Hope’s Peak Academy is an elite private school, but the only way to pass the class is by sending a fellow student home in a body bag. Danganronpa returns with 2 new arcs. Despair arc takes place before the events of Danganronpa: The Animated Series (Season 1). Future Arc continues after the hit game Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair following Makoto Naegi in a new death game.
Danganronpa 3 continues the twisted games of Junko Enoshima. Season 2 was split into 2 arcs. We get to learn the back-story of how Junko managed to initiate the most despair inducing event in human history. We also learn what happens to Makoto Naegi and his classmates after they leave Hope Peaks High School.
The new season didn’t disappoint in bringing back the complex thought and mystery the series had in season 1. From breaking down who the killers were, to figuring out the overall game plan. The despair arc has some really rough points from the horror side, topping many moments from season 1. Junko was ruthless in ripping her class apart student by student. It turns out Ryota Mitarai’s skill was the final piece Junko needed to enact her plan. Seeing it, finally helped make everything else add up from season 1. I would say the despair arc is better than the future arc.
The future arc continued to follow Naegi and his classmates. The death game there didn’t feel as high stakes as season 1. The deaths were not as diabolical as season 1. Without the student court, the drama element was missing from it. Though learning the ultimate mastermind of everything was interesting to watch unfold.
The final episode, which is the Hope Arc, brings the two classes together. Events from both arcs collide for a final event. It was interesting to see the Super High School-Level Hope, Makoto Naegi, manages to turn things around with the remnants of despair and the foundation members.
Many have told you that the two arcs must be watched a certain way and we explain why below.
What order to watch both arcs
I came into Danganronpa 3 having just watched the entire first season the day before. To say I was a bit confused at first is an understatement. However, after watching the first season I took some time to research the series and it started to make sense. To clear up confusion for those wondering what happen to season 2, Danganronpa 3: The End Of Hope’s Peak High School is season 2 of the anime. It is uniquely split up into 2 arcs: Despair arc and Future arc. Despair arc takes place before the events of season 1 and shows us what happened leading up to those events. Future arc takes place after the events of season 1 and Danganronpa 2 (the video game).
Funimation broke up the season playlist as despair arc and then future arc but I do not recommend watching it that way. If you do, you end up watching a final episode at the end of the despair arc (at least how Funimation has it setup) that spoils the events of the Future arc. When the new season aired, each arc was aired in alternating fashion (episode 1 future, episode 1 despair, episode 2 future and so on). It is important that you watch it in this way to get the most out of the series and the surprises in store. After finishing the episodes of both arcs, there is a final episode called the Hope arc which ties in both arcs and finalizes the story.
You can grab season 1 and both arcs of season 2 over at Rightstuf or Amazon today. We give the series a solid B. While not all of it is as gory or horror filled as season 1 was, there is enough there for you to enjoy it in the horror genre.