Visual Novel: Super Dangan Ronpa 2
Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Good Bye Academy of Despair
, also known as Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
, is the sequel to Dangan Ronpa
, released in 2012.
Much like its predecessor, the game begins with a new student starting their first day at Hope's Peak Academy, an elite private school that only accepts the best of the best of the best
, no matter how eclectic their field. Hajime Hinata, the new guy, has always admired the school and is eagerly looking forward to attending... that is, until he arrives at the school for his first day and suddenly falls unconscious.
When he wakes up, Hajime finds himself trapped in a classroom with fifteen other new "Super High-School Level" students. They are greeted by a strange rabbit-like doll called "Usami", who promptly announces that they'll be going on a field trip. With a wave of her wand, the walls to the classroom fall apart to reveal that they have all been stranded on the tropical resort island of Jabberwock. Under Usami's instructions, the students must bond with each other
to gain the "Fragments of Hope
" needed to leave the island.
All of this is sadly for naught when Monokuma suddenly shows up and violently usurps control of the island from Usami. He then reinstates the same "School Life of Mutual Killing" rules from the first game, meaning that the only way off the island is for one of the students to commit a perfect murder
and sacrifice the other students so that they alone can leave. While the flow of the game remains largely unchanged, the dynamics of certain mini-games have been drastically changed and new ones have been added to the mix as well: for example, some segments of Non-Stop Debate task you with finding the right statement to agree
with, and other classmates can now interrupt you
with an objection.
After completing the game, an alternate story called Dangan Island
is unlocked where Usami strikes first against Monokuma when he appears and manages to beat him as a result, preventing him from taking over. The field trip goes exactly as planned, giving you plenty of time to bond with your fellow classmates in peace.
There is a wikia page for the game here
that contains a complete summary of the game, including unmarked spoilers.
Be warned that all spoilers below are unmarked
. It's virtually impossible to list tropes for this game without spoiling everything or creating Self Fulfilling Spoilers
, just like its predecessor.
A localized version was released on September 2nd, 2014.
This series provides examples of:
- Absence of Evidence:
- Used to corner the first culprit. Teruteru claims to have been in the dining room with the others, but made no mention of Mikan tripping. This being Teruteru, the fact that he can't recall it is very suspicious indeed, combined with the fact that his voice was heard during the blackout...
- Also used in the fourth trial. The murderer dropped a hammer at the crime scene to make it appear to be the murder weapon, but the fact that it doesn't have any oil on it proves that the murder weapon must have been something else.
- Used in a somewhat roundabout way in the fifth trial, as well, where the cause of death is suspiciously absent from the Monokuma File. An element absent from the Monokuma File was pivotal to the last two cases, so Hajime realizes the case must be more complicated than it first appears — and indeed, it is.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: In the official English translation, Gundam's "titles" for the four hamsters has been changed from "Four Dark Gods of Destruction" to "Four Dark Devas of Destruction."
- "Despair Fever" is also called the "Despair Disease" instead.
- Amnesiac Hero: Hajime, who's most upset by the fact he can't even remember his talent. It's eventually revealed that he does not have one, since he's one of the reserve course students.
- An Aesop: Being true to yourself is more important than talent. There are also some themes of Screw Destiny, made explicit by Chiaki in the last chapter.
- And I Must Scream: Junko reveals that if the students choose to "graduate", the future foundation members who uploaded themselves into the program (Makoto, Kyoko and Byakuya) would be forced into an "endless cycle of repeating the grade" since you need the teacher's approval to graduate and well... like she's going to let them.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes / Fanservice: Obtain maximum friendship with someone in Dangan Island mode, and they'll give you their underwear. Yes, even the boys.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Fuyuhiko's plea to Peko at the end of Chapter 2's trial, declaring that he needs her to stay by his side, and as a person, rather than as a tool. Whether this is platonic or romantic depends on your personal interpretation.
- Anyone Can Die: It's more a matter of when, and guessing who the final group of survivors are. There is a glimmer of hope that they can still be revived, though.
- The Artifact: The addition of the Consent system has made the notion of memorizing statements largely obsolete. The mechanic still shows up in situations where the debate is structured so that you absolutely have to shoot down an argument instead of agreeing with it, and the terms required to do that usually involve a concept so vague (such as "killers mistake") that no Truth Bullet could reasonably be constructed for it.
- Artificial Intelligence: Monokuma and Usami/Monomi are actually this. Also the case with Chiaki, Alter Ego, and Junko Enoshima.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Between the surviving students' current personalities and their previous identity as Ultimate Despair. Hajime in particular is horrified to learn of his conversion from Hajime Hinata to Izuru Kamukura.
- Asshole Victim: In Twilight Syndrome Murder Mystery, both murderers view their victims this way. More specifically, F-suke/Fuyuhiko's sister was seen as a selfish Spoiled Brat who used her parents' connections to avoid any punishment for her cruelty to D-ko/Mahiru, and F-suke wanted to make certain her murderer/Satou was punished.
- Assimilation Plot: AI Enoshima's goal. If the survivors "graduate" the simulation, then she'll be able to download herself into the bodies of the deceased students. From there she can steal the technology from the Future Foundation and use it to infect the rest of the world.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Monokuma's Zoid-ish underlings that guard the gates to other island segments, as well as the representation of Junko's alter ego.
- Ax-Crazy: The entire cast (sans Chiaki, who's an AI) were previously this, thanks to previously belonging to Ultimate Despair before they were put in rehabilitation. Mikan eventually turns back into this when she reverts to her Ultimate Despair self.
- Bait and Switch: The game loves to pull this and play on your expectations from the first game.
- Usami reassures everyone that they've been invited to an island to make friends with each other, complete with a peppy J-pop opening song... then Monokuma shows up and immediately reverts everything to the "murder" format.
- In Chapter 1, Nagito confesses in court to a murder plot... but his plan actually failed.
- The execution of Chapter 1 is a callback to the first execution in the original game... except Teruteru doesn't get bludgeoned to death, he gets deep-fried in a volcano.
- It is revealed in Chapter 5 that in Chapter 1, the victim is not Byakuya, as the player is led to believe, but an Ultimate Impostor pretending to be him.
- Beach Episode:
- During the Prologue, Hajime doesn't fully relax until Usami gives everyone school swimsuits and encourages them to play on the beach.
- A more traditional type happens in Chapter 2. Naturally, it gets derailed by the discovery of a body before things can get into full swing.
- Bedmate Reveal: In chapter 3, following the outbreak of the Despair Disease, Hajime wakes up in the hospital to find that Mikan has fallen asleep next to him. It also happens again just before the chapter's murder.
- Big Brother Is Watching: Monokuma. Even more so than the first game.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Just as the remaining students are about to hit the Graduate button (which would allow AI Junko to possess their dead friends) the real Makoto shows up to save them.
- Then later during the same trial, Makoto needs two more people to initiate a forced shutdown and stop AI Junko. Cue the arrival of Kyoko and Byakuya.
- Bittersweet Ending: The survivors escape and, through a miracle, retain their memories of the island and don't revert. Through this, they stay on the Jabberwock Islands to tend to their comatose friends and have vowed to create a new future of hope for themselves, Makoto implying they will eventually succeed. Also, despite the belief that Hajime would be "reset" to Izuru Kamukura and lost forever, he retains some measure of control and sanity, possibly via a Split Personality Merge. Possible on a more somber note, Chiaki and Usami may or may not be gone forever... maybe.
- Black Blood: Yet again, the murder scenes are plastered in Pepto-Bismol pink.
- Black Comedy: Most of the executions fit this trope well.
- Body of the Week: It is a murder mystery game, after all.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Monokuma puts on one of these acts with Monomi during Chapter 1.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: All of the cast members (except Chiaki), as part of Super High-School Level Despair.
- Broken Bridge: The Monobeasts serve this purpose, blocking off access to the other islands. After each chapter, Monomi clears away one of the beasts, allowing access to another island.
- Call Back:
- All the murders, really.
- In Chapter 1, there is a failed murder attempt using a knife stolen from a kitchen. The culprit also tries to talk their way out of getting punished as they both believe their murders are justified. Both execution cutscenes also begin with the agitated culprit being dragged out of the courtroom by the throat.
- In Chapter 2, the victim is bludgeoned to death with a single blow. There are hints that a serial killer is responsible but that turns out to be untrue.
- In Chapter 3, there is a double murder, and the first body found is actually the second to be killed. This victim is also someone who was deeply affected by losing their newfound friend in the previous chapter. The game also hints that two people are responsible (like the first game) but in this case it is a Red Herring. Also involves someone recovering their memories.
- In Chapter 4, it is initially unclear on whether it is suicide or murder. The victim is the largest and strongest person in the class. The final words of the perpetrator motivate the students to keep living. Also, the culprit notes that there was a possibility of them being killed by their target instead, which would have led to a very confusing case...just like with Sayaka Maizono in the first game.
- In Chapter 5, the murder is staged with the goal of having a specific target (or in this case, targets) executed by the trial. The victim's death also involves the Spear of Gungnir, and the initially suspected cause of death is not what killed them.
- "Or, in other words... that one of us is a serial killer? That sounds like a plot twist from some kind of weird game or something..." referencing Toko's split personality as Genocider Syo.
- The password the students were looking for ended up being 11037.
- Nagito's suicide, stabbing himself, tying himself up, poisoning himself, and spearing himself, mirrors most of the DR1 deaths: Sayaka was stabbed, Chihiro was tied up, Sakura was poisoned, and Mukuro was speared. Seeing how he knows how the murder victims died, as he tells Hajime in Chapter 4, this is likely very intentional on his part.
- At the end of the game, Hajime appears to converse with Chiaki's spirit. Afterwards, he gets white hair, red eyes, and a Battle Aura. This is basically what happened when Kiyotaka channeled Mondo's spirit in the first game, only this time it's Played for Drama.
- Most of the characters are amnesiac members of Super High-School Level Despair, which is the same as the big twist of Dangan Ronpa Zero.
- A number of the presents directly reference the previous game, i.e. the gold-painted sword (complete with scratched sheath) and Yasuhiro's broken crystal ball from Chapter 1, Mukuro Ikusaba's knife, the Ogami clan guide to massage, and a sword technique named after Sayaka. It might seem strange to be able to obtain multiple copies of some of these items, but it makes far more sense with The Reveal.
- In chapter 3, a sick Nagito will ramble about Ibuki having a twin sister, and how she's the "17th student", a nod to the plot twist of the first game.
- Central Theme: What do people define as "hope?" What are people willing to fight for?
- Cheat Code:
- In Chapter 2, Chiaki reveals that the cryptic message at the end of Twilight Syndrome ("Gokai shita") is actually a hint to a cheat code that can be entered at the title screen. "Gokai shita" can be translated both as "You misunderstood" or as "Five times down". Hajime misunderstood thinking was the former, but Chiaki tells him it is actually the latter, prompting the player to press Down 5 times on the title screen. It's required to beat the game and reveal the "motive".
- The garbled message on Chiaki's front door after the Chapter 5 trial (which may or may not have been her dying thoughts as she was executed) has her trying to recite the Konami Code.
- Continuity Nod: There's quite a few references to Dangan Ronpa Zero sprinkled throughout. Not just in plot points from the novel coming into play at the end (Re:The Reserve Course and Izuru Kamukura), but also in two of Nagito's favourite gifts, which both are references to the book.
- Class Trip: The reason why the class has ended up on the island. At least, until Monokuma showed up.
- Closed Circle:
- An isolated chain of islands, where there's no boats and the only planes in the airport are missing their engines.
- The Funhouse. Monokuma describes the situation as "a closed circle within a closed circle".
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The executions, of course.
- Nagito's 'suicide' definitely counts.
- Cult of Personality: The Super High-School Level Despair group worships the original "Super High-School Level Despair" Junko Enoshima, going so far as to carve up her dead body and surgically replace their own body parts with hers.
- Deadly Deferred Conversation: Byakuya talks about "things" in his past he can't tell anyone about, yet defers the question when Hajime asks him to elaborate, saying only that he can (and indeed may have to) explain later. Unfortunately for interested players, Dangan Ronpa is a murder mystery game, and Byakuya ends up being the first victim.
- Death by Irony: Not to as great an extent as the first game, but some of the executions still count.
- Death of Personality: A few big examples in the story. The Ultimate Despairs are placed inside a machine in an attempt to 'rewind' their personalities back two years before they became completely obsessed with death and despair. Meanwhile, Junko as the Monokuma virus attempted to hijack the program and upload herself into the comatose bodies of the murder victims. Finally, there's poor Hajime Hinata, who had his mind essentially surgically altered and replaced with the personality of Izuru, a sociopathic genius who was Junko's right hand. How effective the death of personality is by the end is left uncertain, since the game does not definitively state how much of the original personalities vs how much of the killing island trip personalities have been restored. All that can be said definitively is that Hajime seems to retain his Killing Trip personality and some (all of?) Izuru's memories.
- Deconstructor Fleet: The entire game seems designed to play the similarities with the first game only to ultimately subvert them. The entire ending calls many things stated about the academy and hope itself into question.
- Denser and Wackier: The setting is far more outlandish than that of the previous game, exchanging the sealed-off Academy for an entire series of tropical islands guarded by Humongous Mecha and including amusement parks and military bases with guns and rocket launchers just lying around everywhere. The executions are even more over-the-top, and one character is even turned into a robot at one point. It all makes more sense, though, once you figure out that everything is a VR simulation.
- Deserted Island: The Jabberwock Islands. Subverted in that the islands aren't entirely devoid of civilization - there's a hotel and other buildings built there. However, other than the students, there are no other people around. This is mostly because of what it turns out they actually are.
- Designated Girl Fight: With the exception of the fifth trial, all victims have same-sex culprits. Subverted with Akane and Nekomaru, who would fight each other regularly. Double subverted with Fuyuhiko, who was about to take out Mahiru until Peko did it herself.
- Detectives Follow Footprints: Invoked by Pekoyama, attempting to make Saionji leave a trail of footprints implicating her in the second murder.
- Drawing Straws: Nagito suggests this as a way to determine who gets to clean up the lodge. He ends up with the short straw. Of course, this later turns out to be part of his murder scheme.
- Driven to Suicide: Subverted with the Chapter 5 murder victim (Nagito Komaeda). He sets up the crime scene and self-inflicts most of his wounds in order to make it look like this is the case. But he only died when he inhaled the poison that he had earlier put in one of the fire grenades that the other characters used to put out the fire at the crime scene. Thus, the incident was a Thanatos Gambit on Nagito's part to make one of the others unknowingly kill him. To most people this would still count as Suicide by Cop, but Monokuma has a vested interest in interpreting every death possible as murder and therefore punishable.
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The English localization is noticeably sloppier than that of the first game due to being rushed for release, with more than a handful of line breaks that make things difficult to read and typos. For the most part this doesn't affect understanding of the game with the exception of one present item: the memory notebook from Dangan Ronpa Zero. The notebook belongs to a character named "Ryouko Otonashi", but the localization mis-renders the smudged-out text as "Ky...ko...Oto...", running the risk of anyone unfamiliar with the novel to mistake it for Kyoko from the first game.
- Egopolis: Most of Jabberwock Island is this for Monokuma (with a few holdovers from Usami suggesting that it was supposed to be the same way for her, too.) The Junko AI eventually plans to turn the entire world into "Enoshimaland" by taking over everyone on Earth.
- Emergency Transformation: After Taking the Bullet, Nekomaru is turned into a Hollywood Cyborg.
- Empty Chair Memorial: Just like the first game, dead students are replaced during School Trials with a "memorial" picture that has their face crossed out. However, the game adds a bit more Black Comedy by customising the cross marks of certain students, namely the guilty ones. The customisations are: Teruteru's cross is a knife and fork; Mikan's cross is made up of bandages and rotated so it looks more like a first aid symbol; Peko's cross is a shinai and sheath; Gundam's cross is a capital letter "X"; and Nagito's cross is dripping blood.
- Empty Shell:
- Monokuma claims the students killed in his game were reduced to this. Hope is held out in the end that their condition is more of a Convenient Coma.
- Evil Me Scares Me: Hajime's reaction when he encounters remnants of Izuru Kamukura in his mind, during the final trial. A Downplayed version of this trope is utilized for the other members of Ultimate Despair, although they never see what their true selves are like.
- Eye Scream:
- Monokuma inflicts this on Usami when he takes over, then mocks her about it, calling her Monomi from then on.
- Later on, Fuyuhiko loses an eye when he tries to stop Peko's execution.
- During a montage that demonstrates the kind of self-mutilation that members of Super High-School Level Despair inflicted upon themselves, one of the examples is of someone who gouged out their own eye and replaced it with the eye of Junko Enoshima. He and Fuyuhiko might actually be the same person.
- False Confession:
- During the first trial, Nagito presents himself as an increasingly obvious candidate for being the culprit. Helps that he really was planning to cause a murder...
- Twisted all around during the second trial, where Peko claims after the trial she was taking the fall for somebody else so they could successfully graduate, assuming that this person merely saw her as their tool.
- Early on, Monokuma announces that there is a "traitor" in the group of sixteen students. In many official images, such as the soundtrack album or even the image at the top of this page, Chiaki Nanami is either drawn separately from the main group or in a markedly different way (such as being upside down). She's the one who doesn't belong in the group.
- This becomes particularly evident at the start of the fifth trial, when the students' portraits are shown. They're divided into three pictures, and they're blue if alive and red if dead; at that point, Chiaki is the only blue one in her picture.
- Additionally, some of the decorated backgrounds behind the characters in the game's intro tell of later events. For example, Gundam's background is that of glowing "magic circles", and during his execution he tries to save himself by drawing magic protection circles on the ground.
- On the topic of Gundam, his first Free Time event has him ask Hajime his "True Name". While it is a question asked due to Gundam's eccentric behavior, it seems more ominous given the reveal of Izuru Kamukura.
- Another case happens with "The Wizard of Monomi", which was used as a basis for a "copycat murder" in Chapter 3. There were three deaths in the movie but only two murders in that chapter, because the most people a culprit can murder is two. The third unused death was "Tin Monomi being broken down into a heap of scraps." Guess what happens to Mecha Nekomaru the next chapter.
- During chapter 5 before one of the breakfasts, if you talk to Chiaki she will say that she had dreamed about a game involving Monokuma blocks that she couldn't win. Guess what happens to her after Class Trial.
- The interface indulges even more in retro 8-bit aesthetics than the previous game, which hints at the events of the story being a literal game inside of a computer program. This helped by the music suddenly turning into a chiptune version of the final investigation theme in Chapter 6 as the simulation continues to break down.
- Besides having gained a few pounds, Byakuya is a completely different person compared to the first game. Where in the first game he watched everything play out with an almost perverted sense of glee, here he immediately proclaims he won't let anybody become a victim. On the side, when it comes to gift-giving he now loves the junk food he previously rejected and hates one of his favorite presents from the previous game (Kopi Luwak/"civet coffee"). Come chapter 5 and it all makes sense.
- While exploring the library at the beginning of Chapter 2, Peko is visibly unsettled by Sonia's admiration of serial killers. Her later claim to be one of them, a self-righteous Knight Templar, turns out to be false.
- Monokuma also often directly makes references to them being in a virtual world pretty often typically in the form of Exact Words while being a Troll. Most obvious cases are insisting on addressing things with game terminology and the Stealth Pun he makes when telling them about how the Despair Disease spreads. To clarify: He tells you they are caused by invisible bugs. Upon The Reveal that everyone is an avatar and all their real bodies are in pods that make physical infections impossible its obvious he is talking about computer bugs that are causing these symptoms by messing with the avatar's data directly, causing massive behavioral shifts and unlocking previously inaccessible memories in the case of Mikan through the glitches they are causing.
- Freudian Slip: In the 3rd trial, following the culprit, Mikan's Yandere-esque personality transformation, Hajime must point one out to progress to the Panic Talk.
- Gainax Ending: The initial ending to the Twilight Syndrome game (at least until the secret code at the end is entered at the title screen to unlock a second part that explains a lot more.)
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- During chapter 4, everyone is locked inside of a funhouse with no food. You can still do free time events, even Akane's, who mentions having lots of food available during some of her events. You can also hand out food items as presents after spending time with someone. But no matter how many bags of chips and cookies you are carrying with you, everyone will keep on complaining about hunger.
- A gigantic case of this crops up when doing free time events in Island Mode, as lampshaded in the tutorial. In Fuyuhiko's very first event, which was originally scheduled for comparatively late in the game, there's references to his attempted suicide and Peko's death, and you can discuss this while you're on a tropical Monokuma-free idyll in which Fuyuhiko is still in one piece and Peko is very much alive.
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: Much like before, and now we even have a female mascot character to balance out Monokuma with Usami/Monomi. However, unlike in the first game, this is averted with the surviving cast (2 girls/3 boys).
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-universe example—Sonia mentions a certain anime is insanely popular in Novoselic. She herself is a great fan of old Japanese police shows.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: Chiaki slaps Akane in Chapter 5 when her attempted Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on Nagito goes too far.
- A Glitch in the Matrix: Happens near the very beginning to represent Hajime's memory loss from being put into the simulation. Those who played the first game can easily put it off as just the memory being altered and not think about a virtual world at all. However, at the end of Chapter 5 when this starts happening very frequently...
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Hajime Hinata's response to catching a brief glimpse of his past self (Izuru Kamukura) is to scream and deny himself.
- Grand Finale: While its not the end to the franchise itself, the game puts an end to the story of Hopes Peak Academy and Junko Enoshima. Junko even states in the final trial she won't be taking up the Monokuma handle again.
- Grand Theft Me: The Junko AI wants to insert herself into the bodies of those who were either murdered or executed.
- Hard Work Hardly Works: The subject of a monologue/Hannibal Lecture at the start of Chapter 2, where Nagito claims that unless somebody's born with incredible talent, they can never earn it.
- Hate Plague: A non-supernatural version of this is essentially the end result of Super High-School Level Despair's ideology. It began when the reserve students were Brainwashed and Crazy by Junko Enoshima and revolted against Hope's Peak Academy over their shabby treatment compared to the "main course" students. This spread into general social revolt due to the talents of SHSL Despair as the "have nots" rebelled against the "haves", and eventually descended into war without purpose.
- Heel Realization:
- The entire main cast, who realize that they are the remnants of Super High School-Level Despair, and thus the students who caused The Biggest, Most Despair-Inducing Incident In All Of Human History.
- Hajime realizes that the person who allowed the events of the game to take place was himself, when he smuggled the AI Junko program into the system as Izuru.
- Hope Is Scary: Arguably the entire point of the game, for how interrelated hope and despair are as concepts.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: When the Junko AI causes everyone to come close to crossing the Despair Event Horizon in the Chapter 6 trial, the next Nonstop Debate section glitches out so that the evidence bullet can't be fired, and Hajime's health bottoms out once it finishes.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Teruteru, and Kazuichi to a lesser extent. Teruteru even seems to be an Anything That Moves type, as while he definitely prefers to flirt with the ladies, he'll hit on the boys as well.
- Idiot Ball: Briefly held by Hajime towards the end of chapter 4. Nagito, who's been established throughout the entire game to say things of questionable validity, claims the file only contained Hajime's school profile and Hajime doesn't bat an eye at this.
- I Love the Dead: In the NISA translation, members of SHSL Despair apparently 'tried to make children with the Ultimate Despair's corpse'.
- Impaled Palm: Nagito does this to himself during his elaborate suicide to make it seem like his right hand was incapacitated from the start.
- Interface Screw: The investigation and second half of Chapter 6's trial has many of these.
- Kill It with Fire: As the culmination of the various appalled reactions to the disturbing-looking memorial to Mahiru, Nekomaru proposes they burn it.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Monokuma reveals early on that all of the cast have had their memories stolen by the Future Foundation. This is true, but for good reason: they were all traumatic memories of their time as part of Super High-School Level Despair, and the New World program was designed to create new, happier memories to fill the gap.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: Even if he looks quite different in this outing, the presence of a character named Byakuya Togami with an identical talent suggests that he survived the first game.
- Becomes an explicit spoiler in chapter 4, when the group find a report showing all survivors of the first game. Byakuya's presence there becomes a mystery that doesn't get resolved for a while.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
- After she mistakes sparring for a serious fight:
- In Chapter 6 after the reveal that the game took place within a program, Monokuma compares it all to a 'game world', leading to this from Kazuichi:
Kazuichi: "If this is a game...then is everything I'm saying showing up in some kinda text box?"
Sonia: "I do not want any more last-minute plot twists!"
- And another from Chapter 6, after arriving in Hope's Peak Academy:
Monokuma: "I went to the trouble to bring you to Hope's Peak Academy, and you don't feel surprised or nostalgic... Oh well, it's not like I did this for you guys. Even if you don't feel nostalgic, I'm sure *someone* is feeling nostalgic right now!"
- Lighter and Softer: The game starts out looking like this. Its first opening animation is very upbeat, almost dating sims like, and the colors of the characters and the environment are notably much brighter than its predecessor. And then Monokuma comes into the picture. In the end, the game arguably still qualifies. Compared to the original, the game keeps a much more optimistic attitude in regards to a lot of things and ends on a much more overtly hopeful note.
- Lights Off, Somebody Dies: During the party in Chapter 1, there's a blackout. The lights come back on to reveal... that Tsumiki has tripped again. It's a Double Subversion. The real victim was hidden underneath one of the tables.
- Literary Allusion Title: The subtitle seems to be a reference to Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei.
- Loophole Abuse:
- A subversion occurs in chapter 2. After everyone has voted her as the blackened, Peko tries to argue that she is not actually the killer, but rather the murder weapon since she is a tool of Fuyuhiko, who is therefore the real murderer. Her plan fails, as Monokuma decides that since she was the one who bashed Mahiru's head in with a bat and was definitely not ordered by Kuzuryu to do so, she IS the killer.
- In Chapter 5, Hajime demands that Monokuma stop Nagito from blowing up the islands by pointing out that it breaks one of the rules. Monokuma refuses, stating that the "no-one can kill more than two people" rule does not take effect until after it has been broken.
- The whole killing game is also based on this with Monokuma finding loopholes in Usami's 4 unbreakable rules in order to operate the way he wants to. The rules the simulation has to abide by means the headmaster, which after the virus takes over is Monokuma, not only can't harm any students directly unless they break a rule but he also can't allow any innocent students to die either. So in order to get around this Monokuma made the "student activity", which the teachers also can't interfere with at all, the Mutual Killing Game so the students kill each other (which would need punishment as it is breaking the first rule, hence it fitting the "execution" formula with little effort) and he can't be forced by the program to save anyone. The fourth motive, making "see how long the students can last without food or water until a killing game starts" the student activity, also matches this loophole and the "No more than 2 victims per killer" is following the "no excessive violence" aspect of the first rule in the eyes of Monokuma.
- Lost Forever: On a given playthrough, you obviously can't spend Free Time with someone after their death. In addition, if the player doesn't spend time with Nagito during the first two free time opportunities in Chapter 1, you can still spend time with him but cannot get his actual Free Time events.
- Lotus-Eater Machine: The entire game is revealed to be this, as a radical new method for rehabilitating those who were Brainwashed and Crazy by Junko and Super High-School Level Despair by replacing their traumatic memories with new, happy ones.
- Madness Mantra:
- Meaningful Echo: Makoto uses 11037 as a pass-code for the students to use to assure their safety, the same "number" Sayaka scrawled on the wall to save him during the first game's first trial.
- Meaningful Name:
- Jabberwock is a combination of Jabber (arguments) and wocer(result), according to Lewis Carroll.
- The kanji for "Chi" in Chiaki Nanami, meaning "thousand," is the same as the "Chi" in Chihiro Fujisaki.
- Mind Screw: Everything after the Chapter 5 trial, with the entire plot getting turned upside-down, almost veering into Gainax Ending territory.
- Mind Virus: The "Despair Disease" that Monokuma spreads in Chapter 3.
- Moe: In-universe, this is invoked by Hiyoko to win more fans as a traditional dancer. As popular as this makes her, it's not her true personality.
- Mood Whiplash: Several. Some of the more notable ones:
- In Chapter 2, an extended Fanservice sequence ends with Souda stumbling across the second murder victim. The murderer being wet in this sequence is later used against her.
- In Chapter 3, Ibuki tries to raise everyone's spirits with a rock concert, provoking some hilarious reactions... until Monomi interrupts with the news that Akane is trying to kill Monokuma, and everyone runs off, leaving Ibuki in tears.
- In his final free time event Teruteru has a typical end-of-free-time epiphany about what's really important to him... then apparently gives Hajime a Mickey Finn in a rice ball.
- Mythology Gag: Several plot twists of the first game are discussed, usually to be made fun of.
- After revealing information that made up one of the final, climactic reveals of the first game, Monokuma declares that "A cheap story would shamelessly leave that revelation hanging until the endgame! Can you imagine?! Fortunately, Iím not that cowardly."
- "Or, in other words... that one of us is a serial killer? That sounds like a plot twist from some kind of weird game or something..."
- When infected with Despair Fever and only able to tell lies, Nagito goes on a bizarre rant claiming that one of the students is actually a pair of twins masterminding the mutual killing.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Future Foundation is made out to be this by Monokuma. At first Hajime believes it to be true because the Future Foundation took away his memories. Except it turns out that the Future Foundation was on the side of the students all along, and the entire game was an attempt to rehabilitate their Brainwashed and Crazy personalities instead of just killing them all. In fact, the final chapter has Hajime subverting the trope by shooting down his own arguments about how everything is the fault of the Future Foundation.
- New Transfer Student: After getting the "lying fever," Nagito claims that Nekomaru succumbed to his wounds, and that an exchange student will be coming in to replace him. Given the nature of his condition, though, this doesn't end up happening.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Hajime, whose self-hatred and longing to be "talented" was so strong that he willingly took part in a project to supresss his real identity and be rebuilt as the multi-talented "Super High-School Level Hope", Izuru Kamukura. Then he fell under Junko's influence, murdered the student council, kickstarted The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident Of All Human History, and made the events of Super Dangan Ronpa 2 possible by smuggling AI Junko into the Lotus-Eater Machine.
- The chapter 5 murder is essentially caused by this. Nagito set up a crime scene that looked as though he had killed himself, culminating in starting a fire at the scene. However, he didn't actually die until the other students threw a set of fire grenades in an attempt to put out the fire. One of those grenades had been filled beforehand with a deadly, gaseous poison, by Nagito. So, by Monokuma's twisted definition of a murder, the student who threw that grenade was the one who killed Nagito.
- Furthermore, had Nagito succeeded in his plan to have the culprit (Chiaki Nanami) get away with their "crime", he would have given the mastermind everything they needed. AI Junko would be able to possess the bodies of the comatose students who had died in the simulation, which would be all of them. After all, unbeknownst to the other students (including Nagito himself), Chiaki isn't even a real human - she's an AI, too.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever embarrassing thing Sonia was up to in her bathroom that she fears would disqualify her from marriage/queenship, especially given that at an earlier point in the game she cheerfully let the others know she wasn't a virgin.
- Not What It Looks Like: Hajime says this to Fuyuhiko, after he is discovered with Mikan in his bed (she crept into it while he was sleeping).
- Ominous Latin Chanting: "Let Us Sing of a Hollow Victory" (Disc 3, Track 8 in the OST).
- Ordinary High-School Student: Nagito claims to be this. Subverted, as he is insanely lucky. But played straight with Hajime, who has no Super High-School Level talent.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Chapter 3's motive has this happen to several characters thanks to Monokuma infecting people with a "despair disease" in order to provide a "motive" to kill.
- Painting the Medium: By the end of chapter 5, dead characters start popping out of nowhere and the game screen starts becoming pixelated, with blocks of the screen falling off at any given time and text being placed where it really shouldn't be. This is to represent that the virtual reality the characters find themselves in are on its last legs.
- Poor Communication Kills: Basically the theme of Chapter 2, where the murder occurs because Peko fails to understand what Fuyuhiko wants from her. Mahiru also falls victim to this as well, yelling and chastising Fuyuhiko for his role in Twilight Syndrome when she wanted to atone for her actions.
- Power Dyes Your Hair: Along with Kiyotaka in the prequel (although less important to the plot), Hajime's hair turning white is a perfect example of this in the final chapter.
- Red Herring:
- The fake Byakuya Togami. He just turns out to be the nameless Ultimate Impostor, who has no real identity of his own. Monokuma explicitly states that the mystery didn't turn out to be important.
- Nagito Komaeda - though perhaps unintentionally. He looks like] and has the same voice actor as Makoto, and his name is (accidentally) a Significant Anagram which suggests that Nagito is Makoto. It's all just a coincidence.
- The countdown timer. Junko admits it was just there to provide atmosphere and to be a Self-Imposed Challenge on herself.
- This can happen to overly paranoid players in Case 3. Fuyuhiko shares some very similar proportions with Ibuki, Akane explicitly states that the hospital gowns are unisex when she brings up the idea of taking Nagito's and you're unable to personally account for where he was when the murders supposedly took place. If accused, he'll threaten to cut his stomach open again to prove his innocence, and later on in the case he himself brings up the body proportions argument, which turns out to be perfectly meaningless and yet causes a slip of the tongue that leads to the real killer.
- Relationship Values: Like the first game, the protagonist can hang out with the other students and give them presents. This time, you'll be rewarded with Hope Shards which can be exchanged for skills during the trial sequences. Also, like the first game, there's a limited number of free time segments in each chapter, and you can't hang out with someone if they're dead. There are also certain characters who are unavailable at certain times for plot reasons. However, unlike the previous game, there is now one character that you can't make any relationship progress with unless you spend some time with them at least once before a certain event, so even though you can technically spend time with them afterwards, nothing will happen if you missed their "deadline" earlier, which is very easy on a first time un-spoiled play through.
- The Remnant: The entire cast of students, with the exception of Chiaki, are what's left of the original Ultimate Despair group that kickstarted The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident In Human History.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Hiyoko teases Kazuichi by calling him a 'background character' who's doomed to suffer an early death. His profile on the official Japanese site even implies the exact same thing. Subverted, because he's not! He doesn't kill anyone and he isn't executed, while Hiyoko herself gets killed in chapter 3.
- Sad Battle Music: In the final swords-cross battle of the fifth trial, the background music is "All All Apologies" instead of the normal music.
- Sadistic Choice:
- Kill one of your classmates, or spend the rest of your life in captivity - and when it comes down to the trial, fess up and receive a gruesome punishment, or escape with the blood of everyone else on your hands.
- Chapter 4's motive boils down to choosing between starving to death alongside everyone else or committing murder to get out.
- In Chapter 5, Nagito's Thanatos Gambit forces the students convict an innocent party (the one who accidentally and unknowingly killed him) so that the others can live.
- In the final chapter, the students are given a choice: choose to "Graduate" and leave the island with their new memories but enable Junko's AI to hijack the bodies of everyone who died in the game; willingly stay in the Lotus-Eater Machine with all of their friends but doom the three members of the Future Foundation who came in to help them; or force a shutdown that would destroy Junko's AI but also erase their new memories, resetting them back to how they were before the game started along with the memories of all the atrocities they committed as part of Super High-School Level Despair.
- Scylla and Charybdis: As noted in Sadistic Choice, the Big Bad made a distinct effort to create this situation in the final trial, as if to make both hope and despair look unattractive.
- Self-Deprecation: This game has its moments, such as when Monokuma criticizes stories that have last minute amnesia plot twists and when Kazuichi states that the global tragedy sounds like a bad story from a high-schooler.
- Sequel Hook: Makoto notes in the epilogue that, while the games events are over, the Despair Incident isn't...
- Ship Tease: Hajime gets a bit of this with Chiaki and Nagito. Sonia and Gundam share some qualifying moments together as well, while Akane and Nekomaru are clearly closer to one another than to anyone else. And Fuyuhiko and Peko, depending on how you interpret his Anguished Declaration of Love.
- Shoo Out the Clowns:
- Ibuki, one of the more lighthearted and energetic students, is murdered in Chapter 3, and the game gets significantly darker from there.
- Done somewhat In-Universe, when Kazuichi gets Akane to turn off "Minimaru" during the Chapter 5 trial, so they won't be distracted.
- Shout-Out: Can be found here.
- Show Within a Show: In Chapter 2, Monokuma presents the students with a doujin game called Twilight Syndrome, which functions as Shmuck Bait: completing the game reveals a motive to kill, but if you choose not to play and someone else does, then you might be in danger and not know about it. In the end it gets revealed that the game covers two murders that happened during the period that their stolen memories are from, specifically the murder of Fuyuhiko's sister and that of her killer Satou.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!:
- A lengthy monologue at the start of Chapter 2 is finally cut off by an unknown speaker screaming "SHUT UP!" (It's later revealed that this was Kazuichi, right before he and Nekomaru knock Nagito unconscious and tie him up hand and foot.)
- Chiaki calmly tells both Nagito in Chapter 1 and Monokuma in Chapter 2 to be quiet.
- And, with some help from Chiaki, Hajime eventually retaliates in this way to the hallucinations of Izuru Kamukura in his head.
- Similar Squad: There are some noticeable similarities between the new students and the batch from the first game. However, much of it is used to later subvert audience expectations with Nagito's status as Makoto's Evil Counterpart being the most obvious example.
- Of particular note are also Chiaki and Akane. Chiaki not only shares the same basic role as Kyoko, but they also have similar color schemes. Chiaki is also very similar in appearance and role to Chihiro. Since Chiaki was created by Chihiro and the latter may have incorporated some of his friends' personalities and appearances into her design, this is likely completely intentional. Akane, on the other hand, not only shares the same basic role as Aoi Asahina, but has the same skin and hair color.
- Sock It To Them: A variant is used during Monokuma's Twilight Syndrome scenario. The murder weapon is eventually determined to be a stolen swimsuit, stuffed with gravel from the broken aquarium near the body.
- Stepping-Stone Sword: This is how Chapter 2's murderer managed to leave the scene of the crime without leaving any footprints behind - by using her wooden sword as a ladder to reach a window high up in the shower room.
- Stuff Blowing Up: In Chapter 5, Nagito decides the best way to flush out the traitor is to start blowing up everything, threatening to destroy all of the islands unless they expose themselves. It turns out to be a bluff.
- Stunned Silence: Kazuichi is reduced to this after the "materials for a boat" Monokuma promised turned out to be for a toy boat.
- Supporting Protagonist: It's eventually revealed that the students are nothing more than pawns for the AI Junko to play with in order to lure out the real "main characters", aka the survivors from the first game. Once she finally makes her appearance, she continuously makes it clear that Hajime and co are nothing more than supporting roles in the big picture.
- Suspect Is Hatless: After reading about Genocider Syo, Sonia warns Hajime to beware of middle and high school girls in Sailor Fuku.
- Take a Third Option: Chiaki's speech to Hajime in the final chapter essentially boils down to this.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: The mysterious voice who talks to Nagito in the mind-screwy "Chapter 0" believes that the world is like this, with talentless people hunting down those with talents and driving the world into an evolutionary dead end. It's revealed near the end that the voice belongs to Izuru Kamukura.
- Ten Little Murder Victims: Monokuma invokes this by announcing early on that there is a "traitor" in the group of sixteen students. Subverted on multiple levels: Yes, there is a mole. No, she is not a murderer but instead is a "mole" working for the good guys to observe and support the students. And no, the knowledge and suspicion of a "mole" does not lead anyone to commit murder: Nagito uses this excuse as a bluff to try and kill everyone but the mole.
- The Mole: According to Monokuma, there's a "student" on the island who isn't supposed to be there. Subverted in that the "traitor" is not the students' enemy.
- This Is a Work of Fiction: Inverted in-series with the game Twilight Syndrome, which comes with a disclaimer that the events depicted are factual and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely deliberate. It's later is indeed this, with the evidence being enough for Fuyuhiko to order a murder.
- Trauma Conga Line: Hajime, Fuyuhiko, Kazuichi, Akane, and Sonia already went through more than enough before trial six thanks to Nagito tricking Chiaki into killing him and learning about her being The Mole but after the reveals about their situation and who they are starts up it seems like one Break the Cutie moment after another. On top of losing their friends, they find out that they're Ultimate Despair, how monstrous they've become, they killed their friends, family, and parents; and the kicker...they are told that everything they went through will be erased. They will revert back to their despair selves, and their friends will possibly stay "dead" forever. Should they choose graduate, then they run the risk of letting AI Junko possess their friends(and eventually themselves) and finish destroying the world. Poor kids can't catch a break.
- Treachery Cover Up: Hope's Peak attempted to cover up Izuru's murdering the student council because of his involvement in the Ultimate Hope Project. When Ultimate Despair revealed this to the world, all hell broke loose.
- Trust Password: Used by Hajime during the final chapter to prove that Makoto, who joined the class trial to persuade the survivors to graduate, wasn't the real deal. The impostor, controlled by Monokuma, could not remember why the real Naegi chose 11037 as the password to the ruins.
- Two-Teacher School: Though the game doesn't take place at school anymore, there's still only two "faculty" members around; Monokuma and Monomi. And both of these are robotic stuffed toys whose interest in educational pursuits is questionable at best. At least Monomi isn't trying to get the students to murder each other.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Hajime is very slow to pick up on all the bizarre glitching going on during and just before the final chapter.
- Villain-Based Franchise: Monokuma's back, and ready for more despair!
- Villain Has a Point:
- In Chapter 4, Gundam shoots back after being berated for being the culprit:
If one would call murder so that one may live "evil", then what must one call surrendering on life itself?! If the world shall name it just, then I shall fight that world with all my strength! For to renounce life and choose death is to blaspheme life. It is the perversion of nature, the conceit of mankind!
- Shortly after this, he says, "You must agree that this is a better outcome than us all starving to death in that surprise house...". Chiaki doesn't contest this reasoning, simply saying, "So that conviction led you to commit this crime..." with a sad and resigned expression on her face.
- Virgin Sacrifice: Sonia asks Gundam to take her along next time he goes to the amusement park of Hell. When he says that the admission is the blood of a virgin, she dejectedly says that her blood would not meet the requirement.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Future Foundation in general. Their goal is to bring hope back to the world, and they're willing to execute the remaining members of Ultimate Despair in order to do that.
- Wham Episode: The ending of Chapter 5. Hajime goes out after a day of rest, on the last day on the countdown, and encounters Chiaki - who died in the last trial. Then the other dead students start appearing, although they're never displayed in-world. The survivors witness the last message left by Nagito, who gives them the password to the ruins on the second island - 11037. Then they actually get to the ruins, and everything glitches out of whack.
- Wham Line:
- During the Chapter 5 trial, Chiaki starts acting strangely, ending with this, indirectly identifying herself as The Mole.
Chiaki: "But ... thereís nothing they could have done ... since even if they had wanted to confess ... they couldnít have ... Because they weren't made that way. So ... I want you guys to try and guess. (...) The Future Foundation spy, the traitor hidden amongst us... who do you think it is?"
Makoto: The real bad guys... are you guysnote .
- And later in the same chapter:
: Izuru Kamukura is very much alive. Isn't that right...Hajime
- What Could Have Been: An odd, In-Universe example found in the Dojo. If you examine the targets, Hajime notes that they could have had a minigame here if the production team had more time. He then wonders why on Earth he was thinking that.
- What If?: Two examples:
- Completing the game once unlocks Dangan Island, an alternate scenario where Monokuma fails to take over and the class trip goes as planned, focusing on socializing and getting to know your classmates better.
- Dangan Ronpa IF, meanwhile, asks "What If? Makoto regained his memories before the murders started in Dangan Ronpa?"
- World of Buxom: The female cast members (except for Mahiru and Hiyoko) are drawn this way in the Super High-school Level Good Luck and Hope and Despair spinoff manga.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Despite the students being trapped in a massive computer simulation, the program works too well, meaning that anybody who dies inside it effectively becomes braindead in the real world. Possibly.