“Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair” – Does Hajime Hinata have generalized anxiety disorder?

h2Being stuck on a tropical island might not be so bad if there wasn’t the constant threat of being killed at any moment. That alone is enough to give anyone anxiety. However, there are clues that point to Hajime Hinata, the protagonist of “Danganronpa 2,” possibly having generalized anxiety disorder aside from the situational anxiety.

As someone who has suffered from anxiety disorders all my life, I can identify with Hajime. He often mentions how tired he is, and how little he can sleep. This is common among people with anxiety, and while a lot of it has to do with the situation he’sh3 in, it appears most of the other students don’t seem to have any sleeping problems.

He also tends to get tired easily, as can be seen after almost any event; both after stressful events and seemingly normal activities. His communication with people seems especially draining to him after Free Time events, and he tends to stutters during these interactions, further pointing to a difficulty in communication. Anxiety sufferers often deal with this, as just being awake can drain you sometimes.

Despite his possible mental issues, Hajime is intelligent. He’s able to pick up on a lot of clues that other people miss. During the class trials, however, he mentions quite a lot about not wanting to look like a fool in front of the others. When advancing through the trial, he seems to think very carefully about his words, making sure to always have the h1facts before saying anything. Though these character traits might seem to hurt him, they actually make him a more careful thinker and able to solve problems in a more effective way.

Additionally, anxiety sufferers tend to display over-concern about the people they care about. When confronted with the awkward situation involving Mikan falling asleep on him, he’s more concerned for her well-being than his own. He carries worry with him for days as well, as seen after Fuyuhiko appears to be fully healed from his stomach wound. He still is concerned for the boy’s injuries, asking him to be careful.

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He is also easily swayed by stressful situations. At the beginning of the game, he expresses his concerns about getting off the island and doubts his own abilities, suggesting he may kill someone to escape. In the fun-house, he tries to enter the Final Dead Room, convinced that it’s a way out. In his desperate state, he;s nearly delusional, but thankfully Chiaki manages to help him both times, reminding him of a better path.

I’m filled with joy to see the depiction of a character with a mental illness like myself. The writers show that his anxiety does not disable him, and helps distinguish his character from the others, and even making him stronger. Additionally, it shows others that he is not just his condition, and that it does not override other characteristics of his personality. I’m glad Spike Chunsoft and Nippon Ichi decided to display these aspects as part of his character.

Do you think Hajime has an anxiety disorder? Is there a character you identify with? Let me know in the comments!

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Visual Novel Review: “Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair”

11If I could describe the Danganronpa franchise in just a few words, they would probably be “disturbingly addicting.” This is no different with Spike Chunsoft’s second installment in the visual novel series “Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.”

Like the first game, a group of students finds themselves in a strange place with their memory completely gone of their time in the prestigious academy called Hope’s Peak. They somehow have arrived on a tropical island where a strange plush rabbit named Usami says they must get along and gather “hope fragments” in order to graduate.

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Things quickly turn bad when another strange character, also a plushie, named Monokuma (a visitor from the first game) shows up and forces the students to participate in a “Killing Game,” where if a student gets away with a murder of another, they can leave the island. The students must now use their detective skills to solve each case and punish the murderer.

I fell in love with this morbid deconstruction-genre series with the first anime was released back in 2014. It’s one of the most violent things I’ve ever watched, but this second installment was captivating. The characters were relatable and complex, and each “free time” activity revealed more of their complex personalities. Despite some of their strange quirks, I found quite a few favorites in the mix.

d1Just like it’s previous installment, there’s a twist ending. This sequel, however, reveals to be a much bigger twist with a lot of surprises, not only in the actual trials and cases, but also at the finale. The ending was slightly disappointing at the final villain reveal, but it was very fitting.

There’s a huge running theme of despair in this game, as everything relates to saving everyone. One character, Nagito Komaeda, actually becomes obsessed with it to the point of insanity with the idea of preventing despair. He even nearly begs to be a “stepping-stone” to this great hope he wants everyone to achieve. The idea of hope against despair becomes very important to everyone, acting as the catalyst for those left to escape the deadly game.

One final note that I noticed. The actual translation of “Danganronpa” is “to win an argument using a bullet.” That’s not to say that you win an argument by shooting someone. It’s referencing the use of Truth Bullets as pieces of evidence. I think this would have been a much better translated name for the franchise than the first game’s choice of “Trigger Happy Havoc.”

Final Words

Oh god, I just can’t get enough of this morbid franchise. It’s so well made, and always keeps me guessing. This installment is no different, with clue gathering and side stories enough to keep you busy for days. After you finish the main story, a bunch of goodies becomes unlocked, including a special alternate story where Usami beats Monokuma and the students actually are able to gather the hope fragments. I can’t wait to check out the third visual novel, and there’s another “bonus game” that was just released along with two more anime series.

I would give this anime…10/10 (rating scale)

If you like this visual novel, you might also like: Assassination Classroom, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Deadman Wonderland

“Assassination Classroom” Review

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“Hand over the lollipops!”

School can be boring sometimes; everyone knows that. But, if you have an alien monster for a teacher, it couldn’t be all that bad. At least that’s what the members of class 3-E at Kunugigaoka Junior High might have thought.

As part of the deconstruction genre, this anime is what a lot of people would call “weird.” If you’re unfamiliar, a deconstruction anime generally looks at anime themes and how real people might react to them, as opposed to traditional characters that would normally just accept the tropes and circumstances (a good example of this genre is Puella Magi Madoka Magica). The anime starts out simple: the bottom rung class of the academy has been assigned this weird alien teacher and must kill him before the deadline or the

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“If we let him keep painting, he won’t be cranky later.”

world might blow up. If they do make it though, they get a huge bounty reward.

However, as the anime continues, it reveals what an excellent and skilled teacher this alien monster actually is. He helps them turn into the best class in the academy, which pisses off a lot of the other students who are used to being number one, and ruins the educational tactics of the principal. There’s also a few dark twists and secrets revealed that really explain quite a few things including why the classroom was created as an assassination classroom instead of letting the government just take care of the threat.

I was surprised how deep the story went. It revealed quite a lot about the students and even taught them things that no school would traditionally teach them with the intent to pass these lessons onto the viewer. As the students worked to kill their teacher, they learned more about themselves and the world, turning somewhat into a traditional school or slice of life genre at a few points. There are war games, missions, and even threats the entire class has to take on together, with the help of their super-powered teacher of course.

Final Words

As with most deconstruction animes, it takes a very dark turn, but that doesn’t take away from the quality of the story. It does get a little slow at times, but those times actually are used to reveal surprising aspects of the characters. It shows how a real person might react when faced with a world-ending threat, and how that can bring out the best in someone. I also found it amusing how much fun their mission seemed to be, despite the seriousness of it. The message within it is clear: your circumstances don’t define you.

I would give “Assassination Classroom … 9/10 (rating scale)

If you like this anime, you might also like: Kill la Kill, Psychopass, Azumanga Daioh!

Picture Credit: http://ansatsukyoshitsu.wikia.com/wiki/Assassination_Classroom_Wiki,