First Reactions: Dangan Ronpa Episode 5

Monokuma’s background antics made this episode. But there was definitely a lot to like elsewhere.

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Somewhere out there, a terrible writer is making a joke about not being allowed to bring pot in a courtroom

The process of this trial was cleverer than the last one, and Oowada’s sentencing was an interesting watch. However, his pre-eyecatch guilt was so telegraphed that the murder might as well have happened in the 1870s. Part of me enjoys watching the hilariously terrible poker faces these characters have, but another part of me feels the suspense could really be an addition to the fun factor if one of those characters could channel a little Akagi Shigeru. Then I remember that each trial is one episode and it makes sense for the guilty party to be unveiled at roughly the same point each week. And that the script seems to be branching out in terms of establishing motive; Oowada’s reason for killing Fujisaki was, though not by any means sympathetic, a lot more complicated than self-defense.

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Plus, the friendships established last week through light-hearted comedy really played a great role in the trial. Ishimaru and Oowada’s friendship obviously played a significant role in the post-confession drama, and I’d say his confused, emotional denial feels a lot more real because we’ve seen them be chummy in real life. It’s a technique the Uezu/Kishi/Iida team have used before, and one that I see in just about every other mid-major manga trying to make a leap. That it’s happening in a series that was already solid on other grounds just adds to the appeal.

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I don’t quite like Togami at this point. Objectively speaking, he’s been kind of an ass. He took a gamble with the misdirection by creating a situation where several outcomes led to his (and everyone else’s) immediate death. It takes some degree of insanity to wheel-and-deal one’s way out of a situation like this one, so it may be good that he’s got the guts to pull a fake. But I don’t really see it as a worthwhile one, unless something significantly changes.

Miyuki Sawashiro’s character may have gotten an evil darkside, but I just don’t see her committing a murder while everyone’s still stuck in school jail. Her M.O. is too regular, and there’s almost no way she wouldn’t instantly be found out. Of course, that’s not to say her normal half won’t give it a try, but even that seems unlikely. More than likely, she gets murdered by a paranoid classmate. Or maybe that’s all misdirection. All I know is that whatever happens will not be under the top.

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