Danganronpa 3 : The End of Hope’s Peak High School (Despair Arc) : A Farewell to All Futures

Episode 3

Subete no Mirai ni Sayonara wo (全ての未来にさよならを)

The questions of what someone who admired talent would do to get talent or what would make them decide to go through that process to implant talent into them is answered…

For a start if you haven’t figured it out yet you do need to stay till the very end of the episode to see the whole episode.

With that said the character introduced in the last episode, Natsumi Kuzuryuu, is the centre of attention in this weeks episode. If Nanami is on one side of a line pulling Hajime in one direction then Natsumi was on the other side pulling him in the other direction.

What does this mean?

Well the Despair Arc whilst being fun and introducing us to a new class of Ultimates isn’t actually about them at all. Its about a dark secret that Yukizome is trying to unearth. That dark secret one can only imagine has something to do with the experiment that Hajime ends up agreeing to, to become everyone’s Hope.

This series isn’t so much, or at least yet, about the characters we’ve been presented but about the concept of talent and the unfairness of sticking some people above the others in a system that tells you on one hand to look up to them but on the other that you’ll never be good enough to join them. Natsumi is the sister of Fuyuhiko so naturally she wants to be on the main course as the Ultimate Little Sister so that she can stand side-by-side with her older brother. Hajime seemed to inspire to find a talent so he can be on the main course but now seems even more into that idea because of his feelings for Nanami, after being told he had no right to interact with the main building students by a ever cheerful Sakakura, who is also there under Munakata’s orders.

The whole episode has him being pulled both ways.

Nanami has always, even before Yukizome started talking to her, seemed to think that talent isn’t all its cracked up to be. She’s believed people without talent have more freedom then them, they have to be the Ultimate’s because that is all they are whilst the others can carve their own paths. This episode she tells Hajime that it isn’t important having talent its important just to live and make memories.

On the other side of the episode though, the one he’s constantly reminded he belongs to, he see’s the struggle of Natsumi. Not that she’s a particularly nice character but she yearns, even more then he does, to be on the main course with her brother. She’s a complete cow to other characters and hates Mahiru but her passion to be on the main course and her belief she wouldn’t be worthy of standing next to her brother if she didn’t get there pulled Hajime the other direction.

So what then makes up his mind?

Natsumi and Mahiru knew each other beforehand, they were in the same Photography course. The second Natsumi showed up anyone who played the second game probably knew what was going to happen. She gets killed. The mystery of it all is solved in the game so I won’t spoiler it just in case someone hasn’t played and is going to but the anime uses it to send Hajime on his path.

It isn’t so much that Natsumi gets killed that sends him off down the path he goes.

After hearing Mahiru and a friend arguing about it all he decides to go talk to Mahiru about it just to be confronted by Sakakura who actually wanted his harsh words to have the OPPOSITE effect on Hajime. For some reason he thought being violent, insulting and just overly abusive to Hajime would keep him safe and away from the darkness that is going on around them. Instead he sends Hajime straight to whatever it is that the school is truly up to.

Constantly being told he had no right to be friends with someone he’d already made friends with just completely sent him over the edge.

The episode built up to that moment all the way through, every single scene playing its part in making his mind up. But it also showed just how horrible the Reserve course is.

So in this world you have a system where the very best of society are brought together in this school. We’ve learnt that they don’t actually have to attend classes and some of their talents are pretty useless, pointless or not exactly going to set the world on fire. But they represent Hope, they have their futures pretty much guaranteed. They ARE the Future.

What Hope’s Peak did then was bring in more students, bleed their families dry, but always remind them that they aren’t good enough. They can’t talk to the main building students, they can’t even walk into the main building. They are easily upset by the thought of the main building students, as proved by Mahiru walking into the room and them all getting slightly riled up when Natsumi tried to make out she was there to laugh at them. In the Reserve Course they seem to have built up a them vs us feeling, putting so much strain onto these students whilst putting a brick wall in front of them saying you’ll never get past.

My problem is I’ve played the game so I know what happens next BUT I’m probably filling in gaps that aren’t there so I’m trying my hardest to be as vague as possible so I don’t accidentally spoil anything for anyone. Even without any knowledge of the second game though it doesn’t take a genius to work out just what pressure that is going to put on these students.

In reality sure some people are more naturally talented then others. Just look at the Olympics for example, to have STARTED on the road to the Olympics these people must have had natural talent or a natural leaning to these sports from the second they started them. I can swim, I can run, I can dive, I can probably do a lot of the events if I put my mind to them but I’ll do it at a average rate and no one will look at me and go “future Olympian” and train me. The ultra talented have to mix that natural talent with shit loads of experience and training, again look at any sports star… Ayrton Senna might have been naturally talented but he put in the work to make sure he was the best there ever was. That matches up to Hope’s Peak. These are the naturally talented of the world going to a school to hone those talents. Fair enough.

Imagine that though. You wouldn’t care would you? I wouldn’t. I went to the same school as Tom Daley but because he was naturally talented at something he found it easy when he was bullied to move to a school that would hone his talents. I was a average student so just had to deal with the bullying and stay where I was. It didn’t bother me because I knew that my future had boring and bland written over it so I just had to do the best for my life that I could. Imagine though if that school had said “actually we’ll charge you thousands but you can be in this school.” In the anime world THAT is what is happening BUT to a extreme. Of course if I’d passed tests (which by all means I would have, I would have been a average student still but I was smart enough to go to a High School instead of a Community College, so my analogy sucks a little) I could have gone to any school I wanted but in Danganronpa its to a extreme. These guys are paying so that when they leave school their CVs will show the same as those naturally talented and selected.

Now imagine you get there to that school and realise that whilst in reality most people don’t care that they are below the Ultimate’s you have to deal with that message every day. You aren’t allowed to interact with them, stepping on main building property is against the rules, you are reminded you aren’t good enough day in and day out.

Hajime is even worse off because he has befriended one of them. He’s friends with Nanami. He keeps getting told by her that talent is over rated whilst EVERYONE else tells him that he has no right to be breathing the same air as her.

Now imagine the students who don’t even get to talk to them. Look at the students they have! A guy dressed up in the strangest outfit ever carrying around hamsters and calling himself a overlord. Someone who climbs around buildings all day. A student who looks like a little girl…. They have to go to school every day and be told they aren’t good enough whilst these lot goof off but are the Hope of the world.

The Reserve Course would do nothing but create Despair. I mean THAT is pretty much enough to put anyone into Despair. They get to this school just to have it rammed in their face that no matter what they will still come up short? Yet their families are going bankrupt keeping them there and the other Ultimate students go there for free and goof off all the time? Its just cruel.

Now one of them have been pushed too far and I dread to see what happens to him.

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