Recommend : Maybe
If you read the Final Thoughts on the Despair Arc this won’t surprise you and there is a good reason for it.
The Future Arc of Danganronpa 3 saw what happened to Makoto and gang after leaving Hope’s Peak. Or at least it gives you a taste of what they did.
A organisation called the Future Foundation took them in, it was lead by former headmaster Tengan and full of Hope’s Peak Academy students (former students.)
We saw that Makoto and co came out and nothing in the world truly changed. Despair’s still roamed and killed but we started with Makoto being sent to the HQ for helping the Remnants of Despair. From the Despair Arc and the second game we know these are the students of Hope’s Peak in the 77th class, the one before Makoto’s class. The Future Arc showed us how they become Despairs and the second game showed us what happened to them and why Makoto is in trouble.
Never get to see the values of the Future Foundation really come to blows though. There was no time for them to sit down and talk things out, for Makoto to tell them what he had done and why or for others to tell him why he was wrong (not my opinion I’m fully behind what Makoto did but the others don’t agree) because before you know it they are being plunged into yes… Yet ANOTHER Killing Game.
Just this time it doesn’t take the Despairs and their “motives” to get the ball rolling. From the second they wake up, find out they have wristbands with Forbidden Actions that will kill them instantly, and learn of their fate they are all out to kill each other anyway.
They split into groups. No group really coming face to face with another. No group talks to each other and each group want to kill someone else other then Makoto and Hina, who spend the whole time running around…. Or at least Hina does with Makoto on her back, and Kirigiri’s group. Some epic fights and monologuing give us a idea of the various different stances in this war from all out destruction, to talking things through to who bloody knows what. One group has to take over the Despair Arc for people to care about them and care we did but it was over again in a flash. The others play a overly long game of cat and mouse which ends badly for most of them.
It ends on a cliffhanger going into the Hope Arc (which apparently comes out today sometime) without ever really moving a foot closer to anything.
A lot happens but other then to kill many characters it seems there is no point to it.
Of course Junko has her hands in it, she’s brainwashed Chisa who takes advantage of Tengan’s game to kill herself in front of Munakata, thus ending her part in bringing total Despair by making him want to completely destroy all Despair which means just about everyone including his best friend. The best characters in the show don’t get enough time being characters before they are just out to kill other people. It was a waste of so many good characters really.
So why is it a maybe?
Again it has to be watched side by side with the Despair Arc, you probably have to have played the second game and not care enough about anything BUT the main story to really get into it.
Its interesting and adds so much to the story as a whole but on its own its a total mess.
There is no character development. All characters worth any note are either fully developed through the first series/game or else jointly through the two series. The story is all over the place and badly thought out, the ending to the whole thing seems cheap but when it happens you kinda hate yourself for not guessing it. Long periods of the series just have no point other then to look cool and characters who are really interesting don’t get any real love even in two shows.
Too many ideas have been thrown together that you never really get any of them shining through. Kirigiri’s story in all this would have been much more interesting if we’d actually seen more then just her staring at things and trying her best to ignore people. Munakata was a interesting character who really didn’t get enough time to BE a character instead of just talking, his ideals were totally opposite Makotos and there is a long time between the Despair Arc and where he is in the Future Arc with Chisa whispering in his ear that is lost but so damn important.
I can’t actually remember much of what Makoto did other then be sad and get a piggy back as Hina ran around the place trying to keep him alive. He did have a epic show down with Munakata but the problem is if he saves the day in the Hope Arc then you’d have TWO threats in a handful of episode brought down by Makoto’s speech. Danganronpa doesn’t mind using the same concept time and time again I know but it’ll make for a terrible ending.
I guess you wouldn’t bother watching Danganronpa 3 without seeing the first series anyway but I think you’ll be disappointed if you don’t play the second game and maybe the other game with Monaka in it before this.
It felt like it tried to end a story that we’ve only just scratched the surface of as fast as possible and for me it didn’t work. Hopefully the Hope Arc gives us true closure.