Um……okay? Danganronpa‘s first episode was definitely strange. Both in a good and bad way.
Recently the only thing to come from Seiji Kishi (and Makoto Uezu) are game adaptations. The duo have been sticking to some uninteresting projects for the year and Danganronpa is their next silly, strange and unintentionally funny anime for the year.
The setting is interesting. Reminiscent of Doubt and Enigma, the idea of the school mystery death game is enough of a hook to get me watching. It’s not wildly original, but as far as death game anime goes Danganronpa‘s setting was one of the better ones in theory. In theory, it could have been a lot more interesting than how it was portrayed.
I don’t know if this is how the game is or not, but it wasn’t very impressive. The story feels a little too mixed up in over-dramatics and lame comedy to yield anything more than some brainless entertainment. That’s not to say there will be no entertainment value to that, just that this won’t be anything more than your run-of-the-kill game adaptation. At some points I was enjoying myself, and at others I was just indifferent and unimpressed.
As for aesthetics, I’m not sold. The style of the animation is very game-like and that has raises mixed feelings. On the one hand it is distinguishing and edgier than usual – especially looking at Persona 4 and Devil Survivor 2 – however it feels lazy and low-budget at the same time. Hard to say right away if the animation is going to be detrimental to the series in the long run or nut, though it doesn’t instil a lot of confidence in the short run.
Maybe Danganronpa was intended to be exactly like this. Not a serious project for Kishi-sensei, treated with little care and ultimately an okay/average series with little to offer in terms of originality. Not a bad series to watch with a “brain off,” which has some value in it.