Danganronpa: The Animation – 11

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Before the students can confirm the identity of the body they presume to be Ikusaba, the classroom trial abruptly begins. Narrowing the timeline, Togami accuses the long-absent Kirigiri as the culprit, but Kirigiri turns suspicion upon Naegi. Monokuma calls for a vote, and Naegi protests. He’s voted guilty and sent to be execution, but Alter Ego hacks the system and saves him. He still falls into the garbage-filled basement, where Kirigiri saves him. After climbing to the top, they confront Monobear, who introduces a new challenge: the remaining students will win if they can discover all of the school’s mysteries.

The mastermind is all about despair. The whole intent “high school life of mutual killing” project is to put the students in a state of abject despair from which there is no escape, before killing them off. But as of recently, the project has stalled. The last student to die wasn’t a murder, but a suicide, and of Monobear’s agent, no less. The remaining six students aren’t in any hurry to kill each other, another student’s digital alter ego continues to cause trouble, the super-duper detective is regaining her memories, and perhaps most damaging to his plans, Naegi absolutely won’t give up hope, and his optimism is proving contagious.

Apparently the mastermind thought to eliminate Naegi by having Ikusaba murder him, then frame it on Kirigiri. But Ikusaba ends up dead (by Kirigiri’s hand? Who knows…), and even when Naegi is convicted and sentenced, he manages to escape death, and with Kirigiri’s help, emerges more hopeful and fired up than ever. Unable to bend more rules to get his way for fear of angering the reality TV audiences, and fairly convinced more mutual student killings aren’t on the horizon, Monobear/the mastermind decides to put everything on the line hoping his myriad secrets are safe from the students. That’s right, it’s come to this: the despair junkie himself, relying on hope.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Nice use of the Droste Effect at the beginning of the episode. We love us som Droste.
  • Naegi survives quite a fall! His execution scene is quite creepy (well, they all are).
  • Kirigiri Kyouko: even with a noodle cup and naruto in her hair, she still looks dignified as hell.
  • As Naegi says, it’s really no surprise Kirigiri’s title is detective, considering her actions throughout the ordeal.
  • We still don’t know who killed Ikusaba, or even if that was Ikusaba. If she’s still alive, will we ever see her face?
  • It’s interesting to note that of the remaining students, none seem likely to commit a murder, and thus haven’t: Fukuwa is too scared; Syo is too obvious; Togami is too pragmatic; Aoi is too nice; Hagakure is too dumb; Kirigiri is too righteous, and Naegi is too…Naegi.
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Danganronpa: The Animation – 10

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The surviving students reach the fifth floor, and Fukawa finds a knife, which is entrusted to Naegi. Kirigiri asks him to distract Monobear while she uses his key to investigate things. In the night Naegi wakes to find a masked figure looming with the knife, followed by Kirigiri. The next morning the class finds Monokuma in pieces. Fukawa finds a masked body in the garden, stabbed by the knife Naegi lost. Beside it is the key to data processing room containing cameras and monitors. A new Monobear arrives, telling them they’ve been on a live online reality show all along. Kirigiri returns identifying the dead body as Ikusaba Mukuro.

The one student who least comes off as a caricature is and has always been Kirigiri Kyouko, and that’s not an accident. She’s the only one whose “super-duper” specialty remains unknown, and she’s always going on like she knows a lot more than she’s saying to anyone, including Naegi, whose unspecific, dull but decent nature is the easiest to connect with. Like Naegi, we’ve more often than not given her the benefit of the doubt and trusted her despite her penchant for secrecy. Also, she’s never been proactively hostile to anyone, nor shown Naegi anything but courtesy and even a certain bonhomie: we tend to trust people who are willing to trust us.

Clearly, Kirigiri has been busy throughout the run of this series, but mostly in the shadows. To our knowledge, she’s never been on the wrong side of a trial either, in terms of suspecting the wrong person as a culprit. But so much in this episode points to her as the killer of the mystery masked person whose face was burnt beyond recognition. Naegi saw this person with his knife, then sees Kirigiri, and then that person ends up with that same knife in her(?) back. Those scnes and her extended absence make her a prime suspect. And yet, can she even be tried and executed for killing someone nobody else knew existed?

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • This season features not one but two instances of animatronic stuffed animals filling in for their human controllers: Chief Momoi in Servant x Service, and Monobear, whom we see disassembled for the first time.
  • Naegi makes Kirigiri pinky swear. Get a room, you too!
  • Monobear’s spiel about authorities shrugging off a reality TV show about high schoolers killing each other struck us as farfetched, but then we still don’t know the full scope of the mastermind’s power. Maybe, like Biff Tannen in the Bad Future, HE OWNS THE POLICE.
  • We’re not a fan of her huge tongue (what’s with that, anyway?) but we do love it when Fukawa suddenly switches to Genocider. Sawashiro Miyuki sells the crazy well
  • As for Fukawa herself, she’s actually a pretty sympathetic figure when it comes to how much she’s obsessed with Byakuya…and how shittily he treats her.
  • “It’s safe to assume that the victim was killed by the knife stabbed in the chest.” That’s crazy talk!