the bad guy. That’s what they do). He also knows that the Miaya with them is a fake because his branch found the real Miaya dead but doesn’t tell Naegi out of fear of what will happen to them since he’s so close to the enemy (holy crap Togami is worried about Naegi. The respect and bromance is real). He says he’s on his way, but he still thinks that whoever is behind this had help and he believes that help is hiding in a city that Fukawa and Komaru (the sister of Naegi) are investigating. At the end of the episode we also get a shot of Izuru on Jabberwock Island as Togami’s ships are approaching and we get to hear the old OST (man they are hitting on all cylinders this episode. You know what, this might be bias but I’m giving them an automatic point for the old OST playing at the end as well as tying together all the other games. I appreciate what they did that much).
We start episode 7 with us finding who the girl controlling the robot Miaya is. Her name is Monoca former super elementary school level homeroom and leader of the Towa group who produce all the monokumas (so you’re the one responsible for the nightmares? I always thought it was Teddy Ruxpin behind the monokumas). We see that she was a big follower of Junko and after her death, Monoca’s influence slowly started to fade and she blames Naegi for it (well he did beat her) vowing revenge on him and the Future Foundation and somehow has inherit the will of Junko meaning there’s a little bit of Junko inside of her. We then cut to Komaru and Fukawa who are in the same city as Monoca trying to break into her building and shut her down. They fight against the monokumas and make it inside where they fall into Monoca’s trap where just when it seems like she has the advantage and is about to destroy them, she gives up (yeah, no bs, she gives up). She realizes that in the end no matter what she does or how hard she tries hope is gonna win in the end (you’re breaking the 4th wall Monoca). She also says she’s not the real mastermind behind this little game going on with Future Foundation, she just wanted to see Naegi up close and personal (she was not impressed to say the least). In the end she says she doesn’t care about hope or despair and decides to leave Earth and become a NEET in space (just so you know Amazon won’t deliver to you in space) but before leaving she tells them that someone who survived Junko’s survival game is going to die because of Naegi (oh please let it be Hakagure). After hearing this, Komaru and Fukawa use the remote controlled Miaya to tell Naegi and Togami what’s going on.
Not much to say about episode 8. Kyoko pretty much busts the case wide open and reveals who killed Izayoi and possibly the others. First off though Kizakura died saving Kyoko from falling down a pit and since his restriction is that he can’t open his left hand which he opened to save Kyoko the poison took effect and killed him. After this, Kyoko puts things together and figures out that the person who killed Izayoi was Ruruka who forced him to eat her sweets which was his restriction, he can’t eat anything. Why did she kill her boy toy you ask, it’s because he found the secret exit out of this crazy building. He tried to leave which would not be good for Ruruka because her restriction is that if anybody leaves she dies (so basically it was self-preservation instead of you know telling Izayoi the circumstances she’s in and trusting him to help her). Juzo tries to open the door as Ruruka tries to stop him while Kyoko and the other guy head out for some reason. As for Naegi and Asahina, they run into Kyosuke (looking petty badass with his torn up suit and everything) but before he can kill them he gets stopped by the robot Miaya who fights him while they get away. Togami finally arrives and puts everyone to work on blowing the door off of the building.
Episodes 9-12 and OVA
In episode 9 Juzo manages to get the door open but finds out it was all a trick because they’re in the ocean. Kyoko deduced that when they were knocked out someone dragged them down to the underground levels and put them in a room similar to the room they were already in (somebody went through that much effort to kill them?). This makes Kyoko think that Kyosuke might be the mastermind behind all of this since he was the guy who designed the building in the first place so he should have known something was off when they woke up. Speaking of Kyosuke we see he’s lost it and has started to develop this complex. He wants to become the embodiment of hope and will destroy everything in his path that hinders him from achieving his goal, even his friends. He meets back up with Juzo where he kills him and walks away like nothing (I’m beginning to think being nice and rational was his restriction. It would explain his actions so much). Ruruka holds herself up in a room and we see what really went down between her and Izayoi. It turns out she did tell Izayoi her restriction and he decided to seal the exit up and plant traps so that no one will find it meaning he wasn’t going to betray her at all (because he loves her). But despite all of this Ruruka still kills him because in her mind and past experience friends will betray each other and not wanting Izayoi to betray her she decides to betray him first and kill him. Naegi and Asahina meet back up with Kyoko just as time is about to run out for them. Before going to sleep Kyoko tells Naegi not to give up and to keep fighting (that’s the signal of a death flag). They all fall asleep and wake up where we see Ruruka was killed (damn, like somebody busted open a piñata. Well the good news is the death flag didn’t occur) and so is Kyoko (fuck~). It turns out her restriction was Naegi living pass round 4 and since she didn’t want to kill the guy she likes she choose to stay quiet. Kyosuke uses tthe PA system to speak to Naegi where he tells him to come and face him so that they can settle their differences once and for all.
Nothing much to say about episode 10. Naegi and Kyosuke finally face each other. Two men with ideals (one hope one batshit insane) finally facing off against each other. Naegi manages to get Kyosuke into a room with no way out except through a door and since Kyosuke’s restriction is that he can’t open doors he’s stuck inside with Naegi where he has no choice but to talk with Naegi (about his feelings and how he’s sad that the woman he loved fell into despair and he couldn’t do anything to save her). In the end Naegi wins and Asahina comes to reveal to everyone that she knows who the killer is.
In episode 11 Asahina using the notes of Kyoko to reveal who the real murderer is (even in death Kyoko solves everything). It turns out there is no killer, everyone is just committing suicide and it all has something to do with the monitors. Naegi decides to test this theory by tying himself up and standing next to a monitor while everyone else gets as far away from them as possible (try the bathroom. Actually, I don’t think I’ve seen a bathroom throughout this whole building). Once the time limit is up Naegi wakes up and the monitor begins playing a brainwashing video where Naegi is confronted by his dead classmates (well this is some class reunion) who haunt him and said he should have been the one to die (uh, half of you guys killed each other. Just saying). This video brainwashes Naegi that he almost kills himself until he gets saved by Juzo (how’d you live?) who snaps Naegi out of it. Naegi says they have to destroy all the monitors but Juzo says to hell with that and leaves (https://youtu.be/zP1fMJXwEtY). Once the others wake up they begin destroying the monitors and wonder who constructed this game in the first place to which Kyosuke says it was Tengen as he’s the only one besides him who has the authority to change up the monitors. As they discuss this, Juzo in his blood-dying state makes it to the power room and begins turning off the power (despite everything Kyosuke has done Juzo still remains loyal to him. Yep, love makes a fool out of you). Kyosuke rushes to the power room to see his friend and apologize but it’s too late. As soon as Juzo hits the last switch which allowed everyone’s wristbands to fall off he dies. Back with Naegi, he talks about the video with Ryota (care to explain this video Mr. Former High School Super Animator?) to which he reluctantly says he didn’t make the video it was all Junko and then he receives a text message from Tengen.
In the final episode we start off with a flashback where we see Yukizome hand Junko’s videos over to Tengen and also told him about Ryota’s animation brainwashing skills. Back in the present Naegi, Asahina, and Ryota open Tengen’s message which plays a video where he admits he willingly created this game. Filled with despair and shock, Ryota reveals that in the past he came across Junko (oh I bet that must have been an enjoyable experience) where she forced him to make that despair video and ran away. But now he’s tired of running away and reveals that he created a video of hope that has the same effects as the despair video however it’ll reprogram everyone’s minds to accept hope and nothing else. Naegi and Asahina say this is a bad idea because he’s forcing people to accept hope (that, and the whole without despair there can be no hope and vice-versa. Theory of Good and Evil, our choices have to have some spiritual meaning. If there’s no despair than what’s the point of having hope?). Ryota doesn’t listen to them and uses a brainwashing video on Asahina to restrain Naegi while he goes to broadcast his hope video to the world (man we’ve been spending all this time fighting despair and now we gotta fight hope. How the times have changed). Along the way Ryota brainwashes the soldiers and tells them to take out anyone who gets in his way (Ryota, are you a Remnant of Despair? I’m just saying, this seems like a very twisted thing to do). The soldiers are about to kill Naegi and Asahina but they get saved by Kyosuke who teams up with them to stop Ryota but they all get separated. Kyosuke acts as a distraction to give Naegi and Asahina a chance to pass the soldiers, Asahina gets shot in the leg and has to be left behind, Naegi gets cornered by the soldiers, and Ryota makes it to the broadcast room and uploads his video where it will air all over the world in 30 minutes (oh, and we also find out this was Tengen’s plan the whole time. He knew about Ryota’s skills and wanted to put him in a situation where he would see that the only way to stop despair was to force hope on people). Just when everything seems lost Naegi gets saved by the man himself Togami (yeah! Now we’re saved. Let’s just leave everything to him) and we end with a cliffhanger saying this story will continue in the hope arc.
A few days after the last episode aired we get the hope arc where everything wraps up nicely. Naegi and the others get saved by Hajime and the 77th class. Remember when Naegi said he found the Remnants of Despair and wanted to return them back to normal? He succeeded. He and Togami (and his money) stuck the Remnants of Despair in pods putting them in a virtual reality where they reformed thanks to the help of Nanami which they created because deep down they all wanted to see her again. They take out the brainwashed soldiers and all confront Ryota where they tell him he can’t keep running away from his past. He has to face it, accept his sins, and work to fix what he messed up (and you won’t be doing it alone kid, you’ve got classmates who’ll be right there with you). It takes a little convincing but they get to him and he stops his video from being uploaded (man that thing uploaded slow. Was Kyosuke too cheap to switch from dail-up?). They all take their leave disappearing off into the sunset on a ship and they release a video to the world saying they’re the ones responsible for the game of death taking the blame off of Hope Peak and helping them save face. Kyosuke takes his leave leaving everything in Naegi’s hands and we see that thanks to Mikan, Kyoko is alive (alright Naegi still has a chance to get laid). We end by fast forwarding several months into the future where hope has been restored in the world, a new Hope Peak Academy has been built (try not to let despair in this time) and Naegi is the principal with Kyoko as a teacher (make sure you two act professional at work).
So that was the Future arc and it wraps up everything on a good note. This is the ending that we wanted to see, our main characters overcoming the odds, winning in the end and letting hope reign supreme. While it’s an ending we wanted to see the anime lacks the charm of the first season. The characters aren’t all that memorable and the anime for the most part feels boring as a majority of the characters act stupid, irrational, and go on a pointless killing spree trying to kill each other when all they had to do was just sit down, stay calm, and just talk to each other to figure out what’s going on. That was probably the major fault of this season, there’s really no deep mystery that keeps us intrigued like the first season and no emotional attachment as well as we never get a chance to know these characters.
The animation is the same as the first season so not much has changed there accept for the real blood this time which I welcome and the music is still enjoyable and a good listen to.
Is it better than the last season
No, I think I liked the first season a little more than this one. It had a good mystery and interesting characters who I came to care for. This one didn’t have any of that.
The final score for Danganronpa: Future arc is a 6/10. While a lot of the anime feels unneeded it does give us closure on the series and ends on a good note. I do recommend you play the games or do some research on them before you check out these animes. Well now that the Future arc is done let’s take a look at the Despair arc.
(Shizuku): Uh boss you already did the Despair arc.
(Nitsuj): I did?
(Shizuku): Yeah. You got knocked on the head with a vase and passed out.
(Nitsuj): A vase? How?
(Seras): Apparently two idiots were working on a teleportation spell and you got caught in the line of fire.
(Nitsuj): I see. That hit must have gave me short-term memory loss. Well at least I finished up Danganronpa and can focus on something new. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj as Ani-ween continues, MUHAHAHAHAHAHA-
*a hornet’s nest falls into Nitsuj’s hands and out pops a bunch of hornets who attack him*
(Nitsuj): Ahhhhhhhh~! No! Not the hornets! Not the hornets! They’re in my eyes! They’re in my eyes!
(Shizuku): No they’re not.
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