Goodbye, Hope’s Peak High School (Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School - Despair Arc)

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Goodbye, Hope's Peak High School
Danganronpa 3 - Despair Arc Title Card (Episode 11).png
Not as bad as the previous episode, but it feels really empty thanks to Junko, meaning it's not much better either. Also, this is not the ideal episode to release after that one abysmal trainwreck of an episode in the same series.
Series: Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School
Part of Season: 2
Episode Number: 11
Air Date: September 22, 2016 (sub)
October 23, 2016 (dub)
Writer: Ukyo Kodachi
Director: Noriyuki Noya
Previous episode: Smile at Despair in the Name of Hope
Next episode: The School of Hope and the Students of Despair (Hope Arc)

Goodbye, Hope’s Peak High School is the twenty-second episode of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School and the eleventh and last episode of Despair Arc, which serves as a prequel to the Hope's Peak Series.

Synopsis

The blackmailed Juzo and the brainwashed Chisa both tell Kyosuke that Junko is innocent, allowing her plan to continue unhindered. As the 77th class graduate from their classroom to spread despair across the world, the Reserve Course students storm the main building and kill everyone inside before Junko uses her despair video to have them all commit suicide. Meanwhile, Izuru decides to have his memories of the 77th Class erased and vice versa, interested to see if hope can be more unpredictable than despair. In order to protect the remaining students in the 78th class, Jin helps them convert the school's old building into a shelter, unaware of the two Despairs who lurk among them. As Junko moves onto the next phase of her plan, becoming curious about the wildly unpredictable luck exhibited by Makoto, Chisa rejoins Kyosuke, who is unaware of her transformation into despair. Some time later, in a virtual world, another meeting between Hajime Hinata and Chiaki Nanami takes place.

Summary

Basically the same summary as the previous episode, except with a different plot.

Plot

Kyosuke is informed that his overseas development project has been cancelled, causing him to wonder if the Steering Committee is more involved in the despair than he realized. Juzo shows up, reporting to Kyosuke that Junko is innocent. Alone, Juzo punches a wall and vows to kill Junko no matter what. In a deserted room, Junko watches as the brainwashed Reserve Course students start their assault on Hope's Peak. Izuru is there as well, still holding onto Chiaki's hair clip. Izuru notes that Junko seems happy, prompting the True Ultimate Despair to announce The End of Hope's Peak High School.

Chisa and her students are back in class. A flower has been placed on top of Chiaki's desk, but no one acknowledges her death. Chisa tells the class she has been honored to act as their teacher, and reads them a speech as the Reserve Course breaks into the main floor to start murdering the other students. After Chisa finishes reading her speech, red lights emerge as she and her class embrace their despair, with the students declaring their plans for the future. Chisa says this is goodbye; from now on, they will be legally declared dead. She pushes a button and blows up the classroom.

Junko watches the chaos from a neighboring building with Mukuro and Izuru. The latter asks Junko if she fulfilled his request to erase the students' memories of him. Junko says she did, noting that it was a strange request. Izuru explains that he will also erase his own memories before he sees them again - to him, it would be boring if they knew each other. He tells Junko that if Chiaki's wishes are fulfilled, and her classmates are saved, hope could triumph over despair; Izuru wants to see which outcome will surprise him. Junko maintains that despair is more unpredictable than hope, but Izuru simply walks away. Junko snaps at him for not saying anything to her, so Izuru says they will meet again. Junko agrees, declaring that she has other uses for the former Ultimate Hope.

Holed up in the headmaster's office, Kazuo, Kohichi, and Jin reflect on the situation. Class 78th are the only known survivors, and Jin regrets not turning to his daughter when he had the chance. Kohichi gives Jin a drink to calm him down. Outside, Junko feels the Reserve Course has done its job, so she sends them a video that causes them to commit suicide. Kazuo and Kohichi watch in horror as the Reserve Course students begin jumping from buildings and running into fires, laughing all the while. Mukuro asks Junko why she didn't keep them alive to help her. Junko answers that the brainwashed students may think like her, but they are nowhere near the level of being useful to her. She also warns Mukuro that even though she is family, she will kill her if she lets her guard down.

With that, the Despair Sisters join their classmates, who are sealing up the school on the Headmaster's orders. Junko sees Makoto with Sayaka, and throws a wrench at him; however, Makoto accidentally dodges it by slipping on a loose sheet of paper at just the right time. Sayaka asks him if he is alright, and Junko also feigns concern. Junko notifies Mukuro that like Nagito, Makoto is also the Ultimate Lucky Student, but notes that his luck is less potent than Nagito's. Mukuro asks Junko if they should kill Makoto, but Junko refuses; if he foils her plans, it could bring about an even greater despair.

The former Class 77-B watches the destruction of the building from afar, with Nagito describing it as their "graduation." Kyosuke finds Chisa in the remains of the classroom, and they leave together. Along the way, Chisa drops her notebook, which contains a photo of her "welcome back" party. Kyosuke notices, but Chisa decides to leave the book there, saying it is not important as the photo burns up.

The students of Class 77-B begin their descent into despair; Sonia is shown using her power as ruler of the Kingdom of Novoselic to order nuclear strikes on other nations while Fuyuhiko and Peko eliminate officials in a courtroom. Chisa joins Juzo and Kyosuke atop a ruined structure overlooking the chaos and destruction of The Tragedy. Juzo curses himself for not turning in Junko, while Chisa cries they have to do something. She tells Kyosuke that she believes he can bring hope back into the world; when the Ultimate Student Council President isn't looking, however, she gives a deranged smile as she thinks about bringing Kyosuke into the deepest despair ever.

The end of the episode jumps ahead to Hajime meeting the Chiaki AI inside the Neo World Program, while Izuru inwardly muses about whether hope or despair would emerge the victor.

Despairing Qualities

  1. Even though we get to see how "The Worst, Most Despair-Inducing Incident in the History of Mankind" began, the previous episode sucks the charm out of this episode.
  2. Continuity error: We see Makoto Naegi in Hope’s Peak High School in this episode, but the first game implies that Makoto Naegi got into Hope’s Peak High School through a lottery ticket. Plus, Makoto didn’t get into Hope’s Peak High School until the first game, so adding him seems pointless. Although, this could be explained by the fact that the Trigger Happy Havoc cast had two years of their memories erased when the Killing Game began.
  3. Juzo Sakakura and Chisa Yukizome actually lie to Kyosuke Munakata, by telling him that Junko is innocent. And worst of all, this incident wasn’t Juzo’s nor Munakata’s fault. Junko humiliated Juzo in the previous episode in order to blackmail him into lying to him.
    • The fact that Juzo ends up going into the bathroom and punching the wall into his fist bled afterwards doesn't help matters, as it shows how torn up he was over what he did. Ouch.
  4. A flower has been placed on top of Chiaki's desk, but no one acknowledges her death. As if they were all permanently scarred for life, so much that they've decided to repress any and all memories of her. However, the more likely explanation is that Junko's brainwashing from the previous episode twisted their minds into embracing any and all forms of despair, including the despair of losing her. And it's also implied that Izuru was the one who put them there, which actually makes sense given the fact that he had cried over Chiaki's death in said episode (despite not understanding why he did it).
  5. It's actually shown how Junko's brainwashing affected Class 77-B. And it's implied that they think they're doing nothing wrong and are bringing people happiness while they're unconsciously forced to commit atrocities. This actually becomes pretty sad when you think about it, because it shows how much they really wanted to make the world a better place, only for Junko to force them to watch they're beloved class rep being tortured to death and use it to brainwash them into mass murdering terrorists.
    • That's not even the only implication for how it works either. Another one is that they actually are aware of what they're doing, but are unable to do anything to stop it, and that they're in despair knowing that they're not making people happier like they desired. All the while they're completely helpless to stop themselves from doing the opposites of what they truly want to do, which is nothing short of psychological horror.
    • The scene that shows their descents into despair isn't pleasant to watch either. From Sonia Nevermind using her power as ruler of the Kingdom of Novoselic to order nuclear strikes on other nations to Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu and Peko Pekoyama eliminating officials in a courtroom, it's all very hard to watch, especially if you're emotionally attached to these characters.
  6. The scene with the Reserve Course breaking into the main floor to murdering the other students before leaving Hope's Peak Academy by the time they're done, while not as bad as Chiaki being tortured to death in the previous episode, is still an enormous gory bloodbath and no short of disturbing.
  7. Idiot move: Episode 13 in Danganronpa: The Animation shows that Junko realized Makoto Naegi was a threat before the Killing Game even started, but instead of killing him, she kept him alive because of her despair fetish, even after Mukuro told her to have Makoto killed first.
  8. Junko Enoshima is unlikable in this episode, just like she was in the previous episode. She once even snapped at Izuru Kamukura for not saying anything to her and knocked over Mukuro Ikusaba before prodding her with her stiletto all because she didn't understand what Junko meant by saying that the Remnants of Despair will "infect the world with despair", which is just disproportionate.

Good Qualities

  1. Even after the short-lived downfall, this can be considered a slight (if not massive) improvement over the previous episode, although not as much as an improvement as the Hope Arc.
  2. The scene at the end where Hajime meets the Chiaki AI inside the Neo World Program is a pretty nice touch to this episode, and it’s also proof that the writers are learning from their mistakes after the previous episode, and makes for a nice ending for an otherwise mediocre episode.
  3. Similarly, the scene where Class 78 is working together to seal themselves in the school in order to protect themselves from the Tragedy is pretty sweet as well. With Mondo Owada rushing over to help Chihiro Fujisaki with a heavy load, Mukuro showing concern for Makoto when the latter nearly got hit in the head with a flying wrench (as well as later showing hesitation when asking Junko is they should kill him, showing that she does have some lingering reservations about harming him), and Sayaka showing how much she cared about Makoto prior to the Killing Game, it's nice to see the whole class working together in order to protect each other.
  4. Great animation and voice acting, as always, even if the episode itself had all the charm sucked out.

Reception

Goodbye, Hope's Peak Academy received mixed reception from Danganronpa fans. While some appreciated it actually showcasing some of the events that were only stated to have happened in the second game, others criticized it for its continuity errors, graphic content, and overall lack of charm that the previous episodes of the arc (episode 10 excluded) had. That being said, even the fans who dislike the episode will still often agree that it's still a step-up from Smile at Despair in the Name of Hope, if not a good episode on its own.

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