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!
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 Junko 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 (Chiaki 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.
The fact that there is no blood when Chiaki is crushed, unlike in the other executions, is another hint at Chiaki's Artificial Intelligence status.
Sonia tells Hajime in her final free time event that they are destined to rule Novoselic together, but that he must first become an expert in 30 languages, economics, international law, medicine, and other fields before he will be ready to be king. Good thing that Izuru Kamukura is an expert in all those subjects and more.
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 he believes Monokuma is talking about him, the Ultimate 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 Nagito'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.
Since Dangan Ronpa 3 reveals that Chiaki actually was a real student at Hope's Peak, it's a bit more understandable that Nagito didn't notice anything amiss until he found the student profiles.
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.
Fuyuhiko and Peko are the only ones to receive the item Antique Doll with absolute happiness. It seems completely random until you realize what the doll is: a small blond girl, just like Fuyuhiko's sister. It's very possible the doll is well received because it reminds them of home.
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.
This gets even more brilliant as this page already mentioned how Usami and Muruko's (when disguised as Junko) rabbit hairpin are very similar.
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.
One last Russian Roulette analogy; after all is said and done and the survivors figure out Nagito's plan, they themselves are forced into a game of Russian Roulette; replace the gun with the voting and the five loaded chambers and one empty one with five innocent survivors (Hajime, Fuyuhiko, Kazuichi, Sonia, and Akane) who will blow the group's brains out and one accidental murderess (Chiaki) who will spare the group at large.
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.
Additionally, Chiaki's 'last thoughts' contain the Konami Code. At first it simply ties in to her identity as the Ultimate Gamer, but looking into the history of the Konami Code reveals something: it's rumored that it was apparently originally created by Kazuhisa Hashimoto, the creator of Video Game/Gradius, due to the fact that the game was just too difficult to test without the cheat and it was left in by accident. Given that the story of SDR2 takes place in a virtual world, Chiaki referencing this game-breaking cheat makes quite a bit of sense.
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.
Sonia's name shout out can even be one. All the songs on Nirvana's albumNevermind tend to be about "the general themes of teenage sexuality, loneliness, the madness that results from rejection, or an obsession over a girl"... Which all basically describes Kazuichi's entire "relationship" with her as he barely acknowledges anything about her beyond her name and title.
The reason that Nagito was affected so badly by the Despair Disease was because his cancer had weakened his immune system, leaving him vulnerable to other diseases.
In hindsight, Nagito's despair disease had him say a lot of things that were not really lies. For instance, he identifies Byakuya as a member of World Ender; he identifies that Nekomaru cannot be saved and that a transfer student is coming (Mechamaru); he identifies that Hajime is "a fake", which proves true later in the game; and finally, he declares that they should all die from the despair disease, and later on, he does indeed come to the conclusion that they all have to die. Ultimately, the things he's saying indicate that he did not in fact have the Lying Disease but instead had the Remembering Disease.
With this in mind, some certain words he has for Hajime at the hospital take on a new connotation.
Nagito: All alone with Hajime, huh... I can't stand being in the same room as you.
Hajime: Don't worry, I'm leaving. You should focus on curing that crappy disease of yours.
Nagito: Yeah, hurry up and go away. I don't want to see your face anymore.
In Chapter 5, when Nagito blows up a part of the hotel with a bomb, you can clearly see that the monitor in the hotel lobby was broken by the blast, which means that Nagito broke a rule, and yet Monokuma doesn't even notice. They then go on to explain that since Nagito hasn't nuked the island yet, he can't be pre-emptively punished for breaking the rule of killing more than 2 people. Since Monokuma already knows what Nagito is planning, he deliberately chooses to ignore Nagito breaking the monitor. The observer can't interfere with the students unless a rule is broken, but it doesn't mean the observer is obligated to do something in the event that someone does break the rules.
Why is it that Chiaki seems so attached to Hajime throughout the game? Initially, it's likely because of his true status as Izuru Kamukura. The personality he has in the Neo World Program is one constructed from the few memories of his old identity the Future Foundation could dig up and piece together. Chiaki is an artificial intelligence initially designed to help the rehabilitation of the remnants of despair, so it makes sense that she would try to help Hajime/Iziru most of all. However, over the course of the game, as she bonds with the group, she starts to develop a curiosity for social activities, investigates murder trials, admits that she wants to protect everyone, and even asks Hajime to never forget about her even after he leaves the program. In the fifth class trial, she even outs herself as The Mole and asks everyone to vote for her. She was able to defy her programming she's no longer just an AI: she's developed her own identity and personality. It's also how she manages to come back during the final trail and convince Hajime to not give up: he helped her change for the better and now she's going to help him do the same.
Why does Chiacki never sound confident and always finishes her sentences with "I think"? It's because her duty as an AI that supposed to help people that went through trauma and need the Hope Restoration Program. She can't just tell the people that she works with what to think. They make their own conclusions.
Gundham's actions in Chapter 4 makes a lot of sense when you consider his knowledge of animals. Animals fight and kill each other all the time for things like food, territory, and mates. He even brings up cannibalism as a common occurrence among many species. And yet, it all comes down to the need to survive. They need to eat, need a place to live, and need mates to carry on their species. The reason he sees man as conceited is because we consider actions such as murder and cannibalism immoral, despite how often these things happen in nature. But something else that also happens often in nature is altruism: many species have been seen sharing food, supporting the weak and injured, and sometimes even sacrificing themselves so others of their kind can live. Rather than watch his friends give up and slowly die of starvation, Gundham decided to make the choice that nobody else would.
To expand on the above: Chiaki's entire character - cute, friendly, sympathetic, encouraging, confident yet non-threatening, and a busty Gamer Chick to boot - can be pretty much attributed to in-universe Author Appeal. What other sort of AI could an insecure, quiet, short, geeky, decidedly-straight teenage boy possibly create?
It's revealed later that Chiaki's appearance and name aren't accidental, being based on the class representative of the same name, but the fact that it was approved was all because she ticked those boxes.
How were the dead students able to reappear at the end of Chapter 5 if their avatars had all been deleted? Simple: they never left. Whenever a file is deleted from a computer, it's moved to a temporary directory (aka the trash), where it can still be recovered. But even when the trash bin is emptied, the deleted files are still present on the computer. Their physical location on the hard drive is only marked as empty and can used if new data needs to be stored, which was what Junko was planning to exploit in order to take over their bodies. The only things that go away when a file is erased are the pointers, which are the data used to help find the files they're referencing in memory. Even then, these files can still be found and recovered using special tools. Even with their avatars deleted, when the program began glitching out, they were able to temporarily return from digital purgatory and interact with the survivors, and even seemed to know what had happened in their absence. Which means the visions Hajime, Sonia, and Fuyuhiko had weren't just hallucinations or memories: the others really were motivating them not to give up.
Chiaki's status as the Ultimate Gamer bothered me somewhat before The Reveal. I mean, she didn't show any extraordinary skill with video games - she was just an enthusiast and a collector. But since she's a built-in part of the New World Program, it makes sense. She's not an Ultimate, her purpose isn't to have a talent - her purpose is to rehabilitate the Ultimate Despairs. To this end, the Ultimate Despairs were put in a simulation where the goal is to make friends. Her purpose is to ensure that happens. What better way to accelerate that process than to share in some quality game time?
Hilariously given a callback in Dangan Ronpa 3 with the real Chiaki, when a massive gaming session manages to bring the entire class together in a way that even their teacher was unable to do!
When did Monokuma dedicate time to making the Surprise House? He didn't. It was made as an alpha map to test the simulation, make sure senses like sight, sound, and touch could work.
While their slightly more difficult to pin down, just the same the unused executions have the irony to go along with the casts horrific demise:
For Mahiru, she was shown pictures of her imminent death and, despite her efforts to conceal and destroy the camera, she was killed anyway. This is reminiscent of the Twilight incident, where despite her attempts at concealing the photos to protect Sato, her death was inevitable as Fuyuhiko still murdered her anyway.
With Kazuichi, he has an intense love for machinery and dreamt of being able to create a high-powered motorcycle or a rocket ship to shoot to the stars, though ironically, had an intense motion sickness. His execution has his last moments had his dream not only be crushed (instead of being shot to the stars like Jin, he was drilled into the ground) but had his fear exploited in the end as he drilled at top speed until it finally melts.
Sonia's execution is that she, as the princess of Novoselic, secretly longed to be seen as a normal person but due to her status as a princess people (see Kazuichi) only saw as her title: a stereotypical fairy tale princess, more akin to a prop made to be shown off than anything. So in her final moments, Monokuma turns her into just that: a puppet to be used through a classic fairy-tale but a fatal twist.
For Fuyuhiko, He's short-tempered and rude and is willing to threaten people, but try as he might, he's pretty much a decent guy which is something he tries not to show since that trait is unknown among Yakuza (who are thought of to be cruel and apathetic). His execution takes light of that as he willingly takes a fatal bullet for 'Peko' (Monokuma in disguise) proving his heart of gold but in a way he's undeserving of his title.
For Nagito, it makes light of his extreme luck. On one hand, it was lucky that the platform he was standing on wasn't connected to anything for it to fall over or even hang him. However, on the other hand, it was also unlucky since without the ropes he had no way of pulling himself out of a soon to be fire trap.
And finally we have Hajime, who being literally rubbed out of existence was a reference to how his personality was erased for Izuru Kamukura and the 'Try Again' was most likely a jab at how he tried all these years to gain a talent and actually be somebody....but all that hard work just resulted in him being in the Reserve Course and later on completely wiped away in favor of a superhuman.
While he never appeared in-game, we also have Yasuke Matsuda as a bonus. So his execution is symbolic of this as it has him going into surgery, something which is supposed to be good but, in the wrong hands can spiral into something horrible that has negative and harmful effects for all involved. This reflects Yasuke's actions in Zero, where he wiped Junko's memories to protect her from herself and even killed to cover up her involvement in the First Killing Game, however in doing so caused a chain of events that claimed the lives of many in their search for the truth, even his own.
Considering what happens in Side:Despair, it makes sense for Chiaki to be the AI watching over them all; she was the classmate that brought them all together as students—even Hajime's connected to her through their hangouts— and her demise ultimately drove them on the path to despair. With such a powerful and memorable personality, who better a person to watch over "her" old classmates?
Some Fridge Brilliance about the opening sequence. In the opening, every Ultimate Student is presented and there is an image in the background, representative of the character or their ability (for example, Mahiru having small photos pasted over a cuadriculated paper representing her speciality as Ultimate Photographer, or Nanami, the Ultimate Gamer, having a Pong game playing in the background). Now, probably the most interesting one is the background that appears when Hinata is presented, it's an icon of a gun sight rolling. Anyone would either ignore it as it's a very basic or generic symbol, or initially assume that this is only a reference to the iconic game mechanic of "truth bullets", but there is more to it as these gun sights are representative of the fact that Hajime is actually Izuru, whose eyes have gun sight designs. But that's not all, the gun sight design also matches Hinata's personality and character, being the most generic one at first sight, but also having a lot of depth, more than any of the other background symbols.
It seems kind of weird that five of the 77th Class lack a special execution (Akane, Nekomaru, Hiyoko, Ibuki and the Imposter), while everyone from the 78th Class has one, but it makes sense considering the circumstances of both killing games. For the first, that was intended to go as long as needed so Junko likely had every single execution prepared in advance for every scenario imagined. For the second killing game, that one actually had a time limit that Junko needed to get done quickly in order for her plans to work (hence the motives being specifically made to get someone killed, instead of allowing them pushing someone mentally to do it.) It's highly likely it was a combination of Junko being hard-pressed for time, her analytical abilities giving her the high probability none of the mentioned five (except Akane and, considering the position she was in for cases three/four, her odds were slim in survival) was going to live and, overall, she just didn't really gave a crap about the 77th Class.
Looking back for Akane, she was the one always eager to pick a fight with anyone and attacked Monokuma, but the end result was her getting defeated in a one-sided fight with the coup de grace being a nearly blown to bits which were most likely Junko's way of saying that at the end of the day: that in the end her brains and technological power triumphs over whatever 'fighting spirit' Akane tried to throw against her.
Even when they lacked a special execution for themselves one could imagine how they went out to be strangely poetic as well:
The Imposter impersonated as the arrogant and proud heir, Byakuya Togami, but mixed in some of his true nature as he portrayed him as showing concern for others and determined on guiding them to escaping the island (which contrasts Byakuya's loner attitude and disdain for the others). With his death, it gives merit to Byakuya's advice that by cooperating with others would only lead to any early grave. Plus, the entire reason the UI got to where they were was because they used their impersonations as a means to survive. In a sad twist of fate, because of their choice to assist the others (essentially acting out of character), their fate had been sealed.
Ibuki left her band due to her different taste of music and everything about her (design, personality, and mannerisms) just show her love of being a free spirit. Her death has her act completely different from how she normally is in her final moments and she is completely powerless the entire time to do anything about it,
Hiyoko bullied others out of self-defense mechanism to ensure she wouldn't receive the same treatment and to show she would not be a simple target to pick off (kind of like Byakuya) and was only close to Mahiru. When chapter three rolled around, Hiyoko was starting to open to the other before being killed by Mikan. This could be taken as karma for all the bullying she did to Mikan throughout the game, but as well as by allowing herself to open to the others she left herself in the same position she warned them about: vulnerable to murder.
Nekomaru, despite his more than well-fit build, had a heart condition that made him unable to participate in sports activities or anything that required too much strenuous work since of the chance it could kill him. When he is turned into a cyborg he is finally given the chance to make a difference and able to enjoy the new years ahead of him in order to protect the group but in the end, his murder thanks to Gundam had rendered a newfound reality, yet again, a dream.
It may strange that while the execution less five didn't get an unused execution but the already deceased Yasuke did, but it makes sense when you remember Yasuke was one of the creators of the Neo World Program. It's likely that Junko made one as her own 'thank you' to her boyfriend for giving her a chance to spread despair out of a creation meant to help others. Plus, It also shows just how twisted, yet genuine, her love for her boyfriend was. In her eyes, this was her way of repaying him...
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?
Sonia ruled over an entire country as princess. Imagine what an entire country of subjects would do if they found out their princess was a psychotic murderer, let alone part of a larger group of equally demented killers. Not to mention, she most likely killed any other members of the royal family as well, meaning this country has no leaders to protect them. Worse still, it's implied that Novoselic has a strong military presence (children take mandatory lessons on modern warfare, like how to operate tanks), and if a significant portion of that military stayed loyal to Sonia, she could have easily turned them against her subjects or even other countries.
In the first few minutes of the first episode of Side:Future in Dangan Ronpa 3, we see the ENTIRE NOVESELIC MILITARY WITH THE BRAINWASHING MONOKUMA HELMETS ON!
While the limits of the Impostor's talent are unclear, they were very successful in posing as Byakuya, and a light novel suggests they might have even completely ruined his reputation. It's very possible they could have pretended to be other people of great political, economical, or military influence. What happens when a CEO starts cutting salaries and jobs, leaving countless employees in financial hardship? What happens when a head of state invades a superpower country with the worst weapons they have, on civilian targets? All this and more is at the Impostor's fingertips, and at any moment they can safely move on to their next identity and leave the real person to deal with the consequences.
Just think about all the free time events where the students talk about their families. All of them, Akane's siblings, Hiyoko's dad, the Kuzuryu clan, Mahiru's parents, are long dead before the game even begins.
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 female 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.
In Dangan Ronpa 3, we see Fuyuhiko with an eyepatch in despair. He really did do it!
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.
Heck, pay attention to the characters' backstories and mindsets, you'll get the general picture of how Junko got her hooks into each of them. For instance, Sonia confesses she's had a hard life because of her position (being kidnapped, amongst other things) and she is a Nightmare Fetishist who idolises Genocider Syo.
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 degenerative 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.
Chiaki could still interact with them through a laptop like Alter Ego. Of course, there's still plenty of horror once they leave the virtual world, since they have Junko's body parts and the distrust of the Future Foundation, among other things.
More like mild Fridge Sadness, at least to this troper. Throughout the game, as much as I tried, I couldn't feel any sympathy for Hiyoko's character, even after watching her Free Time Events. I feel that what little character development she got came across more as an Informed Attribute, rather than a genuine demonstration of how she wanted to change. If she survived the island, as originally planned for her character, I feel like she would've changed into someone I could actually sympathise for, like Fuyuhiko did. Instead, I'm always going to look back on her as this cruel hearted bully, when I feel like she could've been so much more.
When Nekomaru got hit with the Monokuma's bazooka, he was, for all intents and purposes, dead. Akane was distraught at this, but then she felt a heartbeat. This could very well be foreshadowing for the "glitch" in Chapter 6.
As was made quite clear during the Chapter 6 trial, Your Mind Makes It Real in the Neo World Program. Akane's desperate hope for him to still be alive is likely what got him a pulse long enough for him to be saved.
And what did the final five want more than anything? To get out of the game with their classmates. That "glitch" wasn't just some bug in the system - it was the hope of those left scrounging up every little bit they could of the actual avatars of everyone killed in the game.
Notice how the executions in this game weren't very grounded in reality (at least, compared to the first game)? They're all foreshadowing that the game takes place within a game itself.
In one of Mikan's Free Time events she mentions that she likes that, as a nurse, she is able to tell people what to do. Fast forward to Chapter 3, where Ibuki is inflicted with gullibility from the Despair disease. It's possible that Mikan could have simply tried to tell Ibuki to hang herself (Despite Ibuki showing earlier that she does still have a survival instinct in this state, meaning it could have failed if phrased incorrectly) but chose not to JUST so she could strangle her to death by hand.
Anything concerning the preparation, procedures and experiments that turned good-natured and snarky "nobody" Hajime Hinata into the talented and lethal Izuru Kamukura.
Junko helpfully provides us with some diagrams of a skull being operated on. Yet the details of what actually, physically happened are vague. There are brain surgeries that require the patient to be conscious, which means Hajime may have been fully aware of the unraveling of his own brain, a la Unwind. Or he may have been sedated and then didn't return to being himself until the simulation. Hope for the latter — especially if Hajime didn't realize the nature of the procedure and only became aware of what was really happening during the operation...
How much was Hajime told about what he was volunteering for...and how much did the Academy gloss over or conceal from him? Did Hajime know he'd be effectively deleted from his own mind, or was he offered "a chance to gain talent and entry into Hope's Peak proper," rather than the reality of "we want to turn you into a blank slate so we can overwrite you with "talent"? Junko makes it sound like Hajime was responsible for what happened to him, but...well, she's Junko (or at least her A.I.). Other parts of the DR universe make it very clear that the Academy would happily stoop to tricking a "worthless" Reserve student into signing up for his own death, if it got them what they wanted.
What about this kid's family — did they have a clue what they'd sent their son into when they forked out for his place in the Reserve Course? How did they react when their son disappeared? What about his friends? Was Hajime so entirely alone on the campus that no-one noticed that he'd vanished?
What the entire project tells us about Hope's Peak. In the first game, we might have sympathy for them, but by the time the Hope Project comes to light, you'd be forgiven for thinking that they deserved everything they got.
The procedure not only excised all of Hajime's thoughts, emotions, and hobbies that interfered with acquiring talent, but his senses as well. To what extent exactly? Pain could get in the way of certain talents, so did they remove his ability to feel that? He's still a teenager, so did they also remove his libido? What about things like hunger, the gag reflex, or the need to urinate? Maybe Hope's Peak intended to only cultivate his mind and leave his body to atrophy, ensuring he'd need to rely on them completely to survive.
Mystery solved as of Danganronpa 3. It's just as nightmarish as players feared. To round up: the procedure wasn't just technically terrifying, involving various machines with far too many electrodes that Hajime was secured into with metal restraints, it was drawn out. It took six months to create Izuru Kamukura. And Hajime's personality was deleted little by little, with an observer noting that he was "distraught" on one occasion, only for a scientist to assure him that this was because some part of "Hajime Hinata" still remained...and not to worry, they just deleted that part. Which suggests Hajime felt himself being wiped out and got upset, perhaps even wanting to back out of the project, only to be forced to continue (presumably via sedation). He was not fully aware of what the procedure entailed, as it was sold to him as "turning him into Hope for everyone." Plus, the Academy effectively blackmailed him into participating: his parents couldn't afford the school fees, and even his place in the Reserve Course hinged on him consenting to being a guinea pig. His parents did sign off on the operation, but it's not revealed how much they knew about the nature of the experiment, and Hajime's only real friend at Hope's Peak was Chiaki — the school simply recorded him as an expelled student, and few people bothered to ask questions. And just to add insult to injury, once turned into Izuru, he was isolated and kept captive (presumably for more experiments), with no outlet for the talents they'd destroyed his mind in order to give him.
How badly has the outside world been damaged by The Tragedy? How many have been killed? How many places have been damaged beyond repair? Some of the things that we've heard include wars, terrorism, coup d'etats, at least one mass suicide, people killing their friends families, the strong killing the weak, the weak killing the weaker, the weak ganging up to kill the strong, and images of death overflowing the media so much that people simply ate as they watched. It's not much of a stretch to think people could have also triggered a meltdown, set off a nuke, destroyed a dam, set fire to an entire forest, poisoned a water supply, destroyed a city's electrical grid, or unleashed some kind of horrible chemical or biological agent into the environment solely to cause more despair. Even with Junko dead, her influence may be felt on Earth for decades or centuries to come.
After contracting the Despair disease, Nagito starts rambling about how the Despair disease is great, there is no such thing as hope, and that everyone has to die, before he collapses and starts foaming at the mouth. Considering that Nagito's symptom is lying nonstop, his personality was probably otherwise unaffected. It's possible that he was in a state of torment (read: And I Must Scream) and he succumbed to an overload of frustration, panic, and utter dysphoria.
Another Fridge Tearjerker: Gundam claims he was born from a torrid affair between an angel and demon, and that his existence was shunned by both races. No one had ever bought him a toy, which is why he considers the toy ship motor from Grape House remarkable. Considering he only ever talks about his mother in a positive light, this could mean Gundam was an illegitimate or unwanted child, and may have had an extremely broken family life because of it. The origin story he gave Hajime and the group, and maybe his evil overlord persona as a whole, might be his way of coping with it. His use of the word "demon" could also have some other implications.
With his concurrent diagnoses of Lymphoma and Dementia, Nagito was given a life expectancy of 6 months to 1 year. Except he's saying this to Hajime with his memories from two years ago, which suggests, thanks to his good luck, he was able to survive. But, while patients with Stage 3 Lymphoma (Nagito seems to have Non-Hodgkin's) have a good chance of living for five years or longer, Frontotemporal Dementia has a maximum life expectancy of 2-15 years after symptoms appear. It's an incurable and irreversible condition that progressively causes large areas of the brain to rot away. Patients in later stages suffer memory loss, speech issues, coordination problems so bad that they might need a wheelchair, and difficulty with motor skills such as swallowing, breathing, and bladder control. Death usually results from infections due to the body being unable to fight it in this state. And this is what Nagito gets to look forward to if he wakes up from his coma. Lucky him.
Junko's sheer skill to manipulate people is put on full display with the Remnants of Despair. She was able to convert every one of them into becoming completely and utterly loyal to her, in body and mind, by exploiting their flaws. Some of them would make easy targets: Mikan's need for affection, Kazuichi's low self-esteem, Hiyoko's cruel and selfish attitude, Akane's less-than-impressive intellect, Gundham's irritation with mankind, etc. But she was also able to get Ibuki of all people to join her. How? In her final free time event, Ibuki mentions that she's felt a little lonely ever since she left her band. A little lonely. That may have been enough for Junko to completely and utterly warp her into a devoted follower. No matter how small or insignificant, Junko can take a person's source of despair and twist them around to her way of thinking.
Later revelations reveal that this wasn't the case at all— the manipulation came from exploiting their sadness from seeing Chiaki die, and brainwashed them with a live feed of her own execution. It's possible that their lingering insecurities may have fueled their despair-induced actions, but that's far and away from what Junko actually did.
It's been stated that anyone who knows they're inside a simulation has a greater chance of waking up from their coma. One of those people was Mikan, who regained her memories after she contracted the despair disease. Does that mean, if she wakes up, she'll revert back to being her Ultimate Despair self?
The original, non-corrupted Neo World program is pretty horrifying if you think about it from a free will perspective, assuming the participants did not consent to going into it (and Nagito seemed to have no idea what was about to happen in the flashback). Imagine if you were forced into a program that destroys your current self, removing the key memories that shaped your beliefs and personality and leaving behind a person with completely different values, effectively turning you into the very thing you oppose. Even if the alternative was death and Makoto believed he was acting in their best interests this is still a massive violation of the subjects' free will.
The Neo World Program is also pretty nightmarish in its operation. It effectively creates a new life form in the form of an avatar, then forces that avatar to either commit suicide (terminate option) or bodysnatch their original (graduate option). Even if the future self consented to the process it's still a pretty traumatic choice to force on someone.
In Danganronpa 3, Junko of all people did make a remark on how the program is just another form of brainwashing...
How is it that they would succumb to hunger in the Surprise House? They might have never. After all, they have to be fed while they're in the Neo World Program somehow. While it's hard to say if they could have actually died from hunger, they'd still feel hungry all the time, and that was likely good enough for Monokuma.