Danganronpa is probably one of my all time favorite anime, so it was only natural I would do a review on it. However, the more I sat down and watched it, the more I wanted to do a more in detail review. This is why I have decided that I am going to break down my review of Danganronpa 3 into episodes, then I will probably do an overall review at the end. Which means there will certainly be spoilers, so don’t say there was no warning!
Despair Arc, Episode 1: Hello Again, Hope’s Peak High School
Episode one starts with the introduction of the 77th class’ homeroom teacher, Chisa Yukizome, sitting in a theater watching her death on the big screen. Her first words are “Bummer, it looks like I died”. She then goes on to explain that her class was the Remnants of Despair, but before they were her students. She then explains the Remnants set the world on fire. This arc is the lead in to the tragedy of Hope’s Peak High School. In short, it is the beginning of the biggest, most atrocious, despair inducing incident in human history.
Being that it is the first episode, we have to learn of all the characters. That is pretty much the entirety of the first episode. After the beginning credits, we are introduced to our Hope’s Peak faculty. We learn of our new teacher, Yukizome, our principal, Jin Kirigiri, and our school scouter and main teacher, Kizakura. At one point in time, all of these characters are very important.
While our main homeroom teacher is nursing a hangover, Yukizome takes over the class. When she enters the classroom, she does not receive a warm welcome. We are introduced to Hiyoko Saionji (Super High School Level Traditional Dancer), who threatens the teacher. Don’t worry though Yukizome doubled up on her health insurance before she took the job as a school teacher. Personally, this is one of my favorite parts. The delivery of it makes me laugh every time. I have to mention this now, I really wanted to like Hiyoko. However, her disgusting attitude, I couldn’t do it. I can not stand her. Then we meet Mahiru Koizumi (Super High School Level Photographer). She is very forgettable. I always find myself thinking “oh yeah, I forgot she was in this class. Which is strange because she actually plays an important role. Sonia Nevermind (Super High School Level Princess) is probably the only one who doesn’t give Yukizome a hard time. Then we have Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu (Super High School Level Gangster). He refuses to become friends with his classmates until Yukizome uses some force to show her dominance. Then finally he agrees to go after the rest of the class. Finally, late to class is Mikan Tsumiki (Super High School Level Nurse). Unfortunately for her, it is not a graceful entrance. She comes stumbling in and falls, ending up in a very compromising position. I will have you know this happens A LOT with Mikan. It’s a fan service thing I guess. After rallying the group, they head out to find the remaining members of the class.
First stop in the journey to gather the class is the boys’ bathroom. This is where they find Nekomaru Nidai, the Super High School Level Team Manager. For those who enjoy all their potty humor, well don’t worry they didn’t leave it out. Then heading to the kitchen, they wrangle up Teruteru Hanamura, the overly perverted Super High School Level Chef. Akane Owari, the Super High School Level Gymnast is located on the roof. The group uses Teruteru’s cooking to lure her down, where they essentially crucify her to take her back to class. She reminds me a lot of Hina from Danganronpa: The Animation. I think it is the love of food, and let’s be honest the overly large breasts. Sonia finds Kazuichi Soda, the Super High School Level Mechanic. He is so in love with her, it isn’t hard to bring him back to class. He will follow her anywhere. In the animal shed, they find Gundham Tanaka, the Super High School Level Breeder with his Dark Devas. I absolutely love his character. It is so off the wall, I never expected him to be a breeder. It makes him all that much more memorable. Heading to the music room, they hear the death metal from Ibuki Mioda, the Super High School Level Musician. What I didn’t understand was why death metal. I don’t think that is they type of music I would have chosen for the Ultimate Musician. Also, her personality after awhile gets on my nerves a little bit. She is easier to handle Hiyoko, but still there are times she is just TOO over the top for my liking. We find Peko Pekoyama, the Super High School Level Swordswoman in the Dojo. She easily goes with the class. Her excuse is that she just loses track of time easily. Finally, the entire group heads outside. Kazuichi doesn’t want to go because any time Nagito Komaeda, the Super High School Level Lucky Student, shows up everything goes wrong for him. In this case, Kazuichi gets hit by a truck, but Nagito gets an entire vending machine full of soda after the truck hits the vending machine. I don’t really know how I feel about Nagito. In the Despair arc, I don’t have an opinion, but in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair I love his character in a strange kind of way. Finally, Yukizome has the class stay and clean up the classroom while she rounds up the final two students. First she heads off the the studio of Ryota Mitarai, the Super High School Level Animator. He tries to escape, however, Yukizome easily outsmarts him and drags him to class. Finally, we meed Chiaki Nanami, the Super High School Level Gamer. She is by far my favorite character in Danganronpa 3.
This is also where we meet another very important character, Hijime Hinata. He is simply a student from the reserve course. The reserve course is a program for regular students with no talent. The catch however, is that the students pay astronomical fees to attend Hope’s Peak Academy. This is where Hijime’s inner struggle comes into play. He talks up the elite students and envies them. However, after a talk with Nanami, who bumps into him because she isn’t paying attention, he learns normal people have more freedom than those with talents. The elite’s lives are run by their talents. This becomes a long running issue for Hijime. He struggles with the choice of having talent or not.
At the end of this episode, we meet Kyosuke Munakata, the Former Super High School Level Student Council President. He is currently in charge of building a sister school to Hope’s Peak overseas. He is also Yukizome’s significant other. That is how the episode ends.
Overall, for a first episode, Hello Again, Hope’s Peak High School was a fantastic start to a series. It introduced characters in an exciting way. There wasn’t a single character that just showed up. The other great thing about this episode was the constant humor. The entire episode was a riot. From the beginning, when Yukizome knocked the wind out of herself just by hitting her chest to the introductions of everyone. I have always been a big fan of the Danganronpa story so to get back story of how everything happened. I certainly will continue to watch to see how the story unfolds.