While playing through the first Danganronpa game I came to the realization that I had seen the anime adaptation of this game years ago and I also remembered that at the time it felt meh. I don’t remember it being bad but at the same time, I did not remember if it was any good or not. Upon completing the game which the anime is based on I decided to sit down and marathon the anime for the purpose of reviewing it alongside the game and well….. it was disappointingly mediocre, which I am beginning to feel is a trend with visual novel anime adaptations.
That left me with a thought. It’s the same plot as the game and in the game, it was really entertaining but here it just fell flat and then it hit me, the big difference between the anime and the game. It really should have been obvious to me from the start. Upon playing the game and a certain scene that happened well I came to fall in love with the ship of Ishimaru Kiyotaka and Oowada Mondo; which I ended up nicknaming to myself ‘The Ultimate Bromance’. Yet when I watched the anime originally I did not latch onto these two at all and as a fujoshi that saddens me because they are an awesome ship. Now one could just put this down to my tastes in ships changing between now and then perhaps, but I can tell you right now my readers that I still love the same ships I loved back when the anime first came out (heck I still love some of my first ships like Joey X Seto from Yugioh and Shinji and Kowaru from Evangelion). It is very rare that Mistress of Yaoi loses interest in a ship once she latches onto it. Then it hit me why the ship hit me in the game but not in the anime. Character development!
Now I get it the main story of Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc takes roughly twenty-four hours to complete just the main storyline and you are looking at roughly forty hours for a completionist playthrough of the game and there is no way you are going to fit everything from that game into a 13 episode anime series, but if you have not played the game you are going to miss out on so much of the story. The main plot points of the game are there in the anime but it leaves many of the interesting characters from the game feeling like very flat and boring stereotypes and this especially goes for the characters who are killed early on in the series. There just is not enough time in the anime to get attached to the characters that die early on.
If you want a starting point to get into Danganronpa then I have to say play the first game before watching the anime. As a stand-alone anime, it is very boring because it does not dive deep enough into the game’s themes of hope vs despair and leaves us with a very cliche battle royale fight to the death anime that has been done better elsewhere with anime like Future Diary and Deadman Wonderland.