A common sight in modern-day Japan
It was obvious from the very beginning that this was going to be the case, but wooooooooooooow this series is SO RUSHED. On one hand I still enjoy it because it's still true to the story and atmosphere of the game (which I loved), but on the other hand I watch these episodes and the events I was looking forward to seeing animated are justwell, there's nothing special about them. They're copied directly from the game, and the impact of every major event is lost since there hasn't been any of the proper build-up. I can still see the show being enjoyable in some ways for newcomers, but when it comes to the series' clever characterization, sense of mystery, and the weight of its plot twists-none of it comes across very well when all the details are stripped away from every scene.
It's hard to judge an anime in this situation-Dangan Ronpa really needed to be two seasons in my opinion. And not just for the sake of including more details from the game-having more screentime to work with could have allowed the anime team to try being a little more creative with adapting the story into its new medium in general. I'm generally fine with a story being changed when it's moved from a more text-based format to an entirely visual one-changes are in fact quite necessary in many instances. But in this case I feel the anime team is too restricted by time in what they can do because there are just so many important events that can't be left out in order for the trials make any semblance of sense.
I guess the bottom line is I was really looking forward to the trial in ep 3, and several of the events in ep 4 were particular favorites of mine in the game-but none of it resonated with me much in this anime. There are nice moments still, and it is overall a fun experiencebut at the end of the day the only piece of analysis I can think to write about is "holy crap this is way too fast-paced, and I can't even be particularly upset about it because there technically are only 13 eps for this series to work with."
It's hard to think of much else to blog about at this point, so I'm considering shifting gears to another series for summer. Or maybe doing a thing where I go back and forth between this show and another one. I probably won't drop Dangan Ronpa entirely, but posts might be more sporadic, and most of my thoughts might just be saved for a final review.
Togami is still the best character though.
Ep 3 - The first trial is held, and it turns out super baseball player Kuwata is the one who killed Maizono. It was Maizono's plan to kill someone and frame Naegi in order to graduate, but unfortunately for her the plan backfired. Kuwata is executed, and Naegi later speaks with Kirigiri, who notes that Maizono did have her hesitations and managed to write the message in blood to keep Naegi from being the one deemed guilty.
Ep 4 - A new area in the school opens up, including a library, pool, and weight rooms. Super elite Togami makes use of the resources in the library, including information regarding a Genocider Syo. His determination to win the survival game upsets gang leader Oowada, leading to a scuffle between him and super hall monitor Ishimaru. The whole ordeal is enough to bring super programmer Fujisaki to tears. Fortunately, Oowada and Ishimaru manage to become good friends after a hot-blooded duel to see who could survive the longest in the sauna room.
Monobear offers a new incentive for the murdering game: if nobody kills someone within the next day, Monobear will let the entire world know all about everyone's deepest secret or embarrassment-and he hands out letters showing that he indeed does have this personal information for each student. Naegi doesn't expect anyone to kill for something like that (his own secret referring to childhood bed-wetting), but tragedy indeed strikes again when Fujisaki is found dead in the girls' weight room and hanging in a crucified position with an extension cord, accompanied by a message in blood: Blood Bath Fever, the message always left by famous serial killer Genocider Syo. Much of Naegi's investigation is directed by Togami, who appears to have been given a promise by super author Fukawa-a self-deprecating and panic-stricken girl infatuated with Togami, and apparently holds a secret related to Genocider Syo. And with that, it is time for the next trial to begin.
I did consider writing about all the many details the anime left out from the game-particularly those that made each of the characters much more three-dimensional-but I feel that's a bit pointless. If you're interested in getting the full experience, you can play the game for yourself. (At the moment you can buy a Japanese version of the PSP game and then download a fan-made patch to translate it into English. But if you're fine with waiting a bit, there will be an official Vita release of the game in English at the start of next year.)
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