Dangan Ronpa

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Video game fandom
NameDangan Ronpa
Japanese nameKatakana: ダンガンロンパ
Hiragana: だんがんろんぱ
Romanji: Dangan Ronpa
Abbreviation(s)DR, DR1, SDR2, DR2, DRAE, DR3, DRV3
Developer(s)Spike Chunsoft
Publisher(s)Spike Chunsoft
Release date25 November 2010
Platform(s)Originally PlayStation Portable handhelds, later multi-platform
Genre(s)Visual Novel
External link(s)On Wikipedia
Official Website
Official art by Rui Komatsuzaki for Dangan Ronpa Decadence, a re-release collection in 2021.
Related articles on Fanlore.


Dangan Ronpa, also known as Danganronpa, is a Japanese visual novel murder mystery video game series created by Spike Chunsoft in 2010. Every game in the main-line series shares the same premise: A group of exceptionally talented high school students, called Super High School Levels in the original Japanese release and Ultimates in the official English translation, have been forced to play a "killing game" orchestrated by Monokuma if they wish to escape being trapped in their own school. Only by getting away with murdering another one of their classmates can they escape.

Dangan Ronpa is known for its dark atmosphere, fourth wall-breaking humor, eccentric cast and over-the-top, often comical "execution" scenes. The majority of the gameplay revolves around courtroom-style "class trial" debates similar to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

Orenronen's Let's Play of the first game on the SomethingAwful Forums is often credited for introducing English fans to the series in 2012. Their fan-translation was incredibly influential in early Dangan Ronpa fandom, though its effects are less seen with the release of official English translations in 2014 becoming more popular with newer fans over the years.

The main-line series consists of three games: Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, and Dangan Ronpa V3: Killing Harmony. A third-person shooter spinoff Dangan Ronpa AE: Ultra Despair Girls also has a somewhat solidified fannish presence, as does its unique anime adaptation Dangan Ronpa 3: End of Hope's Peak High School.

In 2021, another spinoff named Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp was released, though this introduced no new characters, and its effects in fandom is mainly seen in the game popularizing some cross-game ships.

Dangan Ronpa's Fandom

Dangan Ronpa's English-speaking fandom was very large in the 2010s, particularity on websites such as Tumblr, Instagram and Amino. In the early to mid 2010s, Dangan Ronpa fandom was particularly famous for its unique meme culture.

In later years, with the release of V3, the fandom became somewhat infamous on these same platforms for its fictionkin and antishipper communities. Since most fans of Danganronpa were under 18, this caused a lot of general Discourse surrounding both in-universe and Social Justice-related topics online that died down when the fandom became less popular after the reveal V3's 2017 release would be the last in the main series.

Dangan Ronpa also has a large community for what fans call Fangan Ronpas or Fangans for short.

In the 2020 specifically, Dangan Ronpa cosplays became a mainstay on TikTok, though this notoriety was mainly in just that year due to the coronavirus.

Fan Translations

Screenshot of the custom SDSE used by the French team for the spin-off Another Episode. More details on the image page.

Dangan Ronpa has had a long, storied history of fan translations, particularly for the series' first entry. More information can be seen on Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.

Let's Plays

Let's plays have been instrumental in bringing new fans into the English-speaking fandom, and compilations of let's players' reactions to plot twists, character reveals, and executions can be found on Youtube.

orenronen

orenronen's Dangan Ronpa Let's Play was completed on December 30th 2012, before an official English localization of the game was available. This was a text-based let's play originally posted on the somethingawful forums, supplemented by screenshots and short video segments to show cutscenes and minigames alongside the game's translated text. More information can be seen on Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.

Game Grumps

The Game Grumps also did a let's play of Dangan Ronpa, with their let's play of Trigger Happy Havoc being completed on March 1st, 2021. Their let's play of Dangan Ronpa 2 was completed later on June 5th, 2022. Due to being posted ten years after the original let's play by such a popular Youtube channel, this let's play has introduced a large younger generation of fans to the game.

During the second trial of Trigger Happy Havoc, after Chihiro Fujisaki is revealed to be male while presenting as a girl, the Game Grumps started using they/them pronouns for Chihiro when the text of the game used he/him pronouns. When they reached the end of the chapter, they mentioned that it was "a strange situation to navigate" because Chihiro wasn't being presented as "fully" transgender (ie, Chihiro was being presented as a crossdresser), but they also didn't want to refer to a potentially trans character with he/him pronouns. This renewed old discourse in the fandom on which pronouns it was ethical to use for Chihiro. The 'Chihiro Discourse' is a subject of constant debate in the fandom, where people on both sides routinely get suicide baited and called transphobic over which pronouns they use.

Fictionkin

The fandom has many notable fictionkin members, some of whom are known for causing drama. Some anon comments:

People who literally say their characters back stories actually happened to them when it didn't and that they personally know fictional people and act like assholes about are insulting to the people who kin as a way to cope or to relate. Like I knew a girl for a while who was kin with Koizumi and she 'confessed' to me that she was brainwashed into being a terrorist and a murderer and she was crying really hard and I was just so baffled more than anything

https://dr3discourse.tumblr.com/post/153993572322/people-who-literally-say-their-characters-back

Ok ngl my understanding of kin is vague, but here goes: I don't think there's anything inherently wrong w kin, they're not hurting anybody and I think it's normal to relate to characters and even feel strong bonds w them but is it not an ethical issue given that it detracts a bit from the creativity behind a character? A person (or people) spent time making that character and giving it depth and then people are just going like "nah that's me" (even going as far as rejecting doubles of their ID).

https://dr3discourse.tumblr.com/post/153839156269/ok-ngl-my-understanding-of-kin-is-vague-but-here

I feel like once the drv3 characters that ppl are kin with fuck up in the game those ppl are gonna defend those characters saying shit like theyre precious gay trans who did nothing wrong uwu even thos characters will be like sexist or something

https://dr3discourse.tumblr.com/post/153788365397/i-feel-like-once-the-drv3-characters-that-ppl-are

Fanganronpas

Dangan Ronpa also has a large community for what fans call Fangan Ronpas or Fangans for short. While Fangans didn't catch on in larger English-speaking DR fandom until the trailer for Danganronpa: Kill/Cure was released in 2017, Fangans in Korean-speaking DR fandom in particular have been around since 2013 in the form of fangames such as the Danganronpa Another series by LINUJ. Some fangans, such as Danganronpa: Despair Time have large amounts of recursive fanworks and function like a sub-fandom of larger DR fandom. Fangans are often multimedia creations, and the majority of them are fanfiction with some works of fanart created for the story.

Similar to fangans are KGRP, standing for killing game RPs. Requiring applications to participate and typically comprised of participants' OCs, these RPs aim to span the full length of a killing game, with characters being murdered and executed throughout. KGRPs are usually hosted on Discord servers, though some are held elsewhere, such as in private Amino communities.

Example/Notable Fanac

This section is only for fanac involving characters from multiple games. For a better picture of influential fanworks for the Danganronpa fandom, see the fanac sections on game-specific pages.

Fan Communities

Fan Events

Fan Weeks

Gift Exchanges

Other

Fan Blogs

  • danganfacts, a moderately popular fun-fact page on Instagram.
  • drv3confessions, an infamous anonymous confessional page on Instagram that mainly posted memes. The page was very influential in DR's fandom on Instagram but unheard of elsewhere.
  • danggirlronpa, a very influential Yuri/Femslash-centered Tumblr blog. It promotes other Yuri-centered DR blogs, as well as events and zine activity.

Doujinshi

TBA

Fan Fiction

Fangans

Fan Fiction

  • TBA

Fan Animation

Fangans

Other

Fan Games

Fangans

Other

Fan Glossary

Memes

Podcasts

Multimedia

Resources