DISCLAIMER: this post will contain spoilers for pretty much the entirety of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.
I’ve recently been replaying Dangan Ronpa – or, rather, playing it for the first time, since I was one of those pre-localization fans who only ever read the translated Let’s Play on Something Awful. 2013 to 2014 for me a period of time for me in which this series could do absolutely no wrong.
I realize now, of course, that yes, this series can, in fact, do some wrong, and that’s not even a statement about the quality of its later installments. Because honestly, Dangan Ronpa really isn’t all that deep. There are no mind blowing twists at any point, besides perhaps the memory loss bit, but even that’s pretty easy to figure out when it comes up. No reveals are particularly far off from what you might reasonably guess from the setup. While replaying DR, I often found myself wondering, “why did I like this game so much?”
But the answer is very simple: it’s the girls. Really. Dangan Ronpa truly has a very unique and interesting cast of female characters. I’m not trying to attribute Deep Feminist Meaning to a video game or anything, just pointing out the fact that a lot of them have some very cool traits that you don’t always see in media. The boys are generally well-written as well, but don’t break half as many molds.
So here is a collection of my best thoughts on each DR girl (not including Chihiro, that’s discourse for another day) and how they’re written and presented. At heart I’m still a 2013-era fan, so I’ll be using the names and spellings from the LP because there are some parts of us that we can never truly change.
C’mon, let’s read too deeply into a bunch of fictional teenage girls!