I recently covered the entire Ace Attorney series for its great moments, and that was easy enough to do with the ten games I’ve played. I’ve only experienced the main Danganronpa trilogy – amazingly, there are just as many stand-out moments in those three games!
This list won’t look at twists specifically, as that’s for another time. Also, since I’ll be talking about the best and worst moments for the entire Danganronpa trilogy, expect massive SPOILERS ahead!
Before we begin, you can check out some of my related blog posts below:
10 (WORST) – Gravel In The Swimsuit (2-2)
Danganronpa is known for some outlandish twists and logical jumps, but this one made me want to tear my hair out.
Maybe the writers thought it was obvious, but who on earth would naturally come to the conclusion that a makeshift gravel-swimsuit weapon would be responsible?
10 (BEST) – The Digital World (3-4)
I was already hyped when we went back into the Neo World Program, but they executed it flawlessly.
The digital world is limited, and yet it’s still super fun to explore – and it leads to one of the best murders, in my opinion. Also, that 8-bit soundtrack is legendary!
9 – What’s An Octagon? (2-4)
A mid-trial twist that nobody could figure out. Be honest – you had to look up the solution too (or just wildly guess until you hit the right spot!).
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this as it’s more just me being dumb, but points deducted for making me question the definition of an octagon.
9 – Byakuya (sort of) Returns (2-1)
After finishing “Trigger Happy Havoc”, I couldn’t wait to boot up the sequel … and then they refused to tell us what happened to the surviving gang of Hope’s Peak Academy students.
My interest was still piqued, though, since my favourite character – Byakuya Togami – returned. He looked a little … different, but his presence alone got me through the first case.
8 – Peko Is A “Serial Killer” (2-2)
The previous two gripes were just minor jokes rather than proper problems, but the remaining eight “worst” moments really grinded my gears.
I wasn’t a fan of Genocide Jill in the original game, so I audibly groaned when Peko outed herself as Sparkling Justice. Granted, this was just a lie to throw the other classmates off Fuyuhiko’s trail, but I still hated the direction the trial went.
8 – Kokichi’s Fake-Out Death (3-3)
I was already expecting a double murder when case 3 of “Killing Harmony” rolled around, so imagine my utter shock when yet another victim appeared.
Even better, it turned out that Kokichi was just messing with us. Believe me when I say I went from gasp to groan to chuckle in a split second.
7 – Kirumi Was The President (3-2)
The writers threw out a complete Hail Mary for Kirumi’s character just before her execution, and it didn’t work for me at all.
This random maid was the president? Really? It’s the kind of thing that a ten-year-old would add to their story, and I didn’t feel any more sympathy as a result when she died.
7 – Byakuya Tampers With The Body (1-2)
This might not be a moment that most people look back fondly on, but Byakuya tampering with Chihiro’s body was the turning point for me.
It’s the first ever loose-cannon moment, and Byakuya would become the template for more chaotic characters later on. I love the distrust that this single decision sowed within the survivors, and my interest in the killing game was at its peak.
6 – Junko Returns … Again (3-6)
Junko returning at the end of “Goodbye Despair” was a decision that I liked far more than other people, but her return yet again in “Killing Harmony” is inexcusable.
It’s basically the developers admitting that they’ll never come up with a better antagonist, and it made all of the mastermind speculation feel cheap and pointless.
6 – Gundham’s Sacrifice (2-4)
It’s a little unclear whether Gundham was truly acting selflessly in 2-4, but I’d like to think he was.
His sacrifice to save the others from starvation nearly brought a tear to my eye, and it proved that he had a heart of gold despite his hellish exterior.
5 – The Monokubs (All of V3)
Some people love the Monokubs in “Killing Harmony”, but I am not one of those people.
They were kinda unique and endearing at first, but their bear puns and constant squabbling got old really quickly. I was happier seeing one of them bite the dust every execution than I was watching the culprit get their dues.
5 – Double Murder (1-3)
I played all of the Ace Attorney games before moving on to Danganronpa, and at first I was pleased with some of the similarities … until I was shocked to see two murder victims instead of one!
This was completely new territory for me, and my mind was ablaze with ideas and theories as to how two people could have died. The case itself (and the other Case 3 double murders) didn’t live up to the hype, but the initial reveal was incredible.
4 – It Was All A Fantasy (3-6)
This used to be the absolute worst thing about Danganronpa for me, and I loathed this plot point for months. I’ve softened on it slightly, however, due to the fact it might not be as clear-cut as I thought.
If all of the Danganronpa games really were a fantasy, and the previous two games were unceremoniously undermined, then this is the worst moment by a landslide. If, on the other hand, it was all an elaborate lie by the mastermind to confuse the cast, I can kinda get behind it. Either way, this is too convoluted and controversial for me to enjoy.
4 – Hajime Embraces Izuru (2-6)
I’m not usually into the overly-anime tropes and clichés, but even I have to admit that Hajime’s transformation was awesome.
The build-up and sudden release of power was jaw-dropping, and the way he rallied his classmates together genuinely made me emotional. If it wasn’t so over-the-top and borderline silly, this would have made my top 3.
3 – Korekiyo’s Wasted Potential (3-3)
I didn’t necessarily have a problem with Korekiyo as the culprit, or the fact that his murder motive was questionable at best. I’m just disappointed that the writers took the easy route.
How cool would it have been to have a known killer in our midst? If Korekiyo had only killed Tenko and someone else had offed Angie before him, that would have made the rest of V3 far more interesting and unpredictable.
Points also deducted for wasting the “dead classmate resurrection” motive, and for the infamous see-saw technique. Not bad enough moments on their own to make the top 10, but not great either!
3 – The Unknown Victim (3-5)
People always point to 2-5’s class trial as being the best, but I’ll always have a soft spot for 3-5 and the unknown murder victim.
I was on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to work out whether Kokichi or Kaito had bitten the dust, and once the full plan was revealed I was even more impressed with them both for their game-breaking efforts.
2 – Mikan (2-3)
Yet another Case 3 culprit that was done dirty by the writers – 2-3 is probably the worst case in the series based on Mikan alone.
Her murder plan is full of plot holes (mainly with the timing of it), the Despair Disease was a stupid motive, the fanservice moments were too much, and her execution was in extremely poor taste. Overall, this is the worst showing by a character in a single case.
2 – The Old Gang Returns (2-6)
I’m a sucker for fanservice done well, and the original game’s cast returning at the end of “Goodbye Despair” made me giddy with glee.
I love the Makoto switch-out twist, and seeing Byakuya and Kiyoko in full flow was glorious. If the other three survivors (Aoi, Toko and Yasuhiro) had returned as well, this may have clinched the top spot.
1 – Fake Ending (1-5)
A moment so bad that it ruined an entire case. 1-5 was going so well, but then the writers backstabbed the player.
The entire game presses you into pursuing the truth, and then it punishes you with a bad ending if you go through with it! I don’t know who thought this would be a good idea, and the bizarre picture of the survivors at the end is the straw that broke the camel’s back.
1 – The Entire Chapter (2-5)
Nothing encapsulates what makes Danganronpa great more than the sequel’s fifth case.
Nagito sowing chaos, the body reveal, the red herrings, the intense class trial, the unbelievable culprit twist, the awesome execution … 2-5 has it all, and it’s no wonder that most fans point to this as Danganronpa’s crowning achievement.
Aaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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