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Only one life to live, so choose wisely...
Danganronpa: The Animation is a 2013 anime adaptation of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
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Like the visual novel, the anime follows sixteen elite high school students trapped inside Hope's Peak Academy by their sadistic bear headmaster, Monokuma. The students cannot break any of the rules on pain of death, but there is one way to leave: murder another student and be found not guilty in the subsequent class trial. If the class deduces the real murderer, they will be put to death, but if the murderer is not caught, the class will be put to death and the murderer can leave.

Unlike the rest of his classmates, Makoto Naegi is an Ordinary High-School Student randomly selected to join Hope's Peak as the "Ultimate Lucky Student". Makoto teams up with his classmate Kyoko Kirigiri, an aloof teenage detective, to solve the murders that occur and piece together the circumstances that led them to be trapped in Hope's Peak.

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An anime sequel to the first two games, Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School, aired in 2016 to wrap up the Hope's Peak arc.


Danganronpa: The Animation provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Context Change: Kiyotaka does the "forget-it beam" in both the game and the anime. The game has him doing it when Makoto talks to him during the Chapter 1 investigation, when he almost reveals that the nameplates were switched before realizing Makoto could be the killer. In the anime, on the other hand, he does it the morning after his sauna duel with Mondo while asking Makoto to forget about who won.
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The introductions for all of the other students are toned down to a few sentences, whereas in the game they received several short paragraphs. The pacing of the story moves much more quickly. How much more quickly? The game averages 25-36 hours of content to the anime's 5-6 hours, and it only speeds up following Sakura's death in Episode 9: in the game, this is marked as the halfway point.
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    • The origin of the golden sword in Makoto's room is changed from he and Sayaka taking it from the gym for defense to one of Monokuma's "housewarming gifts" meant to murder other students with.
    • Byakuya's knowledge of the Genocide Jack cases comes from prior knowledge from the Togami residence instead of being the only one to read about them in the library.
    • The quick visit to the locker room, in which Kyoko shows the other students Chihiro's corpse to prove that Chihiro is a boy, is cut out entirely.
    • In the game, Taka goes to Makoto's room and asks him to take him to Alter Ego, leading to his becoming "Kiyondo" and Makoto being scolded by Kyoko. In the anime, he's present for the first encounter with Alter Ego.
    • The anime in general is heavily truncated, which is an often cited criticism. How truncated? The end of Sakura's trial is explicitly marked in the game as the halfway point. It happens in episode 9 in the anime.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The scene preceding Leon's execution is made much more gut-wrenching as Leon desperately tries to escape through the door while futilely pleading for his life, really driving the point home of how utterly terrified he is of death.
    • The scene before Mondo's execution in which Kiyotaka breaks down in tears and begs Monokuma not to kill him was considered somewhat narmy in the game due to how over-the-top Taka's reactions are, but the anime's more realistic rendition is truly heartbreaking. By the end of the execution, he's reduced to a blubbering mess and is even leaning over a puddle of his own tears.
    • It may seem like an odd thing to bother animating, but during the investigation montage in episode 1, Yasuhiro can be seen flipping through a magazine in the laundry room. In the game, it's possible to find him there mentioning he's about to start doing his laundry.
    • In episode 4, they give a shot of Chihiro working on something that anyone who played the game will recognize. How and when Chihiro had time for this was never explained in the game, and its existence was only foreshadowed in a Free-Time Event you may not see. The anime gives us a little more direct foreshadowing and explanation.
    • In an act of foreshadowing, Chihiro is using his male-exclusive toolkit.
    • In episode 6, the entire remaining cast gets to see the first suspicious class photo courtesy of Alter Ego, rather than Makoto simply stumbling upon it.
    • In episode 10, the reason why the remaining students suggest that Makoto hold onto the survival knife found on the fifth floor is explained as Yasuhiro and Hina being untrustworthy after their actions in the fourth class trial.
    • In the final episode, Makoto doesn't just spout out "You must not lose hope!" alone but goes on a whole Rousing Speech for each of the surviving students to keep their hope up, tailored to each specific student.
    • In the manga adaptation for the anime, Junko briefly gloats about how since Kyoko's father hoped the school would protect her, Makoto can't count on her to vote for hope alongside him. While it seems as though hope is lost for a moment, Makoto manages to convince her.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: In the game, Chihiro brings up the possibility that the infamous Genocide Jack has locked them up, and Toko wears a worried look on her face with some Visible Silence, before freaking out when Aoi says that the police will surely arrive to help them (as if to imply she's afraid of getting caught for her crimes). Here, the discussion never turns to Genocide Jack at all and Toko freaks out over nothing when Aoi says the same (the dub got around this by changing the context to have Toko agree that the police arriving would be a good thing... which is a whole other can of worms).
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While Byakuya's still a huge Jerkass, at least he doesn't openly and contemptuously talk about his plans to eventually be the successful blackened. He also has more pragmatic reasons for tampering with the crime scene of Chihiro's murder, stating it to be a test of his classmates' abilities and a way to throw the real killer off guard, whereas in the game he did it partly for his own twisted amusement and partly to find out which of his classmates would be the biggest threat to him when he decides to become the blackened.
    • In the game, Celeste proudly declares that she has a Lack of Empathy when asked how she could murder Hifumi and, by proxy, Kiyotaka, in such a cold-blooded fashion. This is omitted from the anime, and while her selfish motive remains unchanged and she thus remains the least sympathetic culprit by far assuming that motive wasn't another one of her lies, it does make her a bit more human.
  • Adaptational Intelligence:
    • A lot of the observations and points that were up to the player to point out in the original game are things that some of the other characters figure out on their own in the animation. Also, Chihiro did a lot more work trying to figure out the "11037" clue from a number code angle, running it through every decryption method he knew even before the trial trying to make sense of it, rather than merely apologizing and saying he didn't know when asked.
    • In the final class trial, only Hagakure leaps to the conclusion that a class photo he was gven featuring everyone except him means that this entire ordeal is a grand conspiracy against him that everyone (including all the people who died) was in on. Nobody else thinks that way, with Byakuya having outright guessed right away that it was what the Mastermind wanted them all to believe and thus not falling for it. In the game, however, everyone except for Makoto and Kyoko, including Byakuya, came to this same absurd conclusion until all of their photos were shared.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: The generally-honorable Kyoko in a single act from episode 11. In the game's fifth trial, suspicion jumps between Makoto and Kyoko several times before settling on the planted locker key. Based on a later line to Byakuya, she probably wanted to prove that the trial was a trap by showing that none of the students could have done it, except she miscalculated the mastermind executing someone else in desperation. When time runs out with all the suspicion on Makoto, she first argues at Monokuma for inventing a rule and then looks thoroughly disgusted with herself, calling her own actions unforgivable and trying to tell Makoto she's sorry and that she'll avenge him in what look like the last moments of his life. In the animation, however, no suspicion ever falls on Makoto (since the trial gets condensed to roughly 10 minutes) and he later moves the discussion towards the whole trial seeming questionable without the provocation of trying to defend himself like in the game. When time runs out in this version of the trial, she tells a bold-faced lie about him planting the locker key in her room — which was originally an explanation brought up by Byakuya in the absence of a suspect — after he just defended her when she was backed furthest into the corner. We never see her show the same intense regret over her sending him to his death, and her lengthy apology in the trash dump was also cut very short. While removing the player choice was necessary, this set-up ends up making her look a lot more petty and cold-hearted.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Leon gets a downplayed example, due to Celeste's Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse line being ommitted—when Leon tries to rationalize that Sayaka's murder was done in self-defense, the focus is placed more on his misfortune of being her chosen victim than anything, to the point that he hysterically points out that anyone of them would've done the same if they were in his place.
  • Affectionate Nickname: In the English dub, Kyoko occasionally gets her name shortened to "Kiri" (mostly by Makoto).
  • Bowdlerise: The first execution is noticeably censored in the broadcast version, specifically as there's FAR more focus on the surroundings (and specifically the machine that delivers said death) than on the victim.
  • Call-Back: During the trial in episode 7, Monokuma can be seen eating pancakes with the butter Mondo was turned into in the previous episode.
  • Catchphrase:
    • The dub changes Makoto's "sore wa chigau yo" from a proper catch phrase to a more context-sensitive rebuttal, i.e. "I can prove you wrong," "that's where you’re wrong," "no, that wasn't the weapon", and "it's close but not quite" (etc.)
    • There was a point the script-writers contextually could have mimicked NISA's official translation to "No, that's wrong," but Lip Lock presumably forced them to change it to "No, that’s incorrect!"
  • Clueless Mystery: Each chapter in the animation rushes through the investigation phase, so that many of the clues and witness accounts which were originally detailed in the investigation phase are instead only revealed or properly explained in the middle of the class trials. This means you are always one step behind the characters in terms of what they know, and can't really solve the mystery as you go along unless you've beaten the visual novel already.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The dub's script changes everybody's dialogue to sound more snappy and sarcastic.
  • Dies Wide Open: Chihiro is found like this.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • The ending credits. The first episode has a blank screen, but the second episode features an empty classroom, with Naegi and the first dead characters. More characters are added as they die.
    • Any trial/execution episodes would skip the opening and "Makoto plus dead students" ending scene, instead showing how the trial is about to begin, and the students' horrified reactions on the executions respectively. Episode 7 is the exception to this opening rule, as the episode begins not with the trial, but with the discovery of Yasuhiro in the Justice Robo outfit. As of Episode 10, the surviving students are also included. And in the final episode when the picture is back, the fake Junko has been replaced by Mukuro while the real Junko stands behind Makoto.
    • Starting in episode 6, the opening credits add Toko switching into her Genocide Jack personality.
  • Fanservice: Like in the game's chapter 3, Episode 6 opens with Aoi crying on her bed... while wearing nothing but a revealing sleeping suit.
  • Female Gaze:
    • In episode 4, Makoto has a very detailed Shower of Angst while recalling the first murder and trial. This is later followed by Mondo and Kiyotaka's sauna scene.
    • Let's not forget Kiyotaka in Episode 6 walking out of the baths wearing nothing but a small Modesty Towel, with the camera initially fixated on his backside.
  • Flowery Insults: In the dub, Celeste calls Hifumi a "corpulent bootlicker" while getting him to move quicker with her tea.
  • Foreign Language Theme: The opening theme is mostly in Surprisingly Good English, featuring a rap outfit from Delaware called the 49ers, while the bridge is in French.
  • Funny Background Event: During the 2nd trial in episode 5, you'll often spy Monokuma eating honey as he did in the 1st trial. This may also double as a Shout-Out to Winnie-the-Pooh.
  • Gonk: Monokuma's animation is noticeably more cartoony than the other characters, though this is probably deliberate.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The broadcast version of Leon's execution focuses on the pitching machine instead of Leon's beaten body. It is shown uncensored in the DVD/Blu-Ray version and in the English dub (which was never meant for broadcast).
  • Ki Manipulation: Sakura sometimes uses these for dramatic effect, such as having her fist light up in flames or appear to be 'powering up'.
  • Kick the Dog: Monokuma further shows how much of a bastard he is in episode 7 by eating the Mondo Butter pancake throughout the whole trial, as if sentencing Mondo to his execution wasn't demeaning enough.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: Yasuhiro has one of these in the dub when Byakuya describes the serial killer he's calling out as "A Syo and a No-Show."
  • Last-Name Basis:
    • The dub takes this convention even further than any other translation, with Toko calling Byakuya by his last name instead of "Byakuya-sama/Master Byakuya," Aoi occasionally switching to "Ohgami" (h-sound emphasized) and Makoto's own mother dropping "Makoto-kun" for the usual Naegi as if it were his first name.
    • In early episodes of the original Japanese, Aoi called Sakura "Ogami-san," before switching to her first name.
  • Laughing Mad: The 12th episode ends with Junko's wild cackling echoing in the court room, and close-ups of the surviving students with unnerved expressions.
  • Lip Lock: Kyoko has a brief moment in episode 7 where Caitlin Glass is speaking without any Mouth Flaps.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: 'Junko' keeping character after being impaled in the dub probably counts.
    "Okay... not-gonna-lie, kinda weird... it's, uh... I dunno, really?" *she expires*
  • Male Gaze:
    • The OP features profile pictures of all of the students (just like in the game), including Asahina. There is a split-second close up on her boobs.
    • In the final episode, there's quite a bit of focus on Junko Enoshima's breasts. They even appear to be a bit bigger than from the game.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In Episode 9, when Aoi reveals what she thinks is Sakura's suicide note, Monokuma starts giggling in the background.
  • Mood Whiplash: Monokuma attacking "Junko Enoshima" with his claws out for refusing to participate in the class trial, followed by her promptly stomping on his face, followed by what happens to her as a result.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Kiyotaka is the go-to guy who'd go topless (especially when sauna is involved) and shows off his well-built muscles on the chest.
  • Mythology Gag: The game's targeting reticle is often used as an Idiosyncratic Wipe, and the loading screen before Makoto's motivational DVD starts is the same loading screen from the game.
  • The Nicknamer: In the dub, Monokuma seemingly has a demeaning new name every time he addresses the students.
  • No Cartoon Fish: Played in a weird way. The series has Monokuma occasionally holding a live salmon to keep up the bear motif. At one point he uses it as a punching bag to relieve stress.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: One Halloween-themed piece of Side-Story Bonus Art made for advertisement has Kyoko dressed as a vampire and in the midst of plucking one glove off with her teeth. This whole sequence is extraordinarily out of character.
  • Pinky Swear: Makoto and Kyoko link pinkies before she heads off into danger. He's making her promise to come back safely.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • Many of the characters' backstories are condensed or left out in order to accommodate for the show's length.
    • Significant details on the setting are also left out. For instance, the anime completely skips over the revelation of how one room in the library is filled with top-secret documents, files, and records from all over the world, and chooses to focus solely on how it has important files on Genocide Jack.
    • In episode 5 the trial skips important details about the victim's identity as a whole (in the game we find out about Chihiro's "secret" when Sakura inspects the body in front of everyone, but in the anime, Kyoko finds out off-screen and then explains it in the trial). However, Genocide Jack's very dramatic trial appearance and a certain character's reactions to the trial's results and the execution that follow are expanded.
    • Episode 7 skips a lot of several important details (such as Hifumi's tendency on calling people in last name-first name order, which reveals Celeste being the mastermind behind that trial). However, some of the cut off parts might end up for a better light on Celeste. In the anime, her statement that she has a Lack of Empathy and has no problems in manipulating and disposing others for her own gain was removed, removing some of her unsympathetic points, and on the other hand, only Makoto was shown noticing her bluff instead of him and Byakuya, making her scheme less blunder-filled. On the other hand, however, Makoto's monologue about how Celeste was faking her smile to hide her fear of death was also removed.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In the English dub Celeste offhandedly compliments/condescends Kyoko playing into her plan by happening across Yasuhiro in the pool locker with "First-rate detective work, Kiri. What were you on the outside, an amateur sleuth?"
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Byakuya is presented as more of this than a Jerkass, though he's still as cynical as he was in the game.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Byakuya indulges in this often. One of Junko Enoshima's personalities at the end of the anime does this too.
  • Shower of Angst: Makoto has a very detailed shower in episode 4 while recalling the first murder and trial.
  • Side-Story Bonus Art: A lot of it was made during the anime's run, often for use in magazines (including some that were Summer and Halloween themed despite the game taking place no where near those dates).

 
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