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These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Monomi is more of an in-universe Scrappy, being seen as nothing more than annoyance even at the best of times. Then she finally starts to Get Dangerous in Chapter 5, starting to talk back to Monokuma in such a way to even shut him up, continuing on with trying to cover for Chiaki when she's being outed as The Mole and even fighting back against Monokuma when he tries to execute her, only failing after finding out that he vastly outnumbers her. When he finally decides to execute her, too, she finally accepts her fate and gives one final pep talk to the survivors before going off with Chiaki to face her execution as everyone seems to have softened up to her a bit.
How much of what Nagito says and does is real, and how much is a lie? It doesn't help that in his final Free Time event, he openly suggests that he could've been lying after revealing his past — but is he being honest about lying, or trying to backtrack after realizing he might've revealed too much? Supplementary materials support the latter interpretation more, but it's still debated rather frequently.
Assuming the latter interpretation is true for the above, to what extent (if any) is Nagito's behavior influenced by his dementia?
There is also the common debate on whether Nagito was justified in trying in trying to kill everyone after finding out the truth. It mostly comes down to how responsible the students were for their actions as SHSL Despair.
A running theme about the pasts of the new cast is how badly being bullied has messed them up or those around them.
Hiyoko, the resident bully is A) a victim of bullying herself by her family which caused her father to go mad and B) ends up going through a major case of Break the Haughty due to Losing her Morality Pet, being framed for the death of said dear friend, and then ends up being killed by her favorite victim before she has a chance to atone in any way (for seeing said victim commit murder, not as revenge for Hiyoko's actions).
The "video game" motive is about how Fuyuhiko's sister was killed because of how she bullied her peers.
All these victims of bullying fell into despair and subsequently destroyed the world.
Nagito seems to be the prime example. People either love him or hate him, with very little in-between.
Teruteru. His pervert personality is either a humorous addition to him as a character or it causes him to stray into Dude, Not Funny! territory at times.
Broken Base: The LP translation for this game on the Something Awful forums includes several attempts at Cultural Translation, which have been met with mixed reactions; for example, there are accusations that the translation is overly liberal to the point of harming characterisation.
Counterpart Comparison: The most popular One True Threesome is between a guy likes wearing purple, fancy's himself an aspiring villain who fights with magic, has streaks in his hair (most prominently on his forelock), and wears a scarf, a sweet-tempered princess who has a surprising love for what most consider horrifying, and a guy who wears yellow, switches between moods at the drop of a hat, has a lot of shark-like teeth, and is great at fixing things for those around him. Now who does one think of first: Gundham, Sonia, and Kazuichi, or Eridan, Feferi, and Sollux?
Downplayed in the case of Gundham Tanaka. Fans tend to gloss over the fact that he murdered Nidai largely in cold blood. Of course, there was also the fact that everyone would have starved to death otherwise, and both he and Nidai mutually decided to attempt to kill the other, to their faces (with Tanaka being the winner) so the Sympathetic Murderer angle is definitely present in canon. Still, he isn't as saintly as people portray him; he is aware that what he did is still murder, and he accepts his punishment. Those who focus on the implications he did do it with the intention of saving everyone else seem to overlook how he was clearly okay with either outcome and by setting things up the way he did and not confessing at the start strongly implies he was whole heartedly playing to win and chose to "lose" graciously when he saw that wouldn't be possible since Kuzuryu kept him from making his planned "perfect" alibi.
Also downplayed in Mikan Tsumiki's case. There are several fans who gloss over Mikan's horrific actions done during her despair fever since she was clearly in a brainwashed state due to it at the time, as her murdering Mioda and Saionji was caused by the return of her memories of being a part of SHSL Despair, especially since most of the time she just seems too timid to do such things. While the game makes it clear that the despair fever didn't change her personality at all and only put her back into her SHSL Despair mindset (making her brainwashed by Junko at the very least or brainwashed by the memory return itself in a worst case scenario) her Free Time events show that she wasn't as harmless as she seemed even in her most docile state of mind, being willing to injure Hinata just so he can stay with her and revealing that she became a nurse partly so that she would finally be in a position of power over people weaker than her after being bullied for years.
Nagito manages to be this andRon the Death Eater (see Base Breaker). Some of his most ardent fans downplay the danger his Blue and Orange Morality poses to the other students, while his worst haters ignore his good intentions, self-sacrificing nature and legitimate mental illness and describe him as a straight-up villain. Fortunately, both sides are a minority in their respective camps, even if they can be rather loud. Part of the problem comes in translation bias, as many translations made some of his dialogue much harsher than it was actually supposed to be.
Bizzarely enough, Izuru Kamurura gets this from people, who see him as yet another one of Enoshima's victims. This is despite much of the information about him coming from unreliable sources, with what we do know painting him as a nihilistic mass murderer who worked with Junko out of apathy for others.
The SHSL Despair as a whole, minus Junko herself. While a great deal of the information on them is of somewhat questionable veracity (as it's information that Junko tells them herself, through Monokuma or the fake Makoto for the purpose of getting them to select Graduate and enable her to escape to the outside world), the indication that they've done many terrible things in the past is more accurate, and some fans tend to gloss over it. It doesn't help that Junko manipulated all of them, and that some characters seem far too nice and/or optimistic to be part of SHSL Despair.
Like the original, every character is this to some circle and a Base Breaker to others, but Fuyuhiko's sister (who is only ever mentioned, only actually being seen dead in a picture during chapter 2) has people who roleplay her as well as a decent amount of fanart. There is also the somewhat-popular fanon of her given name being Fuyuki (to match her brother Fuyuhiko).
Of the main cast, Gundham and Ibuki are the most prominent darkhorses in the Japanese fandom, judging from how the amount of merchandise they get is on par with main characters of Hajime, Chiaki, and Nagito.
On the American side, many absolutely love Chiaki to death, with Ibuki not falling so far behind. Sonia also has a decent following. And if trophy data is any indication, Gundham's the most liked out of the guys.
Even Better Sequel: By virtue of making many upgrades to content and presentation without losing any of what made the first one so popular (namely the large cast of interesting characters who each have some Hidden Depths and creative murders/executions) many fans view the game as one of these, which is what made them so anxious for the English localization in the run-up to its release as well as a potential anime adaption (based on the animated Dangan Ronpa's Sequel Hook of Usami at the end of the series). Even the staff seems to believe this trope applies.
Fanfic Fuel: Tons, both in regards to the students past as SHSL Despair as well as the implication that the comatose students will eventually wake up.
Hinata/Komaeda or Komahina and Hinata/Nanami or Hinanami are Hinata's most popular ships.
Kuzuryuu/Pekoyama or Kuzupeko is fairly consistently well-liked by the fandom, possibly for the canonical (going by Peko's Dangan Island ending) Bodyguard Crush status.
Sonia/Tanaka or Sondam has quite a fan following too. This can turn into a OT 3 with Souda.
Also Ibuki/Twogami aka Heir Guitar or K-Ton based on some little bits of Ship Tease in Canon they had before he was murdered and during the massive glitch in chapter 5.
In the Japanese fandom, Junko Enoshima/Kamukura Izuru, given their history as both being SHSL Despair members and that they're the main antagonists of this game. However this ship causes more division than the others since fans debate on what exactly was their relationship was as Izuru clearly states he wants to take revenge on Junko, how devoted Kamukura was to Enoshima based on the implications he became her right hand man after she killed Mukuro despite the above point, and if Junko viewed him any differently than how she saw the rest of her SHSL Despairs since her relationship with Mikan is typically seen as Junko manipulating her making forming any romantic attachments to anyone after Matsuda's death highly unlikely.
Though she might not be serious, Enoshima's AI tends to display a rather excited and flustered attitude whenever Makoto resists her attempts at despair.
Towards the end of chapter 4, Nagito begins to antagonize the remaining students. It is also during this time that Komaeda tells Hinata that, even after he discovered after clearing the Final Dead Room, Nagito stills holds a soft spot for Hajime. However, it doesn't stop his plans of killing the remaining SHSL Despair members, which includes Hajime as well. It gets worst from the start of chapter 5, all the way up until Nagito's death.
Akane Owari makes it very clear that she doesn't like Nagito, and on two occasions, she gets very close to him by tackling him to restraint him. Nagito even taunts her for her efforts.
It's unknown (again) if she was serious or not, but the very first thing AI Junko does when she reveals herself in trial Six, was offer a Marshmallow Hell to Hajime (indirectly could be extended out to Kamukura as well, given that she knows who he is very well and personally), Kazuichi, Fuyuhiko, Akane, and Sonia.
Chapter 0 showed that Komaeda absolutes hates Junko Enoshima, wishing the chance to kill given be. However, there is also the fact that Nagito joined the SHSL Despair group, a group that goes completely against his ideals of hope. He also replaced his left hand with one of Junko's, though it is not functioning.
Nagito's strange behavior can be seen as this when it's later revealed that he most likely is actually suffering from dementia.
Similarly, try laughing at Mikan's clumsy girl status after her Free Time Events state she does it intentionally out of a desperation for attention.
Many of Akane Owari's habits and casual references to some parts of her life can be this after you learn about her past. See Iron Woobie below.
Gundam's final free time event, where he tells Hajime that he's not allowed to die without his permission becomes a lot more painful at the end of Chapter 4, with Gundam's implied Heroic Sacrifice.
Hell Is That Noise: The loud, creaking sound of the ship carrying the members of SHSL Despair rocking from side to side in Chapter 0. It persists throughout most of the scene, meaning that it can also tread into Most Annoying Sound territory.
Nagito towards Hajime. Nagito's feelings towards Hajime are clearly confirmed in the Drama CD, but in the actual game we have several instances:
In Chapter 2, when Hajime goes to bring Nagito breakfast while the latter's been tied up at the site of Byakuya's murder, he reacts by asking if Hajime will feed him, noting that he can't use his hands and asking a girl would be embarrassing, so he's glad that Hajime's there instead. He later reacts with audible disappointment when Hajime storms off before feeding him.
In Chapter 3: To provide a motive for murder, Monokuma spreads a weird "despair disease", and it has a different nasty effect depending on who catches it (Akane ends up crying uncontrollably, Ibuki is extremely gullible, etc.). Nagito also catches it, and it makes him spout nothing but crazy lies. When Hajime visits everyone in the hospital, Nagito tells Hajime to go away because he doesn't want to see Hajime's face. Now keep in mind Nagito says this while telling nothing but lies. Speaking to him again after this even causes him to smile.
In Dangan Island, one of the suggestions Hajime can make to Nagito at the beach is stripping (to go swimming). Nagito remarks he'd rather not go swimming, but he wouldn't mind if Hajime just wanted to see him naked. In fact, several of his Dangan Island events are like this, ranging from getting flustered while sitting next to Hinata to admitting that even silence is enjoyable when he's with Hajime. After a trip, if he has a particularly good time, he refers to the hotel as their "love nest."
Kazuichi's insistence on Hajime being his "Soul Friend/Soul Mate," especially considering that Hajime might be one of the few people in the game that can stand him, and that in chapter two he gives Hajime a very revealing swimsuit (to match with his, even!) for his plan to crash the girls' beach party, can easily make their interactions come across as this. Hell, in chapter four, Kazuichi even briefly has a breakup of sorts with Hajime over him leading them into Monokuma's trap, thus suspecting Hajime of being the traitor. Then he turns to Nagito for a little while, whose sheer amounts of Ho Yay have been detailed on this page.
Hajime and Fuyuhiko get this as well, starting when Hajime outright mentions that Fuyuhiko has a baby face in the character introductions. Hell, in Fuyuhiko's final Free Time Event, he and Hajime even become blood brothers! Fuyuhiko gets mad if you ask if he's proposing, but it still feels a lot like an actual proposal. His remark about giving Hajime half of his life and later declaring that Hajime's life is already his in Dangan Island brings Ed's proposal to Winry to mind.
Gundham's Dangan Island ending has him state that he wants to live a quiet life with his hamsters, their families... and Hajime. He refers to him as his "soul's chosen companion" and declares that until he dies, Hajime must "stay by [his] side as [his] slave/manservant/sacrifice/housekeeper/friend".
Kazuichi and Fuyuhiko have a few moments of this, most notably during Chapter Four when Kazuichi latches onto Fuyuhiko because he was beginning to panic. In the Japanese version after Kazuichi is done retelling this to Nagito, Nagito makes it worst by Comically Missing the Point by questioning Kazuichi for latching onto Fuyuhiko's "crotch".
While possibly leaning more towards No YayTeruteru makes his interest in Hajime in particular very clear to the point that his Dangan Island ending has him imply that he wants Hajime to visit his hometown and mother as a means of furthering courtship as Teruteru's "wife".
Nagito. His entire life has been one long Trauma Conga Line, but he keeps going due to his belief in hope—though whether it's genuine or just something he tells himself is another matter entirely. The "iron" part may be subverted in that he reveals at the end of his Dangan Island events that he actually wants to die to escape his cycle of good and bad luck. Given the amount of trouble he causes, and his behavior after learning his classmates are responsible for the Crapsack World state of current affairs, he could also qualify as a Jerkass Woobie.
Akane has dealt with perverts, poverty, and being surrounded by death for much of her life. Her funny Big Eater traits? She was regularly starving as a kid. Her Innocent/Shameless Fanservice Girl moments? Sexual harassment was the norm for her. Her Accidental Misnaming? People around her died or left her life so often that she doesn't have any reason to memorize names. Basically, she's Conditioned to Accept Horror. And her developing a powerful mentor/student relationship and rivalry with Nekomaru throughout the game? He winds up dying twice to save her (along with everyone else from certain starvation in chapter 4's case).
Sonia Nevermind. She's always been taught that her people must come before her own needs, has been kidnapped twice, and over the course of the game has to deal with Kazuichi's antics and later her friend/crush Gundam's betrayal and subsequent execution in Chapter 4. She tries her best to hold in her emotions and not to cry over stressful situations tries to keep the fact she will never truly have the freedom of being a normal girl from bothering her too much. Since her classmates are said to be the first friends she's ever had, she truly believes in The Power of Friendship, despite Hiyoko's blind hatred of her and trying to avoid and ignore Kazuichi's unwanted affections, and hates watching her friends turn on each other. During her free time events, it isn't until her final free time event comes around that she finally allows herself to cry. Regardless of all this happening, Sonia still believes in her friends(as shown clearly in trial five) that she holds strong faith that she'll make it out of this no matter what.
Peko is Fuyuhiko's Bodyguard Babe, who only considers herself a tool for his advancement. Keep in mind that this is only revealed during this character's final appearance before dying, as both Fuyuhiko and Peko had gone through a great deal of effort to hide their relationship. Most official group art outright give away their status as a pair, despite the fact that it's supposed to be something you are not supposed to know if you haven't played the game.
Also, Nagito having...very questionable morals and an obsession with hope. This is revealed fairly early on, but is a major twist that has very significant ramifications on the plot and heavily changes both the player and Hajime's view on him as a person.
The fact that "Byakuya Togami" is really an imposter is also well known. This is different, as the actual revelation isn't very important to the plot, but is actually revealed very late into the story.
Hajime being Izuru Kamukura is something very well known among the fanbase.
Some of Kazuichi's Jerk Ass tendencies come from his attempts to make friends by mimicking the boys who often bullied him growing up, mistaking these behaviors as being "strong" or "normal", and considering how casually he talked about his father beating him up for skipping a middle school field trip since, among other reasons, he knew his family might be too poor to afford it in his free times his home life doesn't sound much better. The fact his final one has him confess a good portion of his positive attitude is a deliberate act to hide how utterly terrified he still is thanks in part to his many trust issues and the situation at hand doesn't help.
Hiyoko's free times (assuming she's telling the truth) also confirm she had a pretty terrible home life, including but not limited to having her beloved father go mad trying to protect her from her rivals (which lead to her grandmother cutting her off from both her parents) and seeing/experiencing sabotage attempts which could have easily turned deadly.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Hajime, our protagonist, has been paired with ALL the characters in the game and even a few from the first Dangan Ronpa. It leads to the fan joke that, thanks to his underwear collection, Hajime's true talent is being a pimp.
Hiyoko and Mahiru. It can be interpreted as simple friendship on Mahiru's part, but Saionji's clinginess and excitement at giving her friend "soapies" are more suggestive. On a more serious note Mahiru is the only other student Hiyoko treats with a measure of friendliness. Examining the dead students' final thoughts even reveals that Hiyoko seemed to think of "big sis Mahiru" just before her death.
In Chapter 3, Mikan, who murdered Hiyoko and Ibuki, claims she did it for the sake of a person she loved. Towards the end of the game, it's implied that this person was Junko Enoshima.
Also, in Chapter 2, its stated that Mahiru had a very close friendship with a girl named Satou during the students normal time at the academy, so much so that Satou murdered Fuyuhiko's sister because she was bullying Koizumi. The following line, around the time Mahiru confronted Satou about the evidence and what she'd done, most likely was a case of Satou being evasive, but you have to wonder, given the circumstances.
Satou: So why did you call me over here? Don't tell me- you're going to confess your love to me?
Nagito is definitely the worst in this regard, as the events of the story have made many people label him as an evil sociopath whose whole character is based around HOPE and wanting Hajime's dick. This despite the fact that literally everything, from statements in the main story to the bonus Dangan Island mode make it very clear this is not true.
Fuyuhiko cried only a handful of times over Peko's death, and yet much of the fandom in the west seem to think he's literally incapable of doing anything without her.
Mahiru's introduction had her telling Hajime to act more like a man, and after Monokuma takes over, she arranges a girls-only get-together. The fandom promptly labelled her a misandrist and treat her supposedly hating men as one of her key character traits. While she is very much stuck on gender roles and is much harsher towards the male characters than the girls (with her excuse being that she grew up with a lazy bum for a father) the fact remains that many fans blow her sexism out of proportion and ignore her positive traits in the process. She softens up a little with Hajime if you do her Free Time events, too.
One-Scene Wonder: Izuru Kamukura only appears in one scene, not counting Hinata's hallucinations in the final trial, and yet is very popular in the fandom.
Chiaki/Hajime/Nagito is also rather popular, primarily among the Japanese fandom.
Player Punch: As if the circumstances behind the end of the Chapter 5 trial weren't bad enough, the game forces you to manually choose Chiaki as the culprit. Sonia begging Hajime to stop doesn't help matters.
Teruteru was assigned this from the start thanks to taking Anything That Moves to the extreme to the point where it got grating. Granted, his execution and the circumstances surrounding it earned him some sympathy, but much of it vanished after his Free Time Events, which reveal very little about him and end in him drugging Hajime.
Kazuichi also tends to get lumped into this as, while well liked at first for his design and friendship with Hajime, his increasingly creepy behaviour towards Sonia and jealousy of Gundham's relationship with her got him this reputation. Him distancing himself from Hajime in Chapter 4 over a suggestion that Nagito made, despite Kazuichi obviously distrusting Nagito did not get him love, nor did surviving to the final trial over several more likeable students (by virtue of Plot Armor since his talent is the only one besides Hajime/Izuru's that can help revive the comatose students) and getting very little in the way of positiveCharacter Development.
Hiyoko, a Fake Cutieself-centeredbully with very little in terms of character development even after her Morality Pet Mahiru died and did nothing to really contribute to any cases before her own death. Not helped by the fact her two main targets both had long and painful histories with being bullied in school, and she is never called out by anyone for her abuse. Eventually, one of her targets ends up killing her, but it's only because Hiyoko spotted her killing someone else and not out of revenge for being a constant victim of Hiyoko's abuse. It's somewhat telling that in discussions of Chapter 2, more people tend to sympathize with Fuyuhiko (who's largely responsible for the murder), and Peko (the killer) than they do with Hiyoko. The fact that she was originally going to be one of the survivors as the Byakuya parallel before being swapped with the much more likeable Fuyuhiko doesn't help her case either, since we can't tell what her original arc would have been like due to Fuyuhiko's development having a much stronger early in-game basis, while what we do see from her ends up being far too little much too late for most players and seems more like an Informed Attribute than a genuine change in her character.
Scrappy Mechanic: Improved Hangman's Gambit might as well drop the 'improved' part for many people, mostly because not having the right letters appear fast enough will actively harm you as the screen floods with pieces crashing into one another.
A comparatively minor example occurs with Ibuki. She has a stitch running down most of her left thigh, which fan art tends to omit.
Strangely inverted by Chiaki, who is occasionally drawn as rather chubby, when she's anything but in the actual game.
Shocking Swerve: A common complaint about the final trial is that the stuff with Izuru and the Reserve students comes straight out of nowhere. In actuality, the twist is set up...in Dangan Ronpa Zero, meaning that this only applies if you never read the book. It doesn't help that Zero hasn't been localized yet.
Squick: During the final trial, it is indicated that a member of SHSL Despair (commonly assumed to be Mikan) transplanted Junko's womb into herself to have her children. Eugh. If anything, however, the localization makes this much worse, as the way it was translated implies that some members had sex with her corpse., which, if you remember the end of the first game, was not in a very good state. Commence Brain Bleach.
Stoic Woobie: Peko Pekoyama. She was abandoned as a baby only to be taken into the Fuyuhiko family... to be raised as a hitman/bodyguard for their son. She was told she only a tool, to the point even her name reflects it, and it stuck with her regardless of how many times Fuyuhiko pleads with her to drop that kind of mindset. She thinks of herself as being without purpose without her master because that is what a tool is. She even killed Koizumi to avenge the dishonor Koizumi helped bring upon the Kuzuryu name by trying to protect the murderer of Fuyuhiko's little sister so he wouldn't have to and try to save him by giving him a chance to escape the island without needing to dirty his hands.
That One Boss: The "horse" Monobeast in the Magical Girl Miracle Usami minigame. It needs to be stunned or baited to be hit, or it will trample its hooves and auto-hit Monomi, but if the player hits the sharpened "mane" blade on the jump (which is frequently with the mode's shoddy hit detection) then Monomi will instead take damage and fall right into its attack zone, so baiting is the most frequent method. But it also sometimes fires off boomerang blades that seem programmed to hit Monomi mid-attack and knock her out of the line if it doesn't charge after her into the damage field. It is far and away the most difficult boss in the minigame, handily eclipsing both the later Monobeasts and Monokuma himself.
Vanilla Protagonist: Subverted, Hajime is commonly praised as being a much more complex character than Makoto from the first game was. Pretty ironic, given that Hajime's lack of special traits is what inadvertently led to the plot of the whole franchise.
Usami/Monomi, who has to cope with the students' distrust, Monokuma's abuse, and being forced to watch helplessly as he plays out his wicked games.
Mikan Tsumiki: While first presented as a deliberately-over-the-top example we later learn during her Free Times that she was picked on, bullied, and abused by her peers all the time in her childhood and she put up with all of it without complaint because it meant they were paying attention to her which was still better than being ignored in her mind. Then she's the murderer of chapter 3 and while it's first presented as her going crazy from Monokuma's "despair disease", which she only caught because she was trying to help those already afflicted, as it turns out her strain just made her recover her lost memories of being part of SHSL Despair forcing her back into that persona. The same SHSL Despair whose dearly departed "beloved" was Junko Enoshima who, as we know from experience, was only manipulating her for her own twisted amusement.