|“||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
Sayaka enrolled in Hope's Peak Academy's Class 78th and has the title Ultimate Pop Sensation (超高校級の「アイドル」chō kōkō kyū no "aidoru" lit. Super High School Level Idol), 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, ironically in her attempt to murder him.
Sayaka has a small, but important, role in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak Academy and also makes an appearance in the OVA titled Super Danganronpa 2.5: Nagito Komaeda and the Destroyer of the World.
Sayaka is around 19 years old, though she believed herself to be 17 in Danganronpa because of the memory loss. 
She is considered very attractive, as she is adored by fangirls 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.
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.
She wears light pink lace underwear. Due to her being an idol, she buys somewhat pricey ones.
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.
However if she being pushed to her limit, Sayaka will do anything even if it's risk. After she watched Monokuma's Motivational Video, she only thinks of how she could escape from the Academy, even planning to betray Makoto.
Skills and Abilities
Ultimate Pop Sensation
As the Ultimate Pop Sensation, Sayaka is said to have a mesmerizing voice and amazing dancing skills. Because of this she is an exceptional performer, and has gained many fans and admirers all over the world. This is actually what led Hope's Peak Academy to approach her.
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.
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.
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.
Sayaka attended Hope's Peak Academy's Class 78th as the Ultimate Pop Sensation. Makoto attended the same class and they met again. Sayaka befriends him and they become quite close after that.
Sayaka made an appearance in the episode, briefly shown on her photo book's cover. The book was given to Teruteru Hanamura by Nagito Komaeda and it seemed to have photos of her in revealing outfits. This is most likely one of the aforementioned "bad things" she did to achieve her dream.
Sayaka is seen talking with Makoto as the rest of the students begin to seal the school. After Makoto trips over a piece of paper, she tells him to be careful, as it would be extremely hard to help him should he get injured. Makoto assures her that the Tragedy would be over soon, to which she agrees.
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.
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.
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 appears when Makoto attempts to test out a theory made by Kyoko, who had died recently. However, Makoto is brainwashed after watching a short video on a monitor, leading to him having a hallucination.
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 in the first game. Makoto grabs a knife to kill himself, and Sayaka and tells Makoto to come join them, as she and Kyoko urge him to continue. However, Juzo Sakakura interferes, squashing the two girls' efforts.
Sayaka returns as a part of Nagito's imagination world.
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.
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 is confirmed by the fact that they became her Captives. When learning that her group broke up, Sayaka even attempted to kill one of her classmates and frame one of her close friends only because she assumed they were dead.
Satomi and Ayaka 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 "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 Killing School Life. In one of their high school pictures, Makoto seemed to be looking at Sayaka and Kyoko while their class was swimming. Also, in Danganronpa 3 Sayaka and Makoto are seen casually talking together after they had trapped themselves in the school, following the occurrence of the Tradegy. They were very close friends, and stuck together often.
Sayaka's voice actress also mentioned in an interview 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, 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 at him.
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, and planned to frame Makoto. In the end, her plan backfired as Leon was able to counter her, which led her to flee to the bathroom. In the manga version, Sayaka chose Leon as her victim because he respects Sayaka the most, so she could kill him easily. After Sayaka had ran 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 Leon's Free Time Events, it can prove that Leon secretly has a crush on Sayaka.
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.
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. She was planned to be the protagonist's childhood friend. 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.