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Celestia "Celeste" Ludenberg (Taeko Yasuhiro)

Ultimate Gambler

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/celeste_art.png
"My lies must never be too extravagant..."

Voiced by: Hekiru Shiina (Japanese), Marieve Herington (game), Lindsay Seidel (anime - English)
Played by: Reina Ikehata (stage)

Also known as the "Queen of Liars," Celeste is renowned for her exemplary luck in games of chance. She's accumulated a sizable fortune by robbing blind anyone stupid enough to challenge her. She speaks softly and smiles often, but in a way that tends to creep out everyone around her. She also hides a surprisingly short temper and will start shouting (usually at Hifumi) if she isn't pleased. She is the culprit of Chapter 3, tricking Hifumi into killing Kiyotaka before killing him herself and trying to frame Yasuhiro for it. She is exposed during the trial and executed by Monokuma, subjected to a faux "witch burning" that gets interrupted when Monokuma rams a fire truck into her.

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    A-H 
  • Achievements in Ignorance: She took to online gambling to satisfy her desire for a challenge while in school and accidentally bankrupted the hosts.
  • A-Cup Angst: Doesn't manifest in the game itself, but one yonkoma comic sees her suffer this at the hands of Hina (who has a large chest). In another anthology comic, Hifumi draws a doujin of her with noticeably larger assets, with Makoto raising an eyebrow to her assertion that it looks "just like her." It doesn't help that, according to the official measurements, only Toko is smaller in this regard.
  • Accent Slip-Up: In the English localization, her affected French accent tends to slip when she's angry. When she admits defeat and that her real name is Taeko Yasuhiro, she drops it entirely.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Her true nature is kept nebulous to the end in the game, whereas in the manga her backstory is explored in detail.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
  • Zig-zagged in the stage version; on the one hand, Celeste doesn't murder anyone (because Kiyotaka was already Driven to Suicide in the second trial) and instead is executed by taking the fall for Sakura's suicide with an implied desire to escape the game through death. On the other hand, it's also implied that her motive of wanting a castle with vampire butlers (implied to be a lie in the game that strictly applies to the "Celestia" character and wasn't ever seriously entertained as a possibility by Taeko) is genuine here and she also gets Hifumi (who was completely innocent here) executed alongside her and shows no remorse for it.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Unlike everyone else who got one, she receives four chapters in the manga.
  • Analogy Backfire: Before being executed, she mentioned that she'd like to be reborn as Marie Antoinette... to which Yasuhiro points out that Marie Antoinette was also executed. Though it's downplayed in that this is mostly a reflection on Celestia's romanticized notions of Marie Antoinette's lifestyle and dignity at execution, something Celestia herself seeks to emulate. She wouldn't care so much that Marie Antoinette died young as that she lived a grand life and was made a romantic figure after her death.
  • Asshole Victim: Celestia planned out Taka's death, bashed in Hifumi's head when he'd done his part, and was perfectly willing to sell her classmates out for money and a castle.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Her murder plan. Creating a perfect narrative with a patsy to pin everything on and a strong alibi for most of the scene is all well and good when you don't have to actually put it into action yourself with only a night's preparation and an idiot for a partner.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Look at the name, really. Celeste picked that because her real name, Taeko Yasuhiro, to her, is pretty generic and she didn't like it due to implied isolation.
  • Becoming the Mask: The manga indicates that she can fool herself as well. She's trying to bury her past as the overly generic and un-special Taeko Yasuhiro that she thought she's living herself as the fabricated persona of 'Celestia Ludenberg', including all of the romanticized stuffs that comes with such a romanticized name. The caveat being her Lack of Empathy and lying to everyone.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: She claims to be such a skilled liar, she can even fool herself. Of course, that might have been a lie as well, since she said it before being executed; in the game, Makoto thinks her smile looks uncharacteristically fake.
  • Berserk Button:
    • She has very strong feelings about how one ought to prepare milk tea. When Hifumi was trying to have second thoughts, that was another time Celeste lost her cool (though this one is Played for Laughs).
      Celeste: "SHUT UP AND BRING ME THE GODDAMN TEA, YOU SWINE!!!"
    • Some analyses on her character maintain that the tea is really just a matter of her cracking under the pressure of maintaining her usual level of comfort and control in a situation that lends itself to neither (something not helped by Hifumi's floundering of her order). If anything, reminding her of her past is a much quicker way to set her off, such as grilling her about whether "Celestia Ludenberg" is her actual name. In School Mode, she gets pissed at Makoto for asking how she gets her hair the way it is, which would have to lead into the fact that her Regal Ringlets aren't real.
    • While she keeps her anger about in under control, Celeste is clearly very upset whenever another student breaks the "Night Time rule" that she proposed to the group, as it just serves to underscore what little control she actually has over the situation she's in.
  • Blaming the Victim: In chapter 2, she very casually says that it was Chihiro's own fault he got killed because he didn't respect her self-imposed "no leaving your dorm at night" rule.
  • Born Lucky: Which is why she is such a talented gambler, in addition to having a great poker face.
    • If you hang out with her, it's revealed that this is most of what her "talent" consists of. She even won a high-level shogi tournament despite not knowing how to play through her gambler's luck. Though, she's also referencing 81Diver (a shogi manga). Which makes her breakdown make more sense, because she's used to things going her way enough that she doesn't know how to react when she's clearly cornered.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the flashback that shows how she coerced Hifumi into being her accomplice, she actually says out loud, "And this concludes my flashback", much to Hifumi's confusion.
  • Burn the Witch!: Her execution mimics a witch-burning, where she's tied at the stake and then burnt from the ground up. She actually seems to enjoy the aesthetic. Though subverted when she's killed by a firetruck crashing into her.
  • Call-Back: The memory erasing plotline creates an interesting fusion of this with Call-Forward. She says as far back as chapter 2 that she hates getting her head submerged under water while turning down Aoi's offer to use the swimming pool. Flash forward to chapter 6 with the class photos taken during her time in school with everyone else where she's seen keeping far away from the pool, and it becomes clear she never grew out of this.
  • Character Tics: Twirling a strand of her hair around her finger, which is made more obvious in the anime. Also occasionally steepling her fingers with a smile on her face.
  • Chewing the Scenery: If she's angry, you can expect her to ham it up so deliciously. As proven during the tea event and her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Chuunibyou: Constantly put on airs with her "Celestia Ludenberg" persona.
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: One sprite has her primly steepling her fingers. As for the deceive part, she tricks Hifumi into helping her and tries to frame Yasuhiro for Hifumi's murder.
  • Complexity Addiction: Celeste's ultimate downfall in the Third Trial was that she went too far in trying to give herself an air-tight alibi for her overly elaborate murder. The number of coincidences of her role in the investigation created multiple holes in her cover.
  • Condescending Compassion: Does this to Naegi when he starts arguing against her narrative of Hagakure killing Ishimaru and Hifumi, telling him that it's okay if he screws up because nobody expects much from him anyways.
  • Closet Geek: The stories "about herself" she tells in her Free Time events are all picked up from gambling manga.
  • The Con: After getting exposed as the killer in Trial 3, Celeste gets questioned why she turned to murder when, for the longest time she seemed to be the most content with living in the school. Celeste then admits that she had been lying about that from the start and it was just another cover she was preemptively creating for herself.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: If you take her to the music room in School Mode and bring up the grand piano centered on the concert stage, she says she plans on having one in her future castle, just for the sake of having it. Despite claiming in her backstory that her mother is a German musician, she refuses to bother learning how to play and would rather hire a concert pianist as a servant specifically to play for her.
  • Consummate Liar: By her own admission.
  • Control Freak: Befitting of a gambler, while she places some of her faith in luck, she does also like to have things go in her favor; she explains to Makoto that knight points are earned by having others serve her and get what she wants without having to tell them.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Just as she's about to get burned at the stake, Monokuma crashes a firetruck into her. And that's one of the tamer executions.
  • Custom Uniform: In the class pictures showing lost memories, where other characters are wearing uniforms, she wears the same black dress and giant pigtails except in the final gym photo.
  • Dark Is Evil: Her gothic getup, red eyes, and coldly polite mannerisms give off a very unsettling vibe. And ultimately, she ends up the mastermind of the deaths of two people.
  • Decoy Damsel: Invoked this as part of her manipulations, as this is how she got Hifumi to kill Kiyotaka for her.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: While she never drops her facade in the main story even into death, School Mode has her admitting that she rarely speaks so openly or honestly when the player chooses a good dialogue option, and it surprises her. Adding to that, her Trigger Happy Heart event has her showing the ever-so-slightest hint of genuine vulnerability when she internally worries about ruining her friendship with Makoto by asking him to be her knight. Fully knowing that his loyalty is real, her School Mode ending sees her officially appointing him as knight, which he accepts as graciously as he can.
  • Determinator: Probably as an aspect of her pride. She says in the final moments of her trial that so long as the chance for victory remains, her nature prevents her from surrendering no matter how far into the corner she's pushed.
  • Death by Irony: Being burned at the stake is exactly the kind of dramatic and romanticized death befitting of her outward persona that she wants, which is why Monokuma interrupts it by ramming a fire truck into her. Being hit by a vehicle is one of the most common and mundane causes of death imaginable. Despite her trying desperately to escape from her true identity, she ended up dying like the commoner she is rather than the royalty she tried to present herself as.
  • Death by Materialism: Assuming she wasn't lying, she committed murder because there was money and a Big Fancy Castle to be gained from it. Regardless of how truthful she was being, her committing murder caused her execution.
  • Despair Event Horizon: In one Free Time Event, Celeste lets her true feelings slip as she somberly declares that she believes nobody is ever going to get out of the school. She could only lie to herself about "adapting" to her new situation and being fine with it for so long, and she fully snaps once Monokuma offers up ten million dollars as a motive for murder, especially since she is unable to put her faith in a computer AI being able to get her and everyone else out of captivity.
  • Dissonant Serenity: She often seems very calm despite being in the middle of a murder game while trapped inside an abandoned school. Ultimately subverted when it's revealed that she's been desperate to escape from the beginning.
  • Dominatrix: Hifumi certainly enjoys being humiliated by her, at any rate. Bonus points for the Rose Whip being one of her favorite gifts. Though she's disturbed in one Yonkoma comic when she gets the impression that Makoto wants her to use it on him.
  • Dub Name Change: Her In-Series Nickname in the English version is "Celeste" instead of "Celes".
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: She's practically monochrome and her serenity makes her rather unsettling at times.
  • Elegant Gothic Lolita: So much that she says her dream is to live in a castle with hundreds of sexy vampire butlers at her beck and call. She also never changes out of her outfit - and we do mean never.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: As revealed in Ultra Despair Girls, even Celeste had someone she held dear enough for Monokuma to use as a motive: her cat, Grand Bois Chéri, whom she spoiled heavily and even got him to share her favorite food, gyoza. One has to wonder why she valued her cat above any blood relatives she may have had, but given that the only other student who had their pet as their motive was Toko...
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • While she just ignores Toko passing out from seeing Junko/Mukuro's death, Celeste is clearly disturbed when she sees just how brutal Leon's execution was.
    • Although only in the game and it's not helping her case being a murderess, Celeste states that she finds 'doing things For the Evulz' like Byakuya not to be her taste.
    • Noted in her Free-Time events, with people she put on 'Rank F'. These kind of people are the type of people that Celeste finds so disgusting that she'd hire assassins to have these people eliminated from the world. In V3's Ultimate Talent Development Plan, she says Teruteru might be an A-rank cook, but as a person, he's just barely above F-rank.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ruthless as she is, Celeste draws the line at being a Sore Loser. If it's known that she loses with no way out, she has to accept her loss and whatever punishment is thrown at her.
  • Evil Wears Black: She's manipulative, killed two people, and sports black.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Like Mondo, and unlike Leon, she makes no effort to escape her fate, in her case being burned at the stake. She calmly says goodbye to the remaining kids and hopes they'll meet again in their next lives, then stands still in her soon-to-be pyre with her hands steepled and looking up dramatically as her romanticized death approaches.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In two ways. She is a witness in the first two cases and helps Makoto solve the mysteries of both cases, preventing many from dying from wrong accusation. Then in the third case, she suddenly decides to become the culprit. In the other way, Celeste was one of the students agreeing with the Hope Peak's Academy program to stay in the school to keep the hope of the world. Due to the mastermind's machinations of tampering the students' memories, Celeste ends up as someone who's very desperate to get out of the school, forgetting her agreement.
  • False Rape Accusation: In order to convince Hifumi to murder Kiyotaka, she claims that he "abused" her and took pictures, which he then used to blackmail her into stealing Alter Ego and giving it to him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She tends to be outwardly polite to others, except when she's pushed into a corner, but often comes off as highly condescending while doing so. Lampshaded in the third trial.
    Celeste: (to Makoto) There is no shame in being wrong. Nobody expects much from you, anyway. We have all accepted the fact that you rarely understand what is going on around you.
    Makoto: (thinks) Wow... I've never had anyone sound so nice while being so mean.
  • Femme Fatalons: She has long fingernails painted black. She also wears a metal armor piece on one finger, which sometimes looks like a claw.
  • Foil:
    • To Byakuya. Both are fabulously rich teenagers who are both (allegedly) half-European, show no empathy to anyone, did not actually inherit anything by birthright, and got where they are today though their wits and through ruining the lives of others. But while Celeste puts on a mask of politeness and hides her history and intentions, Byakuya shows open contempt for everyone, and is very public about his desire to win the killing game by any means necessary. Ironically, he doesn't commit any murders at all!
    • She is also one to Hifumi surprisingly enough. Celeste's Free Time Events imply her to be an otaku herself, one who desperately wants to obscure that fact from others. Small wonder Hifumi seems to piss her off so much.
    • She and Kiyotaka also act as Foils to each other. Not only do they have a Black and White color contrast going on complete with red eyes for both, but also their views of the world: While Taka resents people born with The Gift because of the corruption scandal surrounding his grandfather, who was the former prime minister, and believes that hard work is what can truly change the world, Celeste thinks that people are either Born Lucky or they are not. Kiyotaka is also usually trying to get the group to work together, even if they ignore him, while Celeste only cares about herself, which is also reflected on their Goals In Life: Kiyotaka wants to be a politician and guide people while Celeste claims she wants to live the rest of her life in a Big Fancy European Castle served by handsome butlers dressed up as vampires.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Seems to be a firm believer of this. Not only does she apply this to Leon early on, but she does so to herself as well, almost confessing that her inability to put any hope in Alter Ego helping she and her classmates escape the academy was what sparked her murder plan as opposed to Monokuma's offer of money that could help her achieve her Goal in Life, only to stop short because it really doesn't absolve her of that murder plan or the punishment she is about to receive for it.
    Celeste: Will it really give you the hope you're looking for? I can't say I ever saw it that way... Which is why... Actually, it's not important.
  • Freudian Slip: After everyone discover Hifumi's body missing, Celeste acts like she's hit a Despair Event Horizon and says that "we're are going to die, just like those guys". However, as Byakuya points out in the trial, her use of the words "those guys" is odd, since no one told her that Taka was dead yet, so she should have only known that Hifumi was dead (which was actually part of her plan- other students finding Taka's body at the same time she found Hifumi meant that each group would assume the corpse discovery announcement was for the body they found). Plus, her use of the word "guys" was also suspicious, since even if she did know that someone else was dead, it's possible that Kyoko, who was also missing, could have been a victim, making her choice of words too specific.
  • Gambit Roulette: Her plan involves a whole lot of elements left up to chance; that Group B will discover Kiyotaka's corpse at roughly the same time Group A finds Hifumi's "corpse", nobody actually checking Hifumi's body for a pulse, nobody finding Hagakure before she wants them to, et cetera. But because her luck applies mostly to games (unlike Nagito, who intentionally pulls these because his luck works in any circumstance), Celeste actually does see several chance elements undermine her plan, like Asahina staying in the infirmary and causing Hifumi to have to play dead for longer than expected.
  • Gamer Chick: Implied. She's the only character besides Chihiro that likes both Funplane games you can gift. She also gets on quite well with Chiaki in Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp.
  • The Generic Girl: While Celeste herself is anything BUT generic, the manga adaption reveals that, as Taeko, she was an example of this, to the point where she was ignored and friendless because of how unremarkable she was. It was only when she discovered her talent as a gambler that she reinvented herself as Celestia Ludenberg.
  • Goal in Life: She claims it's to live in a Big Fancy European Castle, surrounded by handsome bodyguards/butlers dressed as vampires. She likes to proclaim this goal is motivated due to her hedonism. In actuality, it's motivated by her desire to live a fantasy life where she's the most interesting, majestic and adored person in the room - the opposite of how she was as Taeko.
  • Graceful Loser: Though that might be a lie. She still owes up to her real name and Alter Ego's hiding place once she finally gives up, however, as an attempt to invoke this. Also she didn't even bother in cursing on Makoto for defeating and exposing her, which would've been in-line with her true, snappy self and selfish desires and motives.
  • Greed: Celeste manipulated Hifumi into helping with the scheme to murder two people. She didn't do this in self-defense, which motivated Leon initially, nor did she do this out of a loss of self-control, like Mondo did (and like Leon did after the self-defense part was through); no, she did it because she wants to live like a princess in a fancy castle with servants waiting on her hand and foot. The others call her out for committing murder for a reason like that. (Though Makoto wonders if that was yet another of her lies...)
    • Although Celeste makes it clear that the Greed part was actually her secondary goal, her primary goal is 'getting out of the place', and she had to use her pissed-off mode to hammer the point home. She also almost confesses that the Greed motivation Monokuma provided probably wouldn't even have worked on her if she could place her hope in Alter Ego like the others did, but she was unable to do so.
  • The Hedonist: She claims she plans to live out the rest of her days in luxury and decadence surrounded by handsome servants.
  • Hidden Depths: Free Time events reveal that Celeste is as much of a geek as Hifumi, referencing to other works in her 'tales'. It also may imply that Celeste is in fact delusional and suffering from a Inferiority Superiority Complex, she made up grand tales based on the things she read and implemented it to her Celeste persona to the point she started to believe that's really how her life worked instead of a certain plain 'Taeko Yasuhiro'. Guess there is a bit of truth in how she said she could fool herself...
  • Hypocrite:
    • At the end of the first trial, she dismisses Leon's justification that his murder of Sayaka was in self-defense, by saying that if that was the case, he wouldn't have gone out of his way to get the bathroom door open and finish her off. She then goes on to betray and kill the unsuspecting Hifumi after manipulating him into killing Kiyotaka, although to her credit she doesn't even attempt to justify it as anything other than cold-blooded murder committed for her own personal gain.
    • In Episode 7 of The Animation, she remarks that Byakuya and Jill are "[c]old, heartless and devoid of calcium" for insulting how Hifumi momentarily came back to life just to die again. Um, lady, who's cold and heartless enough to mastermind the murder of two people (one of them being the very Hifumi in question) and probably the rest due to the rules, and even called Hifumi a fat idiot just to get one selfish dream? Then again, this may be less hypocrisy and more lying to throw off suspicion towards her. Additionally, in the game, her point about both of them lacking calcium counts because she purposely deprecates herself for her daily lack of exercise while exercising her own murder plan.
    I-R 
  • Idiot Ball: For all her planning, if she (or Hifumi) had simply made an attempt to check that the robo-suit was mobile, Celeste might have done a better job claiming her innocence.
  • I Hate Past Me: To an extreme degree, with the manga showing it to be her primary motivation for adopting the Celestia Ludenburg persona and for wanting to become a renowned gambler and eventual castle-owning multi-millionaire. Everything about Taeko Yasuhiro is plain and powerless and even her ultimate talent is a passive one, so Celestia was created as a means of escapism from all that.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Manga-only, although there are hints toward it in the games too. Celeste recalled her past as Taeko as someone who's overly plain that she's isolated. It possibly caused her to adopt the 'persona' Celeste and to keep up with the charade, she ends up changing her dreams from 'want to be noticed' into 'live in a castle with cosplaying servants'.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: A variation: Celeste makes a casual comment about not believing that a murder like this would happen to "the guys". Problem is, no one had told her that there was a second victim, or who it was (so it could have been Kyoko, who was missing at the time)... so how did she know that there was another murder, or that the victim was a boy?
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: The duality of her character causes her to have a fragmented version of this. She absolutely loathes herself as Taeko, yet her sense of self-worth as Celeste is astronomical, if not borderline-delusional (hence her willingness to sacrifice two people out of selfishness).
    • One interpretation for why she so frequently brings up game-related explanations in conversation is her just wanting to have something to explain for its own sake. A way of compensating for her total lack of control in the killing game that also lets her set herself up as a cunning, intelligent figure within the group.
  • Informed Ability: Part of her Talent is her skilled Poker face, but not only did she drop her ever-present façade over something as minor as Hifumi not making her tea the way she liked it, but as the culprit in Chapter 3, her not-so-subtle insistence that Hiro must be the culprit and her stubbornness on pushing for this despite evidence to the contrary, even getting into an Argument Armament with Makoto over this before she's even outed as a suspect, and constantly opposing the other's theories as to what happened makes her appear very suspicious, and she begins to have a Villainous Breakdown once she's suspected and gets visibly panicked the more proof they stack against her, her only defense being she "earned the right to be a little on edge".
  • Insane Troll Logic: Late in her trial she argues that she would never have a name as lame as Yasuhiro, therefore she can't be the culprit. Her argument is even worse in the official translation.
    "Yasuhiro is a loser's name! Do I look like a loser to you!? Well!? Dooooo I!?"
  • Irony:
    • In her first Free Time event with Makoto, she reveals that as a side effect of being the Ultimate Gambler, she also has exceptionally high luck; so she'd love to test her luck against Makoto, "the Ultimate Lucky Student", in a future gamble. This is effectively what happens in the third trial, and Celeste loses.
    • She takes great steps in forming an air-tight alibi in case three, however because of the sheer number of coincidences surrounding her thanks to her plan, she's left as the only possible culprit and her plot to make herself look completely innocent proves to be her undoing.
    • She's the Ultimate Gambler, and yet she can't hold a Poker face to save her life, as she has outbursts the moment something starts to not go her way.
    • She purposes the additional "no leaving your room during nighttime" rule in an attempt to prevent any murders. Despite this, all of the murders end up taking place at night (Mukuro and Sakura did die during the day, but the former was technically killed for breaking the rules and the latter committed suicide).
  • It's All About Me: Is unnaturally demanding towards Hifumi and Makoto at times, and her selfishness culminates in the third chapter with her dying because of it (while romantically describing it as "chasing her dream").
  • Jerkass: Less overt than Byakuya, but she acts uncaring around everyone, states it was Chihiro's own fault that he was killed and murders two people in cold blood for extremely selfish reasons.
  • Just a Machine: Celeste is the only one who considers Alter Ego an AI, no more and no less, unlike others who saw it as a new human being or a beacon of hope. This is what she implies when she handed down the key to Alter Ego to Kyoko, implying that she finally decided to run with the plan of two murders because she lost hope and unable to reclaim it by being unable to treat Alter Ego as anything else but an AI.
  • Keigo: Undoubtedly to fit the Victorian image that comes along with her Elegant Gothic Lolita getup. The English localization instead gave her a faux-French accent. When you realize the kind of person she wants to reincarnate into in the second life...
  • Kick the Dog:
    • During the investigation in the second chapter, she very casually says it was Chihiro's own fault for getting killed just because he broke her self-imposed night time rule.
    • Her being the mastermind behind Taka's death can be seen as this, as he was already struggling with the loss of Mondo, and just when it seemed he had found a reason to move on, she manipulates Hifumi into killing him.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: While her motives for murdering Hifumi were entirely self-serving, it's hard to have any sympathy for him considering he not only killed Kiyotaka in cold blood without even asking him if the accusation against him was true but was also willing to have all the other students executed for the sake of his so-called "revenge" against Kiyotaka and his feelings for a literal A.I..
  • King of Games: Of sorts. She mentions in School Mode that she'd love to use the rec room more if only someone within the group could provide her a worthy challenge (she's talking about any and every game in that room).
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Unless not proven guilty and there may still be a chance, Celeste would resort to even freaking out to defend her case. But once her chips are down and there's no way out, she'll calmly admit defeat. Said she also lost a few times in the past to know when she loses.
  • Kubrick Stare: Displays one in the Closing Argument comic of chapter 3, when her identity as the killer is revealed.
  • Lack of Empathy: "Are you trying to make me feel guilt? You're wasting your time..." Though given her status as a Consummate Liar... note 
    • Beyond a surface level, it makes sense. She is the Ultimate Gambler, and to succeed in underground gambling, she has to be as ruthless and devoid of empathy as possible as it's a harsh environment. It's the reason why she attained such a title in the first place.
    • Another good indicator of this is in the second episode of the anime. After seeing Junko/Mukuro getting killed, she coolly suggests that the students start investigating Sayaka's death, and smiles in the middle of her 'Gendo Pose' while saying that they reaped what they sowed, which Aoi immediately calls her out on. Also, when seeing that scene, while others (except Byakuya and Kyoko) look horrified and Toko just passed out, Celeste just keeps her usual expression of 'put hands in front of mouth as if saying "Oh my."'
    • In the second chapter of the game, she very casually says Chihiro's death was his own fault for being out at Night Time. Basically, she seems to take far greater offense at Chihiro breaking her Night Time rule than at whomever actually murdered Chihiro during Night Time.
    • Had no qualms about getting Taka killed, in spite of all he had been through.
    • The manga tones this down a bit, showing that deep down she feels rather horrible for killing Hifumi, whom she genuinely dislikes on a personal level but appreciates as a willing servant. However, because she had to keep up the 'Celeste' charade at all cost, she instead treats it as an Ignored Epiphany.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: When Byakuya accuses her of being the mastermind behind the murders in Chapter 3.
    Celeste: So what you are saying, then, is that I specifically chose to work together with Hifumi. The idea that I would choose to spend any amount of time interacting with him... That I would go within ten feet of that shit-for-brains, that lazy, worthless goddamn idiot! Ahem. Ah, pardonnez-moi.
  • Light Is Not Good: Her outfit has some white and she's the culprit in Case 3.
  • Limited Wardrobe: In the class photos, even when the rest of the class is wearing school uniforms, gym clothes, or swimsuits, she's always wearing the same gothic lolita outfit.
  • Madness Mantra:
    "Becausebecausebecause...!"
  • Malaproper:
    • She objects to Yasuhiro voting to ostracize Toko by telling him "That's a cold thing to say so plainly. It's as if you're an iceberg lettuce." Kiyotaka points out how wrong this statement is.
    • In Project Zetsubou's translation, she says "sounds like someone's in a sour mood. Have you been eating too much sour cream?" which makes Kiyotaka tell her sour cream isn't all that sour. The official translation makes little to no sense where she compares him to a piece of rock candy.
      Kiyotaka: What!? No, rock candy isn't cold, it's sweet!
  • Manipulative Bitch: She takes advantage of Kiyotaka and Hifumi's affection for Alter Ego and leads everyone on a wild goose chase through the school in constructing her plan, eventually showing herself to be unrepentant after being caught. If that wasn't enough, her chapters in the manga have a running theme of her manipulating a multitude of puppets looking like the students, including the classic shot of Hifumi's strings being cut as she kills him. Poetically, the last set of strings to break are hers in the midst of her execution, showing that in the end the real sucker was her. Perhaps more sympathetically, you may also notice that those strings belong to a burnt doll labeled "Taeko" instead of "Celeste." Through all her manipulations motivated by finally killing Taeko, she actually killed Taeko.
  • Medium Awareness: This conversation between Celeste and Hifumi during a Flashback in Chapter 3:
    Celeste: ...This is where my flashback ends.
    Hifumi: Who are you talking to?
    Celeste: You wouldn't understand...
  • Mega Twintails: Those are some really huge drill-shaped pigtails she's got. The hidden bath scene and a few pieces of character art show her without the pigtails, suggesting they're detachable hair extensions, and the manga also goes with the 'detachable hair extension' interpretation as there's a panel about Celeste fixing her head to make it look like she was assaulted, but then one tail fell off.
  • Mid-Boss: Of the Killing School Life. Celestia incorporates both nighttime summons via note per Leon's case and a frameup of another student per Mondo's case. Her plan also falls apart likewise, as her victim outed her by name and a slip of the tongue becomes a lightningrod for suspicion. Finally, her motive is the most hopeless as money, let alone her dream of a castle, is meaningless in a destroyed world. The trials after Celestia's initiate the derailing of the killing game by its rules, incited by a regulation abiding victimless murder, followed by an illegitimate verdict, and culminating in an opportunity to directly challenge the mastermind under special conditions.
    • On a thematic level, the culprit who put the most effort into winning the killing game was the Ultimate Gambler.
  • Must Have Caffeine: She infers this in two School Mode dialogue options in the dining hall, saying her day always starts with "jam or butter on a freshly baked baguette, and café au lait." In a different dialogue option, she mentions generally preferring black tea over oolong or green when claiming she ends her day reading a book over a cup before bed (which would make her caffeine tolerance rather high).
  • Narcissist: She shows shades of it, though her seemingly-confirming statements at the end of her trial are difficult to take at face-value based on Makoto's narration that she may have been lying even then (the manga outright confirms this line of thinking - she loves everything about "Celestia Ludenburg", but hates "Taeko Yasuhiro", making her narcissism an elaborate cover for her self-loathing).
  • Never My Fault: She cites her plan failing as due to Hifumi's ineptitude, in spite of the fact that she was caught in part due to her suspicious behavior and Freudian Slips. And even when ignoring that and just taking Hifumi's ineptitude into account, just who was it that decided partnering up with him was a good idea to start with?
  • No Social Skills: It's made very apparent during her free time events that she's incredibly bad at relating to people and treating them like... people. She tells tales of her exploits clearly lifted from popular manga (Akagi and Liar Game in particular) and calls Makoto a "D-rank" and insults him during regular discussion. This is later revealed to be a system she uses to rank people, and the manner in which she explains Makoto's promotion to "C" sounds like a very awkward way of telling someone you have feelings for them. The implications of her past in the manga seems to support that her isolation prevents her to learn any social skills. However, on the downside, this trope caused her to not think of the other students highly to the point of eventually masterminding a murder of two students and couldn't care less about them despite interacting with and helping them through two trials.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In Chapter 2, she tries to invoke this with Byakuya. He tells her to shut up.
  • Not So Similar: Conversely, in Chapter 3 she points out that the main difference between her and Byakuya is that her Lack of Empathy in regards to the killing game is detached from any emotion, while Byakuya's is coupled with the perverse sense of pleasure he derives from the hunt.
  • Not So Stoic: She's calm most of the time, but every so often makes it apparent how much of that stoicism is a mask. The incident with Hifumi and her tea for example, when her expression turns nasty and, more importantly, her voice loses its soft and whispery quality and she sounds like a harshly-voiced grown woman. When Makoto really manages to lay pressure on Celeste during Chapter 3's trial, she freaks and spends most of the remaining trial this way until the end.
  • Obviously Evil: Played With. She's not evil at first, nor is she obvious about her intentions initially, but when she vehemently argues for Yasuhiro to be the murderer repeatedly despite not having any obvious reason to why she's arguing against the evidence, it quickly becomes clear she's the culprit.
  • Odd Friendship: She bonds with Chiaki in Ultimate Summer Camp, over their shared love of competing in games.
  • Off-Model: During the manga segment at the end of Chapter 2, she's depicted with Chihiro's eye color.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the manga, she silently panics after hearing Hifumi say her real last name with his dying breaths. It goes largely undetected by the rest of those discovering his body, though.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, since her real family name is the same as Yasuhiro's given name. This is a plot point: see Stock Foreign Name to learn the reason why.
  • Only Known By Her Nickname: On top of being a pseudonym itself, her name is almost always shortened to "Celeste" ("Celes" in the Japanese version). Sakura calls her this despite being on Last-Name Basis with everyone else (in the original Japanese), and even the game's interface simply uses "Celeste" where it would otherwise display a character's full name.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: She gets several moments in Chapter 3.
    • Her apparent willingness to throw out her pride and beg for her life when threatened by Robo Justice seemed intended to invoke this by emphasizing the supposed killer's threat-level. All it really did is tip some players off that she was likely lying (which gets lampshaded in Danganronpa Abridged Thing).
    • Her high-pitched scream wasn't lost on Byakuya, who deduced that it was more likely a signal to Hifumi that their plan was working.
    • During the trial, she acts a bit more aggressively compared to how she just took things calmly before. This hints heavily towards her suspicion.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In the English dub of the game, the pseudo-French accent slips when she gets emotional.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: A lot of Celeste's behavior is this in Chapter 3. While some of this can be summed up as part of her and Hifumi's plan, she's a lot quicker to anger, insistent on Hagakure's guilt, and overall much more emotional throughout the trial. Whether this is due to Sanity Slippage, her being a Control Freak or something else is unclear, but it's a rather jarring (and damning) departure from how she normally acts.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Subverted in the main story. She takes Aoi to the girls' bathroom when she feels ill after discovering Hifumi's body, but this is part of her plan to help Hifumi escape.
    • Played straight in School Mode, particularly at the end. Also in V3's Ultimate Talent Development Plan and its sequel Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp, which like School Mode displays how things may have been like without the Killing Game and has her showing genuine kindness toward a few characters.
    • Also played straight before her execution, when she gives the key to the laptop's location to Kyoko so that she can continue using it to counteract Monokuma.
    • In Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp, she admits that if Hifumi were reincarnated as a handsome man, she'd let him join her harem of vampire boys.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: School Mode reveals that earning Knight Points apparently requires predicting how to best serve her. Makoto is just as confused.
    Makoto: Do you want to read something?
    Celeste: If I had a cup of milk tea right now, the scene would be perfect. Makoto. Make me a cup of milk tea right away. And in the future, I expect you to do things before you are told. That is how you earn points.
    Makoto: (internally) Umm... so which part should I ask her about first?
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: She gets one before killing Hifumi in the manga.
    Hifumi: (turned away) Now, all you have to do to escape with me is kill someone, right... Celestia Ludenberg-dono?
    Celeste: (gripping the hammer) Yes. (winding up) Yes... That's absolutely correct.
  • Professional Gambler: Her title.
  • Pronoun Trouble: In the original Japanese version, she, like some of the more polite students, uses "-san" on girls and "-kun" on boys. While recounting the night of the murder during the second trial, she pauses for a moment to add "-kun" to Chihiro's name, since she'd just learned that Chihiro was male.
  • Proper Lady: The basis behind her image (along with being an Elegant Gothic Lolita).
  • Psychopathic Womanchild:
    • Some of her traits could be explained by a lonely childhood devoid of regular human interaction leaving her emotionally stunted. She has No Social Skills, enjoys toying with others as if she were playing a game, will often throw temper tantrums when things don't go her way, and is always on the look-out for opportunities to show off and establish control much in the same way a child says 'look what I can do'. You might almost feel sorry for her if all these things didn't lead to an uncanny selfishness and a disturbing Lack of Empathy...although in the manga, even those get a sympathetic background.
    • Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp puts special emphasis on this quality and plays up the tragedy of it, showing that at the end of the day Taeko Yasuhiro is a child who is forever playing pretend rather than live in reality. Not surprisingly, she gets on pretty well with the Warriors of Hope, literal children.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Her gothic getup involves both red and black, plus she has red eyes. Also, she killed two people and is manipulative.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her peepers are red and she DID plan an elaborate murder scheme. Even beforehand, considering that she's into pragmatism a lot like Byakuya (though in a lesser extent) are like signs that you do need to take warning.
  • Regal Ringlets: Invoked Trope. As mentioned as part of her Gothic Lolita attire her Mega Twintails are styled in the typical drill-like shape of this trope; and if they are just hair extensions they also match the way her entire "regal" persona is just a façade that doesn't match her "true" self, who has much simpler straight hair.
    S-Y 
  • Seamless Spontaneous Lie: A master at them, as seen outside the bath house in chapter 3 when the group discovered Alter Ego.
  • She's Got Legs: Her frilly stockings certainly draw attention to them, at any rate.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The tales of her exploits she gives in her free time events are references to popular gambling manga such as Liar Game and Akagi. Whether they're just references, or Celeste lying again, is hard to tell.
    • Her name 'Celestia'? It's also one of the names of a Rune God in Magic Knight Rayearth (although said Rune God can also be spelled more commonly as 'Selece', which is still pronounced like her nickname 'Celes'). Celeste's voice actress also voiced the main protagonist there, Hikaru Shidou, except that she was using another Rune God and both Celeste and Hikaru differ so much like you wouldn't believe.
  • The Smart Girl: She references many aspects of game theory, including zero sum games and the prisoner's dilemma, in her speeches.
  • Smug Snake: For all her effort to come off as cunning and intelligent, her input during trials is only marginally more useful than the non-Point-Getters, the mystery she creates only managed to completely fool Aoi, and she barely makes it halfway through the game as a result of all that. Some fans purport this was an intentional metaphor for her character: a painfully-normal girl that desperately wants to stand out and fails.
  • The Sociopath: Downplayed somewhat. Although she fulfills most of the criteria, like Lack of Empathy, her nonstop lying, and doing anything to get what she wants, she'll lash out if someone asks too many questions about her name or past. Plus, a complete sociopath would come off as genuinely friendly, charming, and warm, whereas her attempts at acting as such come off as cold, and from the beginning, it's implied that she never had many friends. When you get down to it, you might even be able to say that Celestia Ludenburg is a sociopath, but Taeko Yasuhiro is not. Ultimately subverted as Ultra Despair Girls reveals Celeste does love Grand Bois Chéri (her cat); real life sociopaths cannot love anybody but themselves.
  • Something about a Rose: The Rose Whip is one of her favorite presents, several roses decorate her room, her 'culprit-is-you' shot has them bordering the screen, and she can talk at length about the language of flowers (referring to yellow roses) in School Mode during a conversation regarding a fine vase in the school store.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Prim and proper most of the time, but pissing her off will cause her to cuss up almost as much of a storm as Mondo.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Her last name is sometimes romanized as Ludenberck or Rudenberk.
  • The Spock: Frequently insists that the group's best course of action is to adapt to life in the school as best they can and ignore any incentive to murder. It was all an act, though. She wanted to escape just as badly as the others.
  • Stage Names: Celestia Ludenberg isn't her real name.
  • Stellar Name: Just another aspect of how much she wants to stand out.
  • Stepford Smiler: She's all smiles at first and even accepts the fact that they're locked in the school for life quite easily, but it turns out that she was lying the whole time and even tried to implicate another student for the murders she caused just to escape, collect the bribe money, and fulfill her dream. Simply angering her triggers her psychotic side. Near the end of her life, Makoto comments that her smile was faked to hide how much she's fearing to die.
  • Stock Foreign Name: Which is not a spoiler by itself, because right at the beginning of the game she introduces herself as Celestia Ludenberg and it's so unusual for a Japanese person Makoto asks for Celeste's real name. She say she can't give him that, Celeste is the name she goes by, and please just call her "Celeste". The spoiler part is that her real name is Taeko Yasuhiro, which causes a huge problem when she kills Hifumi and he says "Yasuhiro," Taeko's last name, with his last breath...which is also Yasuhiro (hagakure)'s first name and causes him to be the prime suspect!
  • Sympathetic Murderer: A very odd example of this trope. She orchestrated the deaths of two people, with the help of an accomplice, just to win Monokuma's ten million dollars and claims it was so she could live in a Big Fancy Castle and be waited on hand and foot by millions of men in dressed as vampires. Everyone else is disgusted that she'd orchestrate murders for a petty reason like that. This may be a double subversion, however, considering that Celeste is a Consummate Liar so all those petty reasons may be a lie and up to the player's interpretation on whether she deserves sympathy or not, and to note, that petty reason was her secondary motive, her primary motive was simply 'getting out of the place' after she had finally crossed her Despair Event Horizon, something that others probably would agree on, and even she eventually admits her murders and tried to go Face Death with Dignity... and even Naegi can spot that she probably is lying on that too, she's actually terrified. That being said, for all her pettiness, she didn't even try to curse those who condemn her, which would've been in-line with the pettiness she presents. So, it's kinda Zig-Zagged in the end, especially once it's revealed that she wouldn't have done what she did if her memories hadn't been tampered with. That said, the manga did show her Dark and Troubled Past to make her more sympathetic, as now her Big Fancy Castle dream is just one huge compensation for the wretched self-esteem she developed as Taeko Yasuhiro.
  • Tantrum Throwing: She smashes a tea cup against the wall when Hifumi fails to prepare her tea the way she likes it.
  • That Woman Is Dead: Her very persona as Celestia Ludenberg is a rejection of her past as Taeko Yasuhiro, vehemently denying that she could ever have such a 'plain' name as 'Yasuhiro' when confronted about her real name. The manga plays this up even more, even after she's owned up to her real name, insisting that above all else, she still has to persist as Celestia Ludenberg.
  • Too Clever by Half:
    • Her murder plan in Chapter 3 seems pretty ingenious on paper, which Celeste seems to know and this knowledge blinds her to how glaringly obvious she's being when actually executing the plan.
    • Along with creating too many holes in her own cover, her frame-up of Yasuhiro completely falls apart because the suit she got Hifumi to create to trap him in was not actually mobile, effectively giving Yasuhiro an alibi for why he couldn't be the murderer.
  • Tsundere: Hifumi seems to think she's one based on her angry outbursts, wanting to coax a "dere" reaction out of her by finding out her secret in chapter 2. She's having none of it. Ironically, a photo of her and Hifumi together before they had their memories erased suggest that perhaps she was this trope back then.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: In a Free Time Event, Makoto finds out that Celeste's favorite food is "gyoza", and Celeste is surprised at herself that she likes such a "common, smelly food", while she mostly goes around claiming that she liked tea the most. Gyoza was probably her favorite food as Taeko, and Celeste claiming it as a "common, smelly food" would be another rejection of her past.
  • Tragic Villain: Although definitely the least tragic compared to Mondo and Leon (unless you're going by the manga, that is). However, Makoto still noted that Celeste was still one of them, doing all those to get out of the hellhole they're in instead of for the fun of it, and she might have not done what she did if Monokuma hadn't erased her memories of life at school with her friends.
  • Trauma Swing: The manga shows her sitting on one in her youth, looking very lonely and surrounding by words like "mediocre" and "boring".
  • Undignified Death: Since she wants to go out with dignity, Monokuma pulls a bait-and-switch just to be an asshole and rams a fire truck into her instead of letting her dramatically burn to death.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Most players usually deduce that the tales of her exploits she gives in her free time events are all gigantic lies, or at least exaggerations, probably to grandify her Celeste persona instead of her past, ordinary self.
  • Unusual Euphemism: She never quite clarifies what the ranks mean in her knighting system, and in her School Mode Ending expects Makoto to rejoice at the suggestion that he may be worthy of B-Rank. He's not quite sure how to celebrate in a way that'll make her happy, which causes her to repeat herself three times as if she were delivering a Wham Line.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Once she was nearly deduced as the killer in Case 3, she starts losing it. And boy, did the anime have a field day with this one, as it's not restricted with sprite limitations to animate the full extent of it. Just to give you an idea of it all, if one pays attention one can see even Monokuma visibly shocked.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: She keeps up the group's charade regarding Alter Ego even as she walks to her execution, and tells the others where she hid it without giving the game away to Monokuma.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • She views Nagito and Makoto as this, as their luck rivals her own when it comes to gambling.
    • Peko is another person she considers worthy of gambling against and competing with her.
    • She has this view of Chiaki, seeing that her gaming skills as worthy competition for her gambling skills.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Pretends to have been sexually assaulted by Kiyotaka in order to get Hifumi to kill him, and also pretends to be one the first victim of "Robo Justice's" attack, partly to frame Yasuhiro and partly to hide the time of Kiyotaka's death.
  • You Just Told Me: She uses a trick like this to reveal that Aoi was lying about being sick.

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