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Yasuke Matsuda (松田 夜助 Matsuda Yasuke) is one of the main characters in the Danganronpa/Zero novel series. His title is Ultimate Neurologist (超高校級の「神経学者」chō kōkō kyū no “shinkei gakusha"). He is a Neurologist who was giving treatment to Ryoko Otonashi through the events of Dangan Ronpa Zero due to her tendency to forget things caused by amnesia. Ryoko, in turn, is infatuated with him, and he seems to be the only person that she can remember more easily than anything else. Yasuke was also asked by Jin Kirigiri to 'extract information' out of the survivor, Soshun Murasame, of Hope's Peak Academy's Worst Incident.
Yasuke was eventually stabbed in the stomach by Junko who had finally been able to regain her memories. Afterwards, she kicks his body till it's a bloody unrecognizable mess.
He is referred to as a 'sharp-tongued brainiac' by Monokuma's memo in his profile.
Yasuke has a tall, slender figure with a pale complexion. He has a small rounded thin-face, and he has messy black shoulder-length hair, he also has vague pale blue-hinted colored eyes. His attire consists of the Hope's Peak Academy uniform, however he does not wear the jacket or lab coat unless it is during his work as a Neurologist. In his free-time he only wears a white, half-unbuttoned dress-shirt which is poorly tucked-in, along with a sloppily-tied red and black tie. He wears black school trousers with a tightened belt and bathroom slippers.
Yasuke is quite mean, rude and has a sharp-tongue, especially towards Ryoko Otonashi but also shows some concern towards her on account of her forgetfulness. He is notably sarcastic and witty, yet he acts unusually anxious around the topic of the Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident.
In Yasuke's childhood, his mother was diagnosed with Dementia, Alzheimers' and Amnesia — causing her to forget who her own son was. According to his own words, he was forbidden by her doctors to address her as “mom” or “mother”.
Her conditions eventually led to her unfortunate death, and possibly, Yasuke's rather ambivalent and aloof personality.
Although he claims that he feels that he's “free” now that his mother ceases to live, it is heavily implied that he still harbors a large amount of guilt and grief over her demise, despite it being so long ago - displaying intense demonstrations of loneliness from his characteristics and resorting to being sour and bad-mouthed to mask it.
Since his childhood, he has been friends with Junko Enoshima. During the time when both of them were in elementary school, in the sandpit at the park based on the Sagrada Familia, Junko had been working on a sand church. However, a month later, it was destroyed by an unknown culprit. Seeing her break down in tears and weeping for almost a whole day, Yasuke decided to go and search for the perpetrator.
Yasuke's investigation eventually wound up to a dead-end, and he had never found any witnesses. Not being able to find out anything useful discouraged him. While he was sitting on a bench in front of the remains of the sand sculpture, Junko ran up to him with a large smile and whispered in his ear that she was the culprit one who destroyed the sculpture all along, asking him to keep it a secret. When asked for a reason, she replied that she did so by accident.
Later on after the death of Yasuke's mother, Junko became the person that Yasuke felt he could always lean on and she promised to always be there for him, developing their more romantic feelings for each other. It is implied later in the story that it was actually Junko who was responsible for Yasuke's mother dying but whether this is true or was just a way for Junko to put Yasuke through more despair is unknown.
Matsuda is noted to be overly defendant of Junko, even when she was in her alternate identity, evident by several situations that concern her. As it is later on revealed that Matsuda was in fact Junko Enoshima's accomplice along with Mukuro Ikusaba in orchestrating the events that would eventually lead up to Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. As Junko ultimately had her memories wiped out for the purpose of testing the memory-deletion procedure meant to host Class 78's Mutual Killing Game, Matsuda, in good intention, had attempted to foil her plans by planting fake information in her notebook while she was in her fake persona.
This plan had unfortunately backfired and Matsuda had ended up being stabbed by Junko in a fit of despair after the latter figured out who she truly was. In the end, it was Matsuda's attempt of saving the students and Junko Enoshima (from herself) which ultimately led to his murder.
Black White - A tied-up Yasuke is transported into a dark hospital. He ends up in the operating room and a group of Monokuma doctors surround him. The red light of the operating room lits up. From the outside, silhouettes of something drill-like can be seen. Almost immediately, the operating room explodes. The explosion is big enough to destroy the entire hospital. Inside the wreckage, a few pieces of paper were found. On them are hand drawn pictures that look like a Monokuma doctor, with a warning that he is a fake doctor. Yasuke died in the explosion. This execution is only shown in the Official Fanbook.
The relationship between Yasuke and Ryoko are explored through the events of Danganronpa/zero, from the beginning of Ryoko's arrival into the lab, Yasuke treats her condescendingly, berates her, and often makes fun of her whenever he has a chance to, labeling her with the nickname 'Ugly'. On the other hand, Ryoko is infatuated with him, and holds a deep liking towards him despite his sharp-tongue. She has a clingy behavior when around him and constantly whines when he's present, he is also the only person she seems to remember clearly.
On the note of her amnesia and treatment, Yasuke is shown to be if not defensive but intensely protective of her; this is shown when one of the old men of the steering committee insult Ryoko for being a 'dunce with no hope of recovery' and reckons her to be a failure, causing Yasuke to respond in contempt, proclaiming the old man to 'Shut the fuck up', and that his 'dirty mouth talks too much'.
There are times when Yasuke is shown to warm up towards Ryoko, seen when he visibly gets angry at her for disappearing and forcing him to go out and look for her; only to find her asleep on his bed when he got back into his lab, he proceeds to leave before Yuto arrives and has a talk with Ryoko regarding the incident. When Yasuke returns, he ultimately apologizes for getting angry and attempts to be obscure with his words.
During the untimely end, Yasuke is revealed to have been protecting Junko's alternate identity, Ryoko from herself by planting fake information inside of her notebook. However, this failed miserably when she had fell into a fit of despair and had killed him after realizing who she truly was. The motive for her murder was only the desire to drive herself further into despair by killing one of the two people she loved the most, this included Yasuke Matsuda and Mukuro Ikusaba who she later kills in the killing game of Class 78th.
- “That girl... Even when people make fun of her, she swipes it off because she thinks it has ‘nothing to do with her’. That’s why I have to speak up for her. I won’t be able to live with myself if I don’t.”
- “Shut up already, will you?”
- “This is probably my chance. My chance to protect her.”
(to Ryoko Otonashi)
- “You’re also too loud for someone as ugly as you. Speaking of, someone as ugly as you being scared of flying scalpels is weird too.”
- “You sound like a stalker.”
- “...Honestly, your brain is like a bottomless bucket.”
- “Who are you going to report me to? The National Japanese Ugly People Association? That kind of organization would be guilty of discrimination just by existing.”
- “I really can't leave you alone for a second, can I...”
- “...You don't often see someone possessing such a superb, brain-intensive talent as you do affected by memory loss. That's why you're such a rare case.”
- “...I'm sorry.”
- “Still, in the future you should talk to an expert about it. But, if you can’t do that, come to me… That’s all there is to it, right?”
(to Jin Kirigiri )
- “Clarify the truth...? Isn't that a contradiction? Didn't you decide to cover up the incident?”
- “...So who is this student you want me to interrogate?”
- "Yasuke" (夜助) is composed of 夜 - "evening" or "night" and 助 - meaning "help" or "rescue".
- "Matsuda" (松田) means "rice field of pine".
- He is one of the people who helped in the creation of the "Neo World Program", along with Chihiro Fujisaki and the Ultimate Therapist.
- According to dialogue between the two, Ryoko Otonashi had bugged Yasuke to watch the movie Home Alone starring Macaulay Culkin for some time, yet always mistakenly referred to him as "Wacooly Culkin".