Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair – The 3-Character Dynamic and Best Girl
Note: This post requires readers to be in the “Danganronpa mindset”, and is written with the assumption that you had finished Danganronpa 2. Obviously contains major spoilers as well.
What’s the 3-character dynamic? It sounds cool and almost like an officially-coined term, but it’s a term I came up with myself just for Danganronpa, because I think it best described the rapport between the characters.
TVtropes’s Two Guys and a Girl is the closest, though still not exactly accurate either; this dynamic is more easier observed during the actual class trials. Because of such a huge character cast, there are characters who progress the discussion and actually dive into the problem at hand to try to solve it, instead of skirting around it. Basically, they are the problem-solvers. In Danganronpa, there are usually three of these characters out of the cast, and I call these the “3-character dynamic” of Danganronpa. The other characters usually just, well… respond. They arguably lack the insight to bring new things to the discussion, and usually just respond to shocking revelations in stereotypical shocking fashion.
Indeed, there has to be a “central point”, so to speak, someone who leads the discussion into the right way, finding new information in the process. Applying the dynamic here however, there are not just one, but three “central points”, and one of the best thing about the class trials is how these central points with different opinions clash with each other.
Picking a Best Girl is serious business, and especially so in Danganronpa. I felt it’s really hard for me to pick a favorite character in the game, mainly because, for one thing, these three from the dynamic will obviously have the most exposure and development out of the whole cast. These three are also the ones who actually get things done in the actual class trials, and the funny thing is some of the talents these three characters possessed are seemingly useless; for example, Naegi and Nagito’s “Ultimate Lucky” talent, Chiaki’s “Ultimate Gamer” talent and so on. I guess it helps tremendously that despite not having an useful skill, they are not bound down by specific roles, and can do things outside the scope of their own talents.
I think it’s clear from how much I rant about the 3-character dynamic, but my favorite characters from Danganronpa are from within that dynamic. This was the case in Danganronpa 1, and likewise in Danganronpa 2, and probably will be the same for future Danganronpa titles if Kodaka Kazutaka retains this narrative pattern.
In Danganronpa 1, the 3-character dynamic consisted of Naegi, Togami and Kyouko, and yes, I marked like crazy when all three of them appeared in the sequel. And well, in said sequel, the dynamic consists of Hajime, Nagito and Chiaki, and are obviously my favorite characters of the bunch. Of course, my absolute Best Girl is Chiaki.
Besides being cute, which is a very nice bonus, she is also extremely observant, befitting her position in the 3-character dynamic. Different from Nagito’s shrewd and manipulative personality however, Chiaki’s someone who actually cares and genuinely wants to help. She’s really supportive, and helped tremendously both during the investigations and class trials. In a game filled with murders and betrayals in every corner, I, as a player, genuinely feels that there is only one person I can trust, and that’s Chiaki. The ironic thing here is that she’s not even a person, but an AI, made together with Monomi to observe the island… You know, you’re pretty much screwed up when an AI is even more “human” than half the cast who could betray and murder anyone at a moment’s notice.
I guess being an AI explains her exceeding calm altitude, which was the first thing I noticed before the huge shocking revelation. This, coupled with being an AI, helps her being more aware with the current state of people around her. It’s as if they have a secret guardian looking out for them. One of my favorite moments which also reinforce my choice of Chiaki being the Best Girl, was during Chapter 4 when Chiaki stopped Hajime just before he was about to enter “The Final Dead Room”, looking for an exit. At the time, everyone, including Hajime were all suffering from extreme fatigue and hunger and were losing rational thoughts-so Chiaki practically saved Hajime just before he possibly went crazy and even lose his life, since there is NO exit in there. What I described here doesn’t do it justice, really, since it’s quite difficult for me to portray the emotional aspect of the scene in text, but those who played the game will probably know which exact scene I’m talking about.
While Chiaki is the Best Girl for me, at the same time, I feel this is also quite unfair, and it’s more of a “boring” choice, even, since Chiaki obviously got the most attention and development out of all the other female characters. Of course, some of them got nice, fun quirks, but quirks can really just get you so far compared to organic characterizations and development. Just like the previous Danganronpa 1, I can’t help but feel invested into the characters within the 3-character dynamic more so than the rest of the cast.
…Then again, I’m talking about Best Girl and waifu in a game filled with constant murders and psychological thrills. Somewhere down the line, I must have gone crazy too.
1. This post is dedicated to Cho. Please notice this post, Cho-senpai.
2. If we were to compare the 3-character dynamics from both Danganronpa 1 and 2, Kyouko and Chiaki are just about equal. Kyouko = Chiaki > Everyone
3. Outside of the dynamic, I think my best girl would be Pekoyama.
4. Because the characters within the dynamic are so central to the plot, it’s almost predictable that they wouldn’t die, as with the case in Danganronpa 1. Well color me surprised in Danganronpa 2…
5. This is totally unrelated, but here’s a screenshot of Nagito fapping to hope.