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YMMV / Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

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Main page | Trigger Happy Havoc | Goodbye Despair | The End of Hope's Peak High School | Killing Harmony
Spin-offs: Ultra Despair Girls | Zero | Kirigiri | Togami | Killer Killer
Series-wide pages: Alternative Character Interpretation | Awesome Music | Franchise Original Sin | Ho Yay | Memes | The Scrappy | What an Idiot! | The Woobie

Warning! All spoilers below are unmarked.
It's virtually impossible to list tropes for the game without spoiling everything or creating Self-Fulfilling Spoilers because of the large amount of surprising reveals and murderer/victim exclusive tropes this game contains.

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  • Americans Hate Tingle: In an official Japanese poll, Byakuya was ranked as the most popular character. On the western side, he has received a less warm reception due to his Smug Snake attitude and him tampering with Chihiro's corpse in Chapter Two.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Many feel this way about Celeste, the culprit of Chapter 3's murder, due to her behavior in the trial, which comes off as odd given that the culprit is apparently a good liar — in particular, unlike every murderer in the game, she's incredibly aggressive about pushing the blame on someone else and challenging every single deduction that goes against her script, no matter what, which is very very suspicious even before you get to the point where you can actually accuse her.
    • The final argument, where it's incredibly obvious what you have to do. Doesn't stop it from being awesome, though.
  • Awesome Ego: Celestia, Togami and Enoshima have a veritable godlike level of arrogance, and it may well be a big factor in them all being some of the most popular characters in the franchise.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Sayaka Maizono is pretty divisive. Some like her and believe that even when she's not justified in attempting to murder Leon and framing Makoto, she did it upon being broken and pressured by Monokuma hitting her weakest spots. Others believe that she's just a self-serving murderer for said actions. Made worse that unlike Celeste and Leon, the manga section for her seemed to play her plot straightforward instead of giving her a slightly better Alternative Character Interpretation, aside from confirming Kyoko's supposition that she left her Dying Clue out of remorse instead of revenge. It should be noted that Sayaka planned her murder and died without ever learning about the class trials, a circumstance that makes her unique to the rest of the characters who planned murder in the franchise- she didn't know that anyone other than her intended victim would have to die in order for her to graduate.
    • Leon Kuwata. Due to him being a very early casualty, his shallow Free-Time Events playing on his status as a philanderer and Entitled Bastard has made him be seen as a Flat Character at best and a Jerkass at worst. However, many people bring up that Leon is a much better character than people think, often citing the fact he's been cheated out of meaningful character development, while also citing School Mode and Ultra Despair Hagakure as evidence that the idea he's a shallow philanderer is false. And in regards to his murder of Sayaka, many people point out that Sayaka attacked first, and some Leon fans go as so far as to excuse Leon for his murder of Sayaka. And between Leon's critics and defenders, there's a third camp that says that Leon is indeed an underrated character, but also pointing out that he wouldn't be as controversial if he had better Free-Time Events and more screen-time.
    • Celestia Ludenberg can either be loved for her mysterious personality, design, and her accent in the English dub, or hated for coming across as an Anti-Climax Boss who has a weak unsympathetic motive into killing somebody. However, some people believe that said motive was a big lie given the nature of her character, and the manga does make her more sympathetic.
    • Byakuya Togami has some haters for his Jerkass tendencies as well as him tampering with the crime scene in Chapter Two in which is something some fans of the series wouldn't live it down. He also has fans who like him for his Awesome Ego and for his intelligence. In addition, some people believed that he ended up being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap by aligning with the students in the end of the game and the future installments tend tone down his Jerkass behavior.
  • Better Than Canon: Lots of fans really took a shine to the IF version of events, and the more-complex interpretation of various characters and events in the manga is equally praised.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment
    • The "Monokuma Theater" segments at the end of each ordinary day. It's Monokuma giving speeches about topics that are seemingly irrelevant. Occasionally subverted when a Monokuma Theater segment foreshadows events to come. There's no real explanation as to what they're meant to be, but some common interpretations include them being the Mastermind's personal musings, or a recurring nightmare that Makoto's been having.
    • One of the more memorable Monokuma Theater segments had Monokuma saying "Monokuma Theater, brought to you by Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd.", before transitioning to a full 3D animation of Sakura battling an army with two massive clubs, before preparing to face off against a giant Monokuma, only for the game to tell you that Sakura's Revenge has been cancelled. Nowhere else in the game is this kind of animation used.
      • The original PSP version of this segment instead has a trailer for Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen, which comes equally out of nowhere.
    • Monokuma encouraging the boys to peek on the girls bathing. Considering this event only happens if you get a certain item, this is no doubt intentional.
    • Yasuhiro's impassioned speech about how fortunetelling is different from the occult, which derails itself into a rant about cattle mutilation and how having his hamburger abducted by aliens made him realize it wasn't 100% beef. Makoto isn't sure what to make of it, either.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Spike Chunsoft version is a pretty good translation, but the title for Chapter 5 is "100 Meter Dash! Problems of a Junk Food Junkie". The original translations make a pun on the phrase "if you want peace, prepare for war" ("If you want Donuts, Prepare for Despair"), and the original Japanese title is based on a Light Novel, but the Chunsoft version doesn't have any hints to the phrases in dialogue and so does not make sense if you don't know that background.
  • Broken Base:
    • There are a fair amount of people who were disappointed when it was revealed that Junko Enoshima was the mastermind. This might be partly because the JUNKOS meme became a Discredited Meme on Something Awful around the time that the Let's Play reached the last trial, and people had been arguing for and against its increasing credibility.
    • The anime of the game is slowly causing this. Some fans find the adaptation disappointing since it has scenes that look like they came directly out of the game (such as executions and trial scenes) and there is nothing new, not to mention they cut down on many character-establishing scenes, while others enjoy it and are happy that it is so faithful and occasionally add up extra scenes that enhances the existing scenes (such as Leon's breakdown and desperate attempt to escape, or Kiyotaka's utter breakdown at Mondo being guilty and not defending himself).
      • The Funimation dub takes it to a new level. Mainly by replacing the main cast (bar Bryce Papenbrook) with their voice actors. The explanation as for why is that they hold the rights of the anime before the game was a success in the west. However, because Funimation didn't shy away of hiring the original voice actors from other adaptations (Neptunia, BlazBlue, Disgaea) that still makes people wonder why they didn't recast the original voice actors after the fact.
      • This however, is explained further in the Blu-ray commentary track. Bryce Papenbrook was available to reprise his role by chance; he was already at Funimation to record for Attack on Titan, and therefore was available for the dub. However, the scheduling conflicts and cost of travel to bring every other voice actor would have resulted in the production going over-budget, so the decision was made to recast the entire dub sans Makoto.
    • The fashion sense of the Big Bad! Some think Junko fully deserves the title of the Ultimate Fashionista, and hold her up as an example of Evil Is Sexy. Others dislike her wardrobe and label her a Fashion-Victim Villain.
      • It might have something to do with both a translation issue and a culture clash issue. Junko in the original Japanese wasn't a Fashionista so much as she was a Gyaru who was extremely popular. And since Gyaru is itself a subculture in Japan, it makes sense that it wouldn't be considered a popular look in mainstream American sensibilities.
    • Danganronpa IF, too. Some people praise it for dwelling more on the relationship between Junko and Mukuro as well as making the latter an Ascended Extra. Others accuse it of making Mukuro a Creator's Pet.
    • The pink blood, especially in the anime. People who aren't familiar with the game thinks that it ruins the suspense and it's not as scary as real blood, while fans of the game accept it and see it as stylistic choice for censorship.
    • The various differences in each translation, between the Let's Play, the fan translation, and the official localization. It's nigh-impossible to find people agreeing on which is better.
    • Hoo boy, to say Chihiro's gender is controversial among Western fans is an understatement. Like Naoto Shirogane before him, there are a group of fans who insist Chihiro is a trans girl. Even when told the reasons why he is a boy and how it ties in to Japanese sexism and gender roles, they ignore it and blame it on Kodaka being transphobic. This has lead to huge arguments among Western fans to the point that even today you can't go into the Chihiro Fujisaki tag on tumblr without finding people on both sides insisting he's a trans girl or a cis boy, with accusations of transphobia and sexism being thrown on all sides.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • The Dying Clue "11037" in the English localization, which is "LEON" upside down and backwards. It was a bit more obscured in the original, since the intended audience didn't have English as a first language. For icing, while most classmates call each other by their last names in the original (to the point at which Leon has to ask who Aoi's referring to when she calls Sakura by her first name), in the localization everyone's on a first-name basis, so it's that much easier to make the connection. In-game, it's this for Kyoko, who figures it out before everyone else and eventually has to outright tell them to turn it 180 degrees when they're stumped.
    • Celeste being the Chapter 3 culprit. With a bit of thinking it is easy to pinpoint the whole crime on Celeste the very moment the investigation properly begins, and by the end of the investigation it's quite obvious that Yasuhiro is being framed and Celeste acts very suspiciously, as she leaves some large holes in her testimony. Then during the trial, she's the main person pushing for her frame job, much more blatantly than Leon or Mondo, so she becomes even more suspicious as Yasuhiro is gradually proven innocent. How intentional this is is up for debate.
    • The reveal that everyone had already gone to the academy is so heavily hinted at in the latter portion of the game that the only thing preventing it from being a non-event is the internal logic behind how happened, which the game doesn't actually give you.
    • The reveal that Kyoko's ultimate talent is Detective. No shit? She spends every single case ruthlessly investigating, everyone is amazed by how professional she is when inspecting bodies, she's constantly talking about proper investigative procedure, and the first thing she does after the Chapter 1 investigation begins is to search the crime scene, Makoto's bedroom, for stray strands of hair.
    • The twist of Kyoko being the headmaster's daughter was not very surprising to some, considering how she immediately lost her composure when Alter Ego revealed it was the headmaster's idea to lock them in the school.
    • The fact that Sakura was Driven to Suicide. The poison powder on her shoes, the locked room murder aspect, and the fact that someone of her body mass had her corpse positioned to be sitting normally, were dead giveaways.
  • Complete Monster: Junko Enoshima; see the franchise page.
  • Critical Research Failure: In Case 2, you need to play Hangman's Gambit to prove that Toko has a split personality. However, you need to input "schizo". Schizophrenia is decidedly different from Dissociative Identity Disorder, which she ACTUALLY has and which the game correctly states before the trial starts.
    • In all fairness, the term may have been used to make the puzzle more fair. As it's the second case in the game, an answer as long as "split personality" would have likely been too long, while using an acronym like DID would have been far too short. "Schizo," while technically incorrect, is still used to refer to people with split personalities fairly often. It's likely the developers knew the difference, though, as the puzzle is the only time "schizo" is used, with characters saying either split personality or DID in all other instances. At the very least, the term "schizo", by itself, is a prefix of Greek origin that means "split".
    • Making it even worse is that "schizo" as a term is often considered to be a pretty insulting term by many people with mental illnesses - so not only is it incorrect, it's actually pretty rude.
  • Crossover Ship: Celeste and Dora the Explorer is quite popular on Tumblr, although mostly as a joke. So is, also as a joke, pairing her with Kinzo Ushiromiya, thanks to both of them dying bursting into flame.
  • Cry for the Devil: Celeste's four manga chapters expend a lot of effort to show the level of her insecurity about her past, such as the shot of her younger self perched on a Trauma Swing when Makoto asks what her real name is. The final scene punches this one home where she's narrating that she has to die as Celeste while she's giving her Motive Rant; it says a lot that the first thought on her mind is staying in-character instead of the fact that she's about to die.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Fans tend to forget that regardless of the situation pushed by Monokuma, Celeste still is responsible for two premeditated murder- manipulating Hifumi into killing Taka, then killing him herself (unlike Leon, who killed Sayaka in response to her own attempt to kill him, and Mondo, who killed Chihiro in a fit of rage), making her one of the most depraved characters in the game; but she carries herself in such an elegant, amusing manner that even her Freak Out! is often considered a plus point instead of showing how sociopathic she is. Even aside from her actions in Chapter 3, fans also generally overlook the fact that she callously victim-blamed Chihiro for being murdered simply because he broke the unofficial nighttime rule that the group had previously agreed to.
    • Genocide Jack, who's unabashed in her status as a Serial Killer. Her reason for not killing anyone in the game is solely for Pragmatic Villainy instead of Even Evil Has Standards (though that trope does come up when she discusses the mastermind's actions), making her someone you would not want to meet in an alley alone, especially if you're a hot guy. Of course, when you're under the grip of Monokuma, it's easy to get fans tone down your depravity, and fandoms being obsessed with fictional serial killers simply on the logic that being a serial killer is hot is far from new.
    • More than one Leon fan completely excuses his murder of Sayaka. Truth is, while he's not evil, in the original VN and the anime he could have just left her inside the bathroom that had its door jammed in, and then gone to denounce her, but he chose to kill her instead. The manga interpretation kinda helps this camp though, see Alternate Character Interpretation above. Ultra Despair Girls saved him further when he showed his genuine tender side on Kanon in spite of constantly rejecting her and cemented some of the personality traits introduced in the manga.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • While most characters have their share of fans and haters alike, Mondo's brother Daiya seems to enjoy quite a popularity, even if his contribution is just Death by Origin Story, only seen in flashbacks.
    • Out of all the students, Kiyotaka gets the most love due to his Adorkable qualities, his hamminess, being one of the nicest characters in the game , his Odd Friendship with Mondo, his Nerds Are Sexy appeal, and for his Woobie moments.
  • Evil Is Cool: Sure, Junko may be an insane, psychotic monster, but damn if she doesn't own it.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Junko again. Looking that good probably didn't hurt her chances at being the Ultimate Fashionista.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Look up "Ishimondo" on tumblr and prepare to be assaulted by a novel's worth of Fanon. Hell, just looking into Kiyotaka or Mondo's tags will leave you swamped with the pairing. Some people also toss in Chihiro for as an OT3
    • Leon Kuwata/Sayaka Maizono or "Leosaya" has quite a fan following too.
    • Makoto/Kyoko or "Naegiri" is easily the most popular ship for both Makoto and Kyoko, although the same-sex pairings of Makoto/Byakuya and Kyoko/Celeste are also quite common to see.
    • Despite her status as an Abhorrent Admirer in canon, lots of people like shipping Toko with Byakuya.
    • In what could best be described as Pair the Spares at its finest, Aoi/Yasuhiro seems to be a popular post-game pairing.
    • Aoi/Sakura is also pretty prevalent among F/F shippers.

  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Between the first two chapters. Mondo is the one who furiously demands to know how Leon could kill Sayaka; he turns out to be the killer in the next case. Also, Mondo mentions both in-story and during free time events that his brother taught him never to hurt a woman, to the extent that he's reluctant even to practice fighting with the much-stronger Sakura. When he does kill, his victim is someone who was assumed to be a girl up to the postmortem examination.
    • Danganronpa was released in 2010, but the School Life of Mutual Killing takes place in 2012. The Worst, Most Despair Inducing Incident in the History of Mankind took place roughly one year earlier. The Sendai earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster took place in Japan in 2011.
    • It's a Running Gag that Sakura's imposing appearance constantly frightens people, to the point that Yasuhiro constantly refers to her as 'The Ogre'. Aoi's breakdown at the end of the fourth trial has her screaming that none of others ever actually saw Sakura as human.
      • Adding to that, some of the game's detractors accuse the 15 students of being stereotypes, archetypes and caricatures. Playing through the game is able to reveal a how each of them come loaded with plenty of motivations and weaknesses that inform those outward appearances. The problem here is that getting to those all that usually requires interaction through their Free-Time Events, which are exclusive to the very friendly Naegi because of the rest rarely having any interest in getting to know each other beside some standouts like Ishimaru and Owada. Thus, the feelings held by the detractors are most likely how the students all felt about each other during the game: easily dehumanized and hence easy to betray. Asahina's rant may be an acknowledgement of this.
      • Later entries in the series lampshade this; the idea that the students of Hope's Peak Academy are explicitly characterized by their talents while discarding who they are as people by others is brought up by several characters.
    • In Kiyotaka and Mondo's argument in Chapter 2, Kiyotaka says that Mondo resorts to violence so easily because he's a coward. In a moment of weakness over his belief that Chihiro is calling him weak, Mondo snaps and accidentally murders Chihiro.
    • The fifth class trial can be this considering where the mastermind went on to put Naegi and Kyoko against each other causing Naegi to be nearly executed only to be saved by Alter Ego where in Danganronpa 3, Kyoko's forbidden action played on this as she couldn't let Naegi live past the fourth sleeping phrase forcing one of them to actually die this time. Sure, she survived in the aftermath of Side: Hope, but that doesn't make this any less harsh.
    • In the last class trial, Monokuma tries to throw Makoto off balance by asking him whether his parents and sister are all right. Makoto is unnerved for a moment, but Kyoko manages to get him to calm down. Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls reveals that Komaru is still alive (albeit held as a hostage), but her and Makoto's parents are revealed to have been killed (assuming Monaca didn't fabricate their deaths), nearly sending Komaru over the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • In If, Monokuma attempts to turn the group against Sayaka by telling them how she planned to murder Leon and frame Makoto for it, but before he can, he's destroyed by Leon, who thought he was trying to take her hostage. Sayaka later plans to confess to Leon about what she was originally planning to do. Leon thinks it's a completely different kind of confession...
    • Sakura had two goals in mind when she committed suicide: she wanted to stop her friends from killing each other and to start the chain of events that would bring about the mastermind's downfall. She succeeds on both accounts.
    • The fact that Sakura achieved her goals, and that her death was a suicide means that Hiro's prediction that there wouldn't be any more murders was actually correct.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Mukuro-as-Junko's snipes at Sayaka, the Decoy Protagonist, once you learn about her soft spot for Makoto in IF. In her introduction, Mukuro tells Makoto that Sayaka's face is just as photoshopped as hers. Then in Dangan Academy, if he expresses interest in hearing Sayaka sing, she insists that she lip-syncs.
    • In one Monokuma Theater segment in Chapter 3, Monokuma talks about how "the world doesn't have nearly enough "Li'l's"" and how adding "Li'l" makes even "Li'l Arsonist" and "Li'l War Criminal", among others, sound cute. Ultra Despair Girls revealed that Junko had already recruited five elementary-school "Li'l Ultimates", who would later attempt to massacre all adults in Towa City to create a "children's paradise".
    • Starting up the game, the title screen generally displays Makoto and Leon first. Gets funny once you play Chapter 1 and Leon turns out to be the first murderer.
    • School Life of Mutual Selling, a parody of this memetic employee training video, has Toko call herself "Jill" before the localization renamed Genocider Sho to Genocide Jill.
    • This video, which manages to predict the English VA for Hifumi before they were announced.
    • In the Murder on The Rockport Express arc of The Adventure Zone: Balance, Jenkins pulls a Junko.
    • Kiyotaka Ishimaru, voiced by Kosuke Toriumi in Japanese and Sean Chiplock in English, is the Ultimate Moral Compass and had 'relations' with a 'gangster' (Mondo). The very same pair of actors later are chosen to voice Guido Mista, a literal gangster that's not at all concerned with moral compass.
  • Hollywood Homely: Subverted with Toko. While from an appearance standpoint, she's no Quasimodo, she has other qualities that make her understandably unattractive: her personality and her poor hygiene.
  • Hype Backlash: The game went memetic long before it was available in English. It's inevitable that people who were never going to like the game would go in with unrealistic expectations and be underwhelmed.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: "Eww, there are ROLEPLAYERS?" Though mentioning that anyone roleplays anything is something of a Berserk Button for Something Awful.
  • It Was His Sled: In general, for fans, the whole plot is this. Most fans don't even care about hiding spoilers for the original, given that, if you want to get into the franchise, you're more or less expected to know the full plot, least you get hit by Late-Arrival Spoiler.
    • Many people, even those who have not played the games all the way through, have become aware that Junko Enoshima is the mastermind behind Monokuma. Hell, there is even official promotional material that spoils this twist. In fact, don't even bother googling her name since the VERY first image results will always show her together with Monokuma. The sequels don't help much as they made zero attempt to hide this.
    • Toko being Genocide Jack is another example of this.
    • Just try to go five minutes in Chihiro Fujisaki's tags without coming across someone bringing up/debating the Wholesome Crossdresser vs. transgender debates, thus also bringing up The Reveal of the character and throwing it around like common knowledge. Even with the debates having since largely died down, seeing people refer to Chihiro with male pronouns is sure to give it away.
    • The fact that Kyoko's ultimate talent is Detective is not a secret among the fanbase. Even those who've never touched the game are capable of figuring it out just by looking at how she's depicted in certain fanart or fanfics. Even the opening spread of the manga more or less gives it away. Fortunately, the blow is somewhat softened by how well-telegraphed that particular twist is.
    • Despite it being what's supposed to be a shocking twist, the fact that Sayaka is the first to die and tries to frame Makoto for murder is well known, mostly because it's rather difficult to talk about Kyoko's role otherwise.
    • Due to the meme that Danganronpa 3 brought along with the fact she relates to spoiler about the mastermind above, people are well-aware about Mukuro Ikusaba being the name of the sixteenth student along with her role in the franchise.
    • Leon is the first killer, mostly due to how memorable his execution scene was.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Toko. She's antagonistic and constantly assumes the worst of other people, but she also has abysmal self-esteem, and her Free Time events reveal that she had no friends and had extremely bad luck in love in the past. The fact that her other self is Genocide Jack doesn't help matters, either; it seems that part of the reason she pushes other people away from herself is to keep them safe from Jack.
    • Celeste becomes this in the manga, in which her Dark and Troubled Past was revealed (because she only kept it to herself). As Celeste recalled, she was once Taeko Yasuhiro, who was extremely plain and the plainness made her ostracized as an unremarkable nobody, her adopting the persona Celeste and taking on every of her aspects, including the darker ones, were her only escape from such plain and suffering life. Her romanticized dream of living in a castle full of manservants makes more sense here that she came too far being the persona of 'Celeste', if she lowered her standards, if she stops being Celeste, she could fall into that plain life that made her suffer. Both the re-release's School Mode and Ultra Despair Girls seem to go along with this. Just how bad was her past be when her 'most beloved person' happens to be not a human being, but a frigging cat!?
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Makoto is shippable with everybody; he is most commonly shipped with Kyoko and Byakuya, however.
    • Kiyotaka has been paired with Mondo, Chihiro, Celeste, Leon, Makoto, Daiya, Mukuro, Kiyondo, and more.
  • Memetic Hair: Mondo Owada's bosozoku pomp tends to be his most striking physical trait, to say the least.
  • Memetic Mutation: Has its own page.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Some Western fans continue to insist that Chihiro Fujisaki is a male-to-female transgender girl in spite of it having been explicitly Jossed in canon. While it's understandable how transgender individuals could relate to Chihiro's struggles, insisting this has severe problems when put into the context of Japan's upholding of gender roles, described below in Values Dissonance.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Though Monokuma was pretty much dancing on the MEH line, some fans loved him for it - until Chapter 4, where he publicly ordered Sakura to kill one of her friends, leading to her suicide, and then stole the suicide note, leaving a fake one for Aoi so she'd try to take the blame. Topping the trial off with the execution of Alter Ego just rubs salt in the wound.
    • The Mastermind, Junko Enoshima, ruined the lives of many people and for what reason? She flat out admits that she doesn't have one.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The metallic-sounding "Danganronpa" that plays upon beginning an investigation and completing each chapter, which gets higher pitched and louder each chapter.
    • "No, that's wrong!" or "Sore wa chigau yo!" in the Japanese version. Very much the series equivalent of "Objection!" and always fun to hear.
  • Narm
    • In the Fan Translation, before every trial, Makoto delivers a ridiculously overblown soliloquy:
      Makoto: And then... the curtain rose on... A trial for life, and a judgment of death... Deception in life, and treachery in death... Betrayal for life, and betrayal for death... The riddles of life, and the mystery of death... Justification for life, and rationalization of death... Faith in life, and trust in death... The Class Trial to live... or the Class Trial to die...!!
    • Leon shouting "idiot" without stopping, with his insane facial expression and bloodshot eyes during Episode 3 of the anime. Although most fans can agree that his breakdown afterwards was heartbreaking. Then there's the art in the manga when he's dragged away by the throat begging for his life. The angle on his face is a bit unfortunate.
    • Applies to the obscure manga adaptation of the anime, which, while it does include student details that the anime omitted, renders every scene this by the virtue of terrible artwork.
    • In the English dub, the culprits in the first two chapters shout a lot less than in the original. While one would think this would cut down on potential Narm, this leads to a scene where Mondo Owada flies into a violent rage and bludgeons someone to death while screaming that he's stronger than anyone while his voice clip declares, sounding somewhat irate, "You son of a bitch."
    • For some, the intense Tear Jerker that took place when Kiyotaka almost crossed the Despair Event Horizon near the end of Chapter 2 was totally ruined by his ridiculous face. One can understand that said character is extremely expressive, but in scenes like that one such things tend to backfire badly. The anime fixed the scene. Oh, it REALLY did.
    • The fact that Hifumi and Kiyotaka were killed with what looks like a freaking toy mallet can potentially ruin the dark circumstances in which this takes place.
    • Sakura fighting Monokuma, a teddy bear.
    • The fact that the cataclysmic event that precedes the story is referred to as "The biggest, most awful, most tragic event in human history"/"The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident in the History of Mankind" makes any mention of said disaster lose some of its impact, given that it sounds like a student desperately trying to pad out the word count of their essay. It's perhaps for this reason that official translations of future games frequently shorten this to "The Tragedy". The fan translation ran with this by calling it "Mankind’s Most Despairingly Maleficent and Monstrous Malefaction."
    • Felecia Angelle (Asahina) admits in the The Animation's DVD commentary that she's thankful for the lines being arranged in post-production because she'd probably have trouble taking Yamada's death seriously when he's speaking in that voice.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Thanks to the events of Chapter 1, idol Sayaka Maizono is commonly displayed as either arm candy for fellow student Leon Kuwata or a selfish, lying manipulator who is maybe yandere at best, and Cute and Psycho at worst, despite her backstory stating otherwise and explaining her Dark and Troubled Past. And she is almost always seen with her trusty knife.
    • While Byakuya desecrating Chihiro's corpse was a truly vile act, people act like he tampers with crime scenes on a regular basis, to the point where they treat it like it's his hobby.
    • Kyoko inspecting Chihiro's and Hifumi's corpses without hesitation has convinced people that she has a fetish for them. It doesn't help that she performs a similar investigation in Danganronpa 3.
    • Kiyotaka has only cried in the end of episode 5 and 6/Chapter 2, and in his free time events. It's not very surprising to see a lot of fanart of him in tears.
    • Makoto gets a lot of flak for not being as sharp as Kyoko, even though he's just behind her and Byakuya in terms of mystery solving skill, and is arguably more useful than Byakuya in Chapter 4, since he doesn't fixate on the theory that Hina killed Sakura. Him not able to figure out Sayaka's Dying Clue in particular gets this, even though he's Japanese and couldn't possibly read English like that, when Kyoko, the one figures it out, is stated to have studied overseas.
    • Due to the fan reception of Hifumi, it's incredibly common to see his motive for killing Kiyotaka boil down to having Alter Ego all to himself. However, this was not the only motive he had been given to drive him to murder; in fact, Celes gave him very serious motives on top of Alter Ego's abduction that make his reasons for murder far less ridiculous than just for the love of an AI program. Though to be fair, even if he believed her (rather obvious) lie to be true, he still had no qualms about letting everyone besides her and himself die. Noble intention or not, there really isn't any way to justify his actions.
    • Within that same case, Celes' stated motivation for plotting the murder of two people being to obtain ten-million dollars and buy a European castle where she is indulged by handsome male servants is so outrageous that a good many fans swallowed it at face value, forgetting that Celes is a Consummate Liar and that everything about the persona she puts on even down to the name is dishonest. Even disregarding supplementary material such as the manga, the game itself drops several hints that her real motive for the killings was based around self-esteem issues as Taeko Yasuhiro and the fact that she fell into despair of ever getting out of Hope's Peak Academy through any other method.
  • No Yay:
    • Hifumi and Alter Ego, because the latter is an Artificial Intelligence in a laptop.
    • Some people have this reaction towards the ships that involve the killers along with their victims such as Leon/Sayaka, Mondo/Chihiro, and Celeste/Hifumi.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The real Junko Enoshima only appears for a brief time, but is utterly unforgettable.
  • One True Threesome: Makoto, Kirigiri and Togami and Fujisaki, Ishimaru and Oowada are prime examples.
  • Padding:
    • A common complaint aimed at the trials. Part of the problem is that there's a lot of evidence that could get the mystery solved much, much faster than it ends up being and about half of the students' main role is to say things that just waste time. The infamous conversation at the start of the fifth trial where you have to convince Yasuhiro that Kyoko isn't a ghost is a prime example.
    • As it turns out, 90% of the second trial turns out to be this, and it was actually Invoked In-Universe. Byakuya witnessed the killer leaving the scene of the crime and knew who the culprit was all along. But he didn't come out and say it because he wanted to see who was smart enough to be a threat to him if he committed a murder of his own. Instead, he tampers with the crime scene, resulting in two Red Herring plot threads.
  • Player Punch:
    • If you got all of Chihiro's Free Time conversations, you'll tell him that Mondo is the strongest. Now skip to Chapter 2's trial and feel like an asshole.
    • Every murder/execution can easily become this depending on how much you liked the victim.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name:
    • "Chishimondo" is often used to describe Chihiro, Kiyotaka, and Mondo together (Japan calls it 大和田サンド/"Owada Sandwich" instead), while just Kiyotaka and Mondo tends to be "Ishimondo".
    • "Naegiri" for Makoto/Kyoko.
    • "Naegami" for Makoto/Byakuya.
    • Sakuhina or Sakuraoi is used for Sakura/Aoi.
    • "Togafuka", or "Tofu" for Byakuya/Toko.

  • Ron the Death Eater: While this trope does not happen to the extent of certain characters from sequels, it can be still apparent with Hifumi and Sayaka. The issue with Hifumi is already listed above while Sayaka tends to be portrayed as a huge Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who never once cared about Makoto Naegi despite the fact that her voice actress confirming that she does have feelings for Makoto as well as the manga confirming that Sayaka wrote the dying clue out of remorse.
  • Sacred Cow: Be prepared to be constantly attacked for saying you don't like this game.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The manga segments that end each Class Trial can cross into Guide Dang It! territory, since you're expected to summarize the entire murder by filling in blanks using nothing but tiny, textless thumbnails that may esoterically depict the event they're meant to represent. Even if you know exactly how the murder went down, you may screw up and lose credibility points just because a thumbnail was too vague for you to figure out. For example, chapter 4's trial features two thumbnails of Toko either entering or exiting a locker. Which one is which? Who knows—the clues distinguishing the two are very small. She's sweatier in one of the thumbnails. This one goes with the panels of her covered in sweat. It is worth points, so good luck! Luckily the sequels fix this somewhat by telling you what the thumbnails are actually supposed to represent as well as giving you specific questions to answer for each panel.

      However, it's worth mentioning that, while it is a Scrappy Mechanic gameplay-wise, it's well-liked aesthetically and thematically, due to it going over the entirety of the crime (which is useful to players that have been focusing on analyzing small bits of the crime up to this point and may not have a clear idea of the big picture, especially in regards to event chronology) in an alternate art style.
    • The gifts with Free Time Events are a serious case of Guide Dang It!. Not helping is that you could only get them at random. This was improved in the sequel, where you could access a vending machine that gives you a list of items to buy, and many of them are easy for the player to figure out who would like what.
    • Memory Truth Bullets were a frequent source of annoyance, especially to first-time players. More often than not, even if the player knew the answer, they still had to sit through a Nonstop Debate at least twice. They were thankfully not used as frequently in Super Danganronpa 2 and were removed altogether in New Danganronpa V3.
    • Bullet Time Battles, the rhythm game segments of the trials. They're generally not felt to fit the design of the game, being rather cumbersome on higher difficulties when the game introduces ammo and changing bullets to the system. Later games in the series would simplify it with their own (renamed) versions of the minigame, assigning the aiming and firing to the same button and ditching the Truth Bullet mechanic.
  • Self-Fanservice: Fan artists commonly draw Sakura with a face far more feminine than how it actually looks. At least it's generally rare for her muscles to be toned down. Though curiously, official art shows Sakura used to look VERY feminine before her rather dramatic change into "The Ogre"
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Surprisingly averted most of the time. Despite the frequent instances of Broken Base and the fandom's penchant for Shipping, major fights over who should end up with who are relatively uncommon. This may be because romance isn't a big focus of the game, or it may be because most characters die anyway.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Kiyotaka and Mukuro is a ship that is slowly growing in popularity, primarily among the Japanese fanbase. They didn't interact much during the one chapter they had together in which Mukuro was disguised as Junko, and didn't have any established connection with one another. Not to mention, Mukuro is all but stated to have feelings for Makoto. The most likely explanation for why may be due to their specific talents.
    • Sayaka and Mukuro, despite almost never interacting outside of some minor bonus material and both of them dying in the 1st chapter, have a surprising amount of fanfiction and art dedicated to pairing them up as well. On Archive Of Our Own, it's even Sayaka's most popular pairing while on Mukuro's side it's the second most popular one.
    • Kiyotaka is also often paired with Peko, despite her canon interest in Fuyuhiko, and the fact that she and Kiyotaka don't even interact during V3's Talent Development Plan. This is because of their shared interest in Kendo. This is helped by official artwork of them practicing together.
    • It's not unheard of to ship Leon with Ibuki, mainly because Leon both admires and wants to be a punk musician and Ibuki is a Fun Personified version of one.
    • Thanks to a very cute interaction in New Danganronpa V3's Bonus Mode, Mondo/Mikan has some fans too.
    • Despite Fuyuhiko's interest in Peko, Fuyuhiko and Chihiro ended up having a couple fans thanks to them having insecurities over their small figure and not looking very masculine.
    • Leon/Yasuhiro also seems to be fairly popular, despite the two of them hardly having any interaction at all. This seems to be based on the fact that Leon used Yasuhiro's crystal ball as a throwing weapon in both canon and the IF novel.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Sayaka's body being found.
    • Leon's execution. Not only is it the first, but it's also one of the most brutal, which makes it the one people remember the most.
    • Mondo's execution where he's melted into butter is also remembered for the Nightmare Fuel it provides.
    • The Reveal about Junko being the Mastermind.
  • Signature Line:
    • "No, that's wrong!"/"Sore wa chigau yo!"
    • Leon's rapid-fire yelling "Aho"/"Stupid!"
  • So Bad, It's Good: Funimation's English dub of the anime is full of Ham and Cheese, bizarre lines, and occasional "Blind Idiot" Translations, to the point of making their infamous Danganronpa 3 dub look serious, but least it makes the rather mediocre Compressed Adaptation more enjoyable.
  • Squick: Judging by Kyoko's insistence that the students search Chihiro's corpse "thoroughly", it's heavily implied that she (and later, Sakura) discovered that he was actually a boy by feeling his genitals.
  • Stoic Woobie: For all the work Kyoko puts into convincing Makoto of her dislike for her father, her reaction to the family photo leaves him unconvinced. When he sees her later on, she calls their heart-to-heart discussion on her regrets surrounding his death "rambling" (though the fact she was even willing to openly ask for his help with this issue marks some pretty serious Character Development).
  • That One Boss: The Bullet Time Battle against Hina in the fourth trial. Not because of the BTB itself, but because you already had two Bullet Time Battles against Hiro and Toko. Unless you are very skilled, it's likely you aren't going into the BTB against Hina with much health left, leaving very little margin for error.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • It's easy to feel this way about the victims of the game. In particular, Kiyotaka was abruptly killed mid-game shortly after seemingly taking on a fallen friend's spirit.
    • Leon in particular gets hit hard with this. He's not even the first to die (but the first to be executed), yet the roles of the two characters who died before him get more emphasis. Given that he ended up being the first killer partly due to factors beyond his control, some players think there could have been a lot more to him than there ended up being. Possibly because of that, he's featured prominently in the "Ultra Despair Hagakure" story that comes with Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls.
    • Some of the readers believe that Celeste's motive made her too one-dimensional, while others believe that was precisely the point - the motive of the chapter was simple cash and some people in real life do murder simply for that. Other still point out that either reading is Completely Missing the Point of Celeste as lying liar who lies, meaning everything about her from her allegedly shallow motive all the way to the name "Celestia Ludenburg" is not supposed to be taken at face value, with the game providing several hints that there is more to her than she wants others to see. The manga capitalizes on this by explaining how her motivation came to be and slightly made her into a Jerkass Woobie instead. Unfortunately, the canonity of the manga isn't clear, although the official AU "School Mode" seems to run with this characterization through a Defrosting Ice Queen arc, and the canonical Another Episode: Ultimate Despair Girls also makes a point of showing how lonely her life outside of Hope's Peak Academy was.
  • Tough Act to Follow: No villain in the franchise (not even her other incarnations) has been able to reach the same level of memorability that Junko commands in this game. She's often regarded as being a perfect mix of threateningly crazy and gut-bustingly hilarious while still coming off as genuinely intimidating when she finally makes her grand entrance. What helped her status as the Big Bad here is that a lot of her world-ending actions were left to the imagination, creating a lot of speculation that the second game only exacerbated (ironically, when Danganronpa 3 finally decided to reveal the full extent of her cruelty, some fans started turning against her). Regardless of her appearances in later entries in the franchise, it's quite clear that her first incarnation has left a huge, looming shadow over the rest of the series, as most of the villains after Junko haven't been able to reach the same level of popularity—of them, only Monaca and Izuru receive any acclaim, the former for being just as memorable for entirely different reasons and the latter for his characterization, but Monaca is crippled by her arc's conclusion in Danganronpa 3, which many fans found unsatisfying, and Izuru isn't really considered evil enough to be a true villain. Meanwhile Tengan, Mitarai, and Tsumugi are outright hated for a laundry list of characterization issues that damage their credibility as antagonists.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Kiyotaka. Most of the other students consider him either intimidating or irritating, it's made very clear that Mondo is his Only Friend, and barely anyone reacts when he's killed. Even the writers admit he was supposed to be unlikable in the main story provided one didn't read his Free Time Events. And yet, he's well loved by the fandom and scores highly in polls. Many appreciate his earnest attempts to uphold the group dynamic and keep people working together towards a common goal, while yaoi artists in particular like the copious amount of Ho Yay he has with Mondo.
  • The Un-Twist: Mondo's violent introduction in which he punches Makoto, along with all the effort that went into showing how much honor he has was clearly meant to set him up as a Gentle Giant Delinquent with a Heart of Gold who would never go so far as to actually kill someone. Nope: all that aggression takes a deadly turn, and he becomes Chapter 2's blackened.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Chihiro's reason for crossdressing is because he was constantly belittled for not fitting Japanese gender norms, being frail, shy and not very masculine by Japanese standards. He tried to escape the bullying by crossdressing, because his weaknesses were viewed to be more fitting for a girl than a boy, and he was left alone. But he didn't find himself happy because all he wanted was to be acknowledged as a boy, and he believed that the only way that would happen was if he was stronger. Such an idea would go over the heads of, and is misunderstood by, many Western fans, especially since gender roles in the West are nowhere near as strict or enforced as they are in Japan.
    • Though not given as much focus as Chihiro's issues, Aoi's insecurities in her Free Time events about not being feminine enough ties into Japan's strict gender roles as well, as girls who aren't feminine enough by Japanese standards will be told they're "unworthy women" or that they won't be able to get married. However, Makoto tells her that she's fine the way she is.
  • Wimpification: Oh dear Kiyotaka, in the West and Japan it's common to find works that have him as submissive, weak, and not being able to hold his own against another.
  • The Woobie:
    • Sayaka Maizono grew up without a mother and rarely saw her constantly working father, only being saved from loneliness by the Idol Singers that she looked up to. When she eventually became an Idol Singer herself, the friends in her group became everything to her (that may or may not have something to do with how screwed up the Japanese idol industry is in its own right). When Monokuma presents the first motive to the students, Sayaka is utterly devastated to the point where she would have been the first to kill... had she not been the first to die instead.
    • Chihiro Fujisaki, who lacks confidence and strength, and is clearly being hit by the murders the hardest. Later, after Chihiro's death, the audience finds out that "she" is really a boy who crossdressed as a girl in a misguided and completely desperate attempt to avoid being mocked for not being masculine, which unfortunately ended up crushing his self-esteem further. Poor kid.
    • Aoi Asahina as well. It's hard to see such a fun and lighthearted character undergo the immense pressure of the game. She does not take Sakura's death well, and it very nearly breaks her, though she mostly recovers from it. And if Ultra Despair Girls is to be taken to account... try telling about how her little brother died blowing up.
    • Kiyotaka Ishimaru has been through so much crap it's hard to not feel bad for him. Before going to Hope's Peak, he literally had no friends and never even figured out how to make them at all. But when he finally makes his first and only friend ever, said friend is brutally executed, driving Kiyotaka into depression and a catatonic state. And later he gets killed after falsely being accused of rape. It gets even worse once you go through his Free Time Events. His family is disgraced and in heavy debt because of the spectacular fall of his grandfather, the former prime minister, and all his life he's been saddled with the burden of redeeming their name. He wants to show that an ordinary person like him can change the world, only for him to fail horribly by the time he dies. It also doesn't help that he's The Unfavorite to almost everyone in-universe and nobody seems to care about his death as the 3rd trial was more focused on Hifumi (albeit in large part because Hifumi was both a victim and a culprit).
  • Woolseyism:
    • In the Orenronen let's play that came out long before the game was localized, Monokuma's name was rendered as "Monobear" being that "kuma" means "bear." The official English translation does not do this, leaving it as "Monokuma" by direct request of the Japanese writers. Despite this, numerous fanworks, fan translations, wiki entries, and other materials written by people who got into the series with Oren's let's play before the localization was out refer to him as "Monobear" because of them being used to it.
    • The Project Zetsubou translation turns the fujoshi pun in Toko's name to one about slashers (not the serial killers, the slash fic kind).
    • Despite what some fans may think, there is a reason why "Genocider Syo" was localized as "Genocide Jack" in the official English Adaptation. When Syo is first mentioned, the player is supposed to believe that they are male, mainly because "Syo" is more commonly used as a male's name in Japan. As a result, the revelation that Toko's split personality is Syo is more surprising (however, in the investigation phase of Chapter 2, Fukawa calls Genocider a she anyway). This ambiguity, for lack of a better term, cannot work in English because "Syo" may not sound like a masculine name to western players who have never seen the name before. So in order to preserve it, Syo was localized as Jack which not only works in tricking the player, but is also a nice homage to a real infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper.
    • In the English dub of the game, Celeste speaks with a very obvious fake French accent in a rather monotone manner. This would catch some players off guard, especially those who played in the original language first, but if you think about Celeste's real personality, it fits with her character. It's especially effective when, in Chapter 3, Celeste's has her Freak Out! over being accused and completely drops the accent all together, but is still constantly struggling to keep it. Her nickname is also modified from 'Celes' into 'Celeste' for this.
    • The NISA localization has the characters refer to each other using either their first names or nicknames (Hina for Aoi, Taka for Kiyotaka, etc.) It's a strange decision at first, since in Japan people usually refer to each other by their last names unless they're close friends or family, but this change was for good reason as determining one of the clues for Chapter 3's trial is entirely dependent on knowing how a certain character refers to the others. Hifumi Yamada refers to his classmates only using their last name in a formal matter in both languages, and this fact is important in determining that Yasuhiro is Celeste. In English, this clue wouldn't translate very well unless the player was aware of how Japanese culture worked. So the most logical change would be having the other characters refer to each other by their first name or a nickname like they would do in English (for example, Naegi is called "Makoto", while Asahina is called "Hina"), that way Hifumi's mannerisms would stand out more.

      Some others would argue that the Project Zetsubou translation's Woolseyism was handled better, as it not only maintained the "last name" convention of the original, but also kept the clue intact (not to mention that they had to use the Japanese voice clips from the game, meaning that they were more restricted in their workaround). They simply had Hifumi always refer to people by their full names, and the clue was about what order he said the names in.
    • The Japanese title of Chapter 1 is written in katakana and can be interpreted in a bunch of different ways, including "live to the fullest", "live to the end", "live and kill", and "use your abilities to the fullest", all of which are relevant to the chapter. Since English can't have that many meanings in a single phrase, Project Zetsubou titled the chapter "Kill Free or Live Hard".
    • The official translation changing Chapter 4's title from "All All Apologies" to "All●Star●Apologies" retains the Nirvana reference while adding a new layer of meaning: the chapter centers around Sakura and Aoi, both of whom are "all-star" atheletes and have a lot to apologize for.
    • The original Japanese title of Chapter 5 is "Despair Junk Food for a Dashing Youth", which is a reference to a Light Novel series called Shissou suru Shishunki no Parabellum, meaning "Parabellum of Dashing Youth." Since English-speaking players wouldn't get this reference, Project Zetsubou saw that "parabellum" came from the Latin phrase "Si vis pacem, para bellum," meaning "If you want peace, prepare for war," and made the title "If You Want Donuts, Prepare for Despair."
    • While most of the name changes to the trial minigames are largely pointless, Kokoronpa from School Mode (a pun which only works if one has a working knowledge of Japanese) was changed to Trigger Happy Heart, which works in regards to retaining the original meaning.
  • What an Idiot!: Hifumi stupidly believes everything Celeste tells him to be true, despite it being very unlikely Ishimaru would rape someone, and Celeste clearly plotting something sinister.


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