In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc we are introduced to a world in which the concepts of Hope and Despair are at odds as opposed to the usual Good vs Evil debate. The premise for the game’s story opens up with you taking control of Makoto Naegi, a student of Hope’s Peak High School. Hope’s Peak is a school of elite students with extreme talents and each student is dubbed The Ultimate High School level of their respective talent.Makoto is the Ultimate High School level Luck, as he has no particular talent, but he was randomly selected to be a student of Hope’s Peak.

All of this sounds wonderful, until it is revealed Makoto has awoken trapped inside the school with 14 other students and their memories have been erased as to how they got there. This is alarming, but more so is the statements made by a robotic bear called Monokuma. Monokuma states he is the principle of Hope’s Peak High School and has brought Makoto and his fellow students that are present to play a game together. The game is called Mutual School Life of Killing, and the rules say that for any student to leave the school they must murder one of their classmates and not be found guilty in a class trial, but if they are caught they will then be executed themselves. So begins the true nature of Danganronpa.tumblr_inline_o82mkphpvu1scsbc2_1280

At first, all the students are hesitant and show no signs of being hostile. Makoto makes friends with a girl he remembers from middle school; Sayaka Maizano the Ultimate High School level Idol. After several days of no murders, Monokuma claims he will motivate the students to murder and calls them into a room with a monitor set up for each of them. Monokuma then shows them footage that he intends to break their minds, Makoto, for example, is shown evidence that his parents and younger sister have all been murdered. The students react in various ways from disbelief to mental breakdowns. This leads Sayaka to attempt to frame Makoto for the murder of their fellow student Leon, but this backfires as she is unable to overpower Leon and he instead kills her and attempts to frame Makoto. It is revealed who the true killer is, as Monokuma had previously instated a rule that if a student manages to escape being found out all the students would be killed instead. So the group is happy to not all be killed, while at the same time horrified at the sight of their classmate being executed.

This cycle of murder and execution continues until Monokuma himself attempts to bend rules to get rid of Makoto for standing against him, and Makoto manages to escape an execution and return to challenge Monokuma to a final battle with all or nothing stakes to free himself and his friends. Monokuma agrees that if Makoto can piece together the events that led to their captivity in the school he will let all the surviving students leave.During this Makoto and friends discover that the ral culprit behind their captivity is Junko Enoshima, a fellow student of theirs they believed to be killed by Monokuma.  Makoto and his friends manage to uncover the entire truth and are allowed to leave, although the events that transpired in the school may have been televised to a destroyed outside world, the remaining students agree to push forward together and walk off into a white light in the end. The only survivors from the first game include Makoto Naegi, Kyoko Kirigiri the Ultimate Detective, Byakuya Togami the Ultimate Affluent Prodigy, Toko Fukawa/ Genocider Sho the Ultimate Writer, Aoi Asahina the Ultimate Swimmer, and Yasuhiro Hagakure the Ultimate Fortune Teller.

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Daganronpa 2 starts out with a whole new cast of characters waking up on an island for a school trip being led by Usami; a stuffed pink bunny.  The members of the class don’t seem to know each other and spend their first bit on the island with introductions. The main character of the game Hajime Hinata keeps repeating that he has an uneasy feeling about the situation…which he very much should considering the game series he was put in. As he finally relaxes though and decides to take a break by playing in the ocean with his classmates the sky turns dark and an ominous voice tells them to come to the center of the island.

The voice turns out to be none other than Monokuma himself telling the gang of students that they are now in a killing game and their peaceful island paradise is all but ruined.  Usami tries to stand up to him, but is promptly beaten up and put into a more Monokuma styled design that she then cries over. The scene ends with a demonstration of Usami being killed VIA helicopter missiles throwing the class into a panicked state.  The next morning they all eat for breakfast and decide that none of them want to harm each other and begin a search for a way off the island. The search turns up an airport, but they quickly learn that all the engines have been removed from the planes. They quickly learn there is only one way off, playing Monokuma’s game and succeeding.

The killing soon starts with the first victim being the leader of the pack Togami being killed by Teru Teru the ultimate cook. The story takes a spin when during the trial it’s revealed that their classmate Nagito arranged the whole thing so the killing will start. After the trial, he is promptly tied up and left in the banquet hall where he can no longer cause any trouble. Regardless of their efforts though Monokuma sets up a motive that leads to the second murder of Mahiru the ultimate photographer by Peko the ultimate swordsman, due to her slight involvement of Fuyuhiko’s sister’s murder. Peko turns out to be Fuyuhiko’s underling and takes the murder for him trying to convince the class she is nothing but a tool so they will be killed setting Fuyuhiko free from the game. During her execution, she accidentally hit Fuyuhiko before getting killed sending him to the hospital on the third island where the next chapter takes place.

The next two chapters are all motive driven by Monokuma. The third chapter sees Mikan the ultimate Nurse murder Ibuki the ultimate musician and Hiyoko the ultimate dancer in a fit of despair inflicted by a virus that was released. Mikan reveals during her trial that the diseases made her regain her memories and she is actually an Ultimate Despair. The 4th chapter has everyone trapped in a funhouse by Monokuma and forbidden to eat. In the chapter, there is a game that can be played to gain access to weapons and the secret of the funhouse. The secret of the funhouse is a door that an attacker can use to traverse the two sides of it in secret in order to kill their victim. Gundham the Ultimate Breeder uses this tactic to face off against Nekomaru the Ultimate Team Leader, they both mutually agree to see who can kill who freeing their classmates from their fate of starving to death. During the investigation, however, Nagito beats the Dead Room game on hard mode granting him a special file revealing information from the past they can’t remember. This information leads into the final two chapters and helps Nagito locate the identity of the traitor that Monokuma has warned them about throughout the game.

The final chapters detail Nagito committing murder/suicide to frame everyone else, but leads traitor into being executed by Monokuma. Nagito set up his murder by filling a fire extinguisher with poison and relying on his ultimate Luck to get Chiaki, the Ultimate Gamer, to throw it. The class figures out that Chiaki is the traitor and has to face the fact that she along with Usami will be executed. They also learn the traitor was on there side and go into the final chapter where they learn the whole island is a simulation. The final boss turns out to be an A.I. version of Junko who informs them that the Future Foundation along with the survivors of the first game put them there to undo them from being Ultimate Despairs. They also learn that most of them led the world into destruction after being brainwashed by Junko and this was their chance to turn around, but thanks to Junko it had failed. The end leaves them stuck on the actual island from the game and all the murdered classmate in comas with the survivors Sonia ultimate Princess, Fuyuhiko ultimate Yakuza, Soda ultimate mechanic,  Akane the Ultimate Gymnast, and Hajime who turns out to be a reserve course student that was turned into a master of all talent named Izuru Kamakura, left on the island.

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Komaru Naegi, Makoto’s younger sister has been held captive in Towa City for over a year and a half completely unaware of the current state of the world. One day, a team from the Future Foundation led by Byakuya Togami come and rescue her only for her to be separated once again due to countless numbers of killer Monokumas. Komaru finds herself captured by five children calling themselves the “Warriors of Hope” led by a young manipulative girl known as Monaca. They plan on killing all adults, whom they call demons, and make a paradise for children which they were told to do from their “Big Sis” Junko. They soon place an explosive bracelet on Komaru and drop her in the middle of the city to play their twisted “Demon Hunting” game where the children will hunt her down.

Komaru meets up with Toko Fukawa, the former Killing School Life participant, and classmate to Makoto and Byakuya. They learn that Byakuya has been captured by the children and they must fight their way to defeat the Warriors of Hope and escape the city.

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Currently, in Daganronpa 3 all the events in the Despair arc and Future arc which are aired a few days apart from each other, go hand in hand.  The Despair arc is the past events that led to the close of Hopes’s Peak High school and detail the class from Danganronpa 2’s descent into despair as caused by Junko and her sister Mukuro.  The arc also details the sparks of conflict that some members of the Future Foundation who are trying to put the world back as it once was, have against each other.  The Despair arc has currently provided all the backstory of the series and has just shown the death of the real world Chiaki which sank almost every member of the class into despair aside from Mikan who was easily the first one afflicted by Junko. It also goes into detail how Chisa, the love interests of the antagonist from the future arc, Munakata, was turned into a despair via brainwashing and the Ultimate Animator’s hand in teaching Junko how to brainwash by accident. There also is a lot of hints to the fact that Nagito is more involved with the coming of Junko’s despair than was previously ever guessed in the series.

The Future arc has the top members of the future foundation trapped in their base together in a mutual killing game ran by Monokuma once again. The Future Arc starts with Makoto being put on trial by the leaders of the Future Foundation after his treasonous acts of allowing the former Despairs to live during Danganronpa 2. Before the trial can begin, everyone in the Future Foundation council room including Makoto, Asahina, and Kyoko are knocked out. When everyone wakes up, Monokuma appears on screen to announce that they will be part of another Killing Game but without class trials. Each person has a bracelet with a countdown till they are knocked out again via injection but a traitor amongst them will seek one of them out and kill them before everyone wakes up again. Also, the bracelet lists a restricted action for each person (i.g. Makoto cannot run in the hallways) and if they break it they will be injected with a deadly poison.

Most of the murders happen rather quickly and by the beggining of the second episode two members of the future Chisa, and Bandai die, one by murder the other by their forbidden action. Munakata kills another portion of the cast including Sakakura his underling and the chairman of the Future Foundation Tengan. Great Gozu is the second victim of the attacker after he saves Makoto from Munakata. The murders also wipe out the trio of students Ruruka, Seiko and Izayoi who had been kicked out of Hope’s Peak thanks to Nagito’s luck of post poning the exams. It is also revealed that Gekkogahara is being controlled by Monaca via remote control and has been dead for awhile. Kirigiri was also killed going into the shows finale thanks to her hidden action being tied to keeping Naegi alive. Currently they have stated they have found the attacker and are on their way to confront them.

 

 

 

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