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Nightmare Fuel / Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School

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"Hope is harmony. A just heart, moving toward the light. That is all. Despair is hope's polar opposite. It is messy and confusing. Despair swallows up love, hatred, and everything else. Because not knowing where you will end up is despair. Despair is what even you cannot predict. Only despair's unpredictability will save you from a boring future."

Darker and Edgier than the previous installments, the anime shows more ways of inflicting horror and despair.

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    Side: Future 
  • The first episode gives us shots of the Remnants of Despair during the Tragedy, and they're just as bad as described in the game. Kazuichi overseeing the construction of a giant Monokuma, Gundham leading an army of murderous animals, Sonia making a speech to thousands of people - doing what looks like a Hitler salute no less, Mikan preparing to inject some poor soul with a syringe filled with what's likely a deadly substance, Fuyuhiko commanding Peko and a legion of Yazuka members with Akane and Nekomaru, all accompanied by shots of a city engulfed in flames. Ruruka Ando even describes them as million-class murderers, which might not be an exaggeration. Keep all this in mind whenever you see them as regular high school students.
  • Sonia's followers and the Yakuza members are all wearing Monokuma helmets like those in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. Which suggests many of the people who participated in the Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History were NOT doing it of their own free will.
  • Bandai's death via poison injection. Complete with a river of blood erupting from their eye.
  • The poison's effects in general are terrifying. Imagine half your body turning into a dark purple mess of bulging veins, while one of your eyes turns red and starts leaking blood. It gets worse when you see that the effects are a grotesque and macabre parody of Monokuma's face.
  • Some of the possible deaths shown in the opening are pretty disturbing.
  • The flashback where Makoto first meets Izuru Kamukura is unsettling because of just how emotionless Izuru is.
  • The way the murders are set up makes it clear that the traitor is a very depraved individual. Unlike most of the killers in the first two games, who are more concerned with survival and hiding evidence, the traitor has a tendency to play with the victim's body in some way to increase the shock and horror upon body discovery. Not to mention that they used a toy knife and tomato sauce on Aoi just to screw with the nearby characters. They also have an odd fondness for hanging their victims from the ceiling.
    • Though, in Episode 7 it's revealed that it was Monaca who made it look like Aoi was dead.
    • And as pointed out in Episode 4, since they can end the game whenever they want, it's likely that they're not trying to kill everyone. Instead, with all the people they consider problematic out of the way and the kind but naive Makoto on top, they're free to use the Future Foundation in order to spread despair under the guise of hope.. Long story short, they are dangerous.
    • The truth is a lot worse. All the victims are induced suicide, and based on Makoto's point of view, the brutality is a combination of an attempt to stop the brainwashing, combined with a self-torture due to their guilt. Not to mention it was started by Tengan who was trying to off everyone in Future Foundation, while pushing Mitarai to brainwash people into "hope"-grilled zombies.
  • Episode 4's ending reveals Monaca Towa is involved in the Final Killing Game, under the guise of the evidently-late Gekkougahara as a Robot Me. Bare in mind that Monaca is a series Big Bad, and she's smart enough to stick close to the main protagonists for whatever her scheme is and isn't suspected in the least. Imagine one of your trusted friends having the power and intent to turn around and snap you in half at any moment, and you'll understand Makoto's current situation. And this is just a third of the way through the anime, which means the biggest twists and horrors haven't even started yet.
  • As of episode 5, Munakata is inflicting a lot of this. He murders Tengan brutally, and in The Stinger is shown injecting one of Seiko's compounds into himself, and it has his eyes going black. Not to mention he's now Laughing Mad
  • Episode 6 reveals what happened to the real Miaya...and it's not pleasant.
  • Makoto's nightmare sequence in Episode 6 where the bloodied and dead Kyoko looks up at him and is missing her right eye while chillingly telling Makoto it's all his fault.
  • It's a short moment, but the sudden cut to Monaca's memory of Nagito Komaeda comes with this lovely smile.
  • The final scenes we see in Episode 7 is Kirigiri being the target of what seems to be Munakata's silhouette. Turns out it wasn't Kirigiri he found, but Makoto and Asahina instead.
  • Episode 8: Ruruka's Nightmare Face while trying to kill Kirigiri.
    • Also, much like Bandai, seeing the poison's effects on Kizakura, with his left half turning purple and blood erupting from his eye.
    • Seeing the way the Miaya robot moves can be very unsettling, especially the part where it reattaches its severed head using the scarf as arms.
  • Episode 9: Ruruka's corpse after the fourth rest period. The killer not only stabbed in her in the heart like the others, but also completely mauled her. Her clothes are ripped to shreds, her eyes are red from all the blood that's pooled in them and to top it all off, her candy is shoved into her mouth and sprinkled on her body, almost as if to mock her. The killer must've really wanted her to pay for her actions.
    • This death becomes even worse when it's later revealed that all of "the attacker's" victims were the victims themselves, due to being brainwashed by the despair-inducing anime being played on the monitors. This means that Ruruka did all of that to herself. JESUS...
  • Episode 10:
    • We get a flashback of Chisa and Munakata at a playground, and there are tons of bodies there, and even worse, they're all children. We see Chisa sobbing and asking Munakata who could've done something like this...then later, it turns out that not only was Chisa never cured of her Despair...but she was the one who killed them. The Chisa Yukizome we came to know and love during Side: Despair is gone. Even better, we get to see a photo of Chisa smiling sweetly while sitting on a swing in front of the corpses of the children she just killed, with a simple phrase added to the photo: It's me <3.
    • We finally get to hear Tengan's answer to Munakata's question about who the attacker is which caused him to Go Mad from the Revelation: everyone. This only adds further fuel to the potential theories that the attackers are either A.) the victims themselves, or B.) a random player who gets brainwashed into killing someone, in both cases being forced to watch an insanity-inducing anime.
  • Episode 11:
    • And now we finally know what exactly Tengan meant. The first theory was correct. The victims killed themselves by being brainwashed through the monitors, which played the despair-inducing anime that utilized Mitarai's techniques, each one being tailor-made for each victim.
    • Continuing the above, seeing Naegi being brainwashed, by having him face all of the dead members of Class 78, all of whom are portrayed at the moment they died. Leon's disfigured face and the melted remains of Mondo are particularly unsettling, and even when her supposed death is 'getting run over a truck', Celeste's death is depicted as 'being burned'. Then, the scene cuts back to him and we're treated to a very unsettling Nightmare Face, giving him the very same Red Mind-Control Eyes and Slasher Smile found on the Remnants of Despair.
    • The fact that not even Makoto Naegi is resistant to the despair anime. This really highlight that it doesn't matter if you're Incorruptible Pure Pureness, the despair anime can still turn you into a suicidal "attacker" or a despair crazed mass-murderer.
    • Great Gozu's Eye Scream during the flashback. In his fit of despair he gouges out his eyes through his mask with the knife.

    Side: Despair 
  • A very minor, trajectory-based case of this: Peko Pekoyama reacting to Chisa's sudden appearance by nearly smacking her with a kendo stick. What makes this a terror beholded is how the wind longingly resonates on her hair to emphasize the speed the weaponry was held to her neck at.
  • Adult Fear sets in when it is revealed that Yukizome and Kizakura were teachers of the 77th Class. Imagine seeing your former students destroying the world and being powerless to stop either it or Junko's corruption of them.
  • The Stinger for the first episode of the despair arc shows the Steering Committee looking over Hajime's file. It seems he's already been selected for the Hope Cultivation Plan.
  • The Stinger for the second episode shows Natsumi Kuzuryu transferring into Hajime's class and the words, The Start of Twilight appear afterwords.
  • While it's more Tear Jerker then Nightmare Fuel, seeing Peko punch a wall so hard her hand bleeds is unsettling.
  • Episode 4 reminds us just shows terrifying Nagito's supernatural luck can be, to the point where it seems like it has a mind of its own, which Nagito himself cannot fully control. As if him getting caught up in a plane hijacking and then being saved by the arrival of a meteorite wasn't already indicative of its dangerous absurdity.
  • It is presented as a joke, but the casual away that Junko and Mukuro bomb cars and kill innocent people. In a meta way, the way audience just cheers a murderer just because she is entertaining, pretty and cool while the victim has no face. Made worse because human life is valued in the other instances of the series.
    • Just the sheer fucked up relationship between Junko and Mukuro. Junko repeatedly attempts killing her twin while casually insulting her appearance and Mukuro is actually shown getting pleasure from it in a rather disturbing masochistic way. And as the anime progresses, Junko continues this treatment towards her sister. The entire relationship comes across as some horrific combination of Domestic Abuse and Stockholm Syndrome .
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You from Junko's corruption - She speaks directly to the viewer when she appears, aware that the audience has been waiting for her, and proceeds to demonstrate her flawless charisma and charm that make her so dangerous and irresistible in the first place. For those wondering just how class 77 fell under her influence, look no further than yourselves.
  • The ending of Episode 5. Hajime Hinata is gone, Izuru Kamukura has been born, and it's the beginning of the end.
  • In Episode 6:
    • One of the Hope Project's backers complains that Hajime was "too distraught" to be the Ultimate Hope, whereupon he is assured that this is because "some" of Hajime's old personality remained, and that they have since destroyed those remnants of Hajime Hinata...which makes it clear that they have spent the last six months gradually deleting Hajime and that he was cognizant (and still "himself") enough to realize this and be upset about it. It presents the possibility that he may have withdrawn his consent at some point in the project, but they weren't about to let him back out. He didn't wake up transformed - it was a long, grueling process where he was waking up as a different person each time. If anything, that's scarier than the single-hit destruction of self that was indicated by Junko — Hajime would have known something unsettling was going to happen every time they put him into that pod. Plus, he's spent half a year as a lab rat in isolation — that would do a number on anyone's psyche just in itself.
    • Later in the episode, we see Hajime strapped down and bolted in as the experiments are carried out, as Chisa searches the files. For added chills, none of the files talk about Hajime — just "the subject". And we finally get confirmation that Hajime's personality erasure, and Izuru's apathy, were entirely intentional and not just an unfortunate side effect: Hope's Peak, as Munakata pointed out, weren't trying to create "hope" as much as they were creating a weapon to do their bidding and follow their agenda, so Hajime's moral hangups and ideals had to go.
  • More fun with Junko in Episode 6. You hear the Execution music kick in and you know that someone's about to have the worst — and last — day of their lives. She's kind enough to explain her methods, though this is probably old news to anyone who knows the games: torturing and killing someone with the things they find familiar, even comforting, is far more traumatic than the standard hard-objects-and-pointy-things approach. This time, her execution involves curry rice. And spoons. And eyes. Later, she carries that eye around in a container of takoyaki, which kind of makes you wonder about the contents of the rest of them...
  • Izuru Kamakura shows off just how frighteningly superior he is when he disarms Junko and disables Mukuro with little more than a wave of his hand. Mind you, Mukuro is the Ultimate Soldier, capable of fighting on par with Sakura Ogami, dodge bullets, and never took a single wound during her time on the battlefield. Just how overwhelming could he be if he actually went all out?
    • And during that entire sequence, he doesn't even bother to stand up.
    • Junko, however, has the last laugh: while underneath Izuru's heel, she delivers a chilling Hannibal Lecture that causes the hitherto unemotional Izuru to react with surprise.
  • At the end of Episode 6, Junko runs into Mitarai as she leaves the hospital. She seems to be ignoring him... until she stops, grabs him, and asks his name with an utterly monotone voice and a blank, yet piercing stare, a creepy far cry from the usually over-the-top despair freak.
  • In episode 7, we finally get to see the very first mutual killing game. By lord....the first killing game. In the previous killing games, even with the pink blood the sight of the character's corpses was bad enough. Here? We get to see a classroom full of teens run around and kill each other, Battle Royale style. People begging each other to stop. Going mad with laughter or breaking after murdering their former friends. And the kicker? It was to relieve Izuru's boredom and show him how great despair was. It's made more disturbing by Mukuro singing "Tsubasa wo Kudasai (Give Me Wings)" over it all.
    • Keep in mind, this event is what kickstarted the revolt of the Reserve Course, leading into the events of Danganronpa Zero...the pre-cursor to the Tragedy.
    • Izuru is actually injured during this. Not badly, but he gets a small cut on his cheek from Asukasei Hino's gun. Seeing Izuru get hurt is a bit unnerving.
      • He almost seems disturbed by all the carnage. Think about it. Izuru Kamakura, who has, in his minimal appearances seen so far, seemed bored by everything. For him to show even the smallest hint of emotion...
      • The kicker, the injury Izuru got wasn't necessarily caused by Asukasei, but rather his briefly still moving decapitated body. No wonder Izuru was caught off guard.
  • Ryota's anime. It uses very subtle changes in color, eye movement, and sound to directly influence the viewer's brain. He freely admits to using every technique he could think of, including forms of brainwashing. While he created it with the intent of filling the world with hope, he also gave Junko some ideas.
  • Junko's talent and the way it has affected her. Due to her Ultimate Analyst talent, Junko is left bored of the world to the point of embracing despair simply because it can't be predicted. While we have seen the way talents have affected people both positively and negatively: Junko's is perhaps the most extreme example coming form the "negative" side. Worse yet, as Nagito and Soshun have proven: people can share a Talent. Meaning that someone with the same or similar talent as Junko can and probably does exist.
  • Put yourself in Ryota's shoes for a moment in Episode 8 He was alone in a room with Junko, Mukuro, and a completely deranged Mikan, who became insane by a mere prototype of Junko's despair film. No matter how scary Mikan could ever act, she wasn't the scariest thing in the room, Junko was, and she forced him into perfecting that film, a film to destroy the world. No wonder the poor kid simply couldn't take it anymore and run away in tears the moment he had a chance.
  • Izuru has better luck than Nagito. NAGITO. The guy who's survived two plane crashes (one of which was brought down by a goddamn meteorite) and being kidnapped by a murderer, won at least three lotteries, played Russian Roulette with five bullets in the barrel and won, created a plan to have a very specific person kill him with a bottle of poison, with only his luck to make it happen, and have it WORK, had his plan to cancel the progress exam get derailed by no less than two unforeseen circumstances, and STILL get it to work, and lived beyond the life expectancy doctors gave him after being diagnosed with two terminal illnesses. Just think about the implications.
  • Another Adult Fear on Chisa's part. Imagine finding your whole class gone to find their missing classmate just as the surroundings became dangerous because of the Parade. And imagine one of those said students bumping into you and panicking, saying that one of his classmates is going to be murdered.
  • Episode 9 is full of very disturbing scenes. Better hope your stomach is empty when watching it:
    • Junko's brainwashing is so efficient that she just has to order someone to kill himself for him to do just that. By sawing off his own head. He did it slowly, pleading for his life the whole time, and Chisa was forced to watch the whole thing. (Junko herself calls it "Grade A" Nightmare Fuel. )
    • Chisa's brainwashing, full stop: she is forced to watch the massacre video, while being strapped to a chair, her bloodshot eyes forced open, in a configuration nearly identical to the one of Clockwork Orange. The thing is, she resists the brainwashing, forcing Mukuro to tamper with her brain directly with needles. Bluntly put, we are subjected to an on-screen lobotomy. This is all made even worse by the fact that while being tortured, Chisa sounds like she is about to have an orgasm any minute, especially after Mukuro lobotomizes her. The sequence also includes some close-ups of Chisa's breasts and groin, including one after she's presumably "broken" which shows her legs twitching, further implying that she is being made to feel sexual pleasure from it... and then you remember Mikan's behavior in the previous episode...
    • All of the above happens as Izuru watches, once again complaining that he finds this boring. The guy seems to have pretty damn high standards in mental torture...
    • Chisa rescuing Nanami takes a whole new meaning when you know that she is brainwashed. The one person that Nanami really looked up to is now nothing more than Junko's puppet, and one can only shivers when thinking about what she is going to do to her... At the very end of the episode Chisa smiles reassuringly to Nanami, but there is something terribly wrong with that smile. It's cold and predatory, and it only gets worse when just an instant later when you get to see the title of the episode, "Chisa Yukizome Doesn't Smile". She's not trying to reassure her student, she's putting up a front and sizing her up, maybe for the same nightmarish torture and Mind Rape that claimed her, or maybe for something else...
  • Episode 10 picks up right where Episode 9 left off, and it just goes From Bad to Worse.
    • Dear god, Chiaki Nanami's execution. The chronologically first execution in the series manages to be the most horrific. Forced to make her way through a labyrinth filled with death traps, boulders, spikes and more... and the final trap that kills her is in the room marked 'goal'. She sees her class, including Chisa, beyond, and reaches out to them... only to be impaled by a legion of spears. And while this happens, we hear Chiaki's cries and screams. It makes her execution in SDR2 look like a Mercy Kill in comparison!
    • The worst part? None of the traps actually kill her. Instead, she dies a slow, likely agonizing death from blood loss.
    • Brainwashed!Yukizome's eyes. Sweet merciful Christ, Brainwashed!Yukizome's eyes. In a Call-Back to both Junko's eyes right before she executes herself in the first game, and Nagito's eyes when revealed as having tampered with evidence in Case 1 in SDR2, her eyes have become black spirals. And then it gets worse when everyone in Class 77-B gets those same eyes, with Nagito's case being even more horrifying than the first time we see him with those eyes in SDR2.
    • What's particularly nightmarish about this episode as a whole is that the atrocities in it are on the "realistic" side of the scale rather than Danganronpa's usual outrageous, darkly comic brand of violence. It's the same reason Leon's execution in DR1 is often viewed as the most brutal: it's far more visceral and believeable than "fried in a volcano" or "turned into butter." Chiaki's death run doesn't just splatter the victim in two minutes — instead, we're shown them being gradually incapacitated. They're impaled through the leg, so they limp. They get a head wound from a projectile, so they're blinded by blood. Then they're impaled straight through their other foot, so they're practically dragging themselves along. The viewer is forced to watch how these types of injuries (that are often shrugged off by other characters — Juzo pulls himself together after being impaled!) would affect a real person...and then Junko goes in for the kill. The effect is horrific, but it's also within the realms of is the vicious, homophobic horror inflicted on Juzo once the object of their affection is revealed. There are no fancy traps or tricks (other than the obligatory brainwashing of the Reserve Course) — just utter humiliation, covertly taken photos, blackmail, and the kind of kicking familiar to anyone unfortunate enough to have seen a schoolyard bully in action. There's no "it's too silly and exaggerated to be real!" get-out clause here.
  • Episode 11 shows us the brainwashed reserve course's final acts: slaughtering all of the security, breaking into the main course building to kill the students, before then committing suicide by jumping out of the windows or running straight into the burning building. All while laughing.
  • Class 77's "graduation". It starts off so innocently, with Yukizome bidding her class a tearful farewell and celebrating. Of course, we all know that it's a lie. Once Junko's destruction of Hope's Peak begins, their eyes immediately become the despair eyes and talk about their roles in Junko's plan. The creepiest part is that they act as though what they'll do will spread happiness throughout the world, as if they were never brainwashed at all.
    • Nagito: Continues rambling about hope despite now being a Remnant of Despair, meaning his entire existence is now a walking contradiction. He will now actively increase despair in order to forcibly create hope, rather than eliminating despair to create hope.
    • Ultimate Impostor: States that now he can be anyone he wishes, including president, meaning he'll most likely kill and impersonate whoever he wants in order to sow more chaos.
    • Kazuichi: Intends to find the cure for environmental pollution, even though he'll either end up making it worse to fuel despair or decide that it's humanity that's the cause.
      • In the ending of the first game, Junko says to the survivors that the air outside the school is polluted (and that they only been fine bacause of the air purifier at the Physics Lab). I wonder who might be responsible for that...
    • Teruteru: Will create exquisite dishes for the whole world. Which will likely be filled with drugs and poisons that will kill millions.
    • Fuyuhiko: Will lead his clan down the right path. The path of war.
    • Peko: Will never kill again. Because Fuyuhiko's army of yakuza will do it instead while she gets to be by his side.
    • Sonia: Will return to her country and spread the good word. Junko's word. She also proclaims her desire to endorse peace in her country. A peace won by destroying their neighbors.
    • Mahiru: Will put her photography skills to good use. By showcasing horrific images and doctoring them to spread more despair.
    • Mikan: Intends to create miracle drugs for people, meaning she'll likely become a harmful, addictive drug trafficker as well as creating biochemical weapons of mass destruction.
    • Ibuki: Will spread happiness through her music, which will likely be dark songs about horrific acts.
      • Another interpretation would be even more terrible. They actually mean the things they say, but Junko's mind control will twist their actions and thoughts and even though they desire peace, to protect others, to feed the masses and make them happier, they're instead going to burn the world to the ground and cause unending suffering for despair's sake. While they either do not understand the damage they're causing, or they do and are unable to do a thing to stop it.

    Side: Hope 
  • In-universe: We know that they aren't really the Remnants of Despair anymore, but imagine how pants-shittingly scary that broadcast the 77th Class made taking responsibility for the Final Killing Game had to be for most of the people who saw it. They were just starting to reclaim territory from the damage done, and then here come the original monsters responsible ready for round two. Good thing it was a fake broadcast.


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