WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the entire Danganronpa series
Where do I even begin describing something like Danganronpa? What even is a Danganronpa? It almost sounds like a word a one year old would make up (real talk, though, it’s actually a portmanteau of the Japanese words ‘dangan’ and ‘ronpa,’ which mean ‘bullet’ and ‘refute’ respectively. It’ll make sense later).
Bizarre names aside, though, this strange series has really made a name for itself since the first game’s initial release in 2010. Back then, it was a Japan-only PSP title that only a small handful of Western fans soon learned about. Cut to 2014 and someone, somewhere, decided that the rest of the world should be made privy to the lives of the Super High-School Level Students of Hope’s Peak Academy. And it paid off in a big way.
Following the first game’s re-release on the Vita, Danganronpa has slowly but surely become notably more well-known. While by no means a household name, it still developed a surge in popularity. Originally just two games on the PSP (a console most people don’t even acknowledge anymore), the series now consists of seven games, several re-releases, two anime series, novels and a tonne of manga (seriously, there is a lot of it).
I found myself checking the first game out almost on a whim, and ended up falling in love with it and desperate for more. It’s since quickly become possibly one of my favourite series, so (with the next game in the series arriving later this month) I’ve decided to write up a personal retrospective about my experiences with it and why I love this franchise all about the ongoing struggle between hope and despair. Continue reading