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|“|| There is no greater accomplishment in life than pushing yourself to the limit, always! Isn’t that so? That's all there is to it!
Kiyotaka Ishimaru (石丸 清多夏 Ishimaru Kiyotaka), is a student in Hope's Peak Academy's Class 78th, and a participant of the Killing School Life featured in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. His title is Ultimate Moral Compass (超高校級の「風紀委員」chō kōkō kyū no “fūki iin” Super High School Level Public Morals Committee Member).
Early LifeToranosuke Ishimaru, was once Prime Minister of Japan; a title Kiyotaka believed he gained through his own natural genius rather than any hard work.
After only a few months in office, the public opinion of Toranosuke changed from high praise to widespread criticism due to a disastrous scandal, and he was forced to step down. After that, his business collapsed and the Ishimaru Family was left mistrusted and in huge debts which Kiyotaka has stated “Still have not been paid off, and continue to trouble my family to this day” and “My family is middle-class... No, we are below even that...” His family name shamed, Kiyotaka's grandfather allegedly spent the last years of his life in shamed silence.
Kiyotaka gained a deep resentment for his grandfather and the label of “genius” that was associated with him, though he simultaneously seemed to feel sorry for him and believed that his grandfather's tragedy was an important lesson for him. He swore to restore honor to his family name by gaining his success through hard work rather than natural talent, sacrificing hobbies and most of social interaction for study sessions and good grades. Because of this, his social skills suffered and he didn't have any friends. He was a model student in his middle school, known for participating in its morals committee (disciplinary committee in the original Japanese game). He later attended Kaiseidan High School.
A few years after his grandfather died, he was scouted to attend Hope's Peak Academy under the title Ultimate Mortal Compass as a part of Class 78th. In the school, he became friends with his classmates.
Prior To The TragedyThe Tragedy occurred. During The Tragedy, Jin Kirigiri, the Headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy, planned to seal the school building and let the students live forever inside the Academy in order to protect them from the destruction. The students of Class 78th agreed to his plan, and they sealed the building together. Kiyotaka helped Leon Kuwata in sheltering the windows by slightly struggling to hold up the steel plate while Leon screwed it in. The students lived peacefully inside the school building for a year without knowing that the Ultimate Despair members were already in their midst.
- Main article: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
When Makoto Naegi entered the main hall after waking up in a classroom, Kiyotaka scolded him for being so late and stated he'll report his late arrival to school officials, only dropping it when Junko Enoshima stopped him. Later when Makoto introduced himself, Kiyotaka complimented Makoto's name, and stated that he should live up to it by behaving and acting vigilantly.Monokuma first appeared to make his announcement about the Killing School Life, Kiyotaka assigned himself as a de-facto leader to the students, and organized the morning meeting where the students would meet in the cafeteria to discuss trying to escape the school.
Stamina ContestMakoto was set to judge, only to be chased away and leaving the pair alone for the night.
Becoming "Kiyondo"Class Trial of Chihiro's murder, Kiyotaka became horrified when Mondo was fingered as the culprit by Makoto. He refused to believe it and even came to Mondo's defense. This proved fruitless as Mondo was indeed revealed as the Blackened, and when it came time to vote, he did not vote for Mondo and instead voted for himself. Afterwards, he broke down into tears and wailed in despair over losing his "bro".
The culmination of the second trial traumatized Kiyotaka to a point that he was rendered completely mute and near-catatonic, not responding to anyone.
After he received news about Alter Ego (whom he mistook as Chihiro Fujisaki's spirit) and their discovery from the other remaining students, he immediately went to Makoto's room and asked him to guide him to Alter Ego, since he wanted to apologize to Chihiro for what Mondo had done.
He then became very overprotective of Alter Ego, thinking they were his "bro" Mondo, and because of this he began a sudden bitter rivalry with Hifumi Yamada for the artificial intelligence's attention, which accumulated into Kiyotaka's eventual fate.
Kiyotaka's FateKiyotaka was manipulated into going into the Art Storage Room with a claim of an escape route found in the school by Hifumi, who in turn was manipulated by Celestia Ludenberg, as a part of a murder ploy set up by her. He was bludgeoned in the back of the head by Hifumi with Justice Hammer #4, killing him instantly.
Post-Killing School Life
Makoto's HallucinationCelestia Ludenberg, which then morphs into him bleeding from the head reflecting how he, along with the other deceased members of the 78th Class, had died.
Creation and Development
Kiyotaka was first set up as a hot-blooded exceptional student. His role as a hall monitor came later, but the basic plan stayed the same.
The character designer, Rui Komatsuzaki, was asked to depict him as "enthusiastic to the point of being mad", with black googly round eyes. At first, Kiyotaka's hair was longer and stuck up. In order to highlight his madness, his design was made military-based, and he was given a school uniform and short hair. Slowly, he began to look much more like a soldier.
Since Kiyotaka is a character rich in expression, Komatsuzaki had fun drawing the many face patterns his sprites required, he describes it as:
- "Ishimaru overreacts to everything, but more than anything I tried giving everything I had when drawing his crying expressions."
In an interview with Kazutaka Kodaka, creator and writer of the Danganronpa series, it was stated that they were originally planning to elaborate on Kiyotaka's middle school life but “it looked like it [was] going to turn dark, [so] we stopped”.
Kiyotaka's birthday, August 31, is the last day of summer vacation before the continuation of the school year in Japan, and the beginning of the new school year in many countries around the world - somewhat fitting Kiyotaka's unmatched dedication to his studies.
The kanji for "Kiyotaka" (清多夏) translates into "a myriad pure summers". The kanji for "Ishimaru" (石丸) is composed of the kanji characters 石 ishi - stone, and 丸 maru, which among other things means both "circle" and "perfection". The last name could be meant to reflect Kiyotaka's stern personality, his perfectionism and his strong sense of justice.
In the English localization, he has a shortened version of his name as a nickname: "Taka".
The name “Ishida” (石田), which he takes after “fusing” with Mondo's soul, comes from the first kanji from Kiyotaka's family name (石) and last kanji from Mondo's family name (田).
In the English localization, his name is changed to "Kiyondo" which combines Kiyotaka and Mondo's first names instead of family names without use of any kanji from either names.
|The section below is based on non-localized content only available in Japanese.
As such, this information is based on fan-contributed translation.
In the Danganronpa Visual Fanbook, there is a description of executions for all of the characters who did not have one. Kiyotaka's execution is called Prime Minister Ishimaru Kiyotaka's Inaugural Parade and described as the following:
- "Ishimaru sits on a vehicle and answers people's cheers in the middle of a huge, gorgeous parade. The crowd has posters that say things such as “Hooray for Prime Minister Ishimaru”. In the next moment, Monokuma pops up resembling Golgo 13 and kills him with a shot through the heart."
The Danganronpa 3 box set included a feature detailing an alternate ending of Danganronpa called Danganronpa Another End which ultimately never made it out of the development phase. In this ending, all of the students escape, at the cost of giving up their talent forever. In Kiyotaka's ending, he claims he will become a farmer, and attempt to lead his country from an "agricultural viewpoint".
Kiyotaka also escapes Hope's Peak alive before the Killing Game begins, with the rest of his classmates, in the novel Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc IF.
He wears white uniform with five golden buttons on each sleeve and six on his chest, a red and gold medal on his chest, a red armband with the kanji (風紀 fūki) meaning “Public Morals”, and knee-high black lace-up boots.
The kanji character adorning the lapel of his shirt, 参, actually represents a verb read as 参る mairu which means either "to be defeated", "to be annoyed", "to be madly in love" or "to visit a shrine/grave".
He wears pure white briefs, which were his grandfather's favorite brand as well, branded from a Japanese boy's heart's birthplace of Gunyo. They symbolize cleansing and making a boy into a man.
Befitting of the Ultimate Moral Compass, Kiyotaka is righteous and values order and rules above all else. He takes his role as a student very seriously, shown when he gets upset that there are currently no classes going on during the Killing School Life. He also states he has 10 sets of his uniform so he never runs out and so he is able to wear one every day of the year, even on holidays or days off from school.
Because of his grandfather's tragedy, he considers effort most important and he is a hard worker, believing that one can achieve anything through it. He also considers genius' fate a tragedy and he considers geniuses his enemies, because they don't understand the true value of effort. He also believes that people who are easily provoked to violence are cowards. Described as "enthusiastic to the point of being mad", Kiyotaka believes that your every action must have a purpose and he absolutely hates wasting time.
Fitting his talent, Kiyotaka often takes up and views himself as a leader, as seen when he organizes the morning meeting for the other students. However, he often isn't taken very seriously—due to his extreme dedication to studying and proper conduct, he could not even hold a "normal" conversation with another person, which becomes clear very soon if someone spends free time with him. Furthermore, he is very expressive and intense in his manner of speech, and is almost constantly shouting. Due to his lack of social skills, he often bursts out the first thing that comes to his mind and forces his values and beliefs on others, which he's aware of and feels guilty about. Possibly because of the lack of social interaction in his life, he can also be insensitive toward another at times, as evidenced in the beginning of chapter 2, when he said that Makoto Naegi would not feel too comfortable sleeping in the same room with Sayaka Maizono's corpse.
Nevertheless, Kiyotaka truly cares about his classmates. He is willing to take pragmatic approaches to avoid murder, such as offering to have everyone, starting with himself, reveal their secrets to avoid Monokuma's second incentive and naively thinking during the first trial the killer would raise their hand and reveal themself to avoid said trial.
Though he acts confidently and is quick to take the role of leadership, he suffers from low-self esteem at times and he is quite sensitive, sometimes crying very easily if he is shocked or touched by something. Inside, he wishes he could make friends and have someone to talk to, but he feels that he might be a nuisance to others, as he is stated to overreact to everything. Some of his other weaknesses appear to be his slight naivety and slow-wittedness, as he sometimes figures things out slower than the most other students and tricking him seems to be rather easy.
One of his unique traits is also his belief that "when the body is naked, so is the soul", meaning that showing each other their naked bodies helps two men form a mutual trust. Overall, Kiyotaka values bonds between men, and during his Free Time Event he asks Makoto to bathe with him in an attempt to become closer friends with him.
In the end, the death of his first and best friend, Mondo, renders him in a state of shock and he becomes almost completely speechless and unresponsive. After adopting the personality of Kiyondo, he becomes more aggressive and very protective of Alter Ego, whom he sees as his Bro. He uses more aggressive language, though refuses to use vulgar language (though he does so in the Japanese version). However, he still sees himself as the Ultimate Moral Compass, mentioning himself that he wouldn't perform criminal activities.
Ultimate Moral CompassKilling School Life he doesn't forget his rigorous beliefs about right and wrong. Kiyotaka often takes up the role of a leader, and tries his best to lead his fellow students on the right path, much to their annoyance.
In other languages
Kiyotaka's talent as it appears in official translations of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
|Ultimate Moral Compass|
|超高校級の「風紀委員」||Super High School Level Public Morals Committee Member|
|超高校級的“風紀股長”||Super High School Level Discipline Monitor|
|超高校级的“风纪股长”||Super High School Level Discipline Monitor (DRtA)|
|Ultime Préfet||Ultimate Prefect (DRtA)|
|Super-Flur-Aufseher||Super Hall-Monitor (DRtA)|
|Super Addetto Disciplinare Liceale||Super High School Level Discipline Monitor (DRtA)|
|Supermonitor de Bachillerato||Super Baccalaureate-Monitor (DRtA:Manga)|
Differences Between Talents
In the original Japanese version of the game, Kiyotaka's title is "Super High School Level Public Morals Committee Member" (超高校級の「風紀委員」). The "public morals committee", also known as the "disciplinary committee", is a student committee dedicated to the preservation of a proper learning atmosphere and enforcement of the rules around the school (two duties Kiyotaka is very dedicated to fulfilling) that is commonplace in Japanese high schools. It is apparently characteristic for disciplinary committee members to wear uniform armbands.
Due to the concept of disciplinary committees being relatively obscure in North America and Europe, the official English translation of the game came to translate Kiyotaka's title metaphorically as "Moral Compass".
Kiyotaka considers his grandfather someone he both hates and respects. He is bitter towards him, but also seems to pity him and feels that his grandfather's tragedy taught him an important lesson. Because of this, one of Kiyotaka's main goals in his life is to surpass his grandfather and reach greater accomplishments than anything he ever did, with pure effort rather than "genius".
By the time Kiyotaka attended Hope's Peak Academy, his grandfather had passed away a few years earlier.
Not much is known about Kiyotaka's relationship with his father Takaaki Ishimaru, however he became his "Captive" in Monokuma's first motive, signifying he is the closest person to him.
At the beginning of the Killing School Life, Mondo and Kiyotaka started off with a strong dislike for each other due to conflicting personalities and beliefs. Their relationship remained like that until it came to a head with a "Stamina Contest", where they competed in who could last the longest in a sauna, judged by Makoto. The next day after the competition they suddenly seemed the best of friends, even calling each other "bro" and becoming very physically affectionate.
They became so close that Kiyotaka refused to believe Mondo had murdered Chihiro, and even voted himself the Blackened rather than voting Mondo. After Mondo's execution Kiyotaka was sent into a state of non-responsiveness, and eventually due to his grief Kioytaka took on Mondo's personality, becoming "Kiyondo Ishida" indicating even after death Kiyotaka still felt a deep bond with Mondo.
Many pieces of official art heavily imply that the two were very close during their school years at Hope's Peak as well, with Chihiro often spending time with them.
Kiyotaka didn't have any special interest or relationship with Hifumi until the discovery of Alter Ego, which caused a sudden intense rivalry between himself and Hifumi for the artificial intelligence's attention due Kiyotaka (or as he was calling himself Kiyondo) viewed Alter Ego as his deceased "Bro", Mondo, and Hifumi,who had fallen in love with them. This caused the two of them to clash frequently.
Kiyotaka took it upon himself to apologize to "Chihiro's ghost" (Alter Ego) in lieu of Mondo being executed in the previous trial for Chihiro's murder, indicating while they didn't have any sort of notable relationship, Kiyotaka still saw Chihiro in a friendly light.
Official art implies that he was close with Kiyotaka and Mondo during their school years.
Kiyotaka seems to regard Makoto in a friendly manner, or at least respectfully as a fellow classmate and student. In Kiyotaka's Free Time Events, their relationship deepens when Makoto manages to help Kiyotaka and his social skills with making friends, to which Kiyotaka responds by giving him the title of "Professor", much to Makoto's discomfort. Eventually Kiyotaka comes to call Makoto a friend, and even entrust him with the knowledge of his grandfather, Toranosuke Ishimaru, and why he hates geniuses.
After Alter Ego's discovery, Kiyotaka becomes intensely overprotective over them, to the point he begins a rivalry with Hifumi because he views Alter Ego as his deceased "Bro", Mondo.
This section contains SPOILERS . It has been hidden from view to protect users from spoiling themselves. Expand at your own risk.
| Kiyotka berates Nagito for being late, but apologizes when Nagito informed him he was taken hostage. Nagito states that Kiyotaka's talent is spectacular. Kiyotaka mentions they do not mesh well and can't have a proper conversation.|
- Main article, including full dialogue: Free Time Events/Kiyotaka Ishimaru
During Free Time, Makoto can choose to talk to Kiyotaka in order to learn more about him. If he gives Kiyotaka a present that he likes, and chooses the correct response during their conversation, their friendship level will increase and Kiyotaka will disclose something about himself. Each successful Free Time conversation adds a page to Kiyotaka's Report Card in the e-Handbook menu, and grants either a skill that will give Makoto an advantage during class trial battles, or an increase in Skill Points.
|Most Effective Conversation Prompts|
|Relating to your friends||Seriously, just for fun||Actually, it IS studying|
|But it's a raincoat||But it's a makeshift hardhat||But it's a flashlight|
|Preferred MonoMono Machine Presents:|
Becoming friends with students grants Makoto special skills which can aid him during Class Trials. Becoming close with Hifumi grants the following skills:
|Attentive Influence||Increases your Maximum Influence by 2. Effective during the Class Trial.||2 SP|
|Steel Patience||educes damage to the Influence Gauge when you miss. Effective during the Nonstop Debate, the Hangman's Gambit, the Bullet Time Battle, and the Closing Argument.||3 SP|
Dorm Roomdorm room during Free Time events. The most prominent items in Kiyotaka's room are his collection of dictionaries and reference books. On his walls are pieces of calligraphy and a pi chart. He has an ironing board set up, as Kiyotaka likes to iron his uniform every day. He also has a practice Kendo sword.
- “A student must be studying professional!”
- “It's my duty to foster an environment in which we can all focus our studies!”
- “If you want to learn about the past, crack open a history book!”
- “It's not geniuses that change the world. It's ordinary people who make every effort they can. And to prove that, I have to keep on making effort after effort after effort!”
- “Don't call me a genius! Don't lump me in with those lazy clods who don't put in any effort!”
- “You and me, we're just normal people. We know what it means to have to make an effort.” (to Makoto Naegi)
- “I want to create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to give it everything they've got. That's why I put all my blood, sweat, and tears into creating that kind of environment.”
- “I have to become the ordinary man who can surpass any genius!”
- “I have to try, no matter the situation. Even without classes, without assignments...”
- “Let's work together as fellow ordinary people to show those geniuses who's boss!”
- “Let's stack our effort one on top of other and show those self-centered genius jerks what for!”
- “Relying on my own effort, I will reach greater accomplishments than anything my grandfather ever did! So we have to work hard to build a society where those who put in the most effort are properly rewarded!”
- “I hope we can stay close, and combine our efforts to shape our efforts to shape things the way we want!” (to Makoto)
List of Appearances
- Kiyotaka's former high school, Kaiseidan High School (開成灘高校), is a reference to two real-world schools that are two of Japan's top academic schools: 開成高校 (Kaisei Koukou) and 灘高校 (Nada Koukou). The Kanji 開成 (Kaisei) and 灘 (Nada) are combined to make 開成灘 (Kaiseidan).
- In School Mode it's revealed that:
- Kiyotaka never played video games or watched TV as a student because he would spend all his time studying.
- Kiyotaka is interested in kendoka. He has a practice sword in his room and he is seen using one in an official art piece.
- Kiyotaka was voted the third most popular character in the Japanese fandom.
- Kiyotaka's English voice actor Sean Chiplock is also the voice of Monotaro in the English version of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.