I’m screaming. I’ve been screaming for a while, and it’s all because of this trailer.
Outside of Free!, I’m not sure that there’s any series that I have fallen so hard or so fast for as Dangan Ronpa. I’ve already done a couple fanfiction posts on it as well as a Manga Mondays and I have more posts planned as long as I keep myself from devolving into typical fangirl babbling. This trailer however, I hate and love.
On the outside, Dangan Ronpa is a game about kids murdering each other under various circumstances. However, should you choose to look a little closer, the game contains a slew of important issues that the fandom has more than picked up on and discussed. From exalting Sakura’s femininity, which is expressed in a physique that lies outside of the stereotypical female body shape, to Fukawa’s neurosis, caused by many layers of abuse, the game offers up snippets of deep characterization. Unfortunately, since at the end of the day it is a game about kids murdering each other, there’s not a lot of time to go over every important issue. One specific topic that’s overlooked almost entirely is the representation of one Chihiro Fujisaki’s gender.
I think one of the hallmarks of a good series is when you become so interested in the characters that you start wondering what their lives were like before their current canon situation. I’m not talking about AU things either, I mean the more than likely mundane grind of schooling, hanging with friends, or whatever it is that fits the setting. With a series like Dangan Ronpa, it’s not too hard of a stretch to imagine what the main fifteen characters would be doing—they are students, after all—but the interest there is in how they deal with their lives.
To be honest, right now, I’m talking about one character in particular. My favorite character. Touko Fukawa.
Somehow, someway I’ve allowed myself to become addicted to another series, a series that I’ve been trying to avoid for so long. I can’t escape from the Dang ‘Ol Ropes. Can’t block out the Dangit Grandpas. Can’t resist that Darling Roomba. With as many ways to say it as Benedict Cumberbatch’s name, Dangan Ronpa has taken the internet by its throat and has refused to let go until we’re all in a state of delicious despair.
The quirky series takes place at the esteemed Hope’s Peak Academy, famous for its students being the hope of the nation and continuing on to something amazing after their graduation. To be invited to the academy means that you’re truly amazing at something, a personification of a certain feat. This extraordinary skill level is helpfully called one’s “Super High School Level”. However, protagonist Makoto Naegi doesn’t feel very special. His super high school level is “Super High School Level Good Luck”, which means he was chosen at random from every student in Japan to attend. After gathering the courage to walk inside the academy, Naegi is suddenly faced with a blackout. When he comes to, he finds he’s in the building without recollection of how he got to the desk he was sleeping on. Investigating the halls, he comes face to face with the other fourteen students of Hope’s Peak Academy who also have no recollection of how they got inside the building. Not the best way to start the first day of school.