A pair of Light Novels set before
the events of Danganronpa
and Super Dangan Ronpa 2
Ryouko Otonashi is a student attending Hope's Peak Academy, an elite private school that only accepts "ultimate" students: the best of the best of the best
, regardless of niche. Unfortunately, she suffers from anterograde amnesia
and forgets things mere minutes after they occur. To function in day-to-day life, Ryouko carries around "memory notebooks
" filled with information written by herself about the events and people in her past.
Because of her disorder, Ryouko has only managed to retain one memory: that of her doctor and (implied) childhood friend, the "Super High-School Level Neurologist" Yasuke Matsuda, who is studying her amnesia in the hope of helping her recover.
Unfortunately, a sinister plot is taking shape in the shadows of Hope's Peak Academy. Someone or something is laying the final groundwork on a plan destined to plunge the world into an endless despair, a plan intrinsically linked to "The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident In The History Of Hope's Peak Academy". As a select few students attempt to uncover the truth, they face not only the organisation behind the Incident but a cover-up by the highest officials of Hope's Peak Academy. In the middle of this is Ryouko, who is dragged into the conspiracy by forces beyond her understanding or control.
is being provided in the Let's Play
at the Something Awful
forums, in tandem with the Super Dangan Ronpa 2
translation effort. A mirror of the thread can be found here.
Be forewarned, however, that there are SPOILERS for both volumes beneath the tags below. As with Super Dangan Ronpa 2
, the spoiler-adverse should not read ahead, and editors are asked to please be careful in the use of spoiler tags.
This Light Novel contains examples of:
- Amnesiac Heroine: Ryouko.
- Anyone Can Die: As in the games.
- As You Know: Played with: as Matsuda keeps reminding Ryouko, she should already know about how things work at Hope's Peak, and he doesn't appreciate having to explain to her constantly.
- Backup Twin: As it turns out, Mukuro isn't the only one running around. The SHSL Bodyguard doubles as SHSL Octuplets.
- Brand Names Are Better: Hope's Peak opens a second campus for non-SHSL students to gain more funding, using their reputation to bring in paying outsiders.
- Break Her Heart To Save Her: Near the ending, Headmaster Jin engages in this by threatening Kirigiri, informing her that if she continues investigating the incident, breaks any rules or steps the least bit out of line, she'll be expelled from Hope's Peak.
- Call Back: Matsuda references the various uses of controlling, compiling or completely erasing people's memories, which is a major plot point in both Dangan Ronpa and Super Dangan Ronpa 2. There's hints he may already be capable of doing this, when the Hope's Peak staff try to blackmail him into tampering with the memory of any student who knows about the Worst, Largest Despair-Inducing Event in Hope Peak Academy's History.
- The Cameo: A few characters from the first game appear here.
- Create Your Own Villain: The conditions at Hope's Peak help foster the creation of SHSL Despair, giving them plenty of disaffected students to work with.
- Decoy Damsel: Enoshima pulled this off.
- Dr. Jerk: Matsuda
- Elaborate University High: Hope's Peak Academy. Matsuda explains more about how it operates to Ryouko.
- Ending Tropes:
- Fan Disservice: When Ryouko goes to the Maid Cafe. The Monokuma Maid Cafe.
- Fantastic Caste System: Hope's Peak student body is divided into two levels. You have the SHSL Talents, who were hand-picked so their special skills can be studied and amplified by getting the best schooling possible... and the Reserve Course, made up of Ordinary High School Students who are paying for the privilege of attending. Their campus functions as a completely ordinary school, without any access to the perks SHSL Talents enjoy. The students are largely segregated from each other, with little interaction between levels.
- Foregone Conclusion: This is a Prequel to Dangan Ronpa. Those familiar with the original know which of the cameo characters are Doomed by Canon and who has Plot Armor.
- The Ghost: Izuru Kamukuma is referred to several times, but never makes an appearance. He appears to at one point, but it's not him.
- Gone Horribly Right/Wrong: The SHSL Hope Project. Right in the sense that Kamukura is the ultimate Ace, wrong in how he fell into despair.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: While it's technically possible that a student from the Reserve Course could excel at their studies and earn their way into the 'true' Hope's Peak, Matsuda scorns the idea, describing it as just a way to keep stringing them along.
- He Knows Too Much:
- Ryouko is accused of this, despite her memory problems.
- Murasame suffers due to this, as does Kamishiro.
- Mind Screwdriver: A lot of Backstory to the games is revealed here. Readers finally learn how the students' memories were erased, as well as some of what led up to The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident in the History of Mankind.
- Neck Snap: The fate of Kamishiro.
- Note to Self: The purpose of Ryouko's Memory Journal.
- The Resenter: As it turns out, the Monokuma Maid Cafes are being used to foster resentment among the Reserve Coursers.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Murasame, one of the only survivors of the first mutual killing game.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: Late in the second volume, Ryouko is startled when she discovers Kamishiro with his head twisted around wrong.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Ryouko is just a false identity created to protect the mastermind.
- Twin Switch: Mukuro acts as a Body Double for her sister.
- Unwitting Pawn: Matsuda. He doesn't take realizing that well.
- The Watson: Ryouko functions as this. Not only does Matsuda explain to her things she should have known already, but she catches a lot of exposition from other characters.