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Believe It or Not is an ongoing series of fanfictions by Oclarina, set in the Dangan Ronpa universe. Each work in the series features its own cast of characters and takes place in a unique location. The characters are students of Hope's Peak Academy who have been taken away to a new mutual killing game, where they are forced to murder one of their classmates in order to leave.

The series features two works so far, Forest Nightmare and Undersea Illusion, which can be read in any order. Still, the series features an overarching storyline with many twists and turns. The series also features some spoilers for both Dangan Ronpa games.

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Universal Tropes

  • Anime Hair: So many hairstyles. To name just a few: Hiniwa keeps his hair spiked with an absurd amount of gel, Odori's hair resembles soft-serve ice cream, Emiline has enormous pigtails, and Yanagi's hair actually rivals Hiniwa's in blockiness and spikiness.
  • Anyone Can Die: Taken Up to Eleven in Believe It or Not, where the number of surviving students per story is greatly reduced from the games. No one is safe, not even the protagonists.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Matsuda family, whose members are the masterminds of the different stories, is definitely this. They are vicious and manipulative to the students they oversee, and they're fairly awful to each other as well.
  • Cast Full of Gay: It would give everyone a headache to list all the non-heterosexual students. Word of God is that no student in Forest Nightmare is straight, and of the students in Undersea Illusion the only heterosexuals are Rukiro and Minagami.
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  • Idiot Hair: Possessed by many characters, including Tsuneo, Masuyo, Yoshie, Honrei, Mizuki, Kaisui and Yanagi. Shibou possibly also qualifies.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Several students qualify: Shibou, who wears an entirely purple suit with a bear pin on his necktie; Sunagawa, who wears a plaid shirt over striped shorts; but special mention should go to Matsuda, who wears tweed Converse and bright red jeans, as well as a rainbow-striped scarf.
  • Killer Teddy Bear: Monokuma, the classic Big Bad of the Dangan Ronpa series.
  • Murder Mystery
  • Shipper on Deck: Soushin is a rare antagonistic example. After a casual comment from one of the other students, she launches unprompted into a list of previous romantically-linked pairs of students, even speaking casually about those who have died. When called out on it, she is mostly unapologetic.
    • Nishimura takes this trope Up to Eleven by being the Super High-school Level Matchmaker.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Possessed by a great number of the students. Mizuki's eyes match the white-blue that colors his hair, Tomiko's are bright purple, Rukiro's are red, and Hensou and Otsuka both have gold eyes, among many others. And that's just in the first two stories.
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  • The Summation: Performed by the protagonist at the end of each trial, in the style of the Climax Inference segments from the games.
  • Title Drop: Given by Masuyo shortly before the discovery of her death:
    Masuyo: I'm not sure what to believe any more. I know what's written here is true, but it's still hard to take. Believe it or not, I remember everything.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Matsuda and Rukiro are the most literal examples, as they both have actual blue hair, but other characters have their own strange colors as well. Tomiko's is an even mix of purple and blond, leading one to wonder which if either is her natural color; Mizuki's is a very pale shade of blue; and Iyakami's is flat maroon. Possibly Soushin also qualifies, as her hair looks just a little too orange to classify as a natural bright ginger.

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    Fangan Ronpa: Forest Nightmare 
Forest Nightmare

Forest Nightmare features a cast of at first sixteen students trapped in a lush, enormous forest, their only hope of escaping to commit a perfect murder. The students try to make the best of their situation, look for a mode of escape, and avoid any tragedies, but with clashing personalities and increasingly tempting motives from Big Bad Monokuma, it's only a matter of time before blood is shed in this forest nightmare.


  • Affectionate Nickname: Largely based in Japanese Honorifics. Some nicknames used include Aji-chan for Ajiyama Masuyo, Miya-chan for Miyano Mamiko, Masa-chan for Hiniwa Masanori, and Tsuneo-chi for Ajiyama Tsuneo.
  • Artificial Limbs: Specifically, prosthetic legs, possessed by Keina, who is self-conscious about them. Masuyo promises not to tell anyone when she finds out.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: Otsuka's swimsuit in Chapter 1 looks more like lingerie, and Soushin's is implied to be even more revealing.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: A case can be made for almost any of the culprits, but Shibou especially qualifies. After spending Chapter 1 and most of Chapter 2 cheerful and genial, he undergoes a drastic change in personality that sets up him to be one of the culprits of Chapter 3.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: An uncommon brother and sister example. Tsuneo is very withdrawn from others and not often in a good mood, but Masuyo is generally able to cheer him up at least a little.
  • Color-Coded Characters: Monokuma claims that the teams are decided by eye color alone, though several of the students display their team colors more consistently throughout their appearances.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: The second Chapter 2 victim writes their killer's initials in blood before dying, helping to pinpoint the culprit.
  • David vs. Goliath: Keina, one of the shortest members of the cast, suffocates and poisons Hensou, one of the tallest students.
  • Driven to Suicide: Soushin declares this to be the reason for her death in Chapter 6, though there are doubts as to whether that is what really happened .
  • Evil Matriarch: Matsuda Hana, the mastermind of Forest Nightmare, is this with her children.
  • First-Name Basis: Emiline Grangerford feels that she is on this with all of her classmates, due to her being viewing most social interactions as an American would. This causes her classmates some irritation but is actually important evidence during the trial for her murder.
  • High-Voltage Death: ...Almost. During his execution, Shibou is trapped in an electric chair, about to be shocked to death, but it is subverted at the very last moment when he breaks free. Not that he lives much longer, though.
  • Hot Librarian: Otsuka is fairly attractive but insanely intelligent as well.
  • Improvised Weapon: In Chapter 1, the culprit prepares a legitimate weapon to attack the victim with, but loses it in the struggle and ultimately takes his life by stabbing him in the throat with a tablet pen found lying around.
  • Lethal Chef: A number of the students are terrible cooks, but Tsuneo especially works this trope when he tries to cook a hunk of Mystery Meat in Chapter 6. He's upgraded to a literal version when that Mystery Meat turns out to be the cause of Soushin's death.
  • Man-Eating Plant: The vehicle of Kawada's execution. The culprit is dangled above a multitude of these like a dog treat; eventually, the chain they are held by snaps, and the biggest plant eats them.
  • Mega Twintails: Possessed by Emiline. Together the two of them are probably half again as large as her head.
  • Modesty Towel: Worn by Soushin when the Chapter 4 victims are discovered dead. Since she never gets an opportunity to change out of it, she's actually wearing it throughout the trial.
  • Obviously Evil: Shibou is this to many of the others in the Chapter 3 trial.
  • Official Couple: Kawada and Oshima all but confirm their status as a couple when Tsuneo points it out during the first trial.
  • Off with His Head!: Though not shown on screen for reasons of being so graphic, Word of God, as well as a short scene in the Chapter 5 investigation heavily suggests this being the true method of Shiroju's execution. The witch form shown at the end of the execution, as Shiroju is just a walking PMMM reference, is also headless, and the decapitation theme is confirmed by the author as part of an Expy reference to Mami Tomoe.
  • Omniglot: Otsuka Toshiko, the Super High-school Level Translator.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Monokuma is possibly this. He separates the students into teams of two, "one boy and one girl" each. Keina, who does not identify as either binary gender, is made to occupy the male role in xyr team as a result.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Otsuka dies from being shot in the head in Chapter 2, but the worst her head wound looks in the art is a bloodied face - the entrance and exit wounds cannot be seen, and it doesn't appear that there's been skull or brain blasted anywhere. Maybe that's why the culprit decided to shoot her four more times.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Shibou Arata, the Super High-school Level Therapist. He may be a student of psychology, but he's a manipulative and unstable Jerkass, as shown in Chapter 3 when he manipulates Keina into committing a double murder with him and allowing xem to take the fall.
  • Questionable Consent: Shibou, the more prominent culprit of Chapter 3, claims that Keina, the other culprit, went along freely with their plan to murder two of their classmates, but Keina insists that Shibou threatened to murder xem if xe didn't consent.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Given by one of the Chapter 3 culprits to the other after they're both found out:
    Keina: Shut up! Shut up, shut up, shut up! You let us fail, it was all your fault, you were better than this, if I had taken the fall like I said I would if we failed then, then, the vote would have been wrong, and Odori-san could have come with us! You're useless! Pointless! Why did I ever think I could trust you?! That's right; you threatened to kill me if I didn't! But here I am, about to die anyways! You evil little manipulative-
  • Replacement Goldfish: Some of the students feel that Emmi is this for Emiline and are not pleased about it, though almost everyone eventually warms up to them.
  • Robot Buddy: Emmi, the Super High-school Level Robot.
  • Robot Master: Emiline Grangerford is the Super High-school Level Robotics Engineer, and during the story she actually designs a robot to prove it.
  • Seeking the Missing, Finding the Dead: With Chapter 1 victim Kaisui and Chapter 3 victim Hensou. Subverted with Chapter 3 attack victim Oshima, who isn't actually dead but unconscious when found.
  • Spoiler Title: "Green Thumb, Red Handed." After you learn that Kawada has a green talent, the culprit's fairly obvious considering the saying.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Odori stands 6'3" and is considered fairly attractive at least by Hensou. Otsuka is a shorter example at 5'9", but that's still extremely tall for a Japanese woman her age, and she is seen as beautiful by most of the others.
  • The Stoic: Odori does not show a lot of emotion, even when speaking about personal subjects.
  • Time Travel: The focus of Matsuda's talent as the Super High-school Level Time Travel Theorist.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: After spending the major part of the story believing the best of the others and caring arguably more about her friends than most of the other students do, Masuyo is murdered in Chapter 5, to great tragic effect.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Masuyo is possibly this in Chapter 3. In the beginning of that chapter, she encourages Shibou to get in touch with his real feelings instead of taking everything in stride and always acting positive, and Shibou responds by turning cold, bitter, and ultimately murderous.
  • Walking Spoiler: Emmi, who is only introduced at the end of Chapter 2, is one of these.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Kaisui, the Chapter 1 victim, gets a whole five speaking lines before being murdered.
  • Woman of a Thousand Voices: Miyano Mamiko, the Super High-school Level Voice Actor, is this In-Universe.

    Fangan Ronpa: Undersea Illusion 
Undersea Illusion

Undersea Illusion shows an entirely new cast of students. This group, however, is trapped in a glass dome at the bottom of the ocean. Even so, the deal Monokuma makes is the same: kill one of their classmates and get away with it, and they can exit the dome. In such an unusual locale and with such opposing personalities, there's no telling what will happen to this new batch of talents.


  • Battle Butler: Rukiro Nori, the Super High-school Level Butler, will do anything to protect Minagami, to whom he serves as consort.
  • Luminescent Blush: Sunagawa is rarely seen without one of these.
  • Official Couple: Rukiro and Minagami are engaged to be married from the beginning of the story.
  • Preacher Man: Iyakami Kenshin, the Super High-school Level Priest.
  • Rich Bitch: Minagami's raison d'etre. Even her talent of Super High-school Level Landlady refers to her vast wealth and ownership, and she is very comfortable showing off her status to her classmates at their own expense.
  • Scary Musician, Harmless Music: Tomiko has an intimidating appearance, with numerous piercings and spiked clothing, but she's the Super High-school Level Flautist and plays both classical and modern music.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Rukiro and Minagami always opt for longer, more expressive terms even if it makes their speech difficult to understand.
  • Shrinking Violet: Gendou is generally quiet and timid compared to the other students.
  • The Stoic: Ryouta says very little, and most of what he does say is concise and clinical.
  • Surfer Dude: Sunagawa Fumio, the Super High-school Level Boarder, though he is a boarder of all sorts, not just surfboarding.
  • Theme Naming: The given names of the team captains feature this, spelled with the Japanese characters for their teams' seasons as well as qualities shared by the members of each team:
    • The Spring Team captain's given name, Harumi, combines the characters for "spring" and "beauty;"
    • The Summer Team captain's given name, Natsuki, is the characters for "summer" and "hope;"
    • The Fall Team captain's given name, Akio, is the characters for "autumn" and "life;"
    • The Winter Team captain's given name, Fuyuai, is spelled with "winter" and "love."

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