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|“|| I honestly believed that as long as you kept chasing your dreams, someday they had to come true. But to that, you can't take off your eyes off of your dream, not even for a second.
Sayaka Maizono (舞園 さやか Maizono Sayaka), 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. Her title is Ultimate Pop Sensation (超高校級の「アイドル」 Chō kōkō-kyū no "aidoru" lit. Super High School Level Idol).
Sayaka and Makoto Naegi both went to Sixth Black Root Middle School, though were not really close because they weren't in the same classes and social groups. On one occasion, Sayaka saw Makoto nurse an injured crane back to health after it got lost and stuck in the school pool. This action touched Sayaka, and after that incident, she wanted to get to know Makoto more. Unfortunately, they ended up graduating middle school without interacting with each other, and went to different high schools.
Sayaka was later scouted for Hope's Peak Academy's Class 78th, where she met Makoto once again.
Prior To The Tragedy
Sayaka posed for an idol photobook on at least one occasion, which was revealed when a copy was traded to Teruteru Hanamura by Nagito Komaeda. It appears to contain photos of her in revealing outfits, and is likely to be one of the "bad things" that Sayaka did to achieve her dream.
- Main article: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Sayaka was among those who were chosen to attend Hope's Peak Academy as part of Class 78th. Her, along with her fellow classmates, ended up being trapped inside the school, completely unaware that at the time that they had already been memory-wiped of their two years of school life together. Sayaka is around 19 years old, though she believed that she was only 17 because of the memory loss.
After losing their memories, Sayaka and Makoto were the only two students who still remembered each other since they attended the same middle school. Due to their previous familiarity they became close, and Sayaka assigned herself as an assistant to Makoto.mutual killing incident, in which the only way to escape was to kill a fellow student. As an incentive to murder, the students were each given a DVD featuring a video from Monokuma which implied that their loved ones were in danger. Sayaka's DVD showed the other members of her band apparently either dead or unconscious.
The DVD deeply traumatized Sayaka, and she began devising a plan to murder Leon Kuwata and make it appear that Makoto was responsible for his death. She had Makoto promise he would do anything it took to help her escape, and he took an ornamental golden sword from outside the gym and kept it in his room for defense. In the evening, Sayaka knocked on Makoto's door, appearing visibly frightened, claiming that someone had tried to get into her room. Because she felt unsafe in her own room, Makoto agreed to switch rooms with her, and the pair traded room keys.
Sayaka's FateUnknown to Makoto, Sayaka then switched the name plates on their dorm room doors. She wrote a note on Makoto's notepad, claiming she'd found a way to escape, and slipped a note under Leon's door. Later, when Leon arrived, Sayaka attacked him with a knife she had taken from the kitchen earlier in the day. Leon grabbed the ornamental sword on Makoto's shelf and used it to defend himself, breaking Sayaka's wrist in the process and causing her to drop the knife. Sayaka fled into the bathroom and closed the door behind her. Not realizing that Makoto's bathroom door was broken and needed to be lifted in order to open, Leon believed the door was locked, and left to go and retrieve his school-issued tool kit in order to break in. After breaking into the bathroom, Leon then stabbed Sayaka in the stomach. With the last of her strength, Sayaka wrote Leon's name (appearing upside down as 11037) in her own blood. Later after the class trial had concluded, Kyoko Kirigiri stated that this was likely Sayaka trying to make amends to Makoto.
Post-Killing School Life
- Main article: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Makoto, who later joined the Future Foundation, used Sayaka's dying message "11037" as the password to the abandoned Hope's Peak Academy building on Jabberwock Island. Makoto told Hajime Hinata that the reason he set 11037 as the password because "a certain person" (Sayaka) had once left that number behind to save him from trouble.
Sayaka appears in Makoto's hallucination first, alongside Kyoko. Sayaka taunts Makoto, reminding him that he failed to keep his promise to her, and asking why he's still alive. As their classmates appear behind her and Kyoko, Sayaka is shown with blood dripping from her mouth and staining her clothing, reminiscent of her death. Makoto grabs a knife to kill himself, and Sayaka tells Makoto to come join them, as she and Kyoko urge him to continue. However, Juzo Sakakura interferes and stopped Makoto from committing suicide.
Nagito's Illusory World
Sayaka appeared as an illusion in Nagito Komaeda's imaginary world following his death in the Neo World Program. Her illusion's personality appears to be based on a generic shoujo manga protagonist. Much like Sayaka's real-life counterpart, she is cheerful, sweet, and has a supporting personality.
Sayaka was worried of being late to school and began running hurriedly down the path while simultaneously holding a piece of toast in her mouth. She accidentally bumped into Nagito, pushing him into a moving truck and sending him flying into the nearby shrub where he experienced a number of unlucky circumstances. As a result of Nagito's bad luck, Sayaka received good luck, and was helped to stand back up by Makoto Naegi. Makoto represented himself in a far more confident and cool way and Sayaka was impressed by this, and they share a romantic moment. Later, Sayaka held Makoto by the arm as they walked together happily, showing Nagito how happiness can still be created without talent.
Creation and Development
The character designer, Rui Komatsuzaki, calls Sayaka's design "the most orthodox" out of all the characters. Her design turned out to be a "basic cute young girl". In Komatsuzaki's opinion, her expressions characterize her rather than her design. He explains:
- "All of the game's characters are very expressive, but hers are relatively different from what you'd first expect from such a character. I think I had most trouble drawing her scared expression." 
Sayaka's Birthday, July 7, coincides with Tanabata, also known as The Festival of the Stars. The Japanese festival Tanabata celebrates the annual reunion of the mythical lovers princess Orihime (represented by Vega) and cowherd Hikoboshi (represented by Altair), who were separated across the heavenly river Amanogawa (the Milky Way) by Orihime's father, emperor Tentei. After witnessing his daughter's subsequent sorrow, Tentei has decided to allow the couple to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month (when Altair and Vega intersect). The story of Orihime and Hikoboshi is somewhat similar to the relationship between Makoto and Sayaka: They were both interested in each other during middle school, where they failed to find the chance to talk, and only had very brief time together in Hope's Peak Academy before Sayaka's death. Makoto is also considered "normal" (like the simple cowherd Hikoboshi), while Sayaka is a famous, talented idol (like princess Orihime).
舞園 (Maizono) uses the Kanji 舞 mai - "dance" and 園 sono - "garden", referencing her love for performance. Her first name is written in hiragana as 'さやか', making it strictly phonetic. There are many existent kanji spellings for "Sayaka", the most common translating as "bright", with other possible spellings meaning "blossom", "crystal" and "lovely".
|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. Sayaka's execution is called Maizono Sayaka's Final Performance and described as the following:
- "Maizono is placed on a stage, with the form of a giant beartrap along its edge. She is required to sing in order to fill the a score meter until it's full. However, just as the meter is about to reach the highest score, Monokuma destroys it, triggering the 'Failure' condition. This causes the giant beartrap to slam shut, killing Maizono instantly."
Danganronpa IF, is a what-if scenario light novel in which Sayaka doesn't die. Sayaka's scheme to frame Makoto was interrupted by Makoto fainting, and was therefore never carried out. Very concerned and worried, Sayaka took him to the infirmary, intending to watch over him until she was interrupted by Mukuro Ikusaba. Later, when pressured about it by Monokuma, she appears nervous and unhappy, vowing to tell her friends what she had almost done when the crisis is over. Sayaka ultimately escapes Hope's Peak alive with the rest of her classmates before the Mutual Killing Game properly begins.
Her school uniform is a traditional seifuku-style Japanese school uniform comprising of a long sleeved white shirt with a blue sailor collar and a pink bow, a blue tartan skirt, black thigh-high socks and brown, buckled shoes. Her school crest is visible on her undershirt and on her sleeve.
Sayaka's idol clothing is a sleeveless pink and white dress with a pink ribbon and ruffles at the bottom, which ends just above her knees. She also wears an intricate matching ribbon on the right side of her hair and white knee-high boots. Her hair is tied into two pig tails with pink clips on her bangs. In her official art, Sayaka wears her stage outfit, which consists of a ruffled, collared pink and white dress, a pink bow on the front and knee-high white boots. She wears a black see-through armband on her right arm and a thin white arm band and a fluffy white bracelet on her left arm. She also wears a large pink bow over a white headband and she has multiple star hair clips.
Seeing as she's an idol, Sayaka has a cheerful, sweet, and supporting personality. Despite her idol career, Sayaka actually enjoys cooking.
Sayaka develops a bond with Makoto Naegi, whom she considers her friend, assisting him on every occasion in Chapter 1. However, she tends to hide her feelings when she is under great pressure by putting on her public persona. She also cares greatly for her band members, and would not hesitate to do something if anything were to happen to one of them, including things that could hurt others. When pushed to her limit, Sayaka will do anything even if it's a risk. After she watched Killing Among Loved Ones, she only thinks of how she could escape from the Academy, even planning to betray Makoto.
Sayaka mentions that she often finds herself focused on a particular person, but pushes these thoughts out of her mind to commit herself further to her idol career.
Sayaka has an amazing intuition, as she can easily tell what people are thinking. She often joked about being psychic, only to admit that she was kidding later.
Talent and Abilities
Ultimate Pop Sensation
In other languages
Sayaka's talent as it appears in official translations of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
|Ultimate Pop Sensation|
|超高校級の「アイドル」||Super High School Level Idol|
|超高校級的“偶像”||Super High School Level Idol|
|超高校级的“偶像”||Super High School Level Idol (DRtA)|
|Ultime Idole||Ultimate Idol (DRtA)|
|Super-Idol||Super Idol (DRtA)|
|Super Idol Liceale||Super High School Level Idol (DRtA)|
|Superidol de Bachillerato||Super Baccalaureate-Idol (DRtA: Manga)|
Sayaka has amazing intuition, and often knows what people are thinking, even when it isn't obvious. She claimed this was due to psychic powers she joked about having. During Sayaka's School Mode ending, Makoto has flashes of events from the main story involving him and Sayaka, who also seems to remember said events. This seems to imply that Sayaka really does have a limited amount of psychic ability.
Her father is the only family Sayaka has left, however, Sayaka states that her father was never really around the house much, due to him staying late at work. Because of this, Sayaka was often lonely, and didn't know her father very well.
Her Idol Group
Sayaka is very close to the girls in her idol group, as they are the ones who helped her achieve her dreams. They are the people she cares about most which are confirmed by the fact that they became her Captives. When learning that her group broke up, Sayaka attempted to kill one of her classmates and frame some of her close friends only because she assumed they were dead. Satomi Aoba and Ayaka Haneyama are two of the girls in Sayaka's idol group and very good friends of hers. So far, out of the four girls in Sayaka's idol group, only their names have been revealed.
Before the events of the first game, Sayaka and Makoto went to the same middle school but never talked to each other due to being in different social circles. However, she became interested in Makoto after seeing him nurse an injured crane when it got lost and stuck in the pool at their school. She wanted to get to know him more, but unfortunately, both of them ended up graduating without ever contacting each other.
In the game, Sayaka eventually had a chance to talk with Makoto and befriended him. Mutual attraction formed between the two and several parts in the game hinted that she actually has feelings for him, even going so far as to act as his "assistant." However, after she received her "Motivational DVD" from Monokuma, she fell into despair. Makoto tried to comfort Sayaka and switched rooms with her when she was scared. This is later revealed to be an attempt to frame Makoto for the murder of Leon, but her plan backfired, and she ended up being killed by Leon in the process.
Before dying, Sayaka wrote Leon's name (read as 11037) as a hint for the culprit. Whether she really tried to save Makoto from being framed as the culprit or she wrote Leon's name as an act of revenge is unknown, however Kyoko theorized that she regretted her actions at the end and so had left the message in order to save Makoto, and he believed that. The manga adaptation explicitly demonstrates that Sayaka wrote Leon's name in a deliberate attempt to save Makoto from suspicion.
In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Makoto explains to Hajime that he set 11037 as the code to save the remaining students because it is a number that refers to someone who saved him when he was in trouble.
Sayaka's Japanese voice actress, Makiko Ōmoto, said in an interview (in Danganronpa THE ANIMATION Official Complete Book) that Sayaka's character song, 'Monochrome Answer', might hint at her relationship with Makoto before the Killing School Life. Ōmoto also mentioned that when Sayaka's "ghost" appeared to Makoto in Danganronpa 3, she was told not to speak in a scary voice, as she was supposed to represent "a guy thinking of his first love right before his death". Makoto's crush on Sayaka is also confirmed in the first anime's relationship chart. The chart does not mention her liking him back and it has not been explicitly stated that she returned his romantic feelings, however, it is heavily implied in one of Sayaka's Free Time Events. She tells Makoto that she is interested in someone, while the latter notes that she was looking intently at him while lightly blushing, but follows up by stating she is unable to act on her feelings due to wanting to escape the school first. In the Danganronpa V3 bonus mode Ultimate Talent Development Plan, Sayaka cooks a dish for Makoto, which he enjoys. They then talk about the old days and want to spend more time together.
Though the two are not seen interacting much during the killing game, as a womanizer Leon quickly developed a strong interest in Sayaka and apparently planned to approach her at some point. In relationship charts featured in the art book, Leon admires how cute she is and considers her a "pure-hearted girl", which is a type he is into. Sayaka takes a note of that she is his type with a slight smile and blush.
When put under the pressure of the Motivational Video, Sayaka chose Leon as her murder victim and planned to frame Makoto, possibly because she was aware of his attraction towards her. In the end, her plan backfired as Leon was able to defend himself, which led her to flee to the bathroom. Though he claimed it was only self-defense, Leon made a conscious decision to counter attack and murdered the girl.
In Danganronpa: The Animation, there was a school photo of the Class 78th together showing Leon with his arm placed behind Sayaka on her chair of which she is perfectly comfortable with, this friendly gesture could imply that they were good friends during high school at Hope's Peak Academy.
In the non-canonical manga adaptation, Sayaka and Leon's relationship is quite different. They developed a friendship after Leon decided he wanted to be friends with her because of his ambition to change his talent from Ultimate Baseball Star to Ultimate Musician. Leon found Sayaka had the same passion he did, so he wanted to get closer to her. In this version, Sayaka chose Leon as her victim because he respects Sayaka the most, so she could kill him easily. After Sayaka had run away from Leon upon his counter attack Leon decided to follow Sayaka to the bathroom so he could calm her down. In the end, Leon ended up murdering Sayaka by accident.
During Free Time Events, Makoto can choose to talk to Sayaka in order to learn more about her. If he gives her a present that she likes and chooses the correct response during their conversation, their friendship level will increase and she will disclose something about herself. Each successful Free Time conversation adds a page to Sayaka's Report Card in the e-Handbook menu, and grants either a skill that will give him an advantage during class trial battles, or an increase in Skill Points.
|Most Effective Conversation Prompts|
|Preferred MonoMono Machine Presents:|
Becoming friends with students grants Makoto special skills which can aid him during Class Trials. Becoming close with Sayaka grants the following skill:
|Melodious Voice||Increases damage to the opponent when a statement is destroyed. Effective during the Bullet Time Battle.||3 SP|
List of Appearances
- Two of Sayaka's songs (Negaigoto Ensemble and Monochrome Answer) were released on bonus discs with the anime. They are both performed by her voice actress Ōmoto. A third unnamed song of hers is also featured in the Hope's Peak Academy: School Festival Drama CD.
- In DISTRUST, the beta version of the game, Kyoko Kirigiri was killed in the first chapter instead of Sayaka, whereas in The Demo, Yasuhiro Hagakure was killed. Both were in order to avoid spoiling the events of the full game.
- In Danganronpa Reload Guidebook, it was mentioned that when demo version was complete, some staff members commented that it might have been good to go with the beta version's scenario.
- Her death is similar to that of Nancy Spungen, who died in a hotel bathroom with a fatal stab wound to the abdomen. Nancy at the time was the girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols - one of the bands Leon mentioned that would inspire his future punk band.
- Sayaka's English voice actress, Dorothy Elias-Fahn, also voices Chihiro Fujisaki and Alter Ego, as well as Tsumugi Shirogane in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
- Sayaka says in her Free Time Events, in response to Makoto's answer 'crane', that she's the crane he rescued at that time during middle school and that she wants to weave clothes for him. This is actually a reference to a popular Japanese folktale, Tsuru no Ongaeshi or "The Crane's Return of Favor". In the story, a crane which was saved by a man disguised itself as a woman and devoted herself to help him make a living by weaving beautiful fabric for him to sell. However once the man realized that it was the crane who sustained him, she was already gone. The story is somewhat similar to chapter 1, where Makoto learns only during the class trial that in her dying moments, Sayaka used whatever power she had left to clear him of suspicion.
- A younger sister of Sayaka's was planned to be introduced as part of the Warriors of Hope's Hit List in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. This idea, however, was scrapped once the game's developers realized that Sayaka having siblings would be inconsistent with her back story mentioned in the original game.
- In the original game, Sayaka is the one who discovers that the kitchen is restocked everyday by Monokuma, however, in the anime, they changed it to Chihiro.
- In a series of tweets from Kazutaka Kodaka during Valentine's Day of February 2013, he tweeted "in-character" as several of the Danganronpa cast, including Sayaka. The tweet translates into this:
- “I brought cookies! They’re handmade! …Hmm? Did I make any for anyone else? Of course not, you. That was a silly thing to ask.”