Who wants to talk about murders☆~?
|Yes, I love Dangan Ronpa! To be fair, I never actually played the game though. I’m one of those people who just read the Let’s Play translation. Anyways, I loved the story and the characters to pieces, so I have all the best wishes for this anime to turn out amazing.|
|Ugh, with the game being officially localized and the fan translation that came out, I feel really, really stupid for struggling and playing the game in Japanese OTL. Anyways, the anime. I was pretty happy with what I saw. Though this is just the first episode. My hope could easily turn into despair (harhar).|
An Interesting Direction…?
Kara// I generally like game anime to stick to their origins, but uh, this was a little much. Character poses, the first death, they seriously stuck to the game. Of course, I love the death scenes, but I was kind of hoping for more than just a reanimation of the same things I’ve seen a bunch of times. …But seriously, they look the same. One thing they did seem to skip over though was the Social Link kind of aspect, where Naegi goes and hangs out with characters. Of course, the characters seem pretty flat right now since we haven’t seen much of them, but this way, I think it will be less obvious as to who’s going to die/murder next since the anime won’t be focusing on them that heavily. I can see there being issues with the trials if this closeness continues, but I also think that those are the times where the game and anime will diverge the most (other than, I think they’ll shorten the evidence gathering). Since watching a camera spin around a room while people argue isn’t going to be interesting enough to dedicate a good half of the plot to. One thing I did like though, was the fact that the school looks just as
weird distinct as it did in the games. I don’t know what kind of lighting Kibougamine invested in, but it certainly made wandering the halls easier.
Chapter number censored because spoilers, but the hallways were seriously purple in parts.
MYSTERY + KILLING
In space, no one can hear you scream.
OC// The concept of sticking a bunch of people in an enclosed space and forcing them to kill each other is a tired but true plot device. It’s simple, but it works. There’s just something satisfying about watching people try to form truces and get along, but ultimately end of growing suspicious and resulting to cold-blooded murder. Dangan Ronpa treads the same ground, forcing all the students to live together in a school. They would live there forever in complete harmony if they all co-operated, but we all know that doubt will get the better of them and crush that dream instantly.
The problem is that no one wants to die. People get worried that they may be betrayed, and will pre-emptively lash out. This sort of over-strategizing leads to paranoia and causes the group to collapse. How will that happen and when? This is only the first episode, so we’ll see. What makes things even more intense is that Monobear constantly hovers around and tries to convince them to kill each other. By providing a motive, he makes everyone even more suspicious of their “friends.” In the end, the true enemy is simply their own fear. …Okay, and a murderous two-tone bear. I can’t completely rule him out now, can I?
Let’s play a rousing game of “guess which one is the game and which one is the anime”
Kara// I know there were quite a few complaints about Monokuma’s voice. …Guys, it’s a cultural thing. The voice actress (or at least, one of them) for Doraemon is the same as Monokuma, so it’s purposely done to have the same kind of psychological effect as Mickey Mouse (or Winnie the Pooh or your other favourite childhood character) telling you to go hang yourself. It’s supposed to be eerie having a childhood character’s voice coming from an evil bear, but since I don’t think many of you grew up on watching a blue cat grant some whiny kid’s wishes, there’s just not the same effect. As for Monokuma himself, I think he translated pretty well from the game. Or at least, he was interesting to watch since his motions deviated the most from his sprites… But yeah, he’s covered in just as much mystery as the school is considering how he almost exploded on Oogawa and seems to have unlimited copies of himself. …Oh, plus the whole having students murder each other thing. If you’re wondering why he doesn’t do more to have them kill each other (like take away their food) or do it himself… there are plot reasons. Trust me.
As for the rest of the characters, I think they were portrayed okay in this episode. 15 is a lot to go through, but hopefully having the narration stop and display names with character specialties helped some people remember who is who. …And if not, characters should start dying soon, so you have less to memorize. As for the characters themselves, they’re all pretty loveable once you get to know them, and this episode couldn’t really cover them with the plot being set up, so they should stop seeming so generic soon.
Not bad for a first episode. I know the source material is really strong, it just depends on how the director handles it. The director here is Seiji Kishi, who I find varies wildly in quality. He also adapted Persona 4 into an anime, and he made some good choices and some really questionable choices. When he improvises and tries to make parts of the game more suited for anime, he does a really good job. His comedy is especially on-point. For example, I love how he made Kanji’s dungeon even more flamboyant and elaborated the King’s Game just enough to make it fresh. Other times he just copied and pasted entire scenes from the game without realizing how awkward it would be to put in an anime. I feel like he wants to put EVERYTHING from the game into the anime, and that just doesn’t work for a cohesive story. Games are a very different medium from anime, and therefore it takes some skill to adapt it in a way that makes sense.
Dangan Ronpa falls into the same kind of traps. It follows the game so closely it’s almost eerie. The poses and expressions are often taken straight from game sprites, and some of the scenes are just retouched cutscenes. For a game with this much text, a faithful adaptation just won’t work. However, there were some promising parts. The seiyuu cast remains the same, which is a plus. The opening scene was well done and a nice choice, even if it was a bit of a rehash. Most importantly, the tone of despair and disbelief is really well done. You get that “oh shit” feeling when they look at the videos, and that’s not easy to do. The true test is in whether or not the upcoming school trials are done well, because those are the most important parts of the game. I’ll be following to see what happens, although so far I prefer the Let’s Play to the anime.
I love the ED with Soraru and I love the OP (…though really, it’s the exact same as the game OP with updated visuals). The soundtrack seems like it’s been slightly updated (there were tracks I didn’t recognize), but I’m absolutely in love with the soundtrack, so these new(?) additions are welcome. …Though I don’t think that one that was going on while Maizono was freaking out was very fitting (since it plays in the game during epic reveals if I remember correctly). But that was my only issue with the sounds. As for the rest of the anime, there’s the fact that some of the animation looked pretty low quality. …Man, I was not a fan of the translations I watched either. Maybe because I find ‘luckster’ an incredible stupid sounding title. Anyways, this followed the game almost exactly, if you couldn’t tell. Of course, some locations were different and some details on the character and why they’re considered superior to regular students were lost, but honestly, this was pretty much like playing the game. Though the game is one of the best things I’ve played, so that’s not necessarily going to be a bad thing. …Or at least, I don’t mind it.
Danganronpa is… weird. If you couldn’t tell from the fact that the villain is an adorable looking bear and the very first scene with the space journey, this storyline has its quirks. …And just wait until you see the blood. The characters should all get more interesting (they purposely conform and break tropes, so their initial stereotypicalness is totally intentional) as the storyline has a chance to let us get to know them more as well. The unusual-ness about this story is part of what makes it good though, so I’m really looking forward to seeing more of this anime.
Oh and just as a note (for the people new to this series), I’d be really cautious with spoiler tags in the comments if there are any. There is a lot to be spoiled and I really believe that this is best going into blind. …I honestly wouldn’t even look up fanart or anything. Anyways…
Welcome to Danganronpa. Hope you enjoy your stay~