This is the perfect example of a video game adaptation done wrong. Trying to fit in about 25 hours of material into 13 episodes is NOT a good idea, unless you want an extremely rushed show with very flat characters. It is horrible.
The story was actually pretty decently adapted. While it was rushed, nothing very important was omitted. However, I have some issues with the investigations. How do you expect anime watchers to identify the culprit if the most important part in mystery solving is rushed in about 3 minutes? Rushed investigations also made it seem like Kirigiri and Naegi were pulling things out of
their asses during trials.
That is another thing : class trials. There were 13 people in the first class trial. Everyone had to speak at least once, right? So, once again, the actual mystery solving part was rushed. Though, as the show went on, there were fewer students, so the trials did not feel as rushed (chapter 4 and chapter 5's trials are the best examples.) Still, this just proves 13 episodes only was not enough.
Next is the art. The character design is very odd, but it makes the characters look colorful and very different from one another! You could pretty much tell who had what talent just by looking at their appearance. Komatsuzaki Rui really has not dropped the ball design-wise.
However, the animation quality was quite subpar. Some episodes had okay animation, some terrible. The amount of stills also hurts, but it is acceptable. Generally, class trials had good animation, but the rest (investigation and the pre-investigation segments) took a huge hit.
I like how they kept Monokuma's small quirks in the background, though. Like eating pancakes after a particular execution.
Another good thing is the soundtrack. Composed by Takada Masafumi, the music is very catchy and really sets in the mood in most scenes. A prime example is the song named "DISTRUST" playing during big revelations, absolutely perfect! I don't dislike the OP theme, but the game's is way better. The ED, however, is pretty awesome. Personally, I love the 8-bit part at the beginning.
The voice acting is very well done, as expected of big name seiyuus. Monokuma's especially is perfect for the role.
Now here comes the bad part of the anime, and the main reason why I did not enjoy the show as many as I thought I would : character. In the game, characters are mainly developed by hanging out with them. As you hang out with them, you learn more about them. That is where they get development, and since the anime completely skips hanging out, there is nearly no character development for the whole cast, with the exception of Kirigiri, Togami and, to some degree, Naegi. This is a bad thing because when a character dies, it is hard to feel anything because you could not get attached to them. And that makes some twists feel pretty underwhelming.
In the end, the Danganronpa anime had a few good things about it, but it was severely crippled by a lack of character development and a very limited number of episodes. And that is why I did not enjoy the anime very much.
First off, if you detest/abhor/dislike this anime, read no further. I've just seen many overly-negative reviews and wanted to have an alternate opinion available for anyone who needs one. This is also a very naive review, as I've never played the game, nor have heard of its popularity, so expectations were average.
Oh god, what am I getting myself into?
The setting of Danganronpa has to be one of the strangest. A despair-filled high school where you have to butcher your classmates to "graduate?" Not going to lie, I thought this probably wasn't going to be the greatest of shows...
"You've got that wrong!"
"The people around me and the events that occur are very peculiar, but interesting!"
Character: 10/10. Ahh, I see now. So the characters are extremely unique (and contrast each other perfectly), I mean, a Super Duper High School Level Wrestler that looks like a body-building man but is really a girl?! My brain was surprised and I'd imagine it started seeping out of my nose. But nonetheless, the characters (obviously) really made the show for me. Not a single character in the show can be labeled, by me, a bad character. Hell, I might just start a new list for Most Hated Characters just because of Monokuna. So I think it's safe to say that you'll enjoy the characters.
Consistency: 7/10. Alright, this is the one thing that got on my nerves. The series did tend to be quite episodic at times and left important information out as well. That was a big downer for me as well, because to me, the series could've been almost nearly perfect if it didn't just drop information. However, I do understand that this was a seasonal anime, a Summer seasonal to be exact, so there really wasn't a way to break out of 12-13 episodes. Long story short, this anime would've been awesome if it was a few episodes longer to include all the information.
"But remember, there's always some other great things that we have as well. Trust me, I'm a fortune-teller.*wink*"
Thank you for the information and for creeping me out, Yasuhiro. But this holds true as well. For example: Mystery! The mystery in this series is absolutely top-notch and very invigorating (and this is coming from a HUGE Higurashi no Naku Koro ni fan), and almost always kept me anxious and nervous until they were solved. The prime example of this was the Classroom Trials, which was the highlight of the series for me. Sure, some of them were rushed, but quite honestly, who cares?! It was so exciting when I saw the elevator descending to the Classroom Trials room. The folowing debate would be very interesting, and was extremely interesting to see how each student used evidence to support themselves and to attack others. I must say, it was a bunch of fun.
"You've got that wrong! Those trials were always difficult and were almost always put on my shoulders!"
True, Naegi, but that bullet thing you did was always really cool.
"Uhhh, thanks....I guess..."
Okay, stop interrupting me, I'm trying to write a review.
There is one more complaint I have of this series. The constant 'yadda yadda Despair blah Despair-filled bluh bluh Despair' dialogue was WAY overused, and it's very evident near the end. I mean, my god, I understand this is about despair, it's in the freaking title! The show just crammed that down my throat until I felt that was the only word I knew anymore. However, I did feel like I was reading a well-drafted essay, because I noticed a sequential tone structure, with a very strong tonal shift. Although this might not be very useful for anyone nor will you care,but I thought it was worth mentioning in case others noticed it as well.
There's one more thing I'd like to cover: Sound: 9/10
VA's 10/10: The voice actors in this series seemed like they were MOLDED to be perfect for each character. I couldn't see any character any other way. Even at first, I couldn't stand Monokuna's voice, but it grew on me fairly quickly. You could play any character's voices and I could deduce them almost immediately, they are THAT distinct.
OST: 9/10: I can't believe I'd ever love a rap song, but TKDz2b hit the tone of Danganronpa write on with "Never Say Never." I will admit, I did NOT expect an English rap song to come on when I started it (and there were no accents, even a bigger surprise), and I immediately fell in love with it. Takada Masafumi
also created a great soundtrack for this anime (I mean, he DID get chosen to do music composition for Super Smash Bros. Brawl) and the mood was always enhanced when the music started up. The ED (Episode 13's was great), however, didn't really do it for me. It contrasted with the feel of the series (somewhat like "Torch" from Clannad: After Story), so it was a slight mood killer, but it wasn't too bad, because it was still a great song.
"You've got that right!"
Wow, you feeling okay Naegi? That's the first time I've heard you agree!
"I just express my emotions enthusiastically and raw."
...that gave me a weird image.
Enjoyment: 9/10. Yes, I loved this series. I had a great time and an exciting time watching it. If it was slightly longer and didn't try to implant the word "Despair" on me and shove it down my esophagus, I would've loved it just that much more.
Yet again, this is completely my opinion, so please don't take any of my ramblings too hard. I also won't go over the story because everyone will have contrasting beliefs on it, so there really is no point.
Thank you Naegi and Yasuhiro for the commentary on my review. Now get out of here and live on in despair.
"Uncool, man. Uncool."
Personal Note: I watched the last 7 episodes while having a high fever and it made me feel a lot better by just watching it, so this may have a slightly higher score than it would've, but, I digress.
I think it should be a general rule that if you're going to adapt any type of game, that you cannot make it 1-cour. If Danganronpa isn't a prime example of this rule, than I don't know what is.
Being a fan of the game, I was very excited to hear that Danganronpa was receiving an adaption. The biggest issue though was 13 episodes - which, considering that Danganronpa relies a lot on character and plot development for it to work so well, was obviously going to be a huge let down in the series. Even as a standalone anime, Danganronpa doesn't work as well as
The series revolves around 15 high school students, chosen to go to an academy of hope - Hope's Peak Academy - based on one major thing they excel in, be it detective work, fortune telling, anything really. I won't get into detail about the story, since well, there is a synopsis, but the words "15 high school students" and "13 episodes" should already start sounding alarms for you.
Why? Because the show obviously doesn't have time to explore all of these characters, which is honestly a shame. The characters, honestly, come off as very one-dimensional and underdeveloped due to how quickly the pace moves. Characters that were supposed to have spent lots of time and have connections with Naegi, our main protagonist, are severely cut back which makes the murders all look like petty shock value.
One thing I have always praised Danganronpa for was its excellent characters, which are almost completely butchered in the anime. The amount of foreshadowing and interactions that they all had was amazing, but in the anime, again, even as a standalone, is just very flat. Obviously, the characters who survive longer get more development, but without any actual character development or depth given to them, the entire impact of the death, trial, and executions are just.. gone. It makes it seem like just another petty death game, which unfortunately, is what the anime feels like.
The story itself suffers due to rushed time as well, since again, the rushed pace takes away from a lot of foreshadowing that tie in to key events, most specifically a major plot twist near the end of the show. The story is pretty coherent and easy to follow, but in the end it never comes off as more than just mediocre due to how the anime is presented. Not to mention, so many things come off as complete asspulls. This is really present in the trials because of how short the investigations are. It makes it seem like some of the conclusions and accusations are just pulled out of nowhere for convenience. Important points that come up later on just feel extremely forced, and the drama that occurs as well feels too melodramatic due to lack of time spent in the setting and characters. It's all just a very overall rushed and messy anime.
I both give credit and displeasure towards the artwork of the anime. I give credit to them for staying true to the character designs, actions, and sprites that were in the game. But my displeasure leads towards both the overall animation and the executions. The studio, Lerche, is a studio that has done hardly any actual anime and their lack of budget is very obvious, especially in the early episodes. It's also noticeable when you realize that a lot of animated scenes in the game, the executions obviously, are just traced over. Literally. I mean, good, I'm glad you tried THAT hard to stay true to the game, but that's just lazy when you have to trace over this. Not to mention the entire anime feels far too.. game like. As if the studio didn't know if they were making an anime or a game with more movements.
The opening song is honestly a pretty generic rap song, and changes at odd times. The OST, while excellent in the game, doesn't seem to be as fitting in the anime? It's hard to describe, really, but it just doesn't feel right, though that could just be me. I do, however, appreciate all the VAs, namely Junko's, for their excellent job on the characters. The ED theme is also very well-done as well, and a very catch tune.
To be honest, I'd find it very hard for one to genuinely enjoy Danganronpa if they haven't previously played the game. The immense flaws in the characters and storytelling is just so obvious, though then again if you're into just overall death game anime, then you may like this. Most of my enjoyment simply came from seeing all my favorite characters animated, though obviously if you haven't read the LP or played the game, you won't have that in it for you.
Overall, Danganronpa shows exactly what is wrong with game to anime adaptions - cut time for key things like the characters and plot can really break a show, especially one that relies purely on that. If I were to recommend Danganronpa to someone, I'd recommend the translated game or the Let's Play any day. If you've already watched the anime and happened to like it, definitely go for one of the following, because the depth it goes into is quite amazing. If you wanted more out of the anime, then again, go for the LP or game. It's actually coming out for PS Vita come 2014, so if you get the chance, perhaps even buy it.
Also, the end of the 13th episode hints at Super Danganronpa 2, the sequel to Danganronpa, being animated. Essentially, if this gets greenlit for an anime and is only 13 episodes and you're interested in it, don't bother. SDR2 can and will only work as 2-cour. I'd honestly recommend it either way since it answers many questions that Danganronpa had left behind.
I sure as hell got my fill of despair from this, but not in the way I wanted to..
Former players of the murder mystery video game, Danganronpa: Academy of Hope and High School Students of Despair, are likely to find this adaptation as a disappointment with several changes or downgrades in the characters. Unfortunately, it does not differ much for someone who is unfamiliar with the game either. Danganronpa has an interesting plot with its dangerous game and potential to conduct an excellent thriller. However, you can imagine how well this murder mystery goes with only 13 episodes. Danganronpa’s motive was to create a horrifying show with gruesome deaths, but it embarrassed itself with its unpleasant
artwork. The rushed pacing left no room to learn about the characters or give them time to develop. With a complex game such as Danganronpa, 13 episodes was a bad idea and left many plotholes.
Danganronpa started off on a good note, introducing the characters and the survival game to consist of one winner. The execution is poor. A murder case lasts only 2 episodes, so it doesn’t hesitate in getting to the point or wastes time with sob stories from each character. Cases gets unbearably cheesy when the gullible and disinteresting male protagonist Naegi gains the spotlight by being the only one finding flaws in someone else’s theory. Danganronpa drifts away from the horror aspect with occasional changes in the rules. They use fanservice as a distraction once the story actually gets serious. A downside for the viewers who are solely interested in discovering which student is clever enough to conduct a murder and get away with it are likely to be disappointed with the ending. Of course, with a murder mystery also comes relevant questions of the game’s originality. This creates a rushed pacing in an attempt to answer every single question but leaves several plotholes and ridiculous outcomes.
The idea of a menacing teddy bear named Monobear as the mastermind is not bad, considering that he proved himself to be a threatening individual. However, Danganronpa became less of a thriller as Monobear's personality occasionally became laidback and panicky. The high schoolers had diverse personalities, including a bipolar chick and the manliest looking girl, and the potential to be likeable characters. Sadly, Danganronpa reveals nothing about the characters besides their name and given nickname. Naegi even lacks any background, so his personality leaves him as no one but another cliché male protagonist. Mainly all, except 2 or 3 side characters, are just there to die or be present as an investigator. The elimination of characters continues without revealing anything about them until the very last minute, and there is hardly any time to feel sympathy for the dead or understand a character's motives. This leaves some questions unanswered, causes disappointments from misleads, and creates a strong lack of character development.
The art is indeed unique but mostly awful. Most animation from game adaptations hide the fact they base from a game by fitting close to an anime as possible, but Danganronpa makes it extremely obvious with the arcade-animated scenes. Danganronpa supposedly is a horror. Admittedly, the combination of eerie music and sketched dead bodies makes it a bit terrifying, but how do they ruin it? Magenta blood. Slice the characters’ bodies in half, and you’ll find veins of playful colors. Also, the 3D elements could be cool, but it is more of a sneaky way to censor the deaths. No complaints about the character design, because it was really diverse and suited each character's personality.
Oddly, Danganronpa is the first anime I’ve known to have a rap song as the OP. It’s not bad, and the lyrics relate to the show quite well. The ending is an arcade song that is questionable. The seiyuu fit the anime perfectly as each character had their own personality. The characters were diverse and included a manly female, great detective, and a bipolar chick. The seiyuu did an excellent job portraying those characters, especially the one who played Monobear.
Danganronpa could be a better show if it wasn’t so rushed, paid more attention to the characters, and perhaps followed through with the game. I suggest watching it through the first murder case to decide whether you want to continue or not. Regardless, go into this with no high expectations or play the game as most game players suggested.
I like to play games. I mean, we all do once every while when we're bored right? The fun thing about games is not to only to kill time but also for achievements in some cases. When you win a game against someone, you get that feeling of pride knowing that you were better than your opponent. When you lose though, you might feel disappointment but also hoping to do better next time. But what if you're in a twisted game where there's no next time? What if you only get that one chance because if you lose, your life will end? Well, in Dangan
Ronpa, you won't get another chance if you screw up. Your life is at stake and in order to graduate/win, you have to kill someone and get away with it.
Goal: achieve a perfect murder.
Dangan Ronpa: The Animation is an anime adapted from the game of the same name. The game is a murder mystery visual novel. I have not played the game so this review will be judged based on from an anime perspective alone. And coming fresh from this series, Dangan Ronpa offers what it is based on its concept – a murder mystery story with twists and surprises.
For most part, the series is pretty straight forward. The initial episode introduced a variety of characters where each of them possesses a special talent of sorts. These ranges from talents such as lying, fortune telling, computer programming, or even the art of murder. One particular student stands out though because he doesn't possesses any special talent. In fact, he is invited to the school (Hope's Peak Academy) based on a raffle. His name is Makoto Naegi and he realizes his life is never ever going to be the same again.
The main premise of the series is to survive and escape the school. In order to do that, they have to commit the perfect murder. They must kill one of their classmates and get away it but that's a lot easier said than done. Of course, this spurs up a lot of tension and distrust among the students themselves as to who can be trusted. It's obvious though to suspect everyone and play safe but trusting no one. If you think the premise is twisted though, wait and till you meant the headmaster of the series. Its name is Monokuma (also known as the Monobear) and boy, he is someone that is shrouded in mystery. For starters, he has a very sarcastic personality. No one really knows what he says is true or not. However, the students of the academy quickly learns the hard way that his words are serious. In fact, this is proven by his dangerous powers to kill anyone on the spot. As a character full of mysteries, Monokuma plays the role of the primary antagonist as he enjoys the situations the students are in. His face also depicts a twisted like personality with one side being cute while the other side being disfigured. Furthermore, he has a tendency to uphold the laws of his game with absolute power as he is willing to kill others that breaks the rules or threatens his very existence.
Because there are 15 characters in this series, expect all of them to make their own spotlights. However, expect that number to go do down with each progressing character because of the premise. As fate knows it, there will be murders committed. Among its cast though, Naegi is the most average of them but also has the most guts and determination. Judging by his character, he is willing to help others and tries by any means to end this twisted game.
As the rules of the games go, you must commit a perfect murder to graduate. However, there is also a catch involving the classroom trials that proceeds each time a murder is committed. This is done in order for the characters to determine the culprit. If you guess right, the killer will be killed on the spot in a gruesome fashion. But hey, what if you guess wrong? Remember what I mentioned before about second chances? Well, that can go to hell because if you guess wrong, everyone else but the killer dies. It's a game that only our Monobear can think of to be this twisted.
Among the character casts, there are several students that makes their presence known more than others. Besides Naegi, there is the mysterious Kyouko Kirigiri. She comes off with a mysterious girl but a very intellectual mind combined with coolness and reasoning skills, she is one of the prominent members of the series. More importantly though, we can see that she also seems to form a close bond with Naegi even from the beginning. Other important characters include Byakuya Togami, an arrogant rich boy. Despite his attitude, he also possesses keen intellectual skills in problem solving. However, every character is part of the problem because every time someone is killed, there's someone to blame.
As for the problem solving goes, there are various hints dropped in here and there. This usually happens at the crime of the scene. Then, there's the class trials that proceeds the murders where arguments are ensured and accusations flies in the air. The murder themselves are always different and seems to be coupled with some sort of motive. These varies each time but the result is almost always the same – someone committed the deed and they will pay. But then of course, if the others guess wrong, they die themselves. It's literally a kill-or-be killed situation. While all this is going on, Monobear plays the fool. Man, talk about being a chill bear.
Because this is a mystery theme series, there are various twists and surprises. In particular, there is more than just meets the eye regarding the origins of the game. In fact, “who is Monobear?” “Who or what is the real mastermind pulling the strings?” “Was there anyone that successfully escaped years back before this graduation trial?” There are many questions that I'm sure viewers will come up with their heads as the episodes progresses. The fun aspect of Dangan Ronpa is making theories based on hints. Then when the class trial comes, viewers will be able to figure out if they are either right or wrong. The experience here is thrilling because regardless of the result, you'll feel like being in the classroom itself.
As thrilling as Dangan Ronpa is, I do feel like some of the murders are a bit too easy to solve with the given clues. This is especially true in the beginning where some of the clues are ridiculously obvious. Then, there's the executions themselves that comes after the trials. From what I've known, the executions incorporates reused animation from the game rather than anything new. The execution itself may also seem brutal but it can also be taken hardly serious because of the animation style. I find the animation to be poorly constructed and out of place. Also, from what I understand, there are things that should have been adapted but left out. Through my experience of watching anime adapted from games, this is always bound to happen on occasions so don't expect everywhere there. After all, games are the superior brand of its anime adaptation. Furthermore, the length of only 12 episodes gives this show a case of cramping and rushing things through. There are also some cheesy dialogues with an underwhelming ending so don't push the expectations too high.
Animation wise, Dangan Ronpa is like a crumbled cookie. It's like the chocolate is overbaked or something because the animation style is edgy and looks hardly realistic or to take seriously. Monobear is designed as a fusion of cuteness and psychotic. As far as the character designs go, they all do have an unique appearance. These match with their titles and personalities, some more ways than one as you will discover later on personally. One drawback I also found about the animation style is the murders. The blood is colored differently than what you may be used to and doesn't seem to be serious at all either. To me, it doesn't fit quite right.
For soundtrack, Dangan Ronpa executes an OST that mixes with rock, metal, and techno on occasions. There is a thrilling like feeling every time the soundtrack is played because viewers can tell that something big will happen. The OP songs are also artistic with the montages of the characters. On the other hand, the ED song provides a glance of the characters of every episode. Voice acting wise, Kirigiri's VA Yoko Hikasa plays her role quite well with her calm personality. In fact, she is always seen as being level headed and her voice tone is a good reflection of that. Monobear himself also has a voice full of sarcasm and cruel intentions.
Overall, Dangan Ronpa can be received differently depending on how you will enjoy this. As a viewer coming directly fresh into this, I did enjoy some aspects of it. However, there are times when I find the murder to be quite predictable along with the way being handled sort of out of place. What Dangan Ronpa brings though is the thrilling experience of finding out the culprit behind the murders. As the episodes progresses, more and more mysteries are unlocked where they might come as unexpected. For me, some of the expectations I had for this series were met while others I had were met with mixed results. Like I said before though, Dangan Ronpa is a mystery theme series with touches of psychological and horror. Therefore, it can be received differently for everyone. However, if there's one thing that we all share in equal, it is death.
A group of teenagers, each of them exceeding in their own field, be it sports, programing or leading an outlaw biker gang, get locked up in an elite school with no obvious way to escape, except one: Kill a fellow student and don't get caught. An interesting take of the snowed-in-in-a-mountain-cabin trope and good set up for a murder mystery. Or is it?
Danganronpa was based on a game of the same name. Since the game was a success which spawned a sequel and huge, dedicated fanbase, it was only natural to cash in on it. An
anime is a nice way to do so. While I do understand that converting one medium of storytelling into another is not a copy-and-paste process, I can't help it but to compare those two. The game was awesome. The show, less so. Why is that? A few reasons which boil all down to the same problem: the show only has 13 episodes. Let me elaborate:
While the story itself is captivating and interesting (even if sometimes over the top) and the characters sympathetic and, more or less, not cardboard cutouts of certain stereotypes, none of them is given the time to breathe and develop. Every single story arc gets compressed into 2 episodes: the murder and detective work getting down, and the school trial, an event in which the boys and girls need to determine who the murderer is. The game got a good balance between those two. Every arc is a few hours long, allowing the player to build social contacts, get to know the cast, investigate the crime scene and have a debate in which the murderer is uncovered. Many of those things do not happen or happen in a very compressed form because of the limited time the show has. The result is that the viewer does not get to know the characters and has no chance to connect with them, the investigation part is reduced to a few minutes of listing the evidence, and a, sadly in many cases, too short episode to find the culprit. It gets confusing and leaves a general feeling of something missing. That's all I have to say about the differences between those two. Lets talk anime-only.
Ignoring there was a source material we've got a cast of throwaway characters of whom the majority only serves to be killed of. The story and its creative setting are captivating, but do not get enough time to leave an impact. I seriously can not stress enough how little time this show has to develop it's story and characters. The animation is pretty weak and not up-to-date with other anime. The soundtrack is good (*cough*keeptfromthegame*cough*).
In conclusion, I have no idea who this anime was targeted towards. Fans of the game will only get quick reminder of the experience they had with it, people who would want to play it will get spoiled without enjoying the "whole" story, and people who are just in it for the lulz will get a mediocre murder mystery with terrible pacing. Should fans of detective anime watch this? Yes if you want a general idea of the events but can not or do not want to play the game. No if you want a good ride for your money (and time). There are better mysteries out there like Death Note (obviously), Monster, Another, Ergo Porxy and (the very lengthy) Detective Conan (aka Case Closed).
Okay, before you press the "Not Helpful" button after seeing my rating, realize this: I haven't played the game. This is a review from a watcher who thinks of this as just a regular anime, not a game adaptation. And, as someone who didn't play the game, I think it's a anime worth watching. Let me explain:
It's a really creative, well adapted version of the "Last man standing" plotline, which seems more cliché than it actually is. I personally really like the idea; when someone gets murdered everyone has to crack the case together and if that culprit gets found out, he/she dies too.
The story revolves around 15 teenagers who are invited to attend Hope's Peak Academy, ad when they step inside, all they can feel is despair when they discover that their principal is sadistic, moving and talking Black and White Teddy Bear that goes by the name of Monobear, (or Monokuma). He instructs the students that this is all a test. Only one student is allowed to leave the school and that's the one that manages who doesn't get found out as a culprit or just manages to survive until the end. I loved the whole idea and personally, I love animes that mess with your head like this, because you NEVER know who the culprit is going to be or what is going to happen next. The only thing is that some of the elements were really confusing, and it takes a while to process what's happening, but overall, it's a really great idea.
This anime has a great transition between different art styles. From time to time, it switches from the normal expected art style and an urban vintage type art style, and thought it really enhanced the mood of a dramatic plot point. It was really unexpected and surprisingly relevant. I've never ever seen an anime hat does something like that, EVER. And I would highly recommend it to other animes in the future. Also, the effects during the anime, especially during the class trials, were really good and different from anything I've ever witnessed.
It was pretty good, the transitional soundtrack and also the opening. I love how the opening was westernized into a rap, American song. It was really original ad I liked it. It was unexpected and fit the rest of the anime really well. I mean, it's nothing to sparkle at and listen twice to, but it was really original. The transitional music tracks were placed very well. I like the soundtracks in the Class Trials, it added suspense and put a mysterious twist on the plot.
Of course, with 15 teenagers, there were going to be ones I hated and ones I liked, but I didn't really necessarily "hate" any of the characters. In fact, I really like the mix of different design and personalities that made up of the group; from a multi-personality freak, to a body builder monster woman, Danganronpa covers it all. I really liked the main character; though, he turns kind of cheesy in the ending, but totally worth it right? Of course, the mix of personalities is what the anime really had going for it. Each character had their own tag, their own extreme personality that got them into the school in the first place. It really added effect.
Overall, I really enjoyed the whole mix of the different elements that each added some originality to the anime. I couldn't look away from the screen, it was so worth watching it.
Ending: 8 (I won't give any spoilers)
I know from experience that an ending can really ruin the anime. It's happened millions of times and that's why I'm really scared to watch the ending of Shingeki no Kyojin today... but that aside, I'm going to tell you what I thought of the ending. There is so much of a plot twist that you yourself hurt your brain by watching it, but that's not always a bad thing. I mean, Danganronpa puts the ending together really well, so well in fact, that it will get you banging your head against your desk for a week. I mean, there's slight cheese, but it's not overwhelming like in SAO.
Overall I really enjoyed watching it. It really put me on the edge of my seat and gave me chills with all of its beautifully executed elements. I would definitely recommend this to a close friend, or anyone to that matter! I believe this anime is really underrated and needs to be recognized. Right now, everything is buried in the shadow of Shingeki no Kyojin, but I'm telling you, it's a fantastic anime.
Story 9: It has an amazing plot-twisted story, one of the best executed one's i've ever seen, because everything seems so logical, like a game you play, no matter how you play a game or it develops, if you follow the rules, nobody can't complain about it.
Art 8: A basic background with stereotypical places in a building that is really attractive drawn.
Sound 9: The opening and ending of the series are so damn good... never skipped them, they are so special like they would never appear in another anime.
Character 10: Stereotypical characters that are so different from each others that you can't dislike all of
them speciallyone of the biggest dislikes of characters what they don't have is that they aren't annoying!!!
Enjoyment 10: No how matter what character or wich part of the anime you like, you'll enjoy it completly for sure.
Overall 10: Masterpiece, enjoyable until the breath, i never saw some anime like that enjoyable.
Here is a very basic rule of thumb that all animation studios should have learned by 2015: "Just because something worked as a video game, doesn't necessarily mean it will work as a show!"
Danganronpa was a successful video game because it had goofy characters, decent comedy, and allowed the player to think and solve mysteries. The story and characters weren't very deep or well developed, but it didn't matter because the entire point was for the player to actively solve the puzzle. A TV show is largely a passive form of entertainment in which the viewer is not controlling the events and using skills to
solve a puzzle. That is why the quality of characters and writing needs to be higher in order to make a good show vs. a good game. Tetris is a great game without having any plot or characters to speak of, but it would SUCK as a TV show!
The basic premise is that a bunch of students are trapped in a highschool and manipulated into killing each other off. The students need to figure out who trapped them there and who is killing everyone. Basically they just lifted the plot and premise from an old Agatha Christie novel. Although this worked well for "And Then There Were None", it doesn't work out NEARLY as well here. One of the reasons is that the same "trick" used by Christie to throw off readers on who the true killer was actually was shocking and original in 1939, but really NOT in 2014. I don't want to completely spoil it, but if you have read the original novel you are not going to be surprised when the killer is revealed. The other reason Danganronpa fails is that the characters are all ANNOYING AS FUCK! I am dead serious when I say that MonoKuma is one of the single most annoying characters in anime history! In a videogame, a character can be REALLY annoying and players simply tolerate it. This goes all the way back to 1985 and that damned Duckhunt Dog! However, in a TV show it really isn't acceptable to have so many annoying characters with so much screen time!
It hardly helps matters that the animation in this show is dreadful and the CGI death sequences are so shitty looking you would rather die the death onscreen than have to watch it! I think Oregon Trail had better death cinematics than this piece of shit!
Popular videogames being made into unbearably shitty anime is a trend that really should stop for the good of the anime industry. The ONLY positive thing I will say about Danganronpa is that it is better than another recent cell phone game adaptation: Vampire Holmes!
You may already know that Dangan Ronpa is the anime adaption of a video game by the same name.
You should also know it is the worse anime adaption of a game that was ever made.
Despite having a great story, it is impossible to realize how good it is or even enjoy it in the anime because the pacing is absolutely horrible. Everything happens too fast and nothing is explained, especially during investigations. A lot of important information is lost.
There is no character development, apart from things that are very important for the story. The lack of free times makes the characters bland.
The animation is a
disaster, not even still images have good art. For something called "Dangan Ronpa: THE ANIMATION" there sure very few of it.
The only good thing about this adaption is the music. Why? Well the OST is the same one from the game (surprise!), and they actually did a good job with the ending. However I am not a fan of the changes they made to the opening song.
I am still watching this anime for the sole reason that I have already played the whole game beforehand, so I know the story. I'm using the anime as "extra footage" to watch some situations from the game "animated" (altough there's not much animation in this anyway).
Conclusion: Don't watch the anime, play the game. If you really want to watch it, do it after you've played the whole game. Please don't let the anime ruin a great story for you.
Danganronpa - KNGTZNK - The Animation (I KNOW!) is a weird anime. Not because he it pinkish blood, or it feels as if you're flying with Enterprise within the distance of a small country or anything alike - it's just weird.
To put it off my chest, I loved first 4-5 episodes. They really hit the point with me since I love the detective stories. They were well executed, they actually had SOLID pacing (I KNOW!) and weren't as ... well, as bad as the rest of them. As for the rest of them, they suck - flat out suck.
The story of Danganronpa is simple
- you have sixteen (fifteen) students stuck in a school and only one of them will graduate. How? By killing others and not being found guilty, of course. The anime instantly opens the question of moral, self-indulgence and various other things concerning oneself in regards to others. We have a large range of characters, and a great setting. The rest is simple: some drama and dialogue, murder, investigation and trial - hence and repeat. No, seriously. The story skyrockets in speed in the last five episodes. You are constantly being fed enormous amount of information and you don't know whether you're supposed to remember or not. And the last two episodes (especially the last) ... oh gosh ... think of it as the entire Sauske/Itachi arc done in one and a half episode. Yep.
All in all, story is half-assed at best. It opens solidly and creates decent foundation, but then is skips through itself so quickly you forget what the hell is actually happening. It has no tools other than constant, constant, CONSTANT, boring dialogue and monologue to resolve all the questions, so yeah.
The saving graces of this anime are probably art and sound, and even they are not great. Art itself is nothing special; animations can sometimes (often) be so stiff you can barely look at them. Not to mention 5 minutes of talking where no one moves a limb. Eyes blinking and mouths opening and closing. Yeah. However, animation somewhat shines during the executions; they're quite well done, all unique in their own ways, flashy and disturbing of course. However, what killed the art for me was that bloody, pinkish blood. I detest the censorship, especially in anime where blood actually matters. Executions seemed as unicorns taking a crap rather than bodies being mutilated and dismembered in the most awful ways. Characters designs are also quite good, I might add. All characters look fresh, unique and distinguishable enough. It's their personalities that make you forget about them. As far as the sound goes, music is your standard tense stuff which is actually not half-bad. The voice actors vary; even in the last episode, I still couldn't stand the MC's voice, but it's just me.
Now, the character department. Considering there are sixteen (fifteen) students, and thirteen episodes, you know it's going to be a train-wreck. Only two characters receive mild development (Kirigiri & Naegi) but not in the true sense. From the very first episode, they all have established personalities and they stick to them (well, Nagei kind of receives a new one by the end). There are two or three interesting character, including the bear (which is probably the most interesting) and the psycho-killer-schizophrenia-amnesic-catastrophe. Kirigiri will be okay for some people, but I found her character ... just plain boring. The characters are not memorable. Let alone their names. Not that you even bother to remember, or need to remember. Just ... bad characters overall.
In the enjoyment department, for the first 5 episodes, I give this anime 10. For the last 6 episodes, I give it 0. And we find in the middle. First two-three cases are relatively fun, but the formula quickly runs out. And then they tip of a twist which just couldn't make any sense unless they pulled out some really weird crap (which they did) but hey, I lived through it. The anime has A LOT of twists. Are they good? Some of them. However, after the number of people clears up a bit, it's rather easy to predict who killed whom, and even that mystery aspect kind of disappears. And then the last two episodes. Complete and utter train wreck.
What I hated the most about Danganronpa are those last five episodes. Up until then, HOPE and DESPAIR were never found in the same sentence and were mentioned once or twice in an episode. But then writers took some acid and decided to go nuts. They invented a new drinking game. Whenever you hear the words HOPE and DESPAIR in the same sentence in the last 5-6 episodes, take a shot. You won't live through one. For some reason, the writers decided to go full-out-pretentious (never go full-out-pretentious) and not in a good way. They constantly kept throwing around the subjects such as despair and hope, and characters (especially MC) kept giving the old same speeches how "... as long as I can hope, I can change the world with my hope ..." (yea, I'm looking at you Naruto) and you just want to close your eyes and forget you're watching it because you're embarrassed.
Do I recommend Danganronpa? Well, unless you're sucker for extremely fast paced anime with so many plot twists that will make your head twist (and not in a good way), go for it. However, it is obvious that this anime needed far more than 13 episodes. Even someone who never played the game realizes that.
Boy, oh boy. This is a rather short anime so I decided to dedicate time to watch it. While I wouldn't say it was a mistake, given the chance, I would rather not have seen it at all.
The story is interesting indeed, especially people who are suckers for mysteries like me. It's based on a video game of the same name, however, this adaptation managed to do so many things wrong and its main failure lies in the lack of time for development.
The class trials were just really poorly executed. 1-2 episodes per trial (including the crime, the investigation and the trial itself in that
short a span) just doesn't cut it. The twists came off so suddenly, without any prior build-up and just comes off as poorly-done. What's the point of creating a mystery if you don't give the audience a chance to even formulate their own theories?
I found the characters lacking as well. Given that this was a show featuring extreme characters, they weren't really quite made to be realistic. Yet we weren't given a chance to see them grow, to even /see/ how they are. When they died, I mostly just went "oh, okay" because I didn't manage to form an emotional attachment to anyone. I especially wish the main character could have been given more well-rounded, seeing as how we were watching the story from his point of view. We just didn't know anything about him and yet we had to trust him as there was no other way to watch it. Aside from Kirigiri, no one else was molded to be a somewhat three-dimensional character. The way the show portrayed the characters, no one was very memorable except maybe for Monobear and Kirigiri.
Now, to the anime's credit, atleast there's the soundtrack and art. The seiyuus were mostly all right, but the one who voiced Monobear deserves praise. The rest wasn't quite as notable but the music was intense and gave way to tension that wouldn't even be existent without it.
The artwork, though a bit... unique, gave the anime the vibe it should have. I found the purple blood to be a nice touch. Details were on the spot and I thought the angularness and thick lines were perfect. The character designs were very particular. The animation of the executions was also a wonderful touch, it gave the scenes a stranger, trippier, more intense feel. Danganronpa wouldn't even be half the anime it was without the very original art.
To sum it up, I don't think anyone would be satisfied with how it ended up. Original fans from the game would be pissed at the poor adaptation, new viewers would just be confused with what /exactly/ is going on (I sure was). If the anime could have been extended up to, say, 25 episodes to give way to character development then I'm pretty sure this could have ended up great but the way it is now just leaves a gigantic room for improvement.
I mean... seriously? Everyone's talking about how the show is bad compared to the game and so on but this is just painfully mediocre in it's own right.
- The animation? Not a fan. I mean some might like the 3D-ish elements, but for me it was just painful to watch. In addition to the execution segments the 3D stuff just felt out of place and completely unnecessary. To be honest I didn't like the art style either.
- A word about music. I usually find most anime OPs quite amusing or interesting even if they don't suit my musical preference. This OP (and
ending tbh) were pretty bad. Nothing worth noticing about either of the tracks. Just filler music to spend 1.5 minutes of air time that COULD be spent on char. development.
- The way the trials were set up didn't really work for me either. The whole verbal bullets thing seemed childish and although I'll admit that it was interesting to listen to the thought process at times overall it was quite boring.
=== ENDING SPOILERS IN THE NEXT BULLETPOINT ===
- The characters are totally undercooked. People have said this time and again and I will agree with them. The story either doesn't fit the format of a show when comparing to a game or just needed more time, because we never shown what some of the characters actually do or are good at. Some of them just appear and disappear 2-3 episodes after that without any character development what-so-ever.
=== END OF SPOILER ===
The ... good?:
- I'm a sucker for a good mystery so this kind of thing had me caught up in the story despite the show itself being bad.
To be honest there probably are tons of shows worth watching instead of Danganronpa so... just do that, I guess.
This is based solely on this awful adaption, not the game.
Now, I've said this before and I'll say it again, I love Battle Royale premises. What I don't like is when the concept is completely butchered with poor characters, art and predictableness.
The story gets a 7, mostly because I'm just generous towards anything that involves a bunch of people that have to kill each other in order to survive. It takes place in a school where the characters are told by a cute little bear that they have to kill each other and then hold trials to try to guess who the kill was. If
they get it right, the killer dies. If they get it wrong, they all die except the killer.
I'll give the story props for being different in that regard, but honestly, it was done very poorly. The rules and the 'motivation' to kill the others were stupid, and I don't see why the characters were dumb enough to actually kill anyone. The trial scenes were the same with the main character always figuring out who it was. The way it was executed was laughable, as were the death scenes.
The pace was rushed. It became formulaic and boring, as I didn't care who died since the characters were just there to die anyway.
As for the art (4), well, it looked bad and out of place. Most of the character designs were horrifying and everything looked like it was copied and pasted from a game (OH WAIT, it was). And what I can't over look is the fact that the blood was pink. PINK. It looked ridiculous. The deaths of the killers after the trials also looked funny and out of place.
The music was alright. I liked the opening and ending songs, but they weren't anything special. Within the anime, there weren't any soundtracks that stuck out. Mediocre at best. 5.
The characters is where this show really suffers. They were introduced lamely and had one-dimensional, generic personalities. The main character, Naegi, was the worst, being your typical no personality character. The same goes for Kirigiri, who was supposed to be 'mysterious' but at the end of the day wasn't.
Monobear wasn't scary at all. I don't know why they decided to give him that voice, but it wasn't threatening, it was lame. So was his pathetic excuse of an explosion in the first episode.
The main villain and the ending was a surprise, I didn't see it coming. That being said, it would have been nice to see what it was like outside the school.
All in all, I didn't care who died or who did the killing because the characters were so one-dimensional. They all could have died, for all I care. 2, because of how awful they were handled.
Honestly, I feel bad for the game, because I've heard it was great. Unfortunately, the anime was atrocious.
Overall enjoyment was a 4, mostly because of the premise and the ending, which was the only thing that wasn't predictable. That's it.
Final Verdict: Just walk away. Run if you have to.
Ping, pong, pang, pong....... As I make this review,1st thing is 1st, I haven't played the video game yet, then again such game would cost a fortune here in Mexico and I haven't yet read both the manga and the light novel yet, so for this review, I'm only gonna base it for this anime and this anime only. Por qué todos ustedes entiendan, muchachos? Bueno, bueno, let get down and dirty, so far this is another very good anime for this season, despite of the spoilers available in MAL and other anime site info, it didn't affect my desire to watch and be
amuse as to how the mystery and the deception unfolds with the students of Kibōgamine Gakuen, thought there are question abound as to what's the concept of such school be conceive, it really doesn't matter at all. if I were to compared this with it's western counterpart the closes it would be is "The Cube" were both involves people trapped in such confined place where everything is a puzzle that every individual has to figure out in order to get out, but unlike the movie 'The Cube," in Danganronpa the group of individual enjoy comfortable amenities and knows who the adversary is despite the fact that the said adversary is using a disguise, but what really make it enjoyable despite of the spoilers is how the anime was presented ok so never mine about the pink blood and the not so gruesome murder of the victims and the over-elaborate execution of the guilty, the real enjoyment was knowing how the mastermind (despite of the spoiler) did it and given that she's to be found out how will she react. Frankly, on the last episode I was kinda hoping that Junko is gonna be up to something to escape her own execution or does something to make the escape of the final six a bit more difficult, so my ratings for this 13 episode anime:
Story, enjoyment, overall: Good 8
explanation already provided, above.
Art: Poor 3,
I give such score since the characters illustration doesn't match the anime's concept, also, the execution, character's attire, murder and background are just too over-elaborate, thought this anime should use a little bit of Junko, Kirigiri and Sayaka fanservice. About Sakura, I would have prefer that this series' illustrator would have made her a he or make her a hot babe rather than an bulky FBB who pumps themselves with steroids.
Sound: Fair 6.
For the op and ed- me not likey, but, for the Monobear, the one who did its voice was very compelling to say the least too bad that Junko's VA wasn't able to do it properly. Then again, the way Junko delivered her lines in the final episode was pretty awesome and so as Genocider Syo.
Character: Good 7.
I would have given it an 8, but the fact that Mukuro Ikusaba's roles was too brief, should limit this part to a 7. Then again, it ain't that bad, since it was Naegi and Kirgiri who gave this anime the most impact and the 2 are the only ones who kept the group together even is there are times along this anime's episodes that they have to the escapegoats. Also, Monobear, really did play a good role foe being the antagonist in this anime, also I like the way that Junko (I'm referring to the real one) who came out on the last episode as this psychotic despair spreading freak dish out her freakish side and the way she tries to use deception and manipulation as a last attempt to escape execution in the last episode, though, she could have done it in a much a more easier way, then again, I'm thinking if this anime will have a season 2, I won't be surprise if she faked her own execution. As for the others, like Aoi, I really hate the fact that she's moire of a lucky bimbo than anything else, Yasuhiro, on the other hand was merely useless in fact I can never understand why a fortune teller like him can't predict any of the student's future nor was he able to foretold who is behind Monobear, Touko or Genocider Syo, was pretty useless as well, she more of a comic relief than a fearsome serial killer. Togami, is another character that contributes to this anime's overall impact, but, I see him as this play safe character, who's pretty much does everything to keep himself away from the bubble.
It is known fact that if you make an anime/movie adaptation off a video game , it will never be as successful as the video game itself, given that it has the same content and story. Video games allow you to experience and make your own decisions, which is not an option in movies/anime. Infact, many innovators actually believe that decision making video games MAY replace movies in the future (If you've played “Life is Strange”, you’d agree with this fact).
Anyhow, before you read any further, if you oppose this anime solely due to it not being able to live up to its video game
counterpart, I advise you to piss off. I'll write this review based solely on the anime itself, and will not compare it to the game (Not like I've played the game anyways).
Now for the anime itself. I started watching this anime, not expecting too much from it. As I finished watching episode 1, I was thinking of dropping it. But I must admit, shit got real from then on. Everything that happened had my full attention. And before I knew it, I had been indulged into it.
If I am to keep it spoiler free, I'd say that the story is very average to start with. It only gets interesting after the first murder. Since I haven't watched like 500 Anime series to be writing this review, the story was interesting for me. It kept me really really curious as to who the murderer might be. Some Mystery series fail to keep audiences curious (won’t mention them here). But luckily, Danganronpa wasn't one of them (For me at least, because I am a fan of Mystery series)
No doubt about it, the animation was very good. The character design was cute as well. I must admit, I did start this series only because I liked the character design. The only part I disliked was the "punishment" periods. Which I think were nabbed off of the video game (?), since it was pure CGI.
All and all, its an 7 for me because I love Mystery anime.
As someone who did not play the video game, I found this anime to be quite good. I think if you have played the game, you would find the anime a let down because the anime feels rushed considering how short it is. I really enjoyed the anime though. I thought the concept was very interesting and it was a very fun anime to watch. I liked certain characters and hated others but that was the point. The last few episodes did feel rushed and at certain times throughout the series, you will feel like there could be a lot more. I wish this anime
was 26 episodes because the murders and investigations were very short at times. Overall though I would recommend this anime to others. It is not like any other anime and it is a good watch.
Danganronpa is a series I wanted to like more. It's by no means terrible. The story is interesting, some of the characters do have the potential to grow on viewers even if they're unfamiliar with the source material, and it manages to build up a serious level of excitement around each individual trial. Furthermore it has unique style which reminds the viewers of it's origins as a game. This is both one of it's greatest strengths as well as it's greatest weakness. While it lends itself to a distinct atmosphere and helps maintain a sense of energy that persists throughout the series which prevents one
from feeling the whole show is dragging along. Some of the visual cues are neat in their own right. Yet, at the same time, it feels too much like one is watching a video game. While not a "formulaic" show per se, it lends itself to feeling strangely mechanical and predictable from time to time. This can also take the viewer out of the action so to speak. For people unfamiliar with Danganronpa this aspect can be irritating where it may have been intended to appeal to fans of the game. Some scenes appear as if they were torn directly from the source.
Then there's the fact that this series is heavily rushed. A lot of characterization, character development, and plot elements that the source material had time to flesh out are often barely touched upon, rushed, or outright excluded. This lends Danganronpa to feeling a little sloppy and it shows. While the source material may not have aimed for hyper realism, this unfortunately makes some scenes and important reveals feel utterly ridiculous and absurd in ways that only serve to hurt it.
Then there's the opening song. It's not bad but the lyrics some times seem like who so ever wrote it was trying too hard to make it related back to the story itself.
On the bright side, the plot is more-a-less faithfully adapted. No major liberties are taken with what is overall, a fairly well written story. The art style is pretty decent. At it's best moments it can be pretty damn fun to watch. Even if the execution sequences do like they were taken right from the game, they do make for an entertainingly absurd bit of dark comedy. What character development made it in was fairly well handled and most of the cast ends up being fairly likable. Just like the game that spawned it, Danganronpa has a sense of style even if it's not handled as well as it could be. Most of the voice cast (at least with the Japanese language version) does a decent job.
While it's more interesting than the average series, fans will probably enjoy it more than someone totally unfamiliar with the franchise. While I would not hesitate to call it a good series, it suffers in some significant ways from time constraints and stylistically clinging too close to it's source even as it uses this very same element to elevate itself in other aspects.
Danganronpa is a series based on a PSP game from Spike, a company best known for their work on various DBZ games. They also worked with Capcom on a very under-rated game called Crimson Tears. This game, I never heard of until the anime came out. So I'm going to be judging the series entirely on its own merits and I'm not going to notice if they screw up something from the game. The adaptation was handled by Lerche, a company that, according to ANN, has only been involved with seven anime productions. None of which I've seen. So let's take a look at the
recently finished Danganronpa anime and see what it's about.
Our story begins with our protagonist, Naegi, walking to his new High School. No sooner does he cross the threshold when he finds himself waking up in a classroom that's been bolted shut. An announcement plays requesting all students assemble in the gymnasium. He finds himself with fourteen other students and a stuffed bear apparently belonging to Harvey Dent appears claiming to be the Principal. They're told that they won't be allowed to leave until they graduate. And the only way to graduate is to kill someone and get away with it. Now, Naegi has to solve the mystery of just what is going on at Hope's Peak Academy, figure out how to escape, avoid getting killed and solve any death that happens or he, and all of the other innocent students, will be killed. This anime is very silly, but in a good way. It's like a very macabre parody combining murder mystery with the whole “students being forced/ strongly encouraged to kill each other” genre that was popularised by Battle Royale (which happens to be on one of my book shelves between the Handmaid's Tale and Suzuki Koji's Dark Watch.) Now, I don't just refer to it as a parody because the antagonist you spend most of your time with is a teddy bear. The character designs are also goofy, the tone stays rather macabre but avoids getting too dark by showing execution scenes in very muted colours and leaving the gorey bits to your imagination. There are also some rather silly scenes. To give one example, Kirigiri finds a clue in the underwear of one of the corpses. When asked why she would check there she shrugs it off as no big deal. It's not like she checked their socks or something. Let's move on to the mystery elements. This is an area where the series excels. The investigations go by very quickly, but they manage to give you all the information you need to either solve the case or figure out where the discussion should begin in the classroom trial. The only exception is the trial before the last one, in which they disclose very little but I'll let that one go since there is a good story reason for it. One thing that I really liked is that they managed to make the discussions interesting, even when the solution was obvious. So you never feel like you're watching a bunch of idiots flounder around to figure out something that should be obvious. This isn't Hyouka. My biggest criticisms of the series are that they leave a lot of unanswered questions , which I unfortunately can't ask since most of them involve spoilers, and the ending is pretty cheesy. Now, a lot of the series is cheesy, in a good way. The ending, however, gravitates more towards the facepalm inducing end of the cheesiness spectrum.
Most of the characters in this are pretty typical. Naegi is a lot like many other shounen protagonists, he's young and naïve but he's got a lot of heart and great potential. Many of the other students are also representative of rather flat archetypes. Maizono, Ishimaru, Hagakure, Yamada and Oowada to name few. Now, in all fairness, most of these characters are passable even if they aren't particularly deep. There are some very problematic elements to the way a few of the characters are handled. Particularly Fujisaki and Sakura. There are some characters with really interesting concepts behind them, but they never get fully developed.
The art is interesting. I already mentioned the goofy character designs and the execution scenes, but there are other facets worth discussing. A second way they tone down the gore is by having blood be some bizarre colour like bright neon purple or green. The evidence is also presented in such a way that it feels like a game. It gets brought up in boxes or contradictions will be illustrated by the image of a bullet shattering into a person when Naegi raises an objection. Which does give it a unique aesthetic.
They got some really stellar voice actors for this. Including Ogata Megumi, Ishida Akira, Hikasa Yoko and Sawashiro Miyuki. All of whom give great performances. The biggest issues are with Kujira and Yamada Kappei. Kujira plays a female character but gives a heavily masculine performance, which is one of those problematic elements with Sakura's character. Yamada just gives a very flat and kind of annoying performance. The music is good. It's used to accentuate the action pretty nicely.
The Ho-yay factor is a 1/10. This has no Ho-yay. I kept expecting there to be some, just because it is starring Ogata Megumi and I'm used to seeing her play characters with either a same sex love interest or at least a one-sided crush on someone of the same sex like Haruka, Yukito, Kurama, and Ayato. But no, she doesn't this time.
So, how is Danganronpa? As a horror piece, it doesn't really work. But if you have a dark sense of humour and you enjoy a good mystery you will likely enjoy it quite a bit in spite of its problems. If macabre elements creep you out or mysteries make your head hurt, it's not going to be for you. For myself, I give it a 7/10. It's a good anime and I did enjoy watching it. Next week, horror anime month ends with a look at some cute little animals... from the Petshop of Horrors.