Okay so before we go any further into this awesome finale of the Danganronpa anime series, you should be reminded that the show is just that – a series. We have the crazed black-and-white bear with the killer smile, Monokuma, who traps a bunch of talented high school kids together and has them Battle Royale each-other to death. The events of Danganronpa 3 take place after the video game the series is based on, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, for the Playstation.
So those of us who remember Makoto Naegi from the original series will find his familiar milksop never-ending hope springing back up again in the first half of the season. The animators of D3 did something incredibly clever, and I would bet back-breaking, with the finale season, splitting the show between the Future Arc storyline and Despair Arc storyline.
We begin with the future, which is technically the present. The world has seriously gone to hell in a handbasket, Monokuma-bots with terrible weapons are everywhere, and the Future Foundation has called a meeting which Makoto Naegi is forced to attend. The evil Enoshima Junko, the mastermind behind Monokuma and all his machinations, was roundly defeated by Naegi, that’s true. But the fact that he let Enoshima’s followers, the Remnants of Depair, go freely, has the Future Foundation highly suspicious of his motives. But before further accusations can be levied, Monokuma attacks the building to force the Future Foundation and everyone else inside to one final killing game!
Meanwhile, going on at the same time in a past timeline, we have Despair Arc, everything in the beginning that led to Enoshima’s diabolical plan and effectively, the beginning of the end, how we got here. Hope’s Peak Academy is the school that some secretive government peoples made, to train elite High Schoolers in their Ultimate Talents, whatever they may be. There is even the Reserve Course, for normals who want to pay a ridiculously high tuition fee to attend class with the other Elites. Chisa Yukizome is their new teacher, and she and her former classmates who are also Elites, have plans for her class at Hope’s Peak Academy. Enoshima Junko is unsurprisingly in the same class, and has all sorts of nasty plans of her own, ultimately leading to what is known in the past and the future as The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History that of course originated right here at Hope’s Peak Academy!
It’s very important, for the pace of storytelling and the manner in which the purported final chapter comes about, to watch the show in the original intended format of which it was aired. That is to say, watch the beginning of Future Arc first, then the first episode of Despair Arc, and continue on in that manner for the rest of the show – it’s fairly self-explanatory.
As for the actual pair of stories themselves, I think I enjoyed Despair Arc more than Future Arc, but then I usually like origin stories and I already got kind of tired of having to sit through Naegi’s special brand of always having hope while being singularly ineffective when it comes to physically saving the people he cares about. Despair Arc has more intrigue and you can really eat up the despair and the insanity of a burgeoning Enoshima too. That’s not to say giant robotic killer Monokuma in the Future Arc aren’t a literal blast, as well.
Keeping the same tone as every other Danganronpa video games and anime and stories, while at the same time giving a gritty if not semi-realistic backstory, in simultaneous animes no less, is a terrific feat for the folk at Danganronpa, and will be hard for anyone to top. While it’s a shame the anime seems to have finally ended, at least it went out with a giant crazed BANG!
Danganronpa 3 The End of Hope’s Peak Academy can be caught on Funimation!