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Ship Tease / Danganronpa

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Dangan Ronpa has little in the way of straight-up romance, but boy do the creators love teasing the hell out of some ships, especially ones that end in tragedy.

  • Aoi and Sakura are teased practically out of the gate. They band together apparently due to their shared athletic interests; after the beginning of the game they're never seen separately, except when they deliberately split up to accomplish a task. In the original Japanese, Aoi refers to Sakura as "Sakura-chan", which would be standard, except that nobody else calls her this; most refer to Sakura as "Oogami-san" or some variant (Yasuhiro even calls her "the Ogre"), making "Sakura-chan" a deliberate display of affection. Sakura reacts very strongly when Toko/Genocide Jack starts making disturbing sexual comments towards Aoi, becoming so threatening that Aoi at one point worries she might actually attack Toko/Genocide Jack in Aoi's defense. And of course, there's Aoi's reaction to Sakura's suicide, and her continual references to her feelings for Sakura throughout the game afterwards — she looks towards memories of what "Sakura-chan" would do or say, and the memory of Sakura's death, as motivation for herself not to lose hope and make Sakura's efforts meaningless.
  • Kiyotaka Ishimaru and Mondo Owada develop a seriously intense bond. Of course, this could be interpreted as a bond of "brotherhood", but the fact that Taka was willing to condemn everyone — including himself to spare Mondo's life is definitely indicatively of something; and he completely shuts down after the execution, wandering around aimlessly and not responding when prior to this he has been extremely vocal and driven. Official artwork also shows Kiyotaka and Mondo together in "peculiar" situations. For instance, Taka nitpicking Mondo's messy eating habits and tying his scarf for him, Mondo cheering Taka on during an athletic competition, Taka putting his small white jacket on Mondo while the biker is asleep, and etc. It's also interesting to note that, taking both Kiyotaka's own Friendless Background and the events of the manga's fourth chapter, Mondo might be Taka's first real, close friend. Kiyotaka also isn't fully aware of how to make friends as seen from his free time events, so to Taka, these are what he believes are normal signs of affection.
  • Makoto, despite not being a classical Chick Magnet, doesn't do so bad in this game.
    • Makoto and Sayaka start out with lots of teasing. Sayaka says that Makoto is saving her by being around her. She even calls herself his assistant. She also says that in middle school, she always wanted to talk to him and was always looking at him. This may be subverted though, given that Sayaka planned to pin her murder on Makoto, plus she's the first victim.
      • Going by the Anime of Danganronpa 3 and scenes showing themselves with their memories, it appears that Sayaka did have some feelings towards Makoto. So a Pre-Despair event could be seen as teasing.
      • "School Mode" reveals that she actually does like spending time with Makoto.
    • Makoto and Kyoko start some minor teasing after Sayaka and Leon's trial, which becomes a major teasing after chapter 2. Kyoko and Makoto are the ones that generally lead the trials and work together to solve the crimes. Kyoko confides only with Makoto and only asks for Makoto's help. Aoi, Yasuhiro and Monokuma seem to think the two are dating and in Chapter 3 when Makoto defends Kyoko, Byakuya says, "Don’t tell me you’re in love with her". After Makoto keeps a secret from Kyoko, she ignores him for three whole days, while making snide comments about him in the company of others. She only starts talking to him after the secret is revealed and she could understand his reason for doing so. She even blushes when saying sorry. Not trusting Kyoko during a crucial moment in Chapter 5 will get you the Bad Ending. After Makoto is nearly executed, she personally comes to rescue him. At the end, she even says she looks forward to the future, if people like Makoto are with her. And then there's her free time events. Spending time with her can prompt her to admit with a slight blush her growing interest in Makoto. In her third free time, Makoto compliments her smile and calls her pretty to try and get a reaction out of her. This appears to fluster her, but it turns out she'd guessed what he was up to and was just playing along to make it backfire on him. In her last free time, she jokingly gives him an implied proposal and chuckles at his reaction with a blush.
      • And in Danganronpa 3, the ship tease is overflowing, especially in episode 9 and 10 when Kyoko talks about how amazing Naegi is, as well as reassuring him while holding his hand without her gloves showing that she considers him her family, and Naegi is devastated when she (seemingly) dies and his confrontation with Munakata confirms there Naegi at least has feelings for Kyoko.
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    • Makoto and Aoi have minor teasing that becomes pretty major in places. In her last free time event, when you go to her room, she asks for you to pretend to be her boyfriend. After they call it off, she asks with a blush what kind of girl Makoto likes. In the main storyline, she does say with a blush Makoto is cool during the trials. She also treats him the best out of the remaining students — she hates both Byakuya and Toko, and she seems annoyed with Yasuhiro's stupidity (though we never get to see how close she is with Kyoko).
    • Mukuro also seems to have her eye on him, between offering to set him up with an "aggressive" girl in her free time events and pretty openly hitting on him in School Mode. Danganronpa If outright confirms it, as Makoto was apparently the first person to ever show Mukuro a genuine smile.
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  • Leon's crush on Sayaka is fairly obvious, as he does things like ask Makoto what kind of guys she likes so he can switch hobbies accordingly; their positions. Also, as they were some of the earliest character designs, they frequently appear together in promotional art.
  • Makoto keeps getting invited to people's rooms in their final free time events. Possibly taken out of tease level in School Mode, where once he reaches the good ending with a character's Relationship Values maxed-out he gets a pair of their undies.
  • In Super Danganronpa 2...oh, man. There's no question that Fuyuhiko and Peko love each other very much. The real question is if the love is romantic or familial in nature. Peko, Fuyuhiko's bodyguard, is loyal to him to the point where she kills Mahiru and tries to condemn the others, including herself, to death just to get him off the island, and encourages him to use her to any means he desires. Kuzuryuu, normally a chilly jerkass, breaks down crying at Peko's sentencing and risks his life in a futile attempt to save her from her execution. Plus, he actually refuses to treat her like a tool and sees her as a beloved companion, which is in marked contrast to his behavior towards his other classmates. It may be the emotionally charged atmosphere of Chapter 2's trial, but there are a lot of fans who believe there's something romantic going on there.
    • Peko's Dangan Island route outright confirms that the reason why Hajime couldn't end up with her is because she already likes someone else, with that someone else heavily implied to be Fuyuhiko. A Valentines Day tweet reaffirms this notion. Also, in chapter 6 the reason why Fuyuhiko eventually decides to choose the Forced Shutdown option is because Peko would have wanted him to, otherwise he would have chosen the Stay option just so he could be with Peko again.
    • Gundham Tanaka and Sonia Nevermind probably get the most ship tease second to Peko and Fuyuhiko. Not only is Sonia the one character to make Gundham blush in more than one occasion, she is also the only one he doesn't refer to in a demeaning manner and clearly respects her the most out of the class. It goes as far as him referring to her as his "Dark Queen" and in one of his free time events, he tells Hajime about his fantastical image of her. On Sonia's end, she greatly admires Gundham and his hamsters, and even joins in on his antics from time to time. It's to the point where it seems that she's the only person who not only accepts Gundham's fantasies but also understands and believes them. The most apparent ship tease occurs in Chapter 4, where Sonia tagged along with Gundham whenever the group split up, the two of them showed great team work and deduction during the trial and Sonia defended him to the bitter end when he was accused of being the murderer.
    • There's also quite a bit ship tease between Hajime and Chiaki. During one of her free time events, she compliments him on being well-built and says that she trusts him enough to carry her, all of which leaves Hajime very nervous and self-conscious. He even mentions his heart racing on more than a few occasions with her. During her final free time event, Chiaki admits that she doesn't know a lot of things, like how to fall in love with someone, and asks Hajime if he'll keep teaching her. She also asks him not to never forget about her after he gets off the island. He promises that once they escape, he'll take her to all kinds of different places. Outside of the free time events, Hajime gets flustered at the sight of her in a bikini, even more than with Peko and Akane, and they become very close, with Hajime relying on her more and more for emotional support. Her death signals the start of his downward spiral, and her ghost appearing to give him a pep-talk is what lifts him out of it.
    • It helps that all the couples mentioned here (and in the first game above) are constantly paired together in official merchandise.
  • Regarding Danganronpa V3, Shuichi and Kaede have A LOT of teasing during the game. Not only is Shuichi the first person Kaede meets in the Academy but because she also acts as Shuichi's lost Lenore during most of the game after she is revealed as Rantaro's killer and therefore, executed. Her death is the reason for why he goes on to find the truth and end the killing game. In chapter 3, Shuichi is also horrified to see that the wax statue of Kaede that Angie had made had a katana stuck into it's chest. In chapter 6, when its revealed that Rantaro wasn't killed by Kaede's trap and that she was actually innocent, Shuichi really loses it and promises to avenge Kaede in her love kindess and grave by revealing the mastermind. Kaede's Love Hotel scene, adittional content, also features her asking Shuichi to call her "sweetheart" (or her first name instead of "Akamatsu-San" in the original Japanese).
    • Another couple, and a Robosexual one for sure, would be Miu Iruma and K1-B0. Being the Ultimate Inventor, and considering her personality and traits, Miu quickly gets "interested" in Keebo, often asking to do maintenance on him, which not only give Keebo new functions and improvments, they both seem to enjoy it, specially Miu. During the Killing Game, Miu, already coming from a Friendless Background due to her lack of social skills, is seen as The Friend Nobody Likes by almost everyone, with Keebo being the only one that truly respects her and the only one she can call a friend (except if Kaede or Shuichi completed her Free Time Events). Keebo also gets quite jelous after Miu starts working on the computer in the computer room and tells everyone how she enjoys working on it. After Miu is murdered in chapter 4, due to her plan of killing Kokichi, the other person in the group who is disliked more than her, failing after he realisd what she was trying to do, Keebo seems to be the only one who is really affected by her death, even stating that he wants to cry but can't because his body doesn't have that function. Later on during chapter 5, he seems to be only one who truly misses Miu, and is more sad about her death than Gonta's.

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