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Fanfic / Despair's Last Resort

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Despair's Last Resort is an ongoing fanfiction series set in the Danganronpa universe written by ParadoxProphet.

The story follows Super High School Level Journalist Takara Tsukuda as she finds herself invited to Hope's Peak Academy along with fifteen other students. She and her fellow classmates wake up in a place called Paradise Resort, with the news that the school is sending them on an extended vacation. However, their trip is soon hijacked by Monokuma and they are forced into a mutual killing game.


The main story has been completednote , with Resort Mode chapters currently in progress. A prequel fic, Ticking of the Clock is also in progress. There are also a few one-shots, and the author has expressed interest in a sequel.

This series contains examples of:

  • Aborted Declaration of Love: Kazumi wants to declare her feelings for Shizuka after finding out she's the third culprit, but can't bring herself to do it.
  • All for Nothing: Subverted. Takara's actions in the final trial make it so that the students that died didn't have a pointless death.
  • All There in the Manual: The author has made posts on her tumblr that give more information about some of the characters. She also has plans to make posts that not only talk about the characters, but also talk about aspects of the fic and unused ideas.
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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Brought up In-Universe after Shizuka's execution. Arata wonders if her reasoning to let herself be caught so that everyone else would continue to live is truly as noble as it sounds. He believes that she was actually acting on selfishness since they were the only friends she had, and her true reason was so she wouldn't be alone if they guessed incorrectly. Though even if her intentions were well-meaning like she claimed, she still murdered and shouldn't be seen differently than Kaito or Ayame because of that reasoning alone.
  • Anyone Can Die: No one is safe in the resort.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • In Chapter 2, Hikaru invites his friend Ayame to his room, intending to kill her so that Monokuma won't reveal that he's cheated on every girl he's dated. She kills him, by accident, in self-defense.
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    • In Chapter 3, Shigeru and Naomi to an extent, since they were planning a double murder and tried to kill Shizuka when she happened upon them.
  • Author Catch Phrase: All the culprits except the first are said to be "unfazed by the accusation" after Takara officially accuses them.
  • Beach Episode: Kind of. Chapter 2 has a party at the waterpark since they don't actually have a beach, but it's meant to serve a similar purpose. The author even lampshades that it's supposed to be a beach episode!
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Kazumi says that she wouldn't mind seeing Shigeru wind up dead, to which Ayame replies that she won't be laughing if it actually happens. Two chapters later, Shigeru does wind up as one of the two victims. However, his murderer turns out to be Shizuka.
  • Big Bad: Monokuma, as in canon.
    • Bigger Bad: Saemi Sasagawa, his controller this time around.
  • Big "NO!": Kumiko's reaction to Chiyo being the first victim.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Anyone who knows French can figure out the culprit of Chapter 3 is Shizuka from the dying message Naomi left behind.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The main story ends with Takara and the other survivors getting back on their feet with the help of the Future Foundation, their previous trauma gone, Saemi defeated for good, and each of them expressing their dreams for the future as Aoi Asahina tells them she has news for them. However, Shuuya still has work to be done as it's implied that while Super High School Level Despair has been defeated in Japan, they're still running on a global scale and the rest of the world needs help. On top of that, the trauma isn't completely gone as it's mentioned some of the students are still having nightmares. And at least five of their classmates are permanently dead from what happened in the simulation.
  • Blunt "Yes": Miyako invokes this from time to time.
  • Bookends: Two examples. The main story begins and ends with the exact same paragraph, the difference being that it's implied Takara is now writing the story down in her journal for the world to read. The epilogue also begins in a similar way to the prologue, with someone telling Takara to wake up, her thoughts trying to set themselves straight, and being told she's the last one to wake up while being helped by a boy and a girl. Even the dialogue is word for word.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Saemi intends to do this to her classmates by making them members of Super High School Level Despair. Shuuya implies that Saemi herself is this already.
  • Break Them by Talking: Monokuma attempts this throughout the story. When Saemi stops using that ruse, she tries to do it to her fellow classmates to convince them to stay. It doesn't work.
  • Brick Joke: During the Prologue, Takara swears that if she sees one more person wearing a vest or waistcoat of some sort that she'll kill them. Fast-forward to Chapter 6, where Saemi shows up and is wearing a waistcoat modified from a jacket. While Takara isn't the one to do it, she gets killed at the end.
  • The Casanova: Hikaru is implied to be one of these, but it comes off as an Informed Ability since none of the girls show much interest in him. The way he acts suggests he's more of a Chick Magnet since he doesn't know why so many girls like him, but the fact that he's cheated on all of his girlfriends gives more evidence to this trope. Though the reveal he never intended to do so makes things even more ambiguous.
    • Casanova Wannabe: Kaito tries to impress a number of the girls in the resort, but fails every time.
  • Clear My Name: Kumiko is suspected of being Chiyo's murderer in Chapter 1, and part of the investigation is spent gathering evidence to prove she's innocent.
    • In Chapter 2, it's made to look like Ryouta is the one behind Hikaru's murder, but that's due to a combination of bad coincidences and Ayame trying to frame him.
  • Closed Circle: The students are trapped in Paradise Resort with no way out, with Monokuma even destroying the docks to make sure of that. Chapter 4 has the students trapped inside the hotel due to a terrible storm. The only one who isn't trapped is Satoshi, as he ran out after an argument with Takara and got stuck in the museum.
  • Continuity Cameo: In Chapter 5, Kumiko begins talking with Chiaki Nanami from the second game. In Chapter 6, Takara finds a video with her and the others agreeing to the Paradise Rehabilitation Project in interviews with Makoto Naegi.
  • Convenient Coma: Some of the dead students are under this, implying that they could be brought back.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Carried over from canon, and even taken up to higher extremes in some cases with the executions.
    • Not only the executions, but Minoru's murder qualifies as this as well. His smoothie drinks are poisoned with chlorine bleach. His mouth is burned from the chemicals, his stomach lining is worn away, and he vomits stomach acid. Before his death, he's even coughing and gagging. Compared to the other murder methods, this one is just downright cruel.
  • Cult of Personality: Saemi is a part of Super High School Level Despair, and so worships Junko Enoshima like the students from the second game. Her intention is to make her classmates the same.
  • Darker and Edgier: Ticking of the Clock, which takes place during the last days of Class 79 at Hope's Peak Academy and begins with someone turning up dead, is already starting to be this.
  • Dark Secret: Played with. The motive for Chapter 2 threatens to reveal all the details of the students romantic histories and their interests. Some details that certain students wouldn't want people to know.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Apparently everyone in Class 79 has been through some kind of hardship or tragic event before attending Hope's Peak Academy. Some of them are detailed in the story proper, such as Kaito having emotionally abusive parents and Ryouta and his family nearly losing their flower shop to a competitor, but Monokuma's "movie" in Chapter 6 mentions others that don't clarify who had to experience it. Though that might be for the better, as one of the boys was sexually assaulted while it's implied that someone unsuccessfully tried to prevent a friend from committing suicide. It's amazing these kids had any hope left in them.
    • The two above have been confirmed to be Arata and Takara respectively.
  • Death by Irony: Carried over from canon with the executions.
  • Death of Personality: What Saemi intends to do to her former classmates by making them members of Super High School Level Despair.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Kumiko and Kaito's troubles about their neglectful and abusive parents respectively is seen as the norm in Japanese society. Takara doesn't see why Kumiko has a problem with her parents working so late, as a parent who does so is believed to be hard-working and supportive even at the cost of the child's loneliness. Meanwhile, Kaito trying to tell someone about his parents' abuse would be frowned upon, as it would be a matter that the family would have to solve.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Some of the students crossed this by the time the Future Foundation rescued them.
  • Dwindling Party: There were sixteen students at the beginning of the fic. By the time of this writing, there are only six left. Though Saemi and Shuuya are shown to both be alive as the mastermind and a Future Foundation member respectively.
  • Dysfunction Junction: All of Class 79 have been through some kind of traumatic event or had a bad past before deciding to attend Hope's Peak. Some are dived into in free time events or the story proper, while many of them are brought up in Monokuma's movie in Chapter 6 but aren't given explicit names to match. Then there's the mental trauma brought onto them from watching the events of the first game.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: Like in the games, the dead students are represented by a memorial photo that have crossed-out faces during the class trial. The pictures of the culprits have customized crosses like in the second game.
  • Empty Shell: Some of the dead students could be brought back, but it's revealed that some students have become brain-dead by sustaining too much damage to the head or heart. Which means in the best case scenario, Kaito, Shigeru, Naomi, Shizuka, and Miyako are permanently dead.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Takara has one in Chapter 6. Turns out she realized they were all in the New World Program.
    • Arata has one in the third trial upon hearing the dying message said paintre, or painter in French.
  • Everyone Can See It: All the students see Ayame and Hikaru clearly like each other, even though they both insist that's not the case. No one really believes it though.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Aside from Satoshi and Takara, everyone is under suspicion in Chapter 4 since Minoru died during a blackout.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Discussed in Chapter 3. Monokuma mentions that technically the case has two killers, but depending on how you choose to look at it then only one person is the true culprit. The reason for this is while Shigeru is the one who delivered the killing blow to Naomi, Shizuka ducking is what caused her to die in the first place.
  • Females Are More Innocent: The female killers are generally presented more sympathetically than the males. Ayame accidentally killed her victim in self-defense when he tried to kill her, while Shizuka ended up committing murder against two people who were themselves plotting a double murder to graduate(not to mention that technically, Naomi's death wasn't even her fault). As for the boys, Kaito ended up panicking and killing someone who hadn't done anything wrong (though a side fanfic does show he never wanted to kill anyone and was mentally begging for forgiveness), while Arata is entirely unapologetic about his desire to graduate and leave everyone behind, which would involve killing the remaining students.
  • Flat "What": This is Takara's reaction to seeing Monokuma for the first time.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Ticking of the Clock, the prequel, will not end well for Class 79.
  • Foreshadowing: It's noted that no one knows much about Shizuka's personality, and for all Takara knows, her optimism is just a mask. Which it is. She hides her real self so she can start over and make friends, but reveals the truth before her execution.
    • Kaito doesn't seem all that great at debating or handling stressful situations, which tips Takara off during the first investigation when he acts strangely. And during the trial, he constantly tries to direct attention away from himself, but debates poorly.
    • During the exploration of the newly-opened Health District, Arata mentions how Ryouta's always giving him dirty looks and thinks that he'll poison his drink. Arata does poison someone when he tries to escape, but his target isn't Ryouta.
    • Monokuma has a tendency to make theater related remarks. This is one of the reason Takara deduces the identity of the mastermind is Saemi, Super High School Level Playwright, and not Shuuya.
    • Takara's reaction to realizing Miyako committed suicide has her freaking out, and during Monokuma's movie, she turns away when it mentions that a student couldn't save someone's life. This post about Takara reveals that she couldn't keep a friend from committing suicide and regrets it so much that the topic of suicide is touchy around her.
  • Four Is Death: In the first three chapters, a body is discovered at the end of Daily Life IV. Chapters 4 and 5 subvert this, as the bodies in those chapters are found in the fifth Daily Life part for the chapters.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: As in canon, the students are equally split in terms of boys and girls. Even the two missing students, Saemi and Shuuya, keep the genders equal.
    • With the exception of Chapter 4, all the murders have a member of one sex murder someone of the opposite sex. Even the third case, which has two victims, accounts for this. Shigeru is responsible for killing Naomi, while Shizuka kills him back.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Kumiko punches Ryouta in the face during Chapter 5 when his paranoia starts acting up again.
  • Gilded Cage: Paradise Resort has areas like an indoor waterpark, a hot spring, and a multi-purpose theater, but the students are all trapped and can't leave.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Shizuka, knowing she'll get to reunite with her most important person.
  • He Knows Too Much: The reason why Naomi and Shigeru try to kill Shizuka is because they overheard their plans for murder. It doesn't work out for them, though.
  • Hope Spot: After Arata's execution, the remaining students say they're not going to do what Monokuma wants and will work together. Then Monokuma comes up with a motive that reveals if they can find whoever has been stealing his files, he'll give them a reward. And that one of them has all their memories and is working for him. It doesn't take long for them to start doubting each other and arguing. And then Miyako turns up dead.
  • Idiot Hair: In typical protagonist tradition, Takara. It's even lampshaded by Monokuma in Chapter 1.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Arata's execution.
  • Implausible Hair Color: Naomi's blond hair is justified due to her mixed heritage, but Kaito's platinum blond hair is never explained. Hikaru's dark gray hair also comes off as strange, considering he's around the same age as the other students.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Arata gives away the fact that he's the culprit by mentioning how hard it would be to hide a container of bleach in the restaurant with how big it was. No one aside from the killer even knew how big the container was.
  • Informed Ability: Most of the students talents are useless in their situation. The only students who are shown using their talents are Takara, Masaru, Naomi, Shizuka, Arata, and Kaito.
  • Kill the Cutie: Chiyo is the first to die. There's also Shizuka, the third culprit.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Monokuma reveals that not only are the students missing their memories, but they consented to losing them. He reveals in Chapter 5 that someone among them still has all their memories and is working for him. Turns out this is because the combined events of what they went through at Hope's Peak Academy and having to watch the events of the first game traumatized them and caused them to develop mental issues such as anxiety and PTSD.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: Minoru's murder is set up to look like this, but it was only a ruse to distract from the real cause of death.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Despite the fact that Arata is the Super High School Level Designer, he's never described as wearing anything aside from the outfit he started with.
  • Loophole Abuse: A rule is made that states a student can't steal from Monokuma or another student. There's nothing about stealing something off of a dead student, though. Shuuya also takes advantage of a loophole, considering he's not participating in the Vacation of Mutual Killing.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The entire resort is this, serving a similar purpose to the second game's Jabberwock Island.
  • Meaningful Name: Crosses with Punny Name and Double-Meaning Title. Despair's Last Resort takes place in a place called Paradise Resort, but also refers to Saemi's plan to bring back Super High School Level Despair using her own classmates. Paradise Resort is also one, as it's a simulation. It's a location made up for the Paradise Rehabilitation Project and was created specifically for Class 79.
  • Medium Awareness: Monokuma seems to be aware that they're in a story, he mentioned that he's trying to keep the story at a T rating and away from a E rating. He also mentions how "no one wants to read a boring story about a peaceful vacation".
  • Motive Rant: A few of the culprits give one after being voted guilty.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Shizuka's reaction once she realizes that she's killed Naomi and Shigeru.
  • Mythology Gag: When Takara asks why Monokuma decided to bring up their missing memories now instead of at the beginning or the end, he says it's because "revealing a shocking twist at the midway point would land some interesting results".
    • Monokuma mentions that he locked up the guns in the shooting range because he doesn't want a trigger happy havoc.
  • Name's the Same: There are a number of different Paradise Resorts that exist, but the one in the fic itself isn't based on any of them. Which makes sense considering it's a literal paradise for the characters.
  • The Nicknamer: Kumiko has a nickname for everyone, even Monokuma.
  • Power Outage Plot: Chapter 4 contains this, as the power in the resort is continually going out due to a storm outside and is considered the motive. Arata tries to use it to his advantage to get away with his murder of Minoru.
  • Rape as Backstory: It never specifies who, but one of the male students was sexually assaulted before arriving at Hope's Peak Academy. No one believed him when he told others about what happened. The author and unused Free Time Events confirm that it was Arata.
  • Revealing Cover-Up: Information about Shuuya's talent is hidden in all the papers and files the students find. Takara finds out his talent, Super High School Level Assassin, from a dream. Because of this, the students assume that the mastermind is Shuuya. Takara manages to prove them wrong, though, and it helps when Shuuya himself joins them later.
  • Sadistic Choice: Saemi offers them one in Chapter 6. Either complete the final test and leave the resort with the risk of regaining their trauma and being unable to revive the comatose students, fail and allow Saemi to turn them all into members of Super High School Level Despair, or give up and stay in the resort forever with all their friends by sacrificing Shuuya.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Minoru, Ryouta, Shizuka, Kaito, Kazumi, and Shigeru all seem to be wearing their old high school uniforms.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Arata and Shigeru both invoke this.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Ayame and Hikaru both claim that they're just friends and nothing more, but there are hints that there's more to their relationship than meets the eye. Especially if Ayame's angry reaction to finding out Hikaru cheated on women in the past is any indication.
  • Ship Tease: Due to keeping the romance ambiguous, there's a good amount of it. Ticking of the Clock only fuels the shipping farther and makes the ambiguity more clear.
    • Hikaru and Ayame are always spending time together, insist they're not an item despite their behavior saying otherwise, and Ayame gets pretty upset upon learning that Hikaru cheated on all the girls he dated in the past. She also felt pretty betrayed by the fact that he tried to kill her. In Ticking of the Clock, Ayame even mentions that he's cute when he gets flustered.
    • Naomi and Shigeru have some as well, though it's more subtle. Shigeru mentions that he finds her to be one of the more intelligent students and tries to help her gather information. They also plan to commit a double murder together, though Shizuka stops that from happening.
      • Chapter 2 of Ticking of the Clock confirms them as canon, at least during their time in Hope's Peak, as they have a scene together and Naomi is referred to as Shigeru's boyfriend.
    • Takara has some with both Satoshi and Masaru. Word of God confirms that Satoshi has a crush on Takara before they met, and Masaru starts getting nervous around her in Chapter 4. Masaru also gets bummed out when Satoshi comes back from the museum during the fourth investigation and is spending time with her. Since Takara hasn't really shown more interest in either, it leaves things in an implied Type 3 Triang Relations. It ends up leaning towards Masaru near the end though, especially since when they leave the simulation, she holds his hand instead of Satoshi's.
    • Kazumi really seems to like Shizuka. They spend almost all their time together, Kazumi tells her the truth that she's gay while promising not to go after her, and Kazumi begged Monokuma not to execute her while Shizuka tried to reassure her.
    • After some of her memories come back, Shizuka remembers that there was someone she was very close to at Hope's Peak. She can't remember if the love she had for him was platonic or romantic though, leaving it up in the air just how close they were. The journal also mentions that while watching the School Life of Mutual Killing, Shizuka crossed the Despair Event Horizon after the discovery that someone was murdered. Monokuma mentions that the person she remembered is already dead, which implies that those two are one and the same. Chapter 0 reveals she was reluctant to escape Hope's Peak because of this same person.
      • Ticking of the Clock confirms that she did indeed have a boyfriend, and it's hinted that it's Kiyotaka Ishimaru. Side works outright confirm their relationship.
    • Shuuya and Miyako seem to have had something before the memory loss, or were at least especially close to each other.
    • Saemi mentions that Minoru has a girlfriend in Chapter 6. Ticking of the Clock suggests that it's a girl by the name of Hikari Nanase, but there's no outright confirmation aside from his own feelings.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Shown Their Work: The author has been doing research on both murder methods and certain aspects of Japanese culture, but what stands out the most is the detail put into the way Minoru was murdered.
    • Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: After the fifth trial, Kumiko speaks a phrase in very fluent Italian. The author actually got in contact with someone from Italy so the translation would be accurate.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Kaito, Ayame, and Shizuka all have shades of this. Kaito cracked under pressure, Ayame was betrayed by her best friend and then killed him on accident, and Shizuka just wanted to talk Shigeru and Naomi out of creating a double murder. Subverted with Arata, as he openly admits that he killed Minoru because he was tired of being stuck with the others in the hotel.
  • Tap on the Head: Naomi and Shigeru are both murdered this way.
  • Tragic Keepsake: After every trial, Takara has one from the victim and culprit of the case. Chiyo's talisman, Kaito's caricature drawings, a towel from Hikaru and Ayame, Naomi and Shigeru's files, Shizuka's sketchbook, Minoru's smoothie drink, Arata's outfit, and Miyako's keys and charm bracelet.
    • Shizuka's scarf is one for Kazumi.
  • Undignified Death: All the executions. Being crushed by a giant anvil, pummeled by giant footballs, covered in paint before being shot, and repeatedly being punctured by a giant sewing machine are not the most dignified ways to go out. Shizuka, however, decides to Face Death with Dignity and doesn't fight it. Arata tries to do the same once he's caught, but he becomes terrified right before he's impaled.
  • The Unfavorite: Kaito is this compared to his brothers.
  • Video Will: Miyako leaves one in the hopes the others will find it after she commits suicide.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Shizuka shows signs of this during Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. Turns out there was an upperclassman she was close to during her time at Hope's Peak Academy, but she willingly gave up all memories of that time. She manages to remember him after she murders Shigeru and Naomi. Kumiko shows signs as well in Chapter 6.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Arata and Kumiko have blue and hot pink hair respectively. Shigeru also has blue hair. Averted with Kazumi, as her green hair is a result of hair dye.

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