|Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School||Side: Future||Side: Despair||Side: Hope||Gallery|
The Academy of Hope and Students of Despair, (希望の学園と絶望の高校生, Kibō no Gakuen to Zetsubō no Kōkōsei) Side: Hope is a special episode of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School. It is the twenty-fourth and final episode of the series, and was released on September 29, 2016.
Makoto Naegi and the other survivors head out to stop Ryota Mitarai, receiving help from some unexpected allies along the way. Memories are remembered, and feelings are felt as the final battle between hope and despair comes to an eventful conclusion.
The 24-minute special begins with various clips of the situation following the Final Killing Game: Future Foundation's Former Super High School Level Elite Task Force drops in from the sky, Ryota Mitarai prepares to broadcast his Hope Video to everyone in the world, and a ship is docked on a port near the ruins of the Future Foundation's headquarters.
In the underwater facility where the Killing Game took place, Hajime Hinata (whose consciousness is shared with that of Izuru Kamukura), regards the corpse of Chisa Yukizome, saying that he has finally found something important to him (echoing the words of Chiaki Nanami, who said that it was not important whether or not he had a talent because that was not the goal). He then clarifies that he does not hate who he is now; the incredible powers he gained from the ill-fated Hope Cultivation project may have allowed him to do terrible things, but they were also how he restored the Ultimate Despairs.
Inside the institution, Byakuya Togami, Yasuhiro Hagakure, and Aoi Asahina have taken cover in a room guarded by Byakuya's bodyguards. As he tends to Hina's wounded leg, Hiro cheerfully tells her how Byakuya got buried under rubble when the Foundation building collapsed. Hina worriedly asks what happened to Makoto; Byakuya responds by reassuring her, telling Hina that he sent half of his men to escort Makoto.
Outside, amid a building rainstorm, Makoto and Byakuya's men run towards the broadcasting tower, only to be greeted by brainwashed Future Foundation soldiers who start rapidly shooting in their direction. This causes the group to take cover for a while until someone comes in and kicks a pebble, which then causes bigger and bigger rocks to fall down, crushing the brainwashed men. This is revealed to be Nagito Komaeda, who smiles and waves with a mechanical hand, saying that he and his classmates were back.
One of Byakuya's men report to Byakuya himself, saying that some of the enemy squads were strangely defeated, details unclear. Byakuya mentions that this must be Class 77-B's doing, and adding that they were the same ones who saved him earlier on. Byakuya then acknowledges Izuru's power, amazed at how he was able to restore the Remnants of Despair from the condition they were in following the Killing School Trip in the Neo World Program.
Elsewhere, Kyosuke Munakata slashes his way through a bunch of brainwashed soldiers, only to be interrupted when the Ultimate Imposter shows up as Kyosuke, defeating the remaining men. Recognizing a Remnant of Despair, Kyosuke questions his imitator, asking what he was after. The Ultimate Imposter replies by saying, "Atonement."
Peko Pekoyama appears, seen in battle outside with a Future Foundation Former Super High School Level Elite Task Force member, whom she defeats easily. Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu compliments her, saying that her bamboo sword truly suited her, and she agreed. Gundham Tanaka had been in a battle of his own, fighting another Super High School Level Elite Task Force member, in which he had grabbed the chance to veer his opponent's hawk to his advantage, telling the man to "cower as he passed into slumber". Inside, Nekomaru Nidai is found to be wrestling a robot, until Kazuichi Soda shows up, sending a bunch of "Mini-Mechamaru's" to explode the bigger robot to hopefully impress Sonia Nevermind. He quickly turns depressed, saying that it was obvious that she didn't, but he is cheered up when she tells him that she was indeed impressed. In another hallway, Akane Owari and Teruteru Hanamura team up to fight another SHSL Elite Task Force member, in which he is defeated due to the unstoppable combination of a hungry and meat-loving Akane being fed top quality yakiniku.
Hiyoko Saionji, on another note, was being towered over by another Super High School Level Elite Task Force member, who was defeated by Mikan Tsumiki coming up from behind. Hiyoko said that it took Mikan "long enough", but proceeded to thank her for saving her life. The shy nurse started crying tears of joy, happy to have heard that from the person who hated her the most. In the center of the building, Ibuki Mioda plays her song "Let my Feelings Reach You, Too" deafening many of the soldiers arrayed against her. A remaining sniper is left, aiming for her head, but is stopped by Mahiru Koizumi, who flashes her camera at the sniper and knocks off her headphones, deafening her, too. Finally, Hajime is seen walking towards a team of SHSL Elite Task Force members, and the Izuru part of him tells him to stand aside for a while, resulting in the defeat of their enemy.
Hajime then proceeds to head inside the broadcasting tower, shocking Ryota. He defiantly insists that he won't run away anymore; having had enough of suffering, he was poised to wipe out despair entirely. Hajime comments on how boring that would be, not feeling sadness or pain in times when loved ones were lost. He continues to question the animator: "Is that really your idea of hope?" Mitarai bursts out, saying that no one as strong as Izuru would understand, and he, along with the others, were all weak. But then comes in the restored Class 77-B, standing behind Hajime. Hajime then tells Ryota that he wasn't strong either and that he had so many regrets. He asked Ryota if he had any regrets as well. The animator gripped his phone tighter, saying that he did, in fact, have regrets, explaining to his class that he was the reason Junko Enoshima made the Despair Video, and because of that, many deaths took place and continued to happen. He continues, crying out that everyone could have a normal school life if it wasn't for his doing. Hajime/Izuru then asked if that was the reason Mitarai wanted to erase despair. He added, "Don't run away." Ryota remains sobbing, asking if they were all okay with what he had done, and the results of it.
Hajime says that was the history the Remnants of Despair would want to erase, but they couldn't just act like Chiaki Nanami never existed. Nekomaru says that because they survived, they must atone. Gundham carried on, saying that was the fate for those who lived. Ryota starts shaking at this point, asking if anyone would forgive the deeds that despair made them do. Sonia answered by telling that the atonement was not for forgiveness. The Ultimate Imposter tells Ryota that he made a mistake and that everyone made mistakes. Ryota insists that he wasn't like them- that he was never like them because he was always alone. Hajime invites Ryota to join them, telling him that they would be with him. Everyone is in favor of this, but Mitarai protests that he did not deserve to do so. With a smile, Hajime tells him that his worth had nothing to do with being classmates with someone. Mitarai continues crying, canceling the broadcast of the Hope Video with mere minutes to spare. He then breaks down completely, sobbing. Being able to hear everything, Makoto walks away smiling, knowing his job was done.
Makoto watches everyone exit the building, sun shining brightly outside. He earns a nod of assurance from Hajime, followed by Mikan trying to say something. Before long, Nagito pushes her away, causing her to fall off the cliff, making the rest of the class run after her worriedly. Nagito excitedly tells Makoto that Makoto's luck is greater than his own, and that he was just so lucky to have Makoto as his underclassman. It was not long until the much-too-thrilled Nagito was lifted up by Akane and Nekomaru, who took him away to avoid any more conversation. Hiyoko and Mahiru comment on how strange their classmate was before walking away with the group.
Makoto's friends welcome him back cheerily as Makoto himself asks if they are okay. Byakuya tells Makoto that they should be asking him that, and not the other way around. Makoto laughs this off until he notices Byakuya's device and asks him what was on it. The three gather around Byakuya, who says that it was something that was broadcast to the Future Foundation. It was a short clip of Hajime narrating how boring a world of hope would be, and together with the other Remnants of Despair, they would dye the world in more horror and sorrow. The small group is confused, not sure what that was for. Byakuya stated that the Remnants had done this to make it seem like they were responsible for the recent events; in this way, no one would know that the chairman of the Future Foundation had attempted to destroy his own group and force hope on the world. Byakuya explains that Makoto's infectious hope allowed the Remnants to create the video for them.
Happily eating yakiniku on a ship, the restored Class 77-B happily celebrated together. A spirit of Chiaki Nanami visits Hajime, explaining that an AI was put into the New World Program to monitor him, which was her. She stated that at first, it was supposed to create a monitor by reading their memories and creating a personality from them, but there had been no need to do so. Everyone had the same image in mind because they all wanted to see someone again; the Ultimate Gamer whose death had thrown them all into despair. Chiaki proceeds to say that they all won this miracle together, and Hajime agrees that an ending like that wasn't so bad. Chiaki then smiles and tells him that they will all create a future together. Komaeda calls out to Hajime, saying that the food would disappear if he didn't hurry up. Hajime smiled and nodded, running back to his friends as the spirit of Chiaki disappeared.
Hiro and Hina wave goodbye to the departing ship, and Kyosuke asks Makoto if he was really in a position to worry about others. Munakata told him that he would become a hero, because the world needed a hero who had fought the Remnants of Despair. Makoto replies and says that since Class 77-B carried the burden of being despair, he would have to carry the burden of hope. Kyosuke asks him if he knew what he needed to do, and Makoto responded by saying that he got the gist of it. Munakata walks away, thinking about his own burden to carry, while a flashback of him, Juzo Sakakura, and Chisa appears, featuring their graduation from Hope's Peak Academy. Makoto narrates that they have always been heading toward a cloudy sky in which hope and despair are mixed, but they would all take one step at a time forward, thinking about the people they love. They would all look up at the sky and hope tomorrow would be a better day.
Back on the ship, Mahiru asks Mikan what she has in her hand. Mikan explains that this bottle of medicine would slow the wristband's poison. Komaeda comments that it was Seiko Kimura's medicine, and commended Seiko for making a drug that could lead to hope despite being in the midst of a killing game. Mikan further explained that when she found the person who used it, she revived them.
Several months later, a new Hope's Peak Academy is built amidst a field of what seemed to be daisies. Komaru, Toko, Hina, Byakuya, and Hiro are seen all helping in the construction of it. The scene shifts to Makoto, who is busy sitting in a classroom, pondering. Kyoko Kirigiri - revealed to have survived her apparent death due to Kimura's medicine - calls to him, saying that everyone is waiting for him. Thus comes a close to the story of Hope's Peak Academy, with all the tales of its despair and the hope that overcame it.
The following are in order of appearance:
- Ryota Mitarai
- Hajime Hinata/Izuru Kamukura
- Chisa Yukizome (Flashback)
- Chiaki Nanami (Flashback)
- Makoto Naegi
- Aoi Asahina
- Yasuhiro Hagakure
- Byakuya Togami
- Nagito Komaeda
- Kyosuke Munakata
- Ultimate Imposter (As Kyosuke, Ryota and Byakuya)
- Peko Pekoyama
- Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu
- Gundham Tanaka
- Nekomaru Nidai
- Kazuichi Soda
- Sonia Nevermind
- Akane Owari
- Teruteru Hanamura
- Hiyoko Saionji
- Mikan Tsumiki
- Ibuki Mioda
- Mahiru Koizumi
- Junko Enoshima (Mentioned)
- Chiaki Nanami (AI)
- Kyoko Kirigiri
- Seiko Kimura (Mentioned)
- Toko Fukawa
- Komaru Naegi
- The title of the only episode present in Side: Hope is the exact same as the subtitle for the Japanese version of the first game.
- At the end of the English dub of the episode, Kyoko originally said "Yeah, I don't get this either. Pretty sure I died.", referencing her NG Code "death" in the ninth episode of Side/Future. FUNimation later confirmed this was an outtake that had accidentally managed to find its way into the episode.