Danganronpa watch order

Credit: Lerche

Wacky high school story on the surface, conspiracy detective game on the next layer. But, Danganronpa gets a whole different level of twisted once the actual antagonists start showing up. No spoilers for our venerable watch order, of course. But there is a good reason why this particular series has already spawned twenty-two different games within the same universe.

As for deciding on a recommended Danganronpa watch order for appreciating this world, and its distorted lore, be aware. If our previous Fate watch order isn’t a giveaway just yet, just remember that condensing visual novels would inevitably cause crunched plots all over the place.

Like, in this case, an entire series completely missing in-between.

Regardless, as a primer to all things of “despair”, the animated adaptations themselves are still going to be a treat to watch. We recommend checking out our Naruto watch order, Monogatari watch order, or Sword Art Online watch order.

Credit: Lerche

Depending on the style of perspective you want to have, there will be at least two ways to watch Danganronpa’s anime adaptation. But before any of that, hopeful viewers must first know that there is no anime adaptation for Danganronpa 2. This means, whatever it is that you will see on Danganronpa 3 will have huge chunks of missing information, which could affect the overall enjoyment of the series as a whole.

And so, a technical third method, one that combines the source material and anime adaptation, will also be included in these lists.

By series-based/regular watch order

This is the standard order, segregated by different series.

  • Danganronpa: The Animation
  • Danganronopa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak Academy) Future Arc
  • Danganronopa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak Academy) Despair Arc
  • Danganronopa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak Academy) Hope Arc

By the double-faced method (actual broadcast method)

This method is usually the recommended way of watching the anime adaptation to get the most of the immersion of the plot (although the timelines can get somewhat confusing, especially with the absence of other titles). Basically, by the time you start watching Danganronpa 3, you alternate between Future and Despair Arc per episode, finalizing it with the Hope Arc special.

Incidentally, this was also how it was originally aired in Japan.

  • Danganronpa: The Animation
  • Danganronopa 3: Future Arc Episode 1
  • Danganronopa 3: Despair Arc Episode 1
  • Danganronopa 3: Future Arc Episode 2
  • Danganronopa 3: Despair Arc Episode 2

and so on till Future Arc 11 -> Despair Arc 11 -> Future Arc 12

  • Danganronopa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak Academy) Hope Arc

By chronological order

Accurate timeline-wise, but since Danganronpa 2 is missing, the experience of viewing it through a time progression sequence isn’t exactly accurate.

  • Danganronopa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak Academy) Despair Arc
  • Danganronpa: The Animation
  • Danganronopa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak Academy) Future Arc
  • Danganronopa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak Academy) Hope Arc

By combining the games/visual novels

This method should give you the most complete idea of what is going on in the anime adaptations. No need to physically get into the game if you don’t have the time for replay-based objectives/routes. Watching gameplay videos online will suffice. This list excludes other series that are no longer directly related (or came after) to the anime versions, of course.

  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (Game)
  • Danganronpa: The Animation
  • Super Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (Game)
  • Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (Game)**
  • Danganronpa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak) Future Arc*
  • Danganronpa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak) Despair Arc
  • Danganronpa 3: (The End of Hope’s Peak) Hope Arc
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (Game)**

(*You can combine this method with the double-faced one as you get to this part)
(**technically skippable)

Plot of Danganronpa

Credit: Lerche

Hope’s Peak Academy at the onset is already introduced as an academic institution that is out of the ordinary. On the surface, it is simply a foundation for scouting and enrolling very talented high school students who are the best of their specialties, referred to as “Ultimate” students.

It seemed all and good for the supposed budding social elites of the campus until one day, an artificial entity named Monokuma imprisoned the students and threatened to lock them inside forever unless they follow the school’s new rule: successfully murder one of the students and get away without anyone knowing who the culprit is.

Fail, and the entire student body will be given the right to freely execute the culprit without consequence. But, if the murderer manages to remain unidentified, that person will be set free, and the rest of the students will be slaughtered.

Oh, and by the way, they can’t just choose to live there forever. Because Monokuma also threatens to “make a disturbance” once things get cozy for too long…

You haven’t felt the true meaning of despair

Credit: Lerche

Needless to say, this is hardly the first time that a popular series franchise was adapted while skipping major earlier parts of the intended title. But in the case of Danganronpa, it can be kind of understandable since well… let’s just say that the latter cour characters are supposed to be known before the “main” Danganronpa: The Animation cast.

But really, the best thing that you can do to make complete sense of it all is to simply absorb information from Danganronpa 2 (whether by playing the game yourself, watching someone else do it, or heck, even just reading all related wiki entries). Don’t worry about the specific details skipped by the first anime; it’s still quite more than enough to explain the batshit craziness of the entire series without playing the original.

As for the detective atmosphere of the series… to be fair it doesn’t exactly run like an average member of crime investigation anime, but we guess that its combined Battle Royale-like setting is exactly why it got its fanbase today. If you are in search of some great action we recommend checking out our best shounen anime list.

Also, before we forget, you can skip the rest of the specials and OVAs. Simply digest them at your own convenient pleasure if you ever feel like taking a look.