SPOILERS!!! SPOILERS!!!!!!! SPOILERS!!!!!! SPOILERS!!!!! SPOILERS!!!!
Danganronpa 3 (Despair Arc) Episode 3: A Farewell to All Futures is one of the more serious episodes in this arc. It follows the reserve course students of class 1-A. As seen above, the reserve course students have no definitive features. The symbolism in this alone, I always thought it was clever. These students are always told they are not special nor important, so they don’t have their own features. Now, there are a couple reserve course student whom we do get to see the actual faces of; these students are Hijime Hinata, Natsume Kizakura, and Sato. As these characters are important to the story as well as our main characters, they recieve their own face (for lack of better words).
In the beginning of the episode, we meet Natsume Kizakura. If the last name doesn’t tell you already, she is the little sister of Fuyuhiko Kizakura, the Super High School Level Gangster. We learn that her goal is to get into the main course as the Super High School Level Little Sister. However, Sato, a girl who was is photography club with Mahiru and Natsume in middle school tells her that she is not talented and that is why she is in the reserve course. Natsume then reveals that if a spot opens up in the main course, they would let her in. She hints at the fact that she wants to murder Mahiru Koizumi to take her spot in the main course. This instantly results in a fight and threats are exchanged between Sato and Natsume.
We also get a conversation between Fuyuhiko and Peko about how Natsume is dangerous because she is unpredictable. Through this exchange it is learned that Peko and Fuyuhiko knew each other before they were placed in the same class, and are clearly close as Peko knows about Fuyuhiko’s little sister.
Hijime and Nanami are in their usual spots playing video games together. As Hijime is still obsessing over having a talent, Nanami tells him there is more to life than having talent. Making memories with others are what leads to hope. I feel this talk is the important lesson of the episode. It is so heartfelt, and to me it is amazing that such a dark show can have so many positive messages hidden within the darkness.
After his gaming session with Nanami, Hijime heads back to his classroom where he finds Sato and Natsume fighting again. Sato goes to smack Natsume when Hijime stops her from her strike. Immediately, Natsume states that Sato has officially signed her death warrant, as Sato promises to protect Mahiru no matter the repercussions. As Natsume storms off, Hijime decides to follow her.
It is in the hallways that we learn the true nature of Natsume. She is trying to hard to become part of the main course because she doesn’t want to be left behind by Fuyuhiko. She says that it is either you make the cut or you don’t. She tells Hijime that Fuyuhiko deserves the very best of everything. She wants to be the sister that he can be proud to have. She wants to be able to stand next to him, not have him looking down at her. Hijime then uses the conversation he had with Nanami to reiterate the point that talent is not important and she should be making memories with him instead of obsessing over having a talent.
The next day, Hijime walks to school when he notices the police are at the reserve building. He discovers that Natsume has been murdered. Later as he is walking to meet Nanami in their normal spot by the fountain, he overhears Mahiru and Sato talking. Mahiru asks Sato if she had anything to do with Natsume’s death. She says although she wanted to watch the life leave from her eyes, she was not responsible. When confronted by Hijime, she tells him that Natsume probably killed herself because she was a talentless harpy. Hijime informs Sato that it can’t be true as Natsume still had hope.
After their encounter, Sato quits showing up to school. On the fourth day of Sato no showing, it is revealed that her body was found. Hijime decides to go to the main building to talk to Mahiru about the turn of events, but is met with a road block when he approaches the front gate of the main building. It is here that he meets the head of security, the Former Super High School Level Boxer, Juzo Sakakura. When Hijime asks Sakakura what really happened, he is told that the official story is that Natsume was killed by an intruder and that Sato killed herself from the grief of losing a classmate. As Hijime begins to disagree with him, Sakakura, tells Hijime that his life is worthless and he is just a stepping stone for the Elites. Again, Hijime tries to convey the message that there is more to life than just talent. A fight between the two break out, as Sakakura begins to use excessive force to try to put Hijime back in his place, Ms. Yukizome appears and puts a stop to the fight.
After Hijime is sent back to the reserve building, Yukizome and Sakakura have a talk about his excessive behavior. It is in this conversation we learn that Sakakura was only trying to protect Hijime. He says Hijime was right, but he had to tell Hijime all those things because if he gets too close to the truth of the matter he will die. He then reminds Ms. Yukizome that the two of them are there for a purpose. They are there to explore the dark side of Hope’s Peak and she shouldn’t forget what her true mission is.
In the final moments, we are shown Hijime walking back to the reserve course building and when he arrives, he is met by Nanami. She is there to ask him to accompany her to the arcade where a new fighting game had just came out. He tells her that he has something he has to do and that she needs to make a lot of memories for him. As he walks away, his inner monologue tells us that he wants to be able to tell Nanami that he has a talent. He then brings himself before what I assume is the school board, where he agrees to take part in the Kamakura project.
Overall, this is a fantastic episode. Episode 3 gave me everything I wanted from a Danganronpa episode. It gave the darkness, despair, and hope all in one episode. I found myself hating Natsume in the beginning of the episode, as she seemed to be a very vile person. However, after learning her motivation I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for her. She was so desperate to make her brother proud that ultimately it was her downfall. Of course, watching Hijime agree to the project was also heartbreaking. I wanted nothing more than to watch the relationship between Nanami and Hijime grow. They are so darn cute. This episode was a very emotional one and I found myself upset through a lot of it. Nevertheless, it was a great combination of things that I have come to expect from Danganronpa. This episode is what made me want to continue to binge watch the despair arc as I wanted to see how the events of this episode alone would unfold. I will definitely continue the journey of Danganronpa 3: Goodbye Hope’s Peak High School.