‘Wow, that looks exactly how it did in the game, right down to the tasteless angle on Aoi. I wonder what else will be exactly like the game.’ Ahahahaa.

With the investigation of Maizono’s murder now over, it’s time for a fun game of pin the murder on the culprit, Dangan Ronpa style. …By which I mean, literally, Dangan Ronpa the Game style. More on that later.
Suspicion is heavily placed on Naegi due to Maizono’s place of death being his room – a few students are already eager to just declare him  guilty already and get the trial done with. Of course, choosing the wrong culprit will result in the death of everyone except the culprit, so Naegi needs to think fast to clear his name. It sure is a good thing they have a giant honking obvious clue in Maizono’s dying message!
But, what really went down that night? Was Maizono really the pure, innocent idol Naegi believed her to be?

Touko is worried about the gradually deterioating animation quality but I’m actually excited for it because Meduka Meguca is one of my favourite things ever.

Complaints aside, the stuff they do with Monobear is pretty golden.

Sakura with her teeny teacup is freaking adorable.

I’d been burningly curious as to how the anime was going to adapt the trial portions of the game. After all,  adaptions are a tricky thing. For the fast-paced Dangan Ronpa class trials, you would need to keep it exciting without the dialogue sounding too hokey. So what Dangan Ronpa the Animation does is……be Dangan Ronpa the Actual Damn Game. Seriously. I honestly can’t believe this, but the key trial parts are literally what you see in the game. The characters turn into 2D cutouts that spin around in a circle, the key phrases that can be ‘objected’ to literally come up in yellow and white text and Naegi literally yells YOU GOT THAT WRONG! as the Evidence Bullet flies out and destroys the letters. It’s pretty ridiculous and I really dont see the point in this. It’s more like some 12 episode commercial for the game that spoils everything about the game than a proper adaptation at this point. If I wanted to watch a trial that looked like a video game, I would, I dunno, play the Dangan Ronpa video game. Dammit guys the title is Dangan Ronpa the Animation. This should be adaptation 101. It’d be like a Tekken movie where all the characters have health bars floating over their heads during a fight. I keep trying to review this without mentioning the game so much but the anime is literally going out of its way to make this impossible. Granted, its difficult for me to really tell how this may look to someone unfamiliar with the game, or whether they were able to figure out the culprit easily enough – the clue is a giveaway, although the game does set this up as a tutorial case. The problem is it races through all the other evidene way too fast – and in the previous episode, there’s not really any sense of discovery or time given for viewers to think about what the evidence might mean (it was literally just HERES SOME EVIDENCE WE FOUND HERES SOME MORE). I guess I cant criticize it too much because its the first case and the show clearly wanted to get that over with as soon as possible, so heres hoping case 2 is better in this regard. (Given that its possibly my favourite trial in the whole damn game, it better be.)
I think the biggest ‘Really?’ moment for me was when they were realizing what actually happened during Maizono’s murder, and the ‘climax inference’ comic in the game  literally came up on the screen. At least animate the damn thing what the hell.
The only part of the game-trials that didn’t appear almost exactly as-is in the anime was what is referred to as Machine Gun Talk – a rhythm game that happens when a character (not necessarily the culprit) refuses to listen to Naegi. I’m actually disappointed that the courtroom did not in fact become a disco room for this part (I actually would have forgiven everything if this happened) although the music was the same. The execution scene is mostly the same – with some difference I noticed – it seems that it didn’t show much of Leon getting hit by the balls, which tuned down the violence a little. It’s probably the most brutal of the executions in my opinion, although I wonder if any of the others will be censored slightly.
There were some nice things in this episode though. I really like what the animation staff are doing with Monobear – he’s always doing something ridiculous, he has zany sound effects, and his entire personality just carried over really well. I also like the attention given to Sakura and Aoi. And it was nice that, even though they gave us barely any time to get to know him, we were really made to pity poor Leon – he breaks down completely after his guilty verdict and even tries to run from the courtroom (which I don’t think actually happened in the game).
I’m still enjoying seeing these characters move and talk (and am definitely going to even more so in the next ‘chapter’ ) – but I honestly feel bad for people who are experiencing the story for the first time in this way.

Chihiro is your face ok

Too bad so sad, Leon.

Well sucks to be you.

Out of 5,