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Danganronpa (ダンガンロンパ Dangan Ronpa in the original Japanese) is a Japanese video game franchise developed and published by Spike Chunsoft and localised by NIS America. The series currently consists for 3 main titles and 1 major spin-off adventure game. The franchise also includes several anime, manga, mobile game, and light novel spin-offs based off the Danganronpa universe and characters.

Premise

The series revolves around an exclusive, government-funded high school called Hope's Peak Academy (希望ヶ峰学園, Kibogamine Academy) which, every year, selects "Ultimate" students (超高校級, Super High School Level) who are at the top of their field, and one average "Ultimate Lucky Student" who is chosen by lottery. However, when average student Makoto Naegi arrives at the school, he loses consciousness, and when he wakes up discovers that he and his 14 classmates have been trapped within the school. Headmaster Monokuma, a sadistic robot bear, informs the students that they will be forced to live within the school forever, with only one way to leave: murdering another student and getting away with it.

When a crime scene is discovered, a Class Trial is held, in which the remaining students must decide amongst themselves who the murderer is. If the students successfully discover the murderer, the culprit will be executed, and the killing game continues. However, if they guess incorrectly, the culprit will be able to leave the school but the other students will be executed.

Gameplay

The main Danganronpa visual novel games are split into three play styles: Daily Life, Investigation, and Class Trial.

  • During School Life the player explores the school grounds, builds relationships with students, and investigates the mystery of the students' captivity. Monocoins collected throughout this free-roam mode can be spent on presents at the MonoMono Machine, which can be given to other students to increase their friendship with the protagonist. Becoming friends with another student will grant the protagonist special skills which can be used during Class Trial mode.
  • During Investigation the player searches for evidence relating to a murder.
  • During Class Trial the students try to solve the murder by discussing the evidence they have. The player plays several different mini-games to progress the trial. The most common mini-game, Non-Stop Debate, involves the player trying to refute the students' statements using Truth Bullets based on the evidence they collected during the Investigation mode.

Unlike the series' main titles, Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, is a third-person adventure game in which the player controls Komaru Naegi and Toko Fukawa. Komaru has a Megaphone Hacking Gun with which to attack enemies, but which can also control enemies, activate machinery, and scan the environment for clues. Toko can use a stun gun to temporarily turn herself into Genocide Jack, who can attack enemies with scissors. Skills can be unlocked and equipped which make it easier to defeat enemies.

Development

The series originally began as an unpublished beta called DISTRUST, written by Kazutaka Kodaka, produced by Yoshinori Terasawa and with art by Rui Komatsuzaki. The game was inspired by movies such as Saw and Cube,[1] and the Sega Dreamcast game Illbleed.[2] The series' name, Danganronpa, is compounded from the words "bullet" (弾丸 dangan) and "refutation" (論破 ronpa), as the game blends shooting (with Truth Bullets) and crime investigation. Because visual novels were becoming less popular at the time, and because the PSP had a very small, competitive market, it was necessary to develop unique elements and combine genres which would not normally mix in order to make the game stand out.[1]

While DISTRUST included more grotesque executions and realistic red blood, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, the game developed based on the concept of DISTRUST, uses a more distinct pop-art style with unrealistic, fluorescent pink blood and horror which is more psychological and toned-down. The change was made in order that the audience did not focus on the grotesqueness of the situation, and instead could focus on the relationships and personalities of characters[1] and the psychological impact of the scenario. This change also meant that the game's age rating could be lowered,[1] widening it's audience. Hiring Nobuyo Ōyama as the voice actress for Monokuma was huge turning point in the game's development, and it led to an all-time high in hits on the game's development website.[3] Monokuma was her first voice acting role after retiring as the voice of Doraemon after 27 years. Hiring a voice cast that were very well known from popular anime series led to a lot of fan interest outside of people who would usually be interested in a game like Danganronpa, which was the development team's goal.[3]

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc ultimately earned an aggregate review score of 83/100 on Metacritic, which opened the door to sequels and an anime adaptation. The success has lead to the games being localised in multiple languages and published in many countries worldwide.

Games

Main Series Games


Hope's Peak Academy Saga
Cover Name Release Date
Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc Box Art NISA PS Vita (2014) Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生
PSP: 日本語 November 25, 2010
PS Vita: 日本語 October 10, 2013
‪中文(台灣)‬ January 13, 2014
中文 January 16, 2014
English February 11, 2014
Flag of Europe February 11, 2014
Steam: WW: February 18, 2016
Danganronpa 2 Goodbye Despair Box Art NISA PS Vita (2014) Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園
PSP: 日本語July 26, 2012
PS Vita: 日本語 October 10, 2013
‪中文(台灣)‬ April 24, 2014
English September 2, 2014
Flag of Europe September 5, 2014
Steam: WW: April 18, 2016
Reloadcover Danganronpa 1.2 Reload
ダンガンロンパ1・2 Reload
PS Vita: 日本語 October 10, 2013
PS4: English March 14, 2017
Flag of Europe March 17, 2017
日本語 May 18, 2017
Steam: WW: June 6, 2016
Ultimate Academy for Gifted Juveniles Saga
Cover Name Release Date
Danganronpa V3 Killing Harmony Box art Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
NEWダンガンロンパV3 みんなのコロシアイ新学期
PS4: 日本語January 12, 2017
English September 26, 2017
Flag of Europe September 29, 2017

en-AU October 9, 2017
PS Vita: 日本語January 12, 2017
English September 26, 2017
Flag of Europe September 29, 2017

en-AU October 9, 2017
Steam: WW: September 26, 2017

Side Games


Cover Name Release Date
Another Episode Ultra Despair Girls english box art Danganronpa Another Episode:
Ultra Despair Girls

絶対絶望少女 ダンガンロンパ Another Episode
PS Vita: 日本語 September 25, 2014
中文 July 24, 2015
English September 1, 2015
Flag of Europe September 4, 2015
en-AU September 10, 2015
한국어 December 3, 2015
Steam: WW: Summer 2017
PS4: English June 27, 2017
Flag of Europe June 23, 2017
日本語 Summer 2017

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is a midquel, set between Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. Unlike the games in the main series, Ultra Despair Girls is a third-person action-adventure game, with a battle system. It has a much greater focus on exploration and world-building collectibles.

Other Games


iOS/Android Games
AlterEgoAppFeature1 Rocket game Dr12game
Alter Ego Monokuma Strikes Back Unlimited Battle
Kirigiri Sou Title Screen Vr2
Kirigiri Sou Cyber Danganronpa VR
Sound Novel VR Demo

Anime

Danganronpa's anime series are animated by Lerche, and licensed by FUNimation in North America and Manga Entertainment in Europe. They are available with Japanese, English, and German voice acting. Nagito Komaeda and the Destroyer of the World is a one-episode OVA included with the special edition version of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony and as such is currently only available in Japanese.

Monokuma and Makoto DVD cover vol 1 DR3 Blue Ray Box 002 Danganronpa 2.5 OVA Resize
Danganronpa:
Trigger Happy Havoc
The Animation
Danganronpa 3:
The End of Hope's
Peak Academy
Super Danganronpa 2.5:
Nagito Komaeda and the
Destroyer of the World
July 4 - Sept 26, 2013 July 11 - Sept 29, 2016 January 12, 2017

Novels and Short Stories

DR Kirigiri 1 DR Togami Coer DR0 Pic2 Danganronpa Trigger Happy Panic IF Resize Makoto Naegi worst day cover
Danganronpa:
Kirigiri
Danganronpa:
Togami
Danganronpa/
Zero
Danganronpa:
Trigger Happy Panic IF
Makoto Naegi's
Worst Day Ever
Ultra Despair Hagakure Resize Dangan Beautiful
Ultra Despair Hagakure Danganronpa:
1・2 Beautiful Days

Manga

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc

Monokuma high class volume 4 Danganronpa the Animation Manga Cover 1 4koma DG1 vol 1
Danganronpa:
The Manga
Danganronpa:
The Animation
Trigger Happy Havoc
4koma KINGS

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair

Cover1-0 Super Dangan Ronpa 2 Comic Anthology vol. 4 Artist bunko Nagito Komaeda DR2 manga Volume1POVchiaki Cover volume 2
Sayonara Zetsubō
Gakuen
Sayonara Zetsubō
Gakuen Comic
Anthology
Komaeda Nagito no
Koūn to Kibō
to Zetsubō
Nanami Chiaki no
Sayonara Zetsubō
Daibōken
Nankoku Zetsubō
Carnival!
Coverkokoronpa 4koma DG 2 vol 3
Dangan Island
Kokoro Tokonatsu
Kokoronpa
Sayonara Zetsubō
Gakuen: 4-Koma
KINGS

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls

Cover for DR AE Anthology Despair Girls Manga Resize Zettai Zetsubou Shoujo Danganronpa Another Episode - Genocider Mode first cover page
Zettai Zetsubō Shōjo:
Danganronpa
Another Episode:
Comic Anthology
Zettai Zetsubō Shōjo:
Danganronpa
Another Episode:
The Manga
Zettai Zetsubō Shōjo:
Danganronpa
Another Episode:
Genocider Mode

Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School

DR3 manga
DR3: Side: Future
and Side: Despair
Comic Anthology

Other

Killer killer cover 1 Small Danganronpa 1.2 Light Cover
Danganronpa Gaiden:
Killer Killer
Small Danganronpa
1・2 Light

Franchise Development Books

Danganronpa Kodaka New Danganronpa V3 Everyone's New Semester of Killing Official Material Settings Art Book
Danganronpa Kodaka ~ 860 days for "Danganronpa" New Danganronpa V3: Everyone's New Semester of Killing Material Settings Art Book

Games Consoles

Sony released three themed PlayStation games consoles as part of promotion for the release of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. They were released exclusively in Japan on January 12, 2017.

DRV3 PS4 Console Danganronpa Vita Console White Danganronpa Vita Console Black
PlayStation® 4 ×
Danganronpa V3:
Killing Harmony
PlayStation® Vita ×
Danganronpa V3:
Killing Harmony (White)
PlayStation® Vita ×
Danganronpa V3:
Killing Harmony (Black)

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Gamasutra: Dangan Ronpa: Death, stress, and standing out from the crowd
  2. 小高和剛 on Twitter: "The Story of DanganRonpa is affected by "ILLBLEED" Dreamcast game. That was the game that was crazy. I love the game that is crazy."
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dengeki Online: 最大のプロモーションは大山のぶ代を起用したこと