Doubt Academy is a Tumblrroleplay that adapts the rules of the MafiaParlor Game and Rabbit Doubt to the world of Dangan Ronpa. As in the Visual Novels, a group of elite students, each possessing a talent considered to be incredibly vast for their age, find themselves locked inside a twisted mockery of Hope's Peak Academy by Monobear. Forced into a mutual killing game, they're presented with various motives to murder their peers, then ordered to investigate the crimes to try and determine who's responsible.However, there's certain key differences in how this Monobear runs things. While the goal of the trials is to pinpoint the 'black' among them so they can be executed for their crimes, if the students screw up and condemn the wrong person, instead of punishing them all and letting the killer go free, he 'just' informs them they missed the mark and executes the unfortunate scapegoat, allowing the criminal to keep living among them, unpunished...So their best hope for survival is determining who's behind the bear. The Mastermind must be living among them... but who could it be? Who among them could arrange such a horrible game? And will they be able to figure it out before it's too late for any of them...?
Tropes appearing inside this Doubt-filled academy include:
Clear My Name/Clear Their Name: Happens whenever somebody is accused of the crime and fights the charges, or when their friends do their best to help them. Of course, the question of whether or not they're actually guilty is very real...
Not Me This Time: In a few instances, a culprit who survived a past trial and was later exposed as the true murderer of that case must try and prove they didn't kill again.
Crapsack World: As of Black/White, this is a world where students can be bought and sold in bulk for twisted experiments — from one of the most profilic schools in the world, no less! — and the group fighting against the shadow organization responsible for this is just as bad.
Cruel and Unusual Death: The executions, which are tailor-made for each culprit. Usually, they either mock their Super High School Level talent or exploit their deepest fears, ensuring their punishment is as terrifying as possible.
Unlike canon, innocent students can wind up being killed for crimes they didn't commit without that immediately ending the whole game.
Deaths for both victims and culprits tend to be more agonizing and graphically depicted than the deaths in Dangan Ronpa.
The third round of games has, as of the eighth chapter, had five murders that have warranted the use of 'read more' cuts and specific trigger warnings due to the goriness of their deaths, compared to the second round (one murder) and the first round (one execution).
False Confession: Occasionally offered by students trying to divert attention from a dear friend or protect somebody else.
Famed in Story: Most of the students, though it ranges from being famed in their particular circle and relatively unknown elsewhere, like Shinji Shiomiya from Omega who was relatively unknown before entering Hope's Peak, to people who are national celebrities: those such as Emiko Shiromura from Alpha (a figure skater), and Larry Lang, from White (a boxer).
Fanservice: Two running gags in the games include this: People stripping off shirts and/or pants at a trial, under the assumption that the culprit sustained injuries and dakimakuras featuring the students with significantly less clothing than usual, up to and including total nudity.
Fan Disservice: Frequently turns into this, thanks to causing somebody psychological distress and/or revealing a physical trait or injury they never wanted to show anyone. In a few cases, this even reveals an injury that decisively proves who the murderer is.
Fire-Forged Friends: Often, relationships are formed due to the stress everyone is put under and the bonds created thusly.
Ghost Amnesia: A necessity in the deadblogs due to the risk of metagaming through a trial using a victim's knowledge. A newly-murdered character will awaken with no recollection of how they died or who killed them; at earliest, their memories only return once the trial for their death is over, although it can take longer depending on the players' preferences.
Sometimes, mistrials are intentionally invoked by the students if they can't find a clear suspect in their current trial. If there is still a confirmed or suspected murderer among them, there might be a push to execute that person as a scapegoat so that at the very least they can remove one threat to their safety. Black managed to pull this off twice.
Mystery of the Week: Aside from the occasional extended (Ab)normal Days period, most chapters follow a literal weekly schedule: The first days are dedicated to exploration and social interaction, before being interrupted by the discovery of a body. What follows are several days of investigation and debates. By the time the weekend comes around, a culprit (hopefully the correct one) is locked in and set to be executed right as the new week begins, continuing the cycle.
One Steve Limit: Downplayed, with the potential for an aversion. It is possible for accepted characters to have the name given names or surnames, and as the roster sorting is randomized, it's also possible for them to be in the same game. So far the only complete aversion has been with surnames, with Black's Yamato Hasegawa and Yumiko Hasegawa. However, there have been quite a few examples of near-matches between main characters, several of which lead to notable coincidences or even become important for the story:
Many surnames seen in the first game showed up again in Black and White: Kagami (Akari and Hiroshi), Ichikawa (Seiichi and Reika), and Sato (Hisoka and Arisa).
Black: Rei Mikami, Reika Ichikawa, and Reisuke Kurosaki.
Black: Etsuo Takahashi, Etsuko Tachibana, and Setsuko Kuramoto. Etsuo goes almost exclusively by his nickname "King"; coincidentally, White has Hideki Takahashi, who also uses an alternate name, "Chris Peril". King and Etsuko are both murdered in the same week. Additionally, Setsuko and Etsuko are girlfriends.
Black has Katsuo Shinobu, while White has Jun Shinobu. Both survived to their games' shared ending and have thus encountered each other.
Alpha: Yuu Sagara and Yuuto Ikeda. They are the first two to be executed.
Alpha: Kozure Fierro and Kosuke Aozora. A messily-written note is discovered during the third case that could implicate either one of them, although it's not conclusively proven who the subject of the note is.
Alpha: Chie Narita and Chiemi Shinozaki. It's noted they even look similar. They quickly become romantically involved, and even though they break up due to the stress of the game, they remain in love.
While most of the characters involved are only mentioned and not seen, Alpha has introduced Takumi Yoshirou (SHSL Gunsmith), Takumi Sagara (Yuu's brother), and Takumi Itou (Ayako's grandfather). The shared names leads to Yuu seeking friendship from Takumi; Ayako remains uninvolved, however.
Alpha has Ayako Itou and Omega has Minako Ito; their surnames are different Romanizations of the same spelling in kanji. Ayako dies long before the merge while Minako doesn't die until the final chapter, meaning that there is a very small window of opportunity where they could have met.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Due to both the fast-paced, fluid nature of the plot and the amount of control an individual player has, anything that affects their ability to play the game can drastically change how the story develops.
Sometimes a character is temporarily put out of commission through injury or illness until their player can return to the game, and depending on the timing this can render them immune to being chosen as a victim or a killer.
If a player is leaving the game entirely, their character will be killed off, usually outside of the typical murder-execution pattern. This can have profound effects on the remaining characters, changing their motivations in the process.
Murderers can still graduate by killing their fellow students. However, they need to get away with it three times.
The students can attempt a Mastermind vote three times. If they fail to correctly determine who's behind the bear before those three shots are used up, though, the game will end.
In the first game, Monobear even spells this out that he follows this while explaining to the students they only have one Mastermind Vote opportunity left. And when they appear to use it themselves (by successfully finding the culprit three times in a row), he claims he's almost proud of them.
Taking the Heat/Take Me Instead: In several cases, students have offered false confessions and tried to convince others they were responsible for the crime in order to save somebody else. This has a tendency to backfire, since their peers poke holes in their claims and conclude they were on the right track.
Timed Mission: To keep the game moving along, all investigations must be concluded before a realtime deadline. Same goes for the trials.
Translation Convention: All characters are presumed to be speaking Japanese unless otherwise noted, even though the game is written in English.
Translation Punctuation: When someone does speak in a different language, it's frequently noted with brackets. The type of brackets depends on the writer and, in some cases, which foreign language the character is using.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Since motives vary, some murderers can have noble intentions for killing someone, especially if the motive of the chapter is going to hurt innocent people if nobody commits a murder.
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Doubt Academy 1
Tropes demonstrated in the original Doubt Academy include:
A tragic variation during the first trial: though Jack acknowledges before the voting even ends that Akari probably isn't responsible, she ends up being executed anyway.
Emilia suffers a similar fate.
Art Shift: The first, second, third, fourth, and fifth executions are just a few still pictures drawn in the style of the original game. In fact, in the first execution and the second execution, we don't even get a picture of the actual "moment of death". However, the sixth execution is different from the others because it's animated! It's even set to the music "Super High School's Desperate Punishment", the same soundtrack that was used when the Mastermind was being executed in the original Dangan Ronpa game.
The Bad Guy Wins: Sure, the student Mastermind's executed, but the Headmaster gets away clean.
Bait and Switch: During Akari's execution, Monobear makes it appear he's going to run her over with his Mono-zamboni, when he's secretly herding her towards thin ice.
Bittersweet Ending: Hinging on a total Downer: the Mastermind's discovered and executed, and the four survivors of the DA Project get to leave Doubt Academy... but their reward is having their memories of Phase Two erased, and Hope's Peak covers everything up with claims of a terrorist bombing. So most of their friends are dead, they don't know the Awful Truth, and the Headmaster looks poised to get away clean and do the whole damn thing again.
Akari's extremely used to being praised, and doesn't take any sort of criticism well. During the first trial, she winds up melting down when her classmates fixate on something completely unrelated to the murder, and respond to her rage at the accusations by voting for her, causing her execution.
Misaki comes off to others as an Ice Queen, and the game puts her through an outright Trauma Conga Line, including unintentionally helping two innocents get executed, seeing both her love interests murdered right after they got together, nearly causing another innocent death by doubting where the evidence had led, and having all her efforts to see justice done rewarded by learning the hard way everyone suspects her of being the Mastermind.
Cruel Mercy: During the Epilogue, Headmaster Yasuda erases the survivors' memories of Phase Two saying that it's part of their reward: that they shouldn't have to live with the memory of what happened.
Cited during the first trial as justification for lynching Akari, the idea being that doing so would prevent them from taking their vengeance later on.
Despite this, a vicious cycle DOES follow: Saiko kills Jack, and a mourning Misaki tells Monobear to make it HURT. Seeing that makes Seiichi snap, and he kills Kuu explicitly to hurt Misaki; notably, Kuu was also the one who killed Tama and let Akari take the fall. This cycle is also proposed as the reason why the one who killed Misaki couldn't have been Shibusa, Seiichi's friend, because in Roxy's words Misaki isn't moronic enough to trust Shibusa after beating Seiichi to a pulp right before his execution.
Fanservice: Only once, in the second trial, when Kuu suggests everyone strip down to their underwear so everyone can check to see who has a potentially incriminating injury. Not everyone strips (some opt to simply exercise rapidly to prove they don't have injuries that they could aggravate by said exercise), but for those who do strip: Roxy turns out to be wearing a strawberry bra and panties (we don't get to see a sprite), Misaki turns out to have a red bra and panties (complete with sprite!), Shibusa wears simple lingerie (we don't actually get to see the sprite, but notably Shibusa is the least embarrassed at having to strip), Natsumi also strips but her underwear is neither given a sprite nor even described in the text, Seiichi turns out to be naked (but no sprite depicting this), Kuu strips shirtless and turns out to have "HURRICANE" written on one of his arms, Ryo turns out to be wearing a black tank top underneath (complete with sprite), Saiko is wearing plain, black undergarments (no sprite), and Hisoka is wearing pink boxers with white dots (complete with sprite). The rest of the cast just sticks with exercises.
Four Is Death: Invoked in the third execution with the four Mono-marbles.
Incidently, only four of the students survive and graduate.
Hope Spot: Monobear has included these in each of the executions so far:
The first: waiting until Akari has just reached the hole she fell through before freezing it over with the Mono-zamboni.
The second: setting a plane at the end of Saiko's obstacle course. It's only a model, though she doesn't get close enough to realize that before getting yanked back to face her demise.
The third: the death coaster completes its circuit, her seatbelt unlocks, and Emilia has a moment to catch her breath and stretch before the last marble catches up with her cart.
The fourth: Ryo reaches the 'exit' of the claustrophobic labyrinth, only to find it leads right into an iron maiden.
Defied, however, during the fifth: Seiichi's Genre Savvy enough to realize that while he COULD escape the ropes, there's doubtlessly a failsafe built in to ensure his demise.
Also seen when the voting goes awry, as Monobear likes to milk each failure for all its worth.
And finally averted entirely in the sixth: The Mastermind, Nanase, asked Monobear to execute her, since the students won the game. So during her execution, where's she's strapped to clock hands that constantly circle the clock before a "Monobear Cuckoo sitting on a blade" finally cuts off her head, absolutely no way out is presented yet Nanase is smiling the whole time.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: All of the students participating in the DA Project were subjected to this before 'Phase Two', so that the bonds they formed during the first phase wouldn't impact the results. After the mutual killing game ends, the Headmaster restores those memories, while erasing everything to do with Phase Two.
The second trial gives us Jack and Saiko. Jack coldly argued for Akari's death because he deemed she'd be a major threat to him and Misaki if she survived. Saiko killed him because he seemed like the biggest threat during the trials. It doesn't help either of them.
During the fifth trial, Saiko tells Misaki they're more similiar than either of them would like. The latter silently comes to concede the point, but is too Prideful to admit it aloud. (Poor Ryo finds those claims resonate with them a lot as well.)
If this museum◊ picture is to be believed, then Jack and Suzaku too.
Saiko's exhibit even mentions her in a picture with an unamed love interest.
Seiichi's player says that Seiichi has a boyfriend back home.
Our Ghosts Are Different: Anyone who dies at Doubt Academy becomes a ghost bound to the school, able to interact with each other and observe, but unable to show themselves to or communiciate with the living... except for by the fountain, or when Monobear opens up the channels at the trial. On top of this, ghosts can still cast votes during the trials, although they only count if required for tiebreakers. Or if Monobear opens the channels.
Out of Focus: Due to some players being less active, some of the students have a significantly lower profile. Word of Monobear is that this is due to the beta nature of the first game. Lampshaded during the fifth trial when the survivors struggle to come up with suspects the reclusive Sadao might have trusted, and again during the sixth when Roxanne claims Misaki wouldn't trust Natsumi because 'she didn't even know her.'
Delivered by poor Akari during the first trial when it becomes clear she's about to be killed for a crime she didn't commit.
In the second trial, the murderer calls them all out after confessing, pointing out how stupid they all are that it takes them coming clean for them to pinpoint the right culprit.
After the fourth trial, Monobear gives the students one after they botch their first Mastermind vote, claiming they've been focusing on the wrong things all along and hadn't given any real thought to who could be behind him.
The fifth trial keeps getting derailed by these, with Jack and Misaki calling each other out, followed by Saiko and Misaki, with Kuu and Akari getting involved.
Relationship Upgrade: Misaki with both Jack and Kuu. Unfortunately, both boys end up being murder victims.
Sequel Hook: The Epilogue establishes how the Headmaster's interested in doing other experiments along the same lines as the DA Project.
Ship Sinking: As of the fifth trial, Misaki is less than thrilled with Jack's apparent dismissal of her thoughts, and shares a Love Confession with Kuu.
Single Tear: Shed by the First Person Narrator during the epilogue when Yasuda goes to restore their memories of their happy school life while removing those of Phase Two.
Take Me Instead: During the second trial, Seiichi offers themselves up as a suspect instead of their friends. Ironically, this leads to their friends trying to argue the same thing themselves, and the real culprit confessing.
Taking the Heat: A confession in one trial is followed by accusations of this, as it seems too easy. Turns out they weren't lying.
Thanatos Gambit: Discussed during one trial, when Ghost!Tama notes how dying could lead to the Mastermind going undetected.
Tranquil Fury: Misaki's response to the others picking her as their first choice for who the Mastermind might be.
Both Black and White contain examples of:
Author Avatar: Gwendolyn from Black was played by White's moderator, and Takahiro from White was played by Black's moderator. So, as a bit of self-deprecation, they're the first to be killed off: in their respective games, both Gwendolyn and Takahiro stand up to Monobear and essentially tell Monobear where to shove it, so Monobear kills them out of rage.
Bittersweet Ending: The survivors learn that Hope's Peak sold them to the Collective, and that at least half of the hell they went through was engineered by the rebellion Doctrina Artifica to help showcase the Collective's crimes. They return to Hope's Peak, where the Headmaster greets them with armed guards and offers False Reassurance about their safety with him. Before he can act upon whatever he's got planned for them, however, Doctrina Artifica hijacks a signal and reveals the Collective to the world, and launches a terrorist attack on the academy. The survivors manage to escape in the confusion.
Plot Parallel: In addition to both games being played at the same time:
Monobear draws first blood by executing an uppity Sacrificial Lion. Also, by some bizarre coincidence, in both Black and White, the uppity student is the one at the very bottom of the Class Roster. In Black, the uppity student is Gwendolyn, whose profile is at the very bottom of the Black class roster, and in White, the uppity student is Takahiro, whose profile is at the very bottom of the White roster.
Monobear has used I Have Your Loved One as a motive; in this case, it was the first motive in White, and the second in Black.
Both of the second cases include extensive debate about whether or not the victim may have actually been Driven to Suicide by the motive. Also, in both of the second cases, this turns out to be wrong, and it was actually a murder, although the students only correctly figure that out in Black, while White incorrectly declares case 2 a suicide.
The third motive for both games was the same: the Cruel Mercy of potentially ending the game at the expense of leaving them trapped indefinitely.
The third cases appear to involve two incidents:the victim in Black ended up in the water twice, while the other revolves around the victim being poisoned followed by a violent attack. In both cases, somebody very close to the victim becomes the primary suspect.
Both of the third trials also feature somebody giving all of their classmates a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech about participating in the trials at all.
Also, the third cases also end with the reveal that the circumstances behind the murders were beyond the murderer's control. One was a tragic accident, the other involved the murderer being possessed.
The fourth cases both contain extensive debates about whether friendship is blinding the students to a painful truth, and the importance of trust.
Innocence versus evidence is another major theme in both of the fourth chapters. Despite his Revealing Coverup, Hiroshi is, in fact, innocent. While in White, confusion and paranoia over circumstancial evidence leads to their second mistrial — and the first of a living innocent.
Both of the fifth murders involve the victim having their throat slit.
Also, the victims of both of the murders could be said to have karma biting them in the ass: Doubt Academy Black's chapter 5 victim was constantly begging to die throughout the whole thing, and Doubt Academy White's chapter 5 victim had previously gotten away with being chapter 2's murderer.
Both the Doubt Academy Black and Doubt Academy White chapter 6 culprits are well intentioned extremists. The Doubt Academy Black chapter 6 culprit committed murder because he was hoping to graduate and get out...so he could call the police to come and save everyone else from Monobear. The Doubt Academy White chapter 6 culprit is a well intentioned extremist in three different ways: one, she felt guilty over her role in getting an innocent person executed in chapter 4. Two, that execution left said innocent person's love interest all alone, so the culprit killed the victim so the victim could be with her lover. Three, the motive for chapter 6 would have given the culprit crucial information about the mastermind; had the culprit succeeded, she would have given the information to all her peers.
Chapter 7 of both Doubt Academy Black and Doubt Academy White involves the students being offered temporary immunitynote meaning they can't be chosen as a victim the following week and two murders being committed.
Chapter 7 also sees both classes holding their first Mastermind Votes. Both fail.
Chapter 8 has the same motive in both Black and White: if a murder occurs, Monobear will open the monorail, which will lead to "a whole new world"; Monobear guarantees it!
However, there's a subversion of the parallel in at least one case: in the chapter 9 trial in Black, and in the chapter 8 trial in White, someone sacrifices herself (it's a girl in both cases) to be executed in the voted party's place by jumping in front of the "execution chain," which then takes her to her own execution. However, Monobear reacts differently to each case, even though each case starts out the same: in Black's chapter 9, Monobear was only trying to execute the innocent Yukie because he wanted an innocent to die out of frustration. So when Setsuko sacrifices herself to be executed in Yukie's place, Monobear is satisfied and Yukie survives. But in White's chapter 8, Larry was actually guilty, so when Tomiko sacrifices herself to be executed in Larry's place, Monobear simply laughs and executes Larry anyway, making Tomiko's sacrifice completely pointless.
Finally, the last parallel is in chapter 10, where by freak coincidence, both Black and White groups correctly figure out the Mastermind, so both groups win the game in the same chapter! And as another coincidence, in both cases, this is actually the second Mastermind vote, since both groups guess wrong the first time they had a Mastermind vote.
After Black/White had an extended Abnormal Days period, this was folded into the game in the form of a shared motive. Having seen the students seemingly getting along without any murders, Monobear offers the Cruel Mercy that unless somebody gets killed within the next few days, he'll end the mutual killing early and leave them alone in their Gilded Cage forever.
Following several more extended Abnormal Days, another shared murder was offered for Chapter 7: potential immunity for anyone who got away with murder this time. This also entailed two murders being committed on either side.
Sadistic Choice: Do not read this spoiler unless you want the entire game spoiled: In chapter 10's trial in both Doubt Academy Black and Doubt Academy White, after the Mastermind is executed, the students face a sadistic choice, although the choice is slightly different in both since the organization known as the "Collective" plays a slightly different role in each game. In Black, the Collective is the only enemy organization, responsible for trapping them in the park and for the mutual killing game. So the choice is between either destroying their research to thwart the Collective's goals (but also destroying any evidence of what the Collective did), or saving their dead friends as data on hard drives and simultaneously preserving evidence of what the Collective did (but which would also preserve the results of the research the Collective performed). But in White, the Collective is merely the organization responsible for trapping them in the spa, a completely different organization known as Doctrina Artifice was responsible for turning it into a mutual killing game. So in White, the sadistic choice is between saving their friends and saving the evidence against the Collective, which would save their friends but allow Doctrina Artifice to get away with murder...or, destroy the research and the evidence against the Collective to screw over Doctrina Artifice and punish them for the murders, but allowing their friends to remain dead and allowing the Collective to get away with trapping them in the spa in the first place.
Sequel Escalation: The first game featured sixteen students. The follow-up games, Black and White, are being held at the same time, with two different classes, each of which has thirty one seats available, meaning there could be a total of sixty two students involved.
Took a Level in Kindness: In Doubt Academy 1, the students could sometimes be rather cavalier about executing an innocent, one example being Jack coldly telling Akari in the first trial that Akari should stop screaming that she's innocent, does she think they want to execute an innocent? She's the best suspect, so it's the least risk voting for her! However, notably, in Doubt Academy Black and Doubt Academy White, the students are much nicer; the students bend over backwards to try to avoid any possibility of executing an innocent person to the point of sometimes volunteering to be executed instead, and except for a couple hot-blooded people in each game, the students are generally much slower to jump to a conclusion about the culprit. While this paid off for a while, Jun was crippled after a mistaken 'suicide' vote in White's second trial, and Black's third trial ended with Monobear executing an innocent despite a successful vote. Followed shortly by another student getting killed for attacking him in a rage.
Also, the students in Black and White frequently verbally beat themselves up during trials for possibly being selfish, or possibly having not contributed to the investigation, or possibly almost getting an innocent killed, etc., as opposed to 1, where the students were much more focused on their own survival.
Plus, in both Black and White, several of the murderers end up confessing out of guilt or to avoid someone innocent being punished instead.
Doubt Academy Black
Doubt Academy Black also includes examples of:
Accidental Murder: In Chapter 3, it comes out that the culprit accidentally killed Iko when he pushed her into the pool. Neither was aware she was a robot, or that she wasn't waterproofed..
And again in Chapter 10 when Katsuo confesses after Khadija is incorrectly convicted, saying that he accidentally caused Atsuko's death while trying to defend himself.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: During his Breaking Speech after Chapter 4's Trial, Monobear comments that he's been going on for too long and that "This is too much for one bear to say!" He also claims he'll have it rewritten later.
Career-Ending Injury: The fifth motive; if a murder doesn't occur within the week, Monobear will cripple a random student.
Cassandra Truth: In Chapter 4's trial, Hiroshi confesses what happened midway through the trial, leading to extensive debate as to whether they're telling the truth. He is.
Cruel Mercy: For his third motive, Monobear states that if no murder occurs within the next few days, he'll end the mutual killing game and leave them alone... with no way to escape their Gilded Cage.
Cryptic Conversation: Following the third execution and its aftermath, Monobear and the hidden Mastermind have one of these. Monobear warns that they're considering dropping the Mastermind from the 'project'.
Decided By One Vote: Chapter 1's Trial ends with the students correctly voting for Reisuke by a single vote. An innocent person would have been executed if even a couple more students had voted wrong.
Domed Amusement Park: Following the fourth trial, Monobear enacts a special punishment on Monomi that culminates in firing her into the air... so that she hits the ceiling, revealing to all the students they've been trapped in a dome the whole time.
Driven to Suicide: Much of the second trial is spent debating whether the victim might have killed themselves in order to Take a Third Option and prevent Monobear from destroying everyone's loved ones and precious things. She didn't.
However, the fourth trial plays this completely straight. The victim did intend to kill himself, and although another party intervened, turning it into an Interrupted Suicide, things went awry and the victim died anyway.
Monobear's first "motive" is a promise to restore the memories of whoever kills someone. However, after Mameko is murdered, and after Monobear is questioned as to when he's going to give the memories back if he hasn't already, Monobear responds that he never actually said he would give the memories back right away; the killer has to survive the trial first, and then the killer will get what's coming to them!
After the first execution, he then twists the knife by revealing they all have the opportunity to get some of their memories back through the Mono Machine, meaning the motive was completely invalid anyway.
Failure-to-Save Murder: Factors into the outcome of Chapter 4. Would this count as a murder in Monobear's Kangaroo Court? Hiroshi wasn't sure, and became desperate enough to avoid punishment that he tried framing Takeo instead.
Fanservice: Much like in the first game, Chapter 2 provides this when everyone has to strip in order to prove they weren't scratched while killing the victim. It turns into Fan Disservice in some cases, since a couple of students are injured under their clothing.
It happens again in Chapter 9 much more extensively.
Hostile Show Takeover: Monobear enacts one of these immediately upon arriving, wresting control away from Usami and declaring that Magicial Miracleworld is now Doubt Land.
I Have Your Loved One: The second motive, for most students. Everyone gets a note threatening something very important to them; for the majority, it's a family member. In a few instances, it's something else entirely, though still personal.
Karma Houdini: Whoever killed Reika in chapter 8 gets off scot-free, because the students were more intent on punishing a previousKarma Houdini who had won an immunity for herself in chapter 7.
Turns out it was Shizuka who killed Reika, and she will probably get away with it. However, Kyou, who was an accomplice, met his death. His murderer, Khadija, almost became a Karma Houdini as well but she became the scapegoat for Chapter 10. Which in turn, caused Katsuo to become a Karma Houdini.
Lighter and Softer: In chapter 1, Yukie Seki accidentally breaks a door handle. So Usami appears to give her a "punishment"...and no, it's not execution. Yukie is sentenced to wear a pink princess hat on her head, face the wall for 20 minutes thinking about what she's done, and then apologize to the door handle for breaking it.
Not long afterwards, Katsuo gets a time out for knocking Takara out with a pretty powerful punch. Takara also got a time out while unconscious, for slapping Hiroshi (The event that caused Katsuo to deck Takara in the first place).
Mass "Oh, Crap!": The general reaction the students have after Monobear demonstrates one of his 'punishments' with Gwendolyn's help.
Miscarriage of Justice: The third trial. Not only was the murder a tragic accident, but Monobear actually listens to everyone's pleas not to execute the accidental murderer. Instead, he executes the murderer's Love Interest. This leads to another student losing her shit and attacking Monobear, getting herself killed in the process.
The eighth trial is a weird deliberate example of this. The students are supposed to vote for whoever killed Reika in chapter 8. Instead, because Yukari killed Etsuko in chapter 7 and got off scot-free with an immunity, the students intentionally vote for Yukari instead of whoever Reika's murderer was, in order to retroactively take away Yukari's Karma Houdini status. Unfortunately it's still a miscarriage of justice since this just makes Reika's murderer a Karma Houdini instead.
The ninth trial. The students vote that Kyou's death was a suicide, but this turns out to be wrong. Unfortunately this leaves Monobear without anyone to execute, and he has to have an execution...so Monobear decides to execute someone at random...and he picks Nice Girl Yukie Seki of all people!...and then Setsuko sacrifices herself to be executed in Yukie's place.
While Takara has a pretty reasonable argument as to why he thinks Reisuke committed the first murder, that gets muddied by his sheer arrogance. He doesn't present his case so much as declare he's right and they're all idiots for not seeing it, and gets upset with the others for trying to work through the evidence on their own.
And then it turns out that Takara's actually right, the first culprit was Reisuke!
Yumiko gets her own turn at this when she tries to prevent the others from attempting their first Mastermind vote. While it's reasonable to protest that they don't have much evidence. the way she berates them, even going so far as to YELL and rant about their stupidity, only leads to them mistakenly thinking she's the Mastermind and wasting their first vote on her.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Hiroshi's player was absent during the second trial period, so Hiroshi fell asleep at his podium for the duration of the trial. Yukie's player was absent during the third trial period, so she fell ill and was excused from participating by Monobear. Angelo and Daiki's players also had to leave the game, resulting in their shocking departures.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Angelo delivers one during the third trial, calling out the others for playing along with the murder game and clinging to the illusion that what they're doing is okay so long as they convict the 'right' suspects. This is accompanied by a Rage Quit.
Rule of Pool: There is a pool introduced in chapter 3. Predictably, someone - King - falls into it while clothed and makes a fool of himself. And then later, Iko is found dead at the bottom of it.
Sacrificial Lion: One of the first things Monobear does after showing up is punish Gwendolyn for standing up to him.
The second motive makes it clear that unless somebody commits murder, everyone's going to lose either a loved one or something else very precious to them.
The third motive states that unless somebody commits murder, Monobear will end the mutual killing game... and with it, the chance for anyone to escape.
With the seventh motive, they figure out quickly the identities of both murderers, but are faced with one of these upon realizing they can only execute one during that trial, meaning the other will gain temporary immunity.
True Companions: Played for Drama in Chapter 4. Hiroshi's friends discover evidence linking him to the murder scene and try to help cover it up. This comes out during the trial, leading to many heated exchanges.
The events after the fourth trial count as well. As a "special punishment", Monobear fires Monomi into the sky... which flickers with static, revealing it to be completely artificial. The students aren't trapped in an open amusement park, they're trapped inside a dome.
Following the seventh trial, Takara dies using up his final chance to escape the park via a hidden exit.
The ninth trial. The class is stumped on who could have killed Kyou. They end up with a tie between Rei and suicide, leaving the vote to the "secret panel" of dead students. However, it seems they are stumped as well and vote a suicide. In his anger, Monobear chooses a student at random to execute: poor Yukie Seki, who is innocent. She tries to prepare herself to die, but when the execution finally comes, she is saved by Setsuko's Heroic Sacrifice. Setsuko gets executed instead! Meanwhile, Kyou's girlfriend Shizuka is thrown so deep into despair from failing to find his killer that she loses consciousness..
Wham Line: From Yukari right before her execution, we have the several, in the following: "In the database… Xiwei Yosheda, I don’t know who he is, but he could be important. Wataru, Atsuko, Yukie, Katsuo, thank you for being such good friends to me. If you get out, tell my family what happened. Tell my brother I’m sorry. I sabotaged him when he tried engineering. These glasses? Fake. They’ve always been fake. I don’t really know why I’m saying all this, I guess I just wanted nothing to be left unsaid.This… is… my last… chance"
It turns out Yukari was mistaken about Xiwei Yoshida being a "he"; Xiwei Yoshida is actually the real name of a female student: Gwendolyn Dominatus, which was an alias.
Brutal Honesty: Usami's very upfront with the idea that they're going to spend the rest of their lives living at Bright Side, and doesn't seem to comprehend why this upsets her charges.
Career-Ending Injury: The second motive. Unless a murder happens within a week, Monobear declares he'll select one of the students at random and cripple them in a way that'll keep them from being able to use their talent anymore.
However, it turns out that a couple of the students would not actually be significantly impacted by the motive. As Kanon muses, nobody could possibly take her apart enough to cripple her "spirit sense" as a SHSL Medium, and as Kiyoshi muses, he could maintain his faith as a SHSL Theologian if he were blind, deaf, and dumb.
Following the second trial, Monobear declares that since the 'winner' was Shinya, and he hadn't committed suicide, then instead of executing somebody who hardly got any votes, he'll just follow through with the motive anyway. And unfortunately, he doesn't pick someone like Kanon or Kiyoshi, who as described above would not be severely impacted by crippling. He picks someone who would be severely impacted by the motive: he has crows tear out Jun's eyes, and Jun can't develop videogames if he can't see!
Catch-22 Dilemma: For the sixth motive, Monobear offers a clue to the mastermind's identity to the murderer... provided they aren't caught.
Dark Secret: For their fourth motive, Monobear gives each student an envelope containing a secret. If nobody dies within a week, he'll reveal them all publicly. As in the original game, though, not all of the secrets are necessarily that terrible. Just enough of them.
Decided By One Vote: Chapter 4's Trial ends with a tie — then Monobear reveals that others have been watching and cast their own votes. Of those cast for the two tied characters, it comes down two-to-one.
Denied Food as Punishment: Chapter 5's motive. Monobear gets irritated at no murders occurring for a week, so he locks up all the pantries, restaurants, freezers, etc., and tells the students that he'll starve them all to death unless they kill someone.
Driven to Suicide: Much of the second trial is spent debating whether or not the victim killed themselves in order to save somebody from being randomly crippled. This is complicated by the fact that Shinya previously tried to get himself executed during the first trial because he considered himself less worthy of living than the actual murderer. They were wrong.
Monobear: A party!? That's ridiculous. I'll never allow it. Monomi: That’s wight! You haven’t even gathered the amount of hope shards required to unwock the pwivilege! You can’t even have cake yet! Monobear:... Party hard! Eat cake if you can find some!
Four Is Death: Chapter 4 ends with their first execution of an innocent.
Fun with Acronyms: The Bright Side Spa & Resort carries big, fluffy bathrobes with 'BS' embroidered on them.
I Have Your Family: The first "motive" turns out to be a variation of this. Monobear simply gives envelopes to all the students, and the envelopes contain a threat: some value their families even over their beliefs, so in order to protect their families, "someone must die." Meaning, someone has to murder someone else, or all of their families will die. Kanon, however, muses to herself that she couldn't care less about the people who gave birth to her, so if those are the ones being threatened, Kanon will laugh in their face, and in Ritsuka's case, her Sensei is threatened instead of her biological family. For Yoon-Ji, it was her entire career being threatened, rather than her family.
Karma Houdini: Addy, the SHSL Sculptor, gets away with murder because the students voted for the victim's suicide. As well as whoever killed Renée in chapter 4.
But later averted in both cases: while Addy wasn't executed for chapter 2's murder, she finally becomes a murder victim herself in chapter 5, while Renée's murderer, Yukiko, is found guilty of murdering Kazuya and executed in chapter 7.
Made a Slave: After taking over, Monobear explicitly makes the newly renamed Monomi his personal masseuse.
Given that Doubt Academy allows the game to go on if an innocent person is punished, you knew this was coming eventually. But not in the manner you'd think, actually. Nobody innocent has been executed so far...but the very attempt to avoid possibly executing someone innocent results in all the students voting for Shinya having committed suicide...which was wrong, so Monobear cripples one of the students as punishment.
As of Trial 4, we have our first mistrial. Poor Ritsuka...
The circumstances behind the first murder draw parallels with that of Super Dangan Ronpa 2. Koemi was killed around the time of a party whereas Togami was killed during one. A more meta example is Koemi being played by the same person as Ryo from the first game and Togami being the same person from Dangan Ronpa.
In addition to the above, it shares a parallel with the first murder case in Dangan Ronpa: the switched plaques.
Never Suicide: Played depressingly straight. The students think Shinya killed himself in chapter 2. He didn't, so Shinya's killer is still on the loose.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After Jun is blinded, Monomi makes them breakfast. Monobear learns of this and has her work through the night preparing breakfast for everyone on the day he announces their third motive.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Tomiko's player had to leave the game, resulting in Tomiko being written out by pulling a sadly futileHeroic Sacrifice at the end of the chapter 8 trial. Word of God has revealed that Tomiko was originally planned to die protecting a rule-breaking Kazuya from Monobear's wrath (this got scuttled when Kazuya was chosen as a murder victim before that could be pulled off).
Riddle for the Ages: Nobody knows who killed Renée in chapter 4. The person who was executed in that particular trial, Ritsuka, was completely innocent. There was another person who was also a big suspect in that murder, but Yukiko is eventually executed for a different murder entirely, and before the execution Yukiko screams that while Yukiko is very sorry about Ritsuka's execution, Yukiko didn't kill Renée either. It's not clear whether Yukiko was telling the truth or not, and we'll probably never know who Renée's murderer was.
However, recently, the Doubt Academy modders received permission from the killer to reveal who the killer was, now that Doubt Academy White is over...and it turns out the person who killed Renée really was Yukiko! However, Yukiko wasn't technically lying when she screamed it wasn't her—because she didn't actually remember killing Renée, since she had brain damage at the time.
Sacrificial Lion: Takahiro stands up to Monobear and gets a chestful of lead for their troubles.
The first motive amounts to 'Somebody better start this mutual killing game up, or else everybody loses somebody important to them!'
The second motive gives the students a choice of either committing murder or running the risk that they'll be the one Monobear picks to cripple.
The third motive boils down to 'if nobody kills anyone else in the next few days, I'll end the game and leave you all trapped here forever'.
Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: After the students mess up the second trial, Monobear declares that since the majority voted for a dead suspect, he'll add a new rule and enact the motive anyway, randomly choosing somebody to cripple.
The first motive involved everyone having a loved one threatened, so while most were upset by the first murder, there was plenty of guilty relief that this seemingly ensured their loved ones' safety. When the trial ends with Fumiko confessing, many of the students express their sympathy and regret.
Potentially with the second, though the jury's still out on that one: they insist they believed it was self-defense. It's unclear whether that was the case or not, and regardless, an innocent was punished as a direct result of their actions.
And now we'll never know whether that was the case or not, because the second murderer eventually becomes the fifth murder victim.
Even ignoring his regular attempts, this happens at least Once Per Trial. Often, it comes a little too late to actually aid whoever they're trying to cover for.
Taking the Bullet: When Monobear declares the second motive (kill or he'll randomly dole out a Career-Ending Injury), Kazuya attempts to volunteer for it. Monobear replies that he'll just take his name out of the list of candidates and make him watch whoever gets crippled instead.
Kiyoshi briefly thinks about doing this, but it's dependent on whether or not he can persuade the others not to kill, so he hasn't voiced the offer out loud yet.
The second trial's outcome. Shinya didn't commit suicide, so Monobear carries out that week's motive and blinds Jun.
The fourth trial comes down to a tie, broken by a mystery vote — and officially convicting their first innocent.
The eighth trial: Just as Larry is about to be dragged away to be executed, Tomiko quickly rushes in and takes his place, and is dragged away to be executed in his place... and then Larry is dragged off to be executed anyways!
What the Hell, Hero?: After the votes are tallied for the fourth trial, Jaejin calls out the other students for refusing to trust their instincts, pointing out that he hasn't been wrong about a culprit yet — and since the tiebreaker went to the innocent Ritsuka, they don't know if his suspect is guilty or not, but he's personally convinced.
Alpha, Omega and Epsilon contain instances of:
Author Avatar: Saki from Alpha is played by Omega's moderator, and Eikichi from Omega is played by Alpha's moderator. So, as a bit of self-deprecation, they're the first to be killed off: in their respective games, both Saki and Eikichi stand up to Monobear and essentially tell Monobear where to shove it, so Monobear kills them out of rage.
Call Back: Once again, the "uppity students who tell Monobear to screw off causing Monobear to kill them" are the students at the bottom of the Class Rosters: Saki, in Doubt Academy Alpha; and Eikichi, in Doubt Academy Omega, mimicking the situation on Black and White, where uppity students Gwendolyn in Black and Takahiro in White were killed off for standing up to Monobear. However, Word of God explains that this is actually unintentional, because in all these cases, the ones who stand up to Monobear are the Game Masters' characters, and it just so happens that they usually throw GM characters at the bottom of the rosters so it's only a coincidence that the uppity students are always at the bottom.
Cute Machines: Usami has been re-purposed into this in Alpha and Omega. In Alpha, she's a robot bee girl. In Omega, she's a pink robot girl. After Monobear's Hostile Show Takeover, she's forced into her Monomi form.
Decapitation Presentation: Within a very short period of time, Yuu, Emiko, and Fuuyuko all end up losing their heads. It's worth noting that only two of these were executions.
As of Chapter 9, there are now two more who lost their heads in succession: Nicanor and Tamaki. (Nicanor having been murdered by Tamaki and Tamaki being executed for it.
Magical Girl: Usami introduces herself as one of these in both games.
Off with His Head!: By the fourth chapter, three people have already lost their heads. In a darkly amusing detail, all three of them were killers (though one was an accident). Two were executions.
Now there are two more without heads, one being killed and the other executed: Nicanor and Tamaki.
Please Select New City Name: When Monobear shows up with his mutual killing game, in Alpha, he changes Ouranos' name to Gaia since he's giving the students the ability to use the underground facilities and not just the city. In Omega, he changes Elysium's name to Tartarus since he now wants the place to be hell instead of paradise.
When one of the players was in an accident, their character was given Plot Armor until they recovered enough to participate fully in the game.
Both Alpha and Omega will have an "extended days" period in Chapter 2, which means that there will be no murders for two weeks instead of one. This is because one of the moderators has a real-life commitment that will take up some time for that period.
Chapter 5 in both games includes a double murder. This is partly because the players of a student in each game had to leave, and this was worked into the story.
Reality Ensues: In Alpha, we see exactly what happens when a group of teenagers are thrown into an abandoned city and forced to murder each other, and in Omega, we see what happens when they're thrown into a computer program's "shining city" to do the same thing: most of them turn against each other, stick with the people they made first, and nobody trusts anyone else.
Although the best example in Alpha would probably be the fact that the girl accused of being the first murderer is actually wracked with guilt for what happened during the first chapter and doesn't just mutilate herself, but when faced with the hatred the deceased's friends feel as a result of what they believe happened, she attempts suicide. The best example in Omega would be the fact that the first culprit is a girl that a bunch of people befriended. Those people then try to shield her when she's correctly voted guilty.
Robot Girl: Usami has been re-purposed into this in Alpha and Omega. In Alpha, she's a robot bee girl. In Omega, she's a pink robot girl.
Sadistic Choice: Aside from the usual ones, Monobear presents both classes with a new one at the start of Chapter 4. He's willing to give them a break from the usual Motive-Murder-Investigation-Trial cycle — and even let Monomi take over for a week! But in exchange...? They have to vote to execute somebody as a group. In a heartwarming development, both classes voted not to do this.
Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: Alpha is set in a "Gritty" environment, but the students are supposed to make it shiny eventually. Omega takes place in a "Shiny" environment.
Took a Level in Kindness: There are more students willing to be nice to Usami/Monomi in Alpha and Omega than there were in Black and White.
In Alpha, most of the students actually choose to vote themselves and possibly be killed rather than execute an innocent person - since they have no idea who did it.
Unfortunately it doesn't work. The class still ends up voting for the wrong person as the culprit and executing him.
In Omega, once the true culprit confesses, several students go out of their way to comfort her before her execution. Also, before then, in general the Omega students were much less quick to jump down each other's throats and accuse people left and right than the Alpha students were, so the true culprit became obvious much faster without a bunch of competing suspects.
Wham Episode: At the start of Chapter 6, Gaia is hit by an earthquake, and Tartarus glitches out. When the Gaia students are led into the labyrinth, they discover the real bodies of the Tartarus students located underground. The survivors of both games are gathered together, marking the start of DA: Epsilon.
Doubt Academy Alpha
Alpha also contains examples of:
Acquitted Too Late: Yuuto in Chapter 1 and Mitsu in Chapter 4. In the case of the latter, she intentionally confessed, partly because she remembered what happened in past mistrials and feared that the execution of another innocent was about to happen anyway because of the lack of progress — at least by putting herself out there, she could make sure no one else died. She still hoped they would find the holes in her testimony and put more effort into finding the real culprit.
After the End: Not literally, but their setting is meant to invoke this atmosphere, at least. Alpha takes place in a ruined city called "Ouranos", which is supposed to represent "safety in the skies of heaven" (or at least it will be after the students rebuild both it and community).
In stark contrast to Omega, Alpha's trials appear to fail because only a few people care about the victims, or about the consequences of mistrialing if it doesn't directly involve them or someone they care about. Apathy towards the living killed them during the third trial, when it's entirely possibly that their apathy was 'what caused the victim to kill herself.'
And in the trial right after that, the person who just sacrificed herself with a false confession berates the class over their apathy throughout that week's investigation and trial, resulting in there being no clear idea of what even happened, as well as their disinterest in the medical and emotional support that she could have offered.
Arc Symbol: The moon, particularly in its crescent form, has shown up quite often in the game so far, from Kosuke's tarot readings to Sayuri's obvious worship of and devotion to it to a crescent moon being drawn in place of Emiko's head when she is found dead.
Bury Your Disabled: Obviously not intentional, but the three characters who were revealed to be mentally unstable, Emiko, Ryota, and Yuu, are killed in quick succession, horribly, fairly early in the game.
Bystander Syndrome: A distinct problem with their investigation/trial system, and the reason so many people are isolated. They don't stand up for one another, and when they do, it's often in direct ignorance of evidence and negatively affects the victim.
Call Back: In an unintentional parallel to the first DA, the first trial ends with a mistrial and an innocent person being executed. Continuing the parallel, the actual culprit of the first murder ends up the victim of the third murder. However, the genders are reversed: the true culprit of chapter 1 in Doubt Academy 1 was male, and he was murdered in chapter 3. The true culprit of chapter 1 in Doubt Academy Alpha is female, and she is murdered in chapter 3. Meanwhile, the "wrongful execution" in 1 was of a girl, while of a boy in Alpha. There's also an inverted call-back: in Doubt Academy 1, the "ice-related talent" (in this case Hockey Player) was the wrongfully executed party, but in Doubt Academy Alpha, the "ice-related talent" (in this case Figure Skater) was the true culprit who wasn't executed but was then murdered in chapter 3. And as a final call-back, the Alpha chapter 3 is also a mistrial, just as Doubt Academy 1's chapter 3 was.
Clueless Mystery: Not normally, as Doubt Academy is a Fair Play Whodunnit through and through, but the first murder and subsequent trial brings this to mind. The characters have absolutely no idea what happened - and the only clues they found that possibly related to the case didn't point to any one particular suspect.
The culprit has, as of Chapter 3, been revealed: Emiko, the victim of the week. She leaves behind a confession detailing what happened. Therefore, the mystery was not clueless - her body paint was found at the scene, though she was able to pass it off as a frame.
Curiosity Killed the Cast: For his fifth motive, Monobear invokes this: should somebody get away with murder, he'll answer one question for them, about just about anything... although asking about specific people is out, so no learning who the Mastermind is.
Dead Guy on Display: The most notable example in Doubt Academy so far, barring Renee's death, would be the Chapter 3 death. Emiko Shiromura is found crucified and beheaded in the Abandoned Ward, with ritualistic symbols drawn on the walls around her in blood. It is the only death in Alpha so far that was meant to be a presentation by the murderer and not made into one by Monobear's announcement.
Denied Food as Punishment: Doubt Academy Alpha's chapter 2 motive. Monobear promises the students that they won't see a single piece of food in Gaia until someone dies, and Monobear adds another qualifier: starving to death won't get them the food back, only death by murder will (why Monobear felt the need to add the qualifier about death by starvation is unclear). Interestingly, the person impacted by chapter 2's motive killed someone to get the food back for everyone else as much as for himself.
The first trial ends with a mistrial, sending an innocent man to his death.
The second trial turns out successful... but the murderer happened to be one of the most popular guys there, so his guilt comes as a serious blow to all his friends.
And with the third trial, they mistakenly label the death a suicide, and Monobear taunts the whole group with a Hope Spot... before they realize he intends to set off some underground bombs while they're still in the courtroom. Which is underground.
And again with the fourth trial, where a false confession actually works on enough people that they have another mistrial. Once their votes are locked in, Mitsu calls them all out for only listening to her when she was lying, revealing that she crossed it upon Youshirou's death.
Divided We Fall: The students trapped in Ouranos/Gaia are very sharply divided among themselves, with several students getting pushed to the very outskirts of the group.
We ARE Struggling Together: This has graduated to outright violence going both ways, isolated students contemplating suicide, the Dead Guy on Display incident, and in one trial, a student successfully falsely confessing to the crime in order to commit suicide by Monobear.
Driven to Suicide: Emiko attempts suicide due to the nasty treatment they recieve from most of their fellow students following the first trial. Comes back to haunt the group later when they turn up dead and there's considerable debate over whether they were murdered or just successfully offed themselves this time. It was murder.
False Confession: In Chapter 4, we have a case where this tactic works. Sick of the mutual killing game, and trying to keep the people they cared about safe rather than risk them being randomly executed, the confessor offers themself up to prove a point.
Forced to Watch: While the survivors are always forced to watch the executions, Yuuto specifically demands that Monobear MAKE everyone watch his execution so that they can't ignore how they sent them to their death.
The people in Alpha seem to have a disturbing talent for pushing the deaths of their friends out of their minds. Though there are those who continue to be affected, such as Mitsu (for Ayako) and Chiemi (for Emiko and Yuu), there are a surprising number of people who were close to the deceased and moved on within a matter of days. This is possibly a coping mechanism.
Doesn't help that in several cases, the ones who don't forget their fallen friends are also isolated from the others.
Four Is Death: Coincidentally occurs due to how several characters act and react. As of the fourth chapter, three of the four people who were assigned to the fourth floor of the apartments are dead: Ryota, Takumi, and Mitsu. The latter two, who are suitemates, die during the fourth chapter, with Takumi being the victim and Mitsu being falsely convicted. The remaining student, Nanoka, has suffered severe and permanent injuries following an undeserved punishment. Players have appropriately dubbed it the Death Floor because of this.
And now, as of the seventh chapter, Nanoka has been murdered, making this the first Gaia floor to be completely cleared of its residents.
Genius Bonus: In addition to Nicanor and Tamaki's many references, the body discovery for Emiko was titled Snedronningen Regeringstid Ender, which is Danish for The Snow Queen's Reign Ends.
The first trial of Alpha turns out reminscent of the first trial of the original DA, with a mistrial and an innocent's death. And just like in that first game, the first murderer winds up as the third victim, but their killer also goes free in another mistrial.
Within Alpha itself, the first mistrial was followed up by one student getting harrassed and isolated over suspicion of her guilt. This plays out all over again with the secondmistrial, with another student copping the same isolation and hateful treatment because his peers suspect he just got away with murder.
Also within Alpha, the first and fourth trials end with an innocent being falsely convicted for the murder of one of the few people they were friendly with, then spending their final words chewing out the entire class for what they've done. The exact circumstances of the conviction and the relationships between the characters do differ greatly, however.
Hoist By Their Own Petard: In a sense, the whole group gets this in Chapter 3. Their treatment of Emiko comes back to haunt them when they can't determine whether or not she successfully killed herself or was murdered.
Hope Spot: After Chapter 3's mistrial, Monobear contemplates his options and declares that he's going to reward the culprit by making things easier in the labyrinth. ...Problem is, he's going to do that by setting off some bombs underground. Why's that an issue? The court is underground. And they're still locked in.
Karma Houdini: For a while, the first murderer goes unidentified and escapes punishment. However, she winds up the victim in the third chapter, suffering a horrible death, so she's pretty much paid for it.
Now, whoever killed the first murderer is also a Karma Houdini, since the students incorrectly voted for a suicide and then decided not to try and vote them for the Super Motive.
And now as of Chapter 4, whoever killed Takumi is anotherKarma Houdini, in addition to whoever killed Emiko, since Mitsu confessed to chapter 4's murder but it wasn't her.
Make an Example of Them: Possibly what happened to Emiko in the third chapter. She had previously confessed to the death of Ayako Itou.
Mind Screwdriver: In Chapter 3, a note is discovered that clears up a lot of the confusion over the first murder, including who the culprit was.
Miscarriage of Justice: Chapter 1 turned into one, and so has the third chapter. It also happens in the fourth chapter, but that was intentional, since Mitsu made a false confession and took a fall.
Poor Yuuto tries to take the lead during the first trial and determine who the murderer is. Their efforts result in Monobear mocking them, being distrusted and doubted, and a mistrial, as enough people become convinced he's actually trying to frame his strongest suspect. To add further insult to injury, it turns out he was right all along.
In the second trial, Emiko works especially hard, partly to try and atone for what happened during the first trial. As a direct result of their efforts, the culprit is correctly identified... and it's her boyfriend.
Nanoka Era does their best to take charge during the third trial, directing everyone's attention towards their strongest suspect. It's still not clear whether Kozure was responsible or not, as the suicide theory won by one vote — and as luck would have it, Monobear's random lottery selected Nanoka as the one to get punished for their failure, leading to her losing her sight, part of her hearing, and breaking both legs.
This sentiment is at the core of Mitsu's calling the others out at the end of Chapter 4's trial, as they accuse their classmates of not appreciating how hard others are working to solve the cases.
Snow Means Death: Though there is no direct symbolism linked to this, the girl who is the most associated with snow, ice, winter, and the cold, is directly responsible for one death and indirectly responsible for three more (four including her own).
Well, sort of. The first motive involves cards being handed out to each student with something written on it that explains why Monobear thinks they suck (examples include Saori allegedly being only a pretty face, Shay's talent allegedly being a fluke, etc.), and this will drive at least one of the students to kill. Noticably, a bunch of the students aren't affected by this, shrugging off the insults (such as Saori deciding she's beautiful on the inside thanks to her years of practice, and Shay having to keep from bursting out laughing and deciding if his talent doesn't work out he can always just do something else).
Several of these are thrown around after the first trial ends in a Miscarriage of Justice, and again in Chapter 3.
Mitsu gives the class one about not trusting each other or appreciating anything useful after they vote for her in chapter 4.
Riddle for the Ages: We might never know who killed Emiko in chapter 3 and Takumi in chapter 4, since in both cases, the class voted incorrectly.
Running Gag: It seems that no matter what, after a murder occurs, someone from Alpha will always go and check the furnace and the lockers for evidence. And there's usually something there, as well! As the game progresses into Epsilon, the killers seem to be getting wise to this, though.
Skeleton Key: For the fourth motive, Monobear offers an All-Access Pass. If somebody successfully gets away with murder, they'll be able to reach and explore every part of Gaia. And with the mistrial, it's in play.
Suicide Pact: Appears in Chapter 1; Facing the notion that they have no clue who the murderer is, and afraid of potentially condemning somebody innocent to death, most of the students start voting for themselves instead. This fails, as a single student gets a majority of votes anyway... and he's innocent.
Took a Level in Jerkass: In Alpha, the students are noticeably cruel to the girl accused of being the first culprit, to the point of physically assaulting her and driving her to attempt suicide. They often insult her or claim that she and the second culprit, Yuu Sagara, are meant for each other because they're both murderers. Even when it becomes obvious that there is something seriously wrong with her, they don't relent. It isn't only her, though; during the second trial, Gei yells at Yuu for committing the murder, although at the time it appeared to be a self defense, and when Chiemi faints at the sight of blood while investigating Chapter 2's murder, the accompanying students' reactions were surprisingly cavalier. And Chiemi herself can dish it out; she responds to Kikuyo crying in chapter 3's trial by yelling in her face and telling her to grow up, and then physically attacking her. Eva intervenes on Kikuyo's behalf by slamming Chiemi's head into the podium, but then Dante assumes that Eva attacked Chiemi for no reason and gives Eva a huge lecture on how immature Eva is for prolonging the conflict, despite the fact that it was done to protect Kikuyo. And then, of course, there's the fact that Eva herself chose "slamming into podium" rather than simply "pulling Chiemi away from Kikuyo".
Tragic Bromance: The friendship between Yuuto and Shun results in a lot of heartache after Yuuto's the victim of the first mistrial, up to and including Emiko's attempted suicide, murder, and mistrial.
Uncertain Doom: The conclusion to Nanoka Era's "punishment" after the incorrect suicide vote - though she's later found alive.
Underground City: There's an elaborate "Underground Labyrinth" beneath the city of Ouranos.
Villains Never Lie: This is the chapter 5 motive, sort of. Monobear promises that if someone kills within a week and gets away with it, Monobear will answer any question the murderer asks him (with one exception; Monobear categorically refuses to reveal who the Mastermind is, so that question is forbidden).
In Chapter 3, it's revealed that Emiko was the first culprit. The Victim of the Week suffers one of the most gruesome deaths ever seen in Doubt Academy (rivaling Renee's): they were decapitated using an elevator and crucified. During the trial, a schism develops between those who believe Emiko committed suicide and somebody tampered with her body afterward and those who suspect Kozure did the deed. It comes down to a single vote in favor of suicide... and they failed, for their second mistrial.
Monobear then follows this up by randomly selecting one of the students — Nanoka Era — and dropping them in the labyrinth before setting off a bunch of bombs. No death announcement follows, and she's later dug out alive, but blind, half-deaf, and crippled in both legs.
And, as a result of mistrialing twice, Monobear offers the group a Super Motive: you can vote to execute someone without a trial, or murder, and he'll leave them alone for a week. He gave them the chance to find Emiko's killer, but they decided not to try it.
Chapter 4 provides a rare instance of a fake confession actually succeeding — and due to that, an unidentified culprit is now running around with a multipass that gives them full access to all of Ouranos.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic? / Hilarious in Hindsight: Emiko is found crucified in the Abandoned Ward, leading to many jokes about how they died for everyone's sins. Come the tenth trial, and it's revealed that the person who she allowed to be executed in her place was the Mastermind.
White Shirt of Death: One of these is a piece of evidence in the first trial. Hilariously (and tragically), everyone focuses on it, and it results in the innocent Yuuto Ikeda being executed.
Doubt Academy Omega
Omega contains examples of:
Cessation of Existence: Monobear threatens to do this to everyone as his fourth motive, specifically by turning off the power to Tartarus. To drive home how serious this is, he demonstrates by making five of the students temporarily disappear.
Dark Secret: Serves as the second motive. Monobear has given all the Omega students cards with their biggest secrets and weaknesses written on them; if a murder does not occur within 36 hours, Monobear will reveal everyone's secrets to the whole class. Several of the students are rattled at the possibility, while others are dismissive. Only Usoko is driven by this motive to kill, although there's a Red Herring when Akira pretends it's his secret that's the dangerous one.
Denied Food as Punishment: For Omega's Chapter 5 motive, Monobear's removed all food sources from Tartarus. There's no food in the pantry or freezer, and none of the food machines work. If the cast wants anything to eat, they'd better kill someone quick!
Esoteric Happy Ending: The outcome of the Chapter 5 trial is an In-Universe example. Several students are relieved that despite technically mistrialing, Monobear seems willing to show mercy for once by ruling that since the person who won the vote HAD killed somebody before getting killed himself, they still did their jobs. Others, however, think they're crazy for celebrating, pointing out that they still have an unidentified murderer in their midst.
Even Murderers Have Loved Ones Or Friends: Has developed into a Running Theme, due to the generally tighter bonds between the classmates. The first culprit was friends with several of the class, so they hug her before her execution. The second culprit was less popular, but one classmate tried to sacrifice himself to save her. The third culprit ended up killing her only friend because she lost her temper. The fourth kept up her end of a Suicide Pact as part of a sacrifice to protect the others from that week's motive, but the other secretly backed out and tried to prevent her from being identified.
Forced to Watch: While this always applies to executions, Monobear took this even further with how the first two end with the final blow being dealt right in front of the students. To be more specific, the first was dropped from high above and smashed to pieces on the courtroom floor, and the second was blown apart by machine gun fire while pounding on a glass wall seperating them from the courtroom.
Inside a Computer System: Elysium is actually a computer program. Yes, you're reading this without spoiler tags, because this is surprisingly not a spoiler, because Monobear reveals to everyone as soon as he shows up that they're inside a computer program. Usami even chides Monobear for revealing the surprise that early.
I Have Your Loved Ones: Sort of. Chapter 3's motive is that Monobear is throwing a huge party, and if you go to the party, you can find out how your loved ones are doing and whether or not they even miss you! The catch: only killers are invited to the party. So, to find out about their loved ones, someone has to commit a murder. Subverted; the motive ends up being unrelated to the murder; the third culprit commits murder due to losing her temper when her victim pointed out her personality flaws.
Karma Houdini: Whoever killed Akira in chapter 5 is now this, since the class voted for Akira's corpse, since Akira killed Shinji before whoever it was killed Akira, so Akira is technically a murderer.
Ominous Visual Glitch: This is the first motive in Omega; since they are inside a computer program (which you are reading without spoiler tags because Monobear revealed this as soon as he showed up), if someone doesn't kill within 24 hours Monobear will take down the firewalls and let in some computer viruses so he can start randomly "glitching" students, with Monomi being used as a visual demonstration of what that would look like. However, most of the class dismissed this motive; only the first culprit thought the glitches could actually mess everyone up, and thus the first culprit killed in part to protect the class.
Riddle for the Ages: We might never know who killed Akira in chapter 5, because the class voted for Akira himself, who killed Shinji before being killed himself.
Shining City: Omega takes place in a bright and shiny paradise called "Elysium", which is supposed to represent a world without limits. It's then subverted when Monobear shows up and renames the place "Tartarus", though he only changes the name; the aesthetic is still a shining city.
Shout-Out: The Animus is one giant shout-out to Persona 4, since it's a mini-game where the class can fight "Shadow" copies of themselves in hopes of winning (however, in this case each classmate does not typically fight his/her own copy, it's usually a copy of one of the others). Eikichi has to fight his own copy though, and it kills him.
Suicide Pact: Appears in Chapter 4, where the victim agreed to a mutual suicide where they'd poison each other. However, the victim didn't follow through, leaving the other to be heartbreakingly convicted of his murder and killed anyway.
True Companions: Many of the Omega students become this with each other, even holding hands during trials in some cases. Unfortunately, in a game like this, that only makes it hurt more when people start dying.
Wham Episode: Chapter 5 is a double murder, same as in Alpha. During the investigation, the students become convinced that the second victim actually killed the first, and was murdered in turn — but they can't figure out who was responsible for his death. As a result, the vote ties between him and their strongest suspect for his murder — and the tiebreaker deadlocked as well. Monobear then decides that since the second victim did, in fact, murder someone, they technically got it right... and implies he's going to let them go without an execution.
Your Mind Makes It Real: As revealed during the merge between Alpha and Omega, all people who died in the virtual reality of Tartarus also died in their pods in Gaia.
Doubt Academy Epsilon
Epsilon contains examples of:
The Bus Came Back: From the eighth chapter onwards, dead students begin making appearances in Tartarus, interacting with other characters as if they were alive. The details behind why they're able to do this are not publicly explained, and it's implied they're restricted in both where they can go and how long they can stay, but their appearances still tend to cause a stir among those who recognize them.
Didn't See That Coming: Monobear gloats about how neither of the Masterminds had any clue that something could cause the games to merge.
Lotus-Eater Machine: All of the Omega class are found by the Alpha survivors in these, inside an underground shelter. When the Omega survivors wake up, the games merge.
Sick Episode: During the sixth trial, a high amount of students seem to be ill or tired, which is mostly brushed off...right up until Monobear offers a motive immediately after the execution. It turns out that many students are infected with an unspecified but contagious disease that could eventually become fatal. The way to cure everyone, of course, is to murder somebody.
At the beginning of Week 8's (Ab)normal Days, no less than six dead students suddenly wake up in Tartarus; the exact circumstances behind their arrival are left unsaid, but what is known is that during the time they're there, they can interact with the living, verbally and physically. From this point on, other dead students begin to make appearances.
Chapter 9's Abnormal Days begins with Monobear splitting the survivors into groups and sending them out into three separate locations, all while making baseball jokes. Eva is found dead by one group...and the post ends with the words "strike one". That's right, there are three deaths, with Aome and Kaoru showing up dead shortly afterwards.
Chapter 10 has two of these. First, after the murder victim is discovered, Imogen furiously demands that the culprit show themselves, prompting Monobear to mock her on how she always does this and use Aqua's words against her. She then shoots him with her uzi, but all this accomplishes is pissing him off. Monobear executes Imogen right on the spot, using a bladed disk to carve straight through her chest.
Second, the two Masterminds are caught during Monobear Theater, marking two firsts in the history of the game: One Mastermind simply confesses right there, congratulating everyone for figuring her out and making her apologies and goodbyes to her dearest friends. The other one doesn't confess...because he was falsely convicted and executed in the very first trial.