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Fractured Fates is an Elsewhere Fic set in the Danganronpa universe, written by the user Dark X the Dragon Knight.
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Hana Amari is a girl who is average in appearance, but in reality holds exceptional talent; specifically, she has recently been scouted by the famed Hope's Peak Academy to attend as the Ultimate Surfer. Unfortunately, whatever excitement or fear she may have felt is all throw out the window when her first day at the academy takes a turn for the strange. Suddenly, Hana and her fourteen other classmates find themselves in a mysterious castle, with a certain monochrome bear appearing and forcing them into a game of kill or be killed. Now, Hana and her friends must uncover the mysteries lurking in the halls of their prison in order to learn the truth behind this killing game...or face the dread of despair. But the truth...may be even darker than Hana could have ever imagined.

The story can be found here. The main story is completed, with a prologue, six chapters, three intermission chapters, and an epilogue. Be warned: all spoilers below are unmarked, because like its canon counterpart it would be difficult to list tropes for this fic without spoiling everything.

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Fractured Fates contains examples of:

  • After the End: Since this story is revealed to take place mere months after the events of the first Danganronpa game, it's also revealed that the world outside is still ravaged and destroyed as a result of The Tragedy.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Most of the killers receive this; for the most part, they are treated sympathetically once their reasons for committing the murders come to light.
    • Averted, or at the very least severely downplayed in Tadao's case.
    • Completely averted in Nanako's case.
  • All for Nothing: Multiple:
    • Itachi was determined to avert this trope in Chapter 2; whether he won or lost the trial, he refused to simply give up and confess in order to ensure Kaneki's murder was not meaningless.
    • Played tragically straight in Chapter 4, when all of Hinata's attempts to ensure Rumi wouldn't be found as the blackened ended up being futile.
    • Hiroshi and Nanako attempted to prevent the killing game and save their classmates by erasing the memories of the mastermind. However, that mastermind set up a backup plan with their Dark Hand superiors in the event that they'd be unable to oversee the killing game, which Dark Hand immediately utilizes to make Nanako a replacement mastermind and allow the killing game to happen anyways.
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  • Alliterative Title: Fractured Fates.
  • Amnesiac Villain Joins the Heroes: What Hana's situation in the killing game is revealed to be. She ended up succumbing to despair during The Tragedy and joining Dark Hand, helping them create the Neo Life of Mutual Killing with her own classmates as the participants. However, Hiroshi and Nanako would erase her memory in an attempt to prevent the killing game from starting; though their plan failed, it did revert Hana back to her kinder and more heroic self from before The Tragedy, which ultimately remains even after she discovers the truth in Chapter 6.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • The first Chapter ??? takes place from the perspective of an unnamed observer watching over the killing game (implied to be the mastermind).
    • The second Chapter ??? is told from the perspective of the mysterious 16th member of the 80th Class, Nanako Tokumei.
    • The first part of the Chapter 5 investigation takes place from Akira's point of view as a result of Hana being knocked out by Monokuma in the prior part. She takes over as the POV character again at one point during the final trial due to Hana having a mental breakdown, and again during the Epilogue as a result of Hana's Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The third Chapter ??? is largely focused on the point of view of a member of Dark Hand known as Agent 44.
  • Ancient Tomb: The North Wing has a hidden entrance to a set of maze-like catacombs that extend underneath the entirety of the North Wing and the northern section of the courtyard.
  • Anyone Can Die: It's Danganronpa, after all. By the end of the killing game, eleven of the fifteen students end up dead...including the main character.
  • Arc Symbol: The red hand outline with a modified Monokuma eye in the center, which is revealed to be the insignia of the group behind the killing game: Dark Hand.
  • Arc Words: The phrase "Remember the class. Remember your own role.", as it appears at the end of the strange messages Hana receives on her e-Handbook at the end of each chapter.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Hana's nightmare in Chapter 3 depicts a gigantic, rampaging Monokuma.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The suits of armor in the East Wing's training room. Appearance-wise, they seems like your typical set of medieval steel armor; however, when Rumi puts on the armor in Part 5 of Chapter 4, it proves to be incredibly difficult to move around in.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Appears to be a common theme in the executions, though not at all played for laughs:
    • In Chapter 1, it appears as if Azami is about to be crushed between a pair of giant stone blocks with mirrors on one side...but those turned out to be fake. The alternative, however, is not much better.
    • In Chapter 2, Itachi's execution is built up as a standard Danganronpa-style execution: he is thrown into a Colosseum and forced to fend of several robots based on warriors from different time periods. Then he commits suicide.
    • In Chapter 3, Tadao's execution takes this Up to Eleven- he is almost sliced by a giant knife, crushed by a giant meat mallet, and suffocated in a giant plastic bag before he is ultimately thrown into an oven with a giant chicken dish and burned alive.
    • In Chapter 4, one might think it would be the giant sea monster or the violent whirlpool it creates that would kill Rumi- however, it ends up being the dozens of sea animals living in the coral reef destroyed by the whirlpool that finish her off.
    • The executions in Chapter 5 are loaded with these:
      • Akira's execution builds up her possible death by electric chair, but then a giant version of the 'judge' Monokuma arrives, tears the ceiling off, and tries to crush her with its gavel.
      • Hinata's execution involves him running through a long obstacle course and actually being successful in escaping through an 'EXIT' door...only for him to be greeted by a firing squad of Monokumas on the other side.
  • Berserk Button:
    • A flashback towards the end of the second trial reveals Kaneki accidentally pushed Itachi's when she tried to talk him out of his murder plot; the conflict and shame he felt while planning the murder was driving him borderline insane, and the complication that Kaneki brought was enough to cause Itachi to finally snap and fly into a murderous rage.
    • Hinata doesn't take Rumi's execution well at all; almost immediately after it ends, he flies into a rage and charges at Monokuma with full intent to attack him for executing her. Even when Ryoto and Hana manage to restrain him, he still furiously shouts about how he'll kill both Monokuma and the mastermind with his "bare hands".
  • Betrayal by Inaction: Monokuma invokes this trope in Chapter 5, where he reveals one of the still-living students not only has all their memories intact, but knew almost everything about the nature of the killing game and chose to let it happen anyways. Therefore, Monokuma brands them a 'traitor' to their classmates for their inaction.
  • Big Bad: Take a guess.
    • Bigger Bad: Nanako Tokumei is revealed to be the mastermind behind the killing game and Monokuma. Then there's Agent 44 (actually Hana), who started the killing game to begin with and was supposed to be the killing game's overseer before Nanako.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Like in canon, Monokuma has surveillance cameras and monitors scattered about the castle.
  • Big Fancy Castle: The main location of the killing game, officially dubbed "The Castle of Mutual Killing" in Chapter ???: Eyes and Ears.
    • Chapter 6 reveals this is averted- the "castle" is no castle at all, but rather a sophisticated underground bunker renovated to look like a castle.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the end, the killing game claims the lives of eleven of the sixteen members of the 80th Class, with the final death being Hana sacrificing herself to end the killing game she herself started to begin with. Additionally, Nanako manages to escape to avoid any kind of punishment, and Dark Hand is still active and will likely be hunting down both Nanako and the survivors for different reasons. Despite this, the four survivors are determined to make sure they don't waste the second chance at life they were given by the sacrifices made by Hana and Hiroshi, and they are able to return to the surface with the chance to make their own, brighter futures in the post-Tragedy world.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The castle contains some rooms that one would think to be strange for a European-esque castle, such as the fitness room in the South Wing, or just generally impractical, such as the treasure room in the West Wing. Possibly justified in that the "castle" wasn't a castle to begin with, but rather an underground apocalypse bunker.
  • Blood-Stained Letter:
    • Inverted in Chapter 2. The note (supposedly) from Asuna, found in the breast pocket of Kaneki's vest, is completely clean despite the fact that that side of her chest was soaked in blood due to a slashed throat. Ultimately, the fact that the note barely has any bloodstains on it is what proves the killer had to have planted the note on Kaneki after the killing blow was dealt.
      • Interestingly enough, Chapter 2 also plays this trope straight. In the storage room, Saku finds a piece of paper with one of Shiro's poems written on it, which also has a strange blood pattern on it. Hiroshi later states the bloodstains, when the paper is folded properly, are actually the victim's bootprint.
    • Played straight in Chapter 3, with the notebook page Shiro used to write his dying message being spattered in blood.
  • Bloody Horror: The scene in the storage room in Chapter 2- namely, the fact that blood is spattered all over the walls, shelves, and is smeared on the floor. Before Hana and Ryoto even fully see the victim, the storage room is described as "a scene straight out of a horror movie".
    • Additionally, the scene at the top of the eastern watchtower in Chapter 4- large amounts of blood are smeared and spread on the floor and wall, including being smeared on the wall behind where the victim is slumped.
  • Body of the Week: A given in a murder mystery story.
  • Breaking Old Trends: While the story does have some recurring elements from canon (see Recurring Element below), it does break away from certain trends as well:
    • Unlike in canon, the story focuses on a female protagonist.
    • Like V3, the story breaks the trend of having an Ultimate Lucky Student in the class.
    • The story also has a lack of an Ultimate ??? (unless one counts Nanako Tokumei, whose talent has yet to be revealed).
    • The token muscular character, Saku, does not die in Chapter 4 like the canon muscular characters (i.e. Sakura, Nekomaru, and Gonta), but instead is killed one chapter earlier in Chapter 3.
    • Unlike the second and third games, the rival character survives past Chapter 5 rather than being the victim.
    • The mastermind (well- one of them, anyways) manages to avoid execution, though her ultimate fate is left ambiguous.
    • For once, neither Junko Enoshima nor Ultimate Despair are at all involved in this killing game.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Monokuma does this in Chapter 1, Part 2 when he complains the students are "boring the readers" by not committing a murder.
    • He does it again in Part 7 when he says "You can only go so many chapters without a murder".
  • Bromantic Foil: Itachi and Shiro form this- Itachi is serious and stoic, whereas Shiro is emotional and extremely optimistic. Even their designs reflect this: Itachi is tall, has dark hair, and wears mostly dark colors; Shiro is short, has silver-gray hair, and wears lighter colors.
  • Call-Back: The characters tend to reference events that happened in parts prior, especially in regards to the murders and trials.
  • Central Theme: The fic tackles the idea of choice and fate, and how the two are intertwined for better or worse, as well as how that choice affects the fates of the people connected to someone.
    • The fic's idea of "emotion vs. logic" is a minor/secondary theme as well.
  • Characters Dropping Like Flies: In true Danganronpa fashion, at least two characters die per chapter (or, in Chapter 3's case, three), making the final death total eleven.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • During the third trial, Hana brings up, of all things, the stab wounds Kaneki (the victim of the second trial) received just before her death. She does this, however, in order to help explain the issue with Saku's stomach wound; during that second trial, Hiroshi talked about how a person will stop bleeding once their heart stops due to a lack of a pulse, which is how Hana had deduced Kaneki was stabbed before she died due to the amount of blood around the wounds. With Saku, it's the opposite- there wasn't enough blood around his stomach slit, which means the gash had to have been made after he was already dead.
    • Also, the body discovery announcement- or, more specifically, how at least three people (not including the killer) must have seen a corpse to trigger the announcement. This is specified by Monokuma early on in the story, but it ultimately becomes a point in the third trial as well because only Hiroshi and Shiori had seen Saku's body when the announcement went off, meaning one other person (besides the killer) must have seen the corpse before them.
    • There are a multitude of boomerangs in the fifth trial: Kaneki and Saku's wounds, the dumbwaiter in the wine room, the pulley system in the eastern watchtower (more specifically, its rope)...
  • Chekhov's Gag:
    • In the Prologue, Hinata swipes Mikio's glasses, leaving him unable to see properly. This is brought up during the first trial when Hana figures out Mikio tripped on the moving treadmill because his glasses had been broken, rendering him practically blind as a result.
    • Also in the Prologue, when Hana meets Ryoto, his cape ends up caught in the treadmill, requiring Hana to rescue him. The same thing happens to the first killer during Mikio's murder, causing a piece of the clothing in question to be torn off and left at the crime scene as a result.
    • During the second investigation, Akira picks up Kaneki's fedora of all things, telling Hana that anything could be evidence. Later, once the trial has concluded, she gives the hat to Asuna as a way to apologize for her actions during the trial.
    • In Chapter 4, when Hinata is claiming how he's trying to cut down on his stealing, several paperclips fall out of his pocket- which he states he uses for lockpicking. It's these same paperclips that Hinata would later use to lockpick his way into the eastern lounge's cabinet to retrieve the katana kept inside.
    • Later on in Chapter 4, Rumi is attempting to write romantic poetry for someone (heavily implied to be Hinata)- when Hana and Hiroshi look at the papers, she is incredibly embarrassed and flustered. During this scene, Hana and Hiroshi comment on how neat her handwriting is; during the trial, when the subject of who wrote the memo found in the fireplace comes up, both Hana and Hiroshi see the note again and are able to recognize the neat handwriting as Rumi's.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Azami's cloak becomes an important piece of evidence in the first trail in three ways: first, it was her cloak that Hinata saw through the doors in the courtyard on the night of the murder; second, it was a piece of her cloak that was torn off and stuck inside the treadmill in the fitness room; third, the blood-soaked cloak that she hid in the library's hidden room is what becomes the final nail in her coffin.
    • The pair of hatches in the furnace and fitness rooms are revealed to lead to a secret passage connecting the two rooms, which is how the killer was able to escape the fitness room after barring the door.
    • In Chapter 2, Kaneki's whip becomes the final piece of evidence that convicts the killer, due to the fact that traces of the killer's blood were found on it.
    • Chapter 3 has several of these:
      • The stone statuette of a Chinese dragon in the sunroom later becomes the weapon used to kill Shiro.
      • The tablecloth on the sunroom's center table is used by the killer to strangle Saku.
      • The closet in one corner of the sunroom serves as the killer's hiding spot, allowing them to sneak up on Saku and knock him out from behind.
      • The red wine bottles in the wine room are first used to knock Hana unconscious during the incident in the wine room, and later the third culprit uses another one to knock out Saku.
      • The dumbwaiter that goes between the wine room and the smaller banquet room is utilized by the killer as a means to move between the top and bottom floors of the West Wing very quickly.
    • Once again, Chapter 4 incorporates quite a few:
      • The suit of armor in the training room- not only does Shiori wear parts of it to disguise herself from Ryoto, but she also stuffs him inside the full suit to hide him from anyone who may enter the East Wing afterwards (mainly Rumi).
      • The katana and the glass statue of Themis- the former is used as a false murder weapon, the latter is the (technical) true murder weapon.
      • The pulley system in the eastern watchtower, which Hinata uses to transport a Ryoto (who is still unconscious) and Shiori's body up the tower, as the stairs are too damaged for him to take them up normally.
      • The blood bags inside the medical room cooler, which Hinata uses to make the top of the eastern watchtower look like the scene of the murder.
    • Chapter 5 reveals the power room in the North Wing, providing electricity to the castle, and the electrical equipment inside. One of these items is a pair of insulated gloves- which the killer would later use to murder Hiroshi with a live electrical cable.
    • The button Monokuma uses to activate the executions at the end of each trial turns out to also be a killswitch tied to the power of the castle as a whole, with the screen that usually shows the pixel animations also being a fingerprint scanner that would activate the killswitch feature if the killing game's mastermind scanned their fingerprint. Ultimately, this becomes the final key to shutting down the killing game and the bombs Nanako activated earlier in the final trial.
  • Clear Their Name:
    • Hana has to do this for Asuna during the first part of the second trial.
    • Then, during the third trial, Hana must do this for the recently murdered Saku.
    • Hana later has to do this in the fourth trial for two people- first for Ryoto, then for Hinata.
    • Gets even more escalated in the fifth trial, in which Hana has to prove everyone's innocence (herself included).
  • Clock Discrepancy: In Chapter 1, Rumi claims she encountered Azami coming out of the library at 9:15 PM the night of the murder. However, the trio in the main hall (Shiro, Kaneki, and Asuna) did not recall seeing either of them, despite remaining the the main hall until 9:18 PM. Ultimately, this contradiction leads the group to figure out that Azami had lied to Rumi about what time it was in order to fake an alibi.
  • Closed Circle: The castle, despite having some open areas, is completely cut off from the outside world.
  • Continuity Nod: Played for drama at the end of Chapter 4, when another strange message appears on Hana's e-Handbook telling her about The Tragedy from the canon games- naturally, this reveal doesn't sit well with her.
    • Earlier in Chapter 4, while reading up on possible locations the castle could have been built in, Hana reads about Jabberwock Island.
    • During the third Chapter ???, Agent 44 and their superior make several references to Ultimate Despair, the killing school life, and (though they never explicitly say her name) Junko Enoshima.
    • Chapter 6 and its trial make numerous references to The Tragedy, Ultimate Despair, and the Killing School Life from Trigger Happy Havoc.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Downplayed in Chapter 2. The first thing Akira uses to pin Asuna as the killer is the fact that she blatantly lied about her alibi on the night of the murder. However, it is not the only piece if evidence Akira has against her.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: The events surrounding the murder in Chapter 2 likely wouldn't have happened if Kaneki had told the others about the suspicious note Asuna received the morning before and worked together to prevent the murder instead of keeping the note a secret and trying to stop the murder by herself.
    • This is even lampshaded by Tadao:
      Tadao: Even if she was worried about being wrong, actually telling us about the note would have worked out far better in the long run! [...] This entire trial could have been avoided if Tenmaru had just acted at least somewhat rationally!
    • A lot of hassle during the fourth trial could have been avoided had Hinata not further convinced Rumi not to confess to the murder, despite her immense remorse towards the incident.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Hana does this for Asuna in order to prevent her from witnessing Ryoto jumping off the second floor of the South Wing's main hall.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The executions:
    • Azami: Pierced and shredded by bullet-speed shards of glass until she bleeds out.
    • Itachi: Commits seppuku with a hunting knife, sabotaging his own execution.
    • Tadao: Is put through the preparation of a giant chicken and vegetable dish on a cooking show, ending with him being put into a giant oven with the dish which ultimately catches fire, incinerating him into a skeleton, before the (somehow) perfectly cooked dish is served to a king version of Monokuma.
    • Rumi: Gets her boat destroyed by a massive sea monster, caught in a raging whirlpool that destroys a nearby coral reef, and then is ultimately mauled to death by the angered sea animals living in said reef.
    • Becomes averted in Chapter 5's mass execution- while all the survivors are sent to their own unique executions, a timely blackout shuts the mechanisms down before anyone is killed.
    • Hiroshi's murder also counts- he sustained numerous severe injuries before being finished off via electrocution, which by itself is a cruel and unusual way to die.
    • Hana is pierced in the chest and abdomen by spears fired from Nanako's Arms of Gungnir.
  • Dark Secret: The end of Chapter 2's trial reveals Kaneki was indirectly responsible for the death of her younger sister, Yuna.
  • Deadly Deferred Conversation: During Part 4 of Chapter 2, Kaneki spends the day acting uncharacteristically subdued and anxious, and Hana and Asuna want to find out why. Kaneki, feeling guilty about her behavior, promises them that she will explain everything the next day; unfortunately for her, she winds up murdered that same night.
    • Happens again in Chapter 5, when Hiroshi tells Hana there is "something important" he needs to talk to her about at some unspecified later time. He disappears and later turns up dead before Hana can find out what he means.
  • Death of a Child: Although the death itself happened several years prior to the events of the fic, Chapter 2 describes the incident that killed Kaneki's little sister, Yuna, who was seven years old at the time of her death.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Tadao attempts to pull this in Chapter 3 in order to cover up his guilt in the murders of Saku and Shiro by making it look like a murder-suicide committed by the former.
  • Deconstructed Trope: Several characters deconstruct certain character tropes:
    • Kaneki deconstructs Big Brother Instinct, basically showing what happens when a protective older sibling actually fails to protect their younger sibling.
    • Itachi deconstructs the idea of Family Honor, as his entire reason for giving into the second motive was so he could graduate and restore the Kunata family's lost reputation, a goal he had working tirelessly towards for years.
    • Asuna deconstructs the Token Mini-Moe trope in that it was her being the smallest and weakest member of the cast that made her such an easy victim, leading to Itachi making her his target for murder.
    • Shiro deconstructs The Power of Trust. He put a massive amount of trust in his classmates and friends, especially Itachi- but Itachi manages to exploit this to convince Shiro to lock the door to the study in spite of Akira's rule.
    • Shiori deconstructs the "Well Done, Son!" Guy, as her intense desire to not disappoint her (fairly strict and likely abusive) parents was strong enough to motivate her, the doctor, to try and commit murder.
  • Designated Girl Fight: During the female students' trip to the library in Chapter 1, Shiori is incredibly annoyed by Kaneki throwing books off the bookshelves in the hopes of finding some kind of secret room or passage. It ends up escalating off-screen to the point where Shiori and Kaneki start to fight...with books. It even gets to the point where Rumi, frustrated with the two's conflict, joins in herself out of anger.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Shiro seems to have crossed this following the end of the second trial.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Who would have guess the true mastermind behind the killing game would be the fic's kind, emotional, surfer main character Hana, of all people?
  • The Door Slams You: Hana ends up on the receiving end of this during the prologue when Kaneki, not realizing Hana was standing outside, hits her with the door to the furnace room.
  • Doorstopper: As of its latest update, Fractured Fates is over 750,000 words long- and, while the main story is done, the rest of the fic's content is still on the way.
  • Double Entendre: This exchange between Rumi, Hana, and Hinata during Chapter 4:
Rumi: If not now, when!? We all know how easy it is to lose your life around here- that's why you need to grab hold of the present as tight as you can!
Hana: The only thing I'm 'grabbing hold of' is time to search around this wing!
Hinata: Y'know, as much as I love hearing you girls talk about grabbing hold of things-
Hana: Don't make this worse, Hinata!
  • Dream Intro: Chapter 5 opens with Hana having a dream about seeing Mikio and Azami again, both of which have been dead since Chapter 1.
  • Driven to Suicide: Itachi kills himself via seppuku during his execution, although it was to atone for his actions and to defy Monokuma more than anything.
  • Dying Clue:
    • Before actually dying, Kaneki used her bullwhip to injure her killer, resulting in traces of their blood being left on the weapon. The whip becomes the final piece of evidence in the trial, as well as the one piece of evidence directly tying the killer to the crime.
    • Shiro attempts to write what was probably a physical description of his killer in his notebook, but said killer manages to catch and kill him before he can finish, leaving only the word "aquamarine" finished.
  • Easy Amnesia: The third motive, Monokuma's "Despair Drink", is a beverage that, due to a drug known as midazolam being one of the ingredients, will give the consumer a memory blackout that lasts for about an hour.
  • Egopolis: Downplayed in that Monokuma doesn't have images of himself plastered all over the castle, but Hana does see a few self portraits of the bear hung up in the hallways of the West Wing.
  • Empty Chair Memorial: The podiums of the dead students are occupied by memorial photos of said students.
  • Enmity with an Object:
    • While doing a small investigation of the East Wing's upper floor by herself in Chapter 4, Hana takes her frustration over not finding anything out by yelling at the security cameras in the lounge and eastern watchtower.
    • Played for drama after the fourth trial- Hana, grief-stricken and frustrated over everything that happened and the circumstances of the case, throws her e-Handbook across the room into the wall of the bathroom.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Monokuma is willing to allow the students to murder each other...but underage drinking? He won't stand for that.
    • Dark Hand as a whole (especially its leader), despite being the ones behind the killing game, shares the belief that Ultimate Despair's omnicidal ways are too dangerous to allow to continue, and so they fight to rebuild society in their image rather than further damage it.
    • Nanako is under the belief that both Dark Hand and Ultimate Despair are crazy and hates both groups.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: Akira claims this during Chapter 2's investigation, due to the fact that the murder occurring during nighttime means it is likely nobody has a solid alibi for the time of the crime.
    • In Chapter 5's trial, everyone ends up becoming a major suspect at some point in the trial (except Akira).
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The mysterious messages at the end of Chapters 2 and 3 shows Hana several photos depicting the students spending time together at Hope's Peak, despite Hana having no memory of ever attending the school at all.
  • Evidence Scavenger Hunt: In true Danganronpa fashion, each chapter has a "Deadly Life" section in which Hana and her classmates must gather evidence that could help point to the killer's identity.
  • Famous Last Words:
    Mikio Nakamura: ...You know what, I...think this may be a good time to do that late-night exercise, I've lost my appetite.
    Hana Amari: Have...fun with that.
    Mikio Nakamura: ...Hey, we're still good for tomorrow, right? ...You know, unless Monokuma kills one of us?
    Hana Amari: Y-Yeah! Wish you had said it differently, but yeah! Just try not to wear yourself out too much today, alright?
    Mikio Nakamura: I'll do my best.

    Azami Kurobe: I...I'm so sorry, I just...it was all so stressful, especially after... That day, we spent in the library...you remember that...? I was...I was so happy, I didn't think...I thought I'd actually made some real friends, I didn't want that to end...I wanted more days like that, I didn't want anything to happen to anyone, I...I never wanted any of this to...to..
    Hana Amari: (to Monokuma) You...You knew something like this would happen, didn't you...? You knew most of us were scared from the idea of murdering each other...so you threatened us in order to build on that fear. You were counting on something like this happening, that's...that's the truth behind your motive...
    Monokuma: Whaaat? I thought that was pretty obvious. Now, I don't know the nuance, I'm no Ultimate Psychologist, so I'll just explain with this little metaphor: Think of twigs and sticks, right? Some are thin and easy to break, others are thicker and tougher. You all probably thought you were the thick and strong sticks, right? Well...with the right amount of pressure applied, even the strongest of sticks can snap right in half. Puhuhu...pretty brilliant, right?
    Hiroshi Ashi: So...you were lying...!? You weren't going to kill anyone at midnight? It was all just...to get one of us to snap and kill someone...!?
    Monokuma: Maybe it was a bluff, maybe it wasn't...not that it matters anymore!
    Azami Kurobe: I...I'm the one who screwed everything up, aren't I...? Because...Because of my damn paranoia, I... I...I'm so sorry, guys...I'm sorry, guys! I'm sorry! Mikio! Mikio, I-I'm so sorry! I'm sorry!

    Kaneki Tenmaru: I-Itachi...?
    Itachi Kunata: I...I have risked everything for this... I have thrown my morals to the curb...I have damaged the trust of those who consider me a friend...and you say it's as simple as just 'call it off'?
    Kaneki Tenmaru: Hey, Itachi...! C-Calm down-
    Itachi Kunata: You're right...you don't know... You don't know ANYTHING!
    Kaneki Tenmaru: I-Itachi! Stop it, calm down!
    Itachi Kunata: Do you think I don't know what I'm doing is wrong!? You think I'm an idiot!? That I don't know what I'm risking!? I do! I don't need you to remind me! All I needed was for something to go right! And you...you ruined that! I was ready, and you ruined it! Why did you come here!? Why couldn't you leave me in peace!?
    Kaneki Tenmaru: Itachi! Stop it, get a hold of yourself!
    Itachi Kunata: Stop standing in my way... STOP STANDING IN MY WAAAY!

    Itachi Kunata: Everyone! Know that the time I spent with you all...I truly did cherish it! That was no lie! And it is for that reason that what I did cannot be forgiven, nor can any form of apology undo my actions. That is why, at the very end, I shall allow my actions to speak for themselves as I fulfill the final duty of my ancestors!
    Hana Amari, mentally: 'Final duty'...? What does that mean?
    Itachi Kunata: And...I know I have no right to ask you all of anything... However, I have one final wish to ask of you all!
    Hinata Yonade: Huh? You want something from us?
    Hiroshi Ashi: ...What is it, Itachi?
    Itachi Kunata: ...Don't ever repeat my mistakes. Don't ever let a killing like this happen again. That...is my final request.

    Saku Yamamoto: Wh- o-oh! Ah- Rumi, Tadao! Wh-What a surprise to see you two here! Hello!
    Rumi Hamasaki: Um- hi? What are you doing in here? I thought you had something to do, so you couldn't go to the party.
    Saku Yamamoto: That is correct, and ah, I assure you this has nothing to do with your party, Rumi.
    Tadao Shimaru: What are you doing with that stuff, Yamamoto?
    Rumi Hamasaki: Yeah, and...what exactly were you doing by all the drinks?
    Saku Yamamoto: Ah, those are- that is...I am...planning to do some special exercises! Yes, in the fitness room- I have been concerned about my physical health these days in this castle, and I hope to remedy that. These drinks seem to be quite refreshing, so I figured I would take one of these in case I needed a drink while exercising.
    Tadao Shimaru: ...So why do you have two glasses?
    Saku Yamamoto: Ah...two glasses, I...just in case I am...
    Rumi Hamasaki: Ooh, is it in case you're extra tried from an exercise and need two drinks at the same time?
    Saku Yamamoto: ...Yes. A-And so, I would not wish to hold you two up any longer, s-so I will be on my way! I hope me taking these items will not be a problem?
    Tadao Shimaru: Well- no, it shouldn't be, we have plenty of spares.
    Saku Yamamoto: Ah, excellent! Well then, I will see you two later!

    Shiro Koichi: Well, it's- there's...something I've been doing for a little bit now. Seriously, I've only been at it for less than an hour... And I had my doubts at first, I really did, and I was even kinda mad at first, but...this is actually helping me, it really is. I didn't think it would, but- I-I even had some ideas for new poems! I haven't had the inspiration to write in days, and now I-
    Hinata Yonade: I...well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to see you in good spirits again. You must be spending time at the party, right? Is that why you're feeling more like yourself?
    Shiro Koichi: Actually, it's...something else, but- I...can't really talk about that right now. But! Maybe later I can. Well...assuming this continues to go well, anyways...
    'Hinata Yonade: Well, uh...good luck with that, anyways.
    Shiro Koichi: Heh- thanks, Hinata! Next time we see each other, hopefully I'll be even better!

    Tadao Shimaru: ...Well- farewell, everyone. I suppose you all weren't the worst customers I've ever served. I wonder...will that optimism of yours truly pay off in the end...? ...I can't say I believe it will.

    Shiori Sauchi: Listen Rumi- I...I know I don't have any right to ask you for anything, but... I want you...to win the trial. To...To escape this hellhole of a castle.
    Rumi Hamasaki: W-Win the-!? No way! I-If I do that, then everyone else- Hinata, Hana, Asuna, they'll all be...!
    Shiori Sauchi: I know, I know it's not fair, but- I-I'm gonna die, you're gonna be the blackened, and there's gonna be a trial, th-there's nothing you can do to stop that. S-So...please, at least try to win! Please, you shouldn't...you shouldn't have to be punished because I did something unforgivable!
    Rumi Hamasaki: Is that...why you saved me...? Because you wanted me to get through the trial?
    Shiori Sauchi: ...You know, you're not wrong. You're not wrong at all, and really I could just...I could just leave it at that, couldn't I? You'd just see right through it anyways. Haha...even now, I can't be totally honest, huh? Heh...hehe- (coughing) I...I really am the worst, aren't I...?
    Rumi Hamasaki: Sh-Shiori!
    Shiori Sauchi: Rumi... I'm sorry...for being an idiot...!

    Rumi Hamasaki: Asuna, Hana- both of you, remember to stick together, okay? You're all that's gonna be left of our little 'library group', after all. As long as you two are still kicking it together...it makes me feel a little better about...you know.
    Hana Amari, mentally: She's...accepted what's about to happen...? She's not even a little upset at me? I'm the reason Hinata's plan fell apart, the reason she got found out, the reason she's about to die, how can she...how can she not...?
    Monokuma: ...We, uh- we done here? Sorry to interrupt the heart-to-heart, but now I'm getting bored again! So, let's finish off this trial with a BANG! Or, considering our blackened, should I say- a splash?
    Rumi Hamasaki: Okay...okay. Yeah, I'm...I'm ready."
    Hinata Yonade: W-Wait, Rumi, I-! I need to- I mean, I haven't even told you-!
    Monokuma: Now then, I've prepared a very special punishment for Rumi Hamasaki, the Ultimate Scuba Diver!
    Rumi Hamasaki: ...Goodbye, everyone. Maybe, in another time...things could have been better.
    Monokuma: Let's give it everything we've got! It's...PUNISHMENT TIIIME!

    Hiroshi Ashi: I know, don't think I don't understand where everyone's coming from. That's why I'm not truly mad at you or the others- if anything, I'm more...more...
    Hana Amari: Wait, Hiroshi- come back to the dining room with me? Even if you're not that mad at the others, they'd want to apologize anyways...
    Hiroshi Ashi: There's no need for that- besides, there's something I need to do. Something I should have done sooner...
    Hana Amari: What...? Where are you going, what are you-?
    Hiroshi Ashi: Listen, Hana- there's something important I need to do, and something important I need to tell you. I won't be telling you right now, but soon- very soon, I will. Trust me, you'll know when. Until then- just wait for me, alright? (smiles) And don't worry, okay? One way or another, things are going to work out- just keep having faith, Hana.

    Nanako Tokumei: Well you're right about that- you're the reason I'm like this, and I helped mastermind the killing game to get back at you. Still- do you really think you can dodge my spears?
    Hana Amari: No- but I don't need to. I just have to survive long enough to scan my finger on that screen, then press the button.
    Nanako Tokumei: Hahahaha! And you think you'll be able to do that with a bunch of spears in you? I'm not gonna hold back at all, you know! In case you couldn't tell- I'm a little bit crazy, you know?
    [...]
    Hana Amari: ...A little bit crazy, huh? So am I.

  • For Want of a Nail: In Chapter 2, the nail in question is the simple act of Asuna asking Kaneki about the note supposedly written by the latter. If she hadn't done that, then Kaneki might not have found out about Itachi's plan to kill Asuna (which would lead to her trying to interfere with it), thus allowing the plot to go off as he intended and leading to Asuna becoming the second murder victim.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the prologue, Itachi makes mention of his family's shady past. This becomes an important factor into his motivation for committing murder in Chapter 2.
    • At one point, Azami claims she is naturally paranoid. Her paranoia is what ultimately causes her to attack and kill Mikio in a moment of panic.
    • In the beginning of Chapter 2, Tadao tells Asuna to watch her mouth because she, as the smallest student, would make for an easy target. This is precisely the reason Itachi later chooses to target her for his murder plan.
    • Kaneki tends to brag about how her whip is supposedly indestructible (something that even her bio points out). Chapter 2 reveals she's not exaggerating, as it survives the heat of a furnace overnight with only slight burning.
      • Another one related to Kaneki: earlier on in Chapter 2 when she firsts talks about her younger sister, Yuna, Kaneki refers to her in the past-tense, implying that something may have happened to her prior to the killing game.
    • The second message on Hana's e-Handbook, shown at the end of Chapter 2, reveals the existence of a possible sixteenth member of the 80th Class. However, her role in the plot and anything else about her (except her appearance) currently remains unknown.
      • The end of Chapter 3 reveals a similar message, and this combined with her earlier head injury triggers a memory in Hana's mind that causes her to remember the girl's name: Nanako Tokumei. Any other information about her, however, remains a mystery.
    • While investigating the West Wing at the beginning of Chapter 3, Hinata and Hana find a larger-than-average dumbwaiter in the banquet room, and Hinata proceeds to joke about you could "hide a body" inside it. While Tadao doesn't use it to hide a body, he does use as a means of transportation between the West Wing's two floors.
    • When initially investigating the East Wing, Monokuma warns about how the railing surrounding the mezzanine of the wing's second floor is loose and could break if someone leaned on it too much. Sure enough, Rumi pins Shiori against this railing when trying to talk her down from murder- and because she forgot the warning, the railing breaks and they both fall, resulting in Shiori being fatally impaled on the sword held by the glass sculpture below.
      • Related to this, during the investigation following Shiori's murder, Hana examines the railing because she thinks she sees cracks in it. This results in her breaking off the (already broken but glued back together) piece of the railing and nearly falling off/onto the statue. This, as later revealed, is almost exactly how Shiori was killed.
    • During Chapter 4, Akira expresses concern over the armory, as she feels someone could easily use one of the weapons from inside to commit murder. Sure enough, Shiori utilizes two items from the armory in her doomed murder plan, one of which would have been used as the murder weapon.
    • Prior to the fifth trial, Akira is mysteriously denied access to Hiroshi's bedroom, despite Monokuma allowing the students into the victims' bedrooms in all the previous trials. Coupled with the observation of many students that the investigation felt shorter than usual, these hint at Hiroshi's trial being a little different from the trials prior in a sinister way.
    • Hana's identity as Agent 44 and the original/true mastermind is hinted at in several ways:
      • Her reactions to seeing Dark Hand's insignia always differ in some way to how the other students react; either she is eerily calm/comforted by the symbol, or she ends up having a piercingly painful headache upon seeing the symbol.
      • The hand scanner meant to provide access to the mastermind's control room reacts positively to her handprint, later revealed to be because, despite making Nanako the replacement mastermind, Dark Hand never removed Hana's data from the various important scanners.
      • When looking at the profiles for the killing game participants, Hana is the only member of the class without one while Nanako does have a profile. This is because Hana was never supposed to be a participant in the game while Nanako was.
  • Forged Message: The killer does this twice in Chapter 2; the first time with a note in Kaneki's name in order to lure Asuna to the storage room, the second time with a note in Asuna's name in order to frame her for Kaneki's murder.
  • Four Is Death: Played straight in Chapter 2, where Kaneki's body is found at the end of Part 4.
    • Played straight again in Chapter 5, where Hiroshi's body is discovered in Part 4.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Close, but actually averted in that there are seven girls and eight boys in the class.
    • However, including Nanako as a part of the 80th Class brings the total up to eight girls, ultimately playing this trope straight.
  • Get Ahold Of Yourself Man: Played for laughs when Azami brings Shiori back to her senses after the latter has a borderline panic attack as a result of being a part of the literal book fight- she even goes as far as to slap her.
  • Gilded Cage: The castle the 80th Class is trapped in, to the point where the story's summary even refers to it as such.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm:
    • Happens twice in Chapter 3 with the same type of bottle- once against Hana, and later against Saku (although it doesn't kill either of them).
    • In Chapter 5, it appears that the bottle found stuck in the shaft of the West Wing's dumbwaiter was used to attack Hiroshi. However, it's revealed in Chapter 6 that this was just a red herring left by the killer and that something else entirely was used, so it is ultimately averted in this case.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: The fifth trial was meant to be unwinnable; none of the five surviving students murdered Hiroshi, yet there were many pieces of evidence implicating just about everyone. Not to mention the students themselves went into the trial assuming the killer was among them, as had been the case in all the trials prior- and when Hana attempts to convince them otherwise, they can hardly conceive it. Even when Hana comes up with a plan to create a five-way tie with the voting and thus force the trial into a draw, Monokuma still manages to come up with an excuse to execute everyone.
  • The Hero Dies: Hana dies at the end of Chapter 6 during her attempt to shut down the killing game and save her surviving classmates.
  • I Know What You Fear: The fourth motive involves Monokuma giving students personalized videos that depict the thing they fear the most- and if Shiori's video and Rumi's reaction to hers are to be believed, they're pretty accurate.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison:
    • When asked to testify about his knife going missing, Itachi claims he and Shiro had searched all possible areas of the castle, which included the greenhouse where the killer hid it. The problem? Nobody specifically said where the knife had been hidden at that point in the trial, nor did anyone say it was the murder weapon 'specifically' that had been hidden in the greenhouse.
    • In the third trial, Tadao is disregarding Hana's claim that he is involved in the murders of Saku and Shiro, naming several pieces of evidence in mockery of the circumstantial evidence against him. One of those pieces of evidence is the "red wine bottle" that Hana claimed was used to knock out Saku...but nobody had ever specified what color the wine bottle in question was. In fact, it was something that only four people should have known about: Hana, Hiroshi, Akira, and the person who attacked Hana in the wine room the day before the murders.
    • Invoked and inverted in Chapter 4. When trying to see if Hinata, who has confessed to being Shiori's killer, is still hiding something, Hana shows him the pearl she found near the statue of Themis. Despite the pearl being obviously suspicious (due to where it was found) and Hinata claiming to have nothing else to hide, he insists he has no idea what the pearl is, something that he as the 'killer' should know, causing Hana and the others to realize Hinata is still hiding some vital information.
      • Later, it's Rumi (the true killer) who is able to completely explain where the pearl came from, something Hinata was unable/unwilling to do. She even mentions the location where Hana found it, something Hana hadn't even told anyone else about at that point.
    • In Chapter 5, Akira brings up the second catacomb entrance in the West Wing as a major piece of evidence pointing to the killer, unaware that Hana and Hiroshi had secretly found it earlier in the chapter. In an attempt to throw suspicion off herself, Hana points out how the piano on top of the western entrance would have difficult for some people to move- however, Akira had never specified that the West Wing's entrance was underneath the piano at that point.
  • Informed Ability: A good portion of the students have yet to use their talents due to the killing game.
  • Injured Limb Episode: Chapter 3 is essentially this, as Hana is hindered by a leg that was injured via a severe stab wound.
  • Ironic Death:
    • Itachi's botched execution, as he commits suicide with the same weapon (a second hunting knife, identical to the murder weapon) he used to kill Kaneki.
    • The different parts of Tadao's execution reflect the things he did to his victims: nearly being sliced by a kitchen knife like he stabbed Hana, almost suffocating in a giant plastic bag like he strangled Saku, and narrowly being crushed by a meat mallet like he fatally bludgeoned Shiro.
    • Rumi, the girl who loves the ocean and its inhabitants, is killed in the ocean by agitated sea creatures.
    • Had their executions been able to play out fully, then just about everyone's executions in Chapter 5 would qualify.
  • Irony: Hiroshi and Nanako's first plan to prevent the killing game involved erasing the memory of the mastermind, Agent 44/Hana, thereby preventing her from overseeing the killing game and leaving the game without a mastermind. When they learn Dark Hand has a backup plan involving making one of the two of them the replacement mastermind, they realized their last chance to shut the game down involved using a "killswitch" connected to the bunker/castle's power supply that could only be activated by the mastermind. In other words, they'd have to make Hana remember the very thing they tried to make her forget in order to save their classmates.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Monokuma partakes in this at the end of each trial, towards both the dead and living students, combined with Break Them by Talking.
  • Law Procedural: Akira invokes this trope, stating how giving a basic summary of a case is customary in normal trials.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Chapter 3, Part 2, Shiori advises Hana to "stop being such a main character".
  • Locked in the Dungeon: Played with in Chapter 5. The North Wing does have a creepy dungeon, but it's not used for imprisoning people- it's used for storing the bodies of the deceased students.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Inverted in Chapter 5; the murder took place in the North Wing's power room, with the body being found in the wing's dungeon. The problem, however, is that the North Wing became completely blocked off the morning of Hiroshi's disappearance, so the mystery becomes how the victim and the killer got into the North Wing rather than how anyone got out of it.
  • Loophole Abuse: In order to make himself look more like a suspect during Chapter 4, Hinata decides to click on his motive video- doing so will cause the icon to become dull once the video runs through once, indicating that the person watched it. However, Hinata realizes the icon will only go dull to indicate the recipient clicked on the icon and that the video ran to completion once- it won't indicate whether the person actually watched the video or not. Thus, Hinata clicked on the video and hid it somewhere to let it run, then retrieved it after a few minutes- the video had finished and the icon was darkened, and Hinata never actually watched a second of his motive video.
    • Hana attempts to invoke this in Chapter 5 upon realizing none of the five students murdered Hiroshi, meaning any kind of majority vote for someone would be wrong- however, as per class trial rules, no one is allowed to abstain from voting. So, she convinces the others to all vote for themselves and create a five-way tie, thereby fulfilling the mandatory voting rule and making it so no one was truly voted as the blackened, thus meaning nobody wins the trial.
      • Unfortunately, Monokuma also pulls this trope by pointing out how no winners means they all lost the trial, both the spotless and the 'blackened'- meaning he is has grounds to execute all five of the remaining students.
    • Hiroshi covered the camera in his bedroom using the sheets on his bed, avoiding punishment because the rules prohibit breaking the cameras, not covering them up.
  • Love Hurts: The story heavily implies Hinata and Rumi have a crush on one another- which makes the latter's execution at the end of Chapter 4 all the more sad.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Downplayed overall, but there are numerous examples of dangerous design choices throughout the castle.
    • In the South Wing, the door to the study was installed backwards, meaning the door could only be locked from the outside and therefore someone could easily trap another student inside by simply locking the door. Guess how the killer prevents their target from escaping in Chapter 2?
    • The West Wing has a wine room with faulty lighting- sometimes the lights would turn on, and sometimes they wouldn't. Later on, this prevents Hana from being able to see who attacked her in that same room; it also prevents the third killer from seeing that Shiro had written a message in his notebook that would incriminate them.
    • The railing on the second floor of the East Wing is described as being loose and wobbly, which could mean someone leaning on it too hard would break the railing and cause that person to fall- which directly leads to Shiori's (accidental) death in Chapter 4.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The surviving students have one of these when Monokuma reveals the students had their memories of attending Hope's Peak Academy erased (although doubt his truthfulness), then reveals that one of the six survivors still has their memories as well as vital information about the nature of the killing game.
    • Another one occurs at the end of the fifth trial, when Monokuma announces he is going to execute all the surviving students for not voting properly.
  • Mood Whiplash: Quite a few times, as matter of fact. A few include:
    • In Chapter 1, Hana and some of the other girls laughing about their time in the library, and then Monokuma announces the first motive a few minutes later.
    • In the same chapter, Hana is casually going to check out the fitness room prior to her planned exercise with Mikio...only to find the door is barred, there is blood on the floor, and ultimately discovering Mikio's corpse on the other side.
    • In Chapter 2, the breakfast meeting appears as normal as usual despite a handful of absences...that is, until Asuna's screams of horror are heard.
    • In Chapter 3, Hana is sitting in her room while Rumi's party is going on in the West Wing, and she peacefully contemplates going to visit Hinata, who also abstained from going to the party. Cue the body discovery announcement a few moments later.
  • Morton's Fork: Tadao and Akira reference the concept when describing Chapter 1's motive. If someone commits murder, then the class will be put through a trial in which they or the blackened will have a chance at dying. If no murder happens, however, then Monokuma will randomly kill one student every night until someone does.
  • Murder by Mistake: What the second murder ultimately amounts to; Itachi's entire plan was to kill Asuna, but Kaneki found out and went to the storage room in her place, which would lead to Itachi killing her instead.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: Even after Mikio and Azami are dead, Hana still thinks about them quite often, and the first murder and trial are often brought up by the other students.
    • Tadao also cites Azami's murder of Mikio to be what kickstarted his belief that there was no way to stop the killing game and that the only way to escape the castle was via murder.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Azami has this reaction in regards to killing Mikio.
    • Itachi also had this reaction offscreen when he murdered Kaneki.
    • Rumi is downright horrified when she realizes she unintentionally broke the railing on the East Wing's second floor, resulting in Shiori being fatally stabbed by the statue below.
    • Hana has this reaction after learning she was a member of Dark Hand, the one who was originally meant to mastermind the killing game, and the person who sabotaged Hiroshi and Nanako's plan to prevent the killing game.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the prologue, Hana's father asks her, if she comes across an Ultimate Photographer, to put in a good word for him.
    • Also in the prolugue, Monokuma tells the students that "there are some people would kill to live in a castle", referencing Celeste's motivation from the first game.
    • In Chapter 3 Part 1, Hana states Asuna's condition could be worse- she could be claiming to be the amalgamation of her and Kaneki's spirits (referencing Kiyondo from the first game as well).
    • At the beginning of Chapter 3's Deadly Life, Monokuma comments on Saku's death by mentioning how "the burly ones usually last a little longer than this", referencing the Danganronpa trope of the large and muscular characters dying in Chapter 4 rather than Chapter 3.
    • Monokuma's spear gun weapons that he brings out during the third trial are known as the "Arms of Gungnir", likely a reference to the regular Spears of Gungnir seen in the canon games.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead:
    • During the second trial, Tadao insults the victim following the revelation that they knew the murder was going to happen...and still ended up getting killed. Several students (mainly Ryoto) are not pleased by his comment.
    • After the fourth trial, Akira doesn't hesitate to call out Shiori and Rumi for the mistakes they made that led to the murder and subsequent trial; Hana doesn't take it well.
  • Never Suicide:
    • Saku's death is staged to look like he had slashed his stomach and killed himself like Itachi had done in the chapter prior- but Hana is able to prove the stomach slice was inflicted after he was already dead, so suicide would have been impossible.
    • One of the earliest theories to how Hiroshi was murdered was that he hung himself, but this idea is very quickly disproven.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: All the evidence during the second trial seems to point to Asuna being the killer, but she is ultimately proven innocent.
    • The same thing happens with Ryoto in the fourth trial- bonus points for him being found at the falsified crime scene literally covered in blood.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Hana, upon encountering the unstable Asuna in the courtyard, attempts to speak to her and console her regarding the events of the second trial, despite knowing the bad condition of her mental state at the time. Sure enough, Hana says something that ends up sending Asuna into an even bigger rage than before, likely worsening her mental state as a result.
    • Hana advising Akira to show some trust in the others could also count, as Akira would take this advice and re-open the armory to everyone else as a show of faith. This would later allow Shiori to obtain some of the tools she needed (including a murder weapon) to execute her murder plot; Akira calls Hana out on this during the fourth investigation, although Hana does point out she never specifically told Akira to open the armory again (although Akira makes the point that Hana would have agreed with that course of action if it had been fully suggested).
    • After realizing the fifth trial is practically unwinnable because none of the surviving students could have killed Hiroshi, yet the are still required to vote for a blackened, Hana convinces the others to create a five-way tie in the voting to ensure that Monokuma wouldn't be allowed to execute them for picking the wrong blackened. Unfortunately, her plan still provides Monokuma justification to execute the entire class, and this is exactly what he does. Had it not been for the castle's power blowing out, Hana and her classmates would have been killed for certain.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Hana goes through one of these on two occasions: the first was during Part 5 of Chapter 3, and the second towards the beginning of Chapter 4.
  • Noodle Implement: As part of her murder plot, Shiori smashes a few of the wooden stairs in the eastern watchtower with an axe from the armory, making access to the tower's apex difficult. However, the actual role this was meant to play in her plan is never revealed.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently, Hana had participated in a seance once in the past- she never goes into detail, but it is described as the "worst three minutes of her life".
    • Rumi's fear of pine tress.
  • Not His Blood: When searching for the missing Shiori and Ryoto towards the end of Chapter 4's Daily Life, the group finds him unconscious in the same blood-splattered room as Shiori's corpse- to make matters worse for him, Ryoto is shown to have what seems to be the victim's blood all over his clothes.
    • However, it's later revealed the blood on Ryoto and the blood all over the crime scene wasn't Shiori's blood either- it was blood from several blood bags from the medical room, used to make the top of the watchtower look like the scene of the murder, so technically it was nobody's (or nobody significant's) blood.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Since it's most likely Shiori started planning/setting up her plan to murder Rumi the morning/afternoon after the motive was initially announced (as that was when she first spoke to Ryoto, telling him to go to the East Wing at 11:30 PM), then everything Hana (and likely Asuna and Rumi) says and does with Shiori throughout Parts 4 and 5 could count.
    • Especially when taking into consideration the implication that Shiori felt very hesitant and stressed about the idea of killing someone, right up to the moment she stabbed Rumi in the East Wing.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The opening of the story depicts Hana being woken up in a hallway by a boy named Hiroshi, after (presumably) having passed out due finding something in a room with blood on the floor. This scene is repeated word-for-word at the beginning of Chapter 1's Deadly Life, only now with full context: Hana had just discovered Mikio's body in the fitness room, and passed out in the hallway as a result.
  • The Power of Friendship: In Chapter 5, Hana remembers that it was through the support of her classmates and friends that allowed her to continue fighting on after each and every class trial, not to mention the students supporting each other as well. It is remembering this simple truth that allows Hana to break free from the mysterious thoughts of nihilism that had been plaguing her for most of the chapter up to that point.
  • Punch a Wall: Played for drama towards the end of Chapter 4. Following the end of Shiori's trial and Rumi's execution, Hana proceeds to slam her fists against the wall of her bedroom over and over again in a display of fury and grief. She doesn't stop until she physically (and mentally) wears herself out.
  • Race Against the Clock: The latter section of the final trial involves Nanako setting off a timed self-destruct sequence that will blow up the castle/bunker once the timer reaches zero, burying everyone in the trial room. The only way to shut the bombs (and, by extension, the bunker itself) down is for the surviving students to solve the mysteries of the killing game, which will allow them to figure out how to activate the "killswitch" that will shut everything down.
  • Recurring Element:
    • Several characters fall into similar archetypes from the canon games:
    • The murders themselves seem to have similarities to canon as well:
      • The first murder involves the death of a character who is set up to appear important to the plot.
      • In addition, the first culprit is dragged to their execution via a metal collar and a chain to their neck.
      • The second murder happens due to something from a student's past, and is portrayed as tragic.
      • The third case features a double murder, with a culprit who acted out of purely selfish reasons.
      • In Chapter 3, one of the characters throws a party for the other students that ultimately results in a murder, much like the first case of Super Danganronpa 2.
      • The fourth murder has a theme of sacrifice, and is portrayed as tragic.
      • The fifth murder involves an incredibly complex plan by the killer, as well as involving the death of a more major character.
  • Red Herring:
    • Asuna's hair pin being left in the greenhouse after nighttime, the same area where the murder weapon was hidden. It is later revealed the hair pin was dropped there before the killer hid the weapon, meaning the pin was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • Also in Chapter 2, the note found in Kaneki's pocket written by "Asuna". Hana is able to figure out that the note was forged and planted on Kaneki after she was already dead.
    • Everything Hinata does to frame Ryoto and himself throughout Chapter 4's trial invokes this, as it completely complicates what was otherwise a very quick and straightforward murder.
    • Numerous aspects of Hiroshi's death are meant to confuse the others to his cause of death, but most obvious examples would be the fact that Hiroshi's body was hung via a rope and noose and the kitchen knife very visibly stabbed into his chest.
  • Riddle for the Ages:
    • It's never revealed why Hana joined Dark Hand in the first place, although the implication is that it was the result of her experiencing something really bad during The Tragedy.
    • Nanako's final fate- whether she would survive after escaping the castle or be hunted down and killed by Dark Hand or other dangers in the post-apocalyptic world- is ultimately left unknown.
  • Rule of Three: Played for laughs in this scene from Chapter 2:
    Monokuma: Puhuhu... It's time for...!
    Hana: Don't say it.
    Monokuma: It's time for...!
    Rumi: Don't say it!
    Monokuma: It's time for-!
    Ryoto: Don't say it!
    Monokuma: Your brand new...motive!
    • And again throughout the fourth trial, when Hinata is constantly snapping at Asuna to 'shut up' when she brings up something suspicious or confusing. The first two times he does it, she reacts rather nervously and indignantly. The third time, however...
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Mikio.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Kaneki and Itachi.
  • Sanity Slippage: Asuna goes through this for a majority of Chapter 3 as a result of everything that happened in the chapter prior. She starts to comes out of it towards the very end of Part 4, and appears fully back to normal by Part 5.
  • Screw Destiny: Towards the end of the final trial, Hana and the others conclude that there really is no such as true "fate"- everyone has a choice to change their future and their fate, for better or worse, and no one can take that choice away from someone. Hana demonstrates this epiphany by declaring that she is no longer the evil person she was in the past, despite everyone Nanako said, and that she chooses to reject Dark Hand and end the killing game that she herself started.
  • Security Cling: Hana and Asuna do this to each other in Part 3 of Chapter 4 when Monokuma becomes extremely furious at them for finding the banners he had hidden in the eastern lounge.
  • Seeking the Missing, Finding the Dead:
    • In Chapter 4, Shiori and Ryoto fail to show up for the breakfast meeting one morning- and since the latest motive had been announced two days prior, naturally everyone assumes the worst and split up to look for them. They find both Ryoto and Shiori at the top of the East Wing's watchtower; however, while Ryoto is merely unconscious, Shiori is very much dead.
    • Hiroshi vanishes for almost an entire day in Chapter 5. When the students finally find him at the end of Part 4, he has been murdered.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • Happens in Chapter 1. Azami was terrified that something might happen to her or to any one of her newfound friends, be it getting murdered by a fellow classmate or being randomly chosen as the student Monokuma would kill at midnight. Her paranoia only grew and worsened as time passed, and she would ultimately frenzy-kill Mikio out of her desire to survive. Tragically, in trying so hard to survive, she became the first blackened and was subjected to a brutal death as a result.
    • Then, in Chapter 3, Asuna undergoes a complete personality change after misinterpreting the advice Akira had given her after Kaneki's trial. She believed that, when Akira told her not to let her grief control her, she shouldn't let herself grieve or truly feel anything at all (not helped by the guilt she was already feeling). This results in Asuna becoming completely vicious and hostile towards her classmates, only being brought out of it when Hana basically spells out what Akira actually meant. In short: Asuna was doing exactly what Akira told her NOT to do. Hana even names this trope by name when explaining this to Asuna.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Akira is often nicknamed Ace Attorney due to her title as Ultimate Prosecutor.
    • Hinata at one point jokes that he's "a monkey's uncle".
    • Ryoto once refers to Itachi as Samurai Jack.
    • At the end of the first trial, when Hana blames Monokuma for the deaths of Mikio and Azami, Monokuma responds "Was I Azami Kurobe, with the dumbbell, in the fitness room?"
    • In Chapter 3, Tadao informs Hana that Monokuma has forbidden the students from consuming the beverages in the wine room is not allowed- something about "underage drinking is not welcome in a castle environment".
    • After having seen both the armory and the training room in the East Wing, Hana questions their purpose and asks if the mastermind wants them to "defeat the Huns."
    • Rumi's execution is a pretty major call-back to Homer's epic The Odyssey- specifically, the parts involving the sea monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis.
    • Just like the ending of the fifth trial in Super Danganronpa Another 2, Monokuma executes the remaining survivors for supposedly not being able to find the blackened only for an unforeseen circumstance to interrupt the execution.
    • The end of Akira's execution, where the judge Monokuma grows to giant size and is about to smash her with a giant gavel, is reminiscent of Phoenix's nightmare at the start of Justice For All.
    • The titles of Ryoto and Asuna's executions reference the song "Highway To Hell" and the play Little Shop of Horrors respectively.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: At the very start of Chapter 4, Rumi and Hinata set up a makeshift memorial in the dining room for the students that have died.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • Played for laughs when, while first going over the rules of the killing game, Kaneki and Hinata are more concerned about not being able to fully utilize their respective talents.
    • In Chapter 2, when Itachi finds out it was his knife that was used to commit the murder, he claims that the case is now personal and vows to bring the killer to justice. Lampshaded by Hana:
      Hana: [mentally] And the horrible death of a classmate didn't make it personal before...?
  • Starter Villain: Azami serves as this (although calling her a full "villain" would be a bit of a stretch), as she is the culprit of Chapter 1 and therefore the first blackened Hana must uncover.
  • The Summation: Hana does this in an imitation of the canon games' Closing Argument sections.
    • Akira attempts to do her own version of this in Chapter 3 when laying out her case against Saku.
    • In Chapter 4, Hana is too upset by the truth of the case to do this against Rumi, and so Akira steps in (for real this time) to do this in her place.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: In Chapter 4, Rumi and Hiroshi show some level of pity for Tadao following the events of Chapter 3- Rumi adds his picture to the memorial of the dead students and insists on keeping it there, while Hiroshi also tries to defend this decision of hers by reminding the group of Tadao's true motive for committing murder in the first place.
  • There Is Another:
    • Chapter 6's Deadly Life reveals Hiroshi was not meant to be only traitor in the killing game- there was supposed to be a second one (later revealed to be Nanako).
    • The final trial reveals Nanako, while the current mastermind of the killing game, was not the original mastermind. There was someone else who was supposed to be in her place (later revealed to be Agent 44/Hana Amari).
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Hiroshi's murder in a nutshell. Bludgeoned in the head, had his ankles cut and his hands/wrists mutilated, was electrocuted to death...and even after he was dead, the killer stabbed him in the chest and suspended his body via a noose.
  • This Throne is Armed: Monokuma reveals in the third trial that he has a set of five massive spear guns built in to the back of his throne in the trial room, which he can control using a small panel hidden in one of the armrests. Fortunately, he doesn't fire at anyone, but it's more than enough to bring the trial back into order.
  • Those Two Girls: Deadpan Snarker Shiori and Genki Girl Rumi form this as the story goes on- Hana even meets the two of them in the Prologue at the same time. It's played with, however, in that the two have much more plot relevance than most examples of this trope.
  • Tragic Mistake:
    • The victim of Chapter 2, Kaneki, actually makes two fatal mistakes that cause her death:
      • The first mistake was when Kaneki was younger; her parents warned her and her younger sister, Yuna, against going out to the woods one day due to an upcoming storm. Kaneki, however, chooses to disobey them and goes to the forest with Yuna anyways. This results in them getting caught up in the bad weather in a rather dangerous area, which causes Yuna to slip and fall down a large drop-off, ultimately killing her and leaving Kaneki traumatized and guilt-ridden.
      • The second mistake takes place in the story proper; Asuna receives a strange note apparently sent by Kaneki, and she decides to speak to her friend directly about it. Upon receiving the note, Kaneki chooses not to tell the other students about it and work with them to prevent another murder, instead keeping the note a secret from everyone so she can try and solve the problem by herself. She does succeed in preventing Asuna from being murdered...at the cost of being murdered in her place.
    • Itachi, the culprit of Chapter 2, makes an extremely poor decision of his own. When he is confronted by Kaneki in the storage room, while she is furious with him for what he had planned to do, she ultimately manages to calm herself and try to talk Itachi out of killing someone. She even goes as far as to offer to keep quiet about what he had been planning, as long as he never attempts to kill someone again. Itachi, rather than listen to Kaneki and accept her offer, gives in to his mental stress and repressed emotion, leading to him to becoming enraged with her, fly into a massive rage, and attack/kill Kaneki as a result.
    • The entire story can be attributed to having been caused by the 80th Class making one of these as a whole. After narrowly escaping death during The Tragedy of Hope's Peak, the majority of the class decides it would be best for all of them to split up and scatter around the country to ensure whoever caused the fall of the Academy wouldn't be able to finish their class off. As a result of this decision, none of the students were around when Hana experienced...something during The Tragedy that sent her over the edge, meaning there was nothing stopping her from falling into despair, joining Dark Hand, then going on to create a killing game in Dark Hand's name with those same classmates as the participants.
  • Unfortunate Names: When Monokuma reveals the third motive following the murders, he calls the item in question the "Despair Drink", making it...difficult for the class to take it as a serious threat at first.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: During the Epilogue, after the bunker and the bombs are completely shut down by Hana, Nanako activates the "Plan Z" she hinted at earlier in the trial: an escape route hidden under the floor beneath Monokuma's throne. Thanks to this, Nanako is able to escape the trial room and (presumably) return to the surface, avoiding being apprehended by the surviving students.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 5, Part 3; just when things are looking up for Class 80, Monokuma reveals everyone had their memories of attending Hope's Peak Academy erased. Not only that, but there is one student (who is still alive) who not only did not have their memories erased, but also knows the truth behind the killing game and did nothing to prevent it or their classmates' deaths.
    • The final part of Chapter 5's trial. Hana discovers none of the five students (herself included) could have murdered Hiroshi, thereby uncovering some kind of conspiracy/cover-up by someone (implied to be Monokuma/the mastermind) to ensure the real killer wouldn't be able to be identified. Then, Monokuma forces everyone into a five-way mass execution, which the students barely manage to escape from thanks to a well-timed blackout.
    • The final part of Chapter 6's trial involves the reveal that Hana is actually the original mastermind and the one who helped cause the killing game to begin with, not Nanako (though she is the replacement mastermind) as the students believed. To add to this, the part ends with Hana sacrificing herself to put a stop to the killing game, with the last lines being her dying thoughts before simply ending on several lines of ellipses.
  • Wham Line:
    • Hana delivers this one in the final line of the first part of Chapter 1's trial, in regards to who she thinks the killer is:
      Hana: That description...the only one here who fits all aspects of it is...is you, Azami.
    • She gets another one late into the second trial, with this question:
      Hana: Itachi...how did you know the knife was hidden in the greenhouse?
    • Also, during the conclusion of that same trial, Monokuma makes this revelation about Kaneki's little sister, Yuna Tenmaru:
      Monokuma: After all...Yuna died when Kaneki was eleven!
    • During the third trial, we get this confession/confirmation from the one who attacked Hana in the wine room a day prior:
      Tadao: I admit it. The one who attacked you in the wine room just before the end of nighttime, and the one you saw wandering the castle that hour...was me.
    • This one during the fourth trial:
      Rumi: NO! You're not the killer, Hinata! BECAUSE I'M THE KILLER!
    • This line from Monokuma at the end of the fifth trial, when the others ask him about what he'll do about the five-way tie created by the voting:
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The second Chapter ??? depicts what appears to be part of a day in the life of the 80th Class while they attended Hope's Peak Academy.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Chapter 6 actually has two of these speeches.
    • One is in the middle of the trial after Nanako reveals the world outside is in a post-apocalyptic state due to The Tragedy, essentially trying to break the students by making it seem like all the terrible things they endured were all for nothing.
      Hana: ...Shut up.
      Nanako: Don't tell me to shut up! I'm right! The others-
      Hana: The others made their choices! Fine, whatever- we know it didn't work out for them! We were there, we saw most of them die! But just because they made mistakes doesn't mean we'll end up like them, too! Azami, Kaneki, Itachi, Tadao, Shiori, Rumi- even the five of us, all of them and us made some bad choices that ended up screwing themselves or someone else over- but that doesn't mean it's better to just sit back and accept whatever fate just comes to us! If we thought that way- if I thought that way, we wouldn't be here right now! We'd be dead or- or- I don't know, something just as bad!
      Hana: But we're not- you know why? Because we've always had a choice- good or bad, we've had one, and right now we still have one! We don't have to just accept being blown up and buried alive like you want us to- we can still fight it, and that's exactly what we're going to do! If we don't, then- then what was all of this for, huh? Nothing! The deaths of everyone we cared about- they really would be for nothing, and after everything we've gone through I am NOT about to let that happen!
    • The second and last one happens after Hana recovers from her breakdown after finding out that she was the true mastermind before Nanako.
      Nanako: You...you four-! You're okay with this!? You're okay with putting your lives in the hands of the person who started all this!? You're okay with walking out of this bunker into a world that's full of anarchy!?
      Akira: My job is to reveal the truth- to bring people to proper justice. Did you honestly think I'd just sit by and allow you to kill us all- to let you take the easy way out? If you did, then maybe you're not as adept at reading people as you think you are.
      Ryoto: I don't care what the outside world's like! Ryoto Miura made a lot of mistakes throughout all of this- but NOT THIS TIME! I know who my friends are, and I know what needs to be done! And most of all- I know letting someone like YOU win is OUT OF THE QUESTION!
      Asuna: I-I am nervous about the state of the world outside, but...I'm alive right now because of my best friend's sacrifice. I don't care what you say, what you do, or what the outside world's become- I will NOT let that sacrifice be for nothing!
      Hinata: I'll be the first to admit- I've never been the most virtuous person, even before this killing game. But, well...a certain someone believed I could be more than that. Can't really make good on that if I'm buried hundreds of meters underground, you know?
      Hana: I did some terrible things- to my friends and even you, Nanako- even if I don't remember doing them. But throughout this killing game, I've been trying my hardest to help my classmates survive and escape- and finding out the truth hasn't changed that! Hiroshi was right- I do still have a choice. I am not Agent 44 anymore- I'm Hana Amari! I can't change my past, but I can change my future and my fate- no one, not even you, can take that choice away from me! And right now...I'm going to stop you! I choose to end the killing game!
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Invoked, likely by Nanako in Chapter 5. In the trials prior, the blackened was always one of the students- so, the students naturally assumed the same would apply in the fifth trial and went about their debates with this mindset. It isn't until very late in the trial that they even consider the idea that Hiroshi was murdered by a third party, and even then Hana has to fight tooth and nail to actually prove this to be true.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Hana first wakes up in the castle lying on a bed in her designated bedroom.


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