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Dangan Ronpa ( ダンガンロンパ, name roughly means Bullet Refutation) is a visual novel series developed and published by Spike which combines action and mystery elements. While the first two games were initially released only in Japan, they received localised versions for PlayStation Vita in 2014, and were ported to Steam in 2016.
Warning: spoilers for the entire series follow.
The story of the series centres around Hope's Peak Academy (希望ヶ峰学園, Kibougamine Gakuen), an elite school which accepts only students who are the best of the best in their specific niche. The students are given the title "Super High School Level" (超高校級, officially translated as "Ultimate").
The basic structure of the series is similar across instalments: several students are trapped somewhere, and forced by Monokuma (a bear, and the avatar of the mastermind) to kill one of their fellow students if they wish to leave. After a body is discovered, a Class Trial is held, in which the students try to find the killer; if the killer deceives their fellow students into voting wrongly, they will be allowed to escape alone. During the game, the player discovers more about an apocalyptic event (officially known as The Tragedy in the localisation) brought about by Super High School Level Despair, which left the world in ruins and allowed the killing games to happen.
In the first game of the series, Dangan Ronpa: Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei (ダンガンロンパ 希望の学園と絶望の高校生, localised as Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc), the player character, Makoto Naegi, is trapped in Hope's Peak itself with his classmates. During the events of the game, the player discovers they had actually been in school together for two years already (during which the Tragedy had occurred) and had had their memories of it removed by the mastermind, Junko Enoshima.
The sequel, Super Dangan Ronpa 2: Sayonara Zetsubou Gakuen (スーパーダンガンロンパ2 さよなら絶望学園, localised as Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair), is initially presented as a counterpoint to the original: the player character, Hajime Hinata, awakens on a tropical island and is told by a magical rabbit, Usami, to befriend his classmates. However, Monokuma takes over and begins anotrher killing game. Eventually it is discovered the island was a simulation, and the students (bar one) are all former members of Super High School Level Despair, placed in a simulation by the survivors of the first game to rehabilitate them.
A spinoff game, Dangan Ronpa Another Episode (絶対絶望少女 ダンガンロンパ Another Episode), takes place between the first two games, and follows the sister of Makoto Naegi, as well as Touko Fukawa, a survivor of the first game, as they work to liberate a city from the Warriors of Hope, children aligned with SHSL Despair.
Dangan Ronpa was largely introduced to the English-speaking web through Something Awful user orenronen's Let's Play thread of the game, created on November 5th, 2011. Though interest in the thread was initially minimal, more people were drawn in as the mystery unfolded. The thread generated over 800 pages of replies, making the thread one of the largest LP threads on the website. After the LP for the first game was finished, Something Awful user slowbeef conducted an interview with orenoren.
Eventually, the Let's Play gained more exposure through Tumblr, which would eventually lead to the Dangan Ronpa fandom significantly growing in size. An unofficial english patch for the first game was eventually made with another one for the second game being underway until its cancellation was announced by the team due to the games receiving official english releases.
The website pixiv has over 30,000 illustrations under the tag "ダンガンロンパ" content such as fanart can also be found under the tag "Danganronpa" on the website Tumblr. On Feb 14th 2013 a Subreddit named /r/danganronpa was created, which has over 7,000 subscribers as of August 2016.
Danganronpa Sprite videos
A series of videos featuring in-game sprites of the characters with voice overs from different sitcoms such as How I met your mother and most commonly John Mulaney's comedy routines, several which have been uploaded to Youtube
On August 27th, Tumblr user gooeyshark made a post featuring characters from the second game re-enacting a stand-up routine, the post has over 1,000 notes as of September 2016
During the events of the first game, the character Chihiro Fujisaki is revealed to be not a girl, but a crossdressing boy, after his death. Several fans misinterpreted Chihiro as being a trans girl, even after it was revealed during Chihiro's School Mode ending that he identified as male all along. The issue of Chihiro's gender is still debated among the fandom, though not as fiercely as it was in 2013.
 Something Awful – Super High-school Level Let's Play
 Tumblr – Posts tagged "dangan ronpa"
 Tumblr – Project Zetsubou
 Twitter – SHSL Translation
 Tumblr – Dangan Ronpa: The Dub
 Anime News Network – NISA Licenses DanganRonpa, Demon Gaze Games in West
 pixiv – Illustrations tagged "ダンガンロンパ"
 Reddit – /r/danganronpa
Nov 25, 2018 at 08:24PM EST in reply to
(((Richard Cheese; 妹妹 Master)))
Jan 19, 2015 at 10:12PM EST
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