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Forest of Despair is a completed fanfiction story by SanityRequiem based on the Danganronpa universe. This story features a cast of twenty-one students and Monokuma. They are trapped inside the Suicide Forest, and the only way out is to kill somebody and get away with it. A forum dedicated to discussing the story can be found here.

In the same universe as The Despair In Our Stars and The Killing Games Serenade.


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This Danganronpa fanfic contains examples of:

  • Abduction Is Love: Cruelly averted by Sanity Requiem. Based on how you personally interpret Hideyoshi's actions towards Akita, there are hints that he was trying to get her to fall in love with him.
  • Aborted Arc: It was originally planned for Akita to be the first killer, but, when people found it too obvious, and Kaede was revealed the be the first killer in her game, it was ditched to her being the first victim.
    • The author revealed that there are actually a lot of these due to the sheer amount of outlines on her Tumblr.
  • Academy of Adventure: The rundown Hope's Peak ripoff is not the fun kind, that's for sure.
  • The Ace: Everyone in their prospective field of work.
    • Broken Ace: Some characters are implied to be this. Such as Akita, for she has a voice in her head and a scar.
  • Acquitted Too Late: Cassius. Monokuma reveals that he was innocent, and the only reason he executed him is that the others almost had a successful escape attempt. The true killer is Kira.
  • Action Girl: Both Mitsuru and Miyuki have talents that require them to take action. Akita also has hints of this, for she is implied to be part of Mitsuru's gang, just unofficial, and was about to punch Takayuki.
    • Also Hotaru, even though she is a Damsel in Distress, Hotaru got in that situation by breaking down a stable door!
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    • Ayano is also one, being likened to a ninja. She actually breaks the floor by punching it once, but it is unclear how strong it was in the first place.
  • Advertised Extra: Kazuhiko and Akita. Both are built up to be important characters (which they are) but they both die during chapter one.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Some characters have this for others. For example, Yuki is this for Takayuki...except for when Akita uses it. Monokuma twists this and gives the students his own messed up names.
  • After the End: Takes place after the Tragedy, about a couple decades so, while the world is still repairing.
  • Ahoge: Played with. Akita has one, but she always tries to get rid of it.
    • Ayano has one too, but it is hidden away by her beanie.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The culprits with sympathetic motives.
    • Kazuhiko. He killed Akita because he thought she was the mastermind thanks to the suspicious way she was acting and thinking that she wanted to kill Naoko. He turns out to be wrong.
    • Kira. Especially with the reveal that she was the original traitor for the game when Ayano Kirigiri was still in charge. During the second trial, Kira tried to kill herself to give the students something they need, which was also hinted to be because of her guilt for helping to put them all in this situation. Although Kira has done very bad things, she is seen as sympathetic in the eyes of most fans thanks to her trying to write her wrongs and the clear influence Kirigiri has on her.
    • Takayuki is a very complicated case since there's a divide of people in the fandom thinking he was and wasn't at least partly responsible for Naoko's death. But Takayuki himself tried his hardest to control Hideyoshi, to the point of cutting off both of his hands, and wouldn't let himself fall into despair even while experiencing his own painful, slow death.
    • Namita. While it is true that she killed her girlfriend, Miyuki, Namita was used by Kaneshiro to do so. The others even try to protect her from her doomed fate just because of how bullshit the whole thing was but they were not successful.
    • Tsukiko may have killed Kira but she was driven to despair by Kaneshiro to do so.
    • Akemi. Oh, Akemi. He was Kaneshiro's traitor but started to defect because of how bullshit the actions Kaneshiro took during the game were. He is the one that tricked Cassius into possibly becoming the killer however. But Akemi's last actions were too screw Kaneshiro over, killing Tsukiko to cause his own death so Kaneshiro would not be able to use them anymore (also knowing that revealing a Despair!Tsukiko during the trial could destroy the moral of the rest of the surviving students possibly). However, Kaneshiro decides to reveal he was the true killer of Akemi's family, with Akemi finding the killer of them the only reason he agreed to help Kaneshiro. This hurts Akemi so much that he gets a heart attack from the shock and dies.
  • The Alibi: A very important part of the investigations. Though the alibis are always correct, there's usually holes in them and ways to abuse them. Like, in the first trial, it stated that Kazuhiko was with Akemi and his group before the murder, but then he was found in the library, making him look very suspicious and then executed for killing Akita.
  • All for Nothing: Kazuhiko killing Akita. From what we know so far, he believed that she was the mastermind, was clearly wrong, and was forced somehow by the real mastermind to keep silent.
  • Alone with the Psycho: The scenes where the characters are forced to be alone with Kaneshiro count as this. The most obvious examples are the times Hotaru and Ayano are stuck in a room with him.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Both Yasu and Minato. Akita does not know what gender Yasu is, and she already knows Minato and calls them they.
  • America Takes Over the World: The Committee, full name American Restoration Committee, is in charge of most of the world after the Tragedy.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: After Akita becomes the first victim, Ayano takes over as the protagonist.
    • For a short time during chapter three, Takayuki becomes the narrator.
    • Hotaru becomes the narrator for a short time during the fourth after trial.
    • During the last chapter, after Ayano dies, the focus shifts between Yasu, Hotaru, and Hayato.
  • Anyone Can Die: Like the original games. Nobody is spared.
    • The first death is the apparent protagonist, Akita, which proves that not even the narrator is safe.
  • Arc Words: Other than the usual hope and despair, prepare for a lot of people to talk about neutrality.
    • After Ayano becomes the narrator, there is a new arc word, nothingness.
  • Asshole Victim: Akita Yamazaki. See her character page for more details.
    • Depends on how you view her, Mitsuru. She gave into despair and was a bit of an asshole before dying. Atsuto killed her because he thought that she attacked Yasu.
  • Bait-and-Switch: You think Akita is going to be the first killer? Wrong. She's the first murderer with her implied murder victim, Kazuhiko, getting to her before she gets to him.
    • You think Kira is the one jeweler that killed Shinichi? Wrong. It is actually the other jeweler, Cassius. Cue to the fandom freaking out again. For Req to trick them again to make it turn out that Kira really did kill Shinichi.
  • Berserk Button: One for Kira Iwata, the Ultimate Jeweler, is calling her a child.
    • A weird one for Akita is mentioning Hideyoshi. She can perfectly refer to him in her mind, but, once somebody brings him up, she either becomes violent or sad.
    • Let's just say that Kazuhiko can become very protective over Ayano.
  • Big Bad: Monokuma.
    • One of the students is the mastermind, as hinted by Monokuma while explaining who can remove Minato's chain.
    • There's not one big bad. In 4-1, Ayano figures out that there are probably multiple masterminds with their own goals.
    • The true big bad of the story is Kaneshiro Kazuma, who was Satoshi pretending to be Atsuto. It makes more sense in context.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Like the last Killing Games, Monokuma has installed cameras everywhere to spy on the students.
  • Bishounen: A lot of the boys. Surprisingly the one who is most like this is the Casanova Wannabe Satoshi.
  • Black Blood: Averted. Unlike the series it is based off, the blood is clearly stated to be red. Sometimes there are references of the pink blood whenever there's fake blood needed.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: It sure is. In the first chapter alone, the victim, the Decoy Protagonist herself, was stabbed over twenty times and had her head beaten in, while the first execution is clearly on the levels of the ones seen in V3. And then it just keeps getting worse and worse.
  • Body Horror: Way more than one would suspect out of something based off this game series. Darker and Edgier and Bloodierand Gorier indeed.
    • The best example is Kazuhiko's dead body. It is even used as a sorta Jump Scare for Ayano. The author goes out of her way to explain how the brutalized Kazuhiko is already decaying. And, you know, bodies shouldn't look like that. Sweet dreams.
  • Body of the Week: Once again, like the games, it is inspired by.
  • Bookworm: Implied with Naoko. When Akita asks her about hobbies, Naoko responses that she likes to read.
    • Yasu is a giant fan of books, going on tangents on how much they like the books they are reading.
  • Breaking Old Trends: All over the place. So much that the characters question whether or not this is truly inspired by Junko's Killing Game. Stating all of them would take forever.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Akita does this all the time in her narration.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Satoshi, the Ultimate Bartender, tries to flirt with Akita and Miyuki in his introduction during the prologue and gets denied.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Lampshaded. One of the chapters in the prologue is even named this.
  • Central Theme: Neutrality VS Nothingness, Hope VS Despair
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: To say characters die a lot in this fanfiction is an understatement.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Akita mentions Kaneshiro Kazuma off-handly in a flashback. Turns out he is the mastermind and the both of them have a long, complicated relationship with each other.
    • Listing all of these would take forever. Just remember that if something is mentioned, it will come back again. No matter how small it seems or how far back it was.
  • Clear My Name: Ayano Nishiki has to do this is the second trial, where Hotaru accuses her of murdering Shinichi.
  • Crapsack World: Even though the world is being repaired from the Tragedy, it still seems to be a crappy place to live.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: This is a Danganronpa fanfiction after all.
    • Akita gets stabbed twenty-one times and has her head beaten in.
    • After being shot at and beaten by rocks, Kazuhiko has a conveyor belt fall on him, crushing most of his bones and messing up his insides. He gets to the top of the mess but dies shortly after of his injuries after telling Ayano that he loves her.
    • Shinichi gets slowly poisoned over the course of thirty minutes, with his body contorting in awful ways, while everybody tries to save him. He eventually chokes on his own vomit.
    • Cassius's execution is brutal. It mirrors Kirumi's at first with various saws, axels, hoses, and lasers coming at him. Of course, Cassius gets injured much like Kirumi. What makes this debately worse than even Kirumi's execution is the acid bath. Since Cassius gets pushed into the acid bath where he slowly gets eaten away. And he didn't even murder Shinichi! Monokuma executed him instead of Kira because the students all tried to escape together!
    • Naoko is handcuffed to a desk, stripped to her underwear, stabbed twenty-one times, and finally her throat is crushed, killing her. She was even driven to despair!
    • Don't forget Kyoto. Hayato wanted to give him a quick death but failed. Kyoto then slowly bleed to death, all alone, and had the mastermind mess with him. His will to live to tell the others everything doesn't stop his death though.
    • Although Mitsuru has a quicker death than most the cast, she still got beheaded by a sword by accidentally falling onto it after being shot.
    • Poor Takayuki. The boy gets severely injured before the end of his execution. Then Monokuma injects him with yet another shot. Takayuki then begins to experience a severe seizure. Bones also begin to crack through his skin. Then Monokuma shots him in the head, killing him instantly.
    • Next is Mirabilis. She was slowly being hung by Monokuma when she was then shot in the head by Hayato. Lovely.
    • Just every death in this story is this. Listing all of them here would take forever.
  • Darker and Edgier: What did you except for a Killing Game set in the Suicide Forest of all places?
  • Deadly Game
  • Dream Sequence: Whenever Akita goes to sleep, she has a dream with her alter ego.
    • There's a lot of these because of the nightmare themes inside the story itself.
  • Drivento Suicide: It's in the Suicide Forest. What did you think was gonna happen?
  • Empty Chair Memorial: Like the series it is based on, Monokuma places a stand on the podium of the student who died.
  • Enemy Mine: During the chapter five murder. Tsukiko and Akemi work together so they can finally stop being manipulated by Kaneshiro. With Tsukiko being a massive pain in Akemi's plan during the entire game, and Tsukiko being hinted to finding to find the traitor as well so she could either kill or reason with him, it would be safe to say that they are enemies. It doesn't work out.
  • The Engineer: Yasu Matsuhita is the Ultimate Engineer.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Seems like every student and their grandmother is connected in some way. For example, Kazuhiko and Tsukiko actually did go to school each other but weren't especially close.
  • Evidence Scavenger Hunt: After each murder, the students are given some time to find clues related to the murder.
  • Eye Scream: Played with. It is noted that Akita stabbed her own eye...damn. And the aftermath is not pretty to look at.
  • First-Name Basis: Even though most people use first names, characters like Hayato and Miyuki usually use last names except in situations where they know the person, for Hayato, or are asked to, for Miyuki.
  • First Person Smart Ass: Akita has hints of this.
  • Foreshadowing: Might as well be called Foreshadowing of Despair.
    • One example, Akita states that she feels uneasy on the outside patio. She is later brutally murdered there.
  • For Science!: Kotori's excuse for doing the things she does. Its heavily implied that this is a lie and Kotori is just finding a loophole to complete all of her experiments. She seems to be doing them for despair other than science.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Subverted. Even though there are slightly more females, the ensemble is still pretty equal.
  • Green Aesop: Played with. In the prologue, Akita jokes about how littering is bad while picking up the paper Monokuma gave her.
  • Group Hug: Happens in chapter 2-5 with all of the surviving students.
  • Hide the Evidence: In the second chapter, the mastermind hides the two pouches, one of poison, one of water.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Akita has a crush on Mitsuru, and Mitsuru seems worried about her.
    • Once again, the amount of Ho Yay in this story is insane...
  • Hope Is Scary: Hello Committee and Aki, how nice to see you show the audience how hope can be used in horrible, horrible ways.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Suicide Forest.
  • I Have Your Wife: Averted. In direct contrast to the first game, the first motive is based off the people they hate and getting the chance to see them dead.
  • I Just Write the Thing: The attitude the author displays. Although she does have an outline, to say that things are very different from what they used to be is, once again, an understatement.
  • Jerkass: Takayuki is described by Akita as this.
  • Lights Off, Somebody Dies: Played with. The first time the lights turned off during the second chapter the culprit set up their trap. The second time was to make sure Shinichi experienced the worse effects of the poison and die.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Monokuma gives the students no spare clothes and they're forced to wear the same thing for the entire Killing Game. No wonder they all smell horrible.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are twenty-one characters in the class. Including Monokuma and other characters outside the Killing Game, such as Hideyoshi, there are a lot of characters to keep track of.
    • And then they're other characters that the other members of the cast mention. And Akita's sister also seems to play an important role, along with her dead teacher Ms. Torr.
    • And then there's the reveal of all the personalities in Akita's head being their own characters! And there's A LOT of them!
    • Don't you forget Kotori and the other members of the Committee!
    • During the sixth chapter, there is the introduction to even more characters!
  • Long Title: Some of the chapters have really long titles. I'm looking at you Investigation 2-1.
  • Love Hurts: Oh boy.
    • Ayano and Kazuhiko start the story off by being the Official Couple. By the end of chapter one, Kazuhiko is the killer and is executed, while Ayano is forced to be the protagonist.
    • Akita and Minato. Minato confesses to Ayano in chapter two that they were in love with Akita, who was the first victim. Minato had to witness her die and learn that she was insane.
    • Kira and Cassius. While it is debatable whether or not they were in love, they had a lot of Ship Tease. Then Kira tries to kill herself in chapter two, just for Monokuma to trick Cassius into using her suicide setup to kill Shinichi instead.
    • Takayuki and Naoko. Takayuki for sure has a crush on Naoko, and, based on your own findings, Naoko can have one on him, or at least views him as a friend. Then Hideyoshi kills Naoko...and Hideyoshi has the same body as Takayuki. The both of them get executed for the murder of Naoko.
    • Implied with Cassius and Hayato. Hayato really doesn't take his death well. His death is the cause of Kyoto's and Mirabilis's. He fell into despair before being saved by Tsukiko as well.
  • Madness Mantra: In Trial 6-1, Yasu falls into despair and their inner thoughts at one point is just them thinking the word 'fun' over and over again.
  • Magical Girl: Rosalina, or Mirabilis, claims to be this, even though she is the Ultimate Florist.
  • Meaningful Name: Akita has a name of a dog, which implies many things. Her name, Yamazaki, is very common. Monokuma, using this, calls her Bitch-chan. See the character page for everyone else.
  • Mind Rape: Basically what Kaneshiro's talent is. The mastermind loves doing this a little too much.
  • Murder Mystery: Like the original games as well.
  • Mysterious Note: Why the students decide that drinking the cups was a good idea. Turns out it wasn't as Shinichi can testify.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The True Despairs are thought to be this, as they worship Junko Enoshima and want to bring despair back.
    • Also the Committee. They've been up to some shady things, to say the least.
  • The Needs of the Many: Why Kira tries to kill herself during the second chapter. She found a loophole in the second motive that would allow all of her classmates to have water if she did.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: Happens all the time in trials. It is also lampshaded during the second trial.
  • Next-Gen Fic: Starts a couple decades after the games with a lot of callbacks. It also helps that Ayano is Izuru's daughter.
  • One Steve Limit: Inverted. There are two Ultimate Jewelers, Kira Iwata and Lord Cassius, even though Hope's Peak only allows one of each talent. Also played straight with Cassius, since he is the third one in his family to have that name.
    • Both Miyuki and Takayuki react to the nickname Yuki, due to their names being similar.
    • The leader of the Japanese branch of the Committee and headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy is named Ayano, and the Ultimate Hacker, who isn't her, is also Ayano.
  • Out of Focus: Due to the large cast, some of the students are. Though the author makes it clear that this is intentional and that she is planning something. She proved it in chapter two by giving more spotlight to Kyoto, Kira, Cassius, and the victim, Shinichi.
  • Perfect Poison: Averted. Shinichi drank a lot of poison before his death due to the others pressuring him. And he died painfully and slowly. Nothing is quick, clean, or quiet.
  • Police are Useless: Since the world is still recovering from Junko Enoshima, the police force is less than stellar.
  • Public Execution: The fate of all of the murderers that get caught.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Has a sister series of The Despair In Our Stars. Also another person who is a fan is creating the Killing Game's Serenade, set in the same universe.
    • Now is a real thing. There are two fanfictions of this fanfiction. One is another Killing Game set in the same universe as Requiem being the beta, The Killing Game's Serenade and another as an afterlife fic about the dead characters, Afterlife Theatre.
  • Red Herring: The author loves playing around with red herrings and messing with the audience's minds.
  • Sadistic Choice: Kill one of your classmates, or spend the rest of your life in captivity - and when it comes down to the trial, fess up and receive a gruesome punishment, or escape with the blood of everyone else on your hands.
    • The first official motive is no exception. Kill a classmate and the person in your video, who you presumably hate, will join your victim.
    • Both of the second motives. The first one is whether or not you should kill somebody before a random person kills themselves. The second can be viewed in many different ways: letting the class find you out and chose one person to have water. It becomes even harder when you factor in the loophole: committing suicide. Should you kill yourself so your classmates can have this simple need?
    • Oh my God, the third motive is this. It goes as follows. If you kill somebody, you can pick somebody else to leave the island. To top it off, if you get away with it, nobody gets executed! One catch: Would the class really forgive you for killing one of their friends? The cast is very close to another and does not react to the act of murder well. So, if the cast finds the killer, should they let them free, or give the person they murdered justice? It even gets more complicated with deciding who to kill and who to save, since all of the students have motives for both.
  • Screw Yourself: Shipping Akita with any of her alter egos.
  • Ship Tease: Akita seems to get teased with both Mitsuru, Minato and Takayuki.
    • Takayuki seems to have a slight tease with Naoko, with her being his princess and all.
    • The drunk chapter is filled up with ship teases. Such as Mirabilis stomping on Minato and Takayuki being awfully huggy with everybody, especially Akita and Akemi.
    • The second chapter had a lot of teasing for Kira and Cassius.
    • Let's just say that there's a lot of this during the course of the story. A lot.
  • Shout-Out: There are multiple. One of them is to Shizuo Heiwajima from the Light Novel/Durarara!!.
  • Shrinking Violet: Naoko Kawabata.
    • To a lesser extent, Shinichi.
  • Techno Wizard: Implied with Ayano Nishiki, for she is the Ultimate Hacker. Her skills are so good that Monokuma has to give her an NG Code to stop her from ending the game early.
    • Yasu learned how to hack into Monokuma's systems and stop him for a long while. The author has even said in a Word of God moment that if they weren't on an island, Yasu would've defeated Monokuma and the Game would be over!
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Stabbing somebody twenty-one times and bashing their head is usually more than enough to kill them.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Ayano wears Kazuhiko's hat after he gets executed. Takara also starts wearing Takayuki's jacket after he dies as well.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Akita Yamazaki.
    • To a lesser extent, Ayano Nishiki. Even though she is more reliable than Akita, she still has her biases, especially to Akemi.
    • Takayuki as well. Doesn't help that he literally has a serial killer clown inside his head.
  • Unwitting Test Subject: The people involved in Personality Experiment #045. Kotori notes that they don't have a right to say no since their human rights were taken away. And considering Akita was one of the subjects, who clearly didn't want it, it is clear that this is the case.
  • Villain-Based Franchise: Monokuma is back, baby!
  • Violence Is the Only Option: Averted. This book is an example of how violence isn't the only option. And yet characters still have a bad habit of dying.
  • Wham Episode: Too. Many. To. Count.
  • Wham Line: Once again...Too. Many. To. Count.
  • Win Your Freedom: The ultimate goal of the Killing Game.
  • Word of God: The author actually discusses a lot of things not made canon yet but hinted at, or things that only hinted at, on her Tumblr. The most standout thing being that Hideyoshi raped Akita when he kidnapped her.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Some of the cast has this. Namita, in particular, has blue to purple gradient hair.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: The second time Akita wakes up during the prologue.
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