You’d think there would be no more Danganronpa lists possible after the slew of rankings I’ve done recently, but you’d be wrong! With a cast of characters this loveable and unique, there’s bound to be countless possible lists and rankings (and I’ll always jump on the chance to talk about one of my favourite videogame series again!)
For this list, I’ll be looking at when the character in question died in the story, and whether I agree with that decision by the writers. I’m taking into account personal preference, as well as whether it made sense in the narrative for the character to die.
I’ve put the characters in an order, but it only really semi-matters this time around … you should look at it more from the tiers that the characters are in rather than their ranking to each other (although I have tried to put them in a sort of “worthiness” order, of least to best worthy to survive the killing game).
With all of that preamble out of the way, let’s crack on with the list! You can check out some of my related blog posts as well:
Could’ve Died First
This tier is for the characters that inexplicably survived more than one chapter. If I was a writer for Danganronpa, they would’ve been the first to go.
Hifumi’s the worst character in the series, bar none, and I hoped he died approximately ten seconds after meeting him.
He has no discernible arc, he’s a pain in the ass throughout, and he drags any scene he’s in to a halt. It’s a miracle he survived as long as he did.
Like Hifumi, Angie is a character I hated straight out of the gate, and unlike other similar characters she never won me over.
Her love of Atua was infuriating, and Chapter 2 and the first part of 3 would have been so much better without her.
Tsumugi was a very boring character throughout the whole of V3, and the fact she was so unremarkable clued me in to her real identity by the end.
I was sure she was going to be the victim in every chapter, but she kept inexplicably surviving until the very end. She’s entirely forgettable, and if she had died in Chapter 1 I probably wouldn’t have even remembered her while compiling this list.
Here’s a hot take – Sonia is the worst of the survivors. She brought absolutely nothing to the table, and her dialogue was only barely amusing at times.
So many other characters in Goodbye Despair could have taken her place in the final five, but somehow she stuck it out until the very end.
Should’ve Croaked Earlier
These characters either undeservedly survived until the end or lived longer than they should have done. While they probably shouldn’t have died in Chapter 1, Chapter 2 or 3 would’ve been better.
The other survivor that I resent as much as Sonia, but Yasuhiro admittedly brought a decent amount of comic relief and levity to the final few chapters.
I could have personally done without him, though, and while it would have been a shame to lose him in the early chapters, Chapter 4-ish would have been a good place to send him off.
I’m glad Tenko and Angie died at the same time in V3’s third chapter, as they were easily my two least favourite characters by that point in the story.
While she wasn’t as insufferable as Angie, she did get a bit annoying near the end of her run.
I’m not completely outraged that Kazuichi survived to the end, but I think they missed a huge opportunity by not having him as a blackened.
His mechanical knowledge could have been invaluable in murders like Chapter 4, and I was sure the elevator between Grape House and Strawberry House would end up being incriminating evidence to catch him. All in all, he ended up being very vanilla.
Toko Fukawa / Genocide Jill
I thought it was extremely odd to have a known serial killer walking about with no repercussions, and especially for so long – Toko ended being a survivor!
Maybe Chapter 5’s victim could have been Toko instead of the nameless body you find – it would have given the death more of an emotional weight, and it would have been a decent time for her to disappear from the narrative.
Similarly to Tsumugi, I thought it was a little odd that Keebo survived so long – and once again that was because he had greater implications to the overarching plot.
While he did get a badass send-off at the end of Chapter 6, I think a cool Mechamaru-esque robot murder would have been a pretty dope way to mix things up.
After sacrificing himself for Akane in Chapter 3, Nekomaru was a dead man walking.
You can clearly tell he was living on borrowed time when back as a robot for Chapter 4, so it was easy to see his subsequent death coming. A death earlier on, perhaps still sacrificing himself for Akane, would have been more impactful.
I’m On The Fence
For these characters, it could have gone either way. I’m glad they lived as long as they did, but they also took up valuable space for other characters … or, alternatively, bit the dust a little too soon.
There’s a decent argument to be made that Taka’s arc was just starting once he went beast mode, but I’m not sure there was much more story to tell.
His bromance with Mondo was really his only interesting character trait, so once he died Taka was always going to follow suit shortly after.
Akane’s pretty great, and her winning attitude was fun to have on board … but did she deserve to survive until the end? I don’t know about that.
Her actions were pretty reckless, especially when she got Nekomaru “killed”, so I didn’t think she should have been rewarded with victory in the killing game.
Himiko is really a tale of two character traits – her most important character arc is her finding her sense of self-worth, and I’m really glad we got to see that arc through to the very end.
On the other hand, she’s a little annoying. Considering only three characters survived the events of V3, it’s almost baffling that Himiko ended up being one of them.
Korekiyo clearly didn’t deserve to live for too long, especially after it was revealed that he killed TWO people in the killing game.
That being said … how cool would it have been to have a known killer in our midst for one more chapter? If he’d only killed Tenko and not Angie, that would have opened up a lot of interesting character dynamics … oh well, at least he got his comeuppance I suppose.
Aoi is a very similar character to Akane, and neither of them really earned their place as a survivor, but I think Aoi deserved to live a little more than Akane.
Sakura heroically sacrificed herself so that Aoi and her friends could live, so it would have been a real kick in the nuts if she hadn’t made it to the end – and it would have undermined Chapter 4’s emotional weight entirely.
I thought Chihiro’s death was one of the most tragic and brutal of Trigger Happy Havoc, and while I could see why the developers killed them I think their arc could have been extended.
Their internal struggle with their own identity and masculinity was such an interesting aspect to their character, and I only wish we got to see a little more of it.
Gundham is a bit of an enigma in Goodbye Despair, and as such I have no idea whether he should have died earlier or lived longer.
He’s an awesome character with a unique personality, so I loved having him around for as long as he did, but he was a pretty evil guy on the surface. I was surprised it took him so long to become the blackened – he could have even been the killer in Chapter 1 if the writers wanted to provide a huge twist.
I don’t really have any complaints about the characters in this tier – they either died in the right chapter, or earned their place as a survivor.
Celestia being the culprit in Chapter 3 was about right, as while she wasn’t the most interesting character it was nice having her around for a while.
Yeah, Leon was pretty boring. I’m not surprised the developers ended up killing him straight away – he practically had no interesting character traits.
Maybe Teruteru could have grown on my if he had survived for more than one chapter, but that’s just wishful thinking.
He was clearly the worst character in Goodbye Despair, so I was glad they killed him quickly.
There’s only so much Miu I could handle – about four chapters worth, it turned out.
She was fun and exciting to be around for a while, but her characterisation and sexual comments got a bit stale by the end.
Kirumi was never really a memorable character, and once her true motivations as the blackened were revealed I liked her even less.
Above all else, it would have been annoying and repetitive to have a literal maid doing the characters’ bidding for more than a chapter or two.
Mondo actually surprised me a bit during Trigger Happy Havoc – I was sure he was going to be yet another bully / brute character, but he had a little bit more depth than that.
That being said, there’s only so much depth you can have with an uber-masculine character like this. Once he had forged a friendship with Taka, I knew his time was coming to an end soon.
While I would have liked to have Peko around for a bit longer, she was always going to need to go to get Fuyuhiko’s arc up and running.
It’s kinda as if her character was sacrificed so that another could flourish, and I don’t mind that at all.
Having a literal nurse around to perform autopsies was extremely useful for investigations, but her personality started to get a bit annoying by the end.
Her self-loathing and inferiority complex may have seemed endearing at first, but I started to roll my eyes by the time Chapter 3 came around.
Being the Ultimate Musician already earned Ibuki some early bonus points and appreciation from me, but her personality doesn’t extend much further than “excitable girl that likes music”.
Chapter 3 was a good place for her to go, as reaching the mid-way point in the story was respectable enough.
I think Fuyuhiko just about earned his place as a survivor, as his arc of learning to be kinder and work as a team was fun to watch unfold.
That being said, I don’t think I would have been too torn up if he had died near the end – it could have given some other characters a chance to survive in his place.
I’m sure most people wanted to see this loveable nugget survive until the end, but I wasn’t too fussed.
Gonta wasn’t exactly bright, so it would have been weird if he had outlived the majority of his classmates. Chapter 4 was a good time for him to bite the dust.
Maki was always going to survive the events of V3, but similarly to Fuyuhiko I don’t think I would have been too mad at her demise.
She’s a ruthless killer after all, so even though she started to come around by the end there’s a good argument to be made that she didn’t deserve to live.
Nagito was such an oddball, and while I knew he couldn’t survive I was sure he was going to go out in a blaze of glory.
His death in Chapter 5 is arguably the most shocking of the series, and it was the perfect way to send off his character.
I mean … Junko is the main villain, so of course she was going to survive right up until the end. No complaints from me.
A character I loved to hate, Kokichi almost served as the primary antagonist right up until his very end.
I enjoyed his general shenanigans and destructive actions all the way through V3, but it was always going to end at some point. His death was extremely poignant, and a fitting way for someone of his calibre to go out.
My favourite character across all of the games, I’m glad Byakuya survived until the end.
He certainly didn’t make it easy for himself, though, and I was sure he was going to be a shock victim or killer in one of the final chapters.
Could’ve Lived Longer
Part of me wishes that we got to spend more time with these characters, but their deaths were necessary in moving the plot forwards.
Sayaka’s death was a huge shock for me, as I was sure she was going to be the protagonist’s best friend for a while, but I understand that her death was important for setting the tone of the series.
Danganronpa’s shock deaths and twists would become a staple of the franchise after Sayaka’s murder, but part of me wishes that we could have spent another chapter or two with the Ultimate Pop Sensation
I was stunned that Byakuya made another appearance in Goodbye Despair, and I was even more dumbfounded when he was killed instantly.
His death meant the mystery and intrigue could linger a little longer, but a few more chapters of explanation and answers from Trigger Happy Havoc would have been nice …
The most interesting character died first … for the second game in a row (for goodness sake Danganronpa writers, you are allowed to answer some mysteries every now and again!)
You can tell they were going for that Byakuya-level shock again, and part of me was annoyed that someone like Tenko or Angie didn’t die in his place.
Most of the female characters in Goodbye despair are pretty vanilla and forgettable, so it was a shame to lose a bundle of joy like Mahiru so early.
I really liked her fiesty personality, and the motive behind her death was pretty paper-thin. I would have liked to have spent a little more time with her, especially over characters like Sonia or Peko.
Yeah, Kaito’s death was probably the most impactful in V3, but I still think he could have even survived until the end.
The bro trio of Shuichi / Maki / Kaito was one of my favourite character dynamics ever, and I sooo wanted them to all come out of the horrors of the killing game together. Sadly, the writers knew his death would be the one that hurt the most.
Some characters deserve to live because they’re interesting characters, other do because they’re favourites of mine, but I think Ryoma just deserved better.
Monokuma really made him feel worthless and sapped the will to live from him, but I think that was no reason for him to keel over so easily. He was such a cool, stand-up dude, and I would have loved to see him around the abandoned academy for a while longer.
Look, I’m not exactly Hiyoko’s number one fan, but I think people would have liked her a bit more if he arc had actually been seen to completion. It had only just begun!
She was only just starting to atone for her rudeness when she was struck down – and I think her death was one of the Danganronpa writers’ biggest mistakes … that and V3’s ending, of course.
Deserved To Survive
I thought these seven characters absolutely deserved to survive the killing game, either because they were the protagonist (so they get a free pass) or because they were acting selflessly.
I’m not going to do the edgy thing of pretending that any of the protagonists deserved to die, but let’s just say that Hajime deserved to survive the least.
He was literally the cause of all of the problems in Goodbye Despair, and while he did redeem himself that doesn’t stop the fact he effectively killed eleven of his classmates. All I’m saying is that it would have been interesting to see his demise in, say, Chapter 6 – maybe to heroically save the rest of his friends.
The unwilling protagonist of V3, I really liked seeing Shuichi grow in confidence, until eventually in Chapter 6 he was the one calling all the shots.
He was definitely the most worthy survivor of Killing Harmony, and the only way I could have seen him dying was if everyone bit the dust in one fell swoop (but that ending would have been too despair-inducing for me to handle).
Never has anyone acted more selflessly in a Danganronpa game than Sakura – she valued her friends’ survival over her own, and her sacrifice meant that no more killing took place in Hope’s Peak Academy.
I would have really liked to see her survive until the end, though; she was everything that a good survivor should be: kind, caring and yet strong. Rest In Power, brave warrior.
Probably the most shocking death in all of Danganronpa, I was literally stunned into silence for a good few minutes after Kaede was revealed to be Chapter 1’s blackened.
She was acting completely selflessly, and all she wanted was to kill the evil mastermind and rescue her friends from the nightmare. She effectively sacrificed herself when she declined the First Blood Perk, and that made me want to see her live even more.
Argh … this one still hurts.
The “traitor” of the group, yet that made her the most innocent of the lot. Chiaki’s purity and angelic morals made her the sort of Kyoko equivalent of Goodbye Despair, and as such I was sure she would survive.
When she eventually did give herself up, I was extremely sad – unjustifiably so for a simple videogame character, but that just goes to show how much of an impact her character had on me.
The Ultimate Hope, Makoto became the symbol of the rebellion against Despair, and for that reason he completely deserved to survive Junko’s killing game.
There’s an argument to be made that he could have been the symbol for hope as a martyr, and as such he’s not the most deserving to live, but it would have been foolish for the writers to kill him off in his own game.
Across all of the Danganronpa series, Kyoko felt like the only character who had a proper grasp on the situation throughout the entire killing game.
Her detective’s instincts were extremely insightful in every investigation and trial, and her kind-hearted nature made her a fan favourite almost instantly. Not only was she the most deserving to live, I think I would have rioted if the writers had killed her off – and the story would have suffered considerably as a result of her death.
Aaaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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