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Kazutaka Kodaka stated in an interview with Kotaku that the terms "kuro" and "shiro" (black and white, respectively) are used when discussing who is guilty or innocent in a murder mystery. This may be where the term "Blackened" in reffering to the guilty student comes from.
Danganronpa and Danganronpa 2
The Blackened are students, who ,either voluntarily or involuntarily, commit a murder as as part of the Killing School Life/Trip. During the Class Trial, they oppose all the other students who are known as the Spotless students. If they are found guilty, they are executed by Monokuma, but if the students make the wrong choice, then everyone except the Blackened will be executed, and the killer will be allowed to leave, if not, then the Killing School Life/Trip will continue as normal. There is no defense of self-defense allowed.
In Chapter 4 of Danganronpa, it was shown that if a student commits suicide, in this case Sakura Ogami, they are both the Blackened and the victim at the same time, however they will not be executed due to them already being dead. Nagito Komaeda asked about this in Chapter 3 of Danganronpa 2, to which Monokuma said that they would have to vote for the killer.
Although this usually fair, during Chapter 5 of Danganronpa, the Blackened was not the actual killer, due to the Mastermind, attempting to get Kyoko Kirigiri executed, due to her being an interference, even though she was not the killer in reality.
Although usually only the killer is executed, there are some exceptions to this rule. In Chapter 4 of Danganronpa, Alter Ego was executed instead of the Blackened, who was already deceased, due to him being an interference. In Chapter 5 of Danganronpa 2, Monokuma executed Monomi, along with Chiaki Nanami, the Blackened of the case, partially due to Monomi attempting to stop Monokuma's plans, and partially because she was a member of the Future Foundation, Monokuma's enemy. However, Monokuma can only add people to an execution if they are not a student. He says he could have killed Monomi at any time because she isn't a student, and was forced to heal Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu when he was hurt in an execution, because he is a student.
List of Blackened
List of Blackened in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
- Leon Kuwata (Chapter 1)
- Mondo Owada (Chapter 2)
- Celestia Ludenberg (Chapter 3)
- Sakura Ogami (Chapter 4, via suicide)
- Kyoko Kirigiri (Chapter 5, Bad End, false Blackened)
- Makoto Naegi (Chapter 5, True End, false Blackened)