liri: (Nightcrawler)
Explaining another thing I'm into recently: Dangan Ronpa.

There are a couple of delivery methods for Dangan Ronpa. The original flavor is the game, which NIS America licensed for the PS Vita (announced at this past AX) and which can at the moment be played via a fan-translation patch for the PSP. It's also available via a Let's Play by Orenronen which is an excellent LP in that it doesn't have a bunch of obnoxious editorializing by the writer (more on that in a bit.) That's how I first experienced it. There's also an anime series, which is kind of a frustrating adaptation that's had to compress the first case, at least, pretty severely, and will probably skip over a fair amount of character development for approximately two-thirds of the cast.

The thing about Dangan Ronpa is that I'm not really interested in the game-ness of the game. I'm interested in it as a delivery system for the characters. The premise of the game is that all the characters are students at an elite, nationally-renowned school that collects students who are the best of the best in their fields; their fields can be anything from sports (a baseball player, a swimmer who was on the Olympic team) to more academic pursuits (a girl who's a best-selling author at 16, a computer-science genius) to just plain weird shit, like the best-selling doujinshi artist or the gambler or the bōsōzoku gang leader.

(And then they all find themselves trapped in the school by a bizarre bear-robot that explodes when attacked, and ordered/forced/incentivized to murder each other; when murders start happening, the survivors have to solve each case.)

The thing is, virtually all of these characters could be main characters in some other series or game. Aoi, the swimmer, is from a sports manga; Sakura's from a Street Fighter game or some kind of fighty tournament manga; Yamada's from some geek-culture series like Comic Party or Genshiken; Celestia (nicknamed Celes; it makes for some confusion on my blog) for various gambling-themed series like Kaiji, or possibly Liar Game; I think I've heard it mentioned in connection to her. And so on. And this is where my Tumblr habits kick in, because I kind of want to just include a whole bunch of pictures of Sakura, all "LOOK AT HER LOOK SHE'S WONDERFUL."

I've fallen hard for several of the characters and a couple of ships (okay, mostly just Sakura/Aoi) and so, to me, one of the big goals is getting access to as much of the canon as possible so I can feel comfortable writing fic. I want to get a feel for character voices! I want to be able to play it so I can get the Free Time events (an optional character-development cutscene) that Oren skipped over! I... don't actually give a crap about playing through the trials or anything! Maybe I can convince the husband to team-play it with me when the English translation comes out.

There is also a sequel, which is available (the first two chapters, that is) on the Something Awful forums or mirrored here, and there are some other translators on Tumblr summarizing/translating/LPing the later chapters. These can be a mixed bag at times; speed is good, translators periodically being so overwhelmed with their adoration for a particular character that they must carry on about it in Tumblr-ese ("babiesssssssssssss *pole-vaults into the sun*") is... unnecessary. But Kuzuhiko has made a point of including Easter-egg scenes that Oren always saves for the end, and, to my delight, completed the Free Time events for a couple of characters I really wanted development on, while Birdmanronpa has completed the game and transcribes pretty much everything, so I don't feel like I'm missing relevant parts of the mysteries.

Again, the draw is the characters; again, I want to write fanfic but don't want to be tripped up by getting something completely wrong about someone, so I'm trying to inhale as much of the canon as I can, through any means available.


liri: (Default)

September 2013

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