Danganronpa Decadence Just Puts the Series’ Mastermind Front and Center, Huh?

Monokuma's puppet master once lived behind spoiler tags, but has become a face of the franchise.

The following will contain spoilers for the Danganronpa series. Reader discretion is advised.

As we get closer to Danganronpa Decadence, the collection of murder mystery visual novels on Switch, I feel like either I’m just very honed in on things that might reveal hidden truths about these games, or Spike Chunsoft is just more lax about keeping the identity of Danganronpa’s mastermind hidden than it used to be.

The studio has released a new trailer for the compilation, which doesn’t have much in the way of new information. It’s the Anniversary Editions of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy HavocDanganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, as well as a non-canonical board game/social sim Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp. We’ve known this since the collection was shown at E3 earlier this year. However, there is a brief glimpse of the entire cast in their beach outfits from Ultimate Summer Camp, which is new.

Check that out below:

However, this trailer also came with a new, high-res look at the key art for Ultimate Summer Camp, and it uh, really just features the series’ villain, whose identity is a mystery to be solved, literally front and center. This art is featured on the spin-off’s main menu (which was revealed before now), and I imagine it’s very, very unlikely a new player who hadn’t finished the series would boot it up before playing everything else in the collection. But still, here sits Junko Enoshima, with her Monokuma hairpins, just vibing alongside other characters and sitting in the center of the key art.

Fans of the series will know that, in the first game, Junko’s twin sister Mukuro Ikusaba takes on her identity using makeup and her sister’s clothes to fool the rest of the class taking part in the murder mystery into thinking the fashionista is part of their group while she orchestrates the whole thing. When Junko eventually reveals herself in the game’s final chapter, one of the differentiating pieces of her outfit is her hairpins made to look like mascot and villain Monokuma. It’s a small detail that I, as a fan of the series, am hyperfixated on. But I still look at it and am like, that’s probably suspicious to a newcomer too, right?

More Danganronpa:

All that being said, Junko’s identity as the mastermind behind the first game isn’t the well-guarded secret it used to be. Even outside of the fandom, she’s become a trend on TikTok, was named the most popular game character for cosplay by Guinness World Records, and when I was on a recent episode of Thanks For the Knowledge, Fanbyte Head of Media John Warren admitted he knew of her in some capacity, despite having never touched the games.

I guess I’m just surprised to see marketing material that is public-facing feature her so boldly. She’s my favorite character in the series and is deserving of all her spotlight, but having been part of Danganronpa’s fandom all these years, it’s been interesting to see the mastermind leave the shadows of spoiler tags and become a face of the franchise she ushers forward. Given that influencing the entire world into apocalyptic despair is pillar of her character, I suppose it makes sense that she’d be too popular to keep hidden.

Danganronpa Decadence is coming to Switch on December 3.