Bit of a weird one this week, but I thought it would be fun to rank the many Danganronpa killers based on how easy it was to sus them out.
This should go without saying, but this list is very subjective – some killers were obvious to me, and others I didn’t figure out until they were revealed (so good for you if you cracked a case early that I didn’t, I guess?).
Also, spoilers? But you could probably guess that.
You can check out some of my related lists below:
I’ve also got some new, unique headings for this list – I’m sure you’ll crack the code.
I Mean, Really …
16 – Leon Kuwata (1-1)
*Sigh* … It’s actually quite impressive in hindsight that the cast didn’t figure this out out straight away, but what’s more impressive is that they can somehow tie their shoelaces in the morning without their Mommy’s help!
“What is 11037? What does it mean?!?” Gee, I dunno, what could it possibly mean? Everyone who’s ever played Danganronpa knows the pain of ripping your hair out because of this chapter; thank God they made every single case after this need a little bit of thought to solve.
15 – Celestia Ludenberg (1-3)
Other than Leon, there aren’t any truly “obvious” killers in all fairness. I always knew that Celestia was going to be the killer in this case, but I could see how others might not realise that until later.
Personally, I never thought it could be anyone else. Celestia was always at the centre of the chaos that unfolded during Chapter 3’s Investigation, and she suddenly gained plot relevance out of nowhere which seemed suspicious. Once they tried pushing Yasuhiro as the killer, you could almost guarantee that it wasn’t going to be him, and Celestia was the only one left.
14 – Mikan Tsumiki (2-3)
To be fair to Danganronpa, the developers usually do a good job providing enough diversions and red herrings to keep you on your toes, and very rarely is it truly obvious who the killer is – but I don’t think they did enough in Chapter 3 to divert suspicions away from Mikan.
She was always suspect numero uno (as she was the one who should have got the Despair Disease but didn’t, and was in close contact with the Ibuki who died first), and nobody else stepped forward as a potential killer. I was waiting for the big reveal that it was somehow Fuyuhiko or Kazuichi, but that crazy twist never came.
Couldn’t Really Be Anyone Else
13 – Kirumi Tojo (2-2)
Now we get onto the tier of culprits where it wasn’t obvious who the killer was, and there were enough diversions and other possible culprits to shake off suspicions even temporarily.
That being said, I had a good hunch that it was going to be Kirumi after all. The game made it very clear that she helped out with the magic show, which seemed like an odd detail to focus on (unless it was a red herring). I did have my eyes on Angie for a bit, so at least I had to deduce a few things to come to the conclusion.
12 – Korekiyo Shinguji (2-3)
This might be a bit of a controversial pick – in hindsight, it was obvious that Korekiyo was the culprit: the tools were all from his lab, he suddenly gained plot relevance, and the ritual was his idea. So why have I ranked him above some of the other less obvious killers?
Well, it almost seemed too easy, if that makes sense. All the clues pointed to Korekiyo, which at first led me to believe he was being framed by the true culprit. As the class trial proceeded it became clear that he was actually the blackened, but at first I thought he was the ultimate red herring.
11 – Kaito Momota (3-5)
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore Chapter 5 of V3 – it might even be my favourite class trial of the bunch, and the whole set of circumstances made for an extraordinary experience … but it was always going to be Kaito as the killer.
There could have only been two killers – Kokichi and Kaito – and I had a feeling that it was going to be the “Luminary of the Stars” himself. When the trial started pushing Kokichi as the killer, I knew they were going to pull the ol’ switcheroo and reveal Kaito as the true culprit. This was undeniably an awesome case from start to finish, but a fairly predictable one in hindsight.
10 – Sakura Ogami (1-4)
Even though I had a vague idea that Sakura had committed suicide, it wasn’t completely obvious. There was lots going on in this chapter, and almost everyone is a suspect at some point … but it never felt like any of the others were the killer.
I think the main reason I suspected Sakura so early on was the locked room mystery – once you deduce that literally nobody was getting in or out other than Sakura, that leaves only Sakura in the room. Granted, this could have been a delayed poison or something like that, but that twist never came.
9 – Tsumugi Shirogane (3-1, technically)
Technically the culprit of 3-1, but I’m going to be looking at 3-6 as that was the chapter where her role as the mastermind was pushed into the forefront.
If we’re talking about 3-1 then yes, Tsumugi would have been way higher as there was literally no way of figuring it out; but in terms of the information given in 3-6, I had a feeling Tsumugi was the mastermind. I was very surprised she had survived to the end in the killing game, so the fairly obvious conclusion was that she must have been orchestrating the whole thing. Still kinda shocking, but I’ve seen worse.
That Was A Shock!
8 – Peko Pekoyama (2-2)
Finally, now we’ve reached the tier where the culprits truly surprised me!
I have a feeling that a fair few players could have sussed Peko out straight from the beginning when she was the only soaking wet one in the group, but at the time I didn’t really think anything of it. This made it quite a shock when she was revealed as the true culprit, and while I’m still not convinced about whole covering for Fuyuhiko / climbing up the sword aspect of her crime, it was still one that surprised me.
7 – Teruteru Hanamura (2-1)
Teruteru is quite a nice culprit to open Goodbye Despair – it’s not a completely far-fetched killer, as there are plenty of clues pointing his direction, but it’s surprising enough to hook the player on the mystery of the game.
That being said, I actually think this is one of the few cases where I didn’t like how obscure the killer was. There were plenty of better options for the blackened (which ended up being red herrings), and some of the logic jumps were a bit ridiculous, so when Teruteru was unveiled I was a bit underwhelmed and frustrated. Still, rules are rules, and I didn’t see the twist coming until late on.
6 – Mondo Owada (1-2)
Part of the reason why I hold Chapter 1-2 in such high regard is the shocking and abrupt reveal of the culprit – Mondo is never a suspect at all, and when he suddenly lets slip a fatal mistake, I was stunned.
Unfortunately, Mondo falls victim to sudden plot relevance. He and Taka had suddenly become best bros overnight, so I had a feeling one of them was either going to be the victim or the blackened. When neither became the victim, that only left them both as suspects – and Mondo was the most likely.
5 – Gundham Tanaka (2-4)
Another culprit that was felled at the final hurdle by one fatal slip, except this time Gundham had the advantage of not suddenly becoming more prominent in the plot.
This wasn’t a completely left-field twist as there were only a few people it could have been, but seeing Gundham have a slip of the tongue and be ousted by an unfortunate set of circumstances made the trial in 2-4 one of my favourites in the series.
4 – Gonta Gokuharu (3-4)
This final tier is dedicated to the killers that I never suspected, not even for one second, and it was only when the votes were cast and the blackened was confirmed that I could fully comprehend the truth.
Gonta wasn’t necessarily a killer that I would never have figured out, but he was certainly one I never wanted to accuse. He had no idea what was going on the whole time, and that’s what made it all the more tragic when Kokichi was proven right, and Gonta truly was the blackened.
3 – Kaede Akamatsu (3-1)
Call me short-sighted and obtuse, but I never even remotely considered the possibility of Kaede being the culprit.
When it came time to single someone out, I literally chose every other classmate until I was left with one baffling conclusion. When the true details were revealed I was astounded, and it made Case 3-1 one of my favourite gaming experiences ever.
2 – Junko Enoshima (1-5, technically)
The queen of despair herself, and as I’ve mentioned in my previous Danganronpa lists I had no idea she was going to be the mastermind of the first killing game – and it blew my mind.
Maybe you figured it out ages before I did, but this list is subjective, and the Junko twist was possibly my favourite plot twist in the entire series – I just loved how it all pieced together to create a cohesive and engaging murder mystery conclusion.
1 – Chiaki Nanami (2-5)
A culprit designed to be a huge misdirect, one the player was never going to sus out for a million years, and yet it didn’t feel like a cop-out when Chiaki was revealed as the killer – in fact, it was the smartest killer reveal in the series, and I needed to take a breather after this case was done just to take it all in.
This case was set up in a way that it was impossible for the player to figure out on their own. Sure, Nagito was a loose-cannon and probably committed suicide, and Sonia was acting kinda sus across the board, but I’m willing to bet that nobody who’s ever played Goodbye Despair could have predicted Chiaki as the culprit – it was certainly the one that caught me off-guard the most.
Aaaand that’s my list, and probably the last Danganronpa one I’ll do as I can’t think of any more! Until next time, you can check out my latest blog posts below:
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