Danganronpa the Animation — First Impressions

Administrative Note: I got back home a few hours ago. And… I’ll be leaving again tomorrow morning. Back either Saturday or Sunday, not sure yet. As you know, I’m way behind. I’ll try to finish up the first impressions posts tonight and schedule them for while I’m gone. Then I have to do the impressions wrap up, write last season’s wrap up, and figure out what I’m blogging next season. No idea when I will get around to replying to comments… sorry. Unfortunately, I’m going to be away from the Internet for three weeks in August as well. It’s been a very hectic summer…


The premise sounds cool: a bunch of weird kids are trapped in a school and have to murder each other. But the execution is sorely lacking. The characters are all caricatures. I hate the visual style. The storytelling method we’ve seen so far consists of heavy-handed introductions for every single character combined with a monologue by the bear in charge of creating this contrived setup.


The biggest problem is the characters, however. There’s not the slightest bit of depth or subtlety to any of them. Plus they look completely ridiculous. My brain is having trouble categorizing the above creature as human.

13 thoughts on “Danganronpa the Animation — First Impressions

  1. One of them has a goatee (despite being school boy), and one of them look like Undertaker. When these sorry excuse of characters died, I bet none of the viewers cares.

    1. I think that’s the point, really. They’re characters from a sort of electronic Cluedo. You’re not supposed to care for them, they’re just pieces of a puzzle. Personally I don’t mind Danganronpa, I find its ridiculousness entertaining. It’s as far from depth and proper character development as an anime can be, but as long as it doesn’t take itself too seriously (I’m looking at you, Valvrave), well, I’m in.

      1. I’m watching it, the ridiculous is sort of entertaining, but I can’t bring myself to care. In Valvrave I could, even though I also thought that show was a complete joke…

  2. You can’t have a ton of depth for 16 characters after just a couple episodes… >_> I guess you can be upset for the story having that many characters, but they kind of have to be all introduced at once for this particular premise.

    At any rate, it’s trying to cram in a ton of plot from the game. It’s going to be rushed; most people won’t be too invested in it. As a fan of the game I’m enjoying it, but I do have familiarity with all the characters already, which of course affects my judgement. I love all the characters quite a bit actually, but again–their depth won’t be immediately apparent, and for some of them it will probably be glossed over entirely for the sake of focusing on the storyline.

    1. Sure you can. Look at Hourou Musuko or Simoun. But my complaint isn’t that they don’t have a ton of depth, it’s that they don’t have the tiniest bit of depth at all. I guess we will see as the show continues though.

  3. Seiji Kishi is never a master of the adaptation. Its most likely best if he just stops making anime adaptations of dark-tones video games. It is for the best. He should stick really to slice of life Visual Novel game stuff.

    Or just stop adapting video games altogether.

  4. As a fan of the game, I kind of hate it as well. Any and all sense of tension is completely gone, and the story is being rushed through way too quickly. They’ve tried to emulate the art from the game (which isn’t that great to start with, but I guess it’s kind of quirky once you get used to it) and made it worse, so that’s why the art style is so horrible. Also, all the colours have been heightened compared to the darker tones used in the game. It’s just a really, really bad adaptation.

    I’d recommend (if you’re interested) reading this let’s play thread: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3447397
    Even the part before Naegi enters the school, which took about a minute in the anime, takes a fair amount longer than that to read in the visual novel.

    1. Really? The tension is gone? Maybe because you have already played the game. I haven’t played it so I can feel the overall tension this show is giving off.

      But I have to agree that the story is being rushed.Well, what can you expect when they trying to cram this story within 13 episodes? Also as for the characters, like what @Gan_HOPE326 said, they’re just pieces of the puzzle in this mystery so the lack of depth is just fine.

      It’s one of the most entertaining show this season for me, so yeah 😀

    2. Good to know that someone who’s played the game also doesn’t see this as going well. Thanks for the link! It does seem like an interesting game. Kind of like that Nine Doors game from a while back? I liked that a lot.

      1. It is pretty similar to 999, yeah! The main difference is that DR’s plot is linear so there isn’t much that’s affected by player choice/there aren’t multiple endings. I actually think 999 is better but I’d still say that if you enjoyed it you’d probably like DR.

        1. I’ve watched up to the third episode now, and I’ll stick with it. It’s a terrible adaptation but an interesting story. Totally sick though… I mean, I like stuff like Higurashi and Hellsing Ultimate, but this show seemed different in that it felt as if we were actually supposed to enjoy the violence… That probably doesn’t make much sense, I’m not sure how to say this.

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