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Fanfic / Extra Life

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Art courtesy of lolitaii (used with permission)

Izuru knew he couldn't let her die, not like this, not while he had the power to save her. Chiaki survives her execution—but the fate of the world is still sealed. The road to recovery is a hard one, and a reunion is far off.

Extra Life by The Apocryphal One is a Danganronpa fanfic, set with the goal of saving Chiaki from her execution in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School—but rather than going full-on AU, it keeps in line with canon, with Chiaki being an off-screen witness to those events.

The fic begins immediately after the Smash to Black in Side:Despair Episode 10. Izuru, moved by emotion, decides to resuscitate Chiaki and hide her from Junko. From there, it chronicles her recovery, Character Development, and reaction to the events around her, such as The End of the World as We Know It.

Extra Life was completed October 5, 2017, one year after release. It can also be found on here, where it currently has the most Favorites of any non M-rated Danganronpa fanfic. It also has in-progress Russian, French, Spanish, and Chinese translations available.

It has a fan-made infomercial and an in-progress audiobook on YouTube.

After the fic's completion, the author also started a series of vignettes, titled Expansion Pack (also found here), taking place in the same universe that fills in details about backstories and explores what happens after the epilogue. Its trope page is here.

Tropes in Extra Life include:

    open/close all folders 

    A - M 
  • Adaptation Expansion: Besides just saving Chiaki, the fic also fills in vague canon details or wraps up dangling plot threads, offers Worldbuilding about the time of the Tragedy and the Future Foundation, explains the Neo World Program's construction, gives screentime to underused characters like Miaya, and resolves what happens to the Towa City captives.
  • After-Action Healing Drama: The opening scene of the fic. Izuru deduces the severity of Chiaki’s injuries in seconds and rushes to pull her back from the brink of death. It takes him several hours before he’s satisfied she isn’t in immediate peril, and only then does he stop to contemplate just why he wanted to save her.
  • After the End: When Chiaki wakes up, the world's already ended, making the task of recovering even harder on her since nothing is familiar anymore.
  • Ambiguously Human: Amped up from canon when even Izuru notes he isn’t sure whether he’s entirely human anymore.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Most of the fic takes place from either Chiaki or Izuru's perspectives. Chapter 8, on the other hand, has a brief moment narrated by a thug who attempts to mug the two, while Chapter 21 opens from Kyoko's POV and ends in Miaya's.
  • Archenemy: Despite his initial allegiance with her, Izuru holds Junko in high distaste. While he initially tolerates her for the chance to feel something beyond boredom, her framing him, trying to kill Chiaki, and then failing to impress him with despair all steadily erodes that tolerance... and then she seals his loathing by interfering with the second killing game, since it makes hope winning a Foregone Conclusion, not something earned. By the end of it, he's only helping her for his own benefit, and part of him is hoping she'll lose. The similarities between them just exacerbates this.
  • Ascended Extra: Miaya Gekkogahara, who was originally killed off-screen in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School, has a more substantial role and characterization here, serving as a sort of mentor once Chiaki enters the Future Foundation.
  • The Atoner: Chiaki joins the Future Foundation in the hopes of helping to set things right, after her part in contributing to the calamity.
  • Beneath Notice: Eventually, Chiaki expresses a desire to join the Future Foundation to atone. The problem? She’s assumed dead, and revealing herself to have been saved by a Remnant of Despair would likely get her arrested or worse, not to mention Chisa is still there. So, Izuru creates a fake identity for her, and she enters as not the Ultimate Gamer, but as intern Keiko Watanabe.
  • Berserk Button: Junko Enoshima is Izuru’s, for as close to berserk as he gets. The first time Chiaki hears the slightest bit of anger from him is when she asks if he’s still working for her.
  • Big Damn Reunion: The entirety of Chapter 26 is a huge, sappy, and tearful reunion between Chiaki, Hajime, and Class 77.
  • Book Ends: Two-fold! The beginning and ending of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair involve Class 77 throwing a beach party and the survivors of the Killing Trip hoping to revive their comatose classmates, respectively. Extra Life begins with Izuru hoping to revive Chiaki, who has fallen into a coma, and ends with Class 77 throwing a beach party and hoping to revive AI Chiaki and Usami.
  • Break the Cutie: Chiaki. The author stated that the price for her survival was a boatload of emotional trauma, and it shows. From being rendered an invalid and having to relearn everything, to learning the truth of what happened to Hajime and her friends, to dealing with her guilt and self-loathing for her role in the world’s end, to finding a Second Love and then losing him, too, she has no shortage of misery.
  • Breather Episode: After the heavily emotional Chapters 9 and 10, which revolve around Chiaki's depression and Survivor's Guilt after regaining her memories, Chapter 11 is full of fluffy moments between the two protagonists.
  • The Bus Came Back: Kanon, whose fate was left ambiguous after the events of Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, makes a return later in the fic. The other Captives are also mentioned as being rescued, but do not actually appear.
  • But Now I Must Go: Izuru departs to begin enacting the events of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair at the end of Chapter 18.
  • Call-Back:
    • Chiaki’s final farewell to Izuru in Chapter 18 is written deliberately to parallel her farewell to Hajime in Episode 3.
    • A delirious Nagito mistakes Kyoko for Seiko when Class 77 is captured, and starts to apologize for "that trouble with the bomb".
  • The Cameo: Ryouko Otonashi and Yasuke Matsuda make a brief one at the end of Chapter 2.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Though angered by her almost killing Chiaki, Izuru decides to let Junko live because he still needs her around so he can properly observe the conflict between hope and despair.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Chiaki was in love with Hajime, but was too afraid of rejection to tell him; she later wonders whether anything would have changed if she had. In Chapter 18, she resolves not to repeat the mistake with Izuru.
  • The Cavalry: Future Foundation forces, including Chiaki, ride to rescue their branch leaders from the Final Killing Game at the end of Chapter 23.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The boat Izuru gives Chiaki in Chapter 17 is used in Chapter 26 to bring her to Jabberwock Island.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Being an avid player of many video games has given Chiaki some useful skills; she deciphers Sayaka’s dying message because the Unown alphabet in Pokémon is strongly related to English, and has excellent marksman skills from shooters. The latter turns out to be especially important, as her superb aim helps her survive the brainwashed military's attack.
  • Covered in Scars: The traps in the maze have left Chiaki’s arms and legs criss-crossed with scars.
  • Cry into Chest: In Chapter 10, Chiaki opens up to Izuru about her guilt over her role in the events that plunged her friends into despair, and breaks down in tears. How does he respond? Taking a cue from his final encounter with Junko in Chapter 3, he reaches behind Chiaki's head and gently eases her close to him, allowing her to embrace him and cry into his chest.
  • Cue the Sun: Happens toward the end of Chapter 24 when the fighting dies down. Although the world's sky is almost perpetually red as a result of the Tragedy, it's still not unheard of (albeit rare) for the sky the clear. Each time this happens in the story, it's during serene, beautiful moments. Chiaki takes time to enjoy the rare occasion before collapsing from exhaustion.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Izuru delivers this onto several muggers that mistake him and Chiaki as easy targets.
  • Deuteragonist: Though the fic is primarily about Chiaki, Izuru gets several chapters from his perspective and has his own character arc about coming to terms with emotions.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Miaya is doomed to be killed off before the Final Killing Game, but still gets some screentime, backstory, and development.
  • Dies Wide Open: Miaya's corpse is found with her eyes stretched wide.
  • Due to the Dead: The Future Foundation holds a public memorial service for the deceased students, presumably excluding Junko and Mukuro, from Class 78 when they recover their bodies.
  • Dying Town: A year and a half after it started, the fighting in Towa City hasn't settled down at all. As a result, the only living beings in it anymore are the warring factions of adults and children. Every non-combatant has been killed.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Chiaki spends 95% of the fic and three in-fic years clawing her way through therapy, emotional pain, fear, and danger for the chance of a happy ending. And at the end of it all? She gets to reunite with everyone she loves and live in peace on Jabberwock Island.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Junko’s genuine feelings for Yasuke are brought up. Instead of humanizing her, though, it exacerbates how awful she is.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Attempted. Chiaki tries to eavesdrop on Miaya and Kyosuke's conversation about Makoto hiding Class 77, but to her frustration their voices eventually drop too low for her to hear, and she only gets a few details.
  • Exact Words: When she leaves the Future Foundation, Chiaki tells everyone that she is leaving to live with some friends. She just doesn't say that these friends are Class 77.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • To keep her safe, Izuru claims to have disposed of Chiaki's body when interrogated by Junko and doesn't tell any of her family or friends she's alive. She later maintains this when joining Future Foundation under a fake identity.
    • Between Chapter 26 and the epilogue, Class 77 film a fake video of their deaths, so that the rest of the world will leave them in peace.
  • First-Name Basis: When they reunite in Chapter 26, Chiaki and Hajime switch to this.
  • Fix Fic: The entire fic was written to save Chiaki from her execution.
  • Flashback Nightmare:
    • Chapter 7 delivers part of Chiaki's past with loneliness and bullying via one of these.
    • Chiaki regains her memories of being tortured almost to death via an extensive nightmare of the sordid event, and keeps suffering them after.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: Chiaki falls for Izuru during her year of him nursing her back to health.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Since it sticks with canon, some things are inevitable, namely that Izuru is going to leave to enact the events of the second game no matter what Chiaki says or does.
    • Miaya is going to be dead by the time of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School.
    • In-Universe, Izuru considers the outcome of the second killing game to have been this the moment Junko tried to frame Makoto for Mukuro's murder. Once she’d broken her own rules, it was only a matter of time before the students found out and used that to force her into the open.
  • Forever War: While the rest of the world starts to rebuild after Junko's death, Towa City stays embroiled in endless fighting. The epilogue reveals it finally came to an end when Monaca left, though.
  • Fuzz Therapy: Izuru gets Chiaki a pet rabbit, who she calls Yumigami, to help her overcome her depression. He even specifically lampshades the usefulness of this trope.
  • Gambit Pileup:
    • Junko and Izuru are both manipulating each other for the Neo World Program plan; Junko uses Izuru to get her AI in so she can upload her personality in the event of her death, while he goes along with it to test whether hope can beat despair. For that purpose, he anonymously backs the Future Foundation so they don't get destroyed before the program is finished, plans to exploit Makoto's kindness to get himself and Class 77 placed in the program, and makes the time to toss a Memory Gambit in there just in case the worst scenario comes to pass.
    • Chisa helps Izuru and Class 77 infiltrate the Neo World Program, then turns around and sells them out to Kyosuke to incite his anger at Makoto. Her ultimate goal is to get all the branch heads in one place and then wiped out, except Kyosuke, and she counted on him putting Makoto on trial to provide just that opportunity.
  • The Glomp: Ibuki gives Chiaki a big hug when they reunite.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Remembering her role in her beloved classmates’ brainwashing horrifies Chiaki and makes her fall into a depression. It’s so severe she even breaks one of her consoles.
    • She has another one when she sees the video of her classmates claiming to be behind the Final Killing Game. Kyoko and Makoto offering to hear her out pulls her out of this despair.
  • Home Guard: Everyone in the Future Foundation who isn't disabled or sick is taught to fight and made part of a reserve military; even if they aren't in combat-specific branches, they can still be called upon for deployment if necessary. Such is the case for Chiaki at the end of Chapter 23.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Zigzagged. Chiaki's extensive experience with video games makes her a very quick study when it comes to marksmanship, but is useless for learning hand-to-hand combat when she joins the Future Foundation.
  • Important Haircut: Izuru, now going by Hajime after the events of the Neo-World Program, cuts his hair short to symbolize his turning over a new leaf.
  • Inner Monologue: Used for insight. Both Chiaki and Izuru are prone to inwardly musing on what happens around them and on each other, Izuru moreso. In fact, the first chapter has no dialogue at all, but is entirely Izuru analyzing why he saved Chiaki.
  • Is This What Anger Feels Like?: When he encounters Junko for the first time after saving Chiaki, Izuru needs a few moments to recognize what he's feeling as pure fury.
  • Improbably Quick Coma Recovery: Averted, as you cannot get up and move on with your life after eight months in a coma. When Chiaki first wakes up, she can barely move because her muscles have atrophied and literally needs Izuru to do everything for her. It takes her a year of physical therapy to fully regain her mobility, not to mention months of mental therapy for her PTSD.
  • It Gets Easier: As Chiaki gets thrust into combat in Chapter 24 and has to actually fire her gun at assailants to defend herself, she notes that it doesn't really affect her as much as she thinks it should. The realization disturbs her greatly.
  • I Will Wait for You: Again, Chiaki is willing to wait a long period for the man she loves. It’s slightly easier on her this time, as he actually tells her he’s leaving beforehand, and she has her work with the Future Foundation to keep her occupied. Then slightly deconstructed later on—the stress and loneliness of waiting really makes her unhappy, but she won't give up on reuniting.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Discussed. Junko claims that hurting and killing those you love brings the greatest despair and thus the greatest pleasure. Izuru is less than convinced, partially because consistently doing it seems like it’d get boring and partially because he just doesn’t enjoy despair.
  • Konami Code: Izuru uses the Konami code as a trigger phrase to restore his memories of his time protecting Chiaki.
  • The Lady's Favor: Chiaki's hairpin turns out to be this. Izuru returns it to her when she wakes up, only for her to give it back to him when he leaves for Towa City and later semi-permanently as a promise he'll come back.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Obviously, the premise alone tells you what happens to Chiaki in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School, but woe betide you if you haven't finished the Japanese-only Danganronpa Zero before reading this. Ryouko Otonashi's real identity and Yasuke Matsuda's death, two major plot twists, are both spoiled in Chapters 2 and 3.
  • Love Confession: After learning he’s going to leave for an unknown period of time, Chiaki decides not to repeat her mistake with Hajime and gives one of these to Izuru in Chapter 18. He returns it, to her absolute joy.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Chapter 24 has one where, during the rescue op, Chiaki reassures the others that the cyber department members are safe from the brainwashed soldiers...except:
    We told them to barricade themselves in.
    There's a brainwashing video being broadcast.
    The room they're in is full of monitors.
    It sank in for everyone at the exact same time. "Shit!"
  • Memory Gambit: Izuru predicts one of the potential outcomes of entering the Neo World Program being his possession by Junko's AI. Knowing that she would have access to his memories and would kill Chiaki, he plans to have all knowledge of saving her and their time together temporarily suppressed in case that worst scenario comes to pass. Before doing so, he gives Chiaki a Trigger Phrase to use to restore them if it doesn't.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 23 starts with some light banter and happy reminiscing about Miaya from her mother, right before she and Chiaki discover Miaya's body. The rest of the chapter is appropriately sad, grim, and tense, devolving further when the rest of the Future Foundation learns about their branch heads being trapped and in danger.
  • Morality Pet: For all his Blue-and-Orange Morality, Izuru holds genuine affection for Chiaki and actively takes steps to protect her from any negative ramifications that may come of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. It even exceeds his desire for unpredictability, as while he finds her Heroic BSoD interesting, he values her comfort and happiness more.
  • Mugging the Monster: Chapter 8 briefly shifts to the perspective of a mugger, aiming to rob his newest targets. Unfortunately for him, one of his targets is Izuru Kamukura, and the other is Chiaki Nanami.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Retrospectively. Once she remembers leading her classmates into a trap, Chiaki is so anguished she falls into a depression.
  • Mythology Gag: During her reunion with Hajime, Chiaki mentions being afraid that if she lets go, he'll disappear, a reference to what he says in her AI's Island Mode ending.

    N - Z 
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Ultimately, the last time Chiaki ever sees Chisa is when she's being betrayed.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The Future Foundation is implied to be this, being large enough to have their own army, having connections to the police, and spearheading both the war against Ultimate Despair and the reconstruction After the End.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In Chapter 3, Junko bursts into crocodile tears over killing Yasuke Matsuda, and then mocks Izuru for not holding her in his arms to comfort her. He remembers this moment later in Chapter 10, when Chiaki is having an emotional breakdown because she feels responsible for her friends turning into the Remnants of Despair. He is able to reason that Chiaki feels comfort from physical contact, and for the first time ever, he takes the initiative by gently bringing her close to him for a hug.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Chiaki has several over the course of the story, revolving around her being trapped in Junko's death maze. One of them starts with an uncomfortable but manageable dream of painful high school memories before morphing into falling in the dungeon, and another has her being strangled by Izuru while navigating it.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Izuru’s similarities to Junko are underlined frequently, as both are geniuses with skewed moral compasses seeking an escape from their boredom. He himself notes and loathes it.
  • Not So Stoic: In the first chapter, Izuru is far more frazzled than anywhere else in the fic, both from being caught off-guard by the sudden swell of emotions and from having a very narrow window to save Chiaki's life.
  • Official Couple: As of Chapter 18, Chiaki and Izuru. Though circumstances make things complicated.
  • One Degree of Separation: Chiaki mentions to have been peripherally aware of Class 78 in some way, mostly via proxy to their relationships with her other classmates (i.e. listening to Fuyuhiko complain about Yasuhiro's debt, hearing Akane and Nekomaru talk about sparring with Sakura, some being fans of Sayaka's idol group).
  • Onee-sama: Everyone in the seventh division adores Miaya, who is a bit more silly than this trope normally entails but is also soft-spoken, reserved, polite, and affectionate.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Izuru first realizes something is seriously wrong with Chiaki when he sees her broken Game Girl Advance on the floor.
  • Parental Neglect: Chiaki’s parents were too busy to provide emotional support; they substituted games for affection, their ‘celebration’ for her birthday was telling her to do whatever she wanted, and they apparently never noticed when their own daughter would sleep at public cafes instead of coming home.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Chiaki towards the end of Chapter 24.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: Canon events still play out the same in the fic, but are seen (or sometimes not) from Chiaki's perspective. In times when they occur off-screen, it's shown what she was doing at those times instead.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Junko interfering with the Second Killing Game infuriates Izuru so much, he outright calls her a bitch the next time his POV rolls around.
    • Fuyuhiko also lets loose several "what the fuck"s when he first sees Chiaki alive.
  • Properly Paranoid: In the first chapter, Izuru considers using his own blood to replenish Chiaki's, but decides not to since he has A blood and it would kill her if she had B or O blood. As it turns out, she has O blood.
  • Pseudo-Canonical Fic: The author deliberately wrote the fic in adherence to the timeline and events of the canon universe so people could headcanon Chiaki as being alive.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: One fan of the story wrote an AU fic of it, branching off at Chapter 24.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Not as extreme as some examples, but Chiaki is shocked to find that prices for basic groceries have doubled as a side-effect of The Tragedy.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Kyoko is suspicious of Class 77's call to Makoto, thinking it's a trap. It's not, but she is right that they're up to no good.
  • Rousing Speech: Chiaki delivers one to her branch of the Future Foundation during the Final Killing Game, after laying out a plan of action for surviving their situation. Unlike the last time she tried this in canon, everything goes right, reflecting her gained worldly knowledge and caution.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: In-universe, Chiaki does a playthrough of Crisis Core with no materia or accessories to pass time while waiting for the results of her therapy license examination.
  • Ship Tease: Between Chiaki and Izuru, and Makoto and Kyoko.
  • Shipper on Deck: While watching the events of the first game, Chiaki off-handedly mentions thinking Makoto and Kyoko are good for each other.
  • Shown Their Work: The medical procedure in the first chapter was researched extensively and is greatly detailed to show it. Similarly, the therapy Chiaki goes through and later learns sticks to real methods, and her PTSD was also researched to be accurate and respectful.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: Chiaki is in a coma throughout the fall of Hope’s Peak and the first few months of the Tragedy.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: The story starts with Chiaki surviving her execution.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Hajime and Izuru fuse after the events of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, with the new persona going by "Hajime" and having his empathy, but still being every bit as analytical as the latter. He doesn't mind Chiaki calling him "Izuru", though, and she decides to just switch since she fell in love with both of them.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Poor Chiaki gets in this again, this time with Izuru. They do love each other, but Izuru has too many issues for a relationship to work.
  • Tear Jerker: In-universe, Sonia reacts this way to the ending of Crisis Core where Zack Fair dies a traitor's death in the mud.
  • Tears of Joy: Shed everywhere when Chiaki reunites with Hajime and Class 77.
  • Theme Naming: The fic and all its chapters take their names from video game terminology.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Chiaki’s reaction to learning the reasons behind Junko's villainy.
  • Time Skip: A year and a half passes at the end of Chapter 20.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Chiaki resolves to never be as helpless as she was in Side:Despair 10 again, and starts learning to protect herself when she joins the Future Foundation. It pays off majorly come Chapter 24.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Izuru's disposition improves massively after merging with Hajime.
  • Trauma Button: The sight of elevators trigger Chiaki back to the events of Side:Despair 10. Neither she nor Izuru are aware of it when they watch the Killing Game, so when she sees Class 78 enter the elevator for the first trial, she has a complete meltdown.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: For her first few POV chapters, Chiaki has amnesia about the events that put her in a coma. She does not take it well when she remembers.
  • Trigger Phrase: "Up up down down left right left right B A".
  • Undying Loyalty: Chiaki holds this for her friends and Chisa, to the extent she won't even think of exposing the latter.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: Miaya utilizes one when training new therapists, to show them how harrowing the experience can be for a newcomer and help them recognize their own shortcomings.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Emotions in general give Izuru some confusion, but especially his feelings for Chiaki. He can explain physical attraction away with logic, but not genuine care.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Chiaki is distinctly displeased when Byakuya tampers with Chihiro's corpse, yelling at him through the television screen for being an idiot.
    • She repeats this for Izuru and Ryota, chiding them for uploading Junko's virus and trying to brainwash the world, respectively. Then she forgives them.
    • Chiaki herself is on the receiving end of this, when Kanon angrily snaps at her for treating her with fear and suspicion despite being her therapist.
  • When He Smiles: Hajime apparently had a beautiful smile when he actually gave one. Izuru does too, though it’s tiny.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: One of Chiaki's emotional triggers following her execution is elevators—not an uncommon occurrence. Even the mere sight of them puts her on the verge of a panic attack. Even taking the stairs can be an ordeal when she needs to walk past an elevator to do so in the Future Foundation building.
  • You Are Too Late: Chiaki hopes to help rescue Chisa from the Final Killing Game. Unfortunately, Chisa had been killed by the time she arrived, as she discovers.

Even when you mess up and make mistakes…it’s not the end. You can keep going.