- "I can read minds. ...Relax, it's a joke. I just have good intuition. Cuz I'm psychic! ...Ehehe. Kidding. Kidding!"
- —Sayaka Maizono, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
|Title||Ultimate Pop Sensation|
|Birth date||July 7th (Cancer)|
|Height||165 cm (5' 5")|
|Weight||49 kg (108 lbs)|
|Voice Actor||Makiko Ohmoto (JP)|
Unnamed little sister (non-canon)
|Game||Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc|
|Manga||Danganronpa: The Manga|
|Novel||Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc IF|
Sayaka Maizono (舞園 さやか Maizono Sayaka) is one of the characters featured in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
Sayaka has the title Ultimate Pop Sensation (超高校級の「アイドル」chō kōkō kyū no "aidoru"), as she was the singer of a popular girl group in Japan. Her fans call themselves "Sayakers".
Sayaka was murdered by Leon Kuwata in Chapter 1 after attempting to do the same to the latter.
Sayaka is considered very attractive, as she is adored by fan girls and boys alike. The obvious blush and eyeliner suggest that she often wears makeup to help keep this appearance. She has long, dark blue hair, with several hair clips and blue eyes.
Sayaka's casual attire consists of a sailor-like, white-and-blue schoolgirl uniform with a pink bow on the front, a plaid blue skirt and black socks that end at her thighs with brown, buckled shoes. Sayaka's idol clothing is a sleeveless pink and white dress with a pink ribbon and ruffles at the bottom, which ends just a little bit 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.
Seeing as she's an idol, Sayaka has a cheerful, sweet, and supporting personality.
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.
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 by telling people she was an esper, only to admit that she was kidding later.
[Warning: Several spoilers follow this section!]
Prior to the Tragedy
Sayaka was raised solely by her father. Since he always worked until late every single day, she often spent her time alone at home. The only thing that kept her from feeling lonely was the idol live show she watches on television.
For Sayaka, those idol girls’ smiles were her source of strength. Afterwards, she became very determined to become one because she also wanted to give strength to other unfortunate people. She admitted having done some bad things to achieve her dream in one of her Free Time events.
Sayaka and Makoto used to go to the same middle school, Blackroot Junior High; they were not really close because they weren't in the same classes and social groups. However, there was a time when she saw Makoto nursing an injured crane back to health after it got lost and stuck at the pool in their school. This action touched Sayaka, and after that incident, she tried to get to know Makoto more. Unfortunately, they ended up graduating without interacting with each other.
In 2010, Sayaka attended Hope's Peak Academy's 78th class as the Ultimate Pop Sensation. Makoto attended the same class and they met again, but their relationship after that is unknown.
During the Tragedy
One year later, the Tragedy occurred. During the Tragedy, Jin Kirigiri, the Headmaster of the Academy, planned to seal the school building and let the students live forever inside the Academy in order to protect them from the destruction. His plan was agreed by the class, and they sealed the building together and lived peacefully inside it for a year without knowing that the Ultimate Despair members were already in their midst.
The true Ultimate Despair took away the 78th Class' school memories so they could participate in the school life of mutual killing.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Prologue - Welcome to Despair
After losing his memories, Makoto met his classmates and only remembered Sayaka due to their shared past. Both immediately recognized each other and as a result, were familiar enough to attempt a conversation. However, they were cut off short by Kiyotaka Ishimaru (Byakuya Togami in the anime). Later, Sayaka assigned herself as some sort of assistant for Makoto. She also asked for his help to look for a weapon in case self-defense was needed.
Chapter 1 - To Survive
In Chapter 1 after Monokuma gave the students a motivational DVD to watch, Sayaka immediately panicked, since the DVD showed her band members lying on the floor, apparently dead or very hurt. The DVD pushed her over the edge, leaving her willing enough to devise a plan to murder Leon and frame Makoto by inviting the former to her room and swapping rooms with the latter.
Unfortunately, Sayaka's plan backfired, and Leon ended up killing her in the shower room. With the last of her strength, she wrote Leon's name (11037) on the wall behind her using her blood. Kyoko Kirigiri stated that there was a possibility that she wanted to make amends to Makoto.
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Chapter 6 - This is the End Goodbye Academy of Despair
In the second game, Sayaka was indirectly referenced by Makoto, who had joined the Future Foundation and was the person responsible for sending the Remnants of Despair into the Neo World Program; Makoto used her dying message "11037" as the abandoned Hope's Peak Academy building password in Jabberwock Island.
Makoto told Hajime Hinata that the reason he set 11037 as the password because "a certain person" (Sayaka) left that number behind to save him from trouble.
Sayaka Maizono's Final Performance - Sayaka is placed on a stage in the form of a giant beartrap along its edge, complete with a meter to score her. She is required to sing in order to fill the aforementioned 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 Sayaka instantly. This execution is only shown in the Official Fanbook.
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 "Educational DVD" from Monokuma, she fell into despair.
Makoto tries to comfort Sayaka and allows her to sleep in his room 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. Danganronpa IF, a what-if scenario that did not result in her death, also hinted that she regretted her actions.
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.
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. Later, Hajime also used this information to shake off the fake Makoto/Monokuma from manipulating the students.
Sayaka's Japanese voice actress 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 high school life of mutual killing.
Sayaka and Leon developed a relationship 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 (shown in the manga).
But when Sayaka felt uneasy and depressed, she started to plan a murder. She chose Leon as her victim because she thought that she was close to him, and planned to frame Makoto. In the end, her plan backfired as Leon were able to counter her, which led her to flee to the bathroom. In the manga version, Leon decided to follow Sayaka so he could calm her down, but ended up murdering Sayaka by accident.
Obtained from the MonoMono Machine.
- Kitty Hairpin
- Eternal Friendship Bracelet
- Love Affair Ring
- Rose In Vitro
- Cherry Blossom Bouquet
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.
- Melodious Voice - Increases damage to the opponent when a statement is destroyed. Effective during the Bullet Time Battle. Costs 3 SP.
- “Hi, I'm Sayaka Maizono. I look forward to getting to know you!”
- “Er, this is... It's just like you said... I came here and suddenly fell asleep. It looks like we're all in on the same boat...”
- “I will be your Ultimate Assistant!” (to Makoto Naegi)
- “I know I said I wanted to talk, but when push comes to shove, I don't know what to say...”
- “I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR ANY OF THIS!!”
- “THERE'S NO ONE WHO WILL HELP US!”
Creation and development
Sayaka is the basic model for the game's female characters.
At first she wasn't an idol, but occupied a general graceful, well-mannered princess-type position. At one point in the initial design stages she was a plump character.
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 Rui's opinion, her expressions characterize her rather than her design, "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."
Since the game's creators turned back to Leon (the base male character) and Sayaka's designs consistently from the very early design stages, they grew tired of them and the two ended up being the first characters to die in the actual game.
- The Kanji reading for her last name is 舞 mai - "dance" and 園 sono - "garden", referring to her idol background, while 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", "lovely", etc.
- Two of Sayaka's songs (Wish Ensemble and Monochrome Answer) were released on bonus discs with the anime. They are both sung by her voice actress Makiko Ohmoto.
- A third unnamed song of hers is also featured in one of the drama CD's.
- In the beta version of the game, Kyoko was killed in the first chapter instead of Sayaka.
- In the demo version of the game, to avoid spoiling the story proper, Hiro was the one killed instead of Sayaka.
- Sayaka actually enjoys cooking, despite her career as an idol.
- 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. The connection could be intended or simply irony.
- Sayaka's Birthday, July 7th, 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, who was also talented at weaving).
- Sayaka's English voice actress, Dorothy Elias-Fahn, also voices Chihiro Fujisaki and Alter Ego.
- Sayaka says in her free-time event, 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.