"When sixteen teenagers are forced into a campsite, a strange little mascot appears telling them: kill or be killed.
The question is who will survive."
Dangan Ronpa: Drowning in Bittersweet Despair is a currently ongoing spin-off fanfiction of the Japanese murder mystery visual novel Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc written by starrynova. The story is written in a script style format, and features an original cast of characters in an original location.
You follow Riley Starr, the Super High School Level Chess Player, a student hailing from the UK to go to school at Hope's Peak Academy. However, they end up in over their head when they find themselves trapped in a campground with fifteen other Hope's Peak students, all bearing their own talents and... "unique" personalities. The group finds themselves pitted up against each other in a twisted game of murder hosted by a cartoon-y owl bearing the name Yoruru. It's only a matter of time before the first body drops.
This fanfic provides examples of:
- Anyone Can Die: It's a Danganronpa fic.
- Body of the Week: In true killing game fashion, new bodies show up on the regular.
- Characters Dropping Like Flies: It's barely been a week, but two students have already died. And this is just the beginning...
- Childhood Friends: Nakajima and Teruya.
- Closed Circle: The camp is surrounded by an electric fence.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Naoki's execution. She's forced to run laps, being chased by giant Monokumas. Eventually, they trap her and maul her to pieces.
- Elaborate University High: Hope's Peak Academy itself. Although, considering their situation, its unlikely any of the characters will live to attend it. It's revealed pretty early on that everyone did attend Hope's Peak however- they just can't remember it.
- Evidence Scavenger Hunt: Riley has to find evidence scattered around the cast after each murder, in-line with the other protagonists in the Danganronpa series.
- Empty Chair Memorial: Like in the games proper, the deceased students are represented in trial by memorial photo with their faces crossed out.
- Flower Motifs: Flowers make more than one appearance in this story, and are even in the title of the prologue.
- Kill the Cutie: Kirara, the first victim. Although, it's safe to say she won't be the last one who this trope applies to.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Everyone's missing their memories of Hope's Peak. Yoshi takes this one step further, having forgotten his entire identity.
- Mascot Villain: Yoruru, the cutesy owl taking a role like Monokuma's from the original Danganronpa series.
- Oh, Crap!: In the prologue, Nakajima makes the mistake of attacking Yoruru, and Houjou vocalizes his sudden discomfort moments before spears shot up from the ground.
- Ontological Mystery: The biggest ongoing investigation concerns who placed the cast in the killing game, and how they're going to escape from it.
- Punny Name: In general, quite a few of the kanji for the character's names refer to nature and land (i.e. "God's princess in a little forest, "run straightaway through the woods") which is ironic when you consider where the killing game is taking place.
- Tragic Keepsake: Riley wears Suzuki's hat after her death.
- Win Your Freedom: The game's goal.
- You All Meet in a Cell: Everyone meets each other for the first time or so they thought at the time in the campgrounds.
- You Wake Up in a Room: Well, it's more like a lodge, but it still fits!