|Title||Ultimate Lucky Student |
|Birth date||February 5th (Aquarius)|
|Height||160 cm (5' 3")|
|Weight||52 kg (115 lb)|
|Voice Actor||Megumi Ogata (JP)
Bryce Papenbrook (EN)
|Family||Komaru Naegi (Younger sister)|
|Game||Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc|
|Manga||Danganronpa: The Manga|
Makoto Naegi (苗木 誠 Naegi Makoto) is the main protagonist of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. Unlike the other students, he was selected by Hope's Peak Academy via lottery, earning him the title of Ultimate Lucky Student (超高校級の「幸運」chō kōkō kyū no “kōun”). In chapter 6, his title became Ultimate Hope (超高校級の「希望」chō kōkō kyū no “kibō”). Throughout the course of the game, he became one of the more prominent investigators, and was the one that was usually able to see the truth behind every murder.
Makoto survived the final trial and execution, and escaped with the other survivors at the end of the game.
Makoto describes himself as being a typical normal high school student. He has a rather short and thin build. He has brown hair and light grey-ish, milky green eyes. He wears a forest green hoodie, black jeans and red sneakers.
Makoto is friendly and a lot more down-to-earth than other students. This is possibly the reason why he is capable of approaching and befriending them in the Free Time sequence. Junko refers to him as an ‘herbivore man,’ which means that Makoto is likely to be the passive one in a relationship as proven from his conversation with others.
According to him, his most distinguishing feature is his optimism. Because of it, he's capable of befriending almost anyone, even the most antisocial such as Byakuya and Toko. Makoto would make use of this particular trait later on in the final trial where he prevented the other students from giving in to the despair that starts to overtake them, earning him the title Ultimate Hope.
[Warning: Several spoilers follow this section!]
Prior to the Tragedy
Makoto starts out by being an ordinary high school student with no special talent. He lives with his mother, father, and little sister. He eventually gets selected to attend Hope's Peak Academy through winning a random lottery, earning his title of “Ultimate Lucky Student”.
In Danganronpa/Zero, it is learned that during his time of entering Hope's Peak Academy, he eventually bumps into Ryoko Otonashi in the medical bay and states that he was there to return the Electronic Handbook that Yasuke Matsuda misplaced. Afterwards, they had a short encounter with Isshiki Madarai in which Mukuro Ikusaba saves Makoto's life.
Makoto and the groups lived in the Academy happily, spending their happy times together for around 1 years until the Tragedy occured. During The Tragedy, Jin Kirigiri, the Headmaster of the Academy planed to seal the School building and let the students to live forever inside the Academy in order to prevent the Academy destruction caused by The Tragedy. His plan was agreed by Makoto and the students, and they started to seal the building together and live inside it for 1 years, not knowing that the Ultimate Despair member was already sneak among their groups.
High School Life of Mutual Killing
Makoto is first seen in front of the building of Hope's Peak Academy. As he entered the entrance hall, he began feeling dizzy and lost consciousness, eventually waking up in an empty classroom. Dazed, Makoto collects himself and begins inspecting the classroom, discovering that all the windows in the room are blocked and bolted down with iron plates, with a security camera looming ominously over the classroom. He soon finds a crayon-written letter titled Orientation Info. Afterwards, he exits the classroom and begins exploring- what Makoto assumes- is the inside of the Academy. He soon finds out that he is not alone, stumbling upon a group of other students, each telling a story with one thing in common: they all woke up in a classroom after losing consciousness when stepping inside the school grounds. Throughout the introductions, Makoto joins the present students in the hall and assemble as he saw Monokuma. With his suspicions about the talking bear, Makoto gains some uneasiness in his mind as Monokuma gave the students a harsh choice; either live in the academy forever, or kill one of the present students to “graduate” (the killer must get away with their murder to succeed).
After learning that all of the students are given a harsh motive, Makoto remains silent and shocked, remarking that this school is not “Hope's Academy”, but instead “Despair's Academy”. His thoughts are broken by Kyoko, saying that just standing around is no solution. Makoto regains his senses, and attemps to find a solution to seek the exit without any unwanted accidents. Seeing Byakuya's antisocial interaction igniting Mondo's rage, Makoto stops the argument. However, instead of calming both of the boys, Makoto ended being beaten up by Mondo and was then knocked unconscious until he awoke in his own student hotel room.
When awoken from the beating, Makoto is reunited with his classmates in the search for an exit in the academy. During the meeting, however, Makoto confronts Monokuma who appears out of nowhere and learns about the talking bear's sadistic principle about the killing spree to escape the school. Monukuma then mentions a “gift” for the students - the DVDs in the AV Room - prompting everyone's curiosity.
After watching the horrific DVD (his house torn down and family gone without a trace), Makoto's face turns pale as he begins to think of a way out immediately. Looking around, he also observes Sayaka looking panicked as she shook in fear, indicating that she had also witnessed the horror in the contents of her DVD. Seeing Sayaka running outside, Makoto follows her and tries to calm the Ultimate Pop Sensation down while promising her that he will protect her life, even at the cost of his own.
Sayaka's Death, First False Allegations and the First Class Trial Execution
Unfortunately for Makoto, his promise to protect Sayaka was broken as he found her dead in his hostel room shower. Devastated at the turn of events, he fainted. The overwhelming circumstantial evidence eventually led Makoto to be blamed for the murder.
In his frantic quest to clear his name, Makoto worked through numerous heated debates and collected evidence, eventually coming across conclusive proof that indicated Leon might had be the one who killed Sayaka.
After Makoto arrived at the most logical conclusion of events that had transpired leading up to the murder, he had a brief but very intense debate with Leon Kuwata. The latter was eventually found guilty of Sayaka's death, leading to Makoto's name being finally cleared from the murder. However, before anyone had a chance to fathom what was in store, Leon was then dragged off to his punishment by Monokuma.
After witnessing Leon's brutal execution-by-baseball-machine, Makoto angrily blamed Monokuma for ultimately causing Leon and Sayaka's deaths. His emotional outburst was, however, halted by Kyoko, after which Makoto remained sullen and silent.
Makoto would later learn from Kyoko that Sayaka's motive in writing her dying message could possibly have been to protect him, while regretting to have plotted for Makoto to be blamed for the murder; Makoto responded that he would shoulder the weight of both Sayaka's and Leon's death and live on, so that their deaths would never be forgotten, and so that he could avenge their deaths by finding out who the mastermind was.
More Casualties and Distrust are Among Us
Since the death of both Sayaka and Leon, Makoto, along with the others, seek for more clues in order to find a way to escape. However, during the course of doing so, he witnesses another death which involved with his friend, Chihiro, who was hung like a crucified figure nearby a blood message on the wall. With the assistance of Celeste and Mondo information about the clue, Makoto manages to clear both Byakuya's and Genocide Jill's name off the crime and finally pins Mondo as the culprit over Chihiro's murder. Despite Taka's plead which claimed that Ultimate Biker Gang Leader was innocent over the murder, Makoto solidifies the charges by noticing the changed gym rooms and the blooded dumbbell. He, however, didn't anticipate that Mondo's reason to kill Chihiro was due to his jealousy and rage over Chihiro's strong determination to get rid of his weakness. After Mondo's execution, Makoto witnesses a sense of distrust among the group as they wondered who would be the next victim of the next murder.
The Queen of Liar's Manipulations for Greed
On the next day, Makoto joins the surviving students as they gather for Monokuma's announcement. He is then shocked to learn that whoever will graduate would be given ten billion yen, and grows frustrated as he realizes the intentions of the bear to turn them against each other. After the assembly, Makoto and the others gather in the bathroom after hearing Hina exclaiming that she had seen Chihiro's “ghost” there.
Instead of seeing a ghost however, Makoto and the rest of the students discover an AI programmed by Chihiro called Alter Ego, who was made to resemble its creator. Amazed and in awe, Makoto is filled with hope by their sudden advantage and remarks about how Fujisaki has left a bright legacy for them. Later, Alter Ego turns up missing, leading led Makoto and the rest to meet a roadblock again as they learned from Byakuya that whoever stole Alter Ego was most likely a traitor. Makoto and the others then decide to search for the AI.
Makoto's search for Alter Ego comes to a halt as he hears Celeste scream, claiming that she was attacked by a suspicious figure known as “Robo Justice”. Celeste, stating that she has a clue, shows them a picture of the figure via Hifumi's digital camera. Worried that the culprit would hurt his friends again, Makoto then rushes to warn Kyoko and the others about the new threat, only to find an injured Hifumi instead. Once again, trying to find the others so that they would be informed of recent events, Makoto wanders around and discovers Taka's corpse lying on the floor.
After a period of investigating, a class trial begins with accusations against Hiro, who was the primary suspect. The debates go on and slowly, Makoto uncovers the truth and reveals that Celeste is the culprit of the murder. After saying the reasons why she killed their classmates, Makoto and the other students watch on as Celeste is executed.
Sakura's Role as a Mole and Her Noble Sacrifice
After the 3rd Class Trial and Celeste's execution, Makoto asked Kyoko where she disappear during their search for their absence friends, Kyoko then tell to Makoto that she discover a secret room in the men's room in the second floor. Knowing that, Makoto head towards the secret room after the nighttime announcement. He discover it behind the supply closet, and finds shelves filled with many files and some old yearbooks which all covered in dust. Interestingly he found a files called as “Hope's Peak Academy Student Register”, the only things that isn't coated in dust. When Makoto open the file, he found a single scrap of paper written “YOU MUST NOT LEAVE THIS PLACE”. Makoto recognize it words, but before he can remember anything, someone who wears a mask and a lab coat attack him from behind, succeed to lost his consciousness.
Aftermath, he found that all files in the shelves and even thesingle scrap of paper were gone. But Makoto decided to rest his head and body first, so he decided to head back to his room. However, when he reach the first floor, he heard a noise in the gym and it's revealed that the noises come from the gym it's made by Sakura and Monokuma who were fighting all night and discussing about “Mole” and “Hostage”. He could feel the unease of the confrontation which he assumes that Sakura has hide something. And it's revealed later that Sakura is the mole among the groups. Sakura commit suicide to prevent the dispute among the groups. And her sacrifice was not in vain as the others stop fighting each other.
The 16th Student, Mukuro Ikusaba And Another False Allegation
After witnessing his friends falling one by one, executed and murdered, Makoto vowed to his late classmates that he would find the clue to escape this nightmare so that their deaths would not be in vain, while avenging them by finding the real culprit behind the inhumane game.
While in his sleep, Makoto is suddenly attacked by a masked figure but is saved by Kyoko. Before he checked the school for more mysteries, Makoto finally found the perpetrator who was almost responsible for his assassination, only to find them dead. During the investigations, he also found the control room, only accessed by Monokuma and decides to investigate. Later he realized that Monokuma is much like a mass-produced robot and he is indeed surprised that all the commotion they had been through were. As the clues pointed to Kyoko, Makoto refused to accuse her of the murder. This decision sadly didn't help him at all as he is assumed to be the murderer of Mukuro instead. Even with his plead for innocence, the execution is already going underway by Monokuma as he has been voted guilty even though he didn't commit the murder.
Rescued by Alter Ego
In the middle of his execution, Makoto is suddenly rescued by Alter Ego, who he thought destroyed as the replacement for Sakura's “execution”. Alter Ego was able to hack into the system (Thanks to Makoto hooking the AI up to the school's data server earlier) and rescue Makoto by stopping the slammer and opening a hole beneath him that sent him to the basement. Having escaped death, Makoto wakes up in the basement and decides to conserve his energy. He is later awoken by Kyoko falling into the basement to rescue him. She ends up using the Master Key she found in the principal's office and they both make their way back up by climbing a tall ladder. On the way up, Kyoko tells Makoto that she remembers parts of her past and who she is. She then reveals her identity as the “Ultimate Detective”, and informs him that she came here to find her father, the principal, who abandoned her when she was a child.
Miracle Return and Tensed Rivalry with Real Junko Enoshima
Prior to his miraculous return with Kyoko, Makoto is reunited with the other students (In the game, the other students still think that Makoto was responsible of killing Mukuro until he and Kyoko convinced them that it was a trap created by Monokuma, who was in fact the true killer; In the anime, however, the other students realized that Makoto was innonent, as well Monokuma being the true killer and breaking his own rules, when Alter Ego saved Makoto from his execution. This caused them to feel guilty for not trusting Makoto and nearly killing him for a crime he didn't commit. But Makoto forgives them, saying that it was Monokuma's fault for breaking the rules and trying to make them all despair). Kyoko then explains on his behalf that the trial was restarted due to some circumstances (basically thanks to Kyoko's sharp retaliation over Monokuma's taunts). Throughout the course of the investigation, Makoto learns about their past via the DVD and is confused that all of the students, including himself, agree to stay in the academy during their interview with the former principal of the Hope Peak Academy, Jin Kirigiri; began to realize that they were actually in amnesia before this sadistic game started and they had been staying in the academy for 2 years.
As the true perpetrator was revealed as the real Junko Enoshima, Makoto is surprised over reason behind Junko's sadistic survival game. During the course which almost all student were stunned over the truth; where details partially told by Genocide Jill (who knew the truth better than her other personality), only Makoto managed to analyze the course of event during his past journey in the academy, behind every offer and lure from Junko (mostly about based on despair):
- Sayaka's interpersonal reasons to frame Makoto by murdering Leon out of desperation to leave the school and save her idol group (though Leon instead retaliated and caused her plan to backfire, she then wrote Leon's name in her own blood, which was thought to be the number 11037 due to it being written backwards, as a redemption for her betrayal).
- Mondo's anxiety about his secret (his brother's death) exposure in order to keep his motorcycle gang together and accidently kill Chihiro due to his uncontrolled rage and jealousy over Chihiro's inner strength.
- Celeste's greed for the 10 billion yen so she can buy a European castle, including her fantasy about vampire butlers, would led her treachery to the group by killing both Taka and Hifumi.
- Sakura's suicide due to her position as a mole worked for Junko and caused the conflict and distrust behind the group. (Though at first, it seemed that her suicide was caused by the beatings from Hiro and Toko, as Genocide Jill, it was later revealed that the act was her last ditch effort to keep the group together from turning against each other).
At the climax of the trial, Makoto and the rest were stunned by Junko's revelation about Hope Peak Academy's true plan, which was to plant ultimate despair into the world. Junko then again twisted the rules in an attempt to bring out despair from the survivors. In that attempt, she stated that if they chose to live a life in which they can survive, then Makoto would have to be executed. Yet as persistent as always, Makoto refused to give in and tried to persuade his friends that hope exists in their hearts.
- He convinced Hiro that staying in this school, in this despair, isn't living at all. Hiro then realized that living means moving forward, even if it's hard and scary. So this rekindled his desire to leave this school and find his future.
- He convinced Hina that they aren't just living for themselves, but also for they deceased friends. Hina then realized that Sakura, her deceased friend, would say that living means going against despair and walking through hardship. So this made her make up her mind.
- He convinced Byakuya that the Togami Family never succumb to despair and he, as its heir, must rebuild it as many times as he can without giving up. Byakuya realized that the Togami Family isn't dead since he is still alive. So this made him decided to keep his word and have the mastermind, Junko, defeated and dead (he also added that he isn't doing this for Makoto, though it is probably a lie).
- In the game, Jill said to him that she doesn't care wheither she stays here or leaves; so as long as Byakuya comes with them. In the anime, Jill decided to leave as well after seeing Byakuya convinced to leaving the school and ending the mastermind's life.
- He convinced Kyoko that her father never gave up nor give in to despair and if there is no hope, then they'll become the new hope. Kyoko realized that her father would never sacrifice Makoto so he can stay and survive. So this made her realize that even though they are related only by blood, it doesn't mean she can not understand her father. She also realized and revealed that Makoto has the ability to defeat the Ultimate Despair, thus making him the Ultimate Hope.
With his classmates' solid support around him, Makoto managed to defeat Junko, leading her to execute herself in her very own special punishment (The Ultimate Punishment), which then resulted in her 'death', leaving the survivors finally free from the strings of the once sadistic game.
Their torments finally over, Makoto then opens the door that led to the exit while beginning to wonder if his doubts and insecurities remain in his mind after his gruesome journey in the academy. In his heart however, Makoto remarks that as long he refuses to give in, hope will be spread throughout the world and as long he wields hope, he would make the impossible possible. With that, Makoto, with the six survivors who survived the incident, joined the Future Foundation.
Island Life of Mutual Killing
Makoto, along with Kyoko and Byakuya as the Future Foundation member, returned to the Jabberwock Island to save the remaining students, and to activated the Forced Shutdown.
- Main Article: After School Lesson
Makoto is put into a large barrel and Monokuma closes the lid. When he was about to escape, a sword came in from the exterior and grazes his face. While Makoto was shocked with fear, more and more swords are thrusted into the barrel. The barrel is wobbling in the beginning, but after a number of swords, it stopped moving. Monokuma peeked into the barrel and closes it hastily. He runs away and the screen blacks out. This execution is only shown in the Official Fanbook.
Prior to entering Hope's Peak Academy, Makoto and Sayaka attended middle school together and didn't have much of a friendship due to them being in different social standards. Sayaka later reveals that she always meant to talk to Makoto since witnessing him nursing an injured crane back to health after it got lost and stuck in the pool at their school. Unfortunately, they ended up graduating without ever having contact.
In high school, Sayaka recognized Makoto immediately and befriended him. A mutual attraction formed between the two and she even considered herself to be his "sidekick". He admired her very much and silently remarked on her beauty everytime she smiled. They trusted one another, and she admitted that she would go to dangerous lengths so she can protect and defend her idol members. After receiving the alarming video which showed her friends disbanding the idol group and laying on the stage in distress, Maizono had an emotional breakdown. Makoto was quick to comfort her, promising to get her out of the school no matter what it took. Makoto cared for her enough to let her borrow his room when she was scared of sleeping in her own. The next morning of her absence, Makoto goes looking for her worried about the condition she was in. Upon finding her dead in his bathroom, devastated, he lets out a loud scream and faints.
After finding out the facts from the class trial, and knowing that Sayaka took advantage of his caring actions and tried to frame him, Makoto feels betrayed. However, he still mourns her death as she was his close friend. Kyoko comforts Makoto and exposes that its most likely Sayaka wrote her dying message with Makoto in her thoughts, exposing her killer to apologize for her actions. Makoto points out that she also could have just wanted to get back on her killer. It is not revealed whether that is true or not but in his conversation with Kyoko after the trial, he quotes Sayaka one last time, calling his intuition a result of him being an esper and then denying it as a joke after.
In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Makoto used the 11037 number as a code to save the remaining students, the number which Maizono used to save Makoto from being framed as the culprit in the first trial, Makoto later explained to Hajime the reason he set 11037 as the code because a certain person (Sayaka) left that number behind to save him from trouble, proving that Makoto believed Kyoko's theory and remembered her dearly as a friend.
The two's bond began during the events of the first case. Kyoko is the one who tells Makoto that there was more to Sayaka's murder than what everyone has been lead to believe. It is thanks to her words that he is able to solve the mystery of his late friend's death. She later comforts him about the events, saying that Sayaka was hesitating to carry out her planned deed to kill him and gave her (and subsequently him) the piece of evidence needed to solve the case. Since then, the two have been on good terms and she aids him in the debates during cases. Makoto refers to her as a friend and wishes that she would trust him as much as he trusts her to which she begins to try and believe in others.
During the moments of the fifth trial, when Kyoko is suspected of the crime and Makoto finds a contradiction in her claim, he remain quiet, putting his faith in Kyoko. This lead to him being found guilty of the crime in question. He is forced to undergo a punishment, but is saved thanks to Alter Ego. She realizes that she was only concerned for herself rather than the safety of the only person that trusted her. Because of this, she risks her life to save him. This coupled with other subtle hints may indicate that she has feelings for him.
It is hinted in the novel, Danganronpa IF that Makoto had a crush on Kyoko before their memories were erased, when Junko asked Mukuro Ikusaba if she had taken care of her rival in love, Kyoko.
- “Ah, that's right. Someone mentioned this before -- What's up with this situation?! What's the meaning of all this?!”
- “Being able to touch a body without any reserve… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get used to it, no matter how many times I have to do it…”
- “Are you sure you aren’t telling me just because I don’t have your trust…?”
- “Eh…? Are you sure it’s alright, disturbing the crime scene like that?”
- “No, I’ll definitely figure it out…!”
- “What the hell are you saying…! This is all your fault…!” (to Monokuma)
- “NO, THAT'S WRONG!”
- “I'VE GOT IT!”
- “NOW I UNDERSTAND!”
- “HERE'S MY ANSWER!”
- “THIS SHOULD PROVE IT!”
- “THE KILLER IS... YOU!”
- “HERE'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED!”
- “I think... I like bears best.”
- “You want to see the bodies? That doesn't sound like something a lady would say.”
- “Maizono-san, you need to calm down!” (to Sayaka Maizono)
- “After all, my only redeeming quality is my optimism.”
- “Then promise me something. If at any point you think it will become dangerous, just let it go.”
- “You're wrong! I believe in you, Kyoko! That's why I want you to trust me too.” (to Kyoko Kirigiri)
- “DON'T LOSE HOPE NOW!”
- “HOPE KEEPS GOING!”
- Naegi means “seedlings” in Japanese, and Makoto means “faithfulness”.
- This could reference how he spreads hope to everyone, similar to how Junko tried to plant “seeds of despair”.
- According to a 25-page booklet included with the first DVD for the anime, it is revealed that Makoto wasn't the first chosen for his year to be Ultimate Lucky Student, but rather events pertaining to his bad luck led to another draw occurring.
- The official reload artbook reveals that A Man's Fantasy is his favorite free time present. A Man's Fantasy is an easter egg present which allows Makoto and the other male cast members to peek at the girls taking a bath.
- Due to an error in the first game, after being given the title "Ultimate Hope" near the end of the game, his e-handbook profile lists his title as "Ultimate Despair".
- Makoto's seiyuu, Megumi Ogata, also voiced Nagito Komaeda in the second game. It is revealed that his English VA will also be voicing Komaeda.
- This makes Makoto one of twelve characters who share their voice actor with another character in the Japanese version (the others being Nagito Komaeda, Junko Enoshima and Mukuro Ikusaba, Byakuya Togami and The Ultimate Imposter, Chihiro Fujisaki and Alter Ego, Toko Fukawa/Genocide Jill, Hifumi Yamada and Jin Kirigiri).
- He is also one of eleven characters who share their voice actor with another character in the English version (alongside Nagito, Junko and Mukuro, Sayaka, Chihiro and Alter Ego, Toko/Jill, Byakuya and his imposter).