!!!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.
Danganronpa 3 – The End of Hope's Peak Academy – Despair Arc (holy fuck what a mouthful) is a prequel to the second Danganronpa game. You absolutely need to be caught up on what happens in the games in order to fully understand what is going on in this anime. What the anime accomplishes is a fun and despair filled experience that will help tell the tale of our gifted class.
As you hopefully already know, this anime revolves around the class that we interacted with in the second game. We are given a spotlight on how the class interacted with each other before the horrible killing event that destroyed not only Hope's Peak Academy but also most of the world. The one thing that is really holding me back on enjoying this prequel is the pacing. We start out at a good pace but then things start rushing once the first despair event comes into play. There is also a huge time skip early on that does not help with the pacing issue. Then once the anime hits its stride, it ends. The ending events just come so quickly that I found it hard to fully invest in the actions happening on screen.
I one hundred percent love the art-style. It mends very well with what I remember in the game save for Akane's and Ibuki's character models. For some reason they just look...off from what I remember from the game. The architecture is very appealing, the background shots are detailed, the eyes are of course awesome, and the characters look and move great on screen. There is a very good sense of fluid action (even though there really isn't a whole lot of action scenes).
EDIT: I forgot to mention how awesome the OP is. It changes as the season comes closer to the end which is a really cool touch.
They thankfully did not butcher the music from the first and second game. It is used very well in the anime in key spots as well as in non-critical scenes. Also hot damn that opening song is amazing. The voice actors retain their likeness from the games especially Junko. Overall it was a very pleasing anime to listen to.
So due to the pacing issues I brought up in the story section the characters do feel a little flat. Some of them get a huge spotlight but a lot of them really get sidelined. Regardless though these characters do feel like their counterparts in the second game (which is a good thing). Junko however completely steals the spotlight even though she does not appear until the halfway point of the anime. Her character is just all over the place and it is just a joy to watch her inflict despair on everyone. Bonus points for another certain female character that of course steals the scene once she arrives (you know who I'm talking about).
It's hard to not over-score this anime since it really is one for the fans of the games. If you watch it without playing the games (WHICH IS A REALLY BAD IDEA DON'T DO IT) then you will probably be lost and think it is average. For the fans though I think that the anime does a pretty good job of expanding our knowledge of what we already knew. The show is not perfect (due to pacing and sidelined characters) but it is very far way from average. Great acoustic qualities, amazing visual presentation, and amazing despair make this anime a must watch for the fans of the game.
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!