Once again, each of the executions is tailored to the murderer. For instance, the first murderer, Teruteru, was blatantly perverted and hit on everyone, ignoring any protests. In other words, he acted like they were just there for his enjoyment — like pieces of meat. His execution involves being battered and fried up like a piece of meat.
Also, before Teruteru is even proven to be the culprit, you discover that the reason he insists on being called a "Chef" instead of a "Cook" is because he's lying about how sophisticated he really is—as it turns out, he grew up in the country, not in the city as he claimed. So what cooking method does Monokuma use in his execution? Monokuma flash-fries him...a cooking method associated with the poorer classes!
Let's not forget: in a volcano, you cannot float, you sink. This was one of the signs that they were in a virtual world.
The second murderer gets a doubly ironic punishment. Peko cast herself as Fuyuhiko's puppet against his own wishes; Monokuma thusly transforms her into a puppet and has her 'kill' others. As much as she cared for her young master, she unintentionally hurt him by embracing the role he wanted her to reject; Monokuma ensures she hurts him physically as well.
The third, after breaking down after being revealed, Mikan collects herself and tries to Face Death with Dignity, willingly going to her execution. Monokuma ensures it's extremely humiliating and degrading, mirroring the horrid treatment she couldn't escape at the hands of her peers.
Don't forget how she had all of her memories returned to her right before she was executed. Considering how she was one of the Ultimate Despair, it's no wonder why she seemed to have enjoyed herself a little too much.
Also, a possibly more vulgar interpretation, but... As a member of Ultimate Despair, the person Mikan is implied to be Miss Enoshima herself. Her execution is easily the most suggestive in the game, with a split-second screen of Mikan (naked) apparently having an orgasm as she's shot into space on a giant, pulsing fist. Given that Junko's Monokuma persona frequently makes lewd comments about her classmates, it's likely that this was intentional. Also, it fits her position as the game's unwilling fanservice girl.
In her opening bio, it says she dislikes 'big things'. So what does Monokuma do? Stick her with a big needle, which makes her bed turn into a big arm, and she's shot into space.
The fourth is given a Negated Moment of Awesome. Gundam always bragged about his arcane abilities and that his title was just a front. During his execution, he attempts to prove his claims were true... to no avail.
Also, its indicated that Gundam knew that, no matter the circumstances, he still committed murder and decided to go down fighting as a demon. Monokuma pummels Gundam effortlessly and Tanaka is, instead of going to hell as he said, taken to heaven.
The fifth ones (Nanami and Monomi) are maneuvered into a no-win situation, both by the actions of the accidental victim and by Monokuma. He also deliberately manufactures a Hope Spot in order to mock their ideals.
Said Hope Spot also doubles as Foreshadowing: Chiaki and Monomi rush through the exit, only to run straight into a glass screen, reflecting the fact that Chiaki, as an Artificial Intelligence, would not have been able to leave even if the students had made the wrong choice.
In the very beginning of Chapter 1, when Monokuma reveals that there is a traitor in the midst of the students, Byakuya is quite adamant that there is no traitor, and even asks everyone to abandon the idea that there is. Why? Because they believe Monokuma is talking about them, the Super High School Level Impostor, and they don't want their cover blown.
In the original game, Mukuro has a hairclip of a rabbit when she disguises herself as Junko Enoshima. Given that Mukuro reveals to Makoto that she sometimes wishes she had tried different things - basically giving herself a little hope for her future, it is especially interesting that Usami, the teacher meant to teach the students the value of friendship and hope, is a rabbit. This is most likely intentional, given that they have the same color pattern and eyes.
Why does Chiaki take a while to respond, sometimes? It might be that she's buffering or loading a response.
Nagito's jacket design features red blocks and the bottom begins to cut off in hard edges. The red blocks look like pixel blocks and the bottom of his jacket is disintegrating in a block pixel fashion. Not only does this link with how the islands are a computer simulation, but they can be connected with Komaeda's decaying, disintegrating mind.
Using his luck, Nagito sets up his death so that the traitor, Chiaki, would end up throwing the poison in his direction. However, his intention was to have her survive the trial.
Chiaki tries to put off the fire, accidentally releasing the poisonous gas that kills Nagito. Once she sees the trap, she reveals herself to be the candidate and ends up being executed because of his luck.
There is a piece of symbolism regarding Hajime's Exotic Eye Designs: compare them to Izuru Kamukura's eyes. Hajime's eyes are a prohibition symbol, Izuru's are a target radar. This showes two things:
Hajime was talentless, so he considered himself worthless; he negated his personality to became Izuru, whose sole drive and aim is gaining talents.
The computer simulation was built to give the Ultimate Despair members new memories, negating the old ones. Hajime regains the red eyes when he decides to take his future in his own hands and follow his own objectives.
Related to Nagito's Free Time Events: unless you had at least one scene with him before the first trial, you won't be able to get any more scenes with him. This is understandable, since Hajime won't want to be close with a psychopath... unless he knew the "friendlier" side of Nagito first, and so have a reason to keep trying to reach for him.
There was a similar scenario in the first game, too: Genocider Syo's Free Time Scenes. Although what changes is that A) Makoto is much more optimistic and willing to make friends than Hajime, and B) Syo has already admitted that she can't and won't kill anyone.
Why didn't Nagito realize that Chiaki was the traitor sooner? Being a self-proclaimed Ultimate fanboy, he has admitted to looking up information regarding his classmates before coming to the school. And indeed - he provides some extra information about each student in the prologue as they do their introductions. All except for two - Hajime and Chiaki. The former because Hajime was never a proper Hope's Peak student, the latter because she doesn't even exist in the real world. In fact, Chiaki herself seemed surprised when the file containing all their profiles included hers - suggesting that she wasn't actually based on an existing Ultimate student and that her 'profile' was just a dummy made by Monokuma. Therefore, Nagito wouldn't have been able to find any information on her - which should've been immediately suspicious when he's considering possible candidates for the traitor.
Actually, its implied he did suspect it, he just didn't have hard evidence. More precisely, Nagito at one point in Chapter 5 refers to the traitor as "Traitor-San" (Nagito only uses San to refer to girls). No one else, not even the ultra polite Sonia does this and it only happens after a certain point, implying he came to some degree a conclusion on their identity.
This was definitely lost in the English localization since he says "Mr or Miss Traitor" instead. While it is possible he was hiding the information, the dub implied that he was in the dark about the traitor's identity.
Regarding the "Despair Fever" in chapter 3:
Nagito becomes an insane, rambling loon who loses his Brutal Honesty and instead only lies. Nagito's overly complex plan in Chapter 5 essentially has him fake insanity and make a massive lie in order to put everyone on a wild goose chase.
Akane loses her strength and fervor, since she was hit hard by being indirectly responsible for Nekomaru's injuries.
Ibuki gets the lesser effects, as she is made Comically Serious... but still comical.
And considering Mikan's past... yeah....
More like a Fridge Tear Jerker but, in the Surprise House a statue of Sakura striking the iconic death pose of Raoh can be found. It comes as rather random, but then one realizes that the New World Program was designed by the survivors of the first game and it becomes more likely Aoi honoring her deceased best friend.
Compared to first game, where the motives could more or less push anyone, the motives Monokuma gives seem rigged to force people into killing others and seem a lot more restrictive. Why is this? Two reasons: the first being that unlike before, where things could've gone on as long as possible, the New World Program is forced to end after 51 days, meaning that Junko is under a time limit. And the other reason is simply the motive, as the purpose of the previous Mutual Killing was to prove despair to the world, something that would naturally benefit off prolonging everyone's suffering. Here, what Junko is trying to do is get everyone comatose so she can download herself into their bodies, meaning she has no reason to prolong things.
When Monokuma first arrives, he states that Momomi is his little sister. At first, one would presume that this was just a reference to Mukuro, but remember that, in IF, it's stated that Chihiro Fujisaki designed the Momokuma system. Factor in that Usami/Monomi and Chiaki are referred to as Alter Ego's younger sister and one realizes that Monokuma is speaking the truth.
In order to get through the Final Death Room, one has to perform a game of Russian Roulette. In order to put his luck to the test, Nagito instead loads the gun with five bullets and still wins. Seems random until you realize that this symbolizes how Nagito's plan goes in Chapter 5, as it relies on the traitor being the one to grab poisoned fire extinguisher. Hence, 5/6 means failure, 1/6 means success. He didn't just add 4 extra bullets, he took out 1 and put another 5 in.
Also, the Chapter 5 trial room is a metallic grey. What does this make it look like? A gun barrel.
Nagito and Junko share a key similarity, that being that their hair is both red/pink at the tips. Dangan Ronpa Zero heavily implies that Junko dyes her hair blond and official material imply that Nagito's unnatural white hair is the result of Disease Bleach. This highlights perfectly the key contrast between the two; Junko puts on constant acts that make it impossible to know most of the time what she's truly thinking. Nagito comes off as someone hiding their true personality, but is really exactly what he appears on surface and he infact has Brutal Honesty.
For a simple one, why is the game subtitled "Goodbye Despair Academy"? Simple, in the final trial, AI!Junko, refers to the students by "Sempai", indicating that they were 1 to 2 years above the Dangan Ronpa students. Essentially, this means that everyone has long since graduated. Furthermore, Super Dangan Ronpa 2 is very much the Grand Finale to the saga of Hopes Peak Academy and Junko Enoshima, both this game and Dangan Ronpa Zero make it very clear that what allowed Junko to preform the Despair Incident was the conditions that the Academy itself put out. By the end, what the survivors do at the end is leave their bloody pasts behind and create a new future. In a sense saying goodbye to the Academy of despair and forming a new future.
Near the end of the game, its revealed the password to the ruins is 11037. Now remember that Makoto would of been the one to implemented that into the program and the fact that the ruins is clearly a decayed Hopes Peak Academy. What does this add? Well...
For starters, Sayaka was the first student in the School Life of Mutual Killing who snapped and attempted to commit murder. Who found and gave the password? Nagito, who shares Sayaka's role in starting the Mutual Killing.
Next, remember who was the one who put everyone in the simulation, that being Makoto Naegi. Sayaka also happened to essentially his first love. Remember that the goal of the program was to give everyone a second chance. It makes perfect sense would make the password a symbol of second chance, something Sayaka was never able to get.
Not to mention that, similar to Sakura's statue in the Surprise House, it was a little something that Makoto made to remember two of his deceased classmates, Sayaka & Leon himself.
Lastly, why are the ruins Hopes Peak? Because of despair academy. Everything makes sense when you realize that its very much a symbol denying despair.
If you think about it, Nekomaru and Gundam's Duel to the Death in Chapter 4 was won by Gundam using his hamsters as proven in the trial summation and the finisher used in the PTA, which were most likely extensions of himself. In other words, Gundam killed Nekomaru with magic.
The last segment of this game is even easier than the last segment of the previous game. The last Nonstop Debate consists of mashing the triangle button to "wake up", then shooting every single statement, even the ones that aren't weak points. The last Rebuttal Showdown is pretty much similar, with Hajime cutting down all of Junko's statements with the "future" Truth Sword. And unlike the last Machinegun Talk Battle of the first game, the last Panic Talk Action of this game gives you unlimited bullets, meaning all you have to do is target and fire. When you take into account the conversation with Chiaki's memory just before all of this, it's very appropriate. This isn't a game, so therefore Hinata is no longer playing along with it.
One might assume that Hiyoko's reaction to Mahiru tying her kimono is a bit overdone until playing through her free time events. It turns out that the environment she grew up in saw people trying to sabotage her over her position in the family and no one that would take her sidenote she might be lying about that, but more than likely in this upbringing she'd assume that itís better to manipulate and abuse others before they manipulate or abuse you, evidenced by Hajime guessing that some of her Crocodile Tears were real. In her misanthropic mind, other people love to go on the attack at the first sign of weakness; just the sort of situation she found herself in when Akane smelled her (from her haughty attitude, no one sees anything wrong with giving her a taste of her own medicine either). In the end, Mahiru was the only one that wasn't judgmental towards her - she actually goes so far as to help Hiyoko out when experience dictates that other people only exist to knock her down at every opportunity for being better. Besides her father and you if you complete all her free time events, very few people have shown her that sort of kindness out of hand.
Remember how Kazuichi kept talking about wanting to create a rocket and how he was already working on a motorcycle that could have a max speed of 940 km/h (about 584 mph) as a pet-project at home? Well... Is it really a stretch to think that he made all the machines used in the executions from the first game?
Kazuichi regards Hajime as his 'Soul Friend', something which is largely Played for Laughs. Then one reaches the endgame, factors in his Free Times, and realizes both of them were willing to give up who they used to be in order to reach their goals, with one of them MUCH more successful at leaving his old identity behind.
At the end of the first trial, before being executed, Teruteru is extremely worried about his frail old mother since he came to Hope's Peak Academy to help her. When he asks if his mother is ok, Monokuma refuses to answer. Fast forward to the end of the game, when it's mentioned that some of the students, who happened to be Ultimate Despair, sacrificed their family to Junko. Therefore, it's entirely possible that Teruteru joyfully killed his mom who he was so worried about.
Actually, it's speculated that based on some statements from Junko about "Consuming a pig", that Teruteru actually ATE his mother.
Apart from Chiaki, every single member of the main cast had been broken down into destructive, despair-motivated monsters "without a shred of humanity left" by Junko. This is easy to dissociate because those memories have been taken away...but think about it on an individual basis. Every single member of the class. Even the sweetest, kindest ones. Even Nekomaru. Even Ibuki. Even Sonia. Even the Super High School Level Impostor. Your very favorite character killed their family and friends and hundreds more in awful ways and rejoiced in the despair it brought them. The player character is a mass murderer. Even with their memories gone it's hard to think of them sympathetically without totally dissociating this.
Related: That picture of an older Hiyoko was probably taken when she was in this state. Which begs the question: why is she smiling?
Mikan telling Nagito that she didn't kill out of Despair, she killed out of "Love". Why Fridge Horror? It's implied that the person she "loved" and wanted to impress was Junko Fucking Enoshima.
It might have not just been her, in the game and during his free time events Kazuichi makes it clear he has a preference for blondes (like Sonia) and that looking the way he does has a tendency to attract the attention of "those gaudy popular girls" who terrified him. Now who have we met before who fits these descriptions perfectly? Junko Enoshima, the Ultimate Despair Fashionista. The horror aspects come from the fact that as stated above as the Ultimate Despair Mechanic he was probably the one who made the machines used in her executions and this means he might have done it because he fell in love with Junko just like Mikan did and this was his way of expressing it to her.
Even worse; Mikan isn't the only female member of the cast implied to have bisexual tendencies. It's possible that Junko was manipulating several lesbian lovers ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
Better yet, Junko still would of been in a devoted relationship with her actual boyfriend at the time, who she did genuinely love (Even if she killed him in the end). Makes one wonder how much of this that Matsuda actually knew about...
If you thought things couldn't get more messed up, here's an incredibly disturbing one. In the final trial Fake!Makoto goes through some of the horrific acts committed by Ultimate Despair and were shown a man with buzzcut transplanting Junko's right eye into himself, with the statement that they "Wanted to see the despair from Junko's eyes...'. Now, who has a buzzcut, lost his right eye and wanted to see things from a leaders perspective? Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu, of course! In other words, it's possible that Fuyuhiko has Junko's eye.
Continuing the Fridge Horror magnet that Ultimate Despair and their dissection of Junko's corpse is, Mikan's last words are stating she has her love (Junko) inside of her. During the final trial, it's stated that one of the members wanted to bear Junko's offspring. Put the two together.
Thought the Twilight Syndrome mystery, wherein Satou murders Fuyuhiko's sister because she was bullying Koizumi and is then killed by Fuyuhiko in revenge, was bad? It actually gets worse when you realize it's probably what drove Fuyuhiko and Mahiru to despair.
In a minor dialogue exchange, Gundam states that a hamster's lifespan is only a few years long. If one puts all the time periods in the backstory together, Gundam's hamsters should be long dead. This means that his hamsters in the game must of been just parts of the simulation.
Which explains why they seem to "disappear" whenever Gundam is absent, like after his execution, despite Sonia being a good candidate for taking care of them in his stead, and how they only reappear during the chapter 5 glitch after he died. In all likelihood the only reason they existed in the simulation at all was because of Gundam's memories of them, as a pseudo-extension of himself. Which makes every scene of him interacting with them worse, since he has no idea that he really is completely alone, comforting himself with the "ghosts" of his dearly departed pets like how a lonely child creates imaginary friends to keep them company.
Even worse than that, consider how it was said that the Ultimate Despair murdered all their loved ones in the name of despair. It's entirely possible that Gundam killed his beloved hamsters long before they had the chance to die of old age.
Regarding Nagito and how the game ends...
Firstly, unlike all the other students who "died", Nagito doesn't show during the glitch sequences. Now, remember that, prior to the events of the game, he was diagnosed with two terminal illnesses, one of which is impossible to cure. This may very well indicate that Nagito, unlike the others, may very well be Killed Off for Real.
Secondly, if Nagito wakes up (And that's a big if) what will he find out? He'd find out that his plan to get everyone killed failed and in fact would of doomed the world had it succeeded, his actions would be opposed by Makoto Naegi, the Ultimate Hope, and his whole world view has been shattered. Given how unstable he is, this could very well break him.
Lastly, regarding his relationship to the others, Nagito has no one to greet him. Hajime, the only one who was actually close to him, more or less disregards Nagito by the end of Chapter 5, outright avoiding even referring to him by name. This leaves the only people who actually felt bad for him being Chiaki, an AI who doesn't exist in the real world, and Mikan, who Nagito disregarded and stated he'd never be able to forgive. Shoot the Shaggy Dog, much?
Well, the survivors promised that they will wait for ALL the comatose students to wake up (if they themselves donít revert back into Despair, that is. But thatís a whole different matter), that means including Nagito, and if they can forgive what their old self did when they were in Despair, itís likely that they will also forgive every actions taken by everybody when they were in the Mutual Killing. If its about Nagitoís jaded worldview is what alarmed them, those worldview are already embedded very deep and could be considered a fundamental part of him because of his shitty luck cycle, and itís not that by abandoning despair/memoryerased!Nagito will get them anywhere. Plus back then when they were still on the island Hajime said that the reason why he tries so hard to understand Nagito is because he really doesnít get him and it scares him being so because God-knows-what he might do next, so itís also very unlikely that he will considers giving up this time.
Not really. After all, while the survivors did say they would forgive their actions as despair, that was because they were fundamentally different people back then thanks to Junko. Any actions beyond that doesn't count frankly, of the murders that weren't directly caused by Nagito, one (Peko) was pretty much forgiven after everyone learnt what actually happened, another (Mikan) was preformed by their despair self and the last of those (Gundam) was a sacrifice meant to save everyone. Nagito on the other hand started the murders, made everyone feel threatened and ultimately tried to have all the remaining students killed, making it highly doubtful they'd opening accept him after he showed what a threat he was. Furthermore, Hajime said that before Nagito shifted into antagonism in Chapter 4. After that, any possible reconciliation is killed given that Nagito outright rejects any effort by Hajime to actually talk to him. Not to mention, Nagito hates despair and lost his faith in the others after finding out about despair which, factoring in his degenretive brain condition, makes it doubtful he'd be in a condition to do something like that.
So experiencing death in the game world renders your real body brain dead due to Your Mind Makes It Real. What does this say about Nekomaru, who essentially experienced death twice in the game, once physically and once as a cyborg? Just how badly would that have messed up his real-world brain? Not to mention, if Mecha-Nekomaru survived and that version of him was uploaded into his real body, what would happen? Thinking as if you're a robot while in a flesh-and-blood body could have unfortunate consequences...
There are two possibilities. One is that Monokuma sacrificed the data about his body (sensations etc.) to preserve his actual memories (his mind). The other is that Monokuma used the memory manipulation technology to transfer his conscience in the robot... from within a virtual world based on memory manipulation technology. If it's the latter, there could have been the chance to "upload" him again, this time in his real body, with little to no consequences.
The happy ending of Island Mode, where all goes according to plan and after fifty days of not killing each other the cast is ready to get back to their normal lives. Um, yeah, good luck with that. Not to mention the bit where Chiaki can't go with them.