|“||I never erase a photo once I take it. That's my policy. No matter what kind of photo it is, the moment captured in it only exists at that time.||”|
–Mahiru Koizumi, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Mahiru's title is Ultimate Photographer (超高校級の「写真家」chō kōkō kyū no “shashinka”; lit. Super High School Level Photographer).
Mahiru returns in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak Academy as a student enrolled in Hope's Peak Academy's Class 77-B with the other Remnants of Despair. Mahiru succumbed to despair along with her classmates after being brainwashed by Junko Enoshima and became a part of Ultimate Despair.
Mahiru appears in the 30-minutes long OVA, Super Danganronpa 2.5: Nagito Komaeda and the Destroyer of the World as a part of Nagito Komaeda's imagination world.
At the end of Danganronpa 3, Mahiru and the other members of Ultimate Despair were cured by Hajime Hinata and awake from the Neo World Program. She and the other former members of Ultimate Despair set off to the Future Foundation's off-shore faculty to prevent Ryota Mitarai from using the hope brainwashing video. Mahiru and her classmates decided to atone for their sins as the former members of Ultimate Despair.
Mahiru is a young woman in her early twenties, around 22 at youngest. Her virtual avatar in the Neo World Program appeared as her 17 year old self.She has dark red hair in a bobbed cut, green eyes, and a pale face with light freckles across her cheeks.
Mahiru's outfit consists of an olive-green school jumper with a plaid white-and-orange tie, which she knots around the collar of her uniform shirt. She wears dark green knee-high socks, and her shoes are a dark shade of forest green. Directly below the opening of the socks, there is a small orange symbol.
During her time at Hope's Peak Academy, she wore the standard uniform with black knee length socks and the same shoes.
Mahiru is an optimistic and sensible girl who is generally rather calm and unafraid to speak her mind. She initially comes off as confident, but is later revealed to have self-esteem issues. Mahiru compares her photographs to those of her mother, a famous war photographer whose career led her to be absent from home for much of Mahiru's life. Her father was a very poor parent, leaving the responsibility of the housework entirely to her. When Hajime Hinata was being scolded by Mahiru, he likened it to being yelled at by his mom.
Mahiru has high expectations of men and is quick to be abrasive towards them. She is much more tolerant and friendly to girls. The subjects of her photos are usually of girls and explains that she easily gets bored of photographing guys. She loves taking photos of people's smiles, and it's revealed in her FTE that she recorded everything in the island so that they won't forget, except for the guys which she only recorded once every three days. Despite her love for photography, Mahiru believes her title is stupid compared to her classmates. She has been shown to dislike selfies.
Mahiru wants to help as many people as she can, but it'd be a mistake to call her a pushover. She doesn't hesitate to scold those who are rude to her and is also really good at taking care of people although never failing to complain about it. Mahiru is introduced as people-hater who lack manners, though she later develops a very close friendship with Hiyoko Saionji.
Because Mahiru is a reliable person who thinks of her friends and is prone to taking care of people, she has many friends outside of her own class as well.
Skills and Abilities
From the young age, Mahiru inspired to become a photographer just like her mother who was a famous war photographer. Despite being young, she has won numerous photographer awards and being famous for her skill at taking pictures of people.
Even though specialized in any photography category, Mahiru's most favorite picture object is taking picture of smiling people. She could take a perfect shot of someone's smiles and according to Hajime, he never saw someone smiles so bright and heartwarming until he saw Mahiru's photos. But still, she always shows her dislikeness towards boys as she doesn't take many pictures of them.
She started to like taking shots of people's smiles since she was a kid. Her mother always shows the picture of smiling people to Mahiru, which she like so much and eager to take pictures the same as her mother's wonderful shot.
Compared to her mother's work theme, Mahiru's theme is too conventional and many people doesn't really care to judge it and expected her to take different objects, as they believe that she could produce amazing results.
Mahiru's dream is to visit different countries to take many pictures of people smiling from different backgrounds.
In any kind of situation, Mahiru doesn't mind to keep snapping photos. She believes that Photos depict everything, whether it's beautiful or horrible and it's the duty of a photographer's to keep taking photos.
Prior to the Tragedy
Before attending Hope's Peak Academy, Mahiru went to middle school with her friend Sato, who joins the Reserve Course when Mahiru goes to Hope's Peak Academy. She formerly attended Light Forest Institute before going to Hope's Peak.
While in Hope's Peak Academy, Mahiru befriended Hiyoko Saionji, Mikan Tsumiki, and Ibuki Mioda, and introduced them to Sato. In addition, she had also joined a photography club. During the girls' time together, they discovered a corpse in the music room. The body was later revealed belong to Fuyuhiko's sister, who was murdered by Sato because the girl had been bullying Mahiru. Sato and Mahiru covered up the evidence, and blamed it on a pervert. They kept this a secret from the other girls and told them not to tell the police they had seen the body. A few days later, Sato was killed by Fuyuhiko. Mahiru was later seen crying on the floor. This part of her life was revealed in Monokuma's second motive, "Twilight Syndrome Murder Case".
Mahiru's Free Time Events reveal that she wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps as a photographer and gain her title of “Ultimate Photographer”. She also had an unemployed father who didn't help Mahiru do the house chores when her mother was gone, however Mahiru says she likes to take care of him. Mahiru says that she feels inferior to the other students when comparing her talent to theirs. She also promised Hajime to give him her old camera and teach him how to take photos when they get off from the island.
Mahiru was one of the few students of the first group of Class 77th that attended the class along with Hiyoko, Mikan, Fuyuhiko, and Sonia Nevermind. Mahiru asked a strange person who entered their class that turned out to be their new homeroom teacher, Chisa Yukizome. When Chisa asked about her other classmates, Mahiru answered that attendance isn't a mandatory at the Academy and the Ultimates only need to sharpen their skills and pass the practical exam. Disappointed that so many students didn't attend the class, Mahiru and the others were forced by Chisa to search for their classmates.
First, they need to retrieve Nekomaru Nidai in the bathroom. Unfortunately for Mahiru and Hiyoko who stayed outside, they were inflicted by the explosion Nekomaru caused inside. Throughout the day, Mahiru and the others gathered almost all of their classmates.
After returning to the classroom, Chisa was happy to see that Mahiru and the others had waited and that the classroom was clean. When the students once again bring up that they didn't have to go to class, so long as they have their talent, Chisa reminded them that talent isn't everything, and wanted them to build strong relationships and "hope" with each other.
In the class, Mahiru and the others take cover on the right side of the classroom to hide from Akane Owari and Nekomaru's destructive training session. After the situation calmed down, Mahiru met with Chisa in the hallway. She told Chisa that everyone had been waiting for her in the classroom.
Chisa noticed the lunchbox that Mahiru brought. She said that she wanted to eat lunch together with her friend from the Reserve Course. Mahiru was surprised that her teacher already knew about her friend beforehand. After she left, Mahiru commented that Chisa is an odd teacher.
After she returned to the class, Mahiru, and the others were busy playing games that Chiaki brought. Mahiru, Mikan, Sonia, and Chiaki played the Bomber Guy game together until Hiyoko and Teruteru Hanamura brought them food.
Mahiru and her classmates happily ate Teruteru and Hiyoko's nikujaga together. However, they were unaware of the fact that Hiyoko already added a bottle of aphrodisiacs within the food, making Mahiru and the others lose control of their body. She took "wild" selfies until she recovered some time later in the nurse's office with everyone else.
In the next day, Chisa gathered her students in the classroom, announcing that she elected Chiaki as Mahiru and her classmates' class representative. Like the others, Mahiru gladly accepted her teacher's decision.
At the beginning of the episode, Mahiru was taking photos of Hope's Peak's gate while she and her classmates walked past Hajime heading toward the Main Course building.
Mahiru was walking to the Reserve Course building to visit Sato when she heard a commotion coming out from her friend's class. It turned out that Sato and Fuyuhiko's little sister, Natsumi were arguing about her. Mahiru moved to Sato's side, even though Natsumi continued to mock her. She commented that since in Photography Club, Natsumi's attitude never change. When she was about to hit Sato, Mahiru stopped her and took Sato out from the classroom.
Mahiru didn't like Sato's action even though it was used to protect her. She didn't know how Natsumi became envy to her since the only things that she did in the past was taking pictures that she like. Mahiru smiled at Sato after she complimented her, inviting her to eat her hamburger steak together.
After she heard about the death of Natsumi, Mahiru asked about what has really happened to Sato in the park. Sato convinced her that she wasn't the one who killed Natsumi and forced her to believe in her. Eventually, Mahiru trusted her like she always does and left her since there was something that she needs to do.
Unfortunately, another sad bit of news struck Mahiru after she heard that Sato was murdered. She was very sad and lost to the point that she cried on Hiyoko's chest while her classmates watched on in worry.
The deaths of Natsumi Kuzuryu and her best friend Sato affected Mahiru's morale in class greatly. She didn't pay attention to Chisa who announced the annual practical exam that would start tomorrow and instead checked her photos on her camera.
At the end of the episode, Mahiru and her classmates already heard the news of the bombing incident in the gym that involved one of her classmates, Nagito. Mahiru informed by Chisa that they should welcome back Nagito someday after his suspension lifted because of his concern to his friends, he went far to cancelled the practical exam for them.
Mahiru and her classmates were in their classroom and held Chisa's welcome back party after her time in Reserve Course ended half a year after Nagito's suspend. She greeted her teacher and informed that the grown up Hiyoko who was mistaken by Chisa as the original's big sister that she hit her growth spurt during her time at Reserve Course.
After clearing up their things from their first year classroom, Mahiru and the rest of the class have moved to the new classroom within the new school building.
When Gundham Tanaka brought a bear into their classroom, Mahiru was surprised and asked several times why there was a bear in their classroom. Suddenly, she noticed Hiyoko placed a white flower on Nagito's desk, and was told that it was "the first anniversary of Nagito's death". Mahiru reminded Hiyoko that Nagito isn't dead but has just been suspended. When Gundham's bear ate treats held by Kazuichi Soda and Teruteru, Mahiru once again asked why there was a bear in the class.
Mahiru later watched a riot caused by the Reserve Course students after finding out that Hope's Peak Academy used their money for human experiments from her classroom's window along with the rest of her classmates.
After hearing from Nagito that Mikan is somewhere around the West District, Mahiru and the rest of the class go to search for her on the school grounds. Mahiru searches in a group with Hiyoko, Teruteru and Fuyuhiko.
Mahiru and the class reconvene at the school classroom, failing to find Mikan, they assume what Nagito told them was false information. Chiaki appears at the classroom with an unconscious Nagito, explaining that Chisa is in trouble, Mahiru and the class look concerned but agree to help. Nagito points out that there is a high risk and chance of them dying, Mahiru and the class begin to consider these concerns although Chiaki's speech convinces them otherwise.
The Ultimate Imposter then reveals his true identity, to Mahiru's shock although she accepts it quickly.
Mahiru and the class leave the Main Course building and head for Junko's lair, but upon heading out the building, the Reserve Course students notice them and seek to take them on in battle to create placements on the Main Course. Nekomaru and Gundham fend them off and the rest of the class are able to reach the stairway leading to Junko's hideout underground.
Mahiru and the others continue their approach, attempting to find and rescue Chiaki and Chisa. In the middle of this, they find Nekomaru and Gundham, and the two rejoin the group. Later on, they reach a large red door. Mikan presses a button to open the door and the class finds themselves in what seems to be the room that would be used for Class Trials later on.
The monitors on the walls of the room switch on, and reveal Junko on the screen. After a bit of exposition, Junko starts Chiaki Nanami's Punishment while the rest of the class is forced to watch it. Everyone tries desperately to take their eyes off the screen, but is unable to.
Once Chiaki reaches the "goal" in her execution, she opens the door. She sees Mahiru, the rest of the class, and Chisa on the other side. Once she reaches for Chisa's hand, spikes appear from under the ground and stab Chiaki everywhere on her body. This recording effectively brainwashed Mahiru and her classmates, making them fall into despair.
Mahiru and the rest of the class have returned to the classroom, receiving their final lesson before graduation. Chisa stated that she has been honored to be their teacher, and started reading a letter she prepared. Mahiru and the rest of the class clap with gratitude.
After the speech, red lights turn on, and Chisa started to cry. The patterned swirled return in their eyes as they all make a declaration of what they will do upon graduation. After Hiyoko expressed she will use her dancing to spread joy, Mahiru voiced that she can 'take beautiful pictures of it' for her.
After bidding her class a final farewell, Chisa activated a bomb that fakes the death of Class 77-B. Mahiru and her class stand outside the school grounds as they watch Hope's Peak Academy's destruction.
Chisa's narration later revealed Mahiru helped to infect the world fall with despair.
In a flashback, as a member of Ultimate Despair, Mahiru was taking photographs of Sonia who lead a brainwashed army with Monokuma helmets to spread her despair-inducing photographs to the world.
Prologue - Welcome to Dangan Island! Panic at the Heart-Throbbing School Trip!?
Hajime first finds Mahiru near the Lodge in Hotel Mirai. Mahiru angrily scolds Hajime for fainting at the beach. Mahiru stated that he, a male, should protect the girls. This statement embarrassed Hajime. Nagito introduced her to Hajime, stating that he heard Mahiru had won all kinds of photography awards, saying that she is best known for her characteristic portrait.
At first, Mahiru doesn't seem flustered like the other students when they first arrived at the island. In fact she actually replies saying that she thinks Hajime and Nagito are decent stating that most of the others are weirdos. Mahiru is also the one who explains that after you collect all the Hope Fragments, they all get to leave off the island together. When Hajime starts freaking out over it she starts scolding him again for not paying attention. Mahiru than asks Hajime about his introduction, and after his introduction Mahiru labels him "Unreliable Hajime". She tells both him and Nagito to man up and to do better.
Later when Usami tells everyone to head to the beach and the Ultimate Imposter asked everyone for their opinions on the island, Mahiru informs that the hotel is nice and she wishes they were staying there. After the discussion of Jabberwock Island she states that she is a tad less worried now. She and a few other students receive Usami's presents happily by joining the others for swimming on the beach. She also became very excited when Usami says that they can have a party and later cheerfully suggests a campfire.
Chapter 1 - Destination Despair
The next morning, Mahiru attended the Ultimate Imposter's meeting at the hotel restaurant. All students had arrived, except Kazuichi, Mahiru then dragged Kazuichi with her to the hotel restaurant, in order to start the meeting. Having done so with Kazuichi, Mikan suddenly tripped into an awkward pose, Mahiru quickly helped her up, aside from Hiyoko's insults and Ibuki and Teruteru Hanamura's lewdness.
When the problems were solved, Byakuya started the meeting with a declaration that he'd lead the groups until they escaped from the island, which made Mahiru rather annoyed by his aggressive declaration, she preferred Sonia, mainly because she thought that Sonia's title as the "Ultimate Princess" made her fit to be a leader. But Sonia told her that her title is just for “decoration”, Sonia told her that a leader would have protect his men, something Byakuya appeared willing to do, and after that, Mahiru accepted Byakuya as the leader.
During the party, Mahiru is willing to take her friends' picture. When the murder occurred, this photograph helps the students to deduce the person who set up the blackout plan.
Chapter 2 - Sea and Punishment, Sin and Coconuts
In the beginning of Chapter 2, Mahiru's friendship with Hiyoko bloom after she was willing to help Hiyoko solve her problem by taking a bath with her and teaching her how to tie her kimono obi. And after she heard that Nagito was tied in the Old Lodge, she tried to feed him breakfast, but was frustrated with Nagito. She later forced Hajime to deliver Nagito's food.
Actually, Mahiru's had met with Nagito, who later told her to play the second motive, Twilight Syndrome Murder Case but she decided to not played it until she received a file filled with real life photos from Fuyuhiko, Mahiru finally decided to play the game. There, she regains her memories and feels compelled to ask everyone involved in the game to talk to her about it.
Mahiru invites Fuyuhiko, Hiyoko, Ibuki and Mikan to the beach house, but the latter two declined due to having a previous engagement - Sonia's girls-only swimming trip. When Peko heard Mahiru and Hiyoko's plan to discuss the Twilight Syndrome Murder Case, she quickly sent them a fake message.
Peko sent a message to Hiyoko (Peko sent the message using Mahiru's name) to meet Mahiru in Beach House at 2.00 a.m. and Peko sent a message to Mahiru (Peko sent the message using Hiyoko's name) at 2.30 a.m.
Mahiru came to the beach house right at 2.00 a.m., where she was met with Fuyuhiko and caught in an argument about the current motive. Just a second before Fuyuhiko went into action, Mahiru was then bludgeoned on the head by Peko on Fuyuhiko's behalf using a metal bat, incidentally recreating the final scene in the Twilight Syndrome Murder Case.
Peko quickly sent Fuyuhiko out from the crime scene and later set Mahiru's body on the door facing the road in order to prevent Hiyoko escaping from that door and put the Sun Witch ♪ Esper Ito's mask as her "calling card".
Hiyoko witnessed said murder and escaped the beach house via the front door. Mahiru's death is avenged thanks to the efforts of Hajime, Nagito, and Chiaki Nanami.
Chapter 3 - Trapped by the Ocean Scent
Hiyoko made a shrine dedicated to Mahiru to recall her kindness and it remains in hotel restaurant from chapter 3 onwards.
Epilogue - The Day Before the Future
Currently, Mahiru is most likely comatose, just like most of her classmates. The survivors of the Killing Game are waiting for her and the rest of their classmates to wake up.
Mahiru appears in the OVA as a part of Nagito's imagination world.
Mahiru returned in Side: Hope alongside the rest of the Class 77-B, who had been resurrected by Izuru Kamukura although Izuru was now combined with the personality and memories of Hajime. They arrived at the island where the Future Foundation's off-shore facility was located, having left from Jabberwock Island and proceeded by rescuing Byakuya Togami and Yasuhiro Hagakure from being trapped under rubble, they then began their fight against Ryota's brainwashed rescue squad troops, including the Former Ultimate Elite Task Force.
Venturing into the underwater facility beneath the main building, Ibuki played on her electric guitar, to a crowd of brainwashed rescue squad troops, forcing them unconscious with the sheer pain of her music. She is saved by Mahiru who quashed the efforts of the former Ultimate Marksman who was taking aim for a shot at Ibuki, fortunately, the flash of Mahiru's camera caused the squad member temporary blindness, enabling Mahiru to remove her noise cancelling headphones, causing her to fall unconscious. Mahiru and Ibuki share a high five once all squad members are unconscious.
Later, Mahiru helped convince Ryota to abandon his plan to brainwash the world. When Hajime began persuading him to join them in atonement, Mahiru happily accepted Ryota to the group. Upon leaving the broadcasting studio, Nagito held Makoto Naegi's hand and began to ramble about their comparable talents before being swiftly carried away by Nekomaru and Akane for speaking too long, Mahiru telling Nagito to 'leave it at that'.
Shortly afterward, Mahiru and the other Former Remnants of Despair shoulder the blame for the Final Killing Game in a broadcast to the Future Foundation, presenting themselves in their despair persona and relieving the organization of any wrongdoing.
With the battle won, Mahiru and the Class 77-B return to Jabberwock island by boat, she is last seen with Hiyoko, standing over Mikan who had once again fallen to the floor.
Real Photo - Mahiru is left in a deserted ruins. Beside her is a photo album with her name on it. The picture inside shows herself in the same deserted ruins looking into the same photo album. As she flipped through the pages, a white hand starts to clamp around her neck and the final picture shows her lying on the floor. While she is in shock, a camera starts to begin to shoot. When she tries to throw away the camera, a white hand appears behind her without her noticing. This execution is only described in the Official Fanbook.
Mahiru was best friends with Sato since her former middle school Photography Club. Because Mahiru attended Hope's Peak Academy as the Ultimate Photographer, Sato followed her there by joining the Reserve Course. Mahiru cared for Sato very much and always went to the Reserve Course building to eat lunch with her. Mahiru and Sato were friends with Mikan, Hiyoko, and Ibuki.
One day, Sato was tired of seeing Mahiru being bullied by Fuyuhiko's sister, Natsumi. When she attempted to stop her bullying actions in peace, Sato ended up murdering Natsumi in the music room. Mahiru knew this and promised she would protect her by destroying the evidence. When Fuyuhiko murdered Sato, Mahiru cried over her death.
It is implied that Mahiru may have romantic feelings for Sato, as she is often seen blushing in Sato's presence and even when she was only talking about her. In the English dub, Sato describes Mahiru's photos as "beauty she'll bring into the world", which makes Mahiru blush. It's implied that Sato may have had feelings for Mahiru as well.
Mahiru and Natsumi shared the same photography class, but for some unknown reason, (Most likely due to Mahiru's photos being better than Natsumi's) Natsumi started bullying Mahiru.
Even though Mahiru is the same age as Hiyoko, she treats her as a younger sister, such as helping her with her clothing and taking baths with her. She was the only one that Hiyoko referred with respect. Mahiru can sometimes be annoyed with Hiyoko as she is being constantly dragged around by her, but is very patient with her.
Later, it's revealed that Hiyoko was one of Mahiru's best friends during her time at Hope's Peak Academy as well, Mahiru stating she loved her as well and accepting Hiyoko calling her "Big Sis". Despite their friendship, Mahiru was involved in Hiyoko's mischievous plot which included aphrodisiacs. Hiyoko later comforted Mahiru after Sato's death.
After the events of the Tragedy and Killing School Life had ended, and Mahiru and Hiyoko awakened from their comatose state, they are seen happily chatting together, and later celebrate on the ship together with Mikan and Ibuki.
In the Danganronpa 3 relationship chart, Hiyoko tells Mahiru that she loves her, and Mahiru replies that she loves Hiyoko too.
Ibuki was another one of Mahiru's best friends before the Tragedy. Like she does all her friends, Ibuki called Mahiru by her first name. In return, Mahiru addressed her as Ibuki-chan.
Mahiru seems to be weirded out at times by Ibuki's eccentric behavior, but still considers her a friend. She is deeply disturbed by Ibuki's odd taste in music, seen covering her ears when she heard Ibuki play at Hope's Peak Academy. Ibuki likes Mahiru, and feels guilty about Mahiru's death in Chapter 2 because she didn't accept her invitation to talk.
After the two awaken from the Neo World Program, Mahiru saves Ibuki when a brainwashed sniper attempts to kill her, causing Ibuki to happily high-five her. Later, they celebrate together on the ship along with Mikan and Hiyoko after the battle has ended.
Mikan was another one of Mahiru's best friends before the Tragedy. Mahiru adressed Mikan as Mikan-chan, and was one of the few in their class who called Mikan by her first name.
Mahiru is aware of how shy Mikan tends to be, and is very gentle with her, unlike Hiyoko. Much like everyone else, Mikan's clumsiness surprises Mahiru, who notes that the way Mikan falls into embarrassing poses takes "skill", although she shows the most concern for Mikan. Mikan , although really shy around her, seems to like Mahiru, and shows extreme sadness over her death in Chapter 2, even going as far as to blame herself for not accepting Mahiru's invitation.
After the events of the Tragedy and Killing School Life had ended, Mahiru is seen celebrating with Mikan, along with Hiyoko and Ibuki. Mahiru even approaches Mikan later on, and the two are seen talking together.
Mahiru sees Kazuichi as being very unreliable. She seems extremely disappointed that he tried to run away in Chapter 1, and forcibly drags him back. She states in his official relationship chart, that she wonders if he has any tact.
Mahiru often scolded the Ultimate Yakuza when he would mouth off to his classmates, resulting in arguments between the two that had to be broken up by the others, usually Nagito or Hajime.
Later on, during Chapter 2, Fuyuhiko was invited by Mahiru to go to the Beach House on the second island to discuss the current motive. But they got into another argument, this time, the argument was stopped by Peko who killed Mahiru in the same fashion as Sato.
While it was never showed in the main storyline, but in her free time events, it's implied that Mahiru has romantic feelings towards Hajime. When Mahiru took a candid photograph of him, Mahiru didn't want to delete it even though Hajime told her to delete it. After revealing that she likes the candid of him, Mahiru blushed and ran away, saying that she needs to go somewhere.
In her last Free Time Events, Mahiru asked Hajime to take picture of her so she can see how Hajime saw her. She said that she liked Hajime's shot as much as her mother pictures she did. Mahiru also added that she would give him her old camera.
In her Island Mode ending, in thanks for Hajime helping her find joy in her photography again, she gives him her old camera saying if he's going to be by her side then he'll need at least one camera too. It ends with Hajime vowing to protect her and Mahiru saying she likes him.
Obtained from the MonoMono Machine.
During free time conversations, the player will occasionally be given a choice on how to respond to something that is said. These are the 'right' choices.
These will aid you, usually during Class Trials.