Danganronpanote is a series of "high-speed mystery action adventure" visual novels created by Kazutaka Kodaka, and released by Spike (now Spike Chunsoft) for the PSP, PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, Steam, and iOS. The games combine mystery-solving with elements of shooting and even rhythm gameplay.
The premise of the first two main games in the series thus far take the same formula (while the third one is set in a new story arc, it generally sticks to this formula as well); the player takes the role of a new student at Hope's Peak Academy, a prestigious high school in Japan which only accepts the cream of the crop for its classes. This mentality extends towards any sort of niche, including unconventional ones like otaku, gamers and even criminals. Students with these extraordinary talents are given an "Ultimate X" titlenote .
Unfortunately, things start to go awry once the new kid steps inside the school itself, as they lose consciousness and wake up elsewhere, with no memory of the interim. They soon find that all the exits and windows are locked to prevent escape, and meet several other students in the same predicament. Before long, the thing who put them there reveals himself—Monokuma, a sadistic, sapient teddy bear.
He quickly reveals that the students will be forced into a "school life of mutual killing". If a person murders a classmate, the rest of the student body will have a class trial to determine the killer's identity. If they get it right, the culprit is executed in a showy display tailor-made to their personality. If they get it wrong, however, the killer "graduates" and gets to leave the school, while the rest die in their place.
Of course, the students swear against something as extreme as killing each other. And yet, horrifyingly, the bodies begin to pile up. Throughout the game, Monokuma continues to give them all new motives to kill each other, and the player must find the killer in each chapter to make sure the survivors all have a shot of escaping together.
The series is rather complicated, consisting of a series of stringing plotlines over several mediums. It also has has a number of translations (official and unofficial) varying in consistency, so that context may affect how certain examples are written.
The series is currently in a sort of limbo as Kodaka has left Spike Chunsoft to open his own company, Too Kyo Games and no new plans about it have been revealed while ambiguous news about whether Kodaka would be helping in a new game or not spread.
On June 15th 2021, a collection of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc-V3, as well as Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp, called Danganronpa Decadence, was announced for release on the Nintendo Switch. This collection was released on November 4, 2021 in Japan, and outside of Japan on December 3, 2021.
Compare to Ace Attorney, Zero Escape and When They Cry for similar visual novels.
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havocnote : The original visual novel, starring Makoto Naegi in Hope's Peak Academy. (Japanese release: 2010, English release: 2014)
- Danganronpa Zero: A two-part light novel prequel to the first game written by Kazutaka Kodaka, starring Ryoko Otonashi in Hope's Peak Academy. (Release: 2011)
- Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair note : The official sequel to the first game, starring Hajime Hinata on the Jabberwock Island Resort. (Japanese release: 2012, English release: 2014)
- Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School: An original anime airing in the summer of 2016, split into two concurrently-airing arcs, Future Arc and Despair Arc. Acts as the Grand Finale to the Hope's Peak Academy Saga.
- Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmonynote - The third main series game and the beginning of the Gifted Inmates Academy Saga. Despite its name, it is confirmed by Word of God to be the fourth main entry. (Release: 2017)
- Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girlsnote : A Third-Person Shooter starring Makoto Naegi's sister Komaru; set in between the first two games and functioning as a Gaiden Game. <!—/index—>
- Danganronpa: Unlimited Battle: A Japan-only free-to-play iOS game similar to Monster Strike.
- Cyber Danganronpa VR: The Class Trial: A tech demo utilizing the PlayStation 4's Virtual Reality headset, the PlayStation VR.
- Kirigiri Sou: A sound novel based around the gameplay of Chunsoft's Otogirisou, centered on Kyoko Kirigiri, a character from the first game. It was released as a pack-in with the third special edition Blu-ray box set of Danganronpa 3 in Japan. <!—index—>
- Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp: An expansion of the "Ultimate Talent Development Plan" board game from Danganronpa V3 into a full standalone game.
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc IF: A short story about a What If? scenario for the first game, unlocked by beating the second one, starring Mukuro Ikusaba during an alternate version of the original game.
- Danganronpa Kirigiri: A prequel novel series about Kyoko Kirigiri, a character from the first game; the first book was released September 2013, and there are now currently five.
- Makoto Naegi's Worst Day Ever: A short story released with the Danganronpa anime DVD/BD.
- Ultra Despair Hagakure: A novel included in Ultra Despair Girls that can be unlocked after completing the game, starring Yasuhiro Hagakure, a character from the first game, caught up in the events of Ultra Despair Girls.
- Danganronpa 1 ・2 Beautiful Days: A series of non-canon short stories written by multiple authors, based around the daily lives of both main installments' respective casts.
- Danganronpa Togami: A prequel novel series about Byakuya Togami, written by Yuya Sato.
- Super Danganronpa 2: Kazuichi Soda in Desperate Causality: A spin-off centered on Kazuichi Soda, a character from the second game.
- Danganronpa Gaiden: Killer Killer: A manga spin-off written by Yuichirou Koizumi and illustrated by Sasako Mitomo. It was initially published as a standalone work, but was later rebranded as a side story to Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School with the release of the third chapter.
- There's also a collection of supplementary manga series for the first and the second games, complementing and expanding the events depicted in the visual novels by adding missing details and using different points of view.
- Danganronpa: The Animation: An Anime of the Game adapting the first visual novel.
- Danganronpa: Kibō no Gakuen to Zetsubō no Kōkōsei The Stage: A stage play adapting the first visual novel.
- Super Danganronpa 2: Sayonara Zetsubō Gakuen The Stage: A stage play adapting the second visual novel.
- Danganronpa 3: The End of Kibōgamine Gakuen The Stage: A stage play adapting the Future Arc of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School.
- Super Danganronpa 2.5: Nagito Komaeda and the Destroyer of the World: An OVA that comes with the limited edition of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony in Japan. It's set after the events of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair and before the Hope Arc of Danganronpa 3.
The Danganronpa franchise provides examples of:
Due to the sheer volume of spoilers resulting from the nature of the franchise's media, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. You Have Been Warned!
Tropes with their own pages
- Actor Allusion
- Cruel and Unusual Death
- The Friend Nobody Likes
- Interface Spoiler
- Red Herring
- Ship Tease
- Wham Episode
- Wham Line
- Wham Shot