Danganronpa - 01 - First Impression - rushed

Danganronpa is a murder mystery game on the PSP that reminds me of 999. The game was never localized but I have been reading a translation of the game online and it is a wonderful narrative. Upon hearing that an anime adaption was coming out I was ecstatic, but I can't really say the first episode lives up to the game.

Episode 1 was the prologue of the show, and it was rushed to try and cover all of the introductions for all 15 characters as well as their predicament. Essentially Hope's Peak Academy is a school for the brightest students across the country who are chosen to enroll. Those chosen are referred to as "Super High School" students.

With everyone becoming trapped in some sort of game with Monobear, it seems no one is allowed to leave unless they graduate. In order to graduate you have to kill someone, and that is a pretty steep thing to consider. Monobear is some whacked out stuffed bear that may or may not have explosives as we find out.

There was only a small segment for each character that showed who they are, and very brief screen times for each character since we have 15 characters and only 22 minutes to express them, so it was obvious things were going to feel rushed.

I'm not going to go through all the characters but I will go over the ones who showed more personality than others. I will cover the rest as they become important or show more personality. Overall we have a great cast of characters that all show obvious differences with their behavior and looks. I especially love Celestia's character. Her personality is easily shown through a calm and weird demeanor, however she has a few bright ideas such as adaptation to their situation and enforcing rules to make things easier on themselves.

Naegi is our protagonist, he has no ability or any special assets, he was chosen in a lottery and labeled as a super high school lucky student, although you might as well call him super high school unlucky. He is pretty much a regular character who will lead us in the show.

Maizono is a super high school idol, and apparently went to the same school as Naegi, although since she was so popular Naegi never associated himself with her. Her personality and info was similar to a roller coaster, all over the place with its ups and downs, and over before you know it. She introduces herself, rekindles a relation with Naegi, devotes herself to him, has a breakdown, and recovers all in 20 minutes. I was not very happy with how rushed the whole thing was but I guess it's hard to cover everything in what i'm guessing is a 12-13 episode series.

One thing I'd like to mention is how they addressed the "motive" for everyone to kill each other. I'm not sure if this just cut down some time for the show but in the game Naegi is the first one to see the video before everyone else, leading Naegi to consider not telling them about it. Another thing to note is how well they adapted the game's art, although it doesn't fully capture the gritty colours in an outline style, the art is still good enough. Music is directly from the game, and that being said, it's nice to see everything following the game's visuals and atmosphere, the show really captures everything about the game, including character voices, background music, and even the very first scene with the rocket is directly from the game.

Overall it was a bit rushed but it gets the intro out of the way, if you had a hard time trying to follow the pace it should become a little more clear over time. As for right now who knows if anyone is going to kill another, Togami definitely likes to act alone, and that has never really been a good thing when it comes to trust. While I know what happens I will be posting with only the information given from each episode, since I don't even know if they will follow the game. The game's demo version actually had different events happen so i'm not sure the anime will follow the game fully and give us a few surprises.