This game is the subject of an ongoing LP and translation effortnote (as of this writing, the LP is currently at the start of Chapter 3). A temporary spoiler-free page for this game has been set up HERE. Readers of the LP who wish to avoid being spoiled should go there. While this page uses spoiler tags, it still covers the contents of the entire game. Those who are spoiler-adverse may wish to err on the side of caution.
Once again, each of the executions is tailored to the murderer. For instance, the first murderer, Hanamura, 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. Their execution involves being battered and fried up like a piece of meat.
Also, before Hanamura 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. Pekoyama cast herself as Kuzuryuu'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, Tsumiki 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 SHSL 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 SHSL Despair, the person Tsumik is implied to be Miss Enoshima herself. Her execution is easily the most suggestive in the game, with a split-second screen of Tsumiki (naked) apparently having an orgasm as she's shot into space on a giant, pulsing fist. Given that Enoshima's Monkuma 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 they dislike 'big things'. So what does Monobear 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. Tanaka 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 Tanaka knew that, no matter the circumstances, he still committed murder and decided to go down fighting as a demon. Monkuma pummels Tanaka effortlessly and Tanaka is, instead of going to hell as he said, taken to heaven.
The fifth (Nanami and Monomi) is maneuvered into a no-win situation, both by the actions of their accidental victim and by Monokuma. He also deliberately manufactures a Hope Spot in order to mock their ideals.
In the very beginning of Chapter 1, when Monokuma reveals that there is a traitor in the midst of the students, Togami is quite adamant that there is no traitor, and even asks everyone to abandon the idea that there is. Why? Because he believes Monobear is talking about him, the Super High School Level Impostor, and he doesn't want his cover blown.
In the original game, Ikusaba has a hairclip of a rabbit when she disguises herself as Junko Enoshima. Given that Ikusaba reveals to Naegi 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 Nanami take a while to respond, sometimes? It might be that she's buffering or loading a response.
Komaeda'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.
There is a piece of symbolism regarding Hinata's Exotic Eye Designs: compare them to Izuru Kamukura's eyes. Hinata's eyes are a prohibition symbol, Izuru's are a target radar. This showes two things:
Hinata 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 SHSL Despair members new memories, negating the old ones. Hinata regains the red eyes when he decides to take his future in his own hands and follow his own objectives.
Related to Komaeda'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 Hinata won't want to be close with a psychopath... unless he knew the "friendlier" side of Komaeda 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) Naegi is much more optimistic and willing to make friends than Hinata, and B) Syo has already admitted that she can't and won't kill anyone.
Why didn't Komaeda realize that Nanami was the traitor sooner? Being a self-proclaimed SHSL 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 - Hinata and Nanami. The former because Hinata was never a proper Hope's Peak student, the latter because she doesn't even exist in the real world. In fact, Nanami herself seemed surprised when the file containing all their profiles included hers - suggesting that she wasn't actually based on an existing SHSL student and that her 'profile' was just a dummy made by Monokuma. Therefore, Komaeda 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, Komaeda at one point in Chapter 5 refers to the traitor as "Traitor-San" (Komaeda 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.
Regarding the "Despair Fever" in chapter 3:
Komaeda becomes an insane, rambling loon who loses his Brutal Honesty and instead only lies. Komaeda'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.
Owari loses her strength and fervor, since she was hit hard by being indirectly responsible for Nidai's injuries.
Mioda gets the lesser effects, as she is made Comically Serious... but still comical.
And considering Tsumiki's past... yeah....
More like a Fridge Tear Jerker but, in the Surprise House a statue of Oogami striking the iconic death pose of Raoh can be found. It comes as rather random, but then one realises that the New World Program was designed by the survivors of the first game and it becomes more likely Asahina honouring 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 of gone on as long as possible, the New World Program is forced to end after 51 days, meaning that Enoshima 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 Enoshima 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 Ikusaba, but remember that, in IF, its stated that Chihiro Fujisaki designed the Momokuma system. Factor in that Usami/Monomi and Nanami are referred to Alter Ego's younger sister and one realises 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, Komaeda instead loads the gun with five bullets and still wins. Seems random until you realise that this symbolises how Komaeda'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. Komaeda 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.
Komaeda and Enoshima share a key similarity, that being that their hair is both red/pink at the tips. Dangan Ronpa Zero heavily implies that Enoshima dyes her hair blond and official material imply that Komaeda's unnatural white hair is the result of Disease Bleach. This highlights perfectly the key contrast between the two; Enoshima puts on constant acts that make it impossible to know most of the time what she's truly thinking. Komaeda 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!Enoshima, 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 Enoshima 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 Naegi 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, Maizono was the first student in the School Life of Mutual Killing who snapped and attempted to commit murder. Who found and gave the password? Komaeda, who shares Maizono's role in starting the Mutual Killing.
Next, remember who was the one who put everyone in the simulation, that being Makoto Naegi. Maizono 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 Maizono was never able to get.
Not to mention that, similar to Sakura's statue in the Surprise House, it was a little something that Naegi made to remember two of his deceased classmates, Maizono & Leon himself.
Lastly, why are the ruins Hopes Peak? Because of despair academy. Everything makes sense when you realise that its very much a symbol denying despair.
Souda regards Hinata 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, Hanamura is extremely worried about his frail old mother since he came to Hope's Peak Acadamy 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 SHSL Despair, sacrificed their family to Enoshima. Therefore, it's entirely possible that Hanamura joyfully killed his mom who he was so worried about.
Actually, its speculated that based on some statements from Enoshima about "Consuming a pig", that Hanamura actually ATE his mother.
Apart from Nanami, every single member of the main cast had been broken down into destructive, despair-motivated monsters "without a shred of humanity left" by Enoshima. 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 Nidai. 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 Saionji was probably taken when she was in this state. Which begs the question: why is she smiling?
Tsumiki telling Komaeda that she didn't kill out of Despair, she killed out of "Love". Why Fridge Horror? It's implied that [SPOILERS AHEAD]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 Souda 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 SHSL despair fashionista. The horror aspects come from the fact that as stated above as the SHSL 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 Enoshima just like Tsumiki did and this was his way of expressing it to her.
Even worse; Tsumiki 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.
If you thought things couldn't get more messed up, here's an incredibly disturbing one. In the final trial Fake!Naegi goes through some of the horrific acts committed by SHSL Despair and were shown a man with buzzcut transplanting Enoshima's right eye into himself, with the statement that they "Wanted to see the despair from Enoshima'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, Kuzu has Enoshima's eye.
Continuing the Fridge Horror magnet that SHSL Despair and their dissection of Enoshima's corpse is, Tsumiki's last words are stating she has her love (Enoshima) inside of her. During the final trial, its stated that one of the members wanted to bear Enoshima's offspring. Put the two together.
Thought the Twilight Syndrome mystery, wherein Satou murders Kuzuryuu's sister because she was bullying Koizumi and is then killed by Kuzuryuu in revenge, was bad? It actually gets worse when you realise its probably what drove Kuzuryuu and Koizumi to despair.
In a minor dialogue exchange, Tanaka states that a hamsters lifespan is only a few years long. If one puts together all the time periods in the backstory together, Tanaka'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 Tanaka is absent, like after Tanaka's 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 likely-hood the only reason they existed in the simulation at all was because of Tanaka's memories of them, as a pseudo-extension of himself. Which makes every scene of him interacting with them all the 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.
Regarding Komaeda and how the game ends...
Firstly, unlike all the other students who "died", Komaeda doesn't show during the glitch sequences. Now, remember that, prior to the events of the game, Komaeda was diagnosed with two terminal illnesses, one of which is impossible to cure. This may very well indicate that Komaeda, unlike the others, may very well be Killed Off for Real.
Secondly, if Komaeda 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 infact would of doomed the world had it succeeded, his actions would be opposed by Makoto Naegi, the SHSL 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, Komaeda has no one to greet him. Hinata, the only one who was actually close to him, more or less disregards Komaeda by the end of Chapter 5, outright avoiding even referring to Komaeda by name. This leaves the only people who actually felt bad for him being Nanami, an AI who doesn't exist in the real world, and Tsumiki, who Komaeda 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 Komaeda, 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 itís about Komaedaís 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!Komaeda will get them anywhere. Plus back then when they were still on the island Hinata said that the reason why he tries so hard to understand Komaeda is because he really doesnít get him and it scares him being so because God-knows-what Komaeda might do next, so itís also very unlikely that he will considers giving up this time.
Given Junko's manner of death, it's extremely unlikely their body would have been in any condition for the Ultimate Despair members to salvage parts and organs from. True, they were all pretty much insane at that point, but in the photo of Komaeda with Junko's hand, her hand looks way too intact for someone who was crushed to death repeatedly with a giant compactor.