With both Mirai-hen and Zetsubou-hen ending, it’s now time for the final episode of Danganronpa 3, Kibou-hen to wrap things up. Although some things may just feel like pure fanservice and maybe the conclusion might be too hopeful for its own good, Kibou-hen managed to make me smile from beginning to end and never have I felt so excited and satisfied from a conclusion before
As you probably already know, this episode should be watched after finishing Zetsubou-hen and Mirai-hen since this episode serves as a conclusion for both series. But not only that, but Kibou-hen is the conclusion for the this Danganronpa universe, and the next Danganronpa game, New Danganronpa V3, will be the start of a new alternate universe. Taking place right from where Mirai-hen left off at, Mitarai’s uploading his hope AMVs (yeah, that’s how I look at it) to the entire world so that he can brainwash them with hope. Even though it might be with good intentions, he’s using tactics no different from Enoshima Junko. Now it’s up to the remaining survivors of the third killing game and the 77th class to stop him before it’s too late. Even though some things can get a little far-fetched and there are a couple of loose ends, Kibou-hen definitely lives up to its hopeful name and gives the franchise a satisfying and enjoyable conclusion. Story wise, it is what you expect would happen, but it’s executed nicely.
Simply put, this is fanservice for all the Danganronpa fans. This is everything we wanted and this is what we get. Seeing the 77th class again, back to their normal selves is immensely satisfying and enjoyable. Though it may be too coincidental that they’re all fine, but it’s still fun to see them in action. Kibou-hen has focuses more of the Danganronpa 2/Zetsubou-hen characters rather than the Danganronpa 1/Mirai-hen characters. This essentially feels like the 12th episode for Zetsubou-hen, taking place in Mirai-hen’s setting. Some previously foreshadowed plot-points and theories come into play in this episode as some surprising (or not-so-surprising) revelations happen.
Kibou-hen mainly focuses on its 77th class characters (Danganronpa 1/Zetsubou-hen characters). It focuses on their chemistry together and their special quirky traits and how it helps in fighting against Mitarai’s brainwashed soldiers. But what’s the most satisfying is that every character acts and feel just like how they would feel in Danganronpa 2. You’ll see Komaeda having hope-gasms, Tanaka acting like the chuunibyou he is, Souda trying to impress Sonia, Tsumiki taking way to damn long to finish a goddamn sentence since she stammers a lot, Pekoyama caring about her young master, Mioda using her god-awful music to take down some enemies, Owari eating a lot, and Hinata being the hope for everyone. The way Hinata was handled is pretty good. He’s just as caring as he was in Danganronpa 2, but he still has a bit of Kamukura in him, not just in powers but also in personality. And his new character design is a nice representation of him being in the middle of hope and despair. Naegi was a bit underutilized, but the episode was more about the ex-Remnants of Despair.
As mentioned in my previous Danganronpa 3 reviews, I said that the art style in Zetsubou-hen was really vivid, bright and colorful and the art-style in Mirai-hen was more bleak, dark and washed-out. The reason so was to both represent and contrast the tone of their series. Kibou-hen does both, and that’s a really smart idea from the director. The episode started off with Mirai-hen’s art-style and ended off with Zetsubou-hen art-style; from dark and bleak to bright and vivid. This is used to represent the fast that the episode starts with despair, but ends in hope. Really, really good job from Lerche to do something like this. Other than that, the detailing and backgrounds looks just as good as they did in Mirai-hen.
I went more in-depth with the animation quality of the Danganronpa 3 in my other reviews, and Kibou-hen basically has the same production values. It’s animated better than Zetsubou-hen, and just as good as Mirai-hen. The episode is probably the most action-packed Danganronpa episode, but it’s not like as if its budget breaking, since Danganronpa doesn’t need that. The fights… if you want to call them that, are well animated and consistent.
Basically the same voice cast as Mirai-hen and Zetsubou-hen are here in Kibou-hen. They all do a very good job, especially the voice actors for the Danganronpa 2 characters. They make the characters feel just perfectly like how they felt in the second game and it was immensely satisfying. More in-depth analysis on the voice acting can also be found in the other reviews.
Voice Acting: 9.5/10
First of all, there’s no OP or ED in Kibou-hen. But an insert song called "ever free" was played during the end credits and it's pretty good. But the soundtrack from the games is used throughout this episode and its placed really well. The soundtrack in the games were done by Takada Masafumi and his music is put into good use into the entire Danganronpa 3 series. The music in the game were some of the best and I’m glad that we get to hear more of it in Kibou-hen. A really dramatic OST played during the first couple of minutes of the episode and it was really good to increase the tension in the episode.
Did I enjoy Kibou-hen? Well, it would be hard not to, considering the fact that the entire episode is one big pile of fanservice and a crap-load of hope. Seeing the 77th class awake and well, and them acting just like how they originally were, was so fun and satisfying… even if them being all awake is kind of a stretch. The survival of a certain fan-favorite character was nice to see, especially since there were theories about it anyways. And overall, this managed to be a very satisfying conclusion to this Danganronpa universe.
If you have watched both Mirai-hen and Zetsubou-hen, whether you liked it or not, be sure to check out Kibou-hen for a conclusion for not only Danganronpa 3, but for this Danganronpa universe. After all, New Danganronpa 3 will be the start of a new alternate universe. Also, the fanservice was strong in this episode. Seeing 77th class being their original self is very hopeful and the conclusion itself is filled with hope. It would have been nice if it was a longer episode and we got to see an epilogue for the characters, but other than that, this has been a very satisfying conclusion. On second thought, wait, I have another issue with this episode. Where the hell is my “sore wa chigau yo” duet?!
+ A satisfying conclusion for both Danganronpa 3 and the DR universe as a whole
+ Lots and lots of fanservice, particularly with the 77th class back in action.
+ The Danganronpa 2 characters are well-handled and their quirky traits are put into good use.
+ The fact that the art-style changes from Mirai-hen’s bleak style to Zetsubou-hen’s vivid style throughout the episode.
+ The soundtrack from the first two games is put into good use in this episode.
- Lack of an epilogue due to it being only one episode.