!!!SUPER SUPER WARNING!!!
IF YOU PLAN ON WATCHING THIS ANIME (or even reading my review) YOU NEED TO HAVE PLAYED/WATCHED THE FIRST DANGANRONPA GAME/ANIME AND HAVE PLAYED THE SECOND DANGANRONPA GAME. YOU ALSO NEED TO HAVE WATCHED DANGANRONPA 3 DESPAIR ARC.
Danganronpa 3 – The End of Hope's Peak Academy – Future Arc (these names man) is the sequel to the second Danganronpa game and connects with what we watched in the Despair Arc season. While I am excited we got to see what happens after the second game, I feel pretty let down with this particular arc.
Like with the Despair Arc I found the pacing to be the main fault with this season. Because of the short run time all the events happen so quickly. This may just be because I am used to how the pacing worked in the games but in the anime it does not have the same lasting effect on me. To be perfectly honest though there are a lot more plot issues in the Future Arc than the Despair Arc. The main killer for me is that I just didn't care what was going on in the Future Arc. Yeah there were characters that I loved seeing again from the first game and the Despair Arc but they just didn't do anything interesting in my honest opinion. The killing game that the cast in this season find themselves in just felt so fucking lazy and hacked together. The feeling of despair and desperation from the first and second game is completely absent in this season.
What really dragged down the plot though was really easy to see plot twists and an unnecessary death. I'm fine with main characters dying for a reason...but the one who does end up dying did so for an non-existent payoff.
As with the Despair arc the animation looks really good. In fact it looks about the same with the only noticeable difference being the use of really dark colors. Since this arc takes place in the future/present the despair shows in the background. The first arc happens before the killing events so it makes since why that arc would have more vibrant colors. To make this short, the anime looked pretty good.
The voice actors did a pretty good job but I really did not dig the music timings. They used the music from the games (which is a good thing) but where and when they decided to put some of the music felt really out of place. It just felt out of place; I don't know how else to comment on it.
The returning cast from the first game feel right at place but everyone else did not cut if for me. I was either not presented a reason to care for the other characters or they were just plain not likable. Also it felt like they were there just to pad the season along so that the show could hit the eleven episode mark.
It wasn't bad but it was far from good. The show failed to grab me like the games and the Despair Arc. If anything this arc felt painfully like a filler arc. The main event that does occur felt completely unnecessary and will have unneeded consequences on the future episodes/games. If you are a fan of the series (which you should be if you are even remotely interested in watching the anime) then I guess you need to watch this but please lower your expectations. After watching the Despair Arc I was so freaking pumped to get into this arc. I was unfortunately let down; I sincerely hope that any future installments of the game/anime help make up for this farce of an arc.
Thanks for reading my review! If you liked my writing style, would like to see some other reviews, or just want to talk, please stop by my page!
For anyone confused: this anime should be watched after playing Dangan Ronpa 1/2, I doubt you would be nearly as entertained any other way.
This anime was made to show what happened after Makoto Naegi let the remnants of despair free. He ends up getting trapped in a building with other the members of the future foundation, and other killing game has been started by monokuma! I'm happy that there are no class trials, because as we all saw from the first anime, compressing the multiple hour trials into tv episodes does not work well. I love all the new characters so far, and of course the old ones too! I am enjoying mirai-hen more than zetsubou-hen so far (which is surprising since I liked sdr2 more than dr1) despite my new favorite dying.
Overall, this anime has been very interesting, with each episode ending on a cliffhanger! I am definitetly going to watch until the end.
Either watch this alternating between the Arcs like this Ep1-Future, Ep1-Despair, Ep2-Future, Ep2-Despair, etc (The same method as the intended airing pattern) or after viewing the Despair Arc entirely. After both Arcs, view the Hope Episode.
What started off as quite interesting and good went somewhat downhill due to who was killed off when, and the overall concept behind everything. The deaths weren't emphasized or glorious like the punishment time theme from the original.
I found this season and arc to be a bit dissapointing and not nearly as good as the original Danganronpa. It was decent and reasonably entertaining, but the spark and atmosphere that the first season displayed are not present here. The killing game this time just wasn't anywhere as good or mystery focused as the original. The ending result and cause behind it all was the issue for me, it just didn't show the same level of creativity or had the same element of surprise. The other issue that tied into this factor is the characters. They just were no where near as interesting or had personalities that stood out greatly, and one of the greatest features of Danganronpa is its wacky cast. There was also a severe lack of Monokuma time who is the mascot for the series and really enhanced the enjoyment.
The last negative point that stands out and is a mystery in itself is why the animation style isn't like the rest. This arc does not have its signature neon pink blood, instead it is the standard red. The art style and coloring just weren't here, it just lacked the same feeling and was too different. The Despair Arc had the proper color usage so there is no reason to have changed it.
The story in itself would make little sense without watching the Despair Arc before or alongside it. It wasn't as suspense filled or mysterious. The original season built expectations that weren't followed up with the Future Arc. There are some gaps and questions that would be filled by playing the 2nd game, but it isn't too hard to follow and understand the general idea without it, so long as you watch the original and Despair. I thought it was decent overall and had a chunk of the elements there, such as twists, the who concept, and turning on one another. It was just the result and cause of it all that was the problem for me, the concept behind everything just didn't seem anywhere close to logical.
Four characters we know from the original season return, one of which is not really part of it though, along with many others who you won't really know until they are explained in the Despair Arc. This time there is more than 1 "hope", each with a different perspective on how to achieve this and raises the question of if it is really hope, or a form of despair. This theme is what holds everything together and kept it interesting enough to be decent.
Overall this Arc started off great, especially compared to the Despair Arc. However, it went downhill gradually and just didn't quite live up to what the original season had going. The twists were decent and the overall Arc was decent, it just wasn't excellent. The original formula/concept, art style, and characters is what first comes to mind when you think of Danganronpa and this Arc just didn't quite fit into that theme. The lack of the jury system I would say is the greatest loss here.
EDIT: It doesn't start where the first anime ends but much later after some big war like event happens. It does however show the ending of the first anime towards the end in a flashback from a different person's point of view. Supposedly the games explain it but since I don't play games or have the first clue how to, I can't confirm that. It's just what I have been told. However, if you watch Danaganronpa, Danganronpa 3: Despair, and Danganronpa 3: Future, you can still make sense of what is going on. You won't have all the little details, but it's not a big deal.
Final Review: I would suggest watching the despair side story first. Events in this side story rely on the despair side story. Or you can watch both at the same time the way the episodes were released since both side stories were released in the same season.
I was excited when I found out another Danganronpa season was starting, although it wasn't exactly what I had expected. For a while there had been rumors about the content of the second anime if it was ever made and they were just rumors. In my opinion it was better though. Among the main characters and secondary characters were some of the favorites from the first animation including Naegi and Kirigiri. (I finally found an easy way to add photos so I kinda put a lot. Sorry..)
STORY: 9/10 Once again the characters are dragged into a killing game only this time, the players are the leaders of the Future Foundation and the rules are different. The characters didn't have their memory wiped or anything like that. They know who they are, why they were in the building, and who everyone else is. There are no trials. The game is played like that one game you can play with a group where there's an assassin/ mafia member/ whatever, a doctor, townspeople and a narrator. The narrator tells the townspeople to go to sleep so everyone closes their eyes. The narrator says for the killer to wake up and point at who he wants to kill then go back to sleep then the doctor chooses who they want to save and then everyone wakes up and the narrator makes up a narration of who was killed or if they were saved, how etc etc etc. In this case, there is supposedly a remnant of despair lurking among the future foundation leaders. After a certain number of hours, everyone is put to sleep except the remnant of despair who goes and kills someone and then goes back to sleep (or so we are told). Then everyone wakes up and it repeats again after a certain amount of time has passed. This is done so that the game will move along and the leaders won't be able to just refuse to play and not kill. It also forces them to doubt one another and even themselves. But that isn't the only way to die. Besides getting killed by the remnant of despair or someone who suspects you, each player has a bracelet that has a forbidden action on it. If the player engages in that action, the bracelet injects a deadly poison.
It's pretty similar to the first anime in how it flows. The ending however is a bit more predictable than the first one. This story is a bit more serious and dark too. That doesn't mean it was bad, it was just different. It didn't feel as unique. It felt a bit more realistic in a sense I guess. I don't think that is really the right word.
It had twists and turns and the ending, although a bit easier to predict, was still clever. Of course, the ending is a big part of the score for the story portion for me. My only real complaint was that I had to watch it one episode at a time as it came out which is never as good as watching it all at once in my opinion.
CHARACTERS: 8/10 The characters in the first anime were certainly more diverse and wild. I did miss that. However, some of the characters from the original were in this as well. They weren't the wildest of the originals though. They were the more normal ones....minus the serial killer who only appeared in a few odd episodes anyway. It always felt a bit exciting when one of the old characters was introduced into this story and it tied it together. I think they only used the more normal characters because the other leaders were more normal...minus the ones that died almost immediately. (((SPOILER)))Bandou and Gozu seemed quirky....but they died pretty fast. I probably would have enjoyed it a bit more if there had been some weirder characters that didn't fade into the background.
There were characters from the despair side story as well. Like I previously mentioned, they were the more tame ones. I can't say I really cared for them much though. I didn't hate them, but they didn't grab my interest as much and some of them I just didn't like. Maybe it was just because they were all older now. I am not a fan of Munakata at all though...especially since his name looks similar to Monokuma which I would mistake it for and then be confused. Seriously though, his personality just isn't my type.
ANIMATION/ART STYLE/CHARACTER DESIGN: 7/10 I'm not giving this animation and art a seven because it's bad. Unfortunately, it's a sequel to the first anime and therefor is automatically compared. The art and animation of the first Danganronpa was unique. The main style was actually pretty normal, but the style used for the deaths of the "killers" was quite different. It added something special to the anime and made it stand out from similar animes. It was memorable and interesting. The only thing I didn't like about the art in the first anime was the funky colored blood, but at the same time, that too set it apart from other anime. The future arc doesn't have that unique style thrown in. The blood is normal red too. I'm guessing there is a reason for it, but it makes it feel a bit dull. It feels quite different. The plot and many of the characters are extremely similar. It shouldn't feel all that different, but you take that quirk, that special style, and get rid of it and it's like it's in a different world. I enjoyed the episodes a lot, but the first Danganronpa is still my favorite of all of them (and one of my top favorite animes). It's a bit strange too since I'm usually not a huge fan of unique/experimental/out there styles.
Blood in Danganronpa 1 Despair Arc Future Arc
The character design is pretty much the same as before. It kind of has to be since it's the same characters. They look kind of normal (was anyone else reminded of Vash when they saw the character who is dressed in red??).
The colors are darker than the first anime and despair arc (funny since the future is supposed to be bright and despair is usually dark....). It's a dark future. Not funny? It's a bad joke I know. Hold your tomatoes. ANYWAY, the background art is still pretty much the same style it's just darker.
SOUND: 9/10 Nine out of ten might be a bit high, but I actually liked the opening song. The sound quality for everything else was pretty normal. However, I don't even like the songs for half the animes I've seen, so I like to give a good score when I do actually like them. I never listen to the endings though so I can't speak for that.
OTHER: Just a few things that I didn't feel fit in any other category. In the first anime, the students had a kitchen, they ate, they used the bathroom, they did pretty normal things, but I can't recall seeing any of that this time around. Where was the food? Where was the water? Where did they relieve themselves? It's not a big deal, but I'm curious. I think I remember one time when some of them were actually eating. It's not important though, so they may have decided not to bother showing it, but I'm still curious.
Also, I feel bad for Hagakure who got stuck outside the entire time. I wouldn't want to be outside in a place like that...but I wouldn't really want to be inside either..
Also, in the opening a little device shows you how many people are alive. I like how they did that. It's pretty helpful too.