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Alternative Character Interpretation / Danganronpa
aka: Danganronpa 2 Goodbye Despair

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    Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc 

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

  • 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 belief that Makoto is the heroine.
  • Chihiro's gender is the subject of some debate. For a while, western fans wondered if he was a male Wholesome Crossdresser, a male-to-female transgender woman, 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 addressed, but this hasn't prevented some fans from having their own "interpretations" anyway.
  • Speaking of Chihiro, while Togami claimed to have messed with his corpse simply For the Evulz, some people have suggested that there was more to it than he let on. Specifically, he'd recently been told by Fukawa that her Split Personality was a notorious Serial Killer who made a habit of targeting men she was attracted to. Creating an inaccurate recreation of her crime scenes, he pushed the investigation to treat Genocider as the prime suspect before outing her extremely quickly. It's very plausible to argue, under these circumstances, that it was all a play to get her into a position where she couldn't get away with murdering him or, though secondary to him, anyone else. Genocider proceeded to not kill anyone for the entire game, explicitly saying that it's because her refusal to break her unique modus operandi would make her a dead giveaway as a culprit.
  • 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.
  • 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. It doesn't hurt/help that she dies before even finding out about the class trials, and thus doesn't know that her graduating would have doomed everyone else, not just her intended victim.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony's Ultimate Talent Development Plan mode also fuels the debate as to Sayaka's true personality, as in most of her events, she comes across as a kind and personable individual who's magnanimous enough to try to reason with Hiyoko, after overhearing the latter try to put tacks in her shoes, as well as Hiyoko's contempt for idol singers. Said scenes can be used as evidence for the interpretation of Sayaka as a decent person who didn't have the internal fortitude to withstand the stress of the killing game, and ended up snapping.
  • 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 there 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 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).

    Super Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair Academy 

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

  • 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 FTD?
    • A fan put together an analysis of his behavior that showed it does not actually fall in line with FTD, but that clears absolutely nothing up. Nagito still might have been lying, or he just might have been misdiagnosed and thought he had FTD.
    • 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 Ultimate Despair. As Danganronpa 3 reveals they were exposed by Junko's Brainwashing Despair Video, people have started feeling less sympathy for this action.
    • There's also those who think his Thanatos Gambit in Chapter 5 was really a Xanatos Gambit to get Ultimate Despair to survive and have hope. This interpretation is hotly debated, to say the least.
  • Izuru Kamukura is a magnet for this, not surprising given how little screentime the guy has. Is he a victim like the others of Junko or an accomplice? How much of Hajime actually remains in him? And what did he mean by him "using" the Junko AI? It doesn't help that much of the information about him is given by rather dubious sources and that even the creators don't seem to have full knowledge of who he was.
  • Why does Hiyoko pick on Mikan so much in particular? Is it because Mikan is an easy target (note that none of the other students ever try to stop her, and while she also picks on Kazuichi, he at least protests about it), or was she jealous of Mikan's mature looks while she's stuck resembling a child? The latter is less likely since Danganronpa 3, as the grown-up Saionji is even more eager to bully Tsumiki and it is even worse than before.
  • Hajime strongly implies that Gundham was sulking because he wanted to go to the Beach Party too...did he just want to be invited to a fun-sounding event, or did he also have ulterior motives for wanting to go?
  • How genuine is Sonia's crush on Gundham? The two barely interact with each other prior to Chapter 4 and though Gundham gets flustered when Sonia compliments him, is that because it's coming from her or because he's just not used to receiving positive attention? He becomes friendly with Hajime during his free time supports so it's possible it's a case of Because You Were Nice to Me. Meanwhile Sonia goes from barely talking with him to outright begging Monokuma to spare his life and acting like a cheerleader during the fourth trial. She seems fascinated by Gundham's "evil overlord" behaviour, which is noted to be an act of his to combat his own loneliness and protect himself, so is she ironically Loving a Shadow like Kazuichi's crush on her?
  • Was Makoto putting the Remnants of Despair in the Neo World program the best possible outcome, done with their consent, or was he violating their free will by forcefully erasing their memories and basically turning them to become the very thing they oppose? Do his good intentions justify erasing memories and locking people in a scenario that shapes them as he sees fit, something eerily reminiscent of what Junko did in the previous game? Danganronpa 3 makes this difficult issue much less difficult, though. Since the Remnants were forcibly brainwashed into falling into despair, some find that Naegi was completely justified in returning them to their former mental state.
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    Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School 

Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School

  • Andou is often characterized by western fans as a drug dealer, especially after her Establishing Character Moment with Izayoi has Izayoi laying his head on her lap as she feeds him candy. There's also the question of whether her relationship with Izayoi was real or not: she has sweets that can drug people into being obsessed with them, and has known Izayoi since childhood. Episode 9 strongly suggests there were real feelings in their relationship, but that doesn't change the question of whether Izayoi was manipulated into an emotionally abusive, unhealthy and codependent relationship. note 
  • Tengan's speech to Hinata in Side:Despair Episode 2, was he genuine about not wanting him to go through with becoming Kamukura or was he trying to push him to do it through reverse psychology? Tengan mentioning in Side:Future Episode 5 that he refuses to let the project go to waste does not help. It's also possible what he meant by not letting the project go to waste is that he wants to save Izuru from his apathetic mindset and prevent him from wasting away in boredom, as atonement for not being able to stop Hajime from going through with the operation.
  • Ryota, after his experimental animation techniques were revealed to be the same ones used in brainwashing, has led to a lot of suspicion about whether he's really as perfect as most people assumed.
  • Mukuro was given a Sympathetic P.O.V. and pulled a Heel–Face Turn in Danganronpa IF, but here she is behind all of Junko's decisions, happily accepts all of Junko's abuse and insults and in fact she's the one who kills Kotomi Ikuta in the mutual killing game when she refuses to go along with Junko's orders.

    New Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony 

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

Due to the theme of truths and lies, a few of these are bound to happen.
  • Almost all of the characters are subjected to this in regards to their personalities before the killing game. Here are some of the most common ones below-
    • With Kaede stating that she has no faith in humanity, many fans ended up viewing her as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Also, was Kaede's comment that "I don't have any faith in humanity" intended as a Take That! to the audience and directors of Danganronpa?
    • A lot of fans believe that Korekiyo really did have an older sister, but a living one who he didn't have an incestuous relationship with... who proceeded to watch the broadcasted killing game.
    • The fake spoilers often gave characters' former personalities as being the exact opposite of what they are during the killing game, e.g. Gonta being a Jerkass who was turned into a Nice Guy (which was what happened to Momota's character), Kokichi being a Nice Guy who was turned into a Jerkass, and Tenko being an unabashed romantic desperately seeking a boyfriend who was turned into a man-hater. Note that, unlike the others, this is the most likely interpretation to just be Fanon, since we see everyone supposedly before they had any memory/personality alterations and none have any massive changes we can see. Miu dressed on the more provocative side and was still as loud and rude as she always is, rather than being a Shrinking Violet that some fans had theorized. Kaede, however, is noticeably more cold and abrasive in the prologue and we can directly compare and contrast how pre-Ultimate and post-Ultimate versions of her think since we play as both in nearly identical sequences. Kokichi's the one who offers to check to see if the Exisals are gone, without sounding worried at all by the idea or being prompted by anyone else. Only Rantaro follows what's going on at all, but no one recognizes him which could also contradict the auditions themselves even though they do seem to know the word "Monokub" already.
  • It is unclear just how much of Kokichi's personality, claims and actions are a lie, despite telling something is a lie being practically his Catchphrase. This is actually acknowledged in-game through Shuichi's monologue at the end of Chapter 5.
    • In general, Kokichi is never directly malicious and is holding out his jester persona even to his own detriment until his breakdown in chapter 4. While it's clear that his actions are for the sake of stirring chaos among the students, his significant actions are also moving the plot forward and addressing many main problems among the cast (Kaede's and Momota's naive trust in everyone, Maki's lack of cooperation, Shuichi's indecisiveness, Himiko's inability to properly grieve).
    • And speaking of his breakdown, is it a genuine evil rant, or a desperate and guilt-ridden lie of someone who thinks has already fallen too far into the evil mastermind facade and whose action have doomed one of the few who regarded him as a friend to his terrible demise?
    • In addition, his intelligence can be subjected into an Alternative Character Interpretation. He wrote an entire script about the way he talks and predicted nearly everything the cast would say during his death trial. On top of this he correctly predicted the exact way Kaito would die (being known in space, and Kaito dies in space), foreshadowed Kaede's death, said no one will miss him if he dies at the start, told Shuichi to be serious in his last FTE because otherwise he could get killed and shows him the correct way to win Danganronpa (by not playing it) and even foreshadows Tenko's death minutes before it happened. Cue in his dislike towards boredom in a similar way to Junko and Izuru (a.k.a. two characters who are Awesomeness by Analysis), several people suspected that he is actually the Ultimate Analyst.
    • It also noteworthy that his situation in Chapter Four is bound to have some of this. Kokichi Oma ended being the mastermind towards Miu's death yet his motive video shows that his gang has a Thou Shall Not Kill policy. Was Kokichi secretly guilt-ridden for what he did to Miu and Gonta? Some people even think Kokichi genuinely wanted to die after the stunt he did in Chapter Four, as Kokichi asked Monokuma to be executed along with Gonta which doesn't make much sense otherwise. In addition to that, what was Kokichi's main motivation for killing both Miu and Gonta? Was it a case of self-defense since Miu was planning on killing him (and by extension everyone else) making her too dangerous to keep alive, and he used Gonta to kill her so he wouldn't be at risk of execution? Had he truly thought it would be best to Mercy Kill everybody and changed his mind during the trial thanks to Gonta losing his memories?note  Was it because he worried Gonta's lack of intelligence would make it easy for the mastermind to manipulate him and put the others at risk? Or did he want to cross the Moral Event Horizon In-Universe to give people more reason to believe he was the mastermind? Was his remorse for Gonta when the latter was about to be executed sincere and he pretended to be lying, or was he actually lying?
    • Kokichi's feelings for others, particularly romantically, can result in some debate given who he is. In game he gives some unprompted comments when he's alone that could indicate a genuine interest in Shuichi, but others can take his dislike of Maki and trying to "break up" Shuichi and Kaito to mean he has an interest in the other boy too, though his interactions with Maki come off like Foe Yay at times too, especially when he adopts Kaito's Affectionate Nickname of "Maki Roll" to annoy her and he willingly allows Kaito to crush him to death in a hydraulic press in order to save Maki from becoming the blackened. Then there's the case in the fifth trial, where one of his messages claims he "loves" Himiko too. Was he being serious then or was he trying to tease Himiko? If it is the former, does he love her romantically or platonically in a Like Brother and Sister mentality? Then we have his behaviour towards Miu, where he constantly insults and Slut Shames her, even though Miu makes it very clear she likes that sort of treatment and there's no way a character like Kokichi wouldn't notice that, so was he just deliberately getting Miu all hot and bothered for the laughs or was there some actual interest in her that he disguised as mockery?
    • A lot of Japanese fans believe that Kokichi Oma was actually a homeless orphan. Evidence for this goes to his DICE organization (in which they committed crimes that a group of street orphans tend to commit) being like a family towards him, him being rather private with his past, and on a closer look, his clothes ended up looking rather very ratty and tattered.
    • What were Kokichi's intentions when he outed Maki? He said it was so that everybody else would realise how dangerous she is and he eggs the other students on when they start to mistrust and fear her. However, in doing that he actually ended up sparking Maki's Character Development because Kaito and Shuichi reach out to her and she gradually opens up to them and becomes an important ally in the game. Was this Kokichi's plan backfiring or was that Kokichi's intention all along? Did he antagonise Maki because of his personal hatred for murderers and hope the other students being paranoid of her would make it harder for her to kill them, or was his antagonism a Batman Gambit to push Kaito into including her in the group, since Kaito would directly oppose mistrusting another student purely based off their talent (especially if Kokichi was the one suggesting it)? When Maki's backstory comes to light, Kokichi comments she's had it rough before backtracking - was he actually lying about being sympathetic or did he legitimately realise Maki didn't become an assassin because she wanted to and disguised his sympathy to keep up his reputation?
  • Kirumi's motivation is unclear as well. Was she truly doing it for sake of her country or is she just a Dirty Coward who uses her motivation video as an excuse to save herself?
  • How much of what the mastermind says at the end of the game is true or not?
    • Possibly in favor of everyone (except maybe Ki-bo) really signing up for the killing game is Rantaro's personal video. In this message to himself he says: "And never forget. You wanted this killing game, so you have to win no matter what." This could either be indicating Rantaro did audition for his previous killing game, as in he "wanted" to be in it as a whole, or be referring to the deal he willingly made to be put into his current one as the "Ultimate Survivor".
    • Another piece of evidence in support of everyone (minus Ki-bo) possibly being Danganronpa fans who voluntarily signed up for the Danganronpa show: when the Makoto from the outside world was talking about the thing he was obsessed with, it's implied that he was also interested in signing up for the killing game.
      Makoto: Thanks for the strength to keep going! I'll keep rooting for you, so please keep trying your best! And—! One day, I'll also—!
    • On the other hand Tsumugi only showed the audition tapes of Shuichi, Kaede, and Kaito. While Kaede and Kaito are the closest deceased friends Shuichi has, making it seem like she was trying to have him cross the Despair Event Horizon, she did not show any other audition tapes. If it were true she should also have those of Himiko and Maki as well or at least the audition tapes for Gonta, Angie, and Tenko (a.k.a. Himiko's closest friends) and Miu (Keebo's closest friend), but either she doesn't or didn't want to show them for whatever reason. Assuming her goal with this was breaking Shuichi, not having anything to do so for the other survivors stands out, even if she was hoping to handle Keebo by revealing he had been an Unwitting Pawn the whole time.
    • Were Kaede, Kaito and Shuichi really in the audition tape, or was Tsumugi using her Master of Disguise skills to impersonate them? Of course, Tsumugi states that she is "allergic" to cosplaying as real people but some people may believe that was a lie.
    • She also called Kokichi a pawn, in which a lot of fans pointed out contradictions towards that statement.
    • She also stated that all of the students ended up willingly applying for the Danganronpa show, and indicated even the names we know the characters as could be part of her "writing". However, the prologue made it seem like they were actually kidnapped and shows how Kaede and Shuichi still clearly had these names to start with. In addition, almost all of the students were confused over what was happening, and none of them seem to know Rantaro (in which if they are super big Danganronpa fans, they would have easily recognized him). The game skips over the supposed lines of the cast being excited to participate in this show, in which given how the game never actually skips over any lines about Kaede's murder attempt, and she only talks about that subtly before The Reveal, it can be slightly suspicious how the game just skips over those lines.
    • A big deal is made about them considering any and all Danganronpa characters to be "fictional" enough to cosplay as even though very early on having a negative physical reaction to dressing up as "real" people is a plot point for her talent, and Kaede (one of these so called "fictional" personas) counted enough as "real" to cause said reaction. Is this proof she is lying about the show/audition tapes or if not how did she fake her "Cospox" on the fly?
    • How smart is Tsumugi? She claims to have masterminded the whole thing and even prompted several characters to murder, however, she created the personalities of Kaede, Kokichi, and Korekiyo and put them into the killing game, three characters who were a true threat to her plan to keep the game going, with Kaede's leadership skills making the group unwilling to kill, Kokichi being actively smarter than her and antagonistic to her, with both chapter 4 and 5 almost causing the Killing Game to end by his hand, and Korekiyo placing her as a candidate of girls to murder in order to make 100 friends for his dead sister.
    • There's also the fact that at the start of the game, when the Monokubs brought everyone together, Kaede repeatedly asked, "if you guys are really Monokumas..." but never had the chance to elaborate. She didn't sound excited, like you'd expect a fan of Danganronpa would be, but just confused. Which, since Danganronpa is Mutually Fictional in this universe, could mean she knew them from the games themselves and not from the reality show. Or, potentially, that she knew them from the show and was coming to the horrific realization that they'd been pulled into something none of them really wanted.
    • At the start of the game, before everyone is given their fake identities and the entire exchange erased from their memories, the group all talk about how they're not Ultimates. In this universe, Ultimates are part of a national program that gives them privileges like voting and the opportunity to run for public office, which suggest that non-Ultimates don't have these rights. Reinforced by the fact that all of them look really downcast when they talk about it. With that in mind, it lends credence to the idea that the Killing Games may be popular, but only among non-Ultimates. That the hatred of Ultimates might run so deep that they brainwash people into believing that they're Ultimates themselves, just to watch them get killed off, while also still building stories and characters around it. Doubly reinforced by the fact that Makoto, the only truly confirmed fan, also says that he has no talent and that his life is boring. What would be the point of saying that if the system of Ultimates and non-Ultimates was just part of the show?
  • About Angie:
    • Do Angie's actions in Chapter Three make her a Well-Intentioned Extremist or a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who uses her cult's beliefs to her advantage? Since she died, people are relatively unsure if she would've completed the resurrection ritual like she said she would.
    • Is Angie really Japanese? Due to Angie being a western name and how she goes on a First-Name Basis in the Japanese version unlike how a majority of Japanese people goes on a Last-Name Basis, some fans believe that she is not entirely Japanese. The English dub increases the possibility of her not entirely being Japanese as they named her god Atua in which Atua can be referred to as a Polynesian supernatural being or spirit.
    • How genuine is Angie's friendship with Himiko? The two of them start to get close around Chapter Two, but does Angie like Himiko for herself and bond with her over their beliefs in magic and Atua, respectively, or does she just see a potential convert, given how apathetic and Weak-Willed Himiko is? Did Angie push forward Himiko's suspiciousness in the trial to get the questioning over with, or to deflect suspicion from herself, since it was her idea to have a magic show?
  • In the first chapter, Tsumugi ended up having an allergic reaction to cosplaying as real people. Given the "real" person who she ended up cosplaying could be a "fictional" character, people are not really sure if she really is. However, the reasoning for this could be that the allergy is a trait of the character Tsumugi was playing (that is, "Tsumugi"), and since Tsumugi's character was part of the fictional world, all of her classmates would count as "real" to her character. Another possible suggestion is that in actuality, Tsumugi can only cosplay as real characters (meaning that HPA Saga was real all along), and she gets an allergic reaction for cosplaying as fictional characters.
  • In the Japanese version of the game, Kokichi assumed that Maki gave Ryoma his video because she knew showing him his empty video would convince him he had no reason to live, trying to get rid of him because knowing he had her video specifically would mean Ryoma saw enough of it to knew her true talent. Was Kokichi right about this or was Maki being honest when she said she never watched it, making it just a coincidence that she gave Ryoma an empty video, and Kokichi's belief that she did it on purpose to break him simply stems from his dislike towards killers? In a similar vein, the English version had Kokichi assume Ryoma used his knowledge of Maki's talent to blackmail her into giving him his own video, making him more of a direct threat to Maki than the Japanese indicated. Could there be any truth to that, and if so could it tie into the above if the theory that Maki intended to drive Ryoma to suicide by showing him his video is accurate?
  • Is Tenko's man-hating personality intended as a Take That, Critics! to those who accused Mahiru of being one? Note that while Mahiru was harsher to boys than girls, she was noted to have a caring motherly personality and her thoughtless comments came from having a Lazy Bum as a father, but she wasn't actually a misandrist and was Flanderized into being one by her haters. But Tenko hates all "degenerate males", has ridiculous amounts of Les Yay towards Himiko note  and ends up getting killed. It seems almost like Tenko is an exaggeration of how the fandom saw Mahiru. The two even have a scene together in Talent Development Plan in which Mahiru tells Tenko that she's going too far, as if to underscore the difference between the two.
  • While it's generally accepted in and out of universe that after Ryoma watched his video, he lost the will to live and let Kirumi kill him, the scratches on the handcuffs and sink, are proof that Ryoma struggled in his last moments. Was this simply a reflexive response to being drowned, or did he actually not want to die? Kirumi claims that he admired her will to live, which is why he turned his back on her, but did he realise Kirumi graduating would mean the death of everyone else and that's why he struggled, or did he ultimately agree Kirumi should survive over the other students because of her obligations?

Alternative Title(s): New Dangan Ronpa V 3, Super Dangan Ronpa 2

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