At first glance, Danganronpa is pretty weird. Each game follows a new group of high school students held captive by a robot bear forcing them to kill each other in order to escape. With each new murder comes an investigation, and eventually a trial to present evidence and prove who committed the crime. With me so far? You should be.
Danganronpa is an underrated gem in PlayStation’s library of exclusives, a subversive and sardonic adventure game that mocks anime tropes while simultaneously embracing them. Its humor is dark and its grisly crime scenes are darker still, but the series also has an unexpected heart. Its portrayal of hope versus despair is mostly tongue-in-cheek but occasionally unexpectedly profound, using exaggerated characters and situations to actually send a fairly inspiring message: even when you think there’s no hope left, there might be some.