From before the first episode aired, I had a guess for Danganronpa 3‘s villain.

The trailer for the anime (WARNING: this trailer majorly spoils the events of the first and second game. Do not watch if you haven’t played the games or don’t want to be spoiled!) is narrated by Mai Nakahara, the voice of Ultimate Housekeeper Chisa Yukizome–a new character to the franchise. While there are many new characters in the anime, the fact that she was chosen over everyone else as narrarator made me think she’d be the most important character–i.e., the villian. That was when I put down my bet that Chisa was the traitor in the death game featured in the Future Arc of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School.

When episode one started, I was ready with my popcorn to see Chisa try and play the good girl and trick us all. What I found was myself writhing in agony–not because she was detestable, but because she was actually likeable.

Let me put it out there before I go any further: I hate perfect characters. I hate characters that have absolutely no flaws except that they’re too perfect. That’s why I thought I’d dislike or at least be indifferent to Chisa. However, when I first saw her in Future Arc, I found myself warily letting my heart open to her; she was nice, but not in-your-face nice.

Let’s give an example: she patches up Makoto when he gets hurt in a fight with her old classmate Kyōsuke. But instead of just consoling him, she tries to get him to understand that they each have different ideals–and that while Kyōsuke’s might not line up with Makoto’s own, he should try to at least accept the fact that Kyōsuke has good intentions. Instead of taking the route of a nice character with no flaws, the writer of the anime’s story, Kazutaka Kodaka, made her a voice of reason instead.

Chisa’s power of reasoning can also be seen very prominently in Despair Arc when she’s dealing with her students. She doesn’t just say, “Let’s be friends!” and that’s it. She tries to understand her students, using their hobbies as a trigger to get them to come back to class. She doesn’t try to change them through empty words, but instead tries to let their passions blossom for a better cause, thus becoming an important figure in all of her students’ lives. One might say that she’s being a tactician and using their points of passion in order to use them, but I think that she is earnestly concerned about her pupils, no matter how strange they might be.

Additionally, there’s the point of Chisa’s personal relationships; you can tell a lot about a character through their relationships with others, after all. In this case, the character that has the most affection for Chisa is the hard-headed and stoic Kyōsuke, someone who usually doesn’t have time for nonsense. Despite this, he plays along with her childishness and even cracks a smile once in a while. She seems to be the only person he truly opens his heart to and, in return, she understands him. Seeing them on screen together or even seeing them talking on the phone is one of my biggest enjoyments of the show. Their chemistry is just so likeable. While Chisa is enjoyable in her own right, I probably wouldn’t like her character nearly as much without Kyōsuke as her foil.

That’s why it pains me week after week when I watch both Future Arc and Despair Arc; I don’t want her to be the bad guy that is causing so much havoc. “It’s too obvious,” I tell myself, “There’s got to be another culprit.” With such a sincerely caring character who is loved by others, I can’t think of a way she would do something so horrible.

So… I’ve fallen in love with another Danganronpa character and I can’t go back now. Is what awaits me hope? Or despair? Only time will tell.

Danganronpa 3: Despair Arc can be watched for free and with English subtitles on FUNimation.

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