I’m really excited with this newly broadcast anime, Danganronpa The Animation. I believe this anime adapts the Visual Novel game entitled Dangan Ronpa: Hope’s Academy and Despair’s Students. The story is about 15 students who is invited to the Hope’s Peak Academy, a prestigious school who accepts talented students. Before I go to deep, this review is based on episode 1-4 so if you guys haven’t watched that particular episodes you might want to stay clear of this review for a moment but I promise I will not reveal important or sensitive story plot. I will just tell you the general background story.
On that note, let’s get started. Makoto Naegi, a seemingly normal boy, got invited to Hope’s Peak Academy to enrolled as a student there. What he think that this new high school life would be full of hope turns out to be the reversed. On his first step to the school area, he is suddenly fell unconcious to found out that he is in somewhat a room which resides inside the classroom. A PA system sounds to tell him to go to the Gym at 8 o’clock.
There he finds out there are 14 other students who share the same fate as him. I’ll cut the introduction of character for you to find out yourself. Not long after that, a robot bear called Monokuma appears to tell them that they have been accepted to Hope’s Peak Academy. There are no time limit on graduating this particular high school but they are not able to leave the school premises. To only way to leave the school is they have to graduate and this is the interesting part.
To be able to graduate, a student has to be able to kill one of his colleagues and escape the guilty verdict during the Class Trial. Now, you probably wondering what Class Trial is. To make it short, a Class Trial is kind of the same as a regular court trial where all the students are gather up in a room that is set up to be similar to what a court trial would be. There, they would hold a discussion trying to convince or unravel who commits the murder. They have to come up with somekind of vote to accuse who commits the crime. If now you are asking, what is the benefit of knowing who the real killer is, there’s a convincing motivation for doing so.
Since Class Trial is a mandatory session that occurs whenever a murder takes place, students have to come up with a verdict. Not only that, if their verdict is wrong, all the students except the murderer will get a death penalty. However, if the verdict is true, then the murder will get the death penalty instead and the rest of the student will get to live another day. In other words, this anime is similar to Phoenix Wright but using life as a stake. Pretty interesting, huh?
Monokuma also plays an important role as the puppetmaster. To tell you the truth, he reminds me of that guy from Saw. He has a sick sense of joke and he is very crafty in giving people the motivation to commit murder. I will leave the methods he use to motivate the students into committing murder for you to watch but let’s say that Monokuma can push people to the corner in a very devilish way. And for that, I’m immediately hooked up to the anime. I even look at some gameplay chapter of the game from Youtube and it seems the anime focuses a lot more to the Class Trial events than the Everyday Life’s and Investigation phase. But I’m not against it since the Class Trial is the phase that makes me excited and reminds me of Phoenix Wright’s court scene.
I’m really curious on how they will be able to get out of the school. Will they succumb to the rule and be a murder or are there any alternative ways? Well, I guess time will tell.