The Danganronpa series has brought an unusual (but distinct) brand of gameplay to PlayStation consoles and PC for quite some time, and during an interview with DualShockers, Danganronpa series director Kazutaka Kodaka let us know how the series almost didn’t happen and how he wouldn’t give up on it.
The question was brought up about Monokuma’s unique design in which Kodaka-san explained that he told character designer Rui Komatsuzaki to create a bear who was half white and half dark. Furthermore, the latter half would need to resemble Venom from the Spider-Man series. Komatsuzaki-san created Monokuma’s design in 15 minutes, and once Kodaka-san saw the character, he knew that had to be it.
Evidently, there were some people who didn’t like it and some who did. So when he formally revealed the game, he didn’t know if the bear mascot would be accepted by gamers or if the series would even take off. Kodaka-san continued to detail the time when he first presented the concept of Danganronpa. The creator explained:
“The second time I presented Danganronpa, I had already developed the game up until [SPOILERS] Leon gets punished. I thought to myself, ‘This is so fun, it’s gotta pass.’ But the people in the room told me that it was too harsh of a punishment. So they told me, ‘no’ and the game failed.”
“I tried one last time and went to the president at Spike Chunsoft and told him that I really wanted to create this game. He looked at me and said ‘Sure, okay’.”
I’m sure there are many fans of the series that couldn’t imagine a world without Danganronpa, especially one without Monokuma.
Stay tuned here at DualShockers for our full interview with Danganronpa creator Kazutaka Kodaka, which will dig deeper into the series’ history, its re-releases on PS4, and to learn more about the upcoming Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.