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Welcome to Despair Academy: #01 Prologue is the first episode of Danganronpa: The Animation. It first aired on July 4, 2013.

Summary

Makoto Naegi, a normal high school student, wins the opportunity to attend a highly prestigious high school in a country-wide lottery. Things take a turn for the worse, however, when Makoto and his 14 classmates learn that they have been sealed into the school and will be trapped there for the rest of their lives by a sadistic black and white bear named Monokuma. The only way to escape is to murder a fellow classmate and get away with it.

Plot

In a flashback an unknown man (later revealed to be Jin Kirigiri) was tied to a chair. Monokuma, watching from a distance, pressed a button which forcds the man's chair into a Monokuma-shaped iron maiden-style rocket ship. After Monokuma pressed a button, the rocket ship shot the rocket through the roof of the building and up into space. It then fell back to earth at high velocity, turning red hot as it did so. When the rocket crash landed and the doors opened, all that remained of the man in the rocket was a skeleton. This caused Monokuma to laugh hysterically.

In the present day we meet Makoto Naegi, an average student who was the winner of a Japan-wide lottery to attend the prestigious Hope's Peak High School - a school normally reserved only for students who are the top in their field. With trepidation, Makoto took his first steps into the school building, only for the world to begin to warp before his eyes.

Makoto later woke up in an empty classroom after falling unconscious. He finds a brochure for the school on the teacher's desk, where he finds a note instructing him to gather in the school's gym at 8 o'clock for the entrance ceremony. After realising it's already 8 o'clock, Makoto cautiously left the classroom for the gym, where he meets his 14 classmates.

In turn Makoto meets Yasuhiro Hagakure (Ultimate Clairvoyant), Hifumi Yamada (Ultimate Fanfic Creator), Kiyotaka Ishimaru, (Ultimate Moral Compass), Junko Enoshima (Ultimate Fashionista), Chihiro Fujisaki (Ultimate Programmer), Celestia Ludenberg (Ultimate Gambler). Mondo Owada (Ultimate Biker Gang Leader), Leon Kuwata (Ultimate Baseball Star), Aoi Asahina (Ultimate Swimming Pro), Sakura Ogami (Ultimate Martial Artist), Toko Fukawa (Ultimate Writing Prodigy), Byakuya Togami (Ultimate Affluent Progeny), Kyoko Kirigiri (Ultimate ???). The final student Makoto meets, Sayaka Maizono (Ultimate Pop Sensation), recognizes Makoto because the two of them attended the same junior high school. Makoto was surprised someone as popular as Sayaka would remember someone as average as him, and Sayaka pretended to be offended as a joke, breaking the ice.

A voice began speaking over the school tannoy, and suddenly a black and white bear appeared on the podium on the stage. He introduces himself as Monokuma, the school's headmaster. Monokuma states: "Overflowin' with potential, you high schoolers...are none other than the hope of the world! In order to protect our wonderful rays of hope, yer expected to live here on campus and nowhere else! (...) In other words, yer gonna spend the rest of yer lives in here! (...) For those of you who wanna leave I've established a certain rule! You are free to murder however you like. The only student permitted to leave is one who has committed murder. It's a simple rule, and the only one. Beat! Stab! Club! Slice open! Torch! Crush! Strangle! Cast a curse!"

The students are understandibly confused and shocked by this revelation and began shouting at Monokuma for an explanation. Mondo, furious, threatened Monokuma and grabbed him by the throat. Monokuma began to flail, telling Mondo that violence against the headmaster is against school rules. This violation of school rules prompts Monokuma to explode, which would have killed Mondo had he not thrown Monokuma away at Kyoko's instruction. Seconds later, another Monokuma appeared from behind the podium and told the students that if any more rules are broken, they would be punished. He dismisses them and quickly disappears behind the podium. The students are left questioning whether they really did have to kill each other, and whether they can trust this group of strangers. The students broke off into groups to try and find a way to escape, although none of them were successful. Byakuya announced that he would be searching alone in case anyone tried to kill him. This selfishness infuriated Mondo and he squared up to fight Byakuya. Makoto tried to intervene, but instead Mondo punched Makoto for telling him what to do. Makoto was knocked unconscious.

Makoto woke in what he learned is his new dorm room with Sayaka by his side. She explained that she had carried him to his room after he was knocked out, and that she had volunteered to stay with him after everyone else went to look for an escape. Sayaka insisted that she would be his assistant from now on as they work to find a way out, and Makoto agreed.

The pair joined the rest of the students at a meeting of the students in the cafeteria. Mondo and Makoto forgive one another. The students shared what each group learned during their investigations: The futuristic exit door were sealed tightly closed and could be forced open, the stairways were sealed with iron bars, each student had their own comfortable bedroom, and that the kitchen was fully stocked and would be refilled daily with no risk of starvation. Celestia proposes that everyone stays in their room after 10pm for safety.

The next day, at a second student meeting, Monokuma gatecrashed and reveals his first motive: a DVD for each of the students that he has left for them in the A/V Room. The students go to the room full of monitors and found a labeled DVD for each of them. Makoto took his DVD and watches it, finding a scene of his His sister, mother, and father congratulating Makoto and wishing him well at his new school, sitting in Makoto's home. Suddenly the scene in the video shifted to another shot of the same room, but the room is destroyed and his family are nowhere to be seen. Horrified, Makoto looked to his other students, finding Sayaka in a state of severe shock at what she had seen on her own DVD. Sayaka becan screaming and flees the room, pursued by Makoto. He finally caught her in the hallway, and Makoto reassured her that if they all work together they will all be able to escape, promising her than he will do anything to get her out. Sayaka threw herself into Makoto's arms and wailed while the other students watched on.

Appearances

Main Characters

Aoi Asahina VA ID
Byakuya Togami VA ID
Celestia Ludenberg VA ID
Chihiro Fujisaki VA ID
Hifumi Yamada VA ID
Mukuro Ikusaba Disguised VA ID
Aoi
Asahina
Byakuya
Togami
Celestia
Ludenberg
Chihiro
Fujisaki
Hifumi
Yamada
Junko
Enoshima
Kiyotaka Ishimaru VA ID
Kyoko Kirigiri VA ID
Leon Kuwata VA ID
Makoto Naegi VA ID
Mondo Owada VA ID
Monokuma VA ID
Kiyotaka
Ishimaru
Kyoko
Kirigiri
Leon
Kuwata
Makoto
Naegi
Mondo
Owada
Monokuma
Sakura Ogami VA ID
Sayaka Maizono VA ID
Toko Fukawa VA ID
Yasuhiro Hagakure VA ID
Sakura
Ogami
Sayaka
Maizono
Toko
Fukawa
Yasuhiro
Hagakure

Minor Characters

Jin Kirigiri Zero ID
Komaru Naegi VA ID
Naegi Father VA ID
Naegi Mother VA ID
Jin Kirigiri Komaru Naegi Makoto's father Makoto's mother