Saturday, 27 July 2013

Danganronpa - Episode 4

With their numbers falling and having seen the punishment meted out to the first killer in this brutal game, it's fair to say that Naegi is in need of a little time to mourn the loss of those around him.  But never mind that, here's a rhythm game!

Anyhow, having correctly identified that first killer, the rest of the group's reward is to find the next level of their accommodation unlocked, replete with a library and swimming pool, the latter of which has its access carefully controlled using the gang's digital notebooks.  What's more, the group have some free days ahead for them to enjoy at their leisure, although the free time seems to be sending some of the group a bit loopy, not least Fukawa, who seems to have taken a strange liking to Togami, the one person who seems intent upon playing this sick "game" to its fullest for all its worth.

None of this bizarre behaviour is enough to placate Monokuma, who decides to up the ante by threatening to reveal a personal secret from the past of every student if a murder isn't committed in the next twenty-four hours.  Although these secrets really don't seem to be the kind of things anyone would deign serious enough to kill for, come the next morning lo and behold some investigation reveals a body in the girl's locker room.  With the initial clues bearing a striking similarity to those of a serial killer on the loose before this crazy game even started, could it be that there's already a bona fide mass murderer within the academy?

Despite leaning a little too hard into its attempt at slightly zany comedy to depict the group's free time, this is otherwise another strong episode of Danganronpa that does a good job of leading the viewer down the path of all sorts of assumptions before defying those assumptions by taking a sharp turn and heading in another direction entirely.  With tantalising and brain-teasing clues, and some decidedly odd character behaviour, to consider, having to wait until next week for the courtroom episode which reveals all may be a painful one, which itself proves where the strengths of this series lay.

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