#02: Chapter 01 – Kill Free or Live Hard
You guys ready for some more Dangan Ronpa? Good, because this episode is where things get real. As a fair warning, this impression will contain SPOILER details and content, so turn back if you have yet to watch the episode. We start with a short recap from Naegi’s perspective, before checking out the new opening song, “Never Say Never,” a remix of the theme song by TKDzZb. I seriously enjoyed this awesome remix and am looking forward to the full version of it. Anywho, we return to Naegi as he observes every nook and cranny of his room at night in an irritated manner. Upon trying to open his bathroom door, Naegi finds that the door refuses to open. Monokuma waltzes in to surprise him and inform him that he has the misfortune to be the only one with a misaligned door.
Before Naegi could rest, Maizono enters his room in a cold sweat and tells him about someone rattling her door. Naegi suggests that she stay in her room for safety, before getting super embarrassed over realizing what he just said. Maizono laughs it off and suggests that they simply switch rooms for the night, which Naegi agrees to. The following morning, the gang gathers in the cafeteria, but notices that someone was missing. Naegi rushes towards his room after realizing that Maizono was not present and finds that the door was unlocked. To his dismay, he finds his room completely wrecked, with Maizono dead in the shower. The sight of her dead body was such a shock that Naegi instantly passes out and awakens moments later in the gym.
Although the group informs him about the situation, he refuses to accept it and tries to rush out. MonoKuma pops up and tells the group that the murder was done by one of the remaining fourteen students. In order to find out who did it, a class trial would be held after a brief investigation. If the group manages to figure out the true culprit, then that person would be executed, but if they fail, everyone except the culprit dies. After hearing this new, Junko loses her shit and attacks MonoKuma, only to be executed on the spot via many spears. Before the group can grieve too long, everyone receives a report on Maizono’s death. It is pointed out that she died in Naegi’s room, so the gang naturally suspects that he is the culprit. Naegi, although despairing over his situation, decides to move on with the investigation. With all of his evidence, or “ammunition,” fully loaded, Naegi meets up with the others and prepares for the first trial for his life.
Wow, I am pleasantly surprised by this adaptation’s efforts towards staying faithful to the video game. Much like the first episode, the character’s reactions are spot-on and the events are all executed well. The pacing has been pretty good so far, and not much content has been cut from the story. The only cut event really worth noting is the small adventure Naegi and Maizono had to find a weapon, which resulted in the decorative sword in Naegi’s room. Other than that, most of the events have been covered accurately. The investigation was also kind of fast, but that’s fine as the audience should focus more on how the evidence is pieced together in the trial. After beating the game, I think thirteen episodes will be plenty to cover the entire story, so I hope the pacing stays this balanced. I really wonder how they’re going to adapt the trial, as it would be hilarious if they incorporate the same elements as those in the game like Machinegun Talk Battle. Well, the trial should be exciting and so let’s look forward to it! Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I like how they will be changing the scenes from the ED to incorporate the fallen students, as opposed to removing them like DS2’s ED (quite a nice little touch!).