Fan Fic / Never Say Never
Never Say Never
is a Dangan Ronpa
fic by hunterofcomedy
. In it the events of the first game seem to proceed as usual, however Mukuro Ikusaba begins having doubts about her sister's plan. Things truly change however when Naegi saves Mukuro when she's disguised as Junko, and Sayaka does not die from her stab wound...
The author also has the fic on Fanfiction.Net, which can be found here
The story assumed you have already played the first game, so beware of spoilers.
Also, do not confuse
this fic with a song from a certain's singer
This fic has examples of:
- Accidental Murder: Sayaka's murder scene is borrowed directly from the manga, Leon accidentally stabbed her while trying to disarm her.
- Same goes to Mondo, he attacks Chihiro in a blind rage after the latter unknowingly pushes his Berserk Button.
- Adaptational Jerkass: Ishimaru becomes a self-righteous jerkass after the second trial, unlike the dormant Empty Shell that he becomes in the game.
- Subverted with Byakuya, despite his Insufferable Genius behavior being the same as in the game, the lack of deaths makes him appear more insensitive than he really is.
- Adaptational Heroism: Downplayed with both, Byakuya and Celeste.
- Byakuya is still the same Insufferable Genius as he is in the game, but most of his jerkass moments have good reasoning behind it. Him altering the crime scene in chapter 2 was actually a gambit to expose Toko's identity as Genocide Jack/Jill and to test Makoto's intelligence. His secret is that he's been financially helping outcast members of his family.
- The story downplays some of Celeste's No Sympathy moments, having most of them aimed at the culprits of their respective trials. She's still a massive bitch however.
- All-Loving Hero: Even more so than in the game. Makoto isn't the Hope Bringer for nothing.
- Ambiguous Gender Identity: After the students discovered Chihiro is actually male during the second trial, everyone avoids using gender-specific pronoun out of respect for Chihiro since they don't know how Chihiro identifies herself.
- The Atoner: After she's betrayed by her sister, Mukuro gains the determination to keep everyone alive to atone for the crimes she committed to them and to beat her sister in her own twisted game.
- Mondo is so remorseful over attacking Chihiro, he promise he'll make things up with her after she wakes up from her coma.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Chihiro is a very skillful crossdresser, so much that Mondo can't take the idea that Chihiro is a girl out of his head even after he discover her/his secret. This is probably a reason why Hifumi has a crush on Alter Ego.
- Bait-and-Switch: During the third trial, when the students are unable to determine wherever Hifumi or Celeste is lying Monokuma propose to do a Scrum Debate only for Mukuro to reject the offer.
- Becoming the Mask: Inverted. Mukuro starts to act less and less like Junko after she's saved from Monokuma’s death trap. The rest of the students take notice of this, but mistake it for Junko the Fashionista's Beneath the Mask.
- Berserk Button: Celeste boils internally after her real name is revealed in front of everyone. Thankfully for her, nobody notices it.
- Blood Knight: Mukuro feels that she perhaps enjoys being put into a combat situation and protecting others using her skills a bit too much. The implication slightly horrifies her because it would make her Not So Different with her sister.
- Butt-Monkey: Whenever Leon tries to eat a sandwich, expect the universe to deny it. He's also the Only Sane Man when he's forced to tag along with Mondo and Taka in their "dick measurement contest".
- The Cameo: The DVD motives showcase characters that appears on the hit-list of Absolute Despair Girls.
- Captain Oblivious: Ishimaru in chapter 3 is completely unaware that his attempts at controlling the group are only bringing more tension to the students. He’s also unaware that his classmates are lying to him just to get some breathers. You can't really blame him, considering the delusional state that he is in.
- Career-Ending Injury: Mukuro, still in her 'Junko' disguise, uses the injury on her hand to point out that her modeling career is over to support a depressed Sayaka.
- Sayaka later admits the same pain of never be able to sing on the stage ever again as a result of her scar on her stomach.
- Catch-Phrase: Makoto Naegi's iconic No, That's Wrong! gets frequently lampshaded, poked fun at and even sometimes borrowed by the other students.
- Chekhov's Gun: At the start of Chapter 3, Mondo put anything that could potentially be use to harm an unconscious Chihiro inside the locker in the Nurse's Office and seal it with duct tape. Towards the end of the chapter, this would be yet another Spanner in the Works for Celeste's plan.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Right before the second motive is revealed, Monokuma ends up dressing up as a terrifying drag queen, much to everyone’s disgust. This is just to torment Wholesome Crossdresser Chihiro.
- Cringe Comedy: Some of the lighter, funny moments in the fic make use of this.
- A Day in the Limelight: Due to its Everyone Lives nature. Every student who died in the game get quite a lot of focus.
- The Dragon: After Ishimaru goes Knight Templar, Monokuma declares him his enforcer and goes on vacation. Everyone tries to tell Ishimaru he's playing right into Monokuma's hands, but it sails over his head.
- Despair Event Horizon: Even without deaths, the students are still prone to fall into despair.
- Mukuro fall into despair after she's betrayed by her sister and is abandoned to her fate in the Killing Game. She does not enjoy the pain of betrayal at all.
- Poor Sayaka, not only was she the first one to break down and try to commit murder, she later becomes very remorseful of her actions on top of being unable to walk because of her injury and blood loss.
- Leon crosses it the moment Makoto discovers the meaning behind Sayaka's dying message.
- Mondo completely breakdown out of regret for attacking Chihiro and having betray the group by trying to graduate.
- Celeste fall completely into despair after the truth of the Bullying Trials is revealed, she confess without a fight.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Granted, Leon is more Book Dumb than dumbass, but during the second Class Trial he does make a very valid point that leave everyone, even Byakuya, stunned in silence.
: Okay so, let's pretend for a second that you’re right, and I'm not saying you are, but hear me out on this one! How would Toko locking herself in her room solve anything? I mean, if she did have a split personality, and I'm not saying she really does! What would stop her other personality from unlocking the door from the inside? It doesn't make any sense!
- Hiro, who is a dumbass in general, is the first one to vocalize that if Toko is correct that bullying trials have no blackened, nobody can graduate from them.
- Easy Amnesia: Played with. Once Chihiro finally wakes up from the coma, she understandably suffers from Trauma-Induced Amnesia since she doesn't remember much of the event of chapter 2. However, she does remember Celeste’s real name.
- Establishing Series Moment: The prologue start out by showing Junko mocking the students over the fact that the person they trusted the most was The Mole, only to reveal that everybody is still alive and immediately jump to their friend's defence before the story reveals that their friend and savior is Mukuro Ikusaba.
- Enraged by Idiocy: Yeah, the students aren't particularly amused by Hiro's level of intelligence, especially during the trials.
- Failure Gambit: Byakuya actions in chapter 2 turns out to be this. He discovers early on that Toko is the infamous serial killer, Genocide Jack. He alters the crime scene to make it look like Genocide Jack made it and brings Makoto to the library to study about the killer. Lastly, he purposely leaves some mistakes in the crime scene in order for Makoto to pick up on it and test his intelligence. He successfully exposes Genocide Jill to the group.
- Fix Fic: A fic where Everyone Lives, but it also patches up a few minor plot holes and headscratchers from the game.
- Foreshadowing: Lots of them. A few examples include:
- The prologue alone show all of the students are still alive and all of them mentioning their reason to defense Mukuro.
- Chapter 2 has Mondo, Taka and Chihiro backing each other up against Monokuma when he threaten an injured Sayaka before any of the three becomes friends.
- Later on, during a morning meeting we have: Chihiro sitting in between Mondo and Taka; Hifumi next to Celeste and Toko next to Byakuya. Before any of them developed any bond with each other. Is at this point that mastermind!Junko realize the effects of the amnesia are wearing off.
- Celeste and Hina spent time together at the pool while exploring the second floor, foreshadowing the friendship the two develop in Chapter 3.
- For Want of a Nail: The story heavily relies on this; the farther you go into the story, the more different it becomes from the original game.
- Leon makes use of towels in an attempt to stop Sayaka's bleeding, unknowingly saving her life.
- Makoto saves 'Junko' from Monokuma’s trap. This allows her to save both Leon's and Sayaka's lives.
- This also applies to the background story. Chihiro was bullied at a young age for not being masculine enough and started cross-dressing to stop suffering from it. He ends up embracing his feminine side and currently identifies as Transgender.
- A conversation with Leon causes Mondo to hold back when he attacks Chihiro, sparing her life.
- Mondo screams for help shortly after he has moved Chihiro's unconscious body to the girl's lockers as he knew that she was still alive.
- Chapter 3 is where the story diverges greatly from the game due to multiple different circumstances, from having everyone’s secret revealed, Ishimaru becoming a Knight Templar, the reveal of a 16th student much earlier, and the possibility of the Mastermind being a student.
- Foregone Conclusion: The fic starts with In Medias Res, where it's chronologically around the sixth trial, showing that all students survive their murder attempts or executions, make peace with each other's faults, and immediately trust Mukuro despite her being revealed as The Mole.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Ishimaru post-second trial has such an overbearing self-righteousness, Byakuya agrees to scheme with other students behind his back just to get some breathers.
- It's very clear that the students don't really like Hiro, even Makoto tolerate him at best. It doesn't help that he tends to make very insensitive comments at the other students, wherever they’re intentional or not. And his stupidity only a source of annoyances for the rest of the group.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Mondo Owada's Fatal Flaw. Not only is it shown in his Establishing Character Moment, Chapter 2 spends a good amount of time showing how prone to violence he can be. It reaches its logical conclusion when Mondo nearly kills Chihiro in a blind rage. Afterwards, he has a massive My God, What Have I Done? moment and begins working on reining himself in.
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The Bullying Trials are ultimately reveal to be this, as only a 'blackened' can graduate and said trials don't have a blackened culprit, but the entire class is completely unaware of this until the third trial where Toko (of all people) reveals the secret to everyone and causes Celeste to confess.
- Heel Realization: After Celeste's first plan fails, Hifumi starts to have second thoughts on their actions and tries to encourage Celeste to turn themselves in and confess.
- Hidden Depths: Kyoko really doesn't like manipulating others and withholding crucial information, but she sees it as a justified Necessary Evil.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: As much of an asshole Byakuya can be, he's been secretly giving money to outcasted members of his family, not that he would ever admit it. He even saves Sayaka when he catches pillow she threw at Monokuma, who would've executed her for such a minor offense!
- Humiliation Conga: Both Leon and Sayaka are disparaged numerous times because they are confirmed attempted murderers, intentionally or not. Sayaka also gets her secret revealed in front of the others which, despite being anonymous, is so damningly pointing at her that everyone now knows she once ruined a potential rival's career, even if they don't know her fans took it too far by pouring acid down her throat.
- Celestia's plan on chapter 3 simply does not go as planned, and whenever she tries to improvise and salvage her plan, she's still on the receiving end of another spanner. She even goes as far as to call it the proof that Murphy's Law did in fact exist and that the universe hated her.
- And that's before she discovers even if she wins the bullying trial, she won't be allowed to leave as (having not actually killed anyone) she's not a blackened.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Ishimaru post-second trial is a self-righteous jerk, but he gets this a lot. No matter how bad the culprits feel about it, they did try to commit murder and Ishimaru's unwillingness to sweep that under the rug like everyone else is not hard to sympathize with.
- Byakuya is this all the time, much to everyone's frustration.
- Knight Templar: After the second trial, Ishimaru loses it and begins forcing a draconian set of rules on the other students in a desperate attempt to prevent any more murders.
- Last Minute Reprieve: After Mukuro gives first aid to a dying Sayaka, she then runs to the court just in time to stop Leon from being executed.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Despite being an alternative retelling of the first game, the author assumes you're already familiar with the original story. As such, the fic doesn't bother to hide secrets like Chihiro's gender, Celeste's real name, Mukuro disguising herself as her sister, Junko being the mastermind, etc.
- However, the story does spoils two mayor plot points from Dangan Ronpa Zero: Ryoko Otonashi’s real identity as Junko Enoshima and Junko killing Yasuke Matsuda.
- Lawful Stupid: When Ishimaru goes Knight Templar, he is unwilling to allow anyone to bend rules such as "no running in the hallway" and "no profanity"... even when people are missing and potentially dead.
- Lighter and Softer: Only because everyone survives, otherwise it retains the same dark theme of the game.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshade when Sayaka noticed that everyone always uses the same clothes every day. She strongly believes that the Mastermind forced them into this. The sole exception is Mukuro in her 'Junko' disguise, for obvious reasons.
- Loophole Abuse: Mukuro figures out that culprits in bullying trials will not graduate since they are not blackened, but Monokuma threatens her into silence. This does nothing, however, to stop Toko from figuring it out on her own and telling everyone.
- Mama Bear: The moment Chihiro discovers that Alter Ego was confiscated by Kiyotaka she becomes very furious.
- Manly Tears: Leon cries not because he would not be executed, but because Sayaka survives.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Mukuro decides to go against Junko after her sister attempts to kill her, despite promising Mukuro that she would instead be dropped through a trap door and survive. Mukuro also believes her continued act as "Junko" and attempts to keep everyone alive are her penance for playing along to Junko's desires.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Both Leon and Sayaka are horrified over their attempted murders of each other.
- Mondo becomes very remorseful over attacking Chihiro and failing to keep his promise.
- Mythology Gag: The title of the story is named after the opening song of Danganronpa: The Animation.
- During the second trial, Monokuma calls Genocide Jill "the scissor cutty-cutty bitch", a reference to another fic written by hunterofcomedy, The Ultimate Hope.
- The story occasionally mentions executions that where unused in the game. Examples so far includes Sayaka, Byakuya and Toko.
- During the third trial, Monokuma propose the students to do a Scrum Debate only for Mukuro to reject the offer.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Junko allowing Mukuro to sit the first trial out allows the latter to discover that Sayaka is still alive despite her wounds and nurse her back to health, thereby rendering the trial moot right before the execution could be carried out.
- Only a Flesh Wound: Averted. Sayaka manages to survive her stab wound despite bleeding out for hours on end, but it is noted that she would have died had Leon not used towels as improvised bandages and had Mukuro not found her and given her first aid. The injury cripples her for several days.
- Also averted with Chihiro. She spends several days in a coma from Oowada's head wound.
- The Paragon: Beside Makoto, Mukuro in her "Junko" disguise is seen as this by the others because she's unyielding toward the mastermind's threats to her, becoming a protective figure toward the others because of her unexpected skills and her cheerful encouragements.
- Pet the Dog: Even at his worst, Ishimaru tries his best to be nice to Alter Ego and is ashamed whenever he makes 'her' feel bad.
- Porn Stash: Turns out Leon's secret is that he has a huge porn stash, apparently large enough to fill an entire section of a library. His secret is arguably the most harmless within the group.
- Sayaka also has a porn stash and is a Yaoi Fangirl, much to Leon's shock.
- Public Bathhouse Scene: A glorious and unexpected role-reversal from the game. It's the guysnote who go to the bathhouse while Hina, Celeste and Toko are the ones who take a peep. Also, the former two almost get caught due to Toko switching to Jill.
- 'Junko', Sayaka and Kyoko would later share a scene together in bathhouse later in the story.
- Reality Ensues: Mukuro holds the title of Ultimate Soldier because she has never received a wound in combat, but that also means she has low pain tolerance. So, when her hand gets impaled by Monokuma's trap it hurts, a lot.
- Running Gag: Leon's attempts at eating a sandwich are constantly ruined. The story even has a tag lampshading it, Sandwich Denial.
- Several characters suffer from sleep deprivation for different reasons.
- Sanity Slippage: Ishimaru does not take Oowada's attempted murder of Chihiro and his lying to him that well, nor does he appreciate the other students taking his attempts at keeping everyone together for granted. It's more or less what changes him into his "Kiyondo" persona.
- Sherlock Scan: Kyoko, being the Ultimate Detective, makes use of this very frequently. However, being an Amnesiac Hero, she has no idea why she has said ability.
- Ship Tease: Post-first Class Trial, Leon is assigned to look over Sayaka's recovery as punishment for attempting murder, the two become very close friends.
- Kyoko would start to really like Makoto due to his intelligence and general optimism. Likewise, Makoto himself admire Kyoko for her intelligence and support, even describing her as a manga heroine.
- Shout-Out: “Public indecency is not welcome in a school environment!”
- In chapter 3, Mukuro uses a cardboard box as a decoy to distract Mondo long enough to sneak past him, and can't believe it actually works.
- During the same chapter, Monokuma correctly points out that unless people like Byakuya believe in friendship is magic, Kiyotaka's plan to unite the group will just not work.
- Spanner in the Works: On Chapter 3, Mondo unintentionally ends up ruining Celeste's plans by knocking Hifumi out with a door before he can attack Kiyotaka.
- Switching P.O.V.: While the story is mostly told from Mukuro's P.O.V., all characters have their share in the spotlight.
- Tears of Remorse: Mukuro cries over Sayaka's "corpse", believing they were both abandoned for their sins.
- Sayaka weeps upon discovering that she nearly killed the entire group by trying to commit a murder.
- Mondo breaks down once he realizes he nearly killed Chihiro and cries again once he’s caught in the second trial.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Kiyotaka becomes a self-righteous jerk after the second trial because of Mondo's "betrayal".
- Transgender: Chihiro identifies herself as a female despite being biologically male, unlike in the game where Chihiro explicitly identified himself as male. Interesting enough, the fic averts the Trans Equals Gay trope as Chihiro explicitly mentions that she/he is sexually attracted to girls.
- Villainous Breakdown: Celeste lose all of her composure the moment Hifumi propose to turn themselves in and confess their plans. In her fragile state of mind, she tries to kill Hifumi, only for him to catch the hammer and turn against her.
- She also loses her composure during the subsequent trial, with the narration describing it as her mask exploding.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Far more noticeable than in the game. There's a lot of internal conflict and distrust between the students.
- Wham Line: When Kyoko bring Mukuro to the secret room, she confront 'Junko' about her lies.
Kyoko: I know you've been lying to us. Tell me who you really are.
- After Chihiro wakes up from her coma, she calls Celeste by her real name. She's understandably shocked.
Chihiro: Thank you… Taeko.
- The biggest Wham Line in the story is delivered by Toko when she reveals the real purpose behind the Bullying Trials, the revelation hits everyone like a fucking train and causes Celeste to give up and confess.
Toko: W-Well, it doesn't make sense that e-either of them would w-want to h-have a class trial right n-now!
Junko: And why's that? Why wouldn't either Celeste or Hifumi want a class trial?!
Toko: B-Because neither of them are b-b-blackened! Th-That's why it d-doesn't make s-sense!
- What a Piece of Junk: The laptop where Alter-Ego is installed looks like an old computer, but as noted by Chihiro it's more powerful than even her own high-end computer back at her home.
- What If?: Notable in that the fic takes many cues from another What If? scenario of the canon, Danganronpa IF; Makoto saves Mukuro from the Spears of Gungnir not because of his memory returning from being zapped by the fake escape switch, but because his natural kindness alarms him of Monokuma's trap; Mukuro betrays Junko but does not immediately reveal herself as the Ultimate Soldier because of the circumstances; Everybody Lives but not by brute-forcing the Monokuma army; etc.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Nobody is okay with Ishimaru’s self-righteous attitude in chapter 3, and everyone is outraged when he reveals everyone's secrets in a delusional attempt to bring everyone together. His strict rules only make things worse for everyone and he's not even aware of it.
- White Hair, Black Heart: After Ishimaru goes full-blown Knight Templar, his hair turns white just like it did in canon when he became Kiyondo. Whenever he temporarily comes back to his senses, his hair reverts to its natural black.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Leon becomes incredibly terrified of Monokuma after he is saved at the last second from his execution. Unfortunately for him, he must deal with the bear for the rest of the story.