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Tear Jerker / Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony

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What happens when Break the Cutie meets Not So Stoic? Everybody Cries. That probably includes you.

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  • Kaede's execution at the end of Chapter 1 is, without a doubt, one of the most brutal and agonizing executions in the whole franchise. Several of the students even tried to save her. The aftermath of the execution is especially heartbreaking.
    • Made retroactively worse by the reveal in the final Class Trial that she didn't even kill anyone. Tsumugi was the one who hit Rantaro with the cannonball after it missed him entirely, and she let Kaede take the fall.
    • It is noteworthy that after Shuichi exposed Kaede as the 'culprit' in Chapter 1, he starts crying, not once, not twice, but four times, all of them equally heartbreaking.
      • Upon defeating her, he starts blaming himself for Rantaro's murder. And he says it again after the Class Trial, too. He tearfully asks her why she's still encouraging her when she herself is on the verge of death, and why she's giving up and facing her execution without even trying to defend herself, when she had told him to have more faith in himself and survive to the end of the Killing Game with everyone. Really drives home how much she means to him...
      • In addition, during the Scrum Debate for this chapter, note that Shuichi isn't saying anything despite the debate being about him, look at the troubled look on his face, and take a step back to realize that the reason he's not saying anything is because he knows who the supposed culprit is and he knows he has no choice but to evict her, the one who encouraged him throughout the chapter, the one who believes in him as a detective and the one who's currently defending him without a shred of doubt.
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    • It is also noteworthy that while Kaede could have walked of the school alive without having to deal with the class trial, but she decided to hold a class trial in hopes to find out who the mastermind was instead. It's sad that she was unable to figure their identity out.
    • Even worse is when you replay/rewatch the first trial with the knowledge that Tsumugi was the true culprit and mastermind behind the killing game. You can't convict her because there isn't proper evidence she is the culprit, and there's no way you can save Kaede from execution.
    • Speaking of replaying the first chapter, some scenes are far more heartbreaking with the knowledge that Kaede isn't the culprit. Like her reaction to seeing Rantaro's corpse for the first time and how distraught she looks because she thinks she killed him. Also, during the trial, she at one point says she will never forgive Rantaro's killer. The line is far sadder once you realize she is talking about herself.
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    • After Kaede dies, the other students are devastated, and as Angie prays for Kaede's soul to move on in peace, Miu has this to say:
      Miu: H-how's anybody supposed to rest in peace after being killed like that?!
  • Kirumi's attempts to escape her execution was a bit sad. She attempted to run away to avoid being executed and thought she could escape, only for her to die in the end. It's even worse because she genuinely loves her job and is determined to stay alive so that she can continue caring for the students, hence her running away from her execution.
    • Kirumi's story. As it turns out, she was the prime minister of Japan where some "unprecedented crisis" ended up happening and she needed to go back there by killing somebody. Many students went out of their way to state they would rather have Monokuma execute them instead of her despite Kaito and Kokichi calling her out on her The Needs of the Many utilitarianism.
    • What is worse is that Ryoma agreed to be killed by Kirumi. He was already very suicidal because of his past as a Death Row inmate and is implied to be suffering from depression, but his motive video is completely empty, showing that there aren’t any people that he loves and cares about, finally pushing him over the Despair Event Horizon.
      • It's even worse if you learn about his backstory. He used to be a lot cheerier, and had a family and a girlfriend who were murdered by the mafia after Ryoma won a tennis match that he was supposed to throw. Ryoma decided to avenge them by using his talent to kill them, which ultimately caused him to recieve the death sentence and become a self-loathing Death Seeker.
    • That Hope Spot during Kirumi's exectuion as well. She climbed up a thorny vine, narrowly made it through the buzzsaws, and actually did reach the ceiling. She thought she was reaching for a hole to the outside...only for it to be just a childish drawing courtesy of Monokuma. No doubt hit with the reality that there was never a chance to escape and she's failed everyone she believed was depending on her as the vine breaks and she plummets to her death. The look on her face says it all.
  • When Shuichi is speaking with Korekiyo about the Caged Child Ritual in his research lab and Shuichi shows hesitance about the seance, Korekiyo asks if he's never wanted to speak to the dead. Shuichi's sad sprite appears and he says this in his internal monologue:
    Shuichi: If it were possible...I suppose I'd like to speak to her one more-
  • Poor Himiko does not take the deaths of Angie and Tenko well, although she initially doesn't seem too upset because she was bottling up her emotions.
  • Korekiyo in general, in a rather terrifying sort of way given just how broken he really is. He genuinely believes his deceased sister, who in life was also his lover, has started possessing him after her death. This only started after he had been captured and tortured to near death on one of his "field studies", and is also why he started enjoying bondage and pain play. After his sister "returned to him", be it as an actual spirit or just his mind trying to find a way to cope after everything that's happened to him, Korekiyo started to think he needed to give his sister the friends she never had in life, given how she was often hospital bound, by sending them to her himself. Now he's willing to kill any girls he comes to care about at all so his "sister would not be lonely in death." As screwed up as he is, Korekiyo appears to genuinely care about the people he's become closer to, even if they often rather obviously don't return the sentiment. Upon being proven as the culprit of the third chapter's murders, he even attempts to give the rest a comforting speech, but because his crimes are so heinous his words can't reach them anymore, and he can't recognize it or see how messed up he really is.
    • In the middle of the trial he breaks down, which is rather unnerving given how calm he usually is. His sister persona proceeds to object and encourages him to engage in another rebuttal showdown. Besides being unsettling, this really shows how his true self is just an entirely broken person at this point.
    • At the end of his execution it looks like he’ll be reunited with his sister in death... Only for Monokuma to destroy his soul. Imagine how horrible that must be.
  • Gonta's predicament during the fourth trial. While in the virtual world, he ended up helping Kokichi murder Miu in a misguided attempt to save everyone. Because Gonta mixed up the two wires when he plugged them into his headset, he had no memory of anything that happened within the virtual world. So when Kokichi eventually reveals that Gonta was the one who murdered Miu during the trial, poor Gonta has no idea what he's talking about.
    • There is also the fact that he crossed the Despair Event Horizon in this chapter by learning the state of the outside world. When learning about that state was able to drive a Nice Guy to murder someone as an attempt to mercy kill them and all of his other friends, you know how fucked up the state of the outside world is.
    • It's a bit sad that Kokichi asks Monokuma for him to be executed along with Gonta in this chapter. Until Kokichi swiftly reveals that he knew that wouldn’t happen and only lied to avoid Gonta’s wrath (though it wouldn't be surprising if he was lying about the latter).
    • K1-B0’s reaction to Miu's death is sad given how he was Miu's Only Friend. He's very close to crying upon discovering her corpse, only for him to be Unable to Cry.
      • Added to this, K1-B0 honestly seems to be one of the few to actually be sad for her death at all, as everyone else notes that, if it weren't for the killing game forcing them together, none of them would have had anything to do with her and certainly wouldn't have been her friend. Gonta's the only other person to be upset, but that's more for Dramatic Irony.
    • There's also Shuichi's refusal to believe someone as nice as Gonta could willingly commit murder; even during the closing argument (where the culprit's identity is in no doubt) he suggests the error that caused Gonta's memory loss also corrupted his personality, because the alternative is too much for Shuichi to bear.
      • The lead-up to the Closing Argument section is absolutely heartbreaking for this reason. Kokichi's doing his best to make this uncomfortable for everyone by aggressively insisting that Gonta confess all, driving Gonta to tears as he still doesn't understand what happened. Shuichi steps in to tell Kokichi to be quiet, and suggests they do the Closing Argument so that he can go over everything one last time and make Gonta understand - and he tells Gonta that they can stop at any time. Gonta agrees, listens to the argument, and still doesn't understand...but accepts that it must be the truth, because it's Shuichi who's telling him. It's both heartwarming to see how kind Shuichi is trying to be given the circumstances, and also horrible that they even have to do this at all.
    • Going into meta territory, both of the past games ended up having the Gentle Giant as the fourth victim. Once the player sees that Gonta is not the fourth victim, they might begin to think there's a chance he'll survive the killing game. However, one should keep in mind that in both of the past games, the Gentle Giant was either also the fourth killer or had an equal chance of being the fourth killer...
    • In the Japanese version, Kaito calling Shuichi by his last name in the end of the trial. From Chapter Two up until the end Chapter Four, Kaito had referred to him as "Shuichi". At the end of the fourth trial, he goes back to calling him "Saihara", which shows just how much their friendship took a hit.
    • Capping everything off is the fact that ''Kaiji Tang absolutely nails it in the English dub - listening to Gonta crying and being genuinely frustrated over everything is honestly uncomfortable.
  • Chapter Five in general. When everybody thought Kokichi was the mastermind, Maki went on to kill him but Kaito blocked her sight and got himself poisoned. Afterwards, Kokichi gave Kaito an antidote to the poison and worked with him in an attempt to save Maki. Kokichi let himself be crushed to death.
    • All of this makes the twist that Kaito auditioned just to kill and get rich even harder to take.
    • In addition, Kokichi also decided to kill himself in hopes that his death would make a murder so unsolvable that even Monokuma couldn't figure out who the victim was and remained unsure on who to execute. He was willing to go that far to stop the killing game he despised so much.
      • Kokichi gets even more depressing when you realize he didn't just die horribly, he effectively died alone. Because of his master plan to usurp the role of mastermind, plus his general paranoid disposition, he isolated himself. Shuuichi points out he's alone in chapter four, because he is. Except now he's dying, and the only person in the room is a guy who hates him, and that was all part of his plan. To be hated and alone, but he's dying like that, to destroy this killing game and maybe save people who actively don't care about him or like him. A self made tragedy.
  • K1-B0 self-destructing himself to destroy the facility is tear-jerking, especially if you thought he was going to be a survivor thanks to the fake spoilers.
  • In a sense, the message of hope and despair got lost on the viewers leading to not 10, not 20, but 53 iterations of Danganronpa, with people voluntarily going onto a killing game reality TV show just to outright kill others make it feels like this Universe is one where despair won.
  • The Mastermind's death in the True Ending final cutscene. There is no glory, honor, nor dignity in her death. She's just standing outside the premises while everything's being destroyed by Ki-bo, waving silently and sadly before she and Monokuma are crushed under rubble. It's a stark contrast with how other Masterminds go out, such as Junko's utter glee until the moment of truth, or Tengan getting some upper hand on Munakata and leaving seemingly inspiring words to Makoto.
  • Generally speaking, all of the students attempted to save everybody who received an official execution (except for Korekiyo). It is sad to see all of those attempts failed.
    • Gonta, Tenko and Kaito decided to take on the Exisals even though they fully knew they could die trying to prevent Kaede from being executed.
    • When Kirumi tries to escape, most of the cast wants her to escape from Monokuma's punishment, yelling her to run and escape.
    • They refused to let Gonta die even though all evidence appointed that he was the culprit and he didn't remember killing Miu.
    • Maki decided to take Monokuma and the Exisals at once only to protect Kaito from being executed.
  • Shuichi's backstory. When the culprit of his first murder case was captured thanks to the detective, the killer's eyes were full of hatred and malice as he looked at Shuichi, and the boy never forgot that gaze. Shuichi heard later that the culprit had killed the victim to avenge his family and the victim was a horrible person who had tricked the culprit's family and driven them to suicide. Shuichi felt guilty for "siding with" the victim and felt everything was his fault because he exposed the truth. He gained a fear of exposing the truth, considering himself a pathetic detective, and he began to wear a hat because he couldn't look at other people's eyes anymore.
  • As epic as the Scrum Debates are, it's sad to see Shuichi's side gradually shrink as the the truths he has to expose in each chapter become more and more unpleasant, to the point where even K1-B0 (who always sides with Shuichi) opposes him in Trial 5, leaving Maki the only person left on his side for this debate. The truth will set you free, indeed.
  • Shuichi's Heroic BSoD in the final chapter.
    Shuichi: Everything is a lie... Everything is meaningless... Everything I've done so far and have been trying to do... Even my thoughts.
    • This deserves elaboration. Shuichi's Character Development relied on finding strength in the encouragement of his friends. He admits it's the only reason he survived this long. And now he learns that all those encouraging words were just lines written by the producers for the sake of adding drama. Kaede's heartfelt speech to him? Kaito's last words? All fake. And worse, his friends were just manufactured personalities. The people he cared about so much were all fictional.
    • He's so far gone past the Despair Event Horizon that when K1-B0 tries to talk the cast into moving forward with sacrifice to end the game, Shuichi interrupts K1-B0's rallying speech with a Rebuttal Showdown to dissuade K1-B0 from holding on to hope. Unlike every Showdown before this point, it features Sad Battle Music — Clair de Lune, the same track used when Shuichi grieved Kaede's death.
    Shuichi: What do you mean hope?
    K1-b0: What?
    Shuichi: I reject that hope!I... I refuse. I won't accept that hope!
    K1-B0: Shuichi... What's the matter?
    Shuichi: It's because of hope that this whole thing is happening! I reject that Hope!
    Shuichi: Hope itself is the villain here, we suffer because of hope. Tsumugi isn't trying to make us Despair... She wants us to trust in Hope! So I say no! I reject that Hope!
    K1-B0: Tsumugi wants us to trust in hope? What does that mean?
    Shuichi: The reason this madness has gone on for 53 times... It's because of hope. It's because the audience wants hope. They want to see hope defeat despair in the end. It's Hope's Peak Academy all over again. So if we fight for hope, We'd just be giving them what they want! And the killings will never end. Don't you see, Despair is the only choice!
  • The Reveal does this on a Meta level too. Look over everything under this game's Heartwarming page. And every moment on this page that doesn't relate to the final trial. Everything is based on lies, but the kids we saw ("fictional" as they may be) probably genuinely died for all of this anyway.
    • Not only are they all lies - they're lies based on what would entertain us, the audience/the player. They give us the appropriate levels of enjoyment and catharsis...which is exactly why they keep making new Killing Games.
  • His "World of Cardboard" Speech, while awesome in its declaration, is absolutely heartbreaking. It really hammers in just how much Shuichi has suffered across the game, and even though he's overcome it, you can hear every bit of agony in his voice as he recalls all the pointless death that has been wrought as a result of the killing game. Grant George in particular sells absolutely every single line in the dub.
    Shuichi: When Maki said she was going to sacrifice herself just now, I thought... Why? So many of our friends have sacrificed their lives. Why Maki? Why now? Why do we have to go through it again? The sadness of losing Kaede... and Kaito... Why do we have to feel that sadness over and over and over again? Why do we have to bear that burden...? Well, I don't care how much the audience wants it, I'm not gonna feel that way anymore! I don't want anyone to feel that way anymore! Even if this is fiction, even if we're all fictional... The pain in my heart is real! The sadness I feel when I lose the people I love is real! I won't forgive this game that treats us like toys. And if this is what the world wants...then I reject that world! I'll fight the world that inflicts suffering for entertainment!
  • Keebo's last words before fully getting hacked by the outside world.
    Keebo: I... can barely... control it... looks like this is the end.
    Keebo: I'm sorry... I could not fight with you... until the end... But... your choice is not wrong... The real... enemy... is... the outside world who is enjoying this... killing game... So please... use me... t-to change... To change... the... world.
  • Maki's crying declaration of her love for Kaito. The Danganronpa games aren't very overt when it comes to characters admitting love. It's only happened twice or so in the series; once in Danganronpa 2 where Fuyuhiko begged for Peko to stay and the other in Danganronpa 3 when Munakata explicitly says Kyoko was someone that Makoto loved. In either case it was either a detail that was only recently developed or something that was stated by a third party as a matter of fact. In V3 though, Maki explicitly admits that Kaito's persistence, his stubborn nature and all those days they'd spent together, had caused her to fall in love with him, and the moment is so powerful simply because we've seen their relationship grow together, as well as the many moments where she can't maintain a stoic nature when Kaito's life is at risk. It's a heartwarming and beautiful culmination of her development but also an incredibly saddening moment when we know Kaito is at the verge of death.
    • And then in the final trial, the mastermind coldly reveals to her that falling in love with Kaito was all part of the script, and her character. All those feelings were just the result of Team Danganronpa's brainwashing. Not only that, she's shown footage of what the real Kaito was like: an Attention Whore who wanted to murder everyone and become famous for it. Just imagine how she must have taken all that.
    • While there is evidence that the audition videos are fake, it still really hurts seeing Kaede again, only to hear her say that she has zero faith in humanity.
  • Checking Ryoma's room door after Chapter 2 gives us this:
    Shuichi: You... had no one. You found out that awful truth and gave up your life for Kirumi. But I... Ryoma, you wanted to fight with us, didn't you? Was that not enough reason to live? You could've fought with us, we could've fought together... then you could have lived. We... couldn't have been your reason to live? Maybe I'm just being arrogant.
  • A minor case compared to the others, but the fact that the Monokubs' numbers drop one by one, chapter after chapter, until they're all gone by Chapter 4's end. Say what you will about them, but it is a bit depressing that, irritating though their entrance and departure catch phrases may be, the unison in their voices diminish until only Monophanie is saying "Rise and Shine, Ursine" and "So Long, Bear-Well" consistently.
  • Maki's Love Hotel event shows that her "ideal" is being in a Childhood Friend Romance with Shuichi, while both of them have been at the orphanage for years, strongly implying that a part of her wishes she had a normal life instead of being the Ultimate Assassin.
  • The fact that all of Kaede's Free Time Event chains end after the second event (when, for the most part, the protagonist is still getting to know their friend). Considering that Kaede was serious about becoming friends with everyone, and made a surprising amount of progress with even some of her more difficult classmates, it's a sad reminder of what Kaede could never accomplish with her life cut short.
  • It's easy to feel sorry for Miu at times - though she's obnoxious, it's noted by Kaede herself that Miu has No Social Skills and doesn't seem to grasp her loudmouthed, crude personality annoys everyone. So when Miu sometimes tries to lighten the mood with jokes, she often gets harshly shut down (such as the casino scene in Chapter 2) and she reverts to her Shrinking Violet personality because she gets nervous when people are angry with her. It's sad that if Miu were to drop her mask and act more like her true self, she'd probably be a lot more liked by her classmates, but nobody ever told her that because she never had a real friend before.
    • Miu's Love Suite event is a lot more sad than it is romantic or sexy; in it, Shuichi is a childhood friend of hers, someone who's always been by her side...and, after stating that she wants him to "do whatever he wants with her," she reveals that she wants a baby with him, so she can guarantee that he won't ever leave her. Her loneliness becomes incredibly apparent, and one can only imagine what her life was like for her to have these warped ideas of loyalty and romance.
  • The "reveal" of the Gofer Project and the outside world. Armed with Miu's electrohammers, the remaining survivors fight their way through the underground passage and make it all the way to the exit. What's waiting for them on the other side? An utterly devastated wasteland. In many ways, it's an even worse reveal than in the first game. There, it was clear people were still around and society was at least somewhat functioning, leaving some room to fight back. Here, the Earth has been utterly devastated by asteroid impacts. There's no life, no oxygen, and no hope anywhere. The sixteen students were selected to carry on the legacy of mankind, placed into cryonic suspension and sent to colonize a new planet, but were guided back to their ruined home world by the last of the remnants of despair. So not only have they been killing each other for nothing, but everyone they knew and loved, the rest of mankind, has been dead for hundreds of years. The revelation hits them all so hard that most of them fall into utter despair and begin to contemplate suicide. Almost makes you glad to learn it was all just a huge lie.
    • What's worse is that we don't know if this is what Kaede and the others still see if you do manage to beat it without the hammers making the minigame reasonable. All that work for a "golden" ending where everyone lives and what the 16 of them could find is still the set of that lifeless wasteland. And who even knows what could happen to them after that, particularly if they need to face the "truths" chapter 6 gave about being "fictional characters"...
  • This killing game easily becomes the most tragically pointless with The Reveal. There's no grand plan to drive the world into despair by showing their shining symbols of hope killing each other, no rehabilitation plan for horribly dangerous criminals gone awry, not even the supposed scenario with the last survivors of the human race being tricked into killing each other courtesy of a cult leader. So what is it all these kids have been fighting and dying for? Reality show entertainment. That's it.

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