As always, there are SPOILERS!
After the trial in which Celes is found guilty and executed, Naegi accidentally stumbles upon a strange scene: Sakura and Monobear are battling it out?! The next day, the fourth floor of the school has opened up, and the remaining students once again quickly search it. However, a few rooms appear to be locked, such as the Principal’s Office. After Hagakure suggests just breaking it down, Monobear quickly implements a new rule: that it’s prohibited for the students to break down any locked doors. This of course just arouses the students’ suspicions more, as Monobear must be hiding something to take such extreme measures.
After a quick visit to Alter Ego, in which the program reveals some new information about the school and the possibility that the Principal might still be alive and within the confines of the school; Monobear once again calls for a meeting in the gym. This time, Monobear just gets straight to the point and reveals something that Naegi had been suspecting since last night: that Sakura was working as an agent under Monobear. Upon hearing this, Hagakure, Fukawa, and Togami are quick to turn on Sakura, with Aoi being the only one to defend her. After Sakura leaves the gym alone, Aoi and Togami get into a heated argument ending with Aoi slapping Togami. Kirigiri quickly puts a stop to the fighting, warning Togami not to dismiss others’ emotions so quickly.
The next day, another argument breaks out, this time between Aoi and Fukawa. Aoi ends up getting slightly hurt after Fukawa transforms into Syo, resulting in Naegi and Hagakure having to take her to the nurse’s office. Sakura ends up seeing this and becomes enraged, saying that she’ll “settle matters.” Not long after that, Kirigiri calls Naegi to come with her to see Alter Ego. Alter Ego requests that they connect him to the school’s network. It’s very risky as the Mastermind might end up finding out about Alter Ego, but he nonetheless wants to do this so he can help break the students out of the school. Naegi personally volunteers and takes Alter Ego to the secret room in the boy’s bathroom on the second floor, which is one of the few points where Alter Ego can connect to the network.
The next day, Naegi, Kirigiri, and Aoi find Sakura motionless in a locked room. After Naegi breaks through the door’s glass to unlock it, they quickly find out that Sakura is… dead. It’s a locked room mystery. Aoi, obviously in shock, goes out to find the others, while Kirigiri calmly examines Sakura’s body. After the remaining living students are assembled, Aoi immediately accuses Hagakure, Fukawa, and Togami of being the suspects as they had all been called out by Sakura earlier. Thus, they were the last three people to see Sakura alive.
I am getting really tired of getting the pre-trial episodes because holy cow look at that summary. As much as I try to summarize things, there’s just SO MUCH story that gets mentioned in these pre-trial episodes.
It’s been a while since I last read the Dangan Ronpa LP on Something Awful, but I think this episode at least summarized important plot points pretty well. And unlike the other episodes, at least it showed how strong Sakura and Aoi’s relationship was; unlike Chihiro’s murder where Chihiro’s relationship with Mondo wasn’t even really addressed. Still, if you hadn’t been paying attention to the subtle signs that Sakura and Aoi were hanging out a lot, then it might be surprising to have Aoi suddenly declare that Sakura is her best friend. The game makes this out to be a lot more obvious, as there are a few points in the game (before this chapter) where Sakura is highly defensive over Aoi when she gets teased and whatnot. Kind of sad though that it took until we got down to less than half the cast for some good character interaction to finally appear in the series.
Once again, clues are rushed through at a breakneck pace. But at least they showed Kirigiri actually examining the body which is… something I guess? I feel pretty much neutral about all the cases in Dangan Ronpa (don’t really have a favorite but don’t hate any of them either) but I just found this episode to be really dull for some reason? I guess it’s just that there was so much info thrown at us—that stuff can get a bit overwhelming and I found myself spacing out at times. It’s a good thing I already knew about all this beforehand because I know so much information can be hard to process all at once; especially at this fast a pace.
Anyway, I don’t really have much more to say about this episode. It does a decent job of summarizing things, and there are some things it does well compared to past episodes. Still, the fast pace of the anime really leaves a lot to be desired.
Out of five for this episode:
Annnnnnd Moeronpan gets yet another trial episode! (I’m so sorry)