YMMV: Dangan Ronpa

Warning! All spoilers below are unmarked.
It's virtually impossible to list tropes for the game without spoiling everything or creating Self Fulfilling Spoilers because of the large amount of surprising reveals and murderer/victim exclusive tropes this game contains.

  • Alternate Character Interpretation
    • Kyoko and Makoto as a Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy duo. Neither one looks at all androgynous or behaves in explicitly cross-gender ways, but Kyoko is more proactive and emotionally distant, while Makoto is more passive and provides emotional support to others. Thus the joke that Makoto is the heroine.
    • Chihiro's gender is the subject of some debate. For a while, people wondered if he was a male Wholesome Crossdresser, a male-to-female transsexual, or something else entirely. Chihiro's School Mode ending in the Updated Re-release has him outright tell Makoto that he is male, so this long, base-breaking argument was finally addressed, but this hasn't prevented some fans from still arguing that Chihiro is trans anyway because "the authors are just bigots and we know the character better than they do!" This is actually kind of an offensive mindset itself, as the entire point of Chihiro's character is that others would not accept him as male because he was not stereotypically masculine; fans who insist that he must be transgender are doing exactly the same thing.
    • It may never be clear how much of Mukuro-as-Junko was just an act. Especially since all we really know about her personality comes from an Unreliable Expositor. IF somewhat clarifies this, stating that most of Mukuro's personality was scripted, but she went out of character when talking to Makoto. Still counts, given that even then it's vague with what she said on how true it was literally, especially since Junko has a Mysterious Past.
    • Similarly, how much of Sayaka's act about liking Makoto to set him up was motivated by her desire to go out and retake her career at any costs, and how much via having conflicted feelings about him? Makoto initially thinks that it may have been just to spite her killer rather than any sympathy on her part, but Kyoko says that she believes Sayaka may have cared for him deep down, even despite her own actions, and that's why she left her Dying Clue, in an attempt to both apologize for what she did and save him from being executed. The manga more or less confirms it to be the latter.
    • There's lots about Celeste, since she's a Consummate Liar - her behavior in the Chapter 3 school trial certainly comes to mind, as does her dream of living in a castle full of vampire-dressed man-servants and her motive to kill. The manga gives one that many Fanon seem to accept judging from how many fanart of that version of Celeste is. It characterizes Taeko Yasuhiro as someone so plain, unremarkable and suffers greatly because of it that once she discovered her talent as a gambler, she decided to embrace her stage persona Celestia Ludenberg as her own self, absolutely never wanting to go back into her old lifestyle due to how she suffered. A reason why she committed all the crimes was because if she fails, she'd stop being Celeste and would be forced to live her life as unremarkable Taeko again. Worth noting that in the manga, Celeste wasn't drawn as deranged when she starts freaking out.
    • The manga also presents one for Leon: His retrieval of his screwdriver to open the door is used as proof by Celeste in the game that he wasn't acting in self-defense, and the questioning stops there, implying that Leon opened the door just to murder Sayaka, and according to Makoto's deduction, Sayaka dropped the knife after Leon's self-defense strike, in which he picked up to murder Sayaka. But in the manga, Sayaka's death was an accident—despite her broken wrist, she still could hold the knife and Leon broke in to try to calm her down, and she was stabbed in the ensuing struggle. He's guilty of questionable decision-making and concealing evidence in a panic, but the murder he committed was accidental, and after his execution only Monokuma knows the truth (and there was no way for Makoto to learn about this little detail).
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Many feel this way about Celestia, the culprit of Chapter 3's murder, due to her behavior in the trial, which comes off as odd given that the culprit is apparently a good liar.
    • The final argument, where it's incredibly obvious what you have to do. Doesn't stop it from being awesome, though.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Makoto, the protagonist himself. Some give him flak for being a Generic Guy out of a cast of more complex and in-depth characters. Others think that he received a decent amount of Character Development over the course of the game and is the most likable of the cast.
    • Sayaka Maizono is pretty divisive too. Some like her and believe that even when she's not justified in attempting to murder Leon and framing Makoto, she did it upon being broken and pressured by Monokuma hitting her weakest spots. Others believe that she's just a self-serving murderer for the actions depicted above. Made worse that unlike Celeste and Leon, the manga section for her seemed to play her plot straightforward instead of giving her a slightly better Alternative Character Interpretation, aside from confirming Kyoko's supposition that she left her Dying Clue out of remorse instead of revenge.
  • Better Than Canon: Lots of fans really took a shine to the IF version of events, and the more-complex interpretation of various characters and events in the manga is equally praised.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment
    • The "Monokuma Theater" segments at the end of each ordinary day. It's Monokuma giving speeches about topics that are seemingly irrelevant. Occasionally subverted when a Monokuma Theater segment foreshadows events to come.
    • Yasuhiro's impassioned speech about how fortunetelling is different from the occult, which derails itself into a rant about cattle mutilation and how having his hamburger abducted by aliens made him realize it wasn't 100% beef. Makoto isn't sure what to make of it, either.
  • Broken Base:
    • There are a fair amount of people who were disappointed when it was revealed that Junko Enoshima was the mastermind. This might be partly because the JUNKOS meme became a Discredited Meme on Something Awful around the time that the Let's Play reached the last trial, and people had been arguing for and against its increasing credibility.
    • The anime of the game is slowly causing this. Some fans find the adaptation disappointing since it has scenes that look like they came directly out of the game (such as executions and trial scenes) and there is nothing new, not to mention they cut down on many character-establishing scenes, while others enjoy it and are happy that it is so faithful and occasionally add up extra scenes that enhances the existing scenes (such as Leon's breakdown and desperate attempt to escape, or Kiyotaka's utter breakdown at Mondo being guilty and not defending himself).
    • Dangan Ronpa IF, too. Some people praise it for dwelling more on the relationship between Junko and Mukuro as well as making the latter an Ascended Extra. Others accuse it of making Mukuro a Mary Sue/Creator's Pet.
    • The pink blood, especially in the anime. People who aren't familiar with the game thinks that it ruins the suspense and it's not as scary as real blood, while fans of the game accept it and see it as stylistic choice for censorship.
    • The various differences in each translation, between the Let's Play, the fan translation, and the official localization. It's nigh-impossible to find people agreeing on which is better.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The Dying Clue "11037" in the English localization, which is "LEON" upside down and backwards. It was a bit more obscured in the original, since the intended audience didn't have English as a first language. For icing, while Leon Kuwata is usually called by his last name in the original, in the localization everyone's on a first-name basis, so it's that much easier to make the connection. In-game, it's this for Kyoko, who figures it out before everyone else and eventually has to outright tell them to turn it 180 degrees when they're stumped.
    • This is also the case for Celeste being the Chapter 3 culprit. With a bit of thinking it is easy to pinpoint the whole crime on Celeste the very moment the investigation properly begins, and by the end of the investigation it's quite obvious that Yasuhiro is being framed and Celeste acts very suspiciously, as she leaves some large holes in her testimony. Then during the trial, she's the main person pushing for her frame job, much more blatantly than Leon or Mondo, so she becomes even more suspicious as Yasuhiro is gradually proven innocent. How intentional this is is up for debate.
    • The reveal that everyone had already gone to the academy is so heavily hinted at in the latter portion of the game that the only thing preventing it from being a non-event is the internal logic behind how happened, which the game doesn't actually give you.
  • Crazy Awesome/Love to Hate: The real Junko Enoshima.
  • Crossover Ship: Celeste and Dora the Explorer is quite popular on tumblr. So is, as a joke, pairing her with Kinzo Ushiromiya, thanks to both of them dying bursting into flame.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Fans tend to forget that regardless of the situation pushed by Monokuma, Celeste still committed two premeditated murders (unlike Leon, who killed Sayaka in response to her own attempt to kill him, and Mondo, who killed Chihiro in a fit of rage), making her one of the most depraved characters in the game; but she carries herself in such an elegant, amusing manner that even her Freak Out is often considered a plus point instead of showing how sociopathic she is. Even aside from her actions in Chapter 3, fans also generally overlook the fact that she callously victim-blamed Chihiro for being murdered simply because he broke the unofficial nighttime rule that the group had previously agreed to — a rule that she was also breaking at the time.
    • There's also Genocider Syo, who's unabashed in her status as a Serial Killer. Her reason for not killing anyone in the game is solely for Pragmatic Villainy instead of Even Evil Has Standards, making her someone you would not want to meet in an alley alone, especially if you're a hot guy. Of course, when you're under the grip of Monokuma, it's easy to get fans tone down your depravity.
    • Similarly, more than one Leon fan completely excuses his murder of Sayaka. Truth is, while he's not evil, in the original VN and the anime he could have just left her inside the bathroom that had its door jammed in, and then gone to denounce her, but he chose to kill her instead. The manga interpretation kinda helps this camp though, see Alternate Character Interpretation above. Absolute Despair Girls saved him further when he showed his genuine tender side on Kanon in spite of constantly rejecting him.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: While most characters have its share of fanbase and haters alike... Mondo's brother Daiya seems to enjoy quite a popularity, even if his contribution is just Death by Origin Story, only seen in flashbacks.
  • Fan Preferred Pairing:
    • Look up "Ishimondo" on tumblr and prepare to be assaulted by a novel's worth of Fanon. Hell, just looking into Kiyotaka or Mondo's tags will leave you swamped with the pairing.
    • Mondo/Kiyotaka/Chihiro or "Chishimondo" also qualifies as an OT3
    • Leon Kuwata/Sayaka Maizono or "Leosaya" has quite a fan following too.
    • Makoto/Kyoko or "Naegiri" and Makoto/Byakuya or "Naegami" are Makoto's most popular ships. This can also turn into an OT 3.
    • For readers of Dangan Ronpa If there is Makoto/Mukuro
    • Here's one for Crack Pairing: Byakuya/Celeste?
    • Episode 7 suddenly launches the Kyoko/Celeste ship. Speaking of.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Junko's taste in fashion is fairly terrible. She looks like she just grabbed the first three articles of clothing she could see and put them on.
    • Ironic, seeing as how she's supposed to be The Ultimate Fasionista.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Between the first two chapters. Mondo is the one who furiously demands to know how Leon could kill Sayaka; he turns out to be the killer in the next case. Also, Mondo mentions both in-story and during free time events that his brother taught him never to hurt a woman, to the extent that he's reluctant even to practice fighting with the much-stronger Sakura. When he does kill, his victim is someone who was assumed to be a biological girl up to the postmortem examination.
    • Dangan Ronpa was released in 2010, but The School Life of Mutual Killing takes place in 2012. The Worst, Most Despair Inducing Incident in the History of Mankind took place roughly one year earlier. The Sendai earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster took place in Japan in 2011.
    • Its a Running Gag that Sakura's imposing appearance constantly frightens people, to the point that Yasuhiro constantly refers to her as 'The Ogre'. Aoi's breakdown at the end of the fourth trial has her screaming that none of others ever actually saw Sakura as human.
    • In Kiyotaka and Mondo's argument in Chapter 2, Kiyotaka says that Mondo resorts to violence so easily because he's a coward. In a moment of weakness over his belief that Chihiro is calling him weak, Mondo snaps and accidentally murders Chihiro.
  • Heartwarming In Hindsight:
    • In If, Monokuma attempts to turn the group against Sayaka by telling them how she planned to murder Leon and frame Makoto for it, but before he can, he's destroyed by Leon, who thought he was trying to take her hostage. Sayaka later plans to confess to Leon about what she was originally planning to do. Leon thinks it's a completely different kind of confession...
    • Sakura had two goals in mind when she committed suicide: she wanted to stop her friends from killing each other and to start the chain of events that would bring about the mastermind's downfall. She succeeds on both accounts.
  • Hell Is That Noise:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Mukuro-as-Junko's snipes at Sayaka, the Decoy Damsel, once you learn about her soft spot for Makoto in IF. In her introduction, Mukuro tells Makoto that Sayaka's face is just as photoshopped as hers. Then in Dangan Academy, if he expresses interest in hearing Sayaka sing, she insists that she lip-syncs.
    • Starting up the game, the title screen generally displays Makoto and Leon first. Gets funny once you play Chapter 1 and Leon turns out to be the first murderer.
  • Ho Yay: Enough to have it's own tab for it.
  • Hype Backlash: The game went memetic long before it was available in English. It's inevitable that people who were never going to like the game would go in with unrealistic expectations and be underwhelmed.
  • I Am Not Shazam: There seems to be some constant confusion as to whether or not Monokuma's name should be translated, rendering it "Monobear". The source of this confusion is unclear, as Monokuma is a name, names are generally not directly translated, and the official English translation intentionally leaves it as "Monokuma" by direct request of the Japanese writers; yet, despite this, numerous fanworks, fan translations, wiki entries, and other materials list him as "Monobear".
  • Internet Backdraft:
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks: "Eww, there are ROLEPLAYERS?" Though mentioning that anyone roleplays anything is something of a Berserk Button for Something Awful.
  • It Was His Sled: In general, for fans, the whole plot is this. Most fans don't even care about hiding spoilers for the original, given that, if you want to get into the franchise, you're more or less expected to know the full plot, least you get hit by Late-Arrival Spoiler.
    • Many people, even those who have not played the games all the way through, have become aware that Junko Enoshima is the mastermind behind Monokuma. Hell, there is even official promotional material that spoils this twist. In fact, don't even bother googling her name since the VERY first image results will always show her together with Monokuma.
    • Toko being Genocider Syo is another example of this.
    • Just try to go five minutes in Chihiro Fujisaki's tags without coming across someone bringing up/debating the Wholesome Crossdresser vs Transsexual debates, thus also bringing up The Reveal of the character and throwing it around like common knowledge. Even without the debates, seeing people refer to Chihiro with male pronouns is sure to give it away.
    • The fact that Kyoko's ultimate talent is Detective is not a secret among the fanbase. Even those who've never touched the game are capable of figuring it out just by looking at how she's depicted in certain fanart or fanfics. Even the opening spread of the manga more or less gives it away. Fortunately, the blow is somewhat softened by how well-telegraphed that particular twist is.
    • Despite it being what's supposed to be a shocking twist, the fact that Sayaka is the first to die and tries to frame Makoto for murder is well known, mostly because its rather difficult to talk about Kyoko's role otherwise.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Toko. She's antagonistic and constantly assumes the worst of other people, but she also has abysmal self-esteem, and her Free Time events reveal that she had no friends and had extremely bad luck in love in the past. The fact that her other self is Genocider Syo doesn't help matters, either; it seems that part of the reason she pushes other people away from herself is to keep them safe from Syo.
    • Celeste becomes this in the manga, in which her Dark and Troubled Past was revealed (because she only kept it to herself). As Celeste recalled, she was once Taeko Yasuhiro, who was extremely plain and the plainness made her ostracized as an unremarkable nobody, her adopting the persona Celeste and taking on every of her aspects, including the darker ones, were her only escape from such plain and suffering life. Her romanticized dream of living in a castle full of manservants makes more sense here that she came too far being the persona of 'Celeste', if she lowered her standards, if she stops being Celeste, she could fall into that plain life that made her suffer. Absolute Despair Girls seems to go along with this. Just how bad was her past be when her 'most beloved person' happens to be not a human being, but a frigging cat!?
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Makoto is shippable with everybody; he is most commonly shipped with Kyoko and Byakuya, however.
    • Kiyotaka counts as well, he's been paired with Mondo, Chihiro, Celeste, Leon, Makoto, Daiya, Kiyondo and more.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Mastermind, if her regular Moral Event Horizon crossing doesn't turn you off of the idea (and she may be a little too unstable to truly count.) She has the cast wrapped around her finger almost from beginning to end. Even all the moments where the cast thinks they've got the leg up on her, she knows what they're doing the whole time, and it's all according to plan (when she wants to follow the plan herself, at least.) The only reason she doesn't get away with everything she's doing is because Makoto is practically hope personified, compared to Junko's status as despair personified. Even her defeat is a victory for her because it was what the whole plan was building towards the entire time.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now has its own page.
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Aoi, considering her status as Ms.Fanservice. She's also the mother of Makoto's, Yasuhiro's, and possibly Byakuya's children in the Bad Ending.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some fans continue to insist that Chihiro Fujisaki is a male-to-female Transsexual in spite of it having been explicitly Jossed.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Though Monokuma was pretty much dancing on the MEH line, some fans loved him for it - until Chapter 4, where he publicly ordered Sakura to kill one of her friends, leading to her suicide, and then stole the suicide note, leaving a fake one for Aoi so she'd try to take the blame. Topping the trial off with the execution of Alter Ego just rubs salt in the wound.
  • Narm
    • Before every trial, Makoto delivers a ridiculously overblown soliloquy:
      Makoto: And then... the curtain rose on... A trial for life, and a judgment of death... Deception in life, and treachery in death... Betrayal for life, and betrayal for death... The riddles of life, and the mystery of death... Justification for life, and rationalization of death... Faith in life, and trust in death... The Class Trial to live... or the Class Trial to die...!!
    • For some, the intense Tear Jerker that took place when Kiyotaka almost crossed the Despair Event Horizon near the end of Chapter 2 was totally ruined by his ridiculous face. One can understand that said character is extremely expressive, but in scenes like that one such things tend to backfire badly. The anime fixed the scene. Oh, it REALLY did.
    • Similarly, the fact that Hifumi and Kiyotaka were killed with what looks like a freaking toy mallet can potentially ruin the dark circumstances in which this takes place.
    • Leon shouting "idiot" without stopping, with his insane facial expression and bloodshot eyes during Episode 3 of the anime. Although most fans can agree that his breakdown afterwards was heartbreaking.
    • Then there's the art in the manga when he's dragged away by the throat begging for his life. The angle on his face is a bit unfortunate.
    • Applies to the obscure manga adaptation of the anime, which, will it does include student details that the anime omitted, renders every scene this by the virtue of terrible artwork.
    • In the English dub, the culprits in the first two chapters shout a lot less than in the original. While one would think this would cut down on potential Narm, this leads to a scene where Mondo Owada flies into a violent rage and bludgeons someone to death while screaming that he's stronger than anyone while his voice clip declares, sounding somewhat irate, "You son of a bitch."
    • Sakura fighting Monokuma, a teddy bear.
  • Never Live It Down
    • While Byakuya desecrating Chihiro's corpse was a truly vile act - though he had his reasons - people act like he tampers with crime scenes on a regular basis, to the point where they treat it like it's his hobby.
    • Kyoko inspecting Chihiro's and Hifumi's corpses without hesitation has convinced people that she has a fetish for them.
      • On a lighter note, she gets drawn with ramen on her head so often that it's almost easy to forget that this only happened to her very briefly for one scene.
    • Kiyotaka has only cried in the end of episode 5 and 6/Chapter 2, and in his free time events. It's not very surprising to see a lot of fanart of him in tears.
    • Makoto also gets a lot of flak for not being as sharp as Kyoko, even though he's just behind her and Byakuya in terms of mystery solving skill. Him not able to figure out Sayaka's Dying Clue in particular gets this, even though he's Japanese and couldn't possibly read English like that, when Kyoko, the one figures it out, is stated to of studied overseas.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The real Junko Enoshima only appears for a brief time, but is utterly unforgettable.
  • Padding:
    • A common complaint aimed at the trials. Part of problem is that there's a lot of evidence that could get the mystery solved much, much faster than it ends up being and about half of the students main role being to say things that just waste time. The infamous conversation at the start of fifth trial where you have to convince Yasuhiro that Kyoko isn't a ghost is a prime example.
    • As it turns out, 90% of the second trial turns out to be this, and it was actually Invoked In-Universe. Byakuya witnessed the crime and knew who the culprit was all along. But he didn't come out and say it because he wanted to see who was smart enough to be a threat to him if he committed a murder of his own. Instead, he tampers with the crime scene, resulting in two Red Herring plot threads.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The entire premise of the game thrives on this, and Monokuma exploits it for all it's worth whenever he can.
  • Player Punch: If you got all of Chihiro's Free Time conversations, you'll tell him that Mondo is the strongest. Now skip to Chapter 2's trial and feel like an asshole.
    • Every murder/execution can easily become this depending on how much you liked the victim.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name
    • "Chishimondo" is often used to describe Chihiro, Kiyotaka, and Mondo together (Japan calls it 大和田サンド/"Owada Sandwich" instead), while just Kiyotaka and Mondo tends to be "Ishimondo".
    • There is also "Naegiri" or "Naeyouko" for Makoto/Kyoko and "Naegami" for Makoto/Byakuya.
    • Sakuhina is also sometimes used for Sakura/Aoi.
    • "Tofugawa", "Togafuka", or "Tofu" for Byakuya/Toko.
  • The Scrappy
    • A lot of people don't like Hifumi. People still felt bad when he died, though.
    • Yasuhiro was in the "too bland" corner, but once he became a Deadpan Snarker and Cloud Cuckoo Lander, people warmed to him considerably.
    • Toko also gets this for painting purple prose about squick in general. She's also useless when it comes to getting information from unless you're Byakuya. She was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap big time for a lot of people in the spin-off Absolute Despair Girls, thanks to massive amounts of Character Development by virtue of being one of the game's protagonists.
    • Togami was most often accused of killing/being killed in the LP due to his jerkish tenancies. In the game, he's a classist asshole who not only isn't nearly as clever as he thinks he is and has absolutely no redeeming qualities to back it up. By the time Aoi punches him in the face and screams that it should have been him who died, the average player is unlikely to disagree. That said, his decision to ally with the remaining students after Chapter 4 did redeem him in some people's eyes. Production materials also imply his worse behavior is largely the remnant of his earlier role as The Rival before it eventually became an investigation partner. The Manga and Anime also tone his behavior down a good deal, making him more likable.
    • Celeste gets quite the flack in the comments to the Something Awful Let's Play. Reasoning ranging from murdering two people with no regrets whatsoever and being an Anti-Climax Boss for someone deduced to be a "Ultimate Gambler" (she was called uncharacteristically OOC, being too "blatant" in "covering her crimes", so not living up to her title) and on top of that, her petty, one-dimensional motivation unlike Mondo (accident) and Leon (self-defense). However, this gets alleviated a bit since she's a Consummate Liar, and even these unsympathetic motives could be just lies she spread, for reasons we probably will never know. The manga at least gives some hints that might put a tiny bit of sympathy on her, though.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The manga segments that end each Class Trial can cross into Guide Dang It territory, since you're expected to summarize the entire murder by filling in blanks using nothing but tiny, textless thumbnails that may esoterically depict the event they're meant to represent. Even if you know exactly how the murder went down, you may screw up and lose credibility points just because a thumbnail was too vague for you to figure out. For example, chapter 4's trial features two thumbnails of Toko either entering or exiting a locker. Which one is which? Who knows—the clues distinguishing the two are very small. She's sweatier in one of the thumbnails. This one goes with the panels of her covered in sweat. It is worth points, so good luck!
  • Self-Fanservice: Fanartists commonly draw Sakura with a face far more feminine than how it actually looks. At least it's generally rare for her muscles to be toned down. Though curiously, official art shows Sakura used to look VERY feminine before her rather dramatic change into "The Ogre"
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Surprisingly averted most of the time. Despite the frequent instances of Broken Base and Fan Dumb and the fandom's penchant for Shipping, major fights over who should end up with who are relatively uncommon. This may be because romance isn't a big focus of the game, or it may be because most characters die anyway.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Kiyotaka and Mukuro is ship that is slowly growing in popularity, primarily among the Japanese fanbase. Neither of them have interacted in canon, or had any established connection with one another. Not to mention, Mukuro is all but stated to have feelings for Makoto. The most likely explanation for why may be due to their specific talents.
  • Technology Marches On: On episode 12 of the anime, the headmaster's DVD was replaced by an SD card. Upgrading the student ID cards to be multipurpose touch-screen devices that incorporate ID, map, and evidence retention could also be seen as this.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character
    • It's easy to feel this way about the victims of the game. In particular, one of the mid-game victims is killed shortly after seemingly taking on a fallen friend's spirit.
    • Leon in particular gets hit hard with this. He's not even the first to die (but the first to be executed), yet the roles of the two characters who died before him get more emphasis. Given that he ended up being the first killer partly due to factors beyond his control, some players think there could have been a lot more to him than there ended up being.
    • Some of the readers believe that Celeste's motive made her too one-dimensional, but others believe that was precisely the point - the motive of the chapter was simple cash and some people in real life do murder simply for that. Her case also serves as a contrast towards the other murderers - some are sympathetic, some aren't, which some people find realistic, as not all real-life murderers can exactly be portrayed sympathetic. Fortunately, the manga gives hints or Alternate Character Interpretation on how her motivation came to be and slightly made her into a Jerkass Woobie instead. Unfortunately, the canonity of the manga isn't clear as of yet.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Kiyotaka. Most of the other students consider him either intimidating or irritating, it's made very clear that Mondo is his Only Friend, and barely anyone reacts when he's killed. Even the writers admit he was supposed to be unlikable in the main story provided one didn't read his Free Time Events. And yet, he's well loved by the fandom and scores highly in polls. Many appreciate his earnest attempts to uphold the group dynamic and keep people working together towards a common goal, while yaoi artists in particular like the copious amount of Ho Yay he has with Mondo.
  • The Untwist: Kyoko's talent being revealed as Detective, which is even lampshaded by Orenronen in the LP. The proceeding twist of her being the headmaster's daughter was also not very surprising either.
    • Mondo's violent introduction in which he punches Makoto, along with all the effort that went into showing how much honor he has was clearly meant to set him up as a Gentle Giant Delinquent with a Heart of Gold who would never go so far as to actually kill someone. Nope: all that aggression takes a deadly turn, and he becomes Chapter 2's blackened.
  • Values Dissonance: Chihiro's reason for crossdressing is because he was constantly belittled for not being strong like most boys in Japan are expected to be. He tried to escape the bullying by crossdressing, because his weaknesses were viewed to be more fitting for a girl, and he was left alone. But he didn't find himself happy because all he wanted was to be acknowledged as a boy, and he believed that the only way that would happen was if he was stronger. Such an idea would go over the heads of, or even be misunderstood by, many Western fans, especially since gender roles in the West are nowhere near as strict or enforced as they are in Japan.
  • Wimpification: Oh dear Kiyotaka, in the West and Japan it's common to find works that have him as submissive, weak, and not being able to hold his own against another.
  • The Woobie
    • Sayaka Maizono grew up without a mother and rarely saw her constantly working father, only being saved from loneliness by the Idol Singers that she looked up to. When she eventually became an Idol Singer herself, the friends in her group became everything to her (that may or may not have something to do with how screwed up the Japanese idol industry is in its own right). When Monokuma presents the first motive to the students, Sayaka is utterly devastated to the point where she would have been the first to kill... had she not been the first to die instead.
    • Chihiro Fujisaki, who lacks confidence and strength, and is clearly being hit by the murders the hardest. Later, after Chihiro's death, the audience finds out that "she" is really a boy who crossdressed as a girl in a misguided and completely desperate attempt to avoid being mocked for not being masculine, which unfortunately ended up crushing his self-esteem further. Poor kid.
    • Aoi Asahina as well. It's hard to see such a fun and lighthearted character undergo the immense pressure of the game. She does not take Sakura's death well, and it very nearly breaks her, though she mostly recovers from it. And if Absolute Despair Girls is to be taken to account... try telling about how her little brother died blowing up.
    • Kiyotaka Ishimaru has been through so much crap it's hard to not feel bad for him. Before going to Hope's Peak, he literally had no friends and never even figured out how to make them at all. But when he finally makes his first and only friend ever, said friend is brutally executed, driving Kiyotaka into depression and a catatonic state. And later he gets killed after falsely being accused of rape. It gets even worse once you go through his Free Time Events. His family is disgraced and in heavy debt because of the spectacular fall of his grandfather, the former prime minister, and all his life he's been saddled with the burden of redeeming their name. He wants to show that an ordinary person like him can change the world, only for him to fail horribly by the time he dies. It also doesn't help that he's The Unfavorite to almost everyone in-universe and nobody seems to care about his death as the 3rd trial was more focused on Hifumi (albeit in large part because Hifumi was both a victim and a culprit).
  • Woolseyism:
    • The Project Zetsubou translation turns the fujoshi pun in Toko's name to one about slashers (not the serial killers, the slash fic kind).
    • Despite what some fans may think, there is a reason why "Genocider Syo" was localized as "Genocide Jack" in the official English Adaptation. When Syo is first mentioned, the player is supposed to believe that they are male, mainly because "Syo" is more commonly used as a male's name in Japan. As a result, the revelation that Toko's split personality is Syo is more surprising. This joke, for lack of a better term, cannot work in English because most western players don't realize that "Syo" is more commonly a boy's name. So in order to preserve it, Syo was localized as Jack which not only works in tricking the player, but is also a nice homage to a real infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper.
    • In the English dub of the game, Celeste speaks with a very obvious fake French accent in a rather monotone manner. This would catch some players off guard, especially those who played in the original language first, but if you think about Celeste's real personality, it fits with her character. It's especially effective when, in Chapter 3, Celeste's has her Freak Out over being accused and completely drops the accent all together, but is still constantly struggling to keep it. Her nickname is also modified into 'Celeste' for this.
    • The English localization has the characters refer to each other using either their first names or nicknames (Hina for Aoi, Taka for Kiyotaka, etc.) It's a strange decision at first, since in Japan people usually refer to each other by their last names unless they're close friends or family, but this change was for good reason as determining one of the clues for Chapter 3's trial is entirely dependent on knowing how a certain character refers to the others. Hifumi Yamada refers to his classmates only using their last name in a formal matter in both languages, and this fact is important in determining that Yasuhiro is Celeste. In English, this clue wouldn't translate very well unless the player was aware of how Japanese culture worked. So the most logical change would be having the other characters refer to each other by their first name or a nickname like they would do in English (for example, Naegi is called "Makoto", while Asahina is called "Hina"), that way Hifumi's mannerisms would stand out more.
    • Some would argue that the Project Zetsubou translation's Woolseyism was handled better, as it not only maintained the "last name" convention of the original, but also kept the clue intact (not to mention that they had to use the Japanese voice clips from the game, meaning that they were more restricted in their workaround). They simply had Hifumi always refer to people by their full names, and the clue was about what order he said the names in.
    • While most of the name changes to the trial minigames are largely pointless, Kokoronpa from School Mode (a pun which only works if one has a working knowledge of Japanese) was changed to Trigger Happy Heart, which works in regards to retaining the original meaning.