|“||Keeping ourselves alive is all we can do.||”|
–Ruruka Ando, Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak Academy
She is a member of Future Foundation and is the leader of the 8th Division. Her responsibility is to help provide stable food sources.
During her time at Hope's Peak Academy's Class 76th, her title was Ultimate Confectioner (超高校級の「お菓子職人」 chō kōkō kyū no “okashi shokunin” lit. Super High School Level Confectioner) until she was expelled after getting involved in a bombing incident.
During the Final Killing Game, Ruruka killed her romantic partner, Sonosuke Izayoi, by triggering his NG code. She is later brainwashed into committing suicide, being the fourth victim to die in this manner and the ninth to die overall.
Ruruka 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 and Danganronpa 3 spinoff manga, Danganronpa Gaiden: Killer Killer.
Ruruka is a woman in her early twenties, around 23 at youngest (about 18 in Danganronpa 3 - Side: Despair).
She has lilac eyes, short strawberry blonde hair, and a petite, cheerful appearance. She wears a pink jacket with thick fur trimming, yellow shorts, white thigh high socks and pink boots with multiple straps. She also has a yellowish hat with a small strawberry on top of it; where she has pinned her Future Foundation ID. There is also a triangle pattern on the back of her hat.
During her time at Hope's Peak Academy, Ruruka wore the standard Academy uniform with fur trimming that looks similar to the fur on the jacket that she wears in the Side: Future. The boots and socks she wore are also very similar to the ones she wears in the future. She also wore a pink hat and a green ribbon with strawberries on the ends.
Ruruka is a cunning young woman, who is described to have a mean streak despite her cute appearance. She appears rather manipulative and is not above using her friends to achieve her goals. She can be extremely selfish as well, and during the Final Killing Game, focuses only on keeping herself alive.
While she can appear easily annoyed and even mean towards others, Ruruka acts very sweet and intimate with her romantic partner Sonosuke and often feeds him her candy. Her candy can brainwash and manipulate people. Thanks to this, Ruruka is a resourceful and skilled negotiator. She has mentioned that she won't trust anyone who doesn't eat her candy.
Despite being a high ranking member of Future Foundation, she seems skeptical regarding its purpose, at one point stating that, "just like Hope's Peak Academy and Seiko Kimura", it is rotten to the core. Furthermore, after she learned Seiko's NG Code, she requested her to murder the true leader of the Future Foundation, Kyosuke Munakata.
Ruruka has a strong hatred and fear of being betrayed, and she would rather betray others before they have any chance to do the same to her, including her own boyfriend. She knows it's wrong, but her fear of betrayal is too strong. This may have started when Ruruka's childhood friend, Seiko, "backstabbed" her in high school.
Skills and Abilities
Ruruka is an exemplary cook and also exceptionally skilled at creating candies and other sweets. A promising newcomer, she won a sweeping victory at the confectionery industry’s pastry contest. She began energetically working on creating a product that she can offer to famous corporations and candy stores. Ruruka's confections have a subtle flavor and beautiful presentation, but their most outstanding trait is how addictive they are, similar to hard narcotics. Some raised concern over the danger this poses, but she did not give any indication she would abuse her power.
Ruruka has a specialty-made, extremely addictive brand of chocolate that has the ability to brainwash others. When consumed, the victim will follow her orders without question, which is demonstrated when she force-feeds a chocolate to Juzo Sakakura.
Prior to the Tragedy
Ruruka has gone to the same school with Sonosuke and Seiko all through elementary, middle and high school. The three met on a road after Seiko failed to save a dying dog in an accident. Ruruka was impressed with Seiko's ability to save the other dying dog with her medicine. Since then, Ruruka and Seiko became friends. Despite being a close friend, she was very disappointed that Seiko always refuses to eat her sweets. Since in the elementary school, Ruruka always relied on Seiko to do jobs for her and appeared quite manipulative towards her, something that constantly annoyed Seiko. Despite that, the two considered each other as close friends. Ruruka is also in a romantic relationship with Sonosuke.
Because of her ability, she was scouted to attend Hope's Peak as a part of Class 76th as the Ultimate Confectioner.
During their practical exam in their second year, an incident involving Nagito's plot to stop the exam caused Seiko's drug being mixed up by Ruruka and used her super-laxative instead of a strength drug in Ruruka's Sky-Blu-Heaven Days Choux Crémes, combined with Seiko. Unfortunately, receiving Nagito's bomb switch (which was later triggered, resulting in an explosion), resulted in Seiko, Ruruka, and Sonosuke expelled from Hope's Peak Academy an estimated 2-3 years before the Tragedy. Seiko and Ruruka both felt betrayed by one another in some way, placing the blame of expulsion upon each other, causing a rift in their friendship.
Chapter 10 - Killer Killer Killer
When Shuji Fujigawa attempts to fatally stab Misaki Asano, Ruruka shows up along with Sonosuke, Juzo, Ikue Dogami, and members of Future Foundation in order to end the conflict between Shuji and Takumi Hijirihara. Ruruka shows hostility towards Shuji for creating a mess on her division's offïce while she was away.
Ruruka praises and cheers Sonosuke while he, Juzo, and Ikue attempted to apprehend the real Killer Killer. Shuji then makes an unseen escape after detonating a bomb, making Ruruka panicked after she noticed that Shuji was running loose once again.
At some point in time after getting recruited by Koichi Kizakura for the Future Foundation, she became the head of the 8th Division. Her responsibility as the 8th Division leader is to help provide stable food sources.
In the episode's opening flashback, Ruruka and the other Future Foundation members were confronted by some of the Remnants of Despair. Eventually, after a long fight on a bridge, Kyosuke, Juzo, and Sonosuke were able to restrain Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, Peko Pekoyama, Nekomaru Nidai, and Akane Owari.
Ruruka had gathered at the secret off-shore facility alongside the other Future Foundation leaders to discuss what should be done about Makoto. She questioned the reason why they all had to be in one place, saying if they were attacked they could all be wiped out, while Kazuo Tengan assures her. She happily fed a macaroon to Sonosuke, who is lying under the table with his head on her lap, and pats his head. After Makoto, Kyoko Kirigiri, and Aoi Asahina arrived at the boardroom, Juzo handcuffed Makoto and injured him in the process. When Hina begins to shout, Ruruka has Sonosuke through a kunai at the wall behind her, threatening that, if she shouted again, she would tell him not to miss next time.
As the building comes under attack, Ruruka questioned how the attacker had found this place if it was supposedly secret. When Seiko replied, she turned to glare at her. The sleeping gas is deployed in the boardroom and Ruruka huddles closer to Sonosuke, but both fall unconscious soon after.
As she woke up, Ruruka and the others found a Monokuma wristband has been planted on their wrists. Monokuma who has been resurrected once again held a killing game, the Final Killing Game starring the Future Foundation leaders as the participants. The Killing Game started with Chisa Yukizome's body fell from the ceiling.
After Monokuma announced the rules of the Final Killing Game, Ruruka attempted to give a sweet to Sonosuke as a reward for sticking together with her and protecting her. Unlike the many times before, Sonosuke refused her reward, telling her now was not the time. Ruruka is yet about to learn that Sonosuke's NG Code won't allow him to eat any food.
Later after Daisaku Bandai's immediate death, Ruruka was surprised and asked if he was attacked. Kyoko confirmed that he was injected with the bracelet's poison after violating his own NG code. Ruruka refused to tell her NG Code to anyone, saying that there were some people that she didn’t trust. Ruruka and Sonosuke pointed at Seiko thinking that she's the traitor. However, the others mistakenly think they're pointing at Makoto since Seiko was hiding behind Juzo.
Following Makoto's escape, Ruruka and Sonosuke parted from everyone else to hide from the traitor. She confidently said that the traitor had to be Seiko, revealing that her hatred for her, Hope’s Peak Academy, and Future Foundation are equal. She was happy that Sonosuke agreed with her.
Ruruka and Sonosuke are shown relaxing in a lounge, Ruruka having woken up earlier then Sonosuke. She greeted him and attempted to feed him a sweet, but when she was rejected, Ruruka looked at Sonosuke with a confused look.
After Makoto's speech, Ruruka and Sonosuke are shown at the entrance. Ruruka talking about how people who stand out like Makoto would die first. Ruruka told him that he is the only one she can trust, making him promise her he would never betray her. Seiko then wandered into the entrance and when she saw her, Ruruka instantly hid behind Sonosuke and taunting her.
Ruruka accused Seiko as the traitor and the two started to argue. Ruruka saying that Seiko was the one who made the sleeping drugs in their bracelets. This was Seiko's breaking point as she downs a bottle filled with green pills, growing monstrous. Sonosuke quickly grabs Ruruka and ran away as Seiko chasing the two of them.
Ruruka and Sonosuke still trying to run from Seiko by set many traps on the wall. Thanks to Seiko's immunity, all of the traps easily thwarted by her, before she continued to escape, she commented that Seiko's current form was monster-like.
Sometimes later, Sonosuke let Ruruka escape alone while he tried to halt Seiko on a door using himself and barrels as barricades. She tried to calm Seiko and reminded her that they used to be friends. However, Seiko didn't listen to hear excuses and blamed her expulsion from the Academy to Ruruka and believed that she was the traitor. That statement triggered Ruruka and shouted back to her that she was the traitor. Seiko almost managed to break the door and making Ruruka scarred. Sonosuke then decided to brought Ruruka again and continue their escape.
Ruruka hides in the control room while Sonosuke battles Seiko. Seiko smells out Ruruka, who figures out Seiko's forbidden action is letting a participant step on her shadow. Ruruka uses this to keep Seiko at bay while Sonosuke runs to get a weapon to finish off Seiko. Ruruka tells Seiko she will let her live if she eats one of her sweets. Seiko refuses, so Ruruka tells her to kill Kyosuke as she doesn't trust him. Seiko refuses and says Kyosuke recruited her after she was expelled from Hope's Peak.
Seiko downs some more of her pills, making her even more animalistic. She takes out the spotlights and then hops onto the control room glass. Seiko starts punching the glass with all her might as Ruruka wonders where things went wrong between them. The glass shatters, and Ruruka flees. She manages to get away from Seiko.
Sometimes after the third time limit hit, Ruruka discovered Sonosuke's body and hid in the lounge room she and Sonosuke used to hid before. When she met with Kyoko, Koichi, and Ryota Mitarai, she asked for their help to escort her far away from Sonosuke's body. However, Kyoko told her to not leave anywhere until she cooperated with her to investigate Sonosuke's murder.
Ruruka fell over a bunch of pressure explosives, claiming it was an accident. Koichi told Ruruka he heard she was far more mean then she lets on. He added that he heard she was recruiting young members of the Future Foundation, intending to break away from it. He asked what Juzo thought about that - moments later, Juzo himself burst into the room, announcing his intent to kill them all for being in Kyosuke's way. After Koichi seemingly disabled the former Ultimate Boxer by activating a trap that sent a spear into Juzo's shoulder, Ruruka smirked and triggered an explosion. Koichi sacrificed himself to save Kyoko by using his left hand to reach her, barely being able to get her to safety before the bracelet's poison killed him.
When Ryota confronted Ruruka for triggering the explosion, she revealed her plans to kill them all. She fed a special sweet to Juzo, brainwashing him into only desiring more of them; she told him that he can have all the sweets he wants if he kills the others. Unfortunately for Ruruka, Juzo was snapped out of his trance when he felt the pain of pulling the spear from his shoulder.
Kyoko then revealed to Ruruka that she knows she killed Sonosuke. Ruruka denied it, but Kyoko explained that she had found traces of the bracelet's poison on Sonosuke's corpse; moreover, they found that Seiko was dead, stabbed with a knife that was no longer in her body. Furthermore, Kyoko says that Sonosuke had traces of a sweet substance in his mouth, despite his bracelet revealing that allowing any food to touch his mouth was his forbidden action.
As Ruruka reeled from Kyoko's deductions, the former Ultimate Detective knocked over a bookshelf to reveal the secret entrance, asking Ruruka if her forbidden action was to make sure no one left the building. She theorized that Sonosuke found the entrance and wanted to leave, and Ruruka killed him by forcing him to eat one of her sweets, although whether this was intentional is unknown; she then took the knife from Seiko's body and put it into Sonosuke to make it look like he was killed by the attacker. Ruruka's attempt to deny Kyoko's claims was stymied when she tried to stop Juzo from opening the secret door.
Ruruka got knocked down due to the collapse of the original Future Foundation's Building. She then made it out of the library, where, hidden behind a wall, witnessed Kyosuke stabbing Juzo with his sword; whilst she cried in fear. She continued to comment that everyone is indeed a traitor.
Ruruka barricaded herself into a room, carrying rocks to block the entrance as for nobody to activate her NG code. She recalled the event where she betrayed and murdered her beloved, Sonosuke. She was so afraid that her boyfriend might escape from the building, even though he already ensured her that no one, even himself, are allowed to escape from the building. She cried, stating that she can survive on her own before falling into deep slumber after her bracelet went off.
During the sleeping period, Ruruka becomes one of the victims of the brainwashing video and commits suicide. Her corpse, however, was not suspended nor hanged, unlike the other victims of the brainwashing: instead, she is lying on her back. A mock to her talent, her sweets can be found scattered on the ground, surrounding her body, not to mention that her mouth is overloaded with them, denoting her giving herself an incredibly brutal demise.
Ruruka is seen in a flashback, revealing that she was brainwashed into committing suicide. The brutality of Ruruka's death implies she had a sense of self-loathing that the brainwashing brought out.
Ruruka appears in the OVA as a part of Nagito's imagination world.
A fellow member of Class 76th. They are a romantic couple and close since childhood, which is confirmed by their school profiles. Sonosuke rarely speaks and chooses to interact almost exclusively with her. According to the relationship chart, they have a mutual trust and reliance on each other.
Sonosuke is extremely loyal to Ruruka. Ruruka is often shown hugging and latching onto Sonosuke, often being protected by him. She also often feeds him her candy and the two seem to be partners, Sonosuke protecting Ruruka, and receiving her treats as a reward. It's been described that at least some of Ruruka's candy are as strong as narcotics and give her an ability to control other people. However, while Sonosuke really loves her candy, it seems he is not addicted to them in this manner as he continues to protect and truly loves her while not allowed to eat any candy during the Final Killing Game.
After Ruruka told Sonosuke not to betray her, he swore he wouldn't "by love and delicious sweets". However, when Sonosuke discovers a secret exit, Ruruka appears to be so afraid of a possible betrayal that she kills him by violating his NG code, betraying him before he can betray her. However, Sonosuke doesn't consider it a betrayal and says that he loves her.
A fellow member of Class 76th. They were once close childhood friends. Seiko always did what Ruruka asked, though Ruruka had a habit to push things off on her.
One day, because of a run-in Seiko had with Nagito, she gave Ruruka a laxative drug to put in her sweets instead of a physical enhancer, which were then fed to the examiners. In addition, the two girls and Sonosuke caused a school bombing unintentionally with the bombs set by Nagito. As a result, all three were expelled. Both girls believe the other to be responsible for the event and now mutually distrust one another. Ruruka does not seems to care about Seiko's death, and shows no feeling when she learns of her demise.
Although it seems that Ruruka has managed to convince herself that Seiko is a traitor, she actually seems to be quite regretful of what had happened in their past. When she and Sonosuke decide to fight Seiko to the death, Ruruka remembers the way she used to think of Seiko: her hero. Ruruka's actions had led Seiko to believe Ruruka was using her, however, it turns out Ruruka had just felt happy about being able to depend on Seiko, and looked up to her because she was able to do anything she asked. In addition, one of the primary reasons that led Ruruka to distrust Seiko was that she didn't eat her treats, and that saddened her because its was the only thing she could ever do for Seiko. Although Ruruka is unaware of it, Seiko felt the same way, and just wanted a friend she could be with.
A drawing from Lerche's twitter shows Ruruka attempting to feed Seiko her treats in the afterlife, suggesting that the two reconciled after their deaths.
Future Foundation Members
Ruruka dislikes Daisaku, as she is easily annoyed by his sayings and "creepy" voice, having no problem acting mean and condescending towards him. They have same tasks in the Future Foundation, which is distributing food to survivors of the tragedy.
Ruruka openly admitted to Seiko that she did not trust Kyosuke, and felt he was bringing the Future Foundation down with his ego, although part of that may stem from the fact that she was eventually planning to form her own faction and break away from the Future Foundation altogether.