“If there’s no room for doubt, then there’s no reason to believe, is there?”

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This is my first journey through the “100 Days of Anime” Challenge, an ambitious project that I’ll be taking. For the full list of prompts, click here.

“Saddest Anime Death?”

Major spoilers for the Danganronpa series. Like really, beware.

Danganronpa v3 just came out this week, bringing with it a flood of emotions I had all but forgotten about. I’m an avid fan of the series, playing both the first and second games. When the anime was announced instead of a new game, I was a bit disappointed. How would they be able to showcase Danganronpa’s large and unique cast in 25 minute segments? How will they show the terror, desperation, and despair?

That all changed when best girl kicked the bucket.

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Alright, I admit some of it has to do with how cute she is, but it’s more than just that. The anime does well at showcasing Chiaki Nanami’s somewhat odd mannerisms, speech and personality (with the game going even further in-depth). She first comes off as aloof and disinterested, almost boring to a degree. But get to know her better and we see a completely different side to her, a strangely energetic side: her passion for gaming that she takes to the extreme, her logical and calculating way of thinking that becomes essential throughout her story, and her reliability and leadership skills. But she almost never comes off as emotionless or cold, on the contrary, the care and consideration she gives to our large party of misfits contrasts heavily with the show’s themes.

And that’s what makes Chiaki’s end even more tragic.

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The whole objective of our antagonist(s) is to bring as much despair to our group as possible. With a sadistic bear that takes pride in despair and darkness, there’s only one efficient way to do that: extinguishing our light. Because she’s the one person we can trust in a killing-game all about distrust. I watched in horror along with our band of Ultimates as Chiaki desperately navigated through a trap-filled maze. Each injury inflicted on her was like a cut to my heart. Yet she pushed forward stubbornly towards a false hope, believing that she’d get to see her friends again.

The tragedy is that it was all a lie. At the end, there was only death, and we knew it.

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Funny how the one we turned to the most is the one that ultimately brings our group into despair. With a heavy heart, I walked away from the computer for some pity ice-cream. The episode stuck with me for weeks (with me moaning and groaning every couples minutes to my friends). I couldn’t wrap my head around the ending, an ending that heavily contrasted with the the one I desperately wanted. And I didn’t want to say that the one character I wanted to see more of, the one I wanted to see live had died chasing a lie.

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Whew, this week has been awfully dark with all the talk about evil, despair, and the futility of everything. I’m loving v3 so far (which inspired me to write all these dark posts). I’ll probably follow this up with something more lighthearted for the site soon, but for now, thank you for the support!