Sorry this is nearly a whole week late; I’ve spent most of the week moving out and have been living in a hotel the past few days. Woah wait, its the last episode already?

Never mind how this happened.

So the biggest twist has been revealed – the mastermind was the real Junko Enoshima, who killed her sister who was pretending to be Junko Enoshima but was really Ikusaba Mukuro, back in the beginning. Although the clearly batshit Junko who gets off on despair told them that they needed to solve the mystery of the school, she seems pretty happy to basically explain everything to them anyway – how they lived at Hope’s Peak for a whole year peacefully until she bought about the Worst Most Despair-Inducing Incident In the History of Mankind, and then thought it would be funny if, after the Hope’s Peak students had converted their school into a bunker to keep them safe from the dystopian outside world, she wiped their memories of the past two years and got them all to kill each other. But even though she basically solved the mysteries for them, Junko is quite confident that she will win this last battle as she has just decided to change the rules again – this time, the students need to vote Junko as the ‘culprit’, in which case she will die and they can all go free into a terrible unsafe world without the security of the school, or Naegi, in which case he will be executed and the others must remain in the school forever. Of course, Naegi will only win if everyone votes against Junko – if a single person votes against Naegi it’s an automatic win for Junko. And after learning about the truth behind their predicament, that they had just lost two years of their lives and were forced to kill what had been, for two years, their friends, ‘hope’ isnt exactly running high in the courtroom. Luckily for Naegi, he’s not just Super Highschool Level Luck, he’s Super High School Level Hope itself.

uguuu

Dio Brando is also contagious.

dammit Hagakure

Oh Junko, you so crazy.

I was worried that this episode was going to be really rushed as per usual but, surprisingly, it actually wasn’t bad. It’s definitely condensed and stream-lined but it felt a lot less obvious than usual. Likely because the incredibly entertaining Junko carried the whole thing, with her bombastic presence and multiple personalities overshadowing everybody else in the entire episode. (With help from her boobs, of course, which the camera pays a lot of attention to.)
The climactic point in which Naegi’s evidence bullets become hope bullets that shoot down the despair of his comrades was, as expected, almost delightfully corny (especially the giant one he shoots at Junko.) The whole thing came across as a lot more ridiculous than the game but it was still pretty fun to watch.

Engaging as Junko may be, I still couldn’t help finding her a little flatter than the game Junko; since a lot of her rambling was cut for time. Granted, her characterization came across better than most of the other characters, which is pretty damn sad actually.

aww :C

‘I-IT’S NOT LIKE YOU JUST SAVED ME FROM SUCCUMBING TO DESPAIR OR ANYTHING, BAKA’

‘hope and deranged schoolgirl serial killers with prehensile tongues’

Shine on, Junko, you crazy blood-soaked diamond.

Out of 5,
melonmelonmelon

Final thoughts

Video games very rarely make good anime and Dangan Ronpa the Animation is exhibit A. I don’t know whose idea it was to cram the entire games storyline into 13 episodes but it was a terrible decision as it needed double that amount. What we got here was not so much an adaptation as ‘Dangan Ronpa Lite’, an abridged series which is more like animated dot points of the main plot points, or, as I said before, a 13 episode commercial for the game. I think it’s a real shame that so many people experienced the story like this for the first time; the twists and buildups are infinitely better and more satisfying in the game.
But the biggest problem the anime had was rushing through everything and sacrificing characterization for brevity. What makes the game so popular and engaging is its characters, who make it so much more than just a sequence of murders and hackneyed mystery solving. Removing the characterization reduced most of the characters to flat stereotypes, making it hard to get attached to or sympathize with any of them, and some of the most touching bonds went out the window (So I’m glad that Aoi and Sakura’s beautiful friendship made it through mostly in tact!) And if you love the DR characters as much as I do…it’s a giant shame is what it is, and I am still pissed about what they did to Chihiro.
The lackluster animation and complete lack of effort in trying to make it an actual anime capable of standing on its own (putting the game mechanics in, really? Not to mention the direct ripped, not-even-remixes music) is just the icing on the disappointment cake.
 If you watched the DR anime blind and did actually enjoy it, please play the game (whether you play the Japanese PSP version, the iPhone port, the English version coming out next year or the Let’s Play courtesy of orenronen on Something Awful) because I can guarantee you’ll like the things you missed even more. It’s a shame the game’s twists are spoiled for you though.
This episode ends with a teaser for a potential Super Dangan Ronpa 2 anime, which doesn’t excite me at all if the first game’s anime is anything to go by. (especially since DR2 is even longer and would suffer far more from dumbing down the plot, so unless they do make it at least 26 episodes it is 100% guaranteed to be completely awful.)
I tried to come up with some good things to say about the anime but… there really isn’t much, aside from seeing the characters move and allowing more merchandise. It’s not the worst adaptation I’ve seen and it didn’t make me angry to the extent that certain other anime adaptations have in the past, but in all, it was a huge disappointment for me.

melon1/2

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