A group of 15 elite high school students are gathered at a very special, high class high school. To graduate from this high school essentially means you’ll succeed in life, but graduating is very difficult. The school is presided over by a bear called Monokuma, and he explains to them that their graduation hinges around committing a murder. The only way to graduate is to kill one of your classmates and get away with it. If the other classmates discover the identity of the killer, the killer is the only one executed. However, if they fail to catch the killer, only the killer graduates and the others are annihilated. Which of the 15 will survive the bloodbath to come?
Japanese: ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生
Synonyms: Danganronpa The Animation, Danganronpa: Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei – The Animation
Aired: Jul 4, 2013 to Sep 26, 2013 (13 episodes)
Danganronpa The Animation Episode Synopsis
Episode 1: Welcome to Despair High School
After winning a special lottery, Makoto Naegi, an average student, enrolls at the prestigious Hope’s Peak Academy for talented students. The moment Makoto steps inside the school grounds, he falls unconscious and later wakes up in a classroom littered with security cameras and steel plates. Following a note’s instruction to assemble in the gym, Makoto finds fourteen other unique students in a similar situation, including a school idol from his old middle school, Sayaka Maizono. It is at this point that the self-proclaimed principal, a remote-controlled stuffed bear named Monokuma, appears before them, announcing that the students will be staying in the school for the rest of their lives. He reveals that the only way to escape the academy is to “graduate” by killing another student. Rejecting this idea, the students spend the next few days searching the school grounds to try and find an alternative exit. Deciding everyone needs a motive to kill, Monokuma shows each student a personalized DVD motivating them to try to escape at any cost; in Makoto’s case, it’s a video of his family being put in danger. As Sayaka is also unnerved by her video, Makoto tries to calm her down, promising that he will find a way to get both of them out.
Episode 2: Kill and Live: (Not) Normal Arc
After Makoto learns from Monokuma about the faulty door on his bedroom’s shower room, Sayaka comes to his room, saying she is afraid that someone may be after her. Makoto offers to switch rooms to put her at ease. The next day, however, Makoto discovers his room in a mess and is horrified to find Sayaka lying dead in the shower room, having been stabbed in the stomach with a kitchen knife. As Makoto becomes angered by this tragic turn of events, Monokuma explains that one of the students is responsible for her murder and they must judge for themselves who the killer is in a “class trial”. If the guilty culprit is successfully deduced, that person will be executed. But if they accuse the wrong person, then the culprit will get to escape the academy whilst everyone else will be put to death. When fashionista Junko Enoshima voices her objection and assaults Monokuma, she is impaled to death by spears as punishment, warning the other students what will happen if they don’t follow the rules. After the students’ electronic handbooks are updated with details about the murder, Makoto is immediately made a prime suspect when it is shown Sayaka had died in his room. The students begin their investigation, making notes of all the evidence they find, including a message written in Sayaka’s blood reading “11037”. Before the trial begins, Makoto finds Sayaka’s motivational DVD, revealing that her fellow members in an idol group were all killed by Monokuma, who would only explain why if she graduated. As the students head for the courtroom, Makoto receives cryptic words of advice from mysterious student Kyoko Kirigiri.
Episode 3: Kill and Live
As the trial begins, swimmer Aoi Asahina testifies that she and martial artist Sakura Ogami witnessed Sayaka enter the kitchen, during which the kitchen knife used in the murder went missing. Meanwhile, Kyoko proves Makoto’s innocence by pointing out that, since the shower rooms in the boys’ bedrooms don’t have locks, he wouldn’t have needed to dismantle his own doorknob to enter. After wondering how the culprit entered the room in the first place, Kyoko presents evidence which reveals Sayaka had purposely invited someone into the room, meaning that she had intended to murder someone and pin the crime on Makoto, only to wind up as the victim herself. Remembering the message written in blood, Makoto deduces that “11037” is an upside down spelling of “LEON” and accuses baseball star Leon Kuwata of the crime. His guilt is further proven by the method of which the culprit attempted to dispose of the evidence, his blood-stained shirt, in a manner only capable of a baseball star. When it is deduced that he must have used his tool set to take apart the doorknob, the class unanimously vote Leon as the guilty criminal, which is confirmed by Monokuma, who executes him with a barrage of baseballs. Later that night, Kyoko comes to Makoto’s room, theorising that Sayaka may have written her dying message to protect him.
Episode 4: Weekly Shounen Despair Magazine
Following the first class trial, Monokuma grants access to the second floor of the academy, containing a library and a swimming pool with gender-divided changing rooms. Whilst searching the library, the group find a broken laptop and a letter that indicates Hope’s Peak Academy has been shut down for a while, along with a storeroom filled with confidential files. As the pool changing rooms require e-handbooks to unlock, Monokuma introduces a rule that students are forbidden from exchanging their e-handbooks. Later, Makoto comes across writer Toko Fukawa, who appears to have a thing for the cold-hearted affluent progeny, Byakuya Togami, before winding up as a witness to a sauna endurance battle between gangster Mondo Owada and moral compass Kiyotaka Ishimaru, who end up bonding. Soon after, Monokuma announces his next incentive: He will publicly announce everyone’s personal secrets unless someone is killed in the next 24 hours, although Makoto believes no one would kill over something so trivial. The next day, however, they discover programmer Chihiro Fujisaki murdered in the girl’s changing room, hung up like a crucifixion with the words “Bloodbath Fever” written in blood on the wall. During the investigation, some peculiarities are found, such as a seemingly disappearing coffee stain and curiously unfitting posters, along with a testimony by gambler Celestia Ludenberg that she saw Chihiro the night before. Byakuya tells Makoto that he believes the murder to be the work of a homicidal maniac named Genocider Sho who crucified victims in a similar fashion. Meanwhile, Toko locks herself in her room, also mentioning something about Genocider Sho and failing to keep a promise to Byakuya.
Episode 5: Weekly Shounen Despair Magazine
As the second trial begins, Byakuya states that Toko is the culprit as she has dissociative identity disorder, her other personality being none other than Genocider Sho. Surely enough, as Toko faints, her personality switches to that of Genocider who, despite casually admitting she is a genuine homicidal maniac, denies killing Chihiro, as she always uses scissors in her serial killings. Being the only other one who knew of Genocider’s crimes, Byakuya is suspected of the crime, curiously not denying it. However, after Makoto deduces Chihiro was actually killed in the boy’s changing room, with Kyoko subsequently revealing Chihiro was — contrary to everyone’s belief — a crossdressing boy, Byakuya admits he is not the killer and had only modified the crime scene to make the game more interesting. As Celestia gives her testimony about seeing Chihiro carry a sports bag containing a jersey the night before, Mondo accidentally lets slip that he knew what color the jersey was, eventually admitting he is the culprit. After the guilty verdict, Monokuma reveals that Chihiro had come to Mondo, revealing his true gender, in the hopes he could help him become stronger. Mondo, who had kept secret the fact that he was responsible for his brother’s death to keep his gang together, became jealous of Chihiro’s strength and killed him in a fit of rage — moving his corpse to the girl’s changing room and destroying his e-handbook to protect his honor. Lamenting his actions, Mondo is put through his execution, in which he is spun around in a motorcycle death cage until liquified into butter, leaving Kiyotaka mortified. Meanwhile, Monokuma is seen talking with an unknown person, discussing the mysterious sixteenth student of the academy.
Episode 6: Return of the New Century Galaxy Legend! O Armored Hero, Stand upon the Earth!
After the others investigate the newly opened third floor, containing a rec room, an art room and a physics lab, Monokuma announces his next incentive: a cash reward of 10 billion yen to whoever graduates, though nobody seems to fall for it. Afterwards, the gang investigate the bath locker rooms after Aoi mentions seeing Chihiro’s ghost the previous night. It turns out to be a laptop he left behind containing an A.I. program called Alter Ego, who offers to help decrypt some files left on the laptop. When Kiyotaka asks Alter Ego if he blames him for Chihiro’s death, he imitates Mondo to give him words of encouragement, proving a bit too successful. Alter Ego then shows a curious photo of Leon, Chihiro, and Mondo hanging together, which could not have possibly been taken while they’ve known each other. After Kyoko takes precautions following some unhealthy interests from both Kiyotaka and doujin artist Hifumi Yamada, Alter Ego suddenly goes missing, leading Byakuya to suspect that there may be a mole amongst their group. The next morning, Makoto, Kyoko, Aoi, and Sakura encounter Celestia, who claims to have been attacked by someone in a robot costume who kidnapped Hifumi. After finding an injured Hifumi in the library and taking him to the infirmary, the gang split into groups to search for the perpetrator. They return to the infirmary and find Hifumi lying in a pool of blood, with Monokuma’s ‘corpse discovery’ announcement suggesting he has been killed. Makoto rushes to inform the other group, where he learns Kiyotaka has been killed as well. Upon returning to the infirmary, they find Hifumi’s body has gone missing, later discovering Kiyotaka’s body has disappeared, too. Discovering the bodies in the art supply room, Hifumi seemingly comes back to life, stating he may have met everyone before and leaving behind the name ‘Yasuhiro’ before passing away, at which point the ‘corpse discovery’ alert plays for a second time.
Episode 7: Return of the New Century Galaxy Legend! O Armored Hero, Stand upon the Earth!
Hifumi’s dying words leave most of the students convinced that the culprit is fortune teller Yasuhiro Hagakure, who is found by Kyoko near the pool stuck inside the aforementioned ‘Justice Robo’ costume. Yasuhiro denies committing any murders, claiming he was knocked out after being called by a note, which had subsequently gone missing. After Makoto and Kyoko finish their investigation of the crime scene, the class trial begins. Makoto starts vouching for Yasuhiro’s innocence, using evidence to point out he couldn’t have designed the outfit, let alone carry the corpses whilst wearing it. After Kyoko asks the court to consider the two murders as separate incidents, Makoto deduces that Hifumi had only faked his death from before, with Kyoko’s evidence revealing Hifumi was the one who killed Kiyotaka, moving his body to the art supply closet, where he was killed. Tasked with finding the true culprit behind both murders, Makoto accuses Celestia of the crime, as she knew there was a second victim before it was announced. As Celestia grows defensive and brings up Hifumi’s dying words again, Makoto deduces that the ‘Yasuhiro’ he was referring to is Celestia’s real name, Taeko Yasuhiro. Accepting defeat, Celestia reveals that she stole Alter Ego to coerce Hifumi into killing Kiyotaka under the premise that they would escape together, before killing him herself in the hope of winning the reward money and buying a castle. Leaving Kyoko with the key to Alter Ego’s location, Celestia is put through a Versailles-style witch burning, though her noble death is somewhat ruined by the arrival of a speeding fire truck. After the trial, Kyoko tells Makoto to go to a hidden room behind the boy’s toilets, where he finds a whole bunch of confidential records and a note reading “You must not escape from here”. However, he is suddenly knocked out by a mysterious assailant, discovering all of the files missing when he regains consciousness. Whilst returning to his room, Makoto spots Sakura and Monokuma squaring off against each other in the gymnasium.
Episode 8: All All Apologies
Makoto overhears that Sakura had been forced to become Monokuma’s mole as he took her family dojo hostage. As Makoto feels he should not jump to conclusions until he has talked to Sakura, Kyoko becomes annoyed with him for keeping secrets from her. After exploring the fourth floor, containing some locked rooms that Monokuma forbids breaking into, the gang catch up with Alter Ego, who reports that Hope’s Peak Academy was placed under lockdown due to a terrible incident that occurred, theorising that the school’s true principal may be the one pulling the strings. He also discovers another strange photo, this time of Sayaka, Celestia, and Hifumi together. Afterwards, Monokuma announces to everyone that Sakura is the mole, who was ordered to kill someone in exchange for her dojo’s safety, hoping to bring about another murder amongst the group. As Aoi becomes angered by the mean words said about Sakura, she ends up getting into a scrape with Genocider, leaving Sakura angered that innocent people got involved. Meanwhile, Alter Ego asks Makoto and Kyoko — who forgives Makoto for keeping quiet about Sakura — to take him somewhere where he can connect to the school network so he can find a way to help the students escape. Despite knowing the risks involved, Makoto and Kyoko respect his wishes and set him up in the hidden room from before. Later, Makoto, Kyoko, and Aoi discover Sakura in the rec room, which has been locked from the inside, and break inside, only to discover she is dead. As Kyoko conducts her investigation, Aoi directs her anger towards Byakuya, Toko, and Yasuhiro, feeling one of them is responsible for Sakura’s death.
Episode 9: All All Apologies
Following an investigation in the chemics lab, the class trial begins. Toko reveals she, Byakuya, and Yasuhiro all received notes from Sakura calling them to the rec room, where she had witnessed Yasuhiro attack Sakura with a glass bottle out of fear. However, Yasuhiro being the culprit is ruled out when Makoto reveals Sakura had been hit twice. This second hit is revealed to have come from Toko after she had passed out from seeing Sakura’s bloody forehead and became Genocider, hitting her with another bottle. However, she is proven innocent as the place she attacked Sakura was different from where her body was found, with Byakuya revealing that the cause of death was poison, showing a bottle of poison that mysteriously contains protein shake. Aoi then announces that she herself is the culprit, claiming that she had replaced Sakura’s protein shake with poison and gave it to her. Makoto and Kyoko’s analysis of the ‘closed room’ scenario, with a piece of glass found in the poison bottle Byakuya presented, reveal the truth that Aoi had been hiding the fact that Sakura committed suicide. As the trial comes to an end, Aoi reveals she had purposely tried to steer the trial to a wrong verdict, believing from a suicide note that Sakura was suffering and feeling everyone deserved to die to make up for it. Monokuma reveals the note she read was a fake he made, with Sakura’s real suicide note stating that she took her own life to save her dojo, stating her wish for everyone else to make it out of the academy alive. Although the others feel encouraged by Sakura’s dying wishes, Monokuma then reveals he had caught Alter Ego trying to hack into the school network, destroying his laptop with a digger. Later that night, Kyoko has Makoto distract Monokuma whilst she does some investigating, later warning him about the academy’s sixteenth student and Super High School Level Despair: Mukuro Ikusaba.
Episode 10: The Junk Food of Despair for Racing through Youth
After the group explore the fifth and final floor, containing a botanical garden and a classroom filled with blood, Byakuya questions Kyoko about her identity, but she states she doesn’t remember due to amnesia. Not believing this, Byakuya confiscates the key to Kyoko’s dorm room whilst Makoto is given the responsibility of looking after a survival knife Toko found. Later that night, Kyoko, who had managed to obtain a master key and the details about Mukuro from the headmaster’s office thanks to Sakura breaking down the door, asks Makoto to keep Monokuma occupied whilst she goes off to investigate the dorm building’s second floor. As Makoto comes down with a fever as a result of staying up all night, he has a dream stating he is supposed to stay in Hope’s Peak Academy instead of escape from it, before witnessing a masked person wielding the survival knife, followed by Kyoko telling him something he can’t hear. Waking up the next morning to discover the knife has gone missing, Makoto heads to the gym where everyone is disassembling a broken down Monokuma unit. Whilst looking for a way to break into the headmaster’s office for answers, they discover a corpse in the botanical garden resembling the masked attacker Makoto saw, which Byakuya suspects may be Kyoko’s. Before they can remove the mask, a bomb goes off, torching the corpse and leaving it unidentifiable by the time they put the fire out. Finding a key to the data processing room, the group are confronted by a fully working Monokuma, who reveals all their actions are being broadcast to the world. To make matters worse, a class trial is to be held for the corpse they found, which is revealed by Kyoko, who is alive and well, to be that of Mukuro Ikusaba.
Episode 11: The Junk Food of Despair for Racing through Youth
Before the class trial, after Byakuya has Makoto investigate Kyoko’s room, Kyoko tells Makoto that the key she found is one that can open any door in the school. Byakuya accuses Kyoko, who has no alibi, but she curiously brings up evidence that effectively negates Makoto’s alibi. Believing the cause of Mukuro’s death to be a blow to the back of the head, Byakuya points out a locker key found in Kyoko’s room, which opens a dojo locker containing steel arrows that could be used as a blunt instrument. Although this appears to be contradicted by the fact Byakuya had the key to Kyoko’s room the entire time, Makoto considers the possibility that Kyoko could have used the key she stole from Monokuma. Noticing Kyouko’s desperation that she not be found guilty, Makoto decides to believe in her and not reveal her key, instead questioning the odd nature of the trial. However, Monokuma suddenly declares an abrupt end to the trial, announcing Makoto to be the culprit and deciding to have him executed. Makoto is placed on a conveyor belt leading to a crusher, but he is miraculously saved by a virus, left behind by Alter Ego, and falls safely into a garbage dump below. Some time later, Kyoko throws herself down the garbage chute to aid Makoto, providing him with food and a means of escape. Kyoko explains how the mastermind had originally intended for Makoto to become the victim, planning to frame her for the murder and have her executed instead. Whilst making their way up a giant ladder, Kyoko states she has regained some of her memories, revealing herself to be the Super High School Level Detective who had come to Hope’s Peak Academy to meet her father, the headmaster, who she is not on good terms with. Arriving back inside the academy, Makoto and Kyoko confront Monokuma, calling his bluff that simply executing Makoto again would not prove that hope cannot defeat despair. Thus, they propose a final all-or-nothing class trial with everyone’s lives on the line, in which the students must not only determine Mukuro’s killer, but also solve all of the mysteries of Hope’s Peak Academy.
Episode 12: The Reason Super High School-Level Bad Luck Attracted Super High School-Level Murder, Super High School-Level Execution and Super High School-Level Despair
After being granted to access to all previously locked rooms, Makoto and Kyoko investigate the dorm’s second floor and find a hidden room in the headmaster’s lodge. There, they discover the remains of Kyouko’s father, who had died long before the killing game started, along with an SD Card containing video interviews of all the students agreeing to spend their lives in Hope’s Peak Academy, although Monokuma pulls the plug before the video gets too far. Whilst Kyoko deals with the revelation of father cared more about her than she thought, Makoto uses the headmaster’s e-handbook to open some lockers, finding some textbooks allegedly belonging to Yasuhiro, along with a notebook containing Kyouko’s handwriting, hinting at there being two ‘Despair’ students. Afterwards, Makoto visits the science lab, being used as a morgue, where Monokuma gives him a photo featuring all the sixteen students except for himself. As the class trial soon begins, with Monokuma joining the fray, the other students reveal they had received similar photos, only with them missing from their respective photos. Wondering where these photos came from, Makoto reveals the books he found, deducing they are each missing some of their memories, revealed to have been stolen by Monokuma. Makoto then accuses Monokuma of murdering Mukuro, deducing that Mukuro was murdered twice, pointing out the true cause of death were wounds eerily matching the ones Junko received. After Kyoko proves her innocence by revealing the shameful burns on her hands, Makoto deduces from Monokuma’s obscured evidence the identity of the culprit, Monokuma’s controller, and the academy’s mastermind to be none other than the real Junko Enoshima, who soon appears and reveals herself to be the true Super High School Level Despair.
Episode 13: Goodbye, Despair High School
Junko reveals that she had used Mukuro, her older twin sister, to take her place, before showing the others footage of the outside world, revealing it to be in total chaos, which is confirmed by Genocider, who retained her memories due to them being separate from Toko’s. It is revealed that the memories that were stolen from the students were actually of two whole years spent together in Hope’s Peak Academy. A year ago, when a terrible incident hit the world, the school was converted into a shelter to protect the students carrying hope on their shoulders. However, Junko killed the principal, erased the students’ memories, and began the killing game, betraying her own sister in the process. Junko then holds a final vote between hope and despair; if everyone votes for hope, they must leave the academy, but should even one student vote in favor of despair, the students will remain in the academy and Makoto alone will be executed. Makoto manages to use his own hope to inspire the others to stand up against despair, earning him the new title of Super High School Level Hope. With the trial over, Junko revels herself in the ultimate despair and gives herself the ultimate execution, leaving behind an escape switch. With hope in their hearts, Makoto and the others use the switch to leave the academy and venture into the unknown world, unaware that Monokuma is still active.