At the moment my blogging plans for the season are in a 4-way tie. Do I cover the Nisioisin squirting his hot steamy words all over my screen? I had fun blogging Nisemonogatari, but this season is going on for 2 cours and there’s only so many ways I can phrase the question “smutty art or artsy smut”. Do I blog Eccentric Family for full on indie hipster cred, marvelling over its subtle character dynamics while getting no views or comments because nobody is watching the bloody thing? Do I cover Watamote, coming up with five thousands ways to make dumb jokes about its absurd longer name but squirming in discomfort as I try to relate to a loser while I am handsome and popular and amazing? Or do I cover Danganronpa, with its mystery set up giving me plenty of opportunity to make wild predictions but held back by the fact so many people reading this will have
played the game read a Let’s Play on an internet forum and will spoil the entire thing for me?
So, for now, I’ll cover all their second episodes and see from there.
Danganronpa’s set up is getting increasingly lazy. A problem I often have with these Battle Royale plots is the plot is manufactured so the reasoning doesn’t have to make any sense. We wanted to set the story up this way for shits and giggles. The simpler the rules are, the more interesting it is to watch the characters figure it out from there. The constraints should feel natural as part of exploring the world they’re in and come about as part of their character rather than artificially enforced by the creator. A good example of this is having the characters set up their rule where they can’t leave their rooms at night. It’s a natural move from their situation.
A bad example is Monobear telling them to set up a trial and giving them the rule and the timeframe from which to take part. Monobear in general could do with shutting the fuck up for a second. Here’s a radical idea: Let the characters themselves decide to set up a trial procedure. It’s a natural evolution from their position and would allow us to learn about each character’s thinking process. Instead we get Monobear monologuing the entire procedure. I already know what Monobear’s deal is. He’s not an interesting character and he’s saying nothing new. I’ve already forgotten what half of these other characters were supposed to be, which isn’t a good starting point from which to go into a trial. It’s lazy storytelling.
And hey, since we’re on the subject of lazy, it would be nice for this adaptation of a video game to not feel so video gamey. I’m cool with that to a certain extent, but flashing up the ‘CLUE FOUND’ icons is lazy as hell. I feel like I’m watching someone click on a screen and select each of these items. Use the medium you’re in to tell us more about the characters while finding these clues. I was digging the concept after the first episode, but now that some people have been killed, I couldn’t give a rats ass why or how. It’s not even that it’s paced too fast. It’s that what we have got so far has almost entirely been Monobear monopolising screentime while the other characters just faff about with their stupid hairstyles pulling shocked faces.
I’ve just realised. Take a bunch of exageratted assholes, trap them in a building together and watch as they argue amongst each other until each person is eliminated for no reason other than shits and giggles. Danganronpa is animated Big Brother. Suddenly way less interested in this show.