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Characters / Dangan Ronpa: Drowning in Bittersweet Despair

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Riley Starr

Super High School Level Chess Player

  • Dark and Troubled Past: From the first few lines, Riley seems to have an issue with themself and the topic of parents seems to be rather sensitive to them.
  • Dark Secret: One of the first lines in the prologue implies that Riley has one of these.
    "As I fell into unconsciousness and into silence, I wondered, “What did I do to deserve this…?” Although really, I already knew the answer…"
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  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Riley's secret for the Chapter One motive reveals that their parents bribed multiple opponents to secure them a spot in nationals. They are fully aware of this.
  • The Protagonist: Riley Starr is the main character of the story, and the story is told from their perspective.

Madoka Hamasaki

Super High School Level Good Luck

  • Deuteragonist: Hamasaki seems to be this so far, and Riley and him get along easily. He borders on Sidekick territory, as the two are together more often than not, and Riley even has to calm down an argument between Nakajima and him.


Yoshi Houjou

Super High School Level ???

  • Identity Amnesia: The secret motive reveals that he doesn’t remember his talent, his past, his family, or even his own name, which he assumed was Yoshi Houjou because it was what was written in his notebook. Word of God confirms that it’s not his real name.

Sango Tamashiro

Super High School Level Ping Pong Player

Kirara Suzuki

Super High School Level Movie Critic

  • Flower Motifs: Suzuki is associated with red spider lilies which symbolize death, hence her being the first to die.
  • Kill the Cutie: Pretty self-explanatory...
  • Shared Family Quirks: Suzuki picked up her talent from her father, after reading some of the reviews that he wrote.


Nori Nakajima

Super High School Level Gang Leader

Haruka Chiba

Super High School Level Herpetologist

  • Animal Motifs: After each of his sentences, Chiba says "gero," the Japanese equivalent of "ribbit."
  • Shrinking Violet: Chiba is shy and easily shaken up.

Naoki Hase

Super High School Level Marathon Runner

  • Cruel and Unusual Death: In her execution, Naoki is torn apart by rabid Monokumas until nothing is left of her. This also hits Death by Irony, as she is killed when she fails to outrun them.
  • Punny Name: The kanji for Hase's name can be read as "run straightaway into the woods" and well, look at her talent. Her morning runs around the woods are also brought up by Maeda in the trial, and used as evidence against her.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Hase murders Suzuki in Chapter One.

Minori Teruya

Super High School Level Journalist

  • Hypocrite: Teruya reveals a VERY black and white view on “criminals” at the first trial, despite the fact that she spent the first chapter trying to reconnect with Nakajima, the Super High School Level GANG LEADER who had one of the worst secrets in the group... one she knew about beforehand.
  • Punny Name: The kanji for Teruya's name can be read as "illuminate the valley with truth" which can obviously refer to her seeing herself as the reporter of truth and justice.
  • Third-Person Person: Teruya is always referring to herself by her given name in favor of using 'I'.

Akihiko Akiyama

Super High School Level Hunter

Shigeo Sakaguchi

Super High School Level Graffiti Artist

  • Unfortunate Names: The kanji for Sakaguchi's name can be read as "a masculine man over many hills" which is quite possibly the farthest from an accurate description of him someone could give.

Shinpi Kobayashi

Super High School Level Paranormal Investigator

Hotaru Maeda

Super High School Level Weightlifter

Masahiko Soga

Super High School Level Costume Designer

Ayumu Maromi

Super High School Level Voice Actor

  • Audience Surrogate: Maromi will often voice theories or observations that the author has heard from readers, such as his reasoning for accusing Hamasaki in the first trial.

Ran Eto

Super High School Level Horror Novelist


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