#03 – “Kill and Live – Not Normal Arc”
Ladies and gentlemen, the trial has begun! With this episode, our gang finds the truth behind Maizono’s murder, as they piece together all of the evidence and clues. Although Naegi is under heavy suspicion, he’s determined to reveal the truth, as a wrong decision would lead to the forfeit of everyone’s lives. With the start of the trial, the gang heads straight into analyzing the key details, such as the main weapon used in the murder and the circumstances that allowed the event to occur. Through the testimonies of Asahina and Kirigiri, the group comes to realize that Naegi couldn’t have been the culprit. The next phase of the trial focuses on reconstructing the events that led to Maizono’s death.
Yamada asserts that the circumstances behind the rooms could only mean that Maizono invited the culprit into the room. Despite Naegi’s insistence that such an event couldn’t have occurred due to Maizono’s fearful behavior, but Kirigiri interjects by suggesting that it was merely a façade. Kirigiri then pulls out a note that she uncovered in Naegi’s room that proves that Maizono was in-fact plotting something before the event. After the group seems to have reached a dead-end in their trial, Naegi brings up the dying message of “11037” behind Maizono. He reveals that flipping the message would translate to Leon, suggesting that he is the culprit. Leon starts losing his composure as Naegi reconstructs the entire event and engages him in an intense argument (Known as a Machinegun Talk Battle in the game). With Leon’s used toolkit being the final piece of evidence, the truth is out and Leon is sentenced to death. After the intense CGI cutscene, the group goes their separate ways and Kirigi pays a visit to Naegi. Kirigiri tries to convey the possibility of Maizono feeling great guilt over framing Naegi and urges him to overcome the deaths. Naegi surprises her by stating that he will carry the weight of their deaths as plows through the sick game and escapes to the outside.
Yahoo! This rendition of the first trial was pretty awesome! I really liked how it flowed fairly well and essentially involved the interaction of every character. The trial also covered all of the evidence and gradually pieced the events together through the illustrations from the game’s “Climax Logic.” I was also pleasantly surprised by how most of the elements from the game were integrated. The quirky use of the UI from the game throughout the debates was hilarious and emphasized the unique style of Dangan Ronpa. The only thing missing was the “Epiphany Anagram” sequence, but that’s not really a big deal. The pace for the trial and the episode in general was pretty good, unlike the slightly rushed investigation in the previous episode. Along with the good pacing, I enjoyed how the characters were all accurately portrayed. Unlike DS2, I feel like the characters in Dangan are a bit more fleshed out with expressions and emotions. I almost felt bad for Leon at the end of the trial….well….okay not really, but I definitely felt the overall despair in the room. Well, until next week, I hope you all choose hope over despair!