Warning! All spoilers below are unmarked.
It's virtually impossible to list tropes for these characters without spoiling everything or creating Self Fulfilling Spoilers
because of the large amount of surprising reveals and murderer/victim exclusive tropes this game contains.
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The Students Collectively
Tropes applying to the 16 students
- Artistic Age: All the students bar Yasuhiro are supposed to all be around the same age, but certainly don't look that. It gets rather blatant when photos of everyone around two years ago are shown and yet none of them have appeared to age.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Some deviate from this, but for the most part everyone looks exactly like what they are.
- Blood Brothers: Kiyotaka and Mondo.
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Makoto and Kyoko are a Gender Flipped version. She's mistrustful by nature and keeps her emotions to herself while Makoto wears them on his sleeve, and is incredibly trusting. To say that the sheer depth of his kindness catches her off-guard would be an understatement.
- Color-Coded Characters: Minor example. As each student introduces himself/herself, there's a different colored background behind each of them. Here's a list:
- Makoto Naegi - Black (no introduction screen, but that's the background when we first see him); Orange (in the animation)
- Kiyotaka Ishimaru - Dark Blue
- Touko Fukawa - Violet
- Sayaka Maizono - Pink
- Leon Kuwata - Gold
- Hifumi Yamada - Magenta
- Aoi Asahina - Yellow
- Chihiro Fujisaki - Light Green
- Kyouko Kirigiri - Purple
- Junko Enoshima - Red-Violet
- Mondo Oowada - Red
- Sakura Oogami - Brown
- Byakuya Togami - Light Blue
- Yasuhiro Hagakure - Dark Green
- Celestia Ludenberg – Crimson
- Dwindling Party: Fifteen students in a school where the only way out is through murder. Surely no one will take Monokuma up on his offer of graduation!
- Four Philosophy Ensemble: The survivors (besides Makoto, who, impartial as he is, drifts between several) can be loosely fit into these outlooks.
- The Cynic: Byakuya
- The Optimist: Aoi
- The Realist: Kyoko
- The Apathetic: Yasuhiro
- The Conflicted: Toko
- Freudian Trio: Though they aren't always in conflict, three characters roughly correspond to this:
- The Spock: Byakuya (thinks that emotions are a waste of energy that distract from cold logic)
- The Kirk: Makoto (can be very emotional, but he never allows them cloud his judgement)
- The McCoy: Aoi (is more guided by her feelings than most, and has a number of kneejerk-reactions that get her believing all-too-quickly in the most obvious culprit)
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: If you count Monokuma as "male", then you've got him, seven male students, and eight female students. Even at the end, this trope applies. One of the girls turns out to be a crossdresser, and the hidden sixteenth student (who's the one who's been controlling Monokuma from the start) is a girl. So, that leaves eight boys and eight girls.
- Genre Blind: Most of the students try to remain hopeful that there won't be any murders - or any more murders - in a murder mystery game. Of course, they're trying to avoid falling into despair like Monokuma wants.
- A House Divided: The nature of Monokuma's game has this effect, as you can't be certain who's going to try to graduate, especially with people like Togami, who doesn't even pretend to cooperate with the others (Ironic, given he survives). Monokuma later invokes this in Chapter 4's motive, by revealing The Mole's identity.
- Last Name Basis: Almost all of the students call each other with their surnames in the original game, including Monokuma. With some exceptions: Hifumi uses Full-Name Basis instead, Toko/Genocider Syo calls Byakuya by his first name, Syo calls others by nicknames based of their first names, Aoi calls Sakura by her first name, and Celestia is generally called Celes(te).
- Limited Wardrobe: Despite being locked up in a boarding school for at least a month, none of the students ever change their outfit.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Kyoko and Makoto are seen as such by fans. Neither one looks at all androgynous or behaves in explicitly cross-gender ways, but Kyoko is more proactive and emotionally distant, while Makoto is more passive and provides emotional support to others, the opposite of expected social norms for the genders. Thus the joke that Makoto is the heroine.
- Meaningful Name: A fair amount of characters have names which give some indicator of their personality.
- Makoto means "truth" (which reflects his role as the detective or "truth finder" in the trials), Naegi means "sapling" (perhaps to emphasize his "herbivore" nature).
- Sayaka Maizono means 'bright garden of dance' (which suits her "Ultimate Pop Sensation" appellation).
- Kirigiri is composed of the characters meaning "fog cutter" (indicative of her role in the trials).
- Fukawa is made up of the characters "rotten" and "river" (the "fu" is the same character in "fujoshi").
- Ogami means "large deity" (she is very large in size, and the strongest fighter).
- Mukuro Ikusaba probably has the most telling name in that Ikusaba is composed of the characters of "war" and "blade" while Mukuro means "corpse."
- During a free time event in the original translation, Leon mentions sharing his surname with a well-known singer and baseball player. The localization changes this to a Beatles reference.
- "Celes" is the name of one of the heroines in Final Fantasy VI, appropriate for someone who ends up associating with Hifumi the fanboy.
- The best friends Aoi Asahina and Sakura Ogami both have flower names—hollyhocks and cherry blossoms, respectively.
- Sakura Ogami and Mondo Owada are two of the largest and physically strongest members of the cast (Sakura, in fact, has been declared the strongest person in the world); in both cases the "O" in their surname is the kanji for "large."
- Older Than They Look: The players/viewers are lead to believe that the students are all first year high school students, aged 15-16, and the students themselves believe they are 15. However, it is revealed in Chapter 6 that they had been at Hope's Peak for two years as students before the start of the game and their memories as students were erased, meaning they are actually the ages of third year high school students; 17-18, with the exception of Yasuhiro, who is 20/22 throughout the game, as he failed two or three grades.
- Pair the Spares:
- Spoofed in a tie-in Yonkoma, in which Celeste concludes that if she doesn't do something fast, she's going to end up with Yasuhiro◊.
- In a meta example, all the students bar Yasuhiro are paired up in official artwork. More precisely, the duos are:
- Makoto and Kyoko.
- Byakuya and Toko/Syo.
- Sayaka and Leon.
- Aoi and Sakura.
- Chihiro, Mondo and Kiyotaka.
- Celeste and Hifumi.
- Junko and Mukuro.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Byakuya and Syo.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: All of the characters keep wearing the clothes they arrived in throughout the game, which means this trope for everybody who showed up in their junior high uniforms - Sayaka, Sakura, Toko, and Kiyotaka. Makoto and Yasuhiro also seem to be wearing their uniform jackets over their street clothes. This is a particularly odd example as all of the characters have long since graduated from the schools their uniforms came from; nobody wears an actual Hope's Peak uniform except in photos from previous school years. Justified for Kiyotaka, since he states in a Free Time event that he has several copies of the outfit he's wearing.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: The students have a tendency to get sidetracked by small tangents marginally related to the task at hand, or snarking at each other when someone makes stupid addition to the conversation (which itself tends to develop into another conversation). It gets lampshaded by Yasuhiro when Byakuya joins the main group in chapter 5, with his no-nonsense attitude flying in the face of how they never get straight to the point (though he ironically falls into the same trap inside that conversation too).
- She's Got Legs: Many female characters wear ridiculously short skirts. Due to the way sprites are viewed, though, this isn't very noticeable except in trial scenes.
- Ship Tease:
- Aoi and Sakura are teased practically out of the gate. They band together apparently due to their shared athletic interests; after the beginning of the game they're never seen separately, except when they deliberately split up to accomplish a task. Aoi refers to Sakura as "Sakura-chan", which would be standard, except that nobody else calls her this; most refer to Sakura as "Oogami-san" or some variant (Yasuhiro even calls her "the Ogre"), making "Sakura-chan" a deliberate display of affection. Sakura reacts very strongly when Toko/Genocider Syo starts making disturbing sexual comments towards Aoi, becoming so threatening that Aoi at one point worries she might actually attack Toko/Syo in Aoi's defense. And of course, there's Aoi's reaction to Sakura's suicide, and her continual references to her feelings for Sakura throughout the game afterwards — she looks towards memories of what "Sakura-chan" would do or say, and the memory of Sakura's death, as motivation for herself not to lose hope and make Sakura's efforts meaningless.
- Kiyotaka and Mondo develop a seriously intense bond. Of course, this could be interpreted as a bond of "brotherhood", but the fact that Kiyotaka was willing to condemn everyone — including himself to spare Mondo's life is definitely indicatively of something; and he completely shuts down after the execution, wandering around aimlessly and not responding when prior to this he has been extremely vocal and driven. Official artwork also shows Kiyotaka and Mondo together in "peculiar" situations. For instance, Kiyotaka nitpicking Mondo's messy eating habits and tying his scarf for him, Mondo cheering Kiyotaka on during an athletic competition, Kiyotaka putting his small white jacket on Mondo while the biker is asleep, and etc. It's also interesting to note that, taking both Kiyotaka's own Friendless Background and the events of the manga's fourth chapter, Mondo might be Kiyotaka's first real, close friend. Kiyotaka also isn't fully aware of how to make friends as seen from his free time events, so to Kiyotaka, these are what he believes are normal signs of affection.
- Makoto, despite not being a classical Chick Magnet, doesn't do so bad in this game.
- Makoto and Sayaka start out with lots of teasing. Sayaka says that Makoto is saving her by being around her. She even calls herself his assistant. She also says that in middle school, she always wanted to talk to him and was always looking at him. This may be subverted though, given that Sayaka planned to pin her murder on Makoto, plus she's the first victim.
- Makoto and Kyoko start some major teasing after chapter 2. Kyoko and Makoto are the ones that generally lead the trials and work together to solve the crimes. Kyoko confides only with Makoto and only asks for Makoto's help. Aoi, Yasuhiro and Monokuma seems to think the two are dating and in Chapter 3 when Makoto defends Kyoko, Byakuya says, "Don’t tell me you’re in love with her". After Makoto keeps a secret from Kyoko, she ignores him for three whole days, while making snide comments about him in the company of others. She only starts talking to him after the secret is revealed and she could understand his reason for doing so. She even blushes when saying sorry. Not trusting Kyoko during a crucial moment in Chapter 5 will get you the Bad Ending. After Makoto is nearly executed, she personally comes to rescue him. At the end, she even says she looks forward to the future, if people like Makoto are with her. And then there's her free time events. Spending time with her can prompt her to admit with a slight blush her growing interest in Makoto. In her third free time, Makoto compliments her smile and calls her pretty to try and get a reaction out of her. This appears to fluster her, but it turns out she'd guessed what he was up to and was just playing along to make it backfire on him. In her last free time, she jokingly gives him an implied proposal and chuckles at his reaction with a blush.
- Makoto and Aoi have minor teasing that becomes pretty major in places. In her last free time event, when you go to her room, she asks for you to pretend to be her boyfriend. After they call it off, she asks with a blush what kind of girl Makoto likes. In the main storyline, she does say with a blush Makoto is cool during the trials. She also treats him the best out of the remaining students — she hates Byakuya and Toko, and she seems annoyed with Yasuhiro's stupidity (though we never get to see how close she is with Kyoko).
- Mukuro also seems to have her eye on him, between offering to set him up with an "aggressive" girl in her free time events and pretty openly hitting on him in School Mode. If outrights confirms it.
- Leon's crush on Sayaka is fairly obvious, as he does things like ask Makoto what kind of guys she likes so he can switch hobbies accordingly; their positions (with his arm nearly around her) in Makoto's class portrait suggests she reciprocated during the last two years. Also, as they were some of the earliest character designs, they frequently appear together in promotional art.
- Makoto keeps getting invited to people's rooms in their final free time events. Possibly taken out of tease level in School Mode, where once he reaches the good ending with a character's Relationship Values maxed-out he gets a pair of their undies.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: The students usually respond to Monokuma like this, particularly after each trial ends.
- Sibling Team: The Despair sisters, for a little while.
- Tragic Dream: Practically everyone in the group has one, knowing it'll never come true while they willingly lock themselves inside the school. Post-memory loss Celestia was willing to kill for hers (under the mistaken belief that it was still achievable).
- Transfer Student Uniforms: Most of the students wear what are presumably the uniforms from their previous schools (or at least customized versions of them), with the exceptions being Celeste's Elegant Gothic Lolita getup, Aoi's sweatshirt, tank top and shorts, and Leon's studded jacket.
- True Companions: The last group of survivors, by the end of the game.
- Wacky Homeroom: With all their super high-school specialties, the cast is certainly quirky - and homicidal.
- You All Meet in a Cell: Since the protagonist was the last to arrive, it isn't clear if everyone necessarily met at the school entrance, but the spirit of the trope remains.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Hair like Kyoko's and Sakura's, which is super-pale (and purple-tinged in Kyoko's case), goes unremarked upon. Sayaka (Blue) and Toko (Purple, occasionally rendered as black) also fall under this.
Ultimate Lucky Student (Unlucky?) (Ultimate Hope)
"Well, if I’m forced to give one redeeming trait, I guess I’d say I’m a little more optimistic than most people."
An utterly unremarkable Ordinary High-School Student
who was only selected to attend Hope's Peak Academy through a random lottery, giving him the title of Ultimate Lucky Student. Makoto cites his most notable features as being his slightly below-average luck and his optimism. He takes command during the investigations after becoming the prime suspect in the first murder due to Sayaka's machinations. He ends up motivating the surviving students to unite against Monokuma, securing their freedom from the school and gaining the title of "Ultimate Hope".
- Absurdly Youthful Father: In the bad ending.
- Amateur Sleuth: As the main character in a mystery game, he tends to be the one pulling the students through the trials, with some help from Kyoko whenever he gets stuck.
- Born Lucky/Born Unlucky: The reason he was accepted into Hope's Peak; he was randomly chosen from all the ordinary students in Japan. This is why he is considered to be the "Ultimate Lucky Student" but he himself believes he has super-bad luck. The sidestory Makoto Naegi's Worst Day Ever confirms this. His bad luck is so obscenely potent that everyone around him is infected with it as well. According to the story, his worst luck of all was getting picked to attend Hope's Peak... in the second round of the lottery. The person who won the first round never got their invitation letter, because the mail courier passed through Makoto's general area and the letter was consequently destroyed.
- Catch Phrase: "You've got that wrong!" whenever he points out a contradiction during trials.
- Chekhov's Skill: His talent/"skill" of being lucky ends up working out in his favor several times:
- In Case 01, the murder happens in his room, not Sayaka's, as Leon thought. Makoto, as the room's actual owner, knew the shower room's door was misaligned. Since the boys' rooms don't have locks on their showers, this was what proved the culprit couldn't have been him, since the culprit didn't know that fact and opted to unscrew the door handle entirely.
- In Case 03, Celeste executes an elaborate, multi-faceted murder plot involving the murder of an accomplice. She essentially is taking a huge gamble. On a meta level, she gambled against someone whose talent is being lucky.
- In Case 05's good ending, Alter Ego infects the system in just enough time to save Makoto from his execution. He doesn't have enough time in the bad ending.
- Clear My Name: He has to do this in Chapter 1 when Sayaka's body is found in his shower, since the attempted culprit had set him up to take the fall for them.
- Also in Chapter 5, if Makoto refuses to betray Kyoko by pointing out her lie he becomes the main suspect because he's the only other without an alibi. Monokuma ends the trial early to have him executed before he can prove his innocence to the others, but Kyoko manages to reopen the case in Chapter Six.
- Defiant to the End: He stalwartly resists Junko's final attempt to browbeat him into falling into despair. She is annoyed to no end by this, and even admits that she absolutely hates him for his courage because it is "boring".
- Distressed Dude: Despite being the main character, he often needs to be rescued by the others.
- In the main story, Kyoko saves him twice from Junko, once when she attempts to kill him and frame her for the crime, the second time after his failed execution when Kyoko gets him out of the garbage dump.
- In IF after Makoto takes the blow for Mukuro that was meant to kill her, she has to carry him to the infirmary to save him from dying.
- He even gets into a bad situation in Dangan Ronpa Zero where the Ultimate Bodyguard holds him hostage at one point.
- Due to the Dead: He argues to Kyoko that Mukuro Ikusaba's body should be handled with respect and not left out in the open, because, despite everything she may have done, she was still a victim in the end and should be treated as such.
- The Dulcinea Effect: He's been pining after Sayaka for a long time, and swears to stay by her side throughout Monokuma's game. Cruelly deconstructed when it's revealed that this is exactly why she was setting him up to take the fall for her.
- The Everyman: Which is why his title is based on Luck, he is so normal he only got in due to the luck of the draw.
- Expressive Hair: His Idiot Hair gets sharper and pointer when he's delivering a major deduction and withers when he's completely terrified.
- Failed a Spot Check: Makoto sometimes takes a worrisomely long time to come to pretty straightforward conclusions or notice something obvious about a piece of evidence. In the worst cases either Kyoko or Byakuya will point out a detail to him, but he will still fail to figure out the meaning of it until he's prompted to consider it again during a trial. It is mostly done for rather transparent plot reasons.
- Fashion Dissonance: During a free time segment with Kiyotaka, he insists that Makoto's trendy hoodie is inappropriate for Hope's Peak Academy because it's chaotic and would throw discipline out of order. He'll change his mind if you tell him it's a safety helmet, though.
- Forgiveness: One of his defining traits first noted when he refuses to blame Leon or Sayaka for trying to frame him. Even Junko, who he should hate with a vengeance, he tries to reason with in the end when she's about to execute herself. Because not even someone like her is he willing to see killed so pointlessly.
- Friend to All Living Things: He was in an animal-rearing club when he was younger, and was able to calm down a large crane that ended up in the school pool. While hanging out with Mondo, the options for his favorite animal include bears.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Makoto can express this in a free-time event with Mondo (along with cats or bears, though dogs are the best option to advance the event).
- Hope Bringer: His defining trait is his optimism, which keeps everyone else from falling into despair. It turns out that this is his real talent, and what he uses to destroy the Mastermind. Heck, he even ascended into the Pantheon for this trait!
- Hypocrite: Accused of being one by Kyoko for keeping a secret from her after he convinced her to trust him:
Kirigiri: Asking to hear other's secrets while keeping your own to yourself is rather cowardly, don't you think?
- I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: His feeling towards Sayaka's interest in him. Unusually for this trope, he's perfectly justified in his disbelief; Sayaka's "feelings" were an act to frame him for murder.
- Idiot Hair: Has a noticeable spike sticking out on the top of his head, though he's not stupid, just a bit naive.
- The Kirk: Is frequently able to act as a unifying force among the students, bridging logic with heart to lead everyone to the truth.
- Kirk Summation: Gives an excellent one to Junko in the final trial, refusing to let her pass off the blame for everything she did (as if despair were just some detached entity that humans are destined to give in to).
- Meaningful Echo: He has one in tribute to Sayaka. When Kyoko asks how he knew what she wanted to talk to him about (Sayaka, in fact), Makoto replies "I can read minds" and gives her a moment to boggle before telling her he just has good intuition.
- Meaningful Name: One meaning of makoto is truth/honesty. He's the one who solves the "truth" of the matter in every school trial. And when he keeps a secret about Sakura from Kyoko, it really pisses Kyoko off and Makoto feels guilty about it the whole time. His surname Makoto on the other hand means sapling, playing on his occasionally naive behavior.
- Messianic Archetype: Just look at the last trial in Chapter 6, if you don't believe it. He delivers some lines about hope and love and refusing to give into the despair crafted by Junko aka the Big Bad that would make Sailor Moon proud. In fact, finishing the game and getting the good ending has you-as-Makoto returning their hopes to the other living students, screaming 'You Must Not Lose Hope!! among other things. Kyoko implies that this trait may mean that he may actually be Ultimate Hope instead of Ultimate Lucky Student.
- Not only that, Makoto was betrayed by all the remaining students and sentenced to death. He escapes by a miracle and is prisoner on the lowest level of the school. He is rescued by Kyoko because she had a Heel Realization: No matter her motives, to let anyone die for you is wrong. Later, every surviving student shares this conviction when Makoto forgives their treason. This is the real reason Naegi wins and the Mastermind loses: All the surviving students have killed Makoto before, and they knew they will not feel better doing it again.
- Nice Guy: His real Ultimate talent seems to be the ability to get along with just about anyone, even the more difficult students like Byakuya or Celeste. Even the most anti-social of classmates can be befriended in free time events. In fact, the worst bit of blackmail that Monokuma can dig up on him is that he used to be a bed-wetter, which, while certainly embarrassing, is nowhere near as incriminating or life-ruining as his fellow students'. On the flip-side, his niceness is exploited several time by the other students, who have Makoto doing stuff they don't want to do themselves or consider dangerous, including going through doors that might or might not be booby-trapped. Makoto himself starts to snark about it near the endgame.
Why do I get to be the human bomb-detector all the time?
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He stumbles into this in Chapter 3 by taking Kiyotaka to see Alter Ego, leading to its pep talk making Kiyotaka obsessed with it. This doesn't end well.
- Older Than He Looks: Though not as bad as Chihiro, he looks and sounds fairly young for his age in the Japanese dub and is the second shortest student (alongside Aoi).
- Ordinary High-School Student: In contrast to all the other students who are at Hope's Peak due to their extraordinary talents, Makoto's "talent" is simply being an ordinary student who was randomly chosen by lottery. Which is what makes him extraordinary in this particular setting, believe it or not. He does note that he's slightly more optimistic than other people as well. "Hope" and optimism are kind of the same thing too, and it's because he never gives up on hope that he's able to derail Junko's scheme in the end.
- Parrot Exposition: Lampshaded.
Monokuma: You're very good at repeating what other people say. That's what I call User Friendly. You're the worst.
- Potty Failure: Used as a minor throwaway gag, but it technically counts. In Chapter 2, Monokuma attempts to motivate the students to commit murder by threatening to reveal everyone's worst secrets unless one of them gives in and kills someone. Apparently what Makoto, the player character, considers the worst secret in his life is that he used to wet the bed until 5th grade, and since the threat of having that revealed doesn't motivate Makoto to kill someone, it's not apparently too bad of a secret to him.
- Power of Trust: A major theme in his relationships with the other students, and perhaps the game in general.
- Precision F-Strike: During the final trial in the English localization.
Makoto, to Junko: Give and take? You're so full of... shit!
- Ridiculously Average Guy: He thinks this about himself. He seems to be above-average in crime-solving, however, because he's the only one who never jumps to conclusions or jumps on the bandwagon like the other students and thus can point out holes in his opponents' arguments, which is why he's the one who solves every case.
- Sherlock Scan: In the original PSP version, he gains this ability after hanging out with Kyoko enough, letting him see all the details in a room by hitting the Triangle button. Then the developers realized this was too useful, and made it a default ability in later additions.
- Shower of Angst: In The Anime of the Game's Episode 4, he has◊ a very detailed◊ one while recalling the first murder and trial.
- Teens Are Short: The second shortest person in the group only beating Chihiro by a few centimeters. It's probably why he looks like one of the younger members.
- Trash Landing: What happens to him at the end of the fifth trial.
- Unluckily Lucky: Makoto's attitude towards his own fortune seems to be somewhat Nathan Drake-like in this respect.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Even while his classmates are killing each other, he tries to think the best of people. He even notes his optimism as his one outstanding trait. This pays off near the end, where he counters Junko's despair and renews the hopes of his classmates, putting a stop to Junko's scheme. He even gets a new Ultimate title for it: Ultimate Hope.
Ultimate ??? (Ultimate Detective)
"To solve a mystery, one must be fully aware of the risks, and keep on going anyway."
An enigmatic girl whose "Ultimate" talent is unknown. She radiates a cold and unfriendly attitude, and deflects any questions about her identity or past. Despite this, her insight and deductive abilities prove invaluable during the murder investigations. Her true identity is the estranged daughter of Jin Kirigiri, (Former) Headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy. She is suffering from amnesia, which obscures this and her own talent as a "Ultimate Detective". When she begins to prove too meddlesome to Monokuma, he attempts to frame her for a fake murder so that she can be executed under the school rules. Along with Makoto, they work together to defeat Monokuma and lead the rest of the surviving students to freedom.
- Adaptational Villainy: A single act from episode 11 of The Animation (the fifth trial). In the game, suspicion jumps between Makoto and Kyoko several times before settling on the planted locker key. Based on a later line to Byakuya, she probably wanted to prove that the trial was a trap by showing that none of the students could have done it, except she miscalculated the mastermind executing someone else in desperation. When time runs out with all the suspicion on Makoto, she first argues at Monokuma for inventing a rule and then looks thoroughly disgusted with herself, calling her own actions unforgivable and trying to tell Makoto she's sorry in what look like the last moments of his life. In the animation however, no suspicion ever falls on Makoto (since the trial gets condensed to roughly 10 minutes) and he instead moves the discussion towards the whole trial seeming questionable without the provocation of trying to defend himself. When time runs out in this version of the trial, she tells a bold-faced lie about him planting the locker key in her room -which was originally an explanation brought up by Byakuya in the absence of a suspect- after he just defended her when she was backed furthest into the corner. We never see her show the same intense regret over her sending him to his death, and her lengthy apology in the trash dump was also cut very short. While removing the player choice was necessary, this set-up ends up making her look a lot more petty and cold-hearted.
- Affectionate Nickname: "Open Book"/"Foolishly Open" to Makoto, because of how he wears his heart on his sleeve. He finds it rather annoying a name, but grows alright with it after her last Free Time Event, where she says she prefers him that way before getting in a quick laugh at his expense that seems natural (unlike every other reaction of hers he's seen so far).
- Alliterative Name: Kyouko Kirigiri.
- Aloof Ally: Towards the group as a whole but becomes closer to Makoto as time goes on.
- Ancient Tradition: The Kirigiri family could be interpreted this way, though Kyouko claims that they take no sides in order to remain as neutral as possible, believing the truth has no bias. She says that the tradition started during a time when being a detective was a more sacred occupation.
- Appeal to Ridicule: Makes a particularly spiteful one towards Makoto in the fourth chapter. When Makoto finds another mysterious photograph of their dead friends, he brings it up in the discussion with everyone else telling him it has to be fake. After he says it's legit according to Monokuma, she asks him if he trusts Monokuma more than his friends with the same smirking sprite used for when she's cornering a culprit (or delivering a "Reason You Suck" Speech, as Byakuya later found out). She knows very well that's not what he meant, but their Break Up Make Up Scenario put her in a mood to make him look dumb in front of everyone.
- Badass Boast: When asked if she's ok being put at risk:
"Yes, there's a chance I could be killed. But... could any of you really kill me? I don't think I'll die that easily."
- Batman Gambit: A subtle but effective one in her third Free Time Event. Her entire exaggerated response to Makoto calling her smile cute (in the hopes of getting a reaction out of her) lets her demonstrate to him how easy to read he is, show him that she can in fact emote the same as anyone (on command at that) while also showing how slick she is to come up with a counter plan that plays on his fear of offending people. Needless to say, Makoto is left speechless as she walks away.
- Berserk Button:
- She really doesn't like it when people keep secrets from her, as Makoto finds out.
- Mentioning the Headmaster.
- Big Damn Hero: She comes to Makoto's rescue when he is trapped in the basement's garbage dump.
- Born Detective: The Kirigiri family is a clan of legendary detectives.
- Break Up Make Up Scenario: In Chapter 4, Kyoko accuses Makoto of not trusting her as a friend and spends a good deal of time giving him the cold shoulder. During this time, Makoto cannot hang out with Kyoko, but she eventually forgives him.
- Broken Ace: The first 3 chapters spend a lot of effort showing her to be cool-headed, hyper-competent, and full of life-experience. Chapters 4 and 5 then spend a subtle amount of effort poking holes in her thinking, exposing flaws or weaknesses in her world-view and generally making it clear that even the Ultimate Detective has a lot to learn.
- Calling the Old Man Out: This was her goal heading into Hope's Peak, saying she planned to cut off all ties with her father forever (before finding his remains in a box). Since she spent at least a year in the school he runs, she presumably did this at some point, and based on her pre-amnesia journal entry Makoto finds in chapter 6, her relationship with him was still strained even leading up to the voluntary confinement inside the school.
- The Comically Serious: Probably the intention behind the "ramenhead" scene, showing that even the most stoic of stoics isn't immune to moments of humor.
- Conspicuous Gloves: The only one in the cast to wear them, and she even uses them to explain a point about the dangers of getting too close to others in her last Free Time Event. They're eventually revealed to cover up her burn scars.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: In Chapter 5's bad end. Monokuma places Kyoko in a student's desk that's moving on a conveyor belt. Kyoko can't get up from her chair because her hands are pinned under the desk's top. Kyoko is forced to watch a puppet Monokuma teaching a lesson on the chalkboard (for extra unusual, the lesson is apparently on sex ed)... and eventually the conveyor belt moves Kirigiri to be crushed to death by a huge block.
- Cryptic Conversation: She has many with Makoto, mostly hinting at clues she is already aware of and helping Makoto piece them together.
- Cuteness Overload: In School Mode, she becomes defensive over the notion that she's somehow not allowed to like cute things, after admiring a porcelain doll in the School Store. Fanon sometimes turns it into a full-blown weakness (such as in one yonkoma in which she makes off with an adorable cub version of Monokuma◊)
- Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Makoto attempts to suggest this regarding Principal Kirigiri (or at least give the man a posthumous Pet the Dog moment) after the two find the family photo in his office, but she cuts him off by saying no amount of deduction based on a single photo can change her feelings or her past.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She warms up to Makoto both in her free time events and in the game itself to an extent.
- Deuteragonist: The most competent investigator of the students besides Makoto, and his closest ally. Also, one particular moment during the second trial has the player actually make a deduction from Kyoko's point of view.
- Disappeared Dad: Her reason for attending Hope's Peak Academy in the first place since the headmaster is her father who abandoned her to be raised by his father instead. Needless to say it is a touchy subject.
- Does Not Like Spam: The "ramenhead" scene gets associated with her enough that A PVC figurine was made about it. Despite that, if you ask her about her feelings towards cup ramen in School Mode, she says the dish makes her feel ill just thinking about it.
- Emotionless Girl: In a free-time Event, she mentions that she actually invokes this, as not only does it make her really hard to read, it also gives others someone to mentally lean on since she comes off as calm and composed all the time.
- Family Business: Detective work, and she's rather proud of it (see below).
- Family Honor: She explains at the start of chapter 6 that her Kirigiri pride motivates most of what she does, yet she also admits that she needed to give up some of that pride in making herself known to Hope's Peak. Going against the anonymity from where that pride is drawn reinforces how important breaking away from her father was to her. Yet based on her reaction to finding the family photo with her in it, Naegi doesn't quite believe the explanation to be fully true.
- Figure It Out Yourself: She regularly does this as a sort of Stealth Mentor deal.
- Fingertip Drug Analysis: She verifies the "poison" that apparently killed Sakura instead being protein powder in this fashion after Togami brazenly downs nearly the entire bottle.
- The Gadfly: Some of her Free Time Events imply that she likes messing with Makoto just to see his reactions, or showing off how good she is at predicting those reactions. A good example would be the implied marriage proposal, where after Makoto gets flustered, she smiles lightly and gloats with "Got you again." Based on the conversation they have in the last event, it could also be interpreted as her way of scaring him off getting any closer to her.
- Girly Girl: Despite the joke about Makoto being the heroine, her list of favorite presents and certain School Mode dialogue options reveal that she enjoys dolls and flowers.
- Great Detective: Hence her Ultimate title. Just to put things into perspective, she spent most of the game solving more mysteries than anyone else on pure instinct, since she had her memory of being a detective forcibly wiped beforehand. This is especially notable in chapter 3 and 5, where she manages to nearly put together the sequence of events before anyone else without actually being present for the incidents themselves.
- Guile Hero: At times. One example that springs to mind is when Makoto pleaded to know where she'd went in the third case, asking her to trust him. She gave him what he wanted, but didn't bother to mention that he'd probably be attacked while checking out the secret room on the second floor. Of course, this turned out to be a part of her plan to test the mastermind's response to the room's existence.
- Hair Decorations: Has a braid on the left side of her hair, tied with a black ribbon. In her prequel novels, she kept two braids and an even larger ribbon.
- Heroic BSOD: The final trial. She holds out for a while still trying to find the truth, but finally reaches this point when Junko tells her that her father would've wanted her to stay in the school. Makoto helps her resolve that she didn't know her father well enough to decide that, and that if she understands anything about him, it's that he wouldn't want her to sacrifice Makoto to live (one of her only decisions in the course of the game made purely on emotion).
- Hime Cut: Fitting her aloof Ice Queen persona and the fact that she's the daughter the school's headmaster.
- Hyper Awareness: She is able to notice the smallest details about the other students, such as Mondo's speech patterns.
- Hypocrite: Arguably an effective use of the trope. Her berserk button is triggered when Makoto refuses to tell her what he wanted to talk to Sakura about, since talking to anyone else without asking if she really was The Mole would unfairly implicate her without proof. She calls him foolishly open in her Free Time Events while saying his honest nature suits him, only to suspend that same thinking by misconstruing his keeping a secret from her being in malice instead of loyalty. Because she distrusts everyone but him, she's essentially forcing Naegi over to her way of thinking instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt, even when she's been withholding information from him long after agreeing to be more trusting at the end of the third chapter (the exact contents of the secret room on the second floor being a prime example). It's made worse by the ways she shuns Makoto's obvious attempts to reconnect with her, where her perceptive nature should tip her off that maybe he has a good reason for keeping this particular secret. The fifth trial marks a turning point in this attitude, because she sees some of the hypocrisies in her thinking (coming to the realization that it was her who failed to trust him, or that being standoffish in her quest for the truth can miss little truths learned only by working with others) and finally vows to tell him everything. Growing out of this ends up being some pretty important Character Development for her.
- But even after that, she's still somewhat guilty of this. In their last conversation before the final class trial, she gives Naegi a speech about how finding the truth can lead to despair, but no matter how hopeless the truth they find might be for him to never lose hope. Come time for that final trial, she very much can't take her own advice (as detailed in Stunned Silence) and Naegi ends up being the only one who doesn't give up on hope.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: In this Yonkoma◊.
Junko: That's it! Makoto alone will be cruelly punished! First, I'll make him Monokuma sized! Then I'll dress him in a Monokuma suit! [Makoto looks terrified]
Kyoko: (that's cute...)
Junko: I'll raise him as a pet for the rest of his life!
Kyoko: Never! That's right! I'll never accept it! Monogi-kun should belong to everyone!
- If I Do Not Return: She gives Makoto a letter to open if something happens to her.
- Implied Love Interest: The amount of Ship Tease she has with Makoto is pretty damn high. Helps that several characters seem to support it as well.
- I Work Alone: Her attitude for basically the entire game. She cuts it out by the last chapter.
- Kid Detective: "Teenage Detective" would be more accurate, but her prequel novels plays this one much straighter.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: The reason why she refuses to reveal her talent is because she cannot remember it. At least, until the end of Chapter 5.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: The school's missing headmaster is her father.
- Magic Skirt: Invoked in-game and in the art book for series generally not afraid of the occasional Fanservice.
- Male Gaze: If a certain easter egg is to be believed◊, Kyoko has Hartman Hips.
- Meaningful Name: Kirigiri is written with the characters for "fog" and "cut".
- Men Are Tough: She repeatedly remarks that Makoto should be fine doing rough things since he's a boy (such as prying paper from a dead person's hand, or being struck over the head from behind while looking into the secret room).
Makoto: (Internally) "What does she think a boy is?"note
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: If you get the bad ending in Chapter 5. Averted in the main ending.
- Must Have Caffeine: Luwak Coffee is one of the best presents the player can give her, and she can engage Makoto in a long-discussion on coffee varieties during School Mode under the assumption that he's a coffee-drinker toonote . She also mentions having a Sweet Tooth for the fast-acting alertness associated with chocolate/cocoa, especially when she's working while tired.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Once she realizes she's been putting her own desires ahead of Makoto's safety, she risks herself to save him from the garbage room.
- Mysterious Past: The one student whose talent and background is unknown to the others. Including herself, until the end of Chapter 5. Even then, most of her past is left a mystery by the end, something her prequel novels are addressing.
- Nerves of Steel: She's like this for most of the game, but telling Monokuma This Is the Final Battle at the start of the sixth (and final) chapter takes the cake. She says afterwards she hasn't been that nervous in a long while, and Naegi thinks she looked exactly the same.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Her willingness to get hands-on with dead bodies to acquire more information has some characters like Toko accuse her of having a fetish for them.
- Not So Stoic:
- In the worst possible way in the bad ending. The look of all-consuming fear on her face followed by her anguished expression of acceptance as she's slowly carried to her doom is an image that'll leave you wide-eyed.
- When Makoto asks her what she saw on her motive DVD in the first chapter, and when the topic of the headmaster is brought up, she looks furious.
- Much of the second half of the final trial has her in a state of a mix of shock, anger, and distress despite having otherwise been completely stoic in most of the prior trials. Considering what's revealed in the final trial, though, it makes sense that even she would be fazed.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Besides all the times mentioned in Not So Stoic above, pretty much any time she raises her voice (both her Japanese and English lines keep her very subdued).
- Parental Abandonment: Besides the obvious mention of her father, she believes her mother's death was the catalyst that Jin used as an excuse to leave. She says his abandonment has left a shadow over her life as the one Kirigiri that got "thrown away."
- Poor Communication Kills: While she treats Makoto with a Figure It Out Yourself attitude, she's still entertaining the possibility that one of the other students could be the mastermind even into the final chapter (spending most of her time in the trials inferring without necessarily leading them in the right direction unless it becomes absolutely necessary). Even though she get suspected of being The Mole by nearly everyone except Makoto, this behavior doesn't become much of an issue until the fifth trial, where she maintains her usual level of vagueness by calling the trial "the mastermind's trap." Unfortunately, Makoto ends up being the only one to catch on to what kind of trap she means, which makes him just as much of a threat as she is, forcing the mastermind's hand to have him executed. This leads to her My God, What Have I Done? moment.
- Private Detective: The Kirigiri family associate with no one in order to maintain their neutrality, but they still apparently get hired by foreign governments.
- Purple Eyes: Matching her pale purple hair and makes her seem even more mysterious.
- The Quiet One: She's not really one for idle talk, and early interactions with her are filled with awkward silences.
- Raised by Grandparents: But she claims to be contented with this set-up, saying she couldn't have become a detective if her father had taken her with him.
- Rapunzel Hair: Even the braid almost reaches her waist while the rest easily goes down past her hips.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She gives one to Byakuya in Chapter 4 when he finds himself unable to comprehend how he failed to figure out the mystery.
"You still haven't realized? We don't all act according to calculations and cost-benefit diagrams. That's what makes us so complicated. That's what you don't understand, and that's why you couldn't solve this case. (Byakuya is left speechless) See? Didn't I tell you? When you dismiss other people's feelings, it'll always come back to bite you in the end."
- Red Herring Mole: Her odd behavior and habit of wandering off on her own causes the others (especially Byakuya) to suspect her once the laptop goes missing in Chapter 3.
- Refuge in Audacity: Naegi, who's worried about being caught by the mastermind and executed again, finds it a little crazy to hear her suggest that they should go up and ask Monokuma directly if there's anything wrong with it (since they have nowhere to hide anyway). Keep in mind she had no solid proof that they'd survive the encounter (she later called this play a bet that she thankfully got right).
- Rei Ayanami Expy: A pale, emotionally-distant girl with light purple hair and eyes and a connection to the original headmaster of the school. That can't be a coincidence.
- The Reliable One: Anytime Makoto finds himself stumped, Kyoko will most certainly be there to point him in the right direction. She also dedicates most of her free time diligently trying to uncover the secret of the school while most others are relaxing.
- Remember That You Trust Me: She pulls this on Naegi in the fourth chapter, since at the end of the previous chapter they both agreed to trust one another, even going to far as to accuse him of hypocrisy. The exact issue with this is detailed in her own hypocrite entry (above).
- Scars Are Forever: Her gloves conceal hideous scars on her hand that she got when she was an amateur.
- Seeker Archetype: In her School Mode Ending, after everyone else is happy to leave the Gilded Cage, she plans on coming back, dissatisfied with not knowing why they had been confined there in the first place.
- Sherlock Scan: Her specialty, but funnily enough, it only looks like that from watching her work. She actually finds the notion a little silly.
Detectives don't have superpowers. We can't just look at a crime and divine the truth right then and there.
- She's Got Legs: Showcased nicely in the artwork.
- Single-Issue Wonk: Around the time she explains her past to Makoto, she doesn't waste a single opportunity to call her father down (even after they find his bones in a box). She keeps doing it when the family photo that he kept comes up, asking if there could be a worse possible father who would die before she has a chance to cut him out of her life (said using her Not So Stoic sprite at that, a sprite normally reserved for when she's struggling to keep her emotions in check).
- Skewed Priorities: She apparently thinks digging through Hifumi's socks would be worse than digging through his pants.
- The Smart Girl: Perhaps the smartest. She gets things done, but does't revel in the spotlight of leadership (probably a characteristic of the Kirigiri philosophy).
- Spell My Name with an "S": The fandom for the most part spells her first name as Kyouko. The official American release went with Kyoko, as did any romanizations in the anime.
- The Spock: Though unlike Byakuya, she does acknowledge the importance of emotion at times.
- Stock Costume Traits: She has the Hardboiled suit-and-tie look down pat (minus the fedora). She also sometimes gets depicted with a magnifying glass by some artists (this happened once in a page spread in the manga).
- The Stoic: Most of the time, which helps her seem reliable and rational.
- Story-Breaker Power: In a series largely revolving around solving murders and uncovering secrets, Kyoko's status as 'The Ultimate Detective' makes her incredibly useful. Acknowledged in-universe when Monokuma realizes this and tries to get her killed in Chapter 5.
- Stunned Silence: Happens to her once during the final trial, when Junko demonstrates that solving mysteries and learning the truth can sometimes lead to despair, with the entire game thus far being construced to do exactly this (making all the mysteries they solved near-meaningless). Since she probably went into that trial confident from all she'd learned so far, Junko is essentially throwing a big part of Kyoko's world-view into her face with just a few words.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: While she may seem rather cold and analytic to her classmates, she is actually a rather sweet and caring girl.
- Take a Third Option: One yonkoma◊ has her figuring to catch and disable a number of Monokumas, pile them at the door, then have a stronger character toss one with enough force to trigger the motion-sensitive explosive planted in all of them at once. The final panel has her holding a butterfly net and seemingly hunting a Monokuma.
Monokuma: A demon! She's a demon! (running away) You're too cruel!
- Tempting Fate: Chapter 5 has her tripping death flags left and right, such as giving a letter to Makoto in case something happens to her. In the bad ending, this is played straight as she is executed for Mukuro's murder, but otherwise it's subverted since she survives in the good ending.
- She says in her last Free Time Event that she's sure no one will see her hands uncovered anytime soon. Naturally, she had to show them to everyone in the final case to prove she wasn't Makoto's nighttime attacker.
- True Companions: By the end of the game, she has solidified herself as this to Makoto.
- Tsurime Eyes: Complimenting her personality, Kyoko's eyes are always sharp and focused.
- Workaholic: This is made more obvious in School Mode, since she always has something to occupy her time with in the main story. Here, it’s revealed in her dialogue options that she has very few interests not relating to solving mysteriesnote . In fact, the insecurity Makoto can help her work through in her Trigger Happy Heart event is essentially her stressing over being in stasis and not making any progress solving the mystery.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Very light purple hair.
- You Never Asked: A partial explanation behind why she never mentioned her own amnesia suspicions, saying she didn't think anyone would believe her anyway.
- You're Not My Father: She claims she sought out her father just to cut ties with him. Thanks to his death, she's never able to.
Ultimate Affluent Progeny
“My self introduction is over. How long are you planning to stand here? You’re an eyesore. Go away.”
The scion of the wealthy Togami family, and one groomed to become a success since childhood. Byakuya has no intention of becoming friends with his fellow captives, seeing them as competitors in a challenge to be won. Intelligent, calculating and utterly ruthless, Byakuya is a force to be reckoned with. He tampers with the crime scene in Chapter 2 so he could scout out his competition and determine who would be the biggest threat to his own "graduation" attempt. In Chapter 4 he realizes that Monokuma has no intention of running a fair contest, and turns his cross hairs to it instead. United with the other students against Monokuma, he survives the final trial and escapes with everyone.
- Adaptational Heroism: While he's still a huge jerkass in the anime, at least he doesn't openly and contemptuously talk about his plans to eventually be the successful villain.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Less evil and more classist douchebag, but still
- Awesome McCoolname:
- The direct translation of his name is White-night Ten-Gods.
- In the alpha tests, Byakuya was a Lady Looks Like a Dude Jewish heiress called Miss Rudenberg, so Celeste possibly has her Awesome McCoolname from that.
- Bastard Bastard: As a result of a "charming" Byakuya family tradition. The Head of the Family never marries, and instead has sex with various "extraordinary" individuals in an effort to produce children, who then compete to be chosen as the heir. As to the other kind of "bastard," well, take a good read of the rest of this page.
- Berserk Button: Being called simply an 'Affluent Progeny', with the implication that he was just fortunate to be born into wealth, seriously ticks him off. Spending time with him reveals his title of heir comes from proving himself by winning a competition against his half-siblings as a Togami family tradition to choose the fittest to lead their corporate group. The losers don't get any of the inheritance, being expected to join the "plebeians". It's worth to notice he is the youngest sibling.
- Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend: From Toko's point of view. He doesn't seem to be that interested.
- Bilingual Bonus: Toko dubs him her White Knight. "Byakuya" literally means white night.
- Bishounen: It's Akira Ishida, what did you honestly expect?
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Or at the very least, huge snobs with a severe Lack of Empathy.
- Blue Blood: Comes from the incredibly wealthy Byakuya family. In the final trial, we find out that he is the Sole Survivor of them thanks to "The Worst, Most Despair-inducing Incident in the History of Mankind". Byakuya didn't know this until then, and he did NOT take it well.
- Bookworm: Uses a majority of his time digging through the school's library after it is rendered accessible in Chapter 2.
- Break the Haughty: See Impoverished Patrician.
- But Not Too Foreign: Half European from his mothers side, according to his Free Time Events.
- Butt Monkey: What his interactions with Syo often reduce him too. Very frequently exaggerated by Yonkoma.
- The Comically Serious: Pretty much any time after he gets involved with the group in which humor comes along. On the one hand, he gets to show what a Deadpan Snarker he is, but also tends to find himself involved in the joke too.
- Conspicuous Consumption: The inside of his room has a classical violin, walls covered in fine art and a red carpet to greet him whenever he enters. One wonders where he got it all from, assuming that wasn't already his room pre-Tragedy.
- Deadpan Snarker: A rather reliable source of this.
- Demoted to Extra: Despite being officially a main character behind Makoto and Kyoko, Byakuya is hardly in IF. This is justified to an extent, as many of the things that defined his character in the game (Such as his interactions with Toko and his decision to ally himself with the remaining students in Chapter 4) happen later in the story and thus don't happen in IF, but it's still notable when the death of his family, something which he has a significant breakdown over in the game, is brought up near casually in the epilogue and he doesn't seem to care much.
- Entitled Bastard: For all of his many, many flaws, he at least averts this. In his mind, his wealth and power were things he earned, and suggesting that he was just born to them outright offends him.
- Establishing Character Moment: Introduces himself as bluntly as possible to Makoto, then calls him an eyesore and tells him to get lost.
- Eureka Moment: During one conversation, Byakuya abruptly realizes something thanks to a comment Makoto made. However, he's not about to share his revelation with him. This Is A Competition, after all.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Even he finds the Mastermind's Lack of Empathy disturbing - particularly because the Mastermind apparently found her assassinating of her own twin sister to be a pleasurable experience. By contrast, Byakuya had to out-compete all his siblings for his inheritance, and is motivated to persist out of respect for those he defeated.
- For most of the game he disregards and/or mocks cooperative efforts like the breakfast meetings and the Night Time rule. In the first chapter, though, he stirs himself to suggest Ogami accompany boys on garbage duty after Leon accuses Hifumi of doing so with ulterior and perverted motives.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Thanks to his Lack of Empathy, he dismisses emotional ties as petty and unimportant. So when they're a major factor in someone's motivation, he's completely blindsided by it. Kyoko spells this out to him when he's bewildered at how he failed to solve the mystery of the fourth trial.
- Fiction 500: His family's ungodly rich already, but Byakuya at one point mentions dabbling in stocks to kill time, and making millions more in one day. He only stopped because it was too easy. He casually mentions that he has a personal account with "pocket money" for private use. Said account contains forty billion Yen, or 'four billion dollars in the English translation (which is even more money).
- Figure It Out Yourself: Justified by his desire to solve the crimes on his own and grandly present them to his ignorant classmates during the trial.
- Fingertip Drug Analysis: He uses a form of this in Chapter 4 in order to prove that the contents of a vial of poison had been tampered with. By gulping it down in the courtroom and then, as Syo and Yasuhiro go nuts, announcing that it's protein powder.
- For the Evulz: He crucified Chihiro's body and placed the blame for his murder on Genocider Syo just to make a bigger spectacle out of the second trial, and to find out who would be most likely to catch him if he decided to murder someone.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: If he has a soul he is very good at hiding it.
- Foil: To Celestia. Both are fabulously rich magnificent bastards who are both (allegedly) half-European, show no empathy to anyone, did not actually inherit anything by birthright, and got where they are today though their wits and through ruining the lives others. But while Celestia puts on a mask of politeness and hides her history and intentions, Byakuya shows open contempt for everyone, and is very public about his desire to win the Deadly Game by any means necessary. Ironically, he doesn't commit any murders at all!
- Government Conspiracy: His family is involved in one.
- Heel-Face Turn: After Chapter 4's events, he decides to stop participating in the game and devotes himself to bringing down Monokuma. He's still a jerk, though.
- Heroic BSOD: Seems dangerously near one thanks to Junko revealing that the rest of his family has kicked the bucket. Ultimately averted though: Instead of sinking to despair, he refuses to go back on his promise to kill the mastermind, deciding that he can rebuild the Togami family. And in the second game, he apparently succeeds!
- Hypocrite: Regularly withholds important information so that he can try to dramatically reveal it during the trials, but gets pissed off whenever he learns somebody else knows something he doesn't. To say nothing of how outraged he is over someone else tampering with a crime scene. Also, he claims Kyoko's lack of squeamishness around corpses she's forensically examining is unnatural when in the previous chapter he desecrated Chihiro's body. He also repeatedly tells Makoto that he shouldn't assume everyone thinks the same way, yet he's completely blindsided when he's wrong about assuming the culprit of the fourth trial murdering for gain as he would've.
- I'm Not Here to Make Friends: And makes sure everyone understands this, multiple times. To him this is just competition.
- Implausible Hair Color: To stretch the trope a little further, he implies in a free time event that his mother may not have been Japanese.
- Impoverished Patrician: Courtesy of Ultimate Despair, but interestingly, we only find this out in the final trial. Byakuya didn't take it well.
- It Amused Me: He Trolls Makoto during some of his free time events.
- Jerkass: Self explanatory at this point.
- Jerkass Has a Point: From time to time, such as when he reminds Makoto that just because he might not be motivated to kill by one of Monokuma's incentives, he can't assume everyone feels the same way...
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: While there are occasionally hints that he might admire his peers (namely Makoto and Kyoko) more than he lets on, they are few and far between - and his contempt remains constant throughout his stay at Hope's Peak. Notably, even if the player completes his dialogue tree, he is the only student that Makoto never becomes friends with, save Syo. And that includes characters like Celeste and Yasuhiro, whom he's hesitant to call a friend.
- Lack of Empathy: Which certainly helps him remain cold and distant to his peers.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: He's the youngest of fifteen half-siblings, though the others were disowned when he outperformed them.
- Must Have Caffeine: Not only does he enjoy quality coffee the most among the presents you can give him, but if you offer him a drink in School Mode, he'll demand only the finest quality drip-brew.
- Non-Idle Rich: It's said that he holds a number of management positions in his family's company, and his vast personal wealth from day-trading demonstrates that he does know what he's doing, financially.
- Not So Different: Monokuma explicitly points out their similar mindsets, which doesn't go over well with Byakuya. He also reacts poorly to the suggestion that, like Makoto, he benefited from good fortune by being born into the right family.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Indulges in this often in the anime adaption.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!/Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: When Makoto expresses surprise that he's allowed to play the stock market at his age...
Makoto: Can high school students even participate in the stock market?
Byakuya: My name is Byakuya Togami.
Makoto: (Was that... an answer to the question?)
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Always seen in his impeccably fine suit-like uniform.
- Smug Snake: On top of being a jerk who thinks he's better than everyone, he isn't nearly as smart as he thinks he is outside of the financial sphere.
- The Social Darwinist: Literally underwent a Darwinian "survival of the fittest" competition with his various half-siblings to be named the chief heir of the family. There's also a strain of regular Darwinism mixed in, given the family preoccupation with breeding capable people to pass down their traits.
- Sole Survivor: Of the Togami family. We only find this out in the final trial, and Byakuya himself didn't take the news well.
- Stoic Spectacles: A smug rich jerk with glasses whose default emotion is a condescending sneer. Most of the time, at least.
- Surrounded by Idiots: He says several variation on this, though he also tends to use Yasuhiro as a example of why.
- Tempting Fate: In chapter 2, Byakuya claims that dying is "not even a possibility" for him. That's just asking for trouble. Ultimately subverted however. Despite gaining the attentions of a serial killer (Who turns out doesn't want to kill him), Byakuya survives the despair game.
- This Is A Competition: Survival of the fittest style competition to be exact, and he plans on winning no matter what. He changes his mind later on, but doesn't really drop the attitude.
- Took a Level in Kindness: A Downplayed Trope. After learning of Sakura's suicide, he acts more cooperative to the remaining survivors in investigations. This isn't to say that he still isn't a jerk, as he still makes his disdain for the shortcomings of his companions known.
- This is how Toko (and Syo) interprets Byakuya's disdain for her. She's not exactly a reliable source, though.
Syo: Hey, Master... Let’s skip the part where we pretend to hate each other and go straight to the lovey-dovey...
Hagakure: He's just covering up his shyness. That's what I choose to believe.
- Victory Is Boring: Quickly loses interest in something if he gets too good at it, which is why he gave up Day trading after earning 40 billion yen (500 million dollars, though the English translation changes it to the even-more-ludicrous figure of four billion dollars) just by day-trading on the stock market.
- Wrong Genre Savvy:
- While aware of the nature of the game, he quickly adapts and embraces the circumstances as a competition, believing he's invincible due to his pedigree and station, and that he is a natural, Levelheaded Leader. Never mind how his behavior puts everyone off, and how Makoto and Kyoko keep upstaging him. In Chapter 4, all the students decide to band together against Monokuma, which eliminates the competitive aspect of the trials. So because no one will lie awake in fear of being murdered anymore, the game has lost its "thrill", and this causes Byakuya to withdraw from the game and unite with the other students against Monokuma. Lampshaded by Monokuma at the end of chapter 2; after Byakuya dramatically states that he plans to kill Monokuma after graduation, Monokuma sneers and says "You almost sound like a protagonist! Too bad you're just a side character!"
- He was totally caught off-guard by Aoi attempting to commit suicide by Monokuma because it defies his no-friendship point of view.
- Of course, he does end up surviving the game and no one even attempts to murder him. So, perhaps he was on to something after all.
- Youngest Child Wins: Was the youngest among his crop of potential heirs, and wound up winning the competition to become the officially recognized scion of the Togami Family.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Does not like it when Monokuma laughs "I feel like you and I are of the same mind...!"
...Stop it. I am nothing like a childish criminal like you.
Ultimate Moral Compass
“My name is Kiyotaka Ishimaru! My motto in life is Simplicity and Fortitude! Let’s all work together and study hard!”
Kiyotaka prizes one thing above all else: order. He's constantly preaching the virtues of exercising, respecting your elders, etc. He takes a role of leadership amongst the students, encouraging them to stick together, but not everybody listens or takes him seriously. He initially has a fierce rivalry with Mondo
, but the two end up becoming Blood Brothers
over their mutual passion
. He is bludgeoned to death in Chapter 3 by Hifumi, who was acting under the instructions of Celeste.
- The Ace: Subverted and Played for Laughs. He'd probably be spearheading the trials if not for his idealism, which prevents him from really suspecting anyone. And some of the students just ignore him.
- Adorkable: If you can get past his loud voice and insistence on the rules, he's really a huge dork who has no idea how to make friends.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Says that because Mondo is a coward, he's easily provoked to violence, doesn't meet society's expectations, and walks around dressed the way he is.
- Badass Pacifist: Discusses this trope in the argument with Mondo prior to their sauna battle, saying that it's because Mondo is a coward that he resorts to violence so easily.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: They extend all the way to his hairline!
- Blunt "Yes": Does this when he says that Mondo is a coward, and that he's tougher than he is.
- Break the Cutie/Kill the Cutie: See below to learn how hard Kiyotaka takes trial 2 and he isn't even given time to finish grieving since he becomes the 3rd victim, and he really didn't deserve it being essentially targeted for being mentally compromised wasting his character arc.
- Broken Pedestal: At first, he refuses to believe that Mondo is a murderer, but is forced to confront the truth. He doesn't take it well. What makes it even more of a Tear Jerker is when it's revealed that Kiyotaka was never able to make friends...and you realize that Oowada was probably the first real friend he'd ever had.
- Cannot Tell a Joke: When he breaks out the "Forget Beam."
- Clark Kent Outfit: His Shirtless Scenes shows he's pretty muscular◊ under that uniform.
- Class Representative: Unofficially takes on this role in the class, even if Despair Academy doesn't have the usual school activities. Up until his Heroic BSOD, at least.
- Crazy-Prepared: Of the mundane (but still obsessive) variety. According to the art book, he keeps a pair of small clippers on his person at all times just in case a single hair in his clean-cut styling moves out of place.
- Determinator: To the extent that he insists on following school rules and guidelines to maintain order despite Hope's Peak Academy being a school in name alone at this point.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Compared to the other victims in the game. While his death might have been a shock, the fact of it is not as attention-drawing later in the chapter. Word of God mentions this was because there was just too much stuff going on at that point that any reaction to his death had to be cut for pacing reasons.
- Dub Name Change: A variation, since the English release uses a First Name Basis instead of the Last Name Basis of the original Japanese. Changing Ishida's name to Kiyondo is the result. "Taka" is also made into an In-Series Nickname for him.
- Expy: His design is almost identical to Kakugo of Apocalypse Zero
- Fire-Forged Friends: He and Mondo are initially at odds, but after a heated sauna challenge, they quickly develop a bond of respect and friendship.
- Friendless Background: His overly serious attitude made it difficult for Kiyotaka to ever make friends prior to high school.
- Fusion Dance: With Mondo's soul, turning him into a white-haired mash-up of both their personalities called Kiyondo. He becomes TWICE as Hot-Blooded as a result.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: An often-used sprite has him doing this.
- Gosh Darn It to Heck!: After having his personality fused with Mondo's, he starts to drop a lot of these due to Oowada's Cluster F-Bomb tendencies crossing with his politeness.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Intends to prove this isn't the case at all, and has worked and studied extremely hard to earn his title.
- Heroic BSOD: After Mondo is outed as Chihiro's murderer and executed, he shuts down. It's so bad that it borders on a full-blown Despair Event Horizon crossing.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Mondo. With a lot of Ho Yay thrown in.
- Hot-Blooded: Which is both why he and Mondo's disagreements escalated so quickly and the similarity that allowed them to bond. As Kiyondo this trait is taken Up to Eleven.
- Inelegant Blubbering: When he cries, his face gets streaked with tears and sweat.
- Innocently Insensitive: He tries to take Mondo and Kiyotaka under his wing, not knowing that they have issues about being seen as weak.
- In Series Nick Name: In the English release he is often just called "Taka".
- Japanese Pronouns: Despite being Hot-Blooded, he uses "Boku", which is in line with his strict and proper demeanor. As Kiyondo, he switches to "Ore", which is the pronoun Mondo uses.
- Large Ham: Gets even hammier after he becomes Kiyondo.
- The Leader: A type III, since he is very hardheaded, loud, and adamant about his fellow students following the rules, regardless of the events taking place. He was the one who began the group's daily morning breakfast meetings and got it to stick as a means of creating a better sense of unity (to prevent murders) and creating plans amongst themselves.
- Locked into Strangeness: After he snaps out of his funk following Mondo's death, his hair turns white and he becomes Kiyondo. His hair turns black again after he dies.
- Man in White: His uniform predominantly features white, symbolizing his spotless morality.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: After Kiyotaka snaps out of his Heroic BSOD after Mondo's death, it isn't clear whether he's really channeling Mondo's spirit to become Kiyondo or if he's just adopting Mondo's mannerisms as a way to cope with the whole ordeal.
- Meaningful Rename: The name "Ishida" is a portmanteau of Ishimaru and Oowada. Likewise the name Kiyondo is a combination of Kiyotaka and Mondo.
- Mr. Fanservice: In the anime, he's the go-guy who'd go topless (especially when sauna is involved) and shows off his well-built muscles on the chest.
- My Sibling Will Live Through Me: After Mondo, his "brother", died he adopted many of his mannerisms as a part of becoming Kiyondo.
- No Indoor Voice: Often shouts enthusiastically about rules and good conduct.
- No Social Skills: He confides to Makoto that due to his rigorous dedication to studying and proper conduct, he has never been able to make friends or even hold an idle conversation with someone.
Ishimaru: What is "a normal conversation" ...?
- Odd Friendship: With Oowada.
- One-Note Cook: In School Mode, it's revealed that the only foods he can make are rice balls and rice with green tea.
- OOC Is Serious Business: When Monokuma gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech regarding Mondo's flaws, Kiyotaka is enraged and drops his polite speech.
- Perpetual Frowner: He's usually too serious to crack a smile, but he's smiles heartily after befriending Mondo.
- Principles Zealot: Something he prides himself in, and how he obtained the title of Ultimate Moral Compass.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Mondo in their argument, which becomes Harsher in Hindsight after Mondo murders Chihiro.
Mondo: ...the fuck you say? You dunno shit.
Kiyotaka: You already lost to yourself, but you're such a coward, you don't even realize it!
- Red Armband of Leadership: To indicate his role to his fellow students, though he never does any leading in the game.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Averted. He's one of the nicest students, and never kills anyone, not even after his "transformation."
- The Resenter: He has little love for people born with The Gift. As far as he's concerned, the simple effort of normal, ungifted people is what truly moves the world.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: According to him, he wears his uniform all the time, even during school holidays. He even admits to having ten of the exact same one.
- Sins of Our Fathers: His grandfather was seen as a genius, and became Prime Minister. Unfortunately, being a genius didn't bar him from making bad decisions. Kiyotaka hopes to restore their family's good name through his own successes, as well prove that being a 'natural born genius' can't compete with hard work and dedication.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Becomes his default expression after the traumatizing events of chapter 2. Is combined with Visible Silence whenever someone tries to talk with him
- Together in Death: The stage play adds a new rule that those who vote wrong will be executed. Kiyotaka still votes for himself and because of this he and Mondo get implanted by spears together.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He becomes much more brash and rude after becoming "Kiyondo."
- Tragic Bromance: After Mondo is proven to be Chihiro's murderer.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Which is why he ended up taking Mondo's execution so hard, since he honestly couldn't believe his friend was capable of murder despite being the "Ultimate (Biker) Gang leader".
- Workaholic: He believes in effort above all else. This may very-well be his defining traitnote since it even motivates his devotion to his talent.
Ultimate Biker Gang Leader
"Oy, don't go silent now...?!"
The leader of the Crazy Diamonds, Japan's largest motorcycle gang. Mondo is foul-mouthed and doesn't take orders well, but would never hit a girl
or break his promises
. He is constantly at-odds with Kiyotaka until they bond over their mutual passion
and become Blood Brothers
. He is the culprit of Chapter 2, murdering Chihiro in a fit of blind rage and is executed by Monokuma after the trial, trapped in a motorcycle death cage that subjects him to lethal g-force.
- Accidental Murder: He didn't intend to kill Chihiro, he just lost control of himself for a moment and deeply regretted his actions afterward.
- Alternate Character Reading: The Kanji on the back of his jacket is ateji of scattered kanji with "manly" meanings with readings that create kureiji daiyamondo a.k.a. Crazy Diamonds.
- Badass Biker: Hence his title.
- Badass Longcoat: Which is connected to said title, see above.
- Berserk Button: Do not call him weak.
- Big Brother Mentor: Promises to be one to Chihiro. It doesn't end well.
- Big Damn Heroes: In IF, Mondo rescues Mukuro Ikusaba from countless Monokuma units by using a motorcycle to get her to safety. Ironically, he uses the motorcycle that was prepared for his possible execution, and actually utilized in the game proper to do so.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Between his friendship with the other students and his promise to keep the Crazy Diamonds together as long as possible.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Definitely the worst of the canonical executions, and one of the strangest. Tied to a motorcycle and sent around an electrified cage at high speeds until he's little more than a fine paste. Which Monokuma apparently eats.
- Death Equals Redemption: He doesn't put up much of a defense during the trial in the game (and even less in the anime), believing he should atone for Chihiro's death (and probably Daiya's, too).
- Delinquent Hair: A giant pompadour shaped like a corn cob.
- Dragons Up the Yin Yang: His long coat is embroidered with an elaborate golden dragon design.
- Face Death with Dignity: Unlike the previous murderer, Mondo accepts his punishment once he's been fingered as the culprit, and maintains a stoic demeanor even as the execution happens. His main regret wasn't to die, but to not fulfill his words.
- Failed a Spot Check: After moving Chihiro's corpse to the girls' dressing room, he doesn't notice Byakuya, which would have resulted in him immediately being convicted as the murderer had Byakuya decided not to complicate things. After Mondo's dead, Byakuya chides him for being so unobservant.
- Fatal Flaw: His recklessness and aggression, which leads to his, Daiya's, Chihiro's, Kiyotaka's ( while indirectly) deaths.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Though their personalities naturally put them at odds, he and Kiyotaka quickly become fast friends.
- Foreshadowing: He knocks out Makoto (who's much tinier than him) in the first chapter for trying to prevent a fight between him and Togami. In the second chapter, he kills Chihiro, the only one smaller than Makoto, after the programmer inadvertently sets him off with a compliment.
- Freak Out: Monokuma's "motivational" DVD (which shows the Crazy Diamonds breaking up without him) and threats to reveal their darkest secrets (Mondo's being that he indirectly caused his brother Daiya's death) puts him under some heavy mental stress. Eventually, he snaps, flying into a rage during which he kills Chihiro.
- Gender Vocabulary Slip: Kyoko realizes he was aware of Chihiro's true gender when he starts referring to Chihiro as "that kid" rather than "that girl", or going from calling them a "Chick" to "Dude" in the dub.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Which eventually leads him to kill Chihiro in an uncontrollable fit of rage.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Kiyotaka.
- Hidden Depths: He loves dogs (of any size; he used to have a Maltese) and wants to become a carpenter, so he can build rather than break things.
- Hot-Blooded: Which led to him bonding with Kiyotaka.
- I Gave My Word: "A man's promise" is worth a lot to him. He even rearranges the changing rooms after Chihiro's death to keep his secret for as long as possible. His Famous Last Words are him lamenting that he can't keep The Promise he made to the dying Daiya.
- Implausible Hair Color: It's probably died, to fit his delinquent image.
- Improbable Hairstyle: His pompadour is big enough to get its own towel (and can even support its weight) in the sauna.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: Referring to Chihiro's blue sports jersey (when, aside from Celeste, only his murderer could've known what color it was) is what exposes him as the killer.
- Insane Troll Logic: When the students are trying to figure out what Kyoko claims is so significant about Chihiro's jersey, Kiyotaka decides that it means the culprit's jersey was the same color. This inadvertently sets him up when he tries to clear himself using this logic by saying his is a different color and instead falls into the trap Kyoko set.
- Japanese Delinquents: Naturally, as the leader of a large motorcycle gang.
- Japanese Pronouns: "Ore". It can't be anything else.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sure he's rough, rude and easily pissed off but he repeatedly shows that he is quite moral, apologizes for knocking out Naegi on the first day during a moment of stress and has a genuine friendship with Kiyotaka that is quite heartwarming. This makes his murder of Chihiro incredibly tragic, as he did it almost subconsciously due to the amount of pressure on his mind from Monokuma's "Incentive".
- Karmic Nod: He accepts his fate once he's exposed as the murderer. Additionally, In his final Free Time event, he feels uneasy about his future once he graduates and is no longer part of the Crazy Diamonds, and says "Maybe I'm being punished for doing what I felt like all my life."
- Madness Mantra:
- My God, What Have I Done?: When he regains his senses and realizes that he killed Chihiro.
- My Greatest Failure: Feeling overshadowed by his older brother, Daiya, Mondo challenged him to a motorcycle race. His reckless driving almost led to him being hit by a truck, but Daiya saved his life by pushing him out of the way. He died from his injuries, and Mondo blames himself for never having been strong enough.
- No Indoor Voice: Just like Kiyotaka.
- Odd Friendship: With Kiyotaka.
- Only Friend: To Kiyotaka.
- Punny Name: Combined with his brother, Daiya, they form daiyamondo - diamond, the namesake of their gang.
- Purple Eyes: His eyes are a very pale lavender.
- Rated M for Manly: The only one more obviously masculine is Sakura, which Makoto can lampshade in a free time event.
- Real Men Hate Sugar: Subverted, in the drama CD it's shown that he likes cotton candy.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Uses many a Cluster F-Bomb.
- Survivor Guilt: Over his brother's death.
- Sympathetic Murderer: He honestly didn't mean to hurt Chihiro and cared enough to try and keep his promise to the poor boy, he just had very poor self control and snapped due to stress.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: If Mondo didn't get reckless in his race with his brother, Daiya wouldn't have died and Mondo wouldn't have a secret like so large as to lose control over. Meaning he most likely wouldn't have killed Chihiro, have himself executed, which would put Kiyotaka into a depression that ends in him getting killed after he snaps out of it. Meaning he brought 4 (including himself) people down directly or indirectly.
- Villainous Breakdown: It bears mentioning that his version in-game is nowhere near as severe as the other murderers when found out, due to his status as Sympathetic Murderer, to the point the anime forgoes it completely.
- Wouldn't Hit a Girl: When he is charged with guarding the crime scene for the first case, Makoto points out that his adherence to this trope could cause trouble for him if the culprit is one of the girls, a thought that causes Mondo visible discomfort. During a free time segment, he also challenges Makoto to a one-on-one match, but Makoto points out he's never been in a fight before, but maybe Sakura Oogami would be a better match! But Mondo can't spar with Sakura because he won't hit girls. He later murders Chihiro, but he's still not guilty of "hitting girls," since Chihiro isn't really a girl.
Ultimate Baseball Star
“Yo! My name is Leon Kuwata! Nice to meet you!”
The star player of Japan's champion high-school baseball team who, oddly enough, doesn't care much for baseball. Leon stays on the team so he can rake in athletic scholarships and attention from girls. His real dream is to become the lead vocalist for a punk rock band, and change his title to Ultimate Musician. He is the culprit of Chapter 1, stabbing Sayaka to death (after she tries to kill him first) and is found guilty at the school trial. Despite his argument that he acted in self-defense, he is executed by Monokuma, bludgeoned to death by a barrage of one-thousand baseballs.
- Accidental Murder: In the manga, his killing of Sayaka is presented as an accident while he was frantically trying to snap her out of a Freak Out.
- A Day in the Limelight: His chapter in the manga, which focus on the events that led to Sayaka's death from his point of view, portraying him sympathetically.
- Adorkable: Invokes this in one of his School Mode events, when he speculates that his inability to eat a burger without dripping everywhere may endear him to girls.
- Armor-Piercing Question: In the manga, as Sayaka keeps attacking him with the knife, he asks if she really believes Monokuma will keep his word and let her leave. She hesitates long enough for him to break her wrist with the wooden sword and make her drop the knife.
- Attention Whore: When looking to recruit for his punk rock band, he stipulates to Makoto that he doesn't want anyone who's already famous because he's supposed to be the center of attention. He makes an exception for Sayaka; one drama CD track has him begging her to join his band to perform at the school festival.
- Big "NO!": Gets one after screaming 'no' repeatedly when Monokuma announces his execution.
- Book Dumb: He's quick with his tongue and can snark quite a bit, but he slacks as often as he can academically speaking and dislikes reading anything that isn't comics, as seen in School Mode:
Makoto: So, Leon… do you read much?
Leon: Well, a simple question deserves a simple answer. So nope! All I read is comics. I’ve never even opened a textbook!
- Brilliant but Lazy: When it comes to baseball. In fact, he barely shows up to practice. Makoto outright says that "God gave his genius to the wrong person". He does confess to missing the sport after they've been locked up for a while, though.
- Chekhov's Hobby: He's an Ultimate Baseball Star. In the first chapter, the incinerator was activated to dispose of evidence even though the switch to activate it was behind a locked gate. Hitting the switch with a thrown object would have required an accurate pitch... which helps to prove his involvement. Also hinted at earlier—he was the team cleanup hitter, and the paint residue on the body indicates the killer broke the victim's wrist with one blow.
- Chick Magnet: Likes the attention he gets as a star player, and at least part of the reason he wants to become a musician instead is he thinks that'll impress more girls that way. In fact, during a free time segment, Makoto can learn that the reason he picked "musician" specifically as a girl-impressing career is that "the cute girl at the hair salon" will never go out with Leon the baseball player, since the cute girl at the hair salon likes musicians. He promptly follows up by asking Makoto if he thinks Sayaka would also be into fellow musicians or if she'd prefer actors.
- Comically Missing the Point: In IF, after Leon attacks Monokuma for her sake, a clearly guilt-ridden Sayaka tells him there's something she needs to confess to him later. Leon assumes it's going to be a love confession and is practically bouncing off the walls.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Chained to a signpost and shot with baseballs from a high-power cannon.
- Custom Uniform: In the class pictures showing lost memories, he's seen wearing gym clothes but never the regular school uniform.
- Death by Irony: Leon would often skip baseball practice. When he's executed, he's literally dragged to the batting cage and forced to stay there until he's dead from being shot with hundreds of baseballs.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: When Makoto discusses the Ultimate Baseball Star at the beginning of the game before actually meeting him, Kuwata is shown to have a buzzcut typical of a high school baseball player in Japan. When he actually appears, he has his wilder haircut shown above—turns it he hates having close-cropped hair, but his teammates forced him to cut it (in the English localization, it's because of tournament regulations). The new haircut goes with his decision to abandon baseball and pick up music.
- Face Death with Dignity: Averted. He's the only one of the killers to go kicking and screaming to his execution. Justified in that he was the first one to discover what the punishment really consisted of and just how honest Monokuma was being about it.
- Fiery Redhead: But it's not his natural color.
- Foreshadowing: His T-shirt has a red design of a skull inside a circle being caved in. During his execution, the baseballs explicitely avoided hitting him in the head until the end.
- Groin Attack: Let's just say that during his execution, the baseballs hit him everywhere.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Leon gets worked up VERY easily. After Monokuma sends out the videos he intended to use as a motive, he acts downright accusatory. "You were trying to act all innocent and get me to confess what I saw, didn't you? I won't fall into that trap!" During the trial itself, it doesn't take too much to send him into a Villainous Breakdown.
- Hates the Job, Loves the Limelight: A beat-for-beat version, translated into playing sports more than creating or performing art. Leon does enjoy playing baseball at heart, and he loves the attention, female fans, and free ride scholarships that baseball gives him. He just hates and resents having to do it constantly, until all the joy is gone and only the drudgery of endless pointless practice and games is left. The fact that he's a lazy bum at heart and so stupidly talented that he doesn't find much challenge in the game or see why anyone would need to practice at it doesn't help.
- If We Survive This: During a free time segment with Leon, he insists that if they survive this Makoto has to play baseball with him! He doesn't survive. In fact, he's the first culprit, and he doesn't make it out of Chapter 1.
- Though in School Mode, he gets a chance to fulfill this if you get his ending.
- Insane Troll Logic: He engages in this during the demo trial, being as convinced as Toko that Makoto is the killer; during the demo of the Machine-Gun Talk Battle he's not wildly denying his guilt but wildly insisting on Makoto's. Surprisingly enough, he isn't the killer (it's strongly implied to be Hifumi).
- Implausible Hair Color: He explicitly mentions dying his hair red (one of the numerous things he clashes with his baseball team about).
- Japanese Pronouns: "Ore". Considering his attitude and looks, it can't be anything else.
- Lethal Chef: In School Mode, he says his food specialty are frozen foods and cup ramen.
- Madness Mantra:
- His reaction to being fingered as the culprit can be approximately summarized as "idiotidiotidiotidiotidiotidiotidiotidiot!"
- However, in Project Zetsubou's fanmade English patch, this mantra is changed to "Dumbassdumbassdumbass!"
- The official English translation changes it to "Stupidstupidstupidstupidstupidstupid!"
- Manslaughter Provocation:
- He could almost be viewed as this, since he only committed murder after Sayaka attempted to kill him. It is subverted however, as he had a choice. When Sayaka's plan went south and she locked herself up in Makoto's shower, Leon could have simply left the scene and taken the knife that she intended to stab him with, but he instead choose to get his screwdriver to screw up the door and stab her instead.
- Not subverted in the supplementary manga, where it's shown that he opened the bathroom not to stab Sayaka, but to try and calm her down while she still held the knife tightly. Unluckily for both of them Sayaka didn't trust him and tried to attack him again, during the struggle to get rid of the knife he ended up stabbing her by accident.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: No matter how good his intentions were, forcing his way in the bathroom to try and calm down the panicking Sayaka wasn't the brightest idea, even less when you consider she still has a knife and believes that he's out to kill her.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: In his School Mode ending, he decides to keep going with both baseball and music. When a surprised Makoto comments it'll be difficult to focus on both at the same time, he says that's why he has to do it.
- Not So Different: When found guilty, he argues that any of the others would have done the same thing if Sayaka had targeted them instead.
- Oh, Crap: In the manga, upon realizing that Sayaka's Dying Clue spells his first name.
- The Quincy Punk: He works hard to invoke the image, mentioning he's a fan of The Sex Pistols, The Damned and The Clash.
- The Rock Star: He's enamored with the lifestyle and dreams of being one.
- Self-Deprecation: He gets one moment of this in his second free time event, when he tells Makoto he's aiming to become a vocalist in a punk rock band because, among other things, he won't actually have to be a good singer. Possibly a reference to allegations of such regarding bands like the Sex Pistols, which he mentions when listing examples of the genre.
- Shout-Out: Has the signature padlock necklace and a similar hairstyle to punk rock legend Sid Vicious. Fittingly, both Leon and Vicious stabbed women in the shower.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: In IF, Leon uses Yasuhiro's crystal ball to destroy a Monokuma unit when it tries to break Sayaka. Ironic, given that Leon killed Sayaka and used Yasuhiro's crystal ball to get rid of evidence connecting him to the crime scene in the game proper.
- The Slacker: Another perk of being an Ultimate Baseball Star is that you don't have to worry about your grades.
- Straight Man: Strangely enough, he qualifies as this. As over-the-top as he acts, Leon is also extremely quick to point out other people's bizarre behavior.
To Toko's "Such moving words...": "You mean bowel movements, right?"
To Yasuhiro: "Are we supposed to laugh?!"
To Hifumi: "You really don't care about embarrassing yourself, do you."
- He also tends to react accordingly to Makoto's 'out there' comments during School Mode:
Makoto: "the happy blue sky kinda cheers me up..."
Leon: "That’s very poetic, but it’s still just a ceiling painted blue."
- Sympathetic Murderer: Played with: while his victim tried to kill him, it's pointed out that he had to leave the room and get the tools he needed to break into where they'd taken shelter. Of course, the manga shows that he wasn't trying to kill Sayaka at all, just calm her down, and that her death was an accident.
- Tempting Fate: His claim that there aren't any clues left is what prompts Makoto to bring up the dying message.
- Tsundere: Surprisingly enough, towards baseball. No matter how much he tries to deny it, he still loves the sport. To the point his Trigger Happy Heart event is about it!
- Undignified Death: The above cruel and unusual death. Leon is the only culprit who doesn't accept his guilt and Face Death with Dignity; in the anime he goes as far as to pound on the courtroom doors screaming to be let out. Then he's desperately clawing at the chain around his throat as it's dragging him to the batting cage, kicking and screaming, and he has a frightened-out-of-his-mind look on his face right up until the baseball cannon beats him to death by firing baseballs.
- Villainous Breakdown: Not exactly villainous, but he makes some really crazy faces when he's feeling anger or despair, like when Makoto figures out he's the one who killed Sayaka. In fact, once Leon's fate is sealed, he flips out and starts repeatedly screaming the word "aho"/"stupid" over and over.
“My name is Hifumi Yamada. ‘The man who is the beginning and the end’. You can call me either way, I don’t mind.”
artist whose work sells in the tens of thousands. He disavows any interest in 3D women and aims to become a famous sculptor (of anime figures, of course). His dialog is liberally peppered with references to anime and video games. In Chapter 3, he is manipulated by Celeste into helping her murder Kiyotaka, only to be betrayed by her and killed himself.
- Acrofatic: He is shown to be able to keep up with the other students on a track run in one photograph.
- Adorkable: There's something to like about his Otaku obsessions. Unlike most examples, this isn't portrayed in the most flattering fashion.
- Almost Dead Guy: Briefly wakes up after being mortally wounded before he is Killed Off for Real.
- Berserk Button: He believes that Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil, and he is more than willing to kill someone who allegedly committed the act.
- Bi the Way: Played with. When Yasuhiro points out that Alter Ego is as male as his programmer (Chihiro) was, he says he sees no problem with that—though he continues to refer to Alter Ego as female.
- Butt Monkey: To Celestia, in particular.
- Cat Smile: One of his default expressions.
- Chekhov's Hobby: He mentions during a conversation in the art room that his title also refers to designing and constructing PVC models. That same chapter, he puts those skills to use in the worst way possible to frame Hagakure.
- Demoted to Extra: Is notably one of the few students to not be spotlighted in the manga. As a result of its format, much of his scenes are cut and he mostly stands in the background, bar his interactions with Celes and his death.
- Doujinshi: His calling and hobby. "Doujin Writer" is actually his Ultimate Talent in the Japanese version, and was likely changed to "Fanboy" in the simulcast anime and "Fanfic Creator" in the official English translation for the sake of requiring less explanation.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: He dies in Aoi's arms while she is sobbing at his death.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: In his Free Time events, he mentions angrily lashing out at girls whom he believes want to spend time with him out of pity. Makoto doesn't think this is a very nice thing to do.
- Drop the Hammer: He kills Kiyotaka via beating him with one of these. And then he gets killed in a similar way.
- Dying Clue: Revealing the identity of his killer, and the first hint that the students' memories had been tampered with. He also happens to regain all of the memories that were taken from him, which is how he knows the killer's real name when the killer has so far been going by an alias. This inadvertently complicates things, since her surname is the same as the first name of the character who's already the target of a frame job.
- Easy Amnesia: Played with. He recovers his memories through the classic method of being brained with a hammer. Unfortunately, the blow is also fatal.
- Everyone Has Standards: Hifumi spends his time in the story gushing over 2-D girls and generally giving everyone else the creeps. But even he thinks some things are just beyond the pale: when Celeste lies to him and tells him Kiyotaka stole Alter Ego and sexually assaulted her, this makes Hifumi mad enough to beat Kiyotaka to death... right before Celeste double-crosses him and kills him.
- Expressive Hair: His two side-curls tend to point in different directions depending on his mood.
- Fat Comic Relief: There is little dialogue that comes from Hifumi that is not in some way silly or comical. His poor diet is also exploited for humor.
- Fat Idiot: Considered one by Celeste, who, when describing her plan, notes how easily he was fooled, particularly in his being turned against Kiyotaka, and being tricked into not suspecting that she would dispose of him when she no longer needed him.
- Foil: To Celeste surprisingly enough. Celeste's Free Time Events imply her to be an otaku herself, one who desperately wants to obscure that fact from others. Small wonder Hifumi seems to piss her off so much.
- Full-Name Basis/Last Name Basis: He always has a distinctive way to address his peers which varies on the language. In the original Japanese he addresses everyone by their full name and with the old-fashioned honorific "-dono". In the official English translation he exclusively refers to the other students by their last names (For example, Makoto is "Mr. Naegi," and Sayaka is "Miss Maizono.") to adapt it without making it too cumbersome. In both cases this later proves to be a big clue towards figuring out who murdered him.
- Geek Physique: A parody of the fat alternative.
- Go Into the Light: He brings up such a light during his death scene.
- Gonk: Even if he wasn't the only obese character in the game, he's not particularly attractive.
- Idiot Hair: A non-protagonist example, most likely due to his oddball otaku nature.
- The Insomniac: He mentions during School Mode that his work usually pushes him to doing a lot of all-nighters, which means he can't relate to people used to eating a quality breakfast in the morning (he apparently relies on junk food for fuel).
- Insult Backfire: A part of Hifumi apparently thinks Toko is complimenting him when she tells him he stinks. The derogatory term "otaku" also only fills him with pride.
- Large Ham: Most of what comes out of his mouth are overblown reactions. His portraits are also very dynamic with exaggerated poses.
- Must Have Caffeine: Goes into withdrawal when deprived of his Diet Coke in the conversations.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Compared to the more standard designs, Hifumi looks more like a caricature. He also lacks the series standard eye designs, and has a chipmunk-like upper-lip in most of his poses.
- Opaque Nerd Glasses: Sometimes has his specs become more like these.
- Otaku: He interestingly considers this term a compliment.
- Perpetual Expression: He noticeably changes expression, but his :3 smile only truly disappears in exactly one portrait.
- Perverse Sexual Lust: For Hifumi, it's 2-D women only. Allegedly. Going by the odd bit of dialogue, that seems to include Celeste as well.
- Pet the Dog: In a free time event, Makoto learns that Hifumi actually has an altruistic dream: since he realizes that there are some people who only read fanfic casually, or only certain kinds, he wants to inspire those people to create their own fanfics, so he can "save" those people by giving them a direction in life, as his favorite anime character Heretic Angel ★ Mochi Mochi Princess did for him which is how Hifumi got into the fanfic business in the first place.
- Robosexual: He falls in love with Chihiro's computer program, Alter Ego. Celeste exploits this when she steals the laptop and convinces him that Kiyotaka did it.
- Serious Business: His field, the fanfic circle business. For example, he hates "losers" who only watch Heretic Angel ★ Mochi Mochi Princess because Bo-ko, the main character, turns them on; in his case, he watches the series because he sees it as a meta-science narrative and an answer to J.D. Gillard's theories. He also will get upset if Makoto misidentifies some aspect of fanfics, and he talks about possibly attending certain conventions all by himself so that the "not serious" fans don't ruin it. Also, his dream is to save aimless people by inspiring them to create their own fanfics, as his own favorite character had inspired him.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: In a bizarre take on this trope, Hifumi insists that the entire world of 3-D women could never be his girlfriends, since he insists he is only attracted to 2-D women.
- Shout-Out: A lot of his lines are references to various anime and video games.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Any hints of interest in 3-D women are immediately followed by these, such as when Monokuma brought up "Man's Ambition".
- This Is Unforgivable!: In the English release, his Voice Grunting to express anger includes "This is... unforgivable!" and "To-tal-ly un...forgivable!"
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Hifumi gets the privilege of dying in Aoi's arms while Aoi is sobbing at his death. Notably, in his Friendless Background, he used to resent this sort of thing, angrily driving away girls who wanted to "be nice to the fat nerdy kid to feel good about themselves."
- Unwitting Pawn: Celeste played him hook, line, and sinker while he was none the wiser until it was too late.
"I can predict absolutely anything with perfect accuracy twenty percent of the time!"
A big name in Japan's fortune-telling community. Yasuhiro has made a killing off of his predictions, which he boasts have an 1-in-5 accuracy regardless of topic or scope. He's actually twentynote
years old (having been held back several times in high school) and is easily one of the more laid-back and gullible cast members. He gets framed for the murders in Chapter 3, and mistakenly believes that he killed the victim of Chapter 4. He survives the final trial and escapes the school with the rest of the surviving students.
- Adorkable: Way too stupid as the game goes on, hilarious whenever he thinks his predictions are spot-on.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg/Please, I Will Do Anything!: Where the other survivors are shaken by Junko's combined Breaking Speech/Motive Rant, Hagakure breaks completely down and desperately begs to be spared.
- And You Thought It Was a Game: Even after Monokuma reveals his Deadly Game, Yasuhiro continues to insist it's all some sort of weird initiation prank. When it finally sinks in after someone is gruesomely killed in front of him, he promptly freaks out.
- Anime Hair: States in School Mode that it's his natural hair.
- Butt Monkey: His status as a Phony Psychic combined with his weird beliefs and general absent-mindedness leads to pretty much every character treating him like the punchline to a bad joke. Even Makoto, despite probably being the one who is most friendly towards him, has problems taking him seriously. He also ends up the primary suspect of two murder cases in a row with the manga implying Celeste chose him as a scapegoat because she didn't like him.
- Characterization Marches On: When he's first introduced, he's a bit odd and kind of slow, but as the game progresses, his actions and dialogue become increasingly more erratic and idiotic. Lampshaded.
Hina: "What the heck's happened to you...? You weren't like this from the beginning, you know."
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He thinks for the longest time that Monokuma and the scenario he presents is just some kind of weird stunt, and when it finally dawns on him, as the last of the students, that it is actually deadly serious his Freak Out lasts for an entire day. And even after that, he still spends most of his time acting laid-back and somewhat detached from the gravity of the situation. And that's without going into things like the hamburger story.
- Conspiracy Theorist: He has a few tendencies toward this, especially in his Free Time Events, with his belief in such things as aliens and cryptids. In the MTB against him, he will sometimes yell, "It's a conspiracy!"
- Coat Cape: Going with his laidback persona.
- Collector of the Strange: Has an unusual fascination with Out-Of-Place Artifacts (OOPArts).
- The Cuckoo Lander Was Right:
- At least one of his predictions comes true: At the start of Chapter 4, he predicts that no one else will be murdered. He's right: Sakura's murder turns out to be a suicide, Mukuro's murder is revealed to have happened back in Chapter 1, Makoto survives his "execution", and the mastermind commits suicide by "executing" herself. Who could have seen that coming?
- And if that one is wrong (in the bad ending, where Kyoko is murdered via execution), then another one of his predictions becomes true: that he and Makoto's kids will have the same mom.
- Deadpan Snarker: He starts to become one around the third chapter.
- Dumbass Has a Point: In the third case, after spending most of the time flailing around protesting his innocence, he asks what the real murder weapon was for Hifumi, since it would have been risky for the culprit to retrieve Justice Hammer 3 or 4 from the crime scene and then return it while everyone else was running around the school. Byakuya makes this observation.
- Dub Name Change/In-Series Nickname: Yasuhiro gets shortened to "Hiro."
- Fortune Teller: His talent, though he only gets it right 20-30% of the time, depending on translation and adaption.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: He seems to have no close friends among the other students. Even Makoto expresses distaste for him at the end of his free time events (Yasuhiro had just asked Makoto to donate his organs so he could pay off a debt without having to dip into his savings). It outright gets meta. A lot of official group art tends to pair the students up based on their relationships. Yasuhiro, however, is usually just standing there by himself to the side.
- Funny Afro: Sorta.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: One of his "angry" sprites has him doing this, as does one of his "yelling" sprites.
- Held Back In School: But not for the reason you might initially expect.
- Heroic BSOD: The fifth trial, as Junko reveals how thoroughly she tricked all of them. Before going over the edge of the trope, he pleads her one last time to be spared. Makoto breaks him out of it, and he decides he wants to move forward no matter how difficult the path may look (trusting his instincts instead of his divination).
- Idiot Savant: Displays amazing self-trained penmanship and a working knowledge of electronics (by leading the dismantling of Monokuma and rewiring an antennae to pick up television signals from the outside world) despite the way he acts.
- Inappropriate Hunger: He makes the mistake of comparing Mukuro's flaming corpse to a well-done steak, which Aoi berates him for (since she might never be able to eat steak again after that).
- I Take Offense to That Last One: He gets into this with Aoi a lot. When she complains about the design of the Justice Robo costume, his first reaction is to tell her not to bash other people's designs, which only makes her more certain that he was the one who made it. Then in the next chapter, when she calls him a "stinking idiot", he is placated when she amends it to "you just stink." Later, when she accuses him of "Killing someone... and then standing here chatting and smiling..." he first insists he's not smiling before adding hastily that he's not the killer either.
- Insistent Terminology: No matter what it looks like, Yasuhiro's fortune telling is not occult. He hates the occult.
- Jerkass: Though it is usually forgivable considering his status, he does admit that he has no problem hitting girls who can't fight back and attacks Sakura in Chapter 4, albeit in what he thought was self-defense. Less forgivable is the fact that he tried to frame Toko for the "murder", albeit while he thought he killed Sakura, knowing full well that could get everyone executed if they accused the wrong person.
- Literal-Minded/Sarcasm-Blind: Doesn't catch on to being insulted by Aoi or Byakuya, taking the former's comment that idiots can't catch colds as her stating an actual fact to him, and earnestly apologizing for the latter's exaggerated disgust with all of them.
- The Nicknamer: In the anime subtitles his use of the suffix "-chi" is translated as this, i.e. "Naegs" and "Fujisakins."
- No, You: In the fourth case, when he's the initial suspect for killing Sakura.
Toko: Y-you're acting incredibly s-suspicious...
Yasuhiro: YOU'RE acting incredibly suspicious!
- One of the Kids: At twenty, he's older than the other students, yet can be the most immature, ditzy, slow to understand and quick to panic.
- Opinion Flipflop: Tends to go along with the flow. While he does assert himself from time to time, and develops into a Deadpan Snarker, he also backs down and panics when faced with challenges.
Kiyotaka: Do you not have a mind of your own!?
Yasuhiro: Of course I do! What am I, an ant or somethin'?
- Phony Psychic: Depending on your view of psychics and fortune tellers, his guaranteed 20-30% accuracy rating is either incredibly high or incredibly low for his profession. He still thinks he's good enough to charge people through the roof for his services.
- The Pig Pen: He says in a magazine spread advertising the Anime◊ that he washes his hair once a season, and goes so far as to proudly state that he's started using fabric softener on it. Kuwata is naturally disgusted.
- Red Herring: In a meta case, the Something Awful LP thread tends to accuse him of anything suspicious. And when it doesn't, it's because the game's doing it instead.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Seemingly the intention behind his design, to make him seem even stranger.
- Skewed Priorities: In his story at the beginning of Chapter 4, his reaction to having his takeout abducted by aliens is to go back and confront the restaurant owner over false advertising because the aliens rejected over half of his "100% beef" burger for their cattle-mutilationary purposes.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: During the investigation phase in case 2. "I most certainly wasn't checking the contents of that letterbox!" Though when he presents his discovery at the trial it turns out he didn't check enough to find out "Leon's" card was broken.
- Surfer Dude: The unofficial translation patch localizes his speech into this, having him end his sentences with "dude".
- Throw the Dog a Bone: In the good ending, despite his status as the Butt Monkey, he is one of the six students to escape from the academy with his life.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: In the bad ending, with Aoi. He's not too hideous (save for the ridiculous afro), but he's the plainest of the three surviving guys (the others are Makoto and Byakuya) and probably has no business being seen with Asahina..
- Verbal Tic: In Japanese he ends most of his sentences with "-be" since he speaks in a Tohoku Regional Accent. The Let's Play has him end his sentences with "right?".
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Despite being a fortune teller, he freaks out at the mention of ghosts, and denies that they exist. To the point that in the fifth case, you must firmly establish that Kyoko is not the victim, and therefor not a ghost while she is standing literally feet away from him, a conversation so stupid that half of the group don't even take part in it.
- Would Hit a Girl: Threatens to punch Genocider Syo, though he backs down with a claim that "I'm strong with girls, but kinda weak with strong girls..." And in Chapter 4, he panics and beans Sakura over the head with a bottle.
"I can read minds. Relax, it's a joke. I just have good intuitions."
Sayaka is the lead singer of an incredibly popular idol group
. She and Makoto were classmates; he caught her eye one day when he freed a crane that was stuck in the school pool, but they've never spoken. Recognizing him from that day, she asks Makoto if she can be his sidekick during Monokuma's game. She's the first murder victim, stabbed to death by Leon after trying to kill him first.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. It isn't clear how much of her words were meant to manipulate Makoto, and whether or not she really loved him. It's implied that she left Leon's name at the crime scene to help clear Makoto's name, though; Kyoko mentions the theory and, when Makoto wonders if she actually did it out of revenge against her murderer, she adds that she still wants to believe Sayaka did it as a last apology to him for what she had done. The manga does indeed confirm that Kyoko was right in this regard.
- Her Trigger Happy Heart Event in school mode (a situation with significantly less tension than the main story) pretty much confirms that she genuinely likes spending time with Makoto.
- Asshole Victim: She invited Leon to Makoto's room, intending to kill him and frame Makoto for it so she could escape.
- The Atoner: Maybe. She may have left Leon's name at the crime scene to clear Makoto's name once her plan went south, but we'll never know. In If, she decides to tell Leon and Makoto that she had planned to kill the former and frame the latter for his death once she had her My God, What Have I Done? moment below.
- Attention Whore: Very sadly and cruelly deconstructed. Sayaka, raised by a workaholic father and always alone, threw herself in her Idol Singer career to get the love and attention she lacked of and get over her lonely past. When Monokuma's Educational DVD showed her that she'd be forgotten and abandoned if she didn't "graduate" soon from Hope's Peak, Sayaka snapped hard enough to try killing someone else and attempt to frame Makoto for it.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her idol outfit in the anime.
- Berserk Button: In the manga, she doesn't take it well when people make light of the entertainment industry, which she had to make a lot of personal sacrifices to succeed in. This is implied to be one of the reasons why she tried to kill Leon, even though his athleticism makes him harder to kill than some of the others.
- Beware the Nice Ones: See Asshole Victim.
- The Can Kicked Him: When her plan went south, she tried to hide in the shower, but Leon broke in and murdered her there.
- Couldn't Find a Pen: She wrote a Dying Clue in her own blood on the wall of Makoto's shower.
- Crash-Into Hello: Runs into Makoto in this manner before deciding to become his assistant. The situation is thoroughly lampshaded as a "scene out of an old manga".
- Decoy Damsel: At first, she looks like an ordinary love interest. Then she tries to betray Makoto and ends up getting murdered.
- Everyone Has Standards: When deciding who to kill in the manga, she immediately dismisses Makoto because he's her friend, though she still plans to frame him.
- Freak Out: When she sees Monokuma's "motivational" DVD, which shows her band breaking up and everyone forgetting her.
- Girl Next Door: Her design seems to invoke this image to give her a sense of humble innocence. This makes her betrayal both more and less shocking. Shocking by how it clashes with her idol image, and yet unshocking because it proves how good of an idol she was to project that image so well.
- Girly Girl: The girliest.
- Hair Decorations: A pair of hairclips on either side of her head to keep her bangs out in place. A Kitty Barrette is also one of her favorite presents.
- Honey Trap: She tried to betray Makoto via worming her way in his affections and then bringing Leon to his room so she could kill him and frame Makoto, so she'd go out and retake her career — and thus not being forgotten by anyone. It backfired horribly: Maizono was murdered instead, and Leon became the first execution victim.
- Idol Singer: Self-explanatory—it's even her Ultimate "title" in the Japanese version.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: As a popular idol she got plenty of attention, adoring fans, and a group of friends she could rely on. This is what leads to her snapping so early on since her idol group are shown as lying on a stage unconscious or dead in Monokuma's video and she wants to find out what happens to them.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: A major part of her image, which makes her true nature all the more impactful. It also happens to match her hair.
- Japanese Pronouns: Atashi, mostly used by cute teenage girls.
- The Lost Lenore: It's implied in the sequel Makoto never forgot about her.
- Missing Mom: Which is part of why she craved attention so much and became an idol.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In If, Sayaka almost breaks down when Monokuma intends to reveal her plan to kill someone and frame Makoto for it. It didn't help that he also emphasized how the students had been her friends for two years.
- Parental Neglect: She explains to Makoto that she was raised by solely by her Workaholic father, hence why she clings so much to her career and fans.
- Patient Childhood Love Interest: Subverted in that she and Makoto weren't actually that close when they were in school, but otherwise she plays the "childhood friend" role to a T. Until she backstabs him, at least.
- Rapunzel Hair: Has long hair that reaches past her hips.
- Running Gag: She frequently says exactly what Makoto is thinking, claims she can read minds, and then brushes it off as "good intuition".
- Sacrificial Lamb: Turns out to be the first victim after being set up as the Love Interest.
- Sherlock Scan: Presumably the explanation behind her supposed ESP. She likes to say exactly what Makoto is thinking, then claim she can read minds, giving him time to react before saying it's just "good intuition."
- Stepford Smiler: Though she appears cheerful at first, she's the first student to crack under the pressure of Monokuma's game and attempt to kill someone. Her fear of being forgotten and abandoned is that big.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Like with Kyoko and Sakura, this isn't brought up as being particularly strange. Funnily enough, the art book claims her hair is supposed to be black.
- Zettai Ryouiki: When in uniform, she's a Grade A.
Ultimate Swimming Pro
"What, you've never seen this before? They say when you want to remember someone's name, you should write it on the palm of your hand three times!"
A bubbly girl who takes to water like a duck. Though she is best at swimming, she is also skilled in all kinds of other athletic activities and is a member of six different sports clubs. However, she isn't the sharpest thinker and tends to be easily misled during trials. She spends most of her time with fellow fitness enthusiast Sakura, and loves donuts. She tries to get herself and the others killed in Chapter 4 after being manipulated by Monokuma, but snaps out of it after being read Sakura's real suicide note. She goes on to survive the final trial and escape the school with the others.
Ultimate Writing Prodigy
"Don't you look at me like I'm some sort of filthy, obscene thing!
A famous romance novelist who has been writing bestselling books since before she was ten years old. However, she has never had a real romance of her own, much less a friend. Having been bullied as a child, she has a severe persecution complex
and always assumes that people think the worst of her. Because of this, she's extremely pessimistic and slow to trust others
. She has Dissociative Identity Disorder
, with her other persona being "Genocider Syo", an infamous serial killer that awakens whenever she sees blood and reverts when she sneezes. Syo is a textbook maniacal psychopath, but befitting of a serial killer is highly intelligent and methodical. She survives the final trial and escapes the school with the other surviving students. Tropes specific to Syo belong in her section in the "Other" folder, since it isn't clear if Syo also counts as a student.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Byakuya.
- Adorkable: Even more along with Byakuya.
- Afraid of Blood:
- Upon seeing F!Chihiro's body, the blood causes her to faint. But when Genocider Syo takes over, Syo does not have Toko's problem (or stutter).
- The same happens when Kiyotaka's body is found. Makoto finds her passed out not too far from the crime scene and assumes she's dead too, but Byakuya tells him she's just unconscious.
- In The Anime of the Game, she faints at the sight of "Junko"'s death by the Spears of Gungnir.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She has a crush on Byakuya, and takes his neglect and insults as proof that he's secretly concerned about her.
- Alternate Identity Amnesia: Exploited. Both her personalities have this, but when their shared body is hit with a dose of Laser-Guided Amnesia, only the active personality was affected. This means one of them remembers The Worst, Most Despair-inducing Incident in the History of Mankind — unfortunately, they're unable to provide any concrete details, as it was the other who actually experienced it.
- Beauty Mark: She sports one beneath the left side of her mouth. Supposedly the designers picked that because it suggests an outgoing, positive personality according to Asian mole divining (contrasting her hyper-negative shut-in persona).
- Bookworm: She's even called the Super Duper High School Bookworm in the translation by Project Zetsubou.
- Child Prodigy: While all the Hope's Peak students have an extraordinary talent, Toko developed hers well before puberty.
- Covert Pervert: Sometimes shows hints of being a Nightmare Fetishist. Ironically, she tends to accuse other people of being Covert Perverts.
- Cute Bookworm: Despite her being an Abhorrent Admirer and The Pig Pen, she's one of the most conservatively-dressed, alongside Chihiro. Not only does she wear huge thin-rimmed round glasses, she also wears a long skirt as part of her high school uniform, and even has a a big reason for doing so. Her hair covers parts of her face, and also bears a beauty mark.
- The Eeyore: Is regularly described as having an aura of negativity.
- Extreme Doormat: To Byakuya.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Implied. In the final class picture, when she looks her happiest, she isn't wearing glasses; this might be explained by the picture being taken during gym class, but Byakuya and Hifumi still have theirs.
- Hates Being Touched: In addition to having problems with people in general.
- Has Two Mommies: ... And One Daddy. She refuses to explain why this is. It was finally revealed in "School Mode": it's because her parents divorced, and her father remarried. The reason she was reluctant to talk about it is because divorce isn't something easily talked about in Japanese culture.
- Horrible Judge of Character: She tells Byakuya that she's Genocider Syo, and is shocked when he tries to use the information to frame her for a murder. He retorts that she should know real life isn't like her romance novels.
- Hypocrite: She often assumes that whoever she's talking to hates her while insulting them right off the bat, and tends to accuse others of being perverted when she's shown to be a borderline Nightmare Fetishist.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Has a lot of self esteem issues and issues with people due to past bullying.
- Irony: Toko is Afraid of Blood. Genocider Syo is a sadistic Serial Killer.
- Japanese Pronouns: Atashi, typical of teenage girls.
- Jerkass: At first appears to be this, but her Free Time Events make very clearly a Jerkass Façade which she appears to have dropped during the students' normal years at the academy, as shown in the gym photo shown in the credits.
- Killed Off for Real: In the Bad Ending. She's not seen, and Byakuya is holding a picture of her anyways, which may hint that she died at sometime in-between the time skip.
- Large Ham: 90% of her Voice Grunting is just high-pitched squeals or overblown groans of displeasure.
- Mad Love: Has this relationship with Byakuya, who makes it clear more than once that he doesn't think much of her. Toko, however, interprets his insults as his being secretly concerned about her and will do whatever he asks without question. On the other hand, Byakuya isn't above using her almost slavish devotion to him to his own advantage.
- Meganekko: Her glasses suit her considering her bookish nature as a talented writer.
- Nervous Wreck: To the point it's easiest to tell if she's herself or Syo "acting" as her based around how nervous she seems, since Syo doesn't have her stutter and isn't as prone to panicking.
- No Social Skills: Tends to premptively reject others, accusing them of thinking the worst of her while assuming the worst about them.
- Not Me This Time: Yes, she's the infamous serial killer Genocider Syo. No, she's not the killer in Chapter 2 despite the evidence pointing to her.
- Perpetual Frowner: She smiles at most two time during the entire game, including her free time events.
- The Pig Pen: She doesn't shower often, and Byakuya claims her breath smells bad.
- Rapunzel Hair: Considering hair seems shorter than it really is when it gets braided, which becomes more obvious the thicker the braids are, and both of the braids are only slightly thinner than her arms and yet still go past her waist... Yeah, her hair is pretty long. Her official art manages to make her braids look even thicker and longer.
- Shy Finger Twiddling: In some of her sprites.
- Speech Impediment: She has a pronounced stutter.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Nearly the entire fandom spells her first name as Touko. The official American release renders it as Toko.
- Split Personality: Has Dissociative Identity Disorder, with her other persona being "Genocider Syo", an infamous Serial Killer that awakens whenever she sees blood and reverts when she sneezes and they don't share the same memories. As you can imagine, they're both very different people: Touko is gloomy and pessimistic, while Genocider Syo is a gleefully sadistic Large Ham. About the only thing they have in common is their infatuation with Byakuya Togami.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Her free time events reveal that she has been ditched in middle school by her date (because he was only going out with her due to losing a bet with a friend) and ridiculed in elementary school for writing a heartfelt love letter to her best friend, who instead pinned it on the school bulletin board. It doubles as the reason why she started writing in the first place (a teacher thought her style was pretty unique).
- Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: She was at the receiving end of some really cruel bullying, as described above.
- Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Justified, since she writes them.
- When She Smiles:
- During the duration of the game, a frown never leaves Toko's face (no, Syo's Slasher Smile doesn't count), but in one of the class pictures taken before they lost their memories, she appears legitimately happy.
- She also smiles when she sees Makoto again in the cafeteria after his failed execution.
- Write What You Know: In-Universe example: she tries it, and the result ends up depressing Naegi.
Ultimate Martial Artist
"If we can be beaten by force, death is an outcome we will accept. That is the way of my clan." Voiced by: Kujira
(Japanese), Jessica Gee (English)
An MMA champion whose family has operated a famous dojo for 300 years. Despite her intimidating appearance, Sakura is level-headed and polite. She spends most of her time exercising and drinks a lot of protein coffee. Her size and strength make her a perfect candidate for guarding crime scenes. She's been nicknamed "the Ogre" online. She is blackmailed into acting as Monokuma's mole within the group. However, she decides to rebel against him and commits suicide after breaking the door to the Headmaster's Office, making her both the victim and the culprit of Chapter 4.
- Action Girl: And one of the few with the muscles and scars to prove it.
- Always Someone Better: As strong as Sakura is, her free time events reveal that there was one person she could never beat. That person was her boyfriend, Kenichirou.
- Badass: She becomes one of the odd students that Monokuma can't successfully punish. That is saying something. This is further shown off with her Badass Arm-Fold in most of her portraits with her muscular arms and deep intimidating Badass Baritone voice in both languages.
- Battle Aura: She can create these in certain sprites.
- Berserk Button: Threatening Aoi is one of the few things that will get her truly angry.
- Big Damn Heroes: In IF, Sakura holds off countless Monokuma units so that Mondo and Mukuro can escape to safety.
- The Big Guy: Oogami is easily the largest student, and tasks that require someone physically capable are typically deferred to her. However, Oogami admits that her skill set is limited to fighting, and she is not much of a detective.
- Brawn Hilda: Naturally, since she looks like Akuma in a schoolgirl uniform.
- Boobs of Steel: Not that the player would usually notice, however, since she usually has her arms crossed in front of her chest. During an "Easter egg" fanservice picture of the girls in the hot spring wearing towels, however, you see Sakura's breasts from the side, and they're huge!
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Though her hair appears more white than a normal blonde.
- Defiant to the End: When Monokuma presents her with a conflict of loyalty she decides to Take a Third Option and handles the situation like a Samurai.
- Driven to Suicide: "Like a Samurai" as in committing suicide (though with poison instead of Seppuku).
- Face of a Thug: Looks scary as hell, is actually quite amiable and one of the nicest members of the cast.
- Friendless Background: Implied to have had this, due to her scary appearance and her overall dedication to martial arts to the exclusion of much else in her life. In her suicide note, she says that Aoi and the other students were her first real friends.
- Genius Bruiser: Not only does she frequently pick up on things others do not, her suicide is also by far the hardest murder to decode, as it defies both Byakuya's expectations of the whole "betrayal of friendship" that has been applicable to every trial so far and has a total of 4 (counting Genocider Shou) red herrings. Of course, she had intended things to be more straightforward, but Monokuma couldn't resist planting a fake suicide note.
- Gentle Giant: She's the tallest and physically strongest of the students, and despite her intimidating appearance and extensive knowledge of how to kick people's asses she's actually quite a nice person, though she's quiet and somewhat aloof. There are few things that can make her angry enough to be not so gentle.
- Glowing Eyes: Typically as a part of her Battle Aura.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Of the good scars variety.
- Go Out with a Smile: Since she found a way to give Monokuma the death they demanded her to in order for her to protect her family's dojo without killing any of her dear friends.
- Heir to the Dojo: Naturally, as an Ultimate Martial Artist. Monokuma attempts to blackmail her into cooperating with him by threatening her dojo.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Not only did her suicide get even Byakuya (and by extension, Toko/Genocider Syo) to stand and rally against Monokuma, but she managed to break open the headmaster's lock before committing suicide which allowed Kyoko gain access to it.
- Hidden Depths: Despite her brawny appearance, Sakura is actually very calm, collected, and highly intelligent.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Huge is an understatement; she's a whopping 192 cm (roughly 6'3'') tall. Though it seems it was a rather... recent development◊.
- Icy Blue Eyes: They're intended to make her look strong and focused, while still being feminine.
- It Was a Gift: According to the art book, the red uniform scarf she always wears was this between her and Kenichiro.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Several characters mistake her for a male bodybuilder.
- Lady of War: In personality, though not in fighting style or appearance.
- The Lost Lenore: Her boyfriend, Kenichirou, is this to her. He was the only person she couldn't defeat in a fight despite the fact that he was terminally ill and was given six months to live. Though Sakura states that he's still alive despite that, what makes it even more heartbreaking is that he's most likely dead by the time she commits suicide.
- Mixed Martial Arts: Which is why her title is so broad in terms of scope.
- The Mole: Was blackmailed by Monokuma into being this, as revealed by Chapter 4.
- Non-Standard Character Design: In comparison to the other students, she looks like a piece of Street Fighter concept art.
- Panty Shot: During the event cutscene at the end of Chapter 3, where Monokuma and Sakura are fighting, we get a brief flash up her skirt that reveals that Sakura wears a thong.
- Rapunzel Hair: Though not as obvious as some of the other girls, thanks to how big she is compared to them.
- Rasputinian Death: Hit twice directly on the head with a heavy, thick bottle with enough force to shatter said bottle each time. Normally, that'd be more than enough to kill any normal person, but in this case, Sakura only dies after ingesting poison herself.
- Red Baron: In online circles, she's known as "the Ogre", a pun on her last name. Yasuhiro doesn't call her anything else.
- Sacrificial Lion: By choice.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Her arms are simply too muscled for simple sleeves to contain.
- Spanner in the Works: Before dying, she knocked down the door to the headmaster's office, giving the students an advantage against Monokuma.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The Let's Play spells her name as "Oogami" and this has stuck with the western side of the fandom, though in other places it will occasionally be spelled as "Ookami". In addition, Funimation uses Ogami, while the anime itself uses Ohgami. The American localization went with Ogami.
- The Stoic: With one exception: she screams bloody murder with a shocked expression on her face when she discovers that cute little Fujisaki is a man!
- Take a Third Option: It's eventually revealed at the end of case 4's trial that the reason Monokuma was able to persuade Sakura to be the mole was because Monokuma was holding Sakura's family's dojo hostage. She either had to kill someone and thus lose her moral integrity, or lose her family's dojo. What does she do? She kills herself, which simultaneously satisfies the dojo-saving requirement of killing someone while preserving her moral integrity by not actually killing any of the others.
- This Is Unforgivable!: She shouts this when she learns someone has harmed Aoi.
- Wild Hair: The designers did this intentionally. It gives her a 'trained-in-the-mountains' look.
- World's Strongest Man: In-series, she's officially the strongest person in the world. However, she doesn't actually consider herself to be this; rather, she believes that the strongest person in the world is her boyfriend, Kenichirou, since she's still never managed to defeat him. When he was sick in the hospital, he gave her the title of strongest person, and she plans to hold on to it until he's well again.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: How her (very formal) speech was rendered in the Let's Play at first; it made her sound like she came out of an old samurai drama, but didn't flow very well, so this was toned down.
- Younger Than They Look: In addition to her ridiculous physique, she has much more mature facial features, but she is supposedly still a high schooler.
- Your Answer to Everything: In one Yonkoma, protein is hers for everything up to Sayaka's bad case of dead.
Celestia Ludenberg (Taeko Yasuhiro)
"My lies must never be too extravagant..."
Also known as the "Queen of Liars", Celestia is renowned for her exemplary luck in games of chance. She's accumulated a sizable fortune by robbing anyone stupid enough to challenge her blind. She speaks softly and smiles often, but in a way that tends to creep out everyone around her. She also hides a surprisingly short temper and will start shouting (usually at Hifumi
) if she isn't pleased. She is the culprit of Chapter 3, tricking Hifumi into killing Kiyotaka, then killing him and trying to frame Yasuhiro for it. She is exposed during the trial and executed by Monokuma, subjected to a faux "witch burning" that gets interrupted when Monokuma rams a fire truck into her.
- A Day in the Limelight: Unlike everyone else who got one, she receives four chapters in the manga.
- Analogy Backfire: Before being executed, she mentioned that she'd like to be reborn as Marie Antoinette... to which Yasuhiro points out that she's going to die executed anyway. Probably subverted that considering Celeste's character, she probably refers to how grand Antoinette's life is compared her generic life as Taeko Yasuhiro, and alludes to her wish of Face Death with Dignity, which she attempts in her execution, until Monokuma screwed that.
- Awesome McCoolname: Look at the name, really. Celeste picked that because her real name, Taeko Yasuhiro, to her, is pretty generic and she didn't like it due to implied isolation.
- Becoming the Mask: The manga seems to indicate that she could fool herself as well. She's trying to bury her past as the overly generic and un-special Taeko Yasuhiro that she thought she's living herself as the fabricated persona of 'Celestia Ludenburg', including all of the romanticized stuffs that comes with such a romanticized name. On the bad side, it includes having a Lack of Empathy and lying to everyone.
- Believing Their Own Lies: She claims to be such a skilled liar, she can even fool herself. Of course, that might have been a lie as well, since she said it before being executed; in the game, Makoto thinks her smile looks uncharacteristically fake.
- Berserk Button: She has very strong feelings about how one ought to prepare milk tea. When Hifumi was trying to have second thoughts, that was another time Celeste lost her cool (though this one is Played for Laughs)
SHUT UP AND BRING ME THE GODDAMN TEA, YOU SWINE!!!
- Some analyses on her character maintain that the tea is really just a matter of her cracking under the pressure of maintaining her usual level of comfort and control in a situation that lends itself to neither (something not helped by Hifumi's floundering of her order). If anything, reminding her of her past is a much quicker way to do this, such as grilling her about whether "Celestia Ludenberg" is her actual name. In School Mode, she gets pissed at Naegi for asking how she gets her hair the way it is, which would have to lead into the fact that her Regal Ringlets aren’t real.
- Born Lucky: Which is why she is such a talented gambler, in addition to having a great poker face.
- If you hang out with her, it's revealed that this is most of what her "talent" consists of. She even won a high-level shogi tournament despite not knowing how to play because she got lucky enough. Which makes her breakdown make more sense, because she's used to things going her way enough that she doesn't know how to react when she's clearly cornered.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the flashback that shows how she coerced Hifumi into being her accomplice, she actually says, out loud, "And this concludes my flashback", much to Hifumi's confusion.
- Burn the Witch!: Her execution. Though subverted when she's killed by a firetruck crashing into her.
- Character Tics: Twirling a strand of her hair around her finger, which is made more obvious in the anime. Also occasionally steepling her fingers with a smile on her face.
- Chewing the Scenery: If she's angry, you can expect her to ham it up so deliciously. As proven during the tea event and her Villainous Breakdown.
- Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: One sprite has her primly steepling her fingers. As for the deceive part, she tricks Hifumi into helping her and tries to frame Yasuhiro for Hifumi's murder.
- Conspicuous Consumption: If you take her to the music room in School Mode and bring up the grand piano centered on the concert stage, she says she plans on having one in her future castle, just for the sake of having it. She refuses to bother learning how to play and would rather hire a concert pianist as a servant specifically to play for her.
- Consummate Liar: By her own admission.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Just as she's about to get burned at the stake, Monokuma crashes a firetruck into her. And that's one of the tamer executions.
- Custom Uniform: In the class pictures showing lost memories, where other characters are wearing uniforms, she wears the same black dress and giant pigtails except in the final gym photo.
- Decoy Damsel: Invoked this as part of her manipulations, as this is how she got Hifumi to kill Kiyotaka for her.
- Dissonant Serenity: She often seems very calm despite being in the middle of a murder game while trapped inside an abandoned school.
- Death by Irony: Word of God stated that Celeste wanted a dramatic and romanticized death like the ones present in classic novels, such as being burned at the stake. However, Monokuma would have none of that.
- Dub Name Change: Her In-Series Nickname in the English version is 'Celeste'.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: She's practically monochrome and her serenity makes her rather unsettling at times.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: So much that her dream is to live in a castle with manservants dressed as vampires. She also never changes out of her outfit - and we do mean never.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As revealed in Absolute Despair Girls, even Celeste has something that she held dear enough to be used as a motive (which fails because she kept herself together): her cat, Grand Bios Cheri Ludenberg, whom she spoiled and eventually got him share her favorite food, gyoza. One has to wonder why she seems to value her cat above any blood relatives she may have had...
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Ruthless as she is, Celeste draws the line at being a Sore Loser. If it's known that she loses with no way out, she has to accept her loss and whatever punishment is thrown at her.
- Also, while she just ignores Toko passing out from seeing Junko/Mukuro's death, Celeste is clearly disturbed when she sees just how brutal Leon's execution was.
- Although only in the game and it's not helping her case being a murderer, Celeste also states that she finds 'doing things For the Evulz' like Byakuya not to be her taste.
- Also noted in her Free-Time events, with people she put on 'Rank F'. These kind of people are the type of people that Celeste finds so disgusting that she'd hire assassins to have these people eliminated from the world. We just don't know the exact criteria of getting this rank or if there's someone else she treats as such (in the manga, she pegs Yasuhiro as an F).
- Face Death with Dignity: Subverted! Like Mondo, and unlike Leon, she makes no effort to escape her fate, in her case being burned at the stake. She calmly says goodbye to the remaining kids and hopes they'll meet again in their next lives, then stands still in her soon-to-be pyre with her hands steepled and looking up dramatically as her romanticized death approaches... but since she wants to go out with dignity, Monokoma pulls a bait-and-switch just to be an asshole and rams a fire truck into her instead of letting her burn to death.
- Face-Heel Turn: In two ways. She was a witness in the first two cases and helps out Makoto solve the mysteries of both cases and preventing many to die from wrong accusation. Then in the third case, she suddenly decides to become the culprit. In the other way, Celes was one of the students agreeing with the Hope Peak's Academy program to stay in the school to keep the hope of the world. Due to the mastermind's machinations of tampering the students' memories, Celeste ends up as someone who's very desperate to get out of the school, forgetting her agreement.
- Faux Affably Evil: She tends to be outwardly polite to others, except when she's pushed into a corner, but often comes off as highly condescending while doing so.
- Femme Fatalons: She has long fingernails painted black. She also wears a metal armor piece on one finger, which sometimes looks like a claw.
- The Generic Girl: While Celeste herself is anything BUT generic, the manga adaption reveals that, as Taeko, she was an example of this, to the point where she was ignored and friendless because of how unremarkable she was. It was only when she discovered her talent as a gambler that she reinvented herself as Celestia Ludenberg.
- Genre Savvy: In the first chapter she predicts that "Junko" will be one of the first to die (though it turns out it wasn't for the reasons she thought), and in the Reload artbook she says the same of Leon.
- Go Out with a Smile: Though we don't see how she reacts to that firetruck... in the manga adaptation, she's not too happy to see it.
- Graceful Loser: Though that might be a lie. She still owes up to her real name and Alter Ego's hiding place once she finally gives up, however, as an attempt to invoke this. Also she didn't even bother in cursing on Makoto for defeating and exposing her, which would've been in-line with her true, snappy self and selfish desires and motives.
- Greed: Celeste manipulated Hifumi into helping with the scheme to murder two people. She didn't do this in self-defense, which motivated Leon, nor did she do this out of a loss of self-control, like Mondo did; no, she did it because she wants to live like a princess in a fancy castle with servants waiting on her hand and foot. The others call her out for committing murder for a reason like that. (Though Makoto wonders if that was yet another of her lies...) Although Celeste makes it clear that the Greed part was actually her secondary goal, her primary goal is 'getting out of the place', and she had to use her pissed-off mode to hammer the point home.
- Hidden Depths: Free Time events reveal that Celeste is as much of a geek as Hifumi, referencing to other works in her 'tales'. It also may imply that Celeste is in fact delusional and suffering from a Inferiority Superiority Complex, she made up grand tales based on the things she read and implemented it to her Celeste persona to the point she started to believe that's really how her life worked instead of a certain plain 'Taeko Yasuhiro'. Guess there is a bit of truth in how she said she could fool herself...
- In the anime 7th episode, Celeste remarks that Byakuya and Syo are "Cold, heartless and devoid of calcium." for insulting how Hifumi momentarily came back to life just to die again. Um, lady, who's cold and heartless enough to mastermind the murder of two people and probably the rest due to the rules, and even called Hifumi a fat idiot, just to get one selfish dream?
- She also, at the end of the first trial, dismisses Leon's justification that his killing of Sayaka was in self-defense, by saying that if that was the case, he wouldn't have gone out of his way to get the bathroom door open and finish her off. She then goes on to betray and kill the unsuspecting Hifumi, after manipulating him into killing Kiyotaka.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Manga-only. Celeste recalled her past as Taeko as someone who's overly plain that she's isolated. It possibly caused her to adopt the 'persona' Celeste and to keep up with the charade, she ends up changing her dreams from 'want to be noticed' into 'live in a castle with cosplaying servants'.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: A variation: Celeste makes a casual comment about not believing that a murder like this would happen to "the guys". Problem is, no one had told her about Kiyotaka's death yet... so how could she have known there was more than one victim at that point?
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: One interpretation for why she so frequently brings up game-related explanations in conversation is her just wanting to have something to explain for its own sake. A way of compensating for her total lack of control in the killing game that also lets her set herself up as a cunning, intelligent figure within the group.
- It's All About Me: Is unnaturally demanding towards Yamada and Naegi at times, and her selfishness culminates in the third chapter with her dying because of it (while romantically describing it as "chasing her dream").
- Jerkass: Less overt than Byakuya, but she acts uncaring around everyone, states it was Chihiro's own fault that he was killed and murders two people in cold blood for extremely selfish reasons.
- Just a Machine: Celeste is the only one who considers Alter Ego an AI, no more and no less, unlike others who saw it as a new human being or a beacon of hope. This is what she implies when she handed down the key to Alter Ego to Kyoko, implying that she finally decided to run with the plan of two murders because she lost hope and unable to reclaim it by being unable to treat Alter Ego as anything else but an AI.
- Keigo: Undoubtedly to fit the Victorian image that comes along with her Elegant Gothic Lolita getup. The English localization instead gave her a faux-French accent. When you realize the kind of person she wants to reincarnate into in the second life...
- King of Games: Of sorts. She mentions in School Mode that she'd love to use the rec room more if only someone within the group could provide her a worthy challenge (she's talking about any and every game in that room).
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Unless not proven guilty and there may still be a chance, Celeste would resort to even freaking out to defend her case. But once her chips are down and there's no way out, she'll calmly admit defeat. Said she also lost a few times in the past to know when she loses.
- Lack of Empathy: "Are you trying to make me feel guilt? You're wasting your time..." Though given her status as a Consummate Liar...
- Justified Trope. She is the Ultimate Gambler, and to succeed in underground gambling, she has to be as ruthless and devoid of empathy as possible as it's a harsh environment. It's the reason why she attained such a title in the first place.
- Another good indicator of this is in the 2nd episode of the anime. After seeing Junko/Mukuro getting killed, she coolly suggests that the students start investigating Sayaka's death, and smiles in the middle of her 'Gendo Pose' while saying that they reaped what they sowed, much to Aoi's calling out. Also, when seeing that scene, while others (except Byakuya) look horrified and Toko just passed out, Celeste just keeps her usual expression of 'put hands in front of mouth as if saying "Oh my."'
- In the second chapter of the game, she says Chihiro's death was his own fault for being out at Night Time.
- The manga tones this down a bit, showing that deep down she feels rather horrible for killing Hifumi. However, because she had to keep up the 'Celeste' charade at all cost, she instead treats it as an Ignored Epiphany.
- Let Me Get This Straight: When Byakuya accuses her of being the mastermind behind the murders in Chapter 3.
Celeste: So what you are saying, then, is that I specifically chose to work together with Hifumi. The idea that I would choose to spend any amount of time interacting with him... That I would go within ten feet of that shit-for-brains, that lazy, worthless goddamn idiot! Ahem. Ah, pardonnez-moi.
- Madness Mantra:
- Medium Awareness: This conversation between Celeste and Hifumi during a Flashback in Chapter 3:
"...This is where my flashback ends."
"Who are you talking to?"
"You wouldn't understand..."
- Mega Twintails: Those are some really huge drill-shaped pigtails she's got. A few pieces of character art show her without the pigtails, suggesting they're detachable hair extensions, and the manga also goes with the 'detachable hair extension' interpretation as there's a panel about Celeste fixing her head to make it look like she was assaulted, but then one tail fell off.
- Must Have Caffeine: She says in School Mode that her day always starts with "jam or butter on a freshly baked baguette, and café au lait" and that she generally prefers black tea over oolong or green. She brings up that last part after mentioning that she ends her day reading a book over a cup of black tea before bed (which would make her caffeine tolerance rather high).
- Nice Shoes: Her red enamel Mary-Janes with princess straps across them. They apparently quite expensive.
- No Social Skills: It's made very apparent during her free time events that she's incredibly bad at relating to people and treating them like... people. She tells tales of her exploits clearly lifted from popular manga (Akagi and Liar Game in particular) and calls Makoto a "D-rank" and insults him during regular discussion. This is later revealed to be a system she uses to rank people, and the manner in which she explains Makoto's promotion to "C" sounds like a very awkward way of telling someone you have feelings for them. The implications of her past in the manga seems to support that her ostracization prevents her to learn any social skills. However, on the downside, this trope caused her to not think of the other students highly to the point of eventually masterminding a murder of two students and couldn't care less about them despite interacting with and helping them through two trials.
- Not So Different: In chapter 2, she tries to invoke this with Byakuya. He tells her to shut up.
- Not So Stoic: She's calm most of the time, but every so often makes it apparent how much of that stoicism is a mask. The incident with Yamada and her tea for example, when her expression turns nasty and, more importantly, her voice loses its soft and whispery quality and she sounds like a harshly-voiced grown woman. When Makoto really manages to lay pressure on Celeste during Chapter 3's trial, she freaks and spends most of the remaining trial this way until the end.
- Oh, Crap: In the manga, she silently panics after hearing Hifumi say her real last name with his dying breaths. It goes largely undetected by the rest of those discovering his body, though.
- Obviously Evil: She's dressed as a gothic lolita, has red eyes, is easily angered, is an excellent liar, and is known as the Ultimate Gambler. Were you hoping that she wouldn't be a murderer?
- One Steve Limit: Averted, since her real family name is the same as Yasuhiro's given name. This is a plot point: see Stock Foreign Name to learn the reason why.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: On top of being a pseudonym itself, her name is almost always shortened to "Celeste". Sakura calls her this despite being on Last Name Basis with everyone else, and even the game's interface simply uses "Celeste" where it would otherwise display a character's full name.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Before and during the third trial, Celeste acts a bit more aggressive than how she just took things calmly like usual. This is a hint that Celeste is suspicious and eventually be exposed as the murder's mastermind.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In the English localization, her affected French accent tends to slip when she's angry. When she admits defeat and that her real name is Taeko Yasuhiro, she temporarily drops it completely.
- Pet the Dog: Subverted. She takes Aoi to the girls' bathroom when she feels ill after discovering Hifumi's body, but this is part of her plan to help Hifumi escape.
- Professional Gambler: Her title.
- Rapunzel Hair: See Mega Twin Tails above. Subverted if they really are extensions which would mean she has actually has a pixie cut, giving her the shortest haircut of all the female cast.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: After all, she DID plan an elaborate murder scheme. Even beforehand, considering that she's into pragmatism a lot like Byakuya (though in a lesser extent) are like signs that you do need to take warning.
- Regal Ringlets: Invoked Trope. As mentioned as part of her Gothic Lolita attire her Mega Twin Tails are styled in the typical drill-like shape of this trope; and if they are just hair extensions they also match the way her entire "regal" persona is just a façade that doesn't match her "true" self, who has much simpler straight hair.
- That Man Is Dead: Her very persona as Celestia Ludenberg is a rejection of her past as Taeko Yasuhiro, vehemently denying that she could ever have such a 'plain' name as 'Yasuhiro' when confronted about her real name. The manga plays this up even more, even after she's owned up to her real name, insisting that above all else, she still has to persist as Celestia Ludenberg.
- The Smart Girl: She references many aspects of game theory, including zero sum games and the prisoner's dilemma, in her speeches.
- Something About a Rose: The Rose Whip is one of her favorite presents, several roses decorate her room, her 'culprit-is-you' shot has them bordering the screen, and she can talk at length about the language of flowers (referring to yellow roses) in School Mode during a conversation regarding a fine vase in the school store.
- The Spock: Frequently insists that the group's best course of action is to adapt to life in the school as best they can and ignore any incentive to murder. It was all an act, though. She wanted to escape just as badly as the others.
- Stage Names: Celestia Ludenberg isn't her real name.
- Stepford Smiler: Type C. She's all smiles at first and even accepts the fact that they're locked in the school for life quite easily, but it turns out that she was lying the whole time and even tried to implicate another student for the murders she caused just to escape, collect the bribe money, and fulfill her dream. Simply angering her triggers her psychotic side. Near the end of her life, Makoto comments that she probably becomes Type A, her smile was faked to hide how much she's fearing to die.
- Stock Foreign Name: Which is not a spoiler by itself, because right at the beginning of the game she introduces herself as Celestia Ludenberg and it's so unusual for a Japanese person Makoto asks for Celestia's real name. She say she can't give him that, Celestia is the name she goes by, and please just call her "Celeste". The spoiler part is that her real name is Taeko Yasuhiro, which causes a huge problem when she kills Hifumi and he says "Yasuhiro," Taeko's last name, with his last breath...which is also Yasuhiro's first name and causes Yasuhiro to be the prime suspect!
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her last name is more commonly romanized as Rudenberk.
- Trademark Favorite Food: In a Free Time Event, Makoto finds out that Celeste's favorite food is "gyoza", and Celeste is surprised at herself that she likes such a "common, smelly food", while she mostly goes around claiming that she liked tea the most. Gyoza was probably her favorite food as Taeko, and Celeste claiming it as a "common, smelly food" would be another rejection of her past.
- Tragic Villain: Although definitely the least tragic compared to Mondo and Leon. However, Makoto still noted that Celeste was still one of them, doing all those to get out of the hellhole they're in instead of for the fun of it.
- Trauma Swing: The manga shows her sitting on one in her youth, looking very lonely.
- Unreliable Narrator: Most players usually deduce that the tales of her exploits she gives in her free time events are all gigantic lies, probably to grandify her Celeste persona instead of her past, ordinary self.
- Villainous Breakdown: Once she was nearly deduced as the killer in Case 3, she starts losing it. And boy, did the anime had a field day with this one, as it's not restricted with sprite limitations to animate the full extent of it. Just to give you an idea of it all, if one pays attention one can see even Monokuma visibly shocked.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Pretends to have been sexually assaulted by Kiyotaka in order to get Hifumi to kill him, and also pretends to be one the first victim of "Justice Robo's" attack, partly to frame Yasuhiro and partly to hide the time of Kiyotaka's death.
"Huh? Are you talking about my magazine cover shots? Isn't it natural? They were modified by the editors, of course!"
who took the country by storm with her extravagant tastes. Junko has wanted to be a model ever since she was a child, but confesses that she wishes to try new things. She attacks Monokuma after Sayaka is murdered, and is immediately killed by him for breaking the school rules. However, it is later revealed that her true identity is Mukuro Ikusaba, the fraternal twin sister of the real Junko Enoshima, with whom she has pulled a Twin Switch
. Her body is later used by Junko to fake a murder in Chapter 5.
- Brutal Honesty: Does not censor herself at all, and shows no fear of offending anyone.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The only student to get killed directly by Monokuma without being executed. Naturally, there's more to her death than meets the eye.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Her smile is rather off-putting.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She used to be homeless when she was growing up, and while being homeless is bad enough she was apparently homeless in a place where lots of men were around who preyed on innocent and helpless girls, so life was a warzone for her back then. In hindsight, life being a warzone for her was a major hint to her true identity.
- Equipment Spoiler: This 4koma◊ illustrates how early in the game 'Junko' has an uncanny love for rations...
- The Fashionista: Her title.
- Her favorite gifts include a set of field rations, which is a bit strange for a model but makes more sense for a soldier.
- During case 6, Byakuya uncovers the rest of Mukuro's profile, which includes measurements that match up with the "Junko" you've known until then.
- Gamer Chick: She's just about the only girl Makoto can bring up video games to in School Mode, where she mentions being a fan of First-Person Shooters (a notably rare thing for a Japanese gamer to like, and she even asks him if the 1st-person graphics make him sick).
- Geek Reference Pool: She subscribes to this belief. In School Mode, when you bring up anime, she asks if you're the type that's into moe and harems.
"People like that are always super mean to me for some reason. Honestly, I don't know how to deal with them..."
- Hair Color Dissonance: Said to have blonde hair, and is written as having blonde hair in the novels, but in pictures her hair seems to appear more pink or strawberry blonde when examined closely.
- Hair Decorations: A bunny clip and a massive, two-toned hairbow. Said bunny clip is one of the faster means of distinguishing her from her sister while she’s disguised.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Junko kicks Monokuma, breaking one of the rules, and as punishment Monokuma uses a move called Gungnir Spear, in which he magically summons multiple spears out of friggin' nowhere and impales Junko through the chest. The Anime of the Game takes it Up to Eleven. Junko not only gets impaled through the chest◊, but other spears go through her shoulders, her stomach and at least two through her thighs. YIKES. Though at least it shows where they came from... the floor opened up right underneath her feet so the spears wouldn't damage it while running her though!
- The Matchmaker: If Makoto does enough free time segments with Junko, she pegs him as a "herbivore man" (not literally; she means he's likely to be "the passive one" in relationships) and promises to hook him up with a "carnivore girl." This is because Makoto was surprisingly perceptive about how annoyed Junko felt about having so many men after her, and hooking him up is how she plans to reward him. Discovering her true identity and her crush on Makoto in Dangan Ronpa IF, it is possible "Junko" was trying to hook him up with herself, perhaps an indication of her secret desire for the mutual killing to end, at least before Makoto and herself can be killed.
- Mega Twintails: Bigger than her head!
- Sacrificial Lamb: Like Sayaka, she was given heavy spotlight in promotional materials, but actually dies early in the story. Subverted in that her role in the story was bigger than it seemed.
- Sarcastic Confession: In School Mode, in the Garden:
Makoto: Look at those chickens!
: Wow, chickens, huh? It's not super normal, but I guess lots of schools have animals and stuff, right? So? You wanna grab'em and eat 'em? What if we did that? Just started eating 'em raw, right here? What if that was my special dish!? Just kidding! Duh! I could never strangle a chicken
- Saying Too Much: Talking to her long enough in School Mode can get these reactions without much difficulty. One example from the Garden goes like this:
Makoto: It's super humid in here, huh?
Junko: You think so? This is nothing compared to the tropics of southeast Asia.
Makoto: What!? You've been the the tropics of southeast Asia!?
Junko: Oh, uh, yeah. Just once. For a photo shoot or something...
- Slut Shaming: Gets upset when Toko calls her a whore. In her first free time event she preemptively informs Makoto she's not interested in anything sexual, because most men assume she is.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: She attracts a lot of guys who only care about her looks, which infuriates her. In fact, when Makoto responds to this complaint by acknowledging that her beauty is a curse (rather than mocking her), she's touched enough by his understanding that she offers to play matchmaker for him.
- The Tease: Likes to hit on Makoto quite a bit during School Mode, and admits at one point that she enjoys seeing him flustered.
- Twin Switch: This Junko isn't Junko, she's her freckled and older twin sister Mukuro.
- We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: When Makoto comments that she looks slightly different in person, she tells him her photos are touched up before publication, and taunts him for expecting a completely flawless beauty. This turns out to be a lie, since she looks slightly different because she isn't who she claims to be.
- Youthful Freckles: Has a light dusting of these over her nose, which she tells Makoto is one of the things that gets airbrushed out of her glamour shots. Again, this turns out to be untrue; while Mukuro has freckles, the real Junko does not.
“You look a little… displeased. You’re not angry with me, are you?”
A Teen Genius
currently developing top-secret AI programs for an unnamed company. Chihiro is the smallest of all the students, and ashamed of being seen as weak. While the other characters initially assume that Chihiro is female due to "her" shy demeanor and manner of dress, it is later revealed that he is actually a boy who crossdresses to disguise his frail stature, having been ruthlessly bullied for his unmanly physique. He is bludgeoned to death by Mondo in Chapter 2 after inadvertently pressing his Berserk Button
. He leaves behind a self-aware computer program called "Alter Ego" on a hidden laptop, which helps the other students.
- A Day in the Limelight: He receives a chapter in the manga all to himself.
- All of the Other Reindeer: He was constantly bullied for being small and frail for a boy, so he decided to dress as a girl to make the bullying stop, as well as to distance himself from other people's perceived ideas of masculinity that he felt he couldn't live up to. In Chapter 2 he realizes that he can't keep doing this, so he decides to come clean about his true gender...but after he tells Mondo his secret, he's murdered.
- Apologizes a Lot: Which doesn't help him much in terms of presenting himself as a "strong" person, most likely due to being bullied so much in the past.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Genocider Syo certainly thinks so. And after seeing him smile in his introduction, Makoto thinks that he understands the rabid fanbase.
- But Thou Must: In Makoto's last free time segment with Chihiro, he'll ask who you think he should train with to become stronger. The correct choice is Mondo Owada, who later ends up murdering him.
- Corner of Woe: Gets one at the end of a◊ Yonkoma when he decides to become more manly but is promptly confronted by the other students flagrantly violating stereotypical gender roles. "I'm not sure... what 'manly' means anymore..."
- Crucified Hero Shot: How his lifeless body is found.
- Dies Wide Open: In the anime.
- Disguised in Drag: Dresses as a girl to avoid ridicule, because he was considered "too weak" to be a boy.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: So much so that he was bullied because of it.
- Failure-to-Save Murder: At the beginning of the second chapter, a tearful and guilt-ridden Chihiro feels that they killed Leon by voting for him as the culprit. The others hasten to remind him that they didn't have a real choice in the matter.
- There are lots of hints that Chihiro is secretly a boy and identifies as such, but each hint on its own doesn't mean very much.
- Chihiro will usually go quiet for a second whenever people mention the differences between males and females, or when someone talks about Chihiro's girlhood or femininity.
- One of the presents that Chihiro "likes" is a perfume that is intended for men, to attract women, because men hate the scent; it would only make sense for a boy to like such perfume, not a girl (unless the girl is Kyoko). Another such gift is a 'unisex' thong. Also, gifts he loathes include feminine things like a kitten hairpin and Gothic Lolita accessories.
- Aoi and Sakura also at one point wonder why Chihiro always refuses their invitations to train together even though he wanted to get stronger (this would be because he wouldn't be able to access the woman's locker room with a man's e-Handbook and Chihiro would thus be outed as a boy) and why Chihiro spends more time with the boys than with the girls (since a boy-girl friendship in Japan is uncommon).
- During the last free time segment, Chihiro casually invites Makoto into his room, and Makoto muses that it's dangerous, why would a girl invite a boy into her room so easily? And if the player looks closely, a pair of grip-strength trainers can be seen on his bed, implying he's been getting stronger in the safety of that room.
- In episode 4 of the anime, while he's working on Alter Ego, you can see a toolkit, something that is only given to the guys, on his desk.
- And finally, he's voiced by a male seiyuu, though admittedly Kouki Miyata can do a pretty decent work as a very girlish-sounding young boy and thus fool those who aren't familiar with his VA work.
- Something else is foreshadowed as well: almost all free time segments with Chihiro are about his status as a programmer and the programs he's developing. After his death it's revealed that he created an artificial intelligence, "Alter Ego", which plays an important part in the plot later on.
- Another thing foreshadowed very early on: in his introduction, he finds Makoto familiar and asks if they've met before. It turns out they have.
- Gender-Blender Name: "Chihiro" is a unisex name in Japan, which fits since he is a boy who everyone assumes to be a girl at first.
- Ill Boy: Chihiro never had the strength to go out and play with others as a child.
- Innocently Insensitive: Wants to train with Mondo and become stronger, but Mondo doesn't believe he's that strong and is also jealous of Chihiro for working to change. Tragically, it triggers his Freak Out, resulting in Chihiro's death.
- Japanese Pronouns: Chihiro very rarely uses any personal pronouns for himself (since Japanese is a language that can easily get away with Gender-Neutral Writing), but when he does, it's the masculine pronoun "boku", since he's a male crossdresser.
- Larynx Dissonance: Subverted in the Japanese version; to first-time listeners Chihiro's voice sounds slightly off, but this is actually foreshadowing for the fact that Chihiro is male, and casting a male voice actor was completely intentional.
- Moe: In-universe, he has a sizable fanbase due to looking like a "small, frightened animal".
- Mistaken for Gay: In promotional material for the anime, he asks Hifumi for advice on buying girls Valentine's Day chocolate. Hifumi, still thinking he's a girl (not helped by the fact only girls give people chocolate on valentine's day in Japan), goes on a tangent about what the appropriate doujinshi genre would be.
- Nice Guy: Very much so. This kid wouldn't even hurt a mosquito because it might have a family.
- Shrinking Violet: Even though Chihiro is interested in training and getting stronger, "she's" too shy to enter the changing rooms. Of course, that's because his gender won't allow him access to the woman's locker room (where all the sports equipment is) which is why he approaches Mondo to help him train instead.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He has a small role in Chapter 1 and is the forth to die as the victim of Chapter 2. Doesn't stop Alter Ego, the AI he created, from driving the plot of the next two chapters and saving Makoto's life in Chapter 5. IF also reveals that he created the Monokuma system and his other work goes on to influence the plot of the later games.
- Techno Wizard: Got into creating highly-complex computer programs as a way to pass time. And he was able to put a computer program capable of learning on a rather junky old laptop in a short amount of time.
- Teen Genius: Hence his title.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: One of the sweetest, most soft-hearted characters, who literally wouldn't hurt a fly, and he's killed in the second chapter.
- Unsettling Gender Reveal: Doesn't get much more unsettling than discovering his gender after he's been murdered and crucified. It also qualified for Mondo — he didn't kill Chihiro for turning out to be a boy, though, but because this set off his insecurities about never being strong enough (while Chihiro wanted to overcome his weakness). For worse? Monokuma later says that he always knew about Chihiro being a boy... and that the "embarrassing memories" he wanted to use in regards to Chihiro was revealing his gender to the others. Monokuma adds that, were that to happen, he thought Chihiro would fall into despair, thinking that he'd be bullied and ostracized more than he ever was in the past on top of being in Hope's Peak... but then Chihiro went Plucky Boy and decided the opposite: to get stronger, and tell the others himself later. Too bad his death ruined said plans.
- When She Smiles: In his introduction, after he's reassured they haven't done anything wrong and laughs in relief, Makoto thinks that he's starting to understand "her" rabid fanbase.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: A crossdresser, natch, but he's so wholesome that during a free time segment, you learn that he won't even swat a mosquito because he feels sorry for the mosquito being hungry!
The Headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy
“I’m Monokuma! Furthermore, your headmaster!”
The self-proclaimed headmaster of Despair Academy. He's very eager to see society's biggest hopefuls start killing each other, so he heaps psychological torture on the students at every turn. There's actually more than one Monokuma: he's a series of highly-advanced robots, and can be instantly replaced if destroyed. He states that he's actually bound by the rules like everyone else, but he's willing to bend them for his own benefit to try to get rid of Kyoko, by setting up a sham trial regarding the murder of Mukuro Ikusaba. When that doesn't work, Kyoko gets him to allow the students to redo of the trial. During the final trial, the true mastermind behind Monokuma is revealed - Junko Enoshima.
- Action Bomb: If Monokuma is damaged, he'll explode. That's not the only way he can protect himself, either...
- Bears Are Bad News: Considering he is the only true consistent throughout the franchise you better believe it!
- Big Brother Is Watching: And he can teleport. Sweet dreams!
- Break Them by Talking: Monokuma Continually uses this to keep driving his students to further despair, picking at any weaknesses he can find and trying to push the blame for the murders onto them.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: Monokuma resorts to offering the students a large stack of cash as a motive for murder in Chapter 3. Of course, due to the state of the outside world the money are in all probability, and in tone with Monokuma's usual brand of humor, worthless anyway.
- Covert Pervert: He'll accuse the students of having dirty motives in the most inappropriate situations and go into way too much detail about his suspicions. At times he even seems to be egging them on, which is really creepy considering that there are cameras everywhere.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: In the ending to School Mode, he decides to execute Makoto first.
"See here, harmless and boring guys like you are either the first one to die, or the main character, right? I’ve decided that you’re gonna be the former this time!"
- Disc One Final Boss: He is really just a proxy for the real mastermind: Junko Enoshima, and is also one of the personalities that she can take on a whim. You also have to face him in a Machine Talk Battle before you face Junko herself.
- Dissonant Serenity: They normally sound rather lighthearted about all the despair they want the students to suffer. If you are familiar with his Japanese voice actress it gets even worse, See the "Triva" tab for details.
- Dub Name Change: The Let's Play refers to him as "Monobear".note The localization chooses to keep his name as Monokuma instead to stay closer to the "Monochrome" pun (due to a special request from Spike Chunsoft).
- Emoticon: Monokuma learns how to speak in these prior to Chapter 4's Class Trial. He never does so again.
- Everything's Better with Plushies: A plushie in canon. Unsurprisingly, there's real-life plushies of him as well.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: If he thinks something is funny you don't want to know and if he has a joke in store for you then you're basically doomed.
- Evil Laugh: "Upupupu...Daaahahaha!!"
- Exact Words: Loves using this, claiming that he never ever lies.
- Eye Awaken: In The Stinger.
- Faux Affably Evil: He speaks in a very easygoing manner (but still refers to the students very rudely), makes a lot of puns, and generally acts like an obnoxiously saccharine principal. It just underscores how incredibly screwed-up his entire game is.
- Foreshadowing: At the end of the first trial, he comments that he knows all about those crazy people in show business.
- Giggling Villain: His trademark.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: One side is white and looks generally harmless, while the other side is black and features an evil-looking red eye and a Slasher Smile. However, Monokuma is a bastard through and through, so this is instead used symbolically regarding the 8-bit sequences before an execution.
- Hanging Judge: If you murder somebody, regardless of mental state or circumstances, then he executes you. End of story.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Does this with the Mondo butter after his execution.
- Insane Troll Logic: His claims that he isn't at all morally responsible for any murders that occur (logically dubious from the start) cross into pure insanity when he says at the end of the Chapter 4 trial that leaving a fake suicide note next to the scene of the suicide doesn't qualify as planting false evidence or misleading anyone trying to find the killer. It's worth pointing out that this is the point, since Monokuma interfering in crime scenes is a sign that the Mastermind is getting desperate.
- Jerkass: A part of the point in being as annoying as he tries to be.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He's actually correct in that some of what happened in Chapter 4 could have been avoided if Aoi had realized the victim's note to her she read couldn't have been the real one, since the personality of the note didn't match the victim's personality.
- Kick the Dog: After Mondo is found guilty, he chides Kiyotaka for voting incorrectly, even though Kiyotaka is having trouble coming to terms with his "bro" being a murderer.
- Killer Teddy Bear: A killer, robotic, exploding teddy bear that tries to drive people to murder.
- Leitmotif: "Mr. Monokuma's Lesson" and "Mr. Monokuma's Extracurricular Lesson"
- Never My Fault: No student is ever able to call him out on his insanity without him finding a way to turn it back on them in some way.
- Mascot Villain: The central figure frequently unifying the franchise, and probably the character with the most merchandise of anyone. He likes to Lampshade his own status as the Series Mascot quite a bit as well.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Meta-example. Monokuma locks students in a school and drives them to kill each other for the fun of it, and makes up rules that have easy loopholes making it easier to kill, and gives them "motives" to kill each other if they won't do it themselves such as showing them videos of their loved ones being gone, threatening to reveal their darkest secrets, offering them a million yen, or revealing the identity of a mole so the students will be motivated to kill the mole. Who plays this abomination? An elderly lady named Nobuyo Ooyama... voice actress for Doraemon!!!
- Medium Awareness: In some of his lines.
"The reason for today's murder... starts with the sad tale of two men. Ah! If anyone doesn't want to hear it, they should push the X button to skip."
- Meta Guy: The source of most fourth-wall breakage - in addition to the above line, he censors a particularly explicit bit of dialogue in order to preserve the game's rating. Then there's the School Mode, where he has the students build backup versions of himself because he both explodes in the prologue and has them dissect him in Chapter 5. Then there's the ending, where Usami comes to life and he freaks out, saying she isn't supposed to appear now and that the timeline will be ruined by her appearance - and, after their fight, remarks "This wasn't supposed to happen until the sequel..."
- Metaphorically True: Monokuma insists he never lies, relying on this and Exact Words frequently. This breaks down completely in Chapter 5, when he lies outright about either Kyoko or Makoto being responsible for the murder of Mukuro Ikusaba. If she survives, Kyoko uses this against him.
- Mouth of Sauron: Of Junko, specifically.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Monokuma reads Ogami's suicide note to the students, he does so with the intent to instill more despair and to create a new motive for a murder, but it backfires on him, as it instead instills the surviving students with the determination to no longer turn their angers on each other.
- Punny Name: His name is a combination of monochrome (monokuroomu in Japanese) and bear (kuma).
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He loves to insist that the students are the real villains: according to his logic, if they just quietly lived out the rest of their lives in their Gilded Cage and didn't try to 'graduate', then nobody would get hurt. And when they solve the trials, aren't they only doing so to protect their own measly lives...? Like everything else Monokuma says, it's technically true, because he's relying on an extremely narrow concept of what it means to be responsible for one's actions. The logic behind that reason you suck speech is that if you make a choice to cause someone's death (by killing someone or convicting a murderer so he/she will be executed), and you had another option available, you're responsible for that person's death. What he leaves out is that due to the situation he's created, the students do have other options besides killing or convicting someone but those other options are allowing themselves to die or murdering someone or remaining prisoners their whole lives. So Monokuma's speech is technically true but spiritually incorrect since he's artificially narrowed the range of options the students actually have.
Monokuma: The murder we just had occurred because you bastards want to get out, wasn't it!? It's you bastards, who can't let go of the outside world, who are the bad guys here!!
- Subverted in case 4. Monokuma gives a nasty one to Aoi, but Makoto correctly points out that Aoi's behavior was due to a fake suicide note Monokuma wrote, and the other students decide they were wrong to be angry at Makoto in the first place, so they all decide to rally behind Aoi so they can all take Monokuma down.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Invoked with the red eye on his black half with the Slasher Smile.
- Rules Lawyer: And he states that he's actually bound by the rules as well. When he tries to bend the rules for his own benefit in Chapter 5, Kyoko uses this against him so that the students can redo Mukuro's trial.
- Samus is a Girl: Well, he is controlled by a girl. Although Monokuma himself is consistently referred to as male, though "he" still casually tells someone that the only thing they aren't willing to talk about are their "measurements" which tend to be used in regards to a woman's body.
- Series Mascot: And it's the villain of the story.
- Slasher Smile: The left side of his face, which would be the right side when you look at him.
- The Sociopath: He has kids kill each other for fun, what do you expect?
- Torture Technician: See the execution methods they choose to use.
- Verbal Tic: Upupupupu...
- Villain-Based Franchise: As mentioned, his presence is the only true constant so far since he is always the one who starts the killing games.
- Villainous Breakdown: One that can be seen toward the end of the Fifth Trial, and is entirely present during the Sixth Trial. In the former, he rigs the case with misinformation and imposes a sudden time limit on it, while in the latter, he childishly yells to shut Naegi up and he pauses for long lengths of time when the students have him figured out.
- Vocal Dissonance: His voice sounds like something from a cartoon, and while it sort of fits with his design, it makes his role as the antagonist much more weird and unsettling. To put it into a western/American frame of reference, it would be the equivalent of being threatened by some thing that had a voice like Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny. Or, alternatively, like being threatened by Teddie.
- Will Not Tell a Lie: Technically he doesn't lie, although he heavily abuses Exact Words and often withholds information. When he starts lying in the 5th and 6th Trials, it is a telltale sign that things aren't going so hot for him.
The 16th Student
Ultimate Despair (Ultimate Soldier)
The mysterious sixteenth student, who Monokuma considers to be his "ace in the sleeve". Kyoko refers to her as "Ultimate Despair". Her real title is Ultimate Soldier, having served with a radical mercenary group called Fenrir for three years without taking a single wound. She is actually the twin sister of Junko Enoshima, and "Ultimate Despair" refers to the group/philosophy they were both members of. Having collaborated with Junko to stage the "School Life of Mutual Killing", she pulls a Twin Switch
to obfuscate her sister's identity as the Mastermind. However, Junko betrays and murders her (seemingly on a whim), and later uses her body to stage a fake murder in Chapter 5.
Her role is expanded in the side-story "Dangan Ronpa IF"
, which reveals her to be dependent on Junko, having had her sisterly affection twisted into unquestioning loyalty by Junko's manipulation. After Makoto saves her from being murdered by Monokuma, she vows to destroy her sisters' plans both for the sake of her friends and to give Junko more despair.
- Always Identical Twins: Played with. She's Junko's older fraternal twin sister and the two have enough physical differences that when dressed normally it's hard to tell they're even related, but she looks very similar to Junko when dolled up with cosmetics and the right clothes and accessories, but she's not an exact match, with her Youthful Freckles in particular being noticed by Makoto. She handwaves the discrepancy by claiming that most of her photos are digitally touched-up, but in the final trial, the fact that Monokuma was trying so hard to hide the real Junko's face is ultimately what proves to everyone that the Junko they knew was a fake.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name:
- Her name basically translates to Corpse Warblade. "Ikusaba" in alternate kanji can also mean "battlefield."
- And let's not forget her title. Her real title is Ultimate Soldier, which also fits, though it's revealed early in Chapter 6 that her Ultimate Despair title is shared with a group of people.
- Badass: According to her file, she was so good at her job, she never came back from any mission with any scars. If that's not enough to convince you, you should see her in the IF scenario.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: See Badass. Subverted in the fifth chapter, where her corpse is blown up by her sister to conceal her identity.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: In IF Junko accuses this of being the reason why Mukuro is so intent on saving Makoto's life and brutally mocks her for it, with plenty of disturbing innuendo to boot. During the the two years spent at Hope's Peak, Makoto was the first person to smile at her, despite her title of Ultimate Soldier. Word of God says in all class photos she only looks at the camera if he's holding it, if he isn't, her lines of sight is always fixed on Makoto.
- Becoming the Mask In IF, after talking to Makoto in the infirmary, she jokes about how Makoto would be the only person she wouldn't be willing to kill. However, afterwards, she's left confused as she's not sure whether she was actually being serious or not, and whether that was something she or Junko would say. She also grows conflicted in the first game's "School Mode" if you get her relationship values high enough.
- Brutal Honesty: As "Junko", she did not censor herself at all, and showed no fear of offending anyone.
- Chekhov's Gunman: There is an empty seat in the trial room, which Monokuma claims has no special meaning. The presence of a sixteenth student is confirmed by Monokuma in Chapter 2, but it isn't until the end of Chapter 4 where we learn her name. Then you find out in the last chapter that she was the Junko Enoshima that got killed all the way back in Chapter 1!
- Child Soldier: She worked under a PMC by the name of Fenrir, which operates under the US military.
- Dark and Troubled Past: As a child, she joined a mercenary group called Fenrir. When disguised as Junko, she sometimes slips and breaks character, but manages to explain it away. See her above entry as Junko for details.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Black hair, dark colors in her official portrait, and a Dark and Troubled Past as a Child Soldier? As it turns out, she's another victim of the School Life of Mutual Killing, gets used by her own sister as a pawn, and (if IF is any indication), had lots of reservations about her role in the plan, enough so to do a Heel-Face Turn.
- Death by Irony: She follows Junko's orders to the letter like a good soldier... and dies because of it. The fact that Mukuro could dodge any attack on the battlefield only underlines how completely off-guard she was caught by her sister's betrayal.
- The Dragon: She was going to be one, and then Junko changed the plan on her.
- Foreshadowing: Sakura points out Mukuro (who is still posing as Junko) looks a little different from the magazine covers Enoshima appears in. Mukuro laughs this off by saying it's because the images were photoshopped to make her look more attractive... which you might not find suspicious at first because that happens in real life.
- Full-Frontal Assault: Lets explosions burn all of her clothes off when charging for the switch of the main gate.
- Heel-Face Turn: In "IF".
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Though the chest and the stomach.
- Knife Nut: A combat knife is regularly depicted in official art as something of a signature weapon for her (besides an assault rifle). Probably more reason why Junko picked it to attack Makoto with while posing as her sister (not that the students would know that detail about her). As "Junko," she gives this piece of info when Makoto offers to play darts with her in School Mode.
Junko: Oh, um... yeah, sure! I can probably handle that. I've got a pretty good eye, and I used to practice my knife-throwing all the time, so-
Makoto: Y-You used to throw knifes!?
Junko: Oh! Um, yeah, well... When I, uh, ran away from home, I had to learn to defend myself, right? So I just... Anyway! [she changes the subject]
- Masochism Tango: With Junko.
- The Matchmaker: See Junko's entry, as the "Junko" that Makoto could interact with in Free Time events is really her. In light of the last trial, though, it's unknown if she meant it or not.
- Meaningful Name/Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Mukuro can mean "corpse", while Ikusaba contains the characters for "war" and "blade". Ikusaba is officially introduced as a corpse
- Not So Stoic: "Junko" isn't stoic in the least, but as herself she seems rather impassive until she's standing up for Makoto in IF... or, in this Yonkoma◊, ordering ice cream flavors so that her cone looks like an Italian flag.
- One-Man Army: Living up to her title, in IF, Mukuro personally destroys countless Monokumas and manages to outsmart most of the students when they initially turn on her.
- Parental Abandonment: Supplementary materials said she was actually separated from her parents in an accident on a trip abroad.
- Posthumous Character: Zig-Zagged, finally settling on the subverted side - but barely.
- Red Herring: The whole point of officially introducing the mysterious 16th student as the "Ultimate Despair" was to set her up as one of these.
- Red Shirt/Mauve Shirt: Played with. Junko implies that she executed Mukuro in part because she looked the part.
- Twin Switch: She was impersonating her twin sister.
- Walking Spoiler: Obviously, she is one of the many reasons this page needed to have unmarked spoilers.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Played with. Even after The Reveal, we still don't know how much of her Junko persona was an act. Not to mention that all we know from her actual personality comes from Junko. IF fixes this, revealing that most of her lines as "Junko" were scripted by the real thing. That said, she slips out of character every so often, most notably during the Free Time conversations with Makoto.
- World's Best Warrior: As evidenced by her title and when we see her in action in IF.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Implied. Junko confirms that it's partly the reason, while the rest was for shits and giggles.
- Youthful Freckles: Even when masquerading as Junko.
The real Junko Enoshima
"I had reasons deeper than the deepest ocean! - That was a fuckin' lie! I had no such reasons!"
The true mastermind behind Monokuma, whose identity is revealed in the final chapter of the game. Junko is the twin sister of Mukuro Ikusaba, with whom she pulled a Twin Switch
before the Despair Game begins. Both sisters were members of a movement known as "Ultimate Despair", which caused "The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident In The History Of Mankind" and led to the world's current state. Junko has a paradoxical fetish for despair (both causing and receiving it) and wishes to share her twisted feelings with the entire world. The "School Life of Mutual Killing" is the final stage of her plan to plunge the world into an eternal state of anarchy, by proving that even the "best" of the world will turn on each other given proper incentive.
During the events of the game, she murders her sister seemingly on a whim, claiming that Mukuro couldn't impersonate her properly and wishing for her to taste the despair of betrayal. When Kyoko starts to prove a nuisance to her plans, Junko attacks Makoto as a "masked man" to set up the fake murder of "Mukuro Ikusaba" in Chapter 5 and attempt to frame Kyoko. After she is exposed and her last attempt to plunge the group into despair backfires, Junko follows the rules of her own game and gleefully executes herself as punishment.
Genocider Syo/Genocider Shou/Genocide Jack/Genocide Jill
Ultimate Murderous Fiend
A Serial Killer
rumored to have killed thousands. Syo's trademark is writing BLOODSTAIN FEVER
("Bloodlust" in the English version) in the victim's blood and crucifying them with custom-made scissors. When Chihiro is murdered, the crime scene makes it evident that Syo is among them. She's actually a Split Personality
of Toko, and changes back with a sneeze. She does not share the same memories as Toko, which means that she can remember some things her other self has forgotten.
- Abhorrent Admirer: In Syo's case, it's mostly the personality that's abhorrent. Though the giant tongue doesn't help.
- A-Cup Angst: The nature of her outbursts and personal attacks against Aoi strongly implies, if not outright establishes, that she has a severe case of breast envy and is also in deep denial about it.
- Alternate Identity Amnesia: Just cause Toko forgot doesn't mean she did.
- Ax-Crazy: Her title in a nutshell.
- Black Comedy: A veritable fountain of this.
- Calling Card: There's actually more than one. The second calling card - crucifying the victim with specially-made scissors - has been kept hidden from the media, which proves that she didn't murder Chihiro.
- Card-Carrying Villain: She is unrepentant about the many murders she has committed, and actually takes a bit of pride in her macabre "craft". In fact she is actually quite insulted that someone copied her MO for the second murder, especially because the murderer did such a sloppy job of imitating her. She's one of only two characters who don't become "true friends" with Makoto at the end of their dialogue lines, along with Byakuya.
- Catch Phrase: "Roger, darling!" becomes a minor one.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Is discussed by the students early on as a possible identity for the Mastermind. So of course Syo eventually shows up.
- Creepy Souvenir: She carves a mark upon her left leg for her every victim (hence Fuwaka's retro-length skirt).
- Dub Name Change: The localization calls her Genocide Jack/Jill.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Syo is deeply disturbed by the Mastermind's plot.
- Evil Is Hammy: To further contrast her much more subdued alter's personality.
- Evil Laugh: Comes with the territory.
- Explosion Propulsion: When she tries to unmask the body in Chapter 5, the bomb rigged to destroy its face sends her flying. After a brief panic on the part of Aoi and Yasuhiro she reappears unharmed, just reverted to her normal personality.
- Eye Color Change: When changing into Genocider Sho, her eyes change from pinkish gray to red and the shape of the iris changes.
- Gender-Blender Name: Syo is a normally male name, which is why it was changed to Jack in the dub since an English audience might assume it to be gender neutral.
- Genki Girl: An unusually twisted variant, and in the English version, this is the correct answer when she asks Makoto about which archetype she falls into.
- Good Feels Good: If she really enjoys her School Mode dates, Syo will happily tell Makoto that living the life of a non-serial-killer is rather enjoyable for her.
- Heroic BSOD: She reaches this point the same as everyone else in the final trial; even she finds herself disturbed by the degree of Junko's evil. With the hope given by Makoto, she decides to be more true to her wacky self: the self that want to take the funnest path, hates going to school, and wants to follow Byakuya wherever he goes.
- Hidden Weapons: Genocider Syo keeps several pairs of scissors in a leg holster at all times (the right leg, specifically). It's not clear why Toko doesn't just remove them while Syo is dormant, though the fact she constantly makes more may be a factor.
- Hypocritical Humor: At one point, Genocide Jill complains about how all Hollywood films portray DID sufferers as murderous serial killers... despite, you know, being a DID person who's a murderous serial killer. Also, at the beginning of Chapter 3's trial, as Yasuhiro protests his innocence, she tells him to "Shut your murdering mouth, murderer!" Yasuhiro promptly calls her out.
- If I Can't Have You: All of Syo's victims were men that Toko was infatuated with. This is very bad news for Byakuya... Or not. Not in the way that gets him killed anyways: Syo's last Free Time Event reveals that Byakuya is the first man she's infatuated with who she doesn't want to kill.
- Improbable Weapon User: Syo's hand-made scissors.
- Informed Ability: Despite being a serial killer supposedly responsible for hundreds of deaths, she doesn't kill anyone during the despair game, not even Byakuya. She justifies this very well though, pointing out that the whole purpose of Monokuma's game is to not get caught. Killing anyone with her usual MO would be an incredibly stupid thing to do, and she simply doesn't want to kill any other way.
- Karma Houdini: Survives the events of the game, mostly because hers is Off Stage Villainy.
- Large Ham: She even insists on sticking her tongue out like she's the goddess Kali all the time.
- Laughably Evil: Let's face it, Syo is hilarious, and given her murders look like giving money to charity compared to Monokuma's actions, you don't feel that bad about it.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Since she and Toko do not share the same memories, she remembers things that Toko doesn't, including what "The Worst, Most Despair-inducing Incident in the History of Mankind" is.
- Love Redeems: Syo promises to give up serial killing in her last Free Time Event if Makoto sets her up with Byakuya.
- Meaningful Name: Syo describes herself as a fujoshi (腐女子), the first kanji of which is the same character in Toko Fukawa (腐川冬子). Provides an interesting contrast, considering they're the kind of people who Toko hates.
- Meta Girl: Explicitly points out the overuse of Split Personalities to make villains, giving them a bad rap; even goes so far as to claim she's going to disprove the stereotype. While she is creepy as hell, Syo is ironically the more rational of the two personalities, as Toko has a tendency to panic and assume the worst. This makes her less of a danger than Toko: as Syo points out, she never became a famous serial killer by being caught, and trying to kill anyone under the circumstances of Monokuma's game would be incredibly stupid of her.
- Motor Mouth: Surprisingly she never seems to bite her tongue no matter how much she says or how quickly she says it.
- Mythical Motifs: Her design and MO is based on a combination of Kali, a Hindu Goddess of death (among other things), and a Kuchisake-Onna, a Japanese Yokai who is a spirit of a woman wronged by men who kills her victims with scissors that is very hard to escape from.
- The Nicknamer: Tends to call most characters by a shortened version of their first name, then "-kun"/"-chan"/etc, i.e. "Ma-kun" (Makoto), "Hifumin" (Hifumi), and "Chi-tan" (Chihiro). In addition, she refers to Toko as Gloomy, and let's not even get started on the names she calls Aoi, such as Godzilla Tits. Aoi occasionally has to ask who she's talking about. The localization has them call Makoto "Big Mac" and "Makoodle poodle kit-and-kaboodle" among other things. She also uses "Tick Tock" (Kiyotaka), "Huffy"(Hifumi) and "Cherry"(Chihiro).
- Nightmare Fetishist: She loves her job. Let's leave it at that.
- Not Me This Time: After The Reveal.
- Not So Different: She's a serial killer, but she is actually willing to help (in her own, twisted way) in the trials to fight for her life, doesn't kills anyone, and in the final trial, she's so scared of the outside world as everyone until Makoto talks her out of it.
- Overly Long Tongue: As mentioned most likely a reference to the Hindu Goddess Kali, which suits her to a "T".
- Pragmatic Villainy: She points out herself that if the point of the game is to not get caught, then it would be idiotic to use all her calling cards as a serial killer if she did decide to murder someone at Hope's Peak. And since she doesn't want to murder in any other fashion, well, she simply won't murder at all.
- Pun: The English fan translation has her call herself a slasher...no, not like a serial killer, like somebody who's into slash fiction.
- Rapunzel Hair: Same as Toko, see her section above.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Well she is more pink when she's in control but the point remains.
- Red Herring: Early on, Genocider Syo is suspected of being the mastermind behind Monokuma. When she actually appears, Monokuma himself confirms that he's not her. Furthermore, she neither kills anyone, nor is killed by anyone else due to her murderous ways.
- Serial Killer: How she earned her name.
- Shear Menace: Her Weapon of Choice.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Much like Sakura, Syo's name is inconsistently romanized. The original game uses 'Syo' the one time it's romanized. The fanmade patch, alternately, goes with 'Shou'. The anime manages to be even more inconsistent, going with 'Syo' on written files, but 'Sho' in the character's introduction screen. Funimation's subtitles, for their part, stick with 'Sho', as do newer supplementary materials. Averted in the localization. See Dub Name Change.
- Split Personality: The case file on Genocider Syo suggests that the serial killer shows signs of having Dissociative Identity Disorder. She is indeed a split personality of her original self, Touko Fukawa.
- Split-Personality Makeover: Touko and Genocider Syo are discernibly different in that Genocider Syo has red eyes and an Overly Long Tongue.
- Stalker with a Crush: Towards Byakuya and all of her victims. She only kills guys she likes after all.
- Token Evil Teammate: She's a remorseless mass murderer, but she's also one of the most stable students during the trials and lacks the others tendency of jumping to conclusions, as well as surviving the whole game and escaping with the others.
- Yandere: For Byakuya. But not to the point of wanting to kill him or anyone else for his sake, which makes him a unique case for her.
- Yaoi Fangirl: In contrast to Toko's seething hatred of anime and manga. In fact, she specifically refers to herself as a fujoshi (basically "rotten fangirl", a term fans of the yaoi genre might recognize).
- You Didn't Ask: She does indeed remember The Worst, Most Despair-inducing Incident in the History of Mankind. The reason why she never mention it before the last trial?
A program created by Chihiro to help the students escape Despair Academy. Complicating matters is the fact that they have to keep it hidden from Monokuma. Unfortunately, they fail, and Alter Ego is executed by being crushed with construction equipment at the end of Chapter 4. Fortunately, Alter Ego managed to download itself into the mastermind's network beforehand, allowing it to prevent Makoto from being executed.
- Artificial Intelligence: Obviously, based on their creator and his friends.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Hifumi insistently calls him a 'her' after falling for them.
- Big Damn Heroes: Chapter 5 has Alter Ego in Makoto's execution - before he is crushed by the crusher block, Alter Ego overrides Monokuma's control and shuts off the crusher, allowing Makoto to pass to relative safety.
- Chekhov's Gun: Despite being executed, during the short time they were connected to the network, they were able to plant a virus that saves Makoto from being executed in Chapter 5.
- Innocently Insensitive: Helps to bring Kiyotaka out of his Heroic BSOD, but their method of doing so... well.
- Kiss Me, I'm Virtual: In Hifumi's mind. More level minds suggest Alter Ego is mostly interested in the information Hifumi's giving it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Breaking that Heroic BSOD leads to Kiyondo and Hifumi developing a rivalry that Celestia takes advantage of by stealing Alter Ego and framing Kiyondo for it, leading to the deaths of all those involved.
- Only Mostly Dead: Though it was "executed" in Chapter 4 and has no way of communicating with the other students, it still exists as a virus in the school network.
- Pronoun Trouble: Subject to this, as others can't decide whether to call Alter Ego a 'he', 'she', or 'it'.
- Replacement Goldfish: Alter Ego's avatar is identical to Chihiro, and it initially introduces itself to the other students under his name. It then gets latched onto as a replacement for Mondo after trying to cheer up Kiyotaka by creating a simulation of him.
- Robosexual: The 'cargo' in Hifumi's shipping.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Runs into this once it decodes the files and Kyoko tells it its role has ended.
The person who created the Monokuma Flower who was never a part of the killing game. Already dead. Literally nothing else is known about him, since he's only mentioned once (unnamed) in the whole series, besides supplemental material showing his name and appearance.
Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi
(Japanese, anime only)
Mondo Oowada's big brother and founder of the Crazy Diamonds.
- Cool Big Bro: He started the biggest biker gang in Japan and saved Mondo's life.
- Death by Origin Story: His death was a huge turning point for Mondo, and not only because it made him the second leader of the Crazy Diamonds.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: In this case, deceased big brother. Daiya was and still is Mondo's hero and he remembers him as such.
- Delinquent Hair: Had a jet black pompadour that nobody can seem to agree on its size.
- Japanese Delinquents: Naturally, considering he founded the biggest bosozoku gang in Japan.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even though we never got to know him, it is implied that he was this by Mondo's constant praise of his moral code and chivalry, and by the fact that he seemed to be a very good brother even though he led a gang that most likely engaged in constant violent activities.
- Meaningful Name: Though not exactly meaningful, when 'Daiya' is put together with 'Mondo' it forms 'Daiyamondo', which is the Japanese pronunciation of the English word 'Diamond'. Guess what's his gang's name.
- Posthumous Character: Already deceased by the time the game is set.
- Vague Age: It's only stated that Daiya is older than Mondo, but not by how much. It can be that he's only a few years older (such as a senior in high school) or legal adult, it's just seems like nothing the fandom in the West or Japan can agree on.
Headmaster Jin Kirigiri
The Headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy
The original headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy, before Monokuma took over. All that is known about him at this time is that he's a man in his late thirties, and he might still be in the school. According to Alter Ego, the headmaster spearheaded a plan to lock the remaining students in the school following a Despairing Incident which forced the school to close. He's also Kyouko Kirigiri's father, which is why she was reluctant to believe that he could be the mastermind. As it turns out, the headmaster is
in the school... as a pile of bones, likely the person killed by Monokuma in the "Space Journey" execution from the game's beginning. He had distanced himself from the Kirigiri family because he did not want to follow in the family business of being a detective, and cut all ties to them, leaving his daughter behind.
- Absurdly Youthful Father: He is only in his thirties but has a teenaged daughter.According to this he was also Older Than They Look.
- All There in the Manual: The Headmaster's full name is not revealed until Dangan Ronpa Zero.
- Born Detective: The Kirigiri family is a secret legacy of legendary detectives. However, the Headmaster disliked being a detective, and left some time ago.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Set up from the very beginning. Remember that extra "Space Journey" execution from the beginning of the game? Looks like that was him.
- Dean Bitterman: Suggested at first. Turns out he's not. Trope averted.
- Finger in the Mail: His bones are found wrapped up in a present, presumably to taunt Kyouko by whoever killed him.
- Follow in My Footsteps: He apparently refused to do this, walking out on the chance to be the head of the family. The exacts aren't very clear.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Toward Kyouko.
- Red Herring: He isn't nearly as important or malevolent as one may initially assume, except for Kyouko's motivation.
- Personal Effects Reveal: In his hidden room where his bones are found, a photo is found of him and Kyouko as a child. Additionally, the password to said room was her name.
- Pet the Dog: Kyoko knew him almost entirely as a father who abandoned her... until it's revealed that his room's lock is her full name and that he had a picture of him and her together that he seemingly cared a lot for. Even Kyoko needs a moment alone to comprehend it, with some implications.
- Posthumous Character: As mentioned above he is technically one of the first people you see in the game (during his execution) but you don't learn anything about him until much later.
- Walking Spoiler: Yet another reason for losing the spoiler tags.