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YMMV / Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

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Main page | Trigger Happy Havoc | Goodbye Despair | The End of Hope's Peak High School | Killing Harmony
Spinoffs: Ultra Despair Girls | Zero | Kirigiri | Togami | Killer Killer
Series-wide pages: Alternative Character Interpretation | Awesome Music | Base Breaking Character | Ensemble Dark Horse | 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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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • During Chapter 2's Closing Argument, Hajime says "I can imagine how badly Hiyoko must have panicked when she came out of the closet" and saw Mahiru's body. As if Hiyoko's "affections" for Mahiru didn't read enough like Les Yay already...
    • If one considers the slang meaning of "breeder", Gundham's title of Ultimate Breeder is this.
  • Adorkable:
    • Chiaki, especially when she puffs up her cheeks to show she's angry like a child having a tantrum.
    • Sonia qualifies as well, she tends to get overexcited over the smallest things, and her attempts at looking hip by using old school sayings like "Oh Snap" and "Fo' sho"
    • Many fans agree that, in spite of his Evil Overlord persona, Gundham's Chuunibyou antics are quite adorable, especially when he gets genuinely flustered when complimented by Sonia. The interior of his cottage also implies that he reads bedtime stories to his "Dark Devas of Destruction", given that he has a rocking chair and numerous books by their cage.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • The motives behind Teruteru's murder of Byakuya made readers who were previously disgusted by his horndog personality feel sorry for him. The execution didn't really help matters.
    • To a lesser extent, Mahiru was not a popular character, but the fact she genuinely wanted to make amends with Fuyuhiko before her murder and died because the two of them let their tempers get the better of them. And then it gets worse, as Danganronpa 3 reveals that Mahiru was innocent all along. She never played a part in covering up the murder of Fuyuhiko's sister, but was lead to believe that she was guilty of doing so by Monokuma's fabrications, which then lead to her murder over a crime she never committed . Suddenly, her death in this game becomes outright unfair and senseless.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
  • Anvilicious: Specifically, "Bullying is bad."
    • A running theme about the pasts of the new cast is how badly being bullied has messed them up or those around them.
    • Hiyoko, the resident bully is A) a victim of bullying herself by her family which caused her father to go mad and B) ends up going through a major case of Break the Haughty due to Losing her Morality Pet, being framed for the death of said dear friend, and then ends up being killed by her favorite victim before she has a chance to atone in any way (for seeing said victim commit murder, not as revenge for Hiyoko's actions).
    • The "video game" motive is about how Fuyuhiko's sister was killed because of how she bullied her peers.
    • All these victims of bullying fell into despair and subsequently destroyed the world. Although, Danganronpa 3 reveals that the reason how they fell into despair was a different one.
    • Also, "belief that some people are just born superior is bad, as is trying to make an Ubermensch."
      • Hajime's entire transformation into Izuru is the result of him wanting to be "talented", making himself a test subject just out of self-hate.
      • Komaeda's madness comes from his complete idolization of the concept of talent and the natural superiority of the talented over the talentless.
      • Talent is shown as a box which traps those who have it as well, making them unable to do anything else but that with their lives.
      • The attempt by Hope's Peak to use mad science to create a superior human who has all the talents instead created an apathetic demigod who allowed the world to end on what was essentially a bet with Junko because having all the talents was as boring as just having her Analyst talent and he wasn't sure if Hope or Despair would be less boring. He could have saved billions of lives with minimal effort, but he just didn't care.
  • Awesome Music: See here.
  • Best Level Ever:
    • Chapter 4 is widely praised as, in spite of its difficulty, it's based in a very unique situation and doing things like getting past the Final Dead Room and solving the secret of the funhouse's structure are highly rewarding experiences.
    • Chapter 5. Nagito orchestrates his own murder while making it look like a suicide, and once the survivors see through that, he also ensures that it's virtually impossible to figure out the culprit. When you do figure out who did it, it results in one of the most heartbreaking outcomes to a trial in the entire series.
  • Broken Base: The survivors. Unlike the first and third games, which push for a True Companions dynamic with the characters who survive the killing game that is developed over the course of game, the survivors here are for the most part never given much in a way of developing a strong dynamic or substantial focus, with the story instead focusing mostly on Hajime's internal struggle. While fans generally agree Fuyuhiko was a smart choice as a survivor, given his large amount of Character Development, if Sonia, Kazuichi and Akane deserved their position as survivors, and who might've been wiser options in their place, is something frequantly debated with by fans.
  • Complete Monster: Junko Enoshima returns, see the franchise page for details.
  • Continuity Lockout: Despite the new cast, the game is very much a direct sequel to Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, with several plot points, events, and characters being referenced, and some of the in-jokes referencing that game won't really make that much sense without having played it. It also references the reserve course and expands on the Izuru Kamakura plot point from Danganronpa Zero (to the point of coming out of nowhere for people unfamiliar with the novel), which still hasn't been officially localized in the West.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Nagito with N Harmonia.
    • Nagito with Sans (though this is mostly ironic).
    • A Tumblr user coined the term "sharkcest" for Kazuichi/Rin Matsuoka, since they look quite similar.
  • Demonic Spiders: The buff "armored" enemies in Magical Girl Miracle Monomi. Unlike all the other enemies in the minigame, the armored enemies need to be repeatedly jumped on to knock off their armor before they can be destroyed if you don't want to bother with (at times difficult) task of catching them in her magic trails. Now, these enemies often dash around, dealing damage whenever they touch Monomi and often getting the out of said loops and they require lots of successful jumps to lose their armor, particularly on higher difficulties. Not to mention how jumping on top of them causes Monomi to bounce in a semi-random direction and her hit-detection sucks, making repeated bounces very difficult. Plus, Usami loses all collision detection while jumping, meaning that all you can do against them is essentially do a combat version of herding cats hoping you can "trick" them into dashing into the loops you make to damage them. Which as said is a task that, while obviously effective since it bypasses the armor completely, can still be an annoying pain of a tactic to get a hang of.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: In a game about murders with a rich and colorful cast, Leather Pantsing is inevitable.
    • Downplayed in the case of Gundham Tanaka. Fans tend to gloss over the fact that he murdered Nekomaru largely in cold blood. Of course, everyone would have starved to death otherwise, and both he and Nekomaru declared to one another's faces that they would fight each other to the death (with Gundham being the winner) so the Sympathetic Murderer angle is definitely present in canon. However, fans who act as though Gundham was a saint willing to sacrifice his life to save the others ignore the facts that he specifically set up the murder to where everyone else would falsely believe he had a rock-solid alibi for the entire day (which was only ruined by Fuyuhiko randomly deciding to go on a walk and spotting him) and that he didn't confess to the crime until the end of the trial when the others had already figured everything out, meaning while he may have committed the murder for noble reasons, he was still planning on becoming a successful blackened and killing all the other students in the process since doing otherwise would be contradictory to his "never give up on life" philosophy.
    • In Mikan Tsumiki's case, there are several fans who gloss over or even outright excuse the horrific actions Mikan committed during after contracting the despair disease since she was clearly in a brainwashed state due to it at the time, as her murdering Ibuki and Hiyoko was caused by the return of her memories of being a part of Ultimate Despair, especially since most of the time she just seems too timid to do such things. However, the game makes it clear that the despair disease didn't change her personality at all and only put her back into her Ultimate Despair mindset (making her brainwashed by Junko at the very least or brainwashed by the memory return itself in a worst case scenario) and her Free Time events show that she wasn't as harmless as she seemed even in her most docile state of mind, being willing to injure Hajime just so he can stay with her and revealing that she became a nurse partly so that she would finally be in a position of power over people weaker than her after being bullied for years.
    • Though she does have a sympathetic backstory and a Freudian Excuse in that she grew up being told that her job was to protect Fuyuhiko at all costs and was his tool, Peko was still willing to murder Mahiru in cold blood, use her corpse as a prop to frame Hiyoko and send everyone else down with her, only her plan fell through because Fuyuhiko couldn't condemn his innocent people to be killed in his place. Peko even tells everyone else she never really felt anything towards anything to the group and only acted like their friend under Fuyuhiko's orders. This is somewhat downplayed by the fact that she did at least end up apologizing for it in her final moments. She also asks the group to prevent any more killings from happening, implying that she cared enough about the others to not want anyone else to die and was remorseful enough about Koizumi to apologize over her murder.
    • While Fuyuhiko does become a better person after chapter 2 and is genuinely remorseful not only over Peko but Mahiru, it should be noted 2-2s events happened because he maliciously planned Mahiru's murder even bringing a baseball bat when she was just trying to make amends and coldly went for a bat out of rage when she called him out, initially he seemed unremorseful over what happened to Mahiru calling her a bitch even after her death in post trial and framing her best friend to save Peko(who he tried to save at the expense of the rest of the class). His actions were out of dumb revenge that didn't even make sense since the game showed that he murdered Sato the girl who actually killed Natsumi. However as mentioned before he's extremely remorseful over Mahiru's fate after the fact even attempting suicide out of shame for his actions and telling Hajime he wants to hold a funeral for her and Peko and wanting to live on otherwise their deaths will be for nothing.
    • Nagito manages to be this and Ron the Death Eater. Some of his most ardent fans downplay the danger his Blue-and-Orange Morality poses to the other students and can go too far in trying to excuse his actions, despite the fact that he consistently antagonizes the rest of the cast, has several nasty Kick the Dog moments, is indirectly responsible for the Ultimate Imposter and Teruteru's deaths, and tried to kill five other people.
    • Bizarrely enough, Izuru Kamukura gets this from people who see him as yet another one of Junko's victims. This is despite much of the information about him coming from unreliable sources, with what we do know painting him as a nihilistic mass murderer who worked with Junko out of apathy for others. He also caused the island killing game to happen in the first place by smuggling Junko's AI into the Neo World Program, yet the fandom largely gives him a free pass for this. Ironically, those people ended up being right when later material revealed that everything Junko said about him was false and that he wasn't ever evil at all.
    • The Remnants of Despair as a whole. While a great deal of the information on them is of somewhat questionable veracity (as it's information that Junko herself tells them, through Monokuma or the fake Makoto for the purpose of getting them to select Graduate and enable her to escape to the outside world), the indication that they've done many terrible things in the past is more accurate, and some fans tend to gloss over it. It doesn't help that Junko manipulated all of them, and that some characters seem far too nice and/or optimistic to be part of Ultimate Despair. As with Izuru, Danganronpa 3 ended up proving this segment correct in that the Remnants were not evil by choice, but by being forced to do Junko's dirty work.
  • Ending Fatigue: Chapter 6's "trial" is incredibly long. "Trial" is in quotation marks because, while the graduation exam is presented as a classroom trial in terms of gameplay and UI, there's very little actual gameplay involved—the first half of the trial has a reasonable mix of Nonstop Arguments, Logic Dives, and Hangman's Gambits, but the second half is almost nothing but talking and the occasional multiple-choice question. You get the impression that this is only being done as a trial so the chapter's boatload of dramatic reveals feature full voice acting instead of Voice Grunting...which is totally fair, but time really starts adding up if you wait for line readings to finish instead of just reading at your own pace. At one point in particular you're handed a Nonstop Argument where all 16 students have lines, so if you don't quickly figure out the puzzle you're going to wasting a ton of time.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Fuyuhiko is by far the most popular of the surviving secondary characters, beloved for his Character Development across the game.
    • Fuyuhiko's sister (who is only ever mentioned, only actually being seen dead in a picture during chapter 2) has people who roleplay her as well as a decent amount of fanart. There is also the somewhat-popular fanon of her given name being Fuyuki (to match her brother), although Danganronpa 3 revealed her name to Natsumi.
    • Gundham, due to his Large Ham moments and his Crazy Is Cool character traits (a Chuunibyou animal breeder pretending to be an Evil Overlord). The generally-accepted implication that his murder of Nekomaru and subsequent execution was a Heroic Sacrifice gained him several fans as well.
    • Nekomaru is well-liked in his own right for his boisterous personality, being an even bigger ham than Gundham, his Taking the Bullet for Akane (and his subsequent Emergency Transformation into Mechamaru) and the implication that he willingly agreed to Gundham's Suicide Pact in order to save the rest of the students' lives.
    • Ibuki is moreso of a darkhorse than Gundham or Nekomaru in that she dies a chapter earlier than them and overall doesn't do much of anything for the story while she's alive besides her comic relief moments, her remarkable sense of hearing being one of the keys to solving the first trial, and involvement in the Twilight Syndrome case (which was glossed over in DR3, making her actual involvement in it questionable). Despite her lack of focus in the game, she is highly popular in the fandom loved for her humorous lines and positive personality that contrasts with her appearance.
  • Even Better Sequel: By virtue of making many upgrades to content and presentation without losing any of what made the first one so popular (namely the large cast of interesting characters who each have some Hidden Depths and creative murders/executions) many fans view the game as one of these, which is what made them so anxious for the English localization in the run-up to its release as well as a potential anime adaption (based on the animated Dangan Ronpa's Sequel Hook of Usami at the end of the series). Even the staff seems to believe this trope applies, since according to producer Yoshinori Terasawa, there was a deliberate effort to make the game as such; in response to people telling the staff pre-release that they were looking forward to the new game but that "it probably won't be as good as the first", they strove to make the game better than its predecessor in every possible way.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Tons, both in regards to the students past as Ultimate Despair as well as the implication that the comatose students will eventually wake up.
  • Fanon: The Ultimate Imposter being nonbinary is a popular one, likely due to the fact that his real gender is unknown and his "true voice" at the end of his free time events is rather androgynous sounding (though said voice is significantly more "masculine" sounding in the anime).
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Hajime is almost always shipped with one of two people: Chiaki (Hinanami), or Nagito (Komahina), thanks to the former being his Implied Love Interest and the latter having an... interesting relationship with him.
    • Fuyuhiko/Peko or Kuzupeko is fairly consistently well-liked by the fandom, possibly for the canonical (going by Peko's Dangan Island ending) Bodyguard Crush status.
    • Sonia/Gundham or Sondam has quite a fan following too.
    • Also Ibuki/Ultimate Imposter, aka Heir Guitar or K-Ton, based on some little bits of Ship Tease in canon they had before he was murdered and during the massive glitch in chapter 5.
    • Nagito/Mikan, or Komamiki, won fans over despite their few canon interactions. Mainly because they do have quite a bit in common, and the potential Ill Boy/Hospital Hottie dynamic is seen as appealing. And Spike Chunsoft seems to support this idea by putting them among other fan-favorite couple in several official art works, such as this
  • Foe Yay:
    • While it's hard to tell if she's being a Troll or not, the AI Junko is shown to have a blatant Villainous Crush on Makoto Naegi, right down to experiencing The Immodest Orgasm during his Big Damn Hero arrival during Trial 6. She (as Monokuma) even calls him a cutie patootie.
    • Towards the end of chapter 4, Nagito begins to antagonize the remaining students. It is also during this time that he tells Hajime that, even after he discovered after clearing the Final Dead Room, Nagito stills holds a soft spot for Hajime. However, it doesn't stop his plans of killing the remaining Ultimate Despair members, which includes Hajime as well. It gets worse from the start of chapter 5, all the way up until Nagito's death.
    • Akane Owari makes it very clear that she doesn't like Nagito, and on two occasions, she gets very close to him by tackling him to restraint him. Nagito even taunts her for her efforts.
    • It's unknown (again) if she was serious or not, but the very first thing AI Junko does when she reveals herself in trial Six, was offer a Marshmallow Hell to Hajime (indirectly could be extended out to Izuru as well, given that she knows who he is very well and personally), Kazuichi, Fuyuhiko, Akane, and Sonia.
    • Chapter 0 showed that Nagito absolutes hates Junko Enoshima, wishing the chance to kill given be. However, there is also the fact that Nagito joined the Ultimate Despair group, a group that goes completely against his ideals of hope. He also replaced his left hand with one of Junko's, though it is not functioning.
  • Fountain of Memes: Nagito's personality is.....interesting, in which his obsession towards hope ended up causing many memes within the fandom.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: While Sonia's "I'll never be queen!" speech appears to be funny due to being a Covert Pervert, there's also an ominous alternate interpretation about that line...
  • Game-Breaker: The Delusion skill, available to buy from the beginning of the game, causes your Influence (health) to regenerate when using focus mode during a trial. Since focus regenerates over time this effectively gives you infinite health and means you can make incorrect choices with impunity during Trials, though you can still run out of time.

  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Nagito's strange behavior comes off as this when it's revealed in his last Free Time Event that he's suffering from frontotemporal dementia.
      • One of the symptoms of FTD is degeneration of communication ability, either causing people to use too-vague words or become tongue-tied, generally inhibiting their ability to express themselves. This not only keys in Nagito's tendency to use key terms like "hope" and "despair" to represent many concepts, but makes his Despair Disease of speaking only lies a kind of double-whammy of speech impediment.
      • His Death Seeker tendencies and desire to become a symbol of hope through dying also take on some horrifically tragic undertones once you realize that the post-diagnosis life expectancy of someone with FTD is only 2-15 years.
    • Similarly, try laughing at Mikan's clumsy girl status after her Free Time Events state she does it intentionally out of a desperation for attention.
    • Many of Akane Owari's habits and casual references to some parts of her life can be this after you learn about her past. See Iron Woobie below.
    • After Chapter 2's motive is teased by Monokuma, Akane snaps at Mikan when she agrees that Fuyuhiko has a point in that not playing the Twilight Syndrome arcade game to know the motive is dangerous (because not knowing means that the inevitable target will have no way to know that they're on the killer's hit list and plan accordingly), asking her if she wants to kill someone that badly. At the time, Mikan doesn't, but one chapter later she becomes the culprit behind a double murder after getting infected by the Despair Disease.
    • Peko's final free time event heavily implies she plans to ask Fuyuhiko out if they both survive. This becomes extremely tragic after the events of the second trial. Though, not so much after Danganronpa 3.
    • Gundham's final free time event, where he tells Hajime that he's not allowed to die without his permission becomes a lot more painful at the end of Chapter 4, with Gundham's implied Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Just before the Closing Argument in Chapter 4, Gundham, having already confessed to the chapter's murder, challenges Hajime to "trample" him with his argument to bring the case to a close. His execution has him being trampled to death by an Animal Stampede.
    • Ibuki's fifth Free Time Event, in which she headbangs with Hajime and he wonders how her tiny neck can keep up with it, suddenly gets much more disturbing after her death by strangulation.
    • Danganronpa 3 shows a very different version of the Twilight Syndrome murder case, one where Mahiru was never involved at all. Word of God confirms that Monokuma purposely altered the truth in his game, meaning Mahiru was specifically set up to be murdered despite being innocent.
    • At least one part of AI Chiaki's execution becomes much worse after seeing Danganronpa 3 and realizing that once again, Junko tricked Chiaki with a fake exit door.
    • In the final understandable Monokuma theater of the game, Monokuma, in a unusually OOC and depressed way of speaking says how "Everything is a lie. Everything is fiction." Fast forward to Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, where all the characters personalities and talents being fake, as well as everything being "fiction", was the big twist. Similarly, Fuyuhiko saying in the last trial, "You better not say we're fictional characters!"
    • During the third chapter, Hiyoko declares that she doesn't want to die a meaningless death. Days later, she is indeed the victim of a completely pointless murder, entirely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    • In Chapter 6, what does Hajime say upon hearing about Izuru Kamukura, "a genius who possesses various talents"?
      Hajime: I wish they'd given me one of those talents so I didn't have to be in the Reserve Department...
    • Makoto claims in Chapter 6 that "No matter what you do to me, I will never fall into despair!". Flash-forward to Danganronpa 3, and Makoto is Brainwashed so that he falls into despair and attempts to kill himself.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Many are clamoring for the possibility that Chiaki could still be around with a backup file. Also, since Mikan's execution involved her being launched into space and we don't see her body, along with her Despair Disease reverting her back to her Ultimate Despair personality, some people thought that she was either the mastermind or an accomplice, and that she would return in Chapter 6.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Before Monokuma transforms back to Junko, he say's that he's just going to skip his second and third forms and go straight to his final form. An obvious reference to Frieza, complete with a power up sequence. Fast forward a few years to the Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ movie, and Frieza himself says almost the exact same line. Funnily enough, the younger brother of the dub voice for Frieza is also the voice of Monokuma in the anime adaptation.
    • Chiaki's pep talk to Hajime during the climax of the game is eerily similar to the climatic conversation between Madoka and Homura in the last episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, to the point that certain lines could be swapped out with each other and only the most ardent fans of both would notice the difference. Now, seeing as how this falls under hilarious rather than simply heartwarming, you get three guesses as to who delivers both speeches in their respective English dubs - and the first two guesses don't count.
    • During Nagito's speech about how Hard Work Hardly Works at the beginning of Chapter 2, he says "No matter how hard a small dog tries, it will never become a large dog." The joke's on him since although he doesn't remember it, chronologically earlier in Danganronpa 3: Despair Arc, Nagito accidentally made Gundham's pomeranian temporarily grow giant after it drank Ruruka Ando's steroid.
    • Kira Buckland voiced Ibuki Mioda in this comic dub, and would later become the official English voice of Hiyoko Saionji in that game, who said to Ibuki "It's a good thing your hearing is good, because your face, body, appearance, and personality totally suck."
    • Nagito's compulsive, outrageous lying under the effects of the Liar Disease makes him sound like Kokichi Oma.
    • When Nekomaru is sparring with Akane, Akane chants "Muda" as a Shout-Out to Dio Brando. Nekomaru's English voice actor, Patrick Seitz, would later provide the English voice for Dio.
    • In this murder mystery game, an imposter ends up dying first, and it was treated as the start of the killing game. In another murder mystery video game, having an imposter dying first would mean that a "killing game" wouldn't happen in the first place.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming:
    • Ibuki/Byakuya has two different ones depending on the language of the fandom shipping it: "K-Ton" for the Japanese fanbase, a pun on Byakuya's pig ("Ton" in Japanese) based nickname from Hiyoko and the direct translation of Ibuki's talent, and "Heir Guitar" for the English speaking fans, combining a common translation for Byakuya's talent (The Ultimate/Super High School Level Heir) and a reference to Ibuki's music based talent to create a pun on "Air Guitar".
    • Soapies also gets used to refer to Hiyoko/Mahiru, based on Oren's specific translation of Hiyoko wanting to drag Mahiru into the shower with her.
    • "Soul Friends" tends to get used for Hajime/Kazuichi, whether in shipping or just them interacting platonically.
    • "BandAid" has been used for Ibuki/Mikan
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Nagito. His entire life has been one long Trauma Conga Line, but he keeps going due to his belief in hope—though whether it's genuine or just something he tells himself is another matter entirely. The "iron" part may be subverted in that he reveals at the end of his Dangan Island events that he actually wants to die to escape his cycle of good and bad luck. Given the amount of trouble he causes, and his behavior after learning his classmates are responsible for the Crapsack World state of current affairs, he could also qualify as a Jerkass Woobie.
    • Akane has dealt with perverts, poverty, and being surrounded by death for much of her life. Her funny Big Eater traits? She was regularly starving as a kid. Her Innocent/Shameless Fanservice Girl moments? Sexual harassment was the norm for her. Her Accidental Misnaming? People around her died or left her life so often that she doesn't have any reason to memorize names. Basically, she's Conditioned to Accept Horror. And her developing a powerful mentor/student relationship and rivalry with Nekomaru throughout the game? He winds up dying twice to save her (along with everyone else from certain starvation in chapter 4's case).
    • Sonia Nevermind. She's always been taught that her people must come before her own needs, has been kidnapped twice, and over the course of the game has to deal with Kazuichi's antics and her friend/crush Gundham's betrayal and subsequent execution in Chapter 4. She tries her best to hold in her emotions and not to cry over stressful situations tries to keep the fact she will never truly have the freedom of being a normal girl from bothering her too much. Since her classmates are said to be the first friends she's ever had, she truly believes in The Power of Friendship and hates watching her friends turn on each other. It isn't until her final free time event comes around that she finally allows herself to cry. Regardless of all this happening, Sonia still believes in her friends (as shown clearly in trial five) that she holds strong faith that she'll make it out of this no matter what.
  • It Was His Sled: Nagito having...very questionable morals and an obsession with hope. This is revealed fairly early on, but is a major twist that has very significant ramifications on the plot and heavily changes both the player and Hajime's view on him as a person.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Some of Kazuichi's Jerkass tendencies come from his attempts to make friends by mimicking the boys who often bullied him growing up, mistaking these behaviors as being "strong" or "normal", and considering how casually he talked about his father beating him up for skipping a middle school field trip since, among other reasons, he knew his family might be too poor to afford it in his free times his home life doesn't sound much better. The fact his final one has him confess a good portion of his positive attitude is a deliberate act to hide how utterly terrified he still is thanks in part to his many trust issues and the situation at hand doesn't help. Not to mention that Kazuichi knows he used to be badly-received, but he doesn't understand that his new attitude is also detrimental to his attempts to make friends for different reasons.
    • Hiyoko's free times (assuming she's telling the truth) also confirm she had a pretty terrible home life, including but not limited to having her beloved father go mad trying to protect her from her rivals (which lead to her grandmother cutting her off from both her parents) and seeing/experiencing sabotage attempts which could have easily turned deadly.
    • Fuyuhiko becomes this starting around the end of Chapter Two. Not only he ended up finding out that his sister was dead, he nearly killed Mahiru who was accused of being the accomplice for the killer of his sister in a fit of rage only for Peko to grab the bat and kill Mahiru herself believing she was Just Following Orders. After he heavily defended Peko at the class trial and she was found guilty, he breaks down into tears and begins screaming that he never wanted Peko to be his tool - he just wanted her by his side. After he was nearly killed by Peko in which that came across as a major Tear Jerker, he ended up having to wear an eye patch, attempted to commit suicide, and becomes a reformed Broken Haughty having to deal with the fact that the two women that he cares about the most ended up dying and that he also realised that his actions towards Mahiru were extremely cruel . And in the final class trial, the only thing that he wants to do is see Peko again.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains:
    • Hiyoko is an unpleasant bitch who likes to mock her classmates (with the exception of Mahiru), especially Mikan, but she doesn't really do anything more than throw childish insults at others and yell at them (also, with the exception of Mikan and Kazuichi, everyone either ignores her or laughs at her insults), and she is disgusted by the thought of actually killing someone. That doesn't stop many people from claiming that she's morally lower than most of the actual murderers (Especially Mikan, who killed Ibuki For the Evulz after getting her memories as a Remnant of Despair back, and killed Hiyoko after the latter caught her in the act).
    • Weird example of this trope being applied to one character at different points of time is Nagito. The fandom seems to tolerate it way more when he orchestrates a murder while remaining polite and affable than when he starts acting rude towards towards Hajime upon discovering he's a Reserve Course student.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Hajime, our protagonist, has been paired with ALL the characters in the game and even a few from the first Dangan Ronpa. It leads to the fan joke that, thanks to his underwear collection, Hajime's true talent is being a pimp.
    • It would be easier to name those who haven't been paired up with Kazuichi, and they aren't just limited to this game either.
  • Memetic Mutation: Can be found here along with the memes from its predecessor.
  • Moe:
    • Chiaki fits this to a T. She's a short, busty, sleepy-headed Gamer Chick who is voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos in the English dub.
    • Mikan too, at least before The Reveal and even then, people still tend to feel bad for her.
    • Ibuki is pretty cute as well, especially with her energetic nature and hilarious dialogue.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: There are many who consider Nagito's version of 'Sore wa chigau yo' to be this.
    • In addition to the above, Hajime now adds "Allow me to cut through those words!" and "I can prove it with this!"
  • Narm:
    • Hajime's Say My Name moment for Peko and Fuyuhiko after trial 2 is rather overblown and uncharacteristic.
    • Mikan's execution is almost unanimously considered to be the worst in the entire series for (among other reasons) being so utterly bizarre and nonsensical that it doesn't even feel like a death scene.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Nagito is definitely the worst in this regard, as the events of the story have made many people label him as an evil sociopath whose whole character is based around HOPE and wanting Hajime's dick. This despite the fact that literally everything, from statements in the main story to the bonus Dangan Island mode make it very clear that he's a far more complex character than how he's commonly portrayed by much of the fandom.
    • Fuyuhiko cried only a handful of times over Peko's death, and yet much of the fandom in the west seem to think he's literally incapable of doing anything without her.
    • Mahiru's introduction had her telling Hajime to act more like a man, and after Monokuma takes over, arranging a girls-only get-together. The fandom promptly labeled her as a misandrist and treat her supposedly hating men as one of her key character traits. While she is very much stuck on gender roles and is much harsher towards the male characters than the girls (with her excuse being that she grew up with a lazy bum for a father) the fact remains that many fans blow her sexism out of proportion and ignore her positive traits in the process. She softens up a little with Hajime if you do her Free Time events too as it is heavily implied that she has a crush on him.
    • As mentioned under Ron the Death Eater, Mahiru is criticized for hypocritically standing up for Hiyoko but not doing anything about Hiyoko's bullying, but the one time she spoke out for Hiyoko was during a time when the others were getting on her case for her bad hygiene (caused by Hiyoko's inability to dress herself in her kimono).
    • Kazuichi is not given much credit other than being a Stalker with a Crush and a pervert who is desperately trying to win Sonia over in spite of her seemingly being interested in Gundham (and vice-versa). Justified as Kazuichi's crush on Sonia gets more and more exaggerated as the game progresses and you wouldn't know much else about him unless you did his Free Time Events.
    • On a lighter note, a chapter 1 CG shows Hajime holding a glass of orange juice. The fans ran with it and made Hajime's favourite drink be orange juice despite the fact that he is not shown talking about it, let alone drinking it, anywhere else throughout the game.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Izuru Kamukura only appears in one scene, not counting Hajime's hallucinations in the final trial, and yet is very popular in the fandom.
    • The fake Makoto created by Junko also gets tons of fanart and is almost always included in spoiler-heavy fanvideos despite having even less screen time than Izuru Kamakura.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Sonia/Kazuichi/Gundham are shipped as this.
    • Chiaki/Hajime/Nagito is also rather popular, primarily among the Japanese fandom.
  • Padding: The first part of the second trial, which is about Mahiru's death, can come off as this, especially the part in which Monokuma forces the students to figure out that the victim of Twilight Syndrome: Murder Case was murdered using a swimsuit full of gravel, something that doesn't add anything important to the mystery of the game (which is the motive for the murder committed) nor does it have any relevance to Mahiru's murder.
  • Player Punch: As if the circumstances behind the end of the Chapter 5 trial weren't bad enough, the game forces you to manually choose Chiaki as the culprit. Sonia begging Hajime to stop doesn't help matters.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Mahiru Koizumi gets a lot of unnecessary stick from the community, perceiving her as an outright man-hater. Many agree that her character improves on free time events, but as she dies rather early in the game most people don't end up seeing them unless they play Island Mode.
      • She often gets criticized for protecting Hiyoko even when her victims reasonably snap at her, but the only example of her actually protecting Hiyoko in-game was when her classmates ganged up on her and insulted her for something that was both out of her control and completely unrelated to her previous Jerkass behavior. Speciically, Akane and a few others pointed out that Hiyoko smelled bad, since Hiyoko had not taken any showers due to being unable to tie her kimono.
    • Nagito Komaeda's worst haters ignore his good intentions, self-sacrificing nature and legitimate mental illness, describing him as a straight-up irredeemable villain. His troubles with understanding social norms caused by combination of the said illness and extremely lonely life are often precieved as outright cruelty or attempts to mess with people for his own entertainment even if his POV section in Chapter 4 clearly shows it's not the case. Nagito's relationships with Hajime also often get twisted to portray him as an obsessive Yandere while in-game he's never depicted as such and his attachment is used for his humanization, even if it doesn't go without some Kick the Morality Pet moments.

  • Scrappy Mechanic: This game's iteration of the Hangman's Gambit has the audacity to call itself "improved" when, to the vast majority of players, it's anything but. What was once a relatively simple - if dull and uninteresting - affair has been transformed into a tedious and frustrating headache thanks to mechanics that reek of Fake Difficulty. For starters, whereas most phrases in the first game were typically no more than around 10 letters and usually had a few filled in for you, this game's phrases can go as high as thirteen letters, none of which are pre-filled. In addition, because of the way taking damage has been altered, it's entirely possible for two different letters to spawn close enough that they register a collision, thus causing you unavoidable damage before the letters even fully appear on-screen. And God help you if you're playing on Mean difficulty, in which the Gambits in Chapters 5 and 6 take on Bullet Hell levels of insanity as letters fly across the screen in all directions, requiring practically inhuman concentration and reflexes to avoid taking massive damage. For most players, these segments end up becoming wars of attrition in which simply trying to spell the phrase as quickly as possible before the rapidly plummeting influence meter bottoms out becomes the order of the day. Not that the easier levels are much better, since they have an annoying tendency of forcing you to wait thirty seconds or more before giving you the next letter you need. making running out of time a legitimate concern. Think you can keep a merged letter from earlier on the screen and just save it for when you need it? Think again; after a certain amount of time, those letters explode, with absolutely no warning, which means even more damage for you. In a sequel in which all of the other returning mechanics received significant improvements, the fact that this one fell backwards so hard is nothing short of an enigma, and most players would rather have had the Hangman's Gambit disappear entirely than to be forced to deal with this abomination of a minigame.
  • Self-Fanservice: A comparatively minor example occurs with Ibuki. She has a stitch running down most of her left thigh, which fan art tends to omit, although likely because it's an easy detail to miss in the first place.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: The first (and easiest, by virtue of being partly a tutorial mode) trial of the second game is more complex than the first three trials of the first game and runs much longer than a simple tutorial. In a somewhat rare case of this trope, the difficulty jump was well-received for the most part, as the trials (and some changes to trial mechanics) allowed for more ambiguity and nuance, while relying far less on the main character making Captain Obvious rebuttals. (The Improved Hangman's Gambit and other trial mini-games unfortunately added a fair amount of Fake Difficulty.) This trope also hits outside of trials: report cards now have the same length and each character's unique skill is unlocked only after completing all of their Free Time events, meaning it takes more time to acquire a given skill (let alone all of them).
    • Island Mode of all things suffers from this as well for players who played School Mode first. In School Mode, it was entirely possible to complete all of Monokuma's backups in one's first playthrough with proper planning and strategizing. In Island Mode, completing all of Usami's tasks on your first go is practically impossible, since your goals require significantly more resources than you're physically capable of gathering at the low levels you start with (to give a prime example; in the task that requires you to make 10 Flower Pins, most players can count themselves lucky if they reach half that amount before running out of time). It gets much easier on subsequent playthroughs in which your levels carry over, but the Early Game Hell that characterizes an initial run cannot be understated.
      • Interestingly enough, the "dating sim" portion of Island Mode actually inverts this trope, in that it's much easier to unlock all of the character endings due to every character having at least one location that guarantees a chance to raise the relationship meter by a full heart on each visit. School Mode, in contrast, had quite a few characters - Leon and Mondo in particular - who had so few opportunities to raise the meter by a full heart that achieving their endings typically required copious amounts of Save Scumming to be even remotely possible in a decent time frame.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: While it's not that large, there is a noticeable shipping war between Hinanami (Hajime/Chiaki) and Komahina (Nagito/Hajime).
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Nagito/Mikan has a surprisingly large group of fans for a ship where the two characters barely interact.
    • Shipping Peko with Ishimaru from the previous game is also somewhat popular, especially with promotional art showing them practicing Kendo together.
    • There's also Leon/Ibuki, as her Ultimate Talent relates to Leon's own appreciation for the punk genre - they even get to interact in the Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Bonus Mode, which only gives the ship more material.
    • Speaking of, Bonus Mode also gives us Mondo/Mikan, which is surprisingly cute and plays off each other well, with Mikan chasing after Mondo to bandage his injuries and Mondo going along with it, despite being used to injuries like that, so that Mikan won't be sad.
  • Shocking Swerve: A common complaint about the final trial is that the stuff with Izuru and the Reserve students comes straight out of nowhere. In actuality, the twist is set Danganronpa Zero, meaning that this only applies if you never read the book. It doesn't help that Zero hasn't been localized yet.
  • Special Effects Failure: Hajime's roaming sprite is clearly on the front layer despite being placed in the middle ground. In certain spots on the map, he'll walk right over objects that are in the foreground.
  • Squick: During the final trial, it is indicated that a member of Ultimate Despair (commonly assumed to be Mikan) transplanted Junko's womb into herself to have her children. Eugh. If anything, however, the localization makes this much worse, as the way it was translated implies that some members had sex with her corpse. In both cases it is even worse if you remember the ending of the first game; Junko was crushed to death so in the first scenario the parts in question are dead and rotting mush more than actual organs and the latter... yeah. Commence Brain Bleach.
  • Stoic Woobie: Peko Pekoyama. She was abandoned as a baby only to be taken into the Kuzuryuu family... to be raised as a hitwoman/bodyguard for their son. She was told she was nothing but a tool for Fuyuhiko to use as he pleased, to the point even her name reflects it, and it stuck with her regardless of how many times Fuyuhiko pleads with her to drop that kind of mindset. She thinks of herself as being without purpose without her master because that is what a tool is. She even killed Mahiru to avenge the dishonor Mahiru helped bring upon the Kuzuryu name by trying to protect the murderer of Fuyuhiko's little sister so he wouldn't have to and try to save him by giving him a chance to escape the island without needing to dirty his hands. But at the same time she's shown as having slight hints of remorse over murdering Mahiru such as agreeing with Chiaki/Hajime's assertion that Mahiru's murder shouldn't be forgiven at the start of the investigation and apolgizing to the class over it and asking them from perverting anything like that happening again
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Hiyoko abruptly getting her throat sliced in Chapter 3. Many fans cheered, and even In-Universe, hardly anyone is actually upset that she died. Especially since Mikan is the one who kills her (although her vicious bullying wasn't actually the reason Hiyoko was killed, but still).
  • That One Boss: The "horse" Monobeast in the Magical Girl Miracle ★ Monomi minigame. It needs to be stunned or baited to be hit, or it will trample its hooves and auto-hit Monomi, but if the player hits the sharpened "mane" blade on the jump (which is frequently with the mode's shoddy hit detection) then Monomi will instead take damage and fall right into its attack zone, so baiting is the most frequent method. But it also sometimes fires off boomerang blades that seem programmed to hit Monomi mid-attack and knock her out of the line if it doesn't charge after her into the damage field. It is far and away the most difficult boss in the minigame, handily eclipsing both the later Monobeasts and Monokuma himself.
  • That One Level: The Chapter 4 Class Trial can become this on the first time, as it's very difficult understand most of the case without being confused, thanks to the secret about the structure of the Funhouse. And then there's Gundham's Rebuttal Showdown, in which he makes a nonsensical Chewbacca Defense with words flying everywhere around the screen and at high speed. Failing to advance past it even gets Hajime remarking on how exhausting it is.
  • That One Puzzle:
    • Chapter Two's Class Trial has an infamous one: What was the murder weapon used to kill the first victim?note  For some players, the Nonstop Debate on the topic is firmly this trope; for others... well, not so much. Bringing up the topic tends to lead to a heated disagreement between those who felt the question was poorly written (and the answer a stretch) and those who saw the solution immediately.
    • The first Panic Talk Action falls into this for some, as the Final Strike needs to be worded in a specific way that might not be immediately obvious, and unlike many other Final Strikes, its components make sense in several different orders. This wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to put the solution together in a matter of seconds.
    • Final Dead Room, during Chapter 4, is essentially That One Puzzle within That One Level (rather fitting, as Monokuma describes the Funhouse as a "closed circle within a closed circle"). That being said, fans of this game's sister series will likely breeze through this part in no time flat, and for those who are truly stuck, there's an option to bypass the whole thing if you so choose.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • One of the reasons Hiyoko is hated is because of a blatantly squandered opportunity to develop her character. Much like Kiyotaka in the previous game, Hiyoko suffers a huge loss, there's build-up to her character growing from the incident, but then she unceremoniously gets killed in the very next chapter with the circumstances surronding her death being completely overshadowed by Ibuki's death (although this is mostly because Ibuki's death has more clues leading to the murderer than Hiyoko's). This is actually because Hiyoko was meant to be one of the survivors, but the game developers realized that they had a much more likable Defrosting Ice Queen character in Fuyuhiko and if he died it would make Peko's sacrifice pointless. Even Kodaka expressed regret at her portrayal, saying that he felt that he overplayed her harsh Jerkass side too much while not showing what she was really like Beneath the Mask.
    • Mikan. She has a dark side, with her Free Time events implying that she became a nurse because she enjoys having power over other people for once and that her falls into vulnerable positions are a ploy born from a desperate need for any kind of recognition. Her attention-grabbing falls even got the spotlight in Case 1, giving her a good foundation to either learn to love herself more over the course of the story or kill someone due to her hidden desires overwhelming her. Instead, she murders Ibuki and Hiyoko because of a disease that changes the personality of anyone who catches it and even in-universe was distributed out of nowhere just to make the story more interesting. Even worse, 1) literally anyone could have gotten the "Remembering" symptom and killed the pair due to their past as Ultimate Despair, which renders Mikan's natural potential for growth/violence meaningless, and 2) it also manages to end the Hiyoko/Mikan conflict without any payoff despite Mikan murdering her bully.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The motive of Chapter Three is a disease that causes people to have altered personality traits. This could have led to a number of interesting character interactions, or creative symptoms that inflict karmic retribution to each character based on their mean-spirited or selfish qualities. But only four people catch the disease and only two people's symptoms have any hand in the story at all.
    • Mikan being the culprit of Chapter 3 has a few. For starters, she doesn't really comment much on killing Hiyoko, despite her spending most of her screentime bullying her. Another was how she killed Ibuki. Because Ibuki's Despair Disease made her gullible, she could have had Ibuki kill Hiyoko and then herself. It would have explained why in the fake suicide video, Mikan's bandages were missing.
    • Chapter 4 has the entire theme park. It has a lot of interesting attractions and a bunch of creative locations that would have been awesome to see a murder take place in. But instead, once you go into the Monokuma Express, you're taken to the Funhouse. While the Funhouse did make for one of the most complex and tragic chapters in the series, the theme park could've achieved the same result if they expanded on it a bit more.
  • Too Cool to Live:
  • Tough Act to Follow: Danganronpa 2 is usually seen as the best title in the franchise, and nothing released afterwards (be it a game, anime or light novel) was as consistently well received as this.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Usami/Monomi is treated very badly by almost the entire cast. She gets abused by Monokuma for most of the time, and almost all students are suspicious of her and are very annoyed by her constant appearances. Because all this hatred she receives in-universe, she's The Woobie to the fandom, with many players being able to sympathize with her, especially since she is constantly shown to be on her students side no matter how much they hate her. It also helps that she is sometimes useful to the class, such as saving Kuzuryuu and Nidai's lives or her role in the Grand Finale.
    • Mikan was bullied relentlessly throughout her life by both her peers and family, repeatedly insulted by Hiyoko, and Fuyuhiko is rather harsh to her before his Heel–Face Turn, while the rest of the cast range from being annoyed or indifferent to being nicer but mildly condescending towards her, with the possible exception of Ibuki and Hajime. She's very well-liked by the fandom and many people express a desire to give the poor girl a hug.
  • The Un-Twist:
    • Junko Enoshima, the previous antagonist who mentioned that she destroyed the world and played the game through the guise of Monokuma, is the main antagonist of this game as well. A more legitimate twist is that she did so with the Villain Protagonist, Hajime Hinata/Izuru Kamukura.
    • There were also a good many people who either realized or learned that the Byakuya from the start of the game was actually the Ultimate Imposter and not the real Byakuya, with both his excessive body weight and uncharacteristic selflessness(even more so than one would expect after his Character Development in the first game) being major tip-offs.
  • The Woobie:
    • Usami/Monomi, who has to cope with the students' distrust, Monokuma's abuse, and being forced to watch helplessly as he plays out his wicked games.
    • Mikan Tsumiki: While first presented as a deliberately-over-the-top example we later learn during her Free Times that she was picked on, bullied, and abused by her peers all the time in her childhood and she put up with all of it without complaint because it meant they were paying attention to her which was still better than being ignored in her mind. Then she's the murderer of chapter 3 due to Monokuma's Despair Disease, which she caught while trying to help those already afflicted, causing her to recover her lost memories of being part of Ultimate Despair and forcing her back into that persona. The same Ultimate Despair whose dearly departed "beloved" was Junko Enoshima, manipulating them for her own twisted amusement. Danganronpa 3 gives Mikan extra sympathy points when Junko is shown not just manipulating her, but out-and-out abusing her too.
    • Byakuya Togami aka the Ultimate Imposter, who was born with no name, home, friends or family and has thus only been able to live in disguise as other people his whole life, to the point where he is genuinely convinced that he does not exist and can never be his own individual person who can share bonds of trust and friendship with others. But even so, he still stands by his vow to not let any of the other students become murder victims even to the point where he becomes the victim by saving the person who was attempting to kill him.


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