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|“||My lies must never be too extravagant...||„|
|~ Celestia Ludenberg|
Celestia "Celeste" Ludenberg is a character from first Danganronpa game. She starts out as a supporting character in earlier chapters, but in the third chapter, she is revealed to be the murderer that has to be brought down. Her title is Ultimate Gambler and she is also known as Queen of Liars.
She was voiced by Hekiru Shiina in Japanese and Marieve Herrington in the English version. In the anime, she is voiced by Lindsay Seidel.
Celestia has a slim figure and pale skin. She has black hair (in the video it is shown as dark deep blue) in two large twin-drill pigtails (which are apparently clip-ons as mentioned in the art book), red eyes, gold earrings, and black nail polish. Celestia wears gothic lolita style clothing with a black and white dress with a fitted long-sleeved windbreaker, thigh highs with white laces at the top, a white bonnet with ribbons on the sides, a red tie and high pumps with buckle straps (which resembles a maid outfit but is more unique and stylish). It should be noted that she wears a silver colored, metal finger stall on her index finger, on her right hand.
Celes presents herself as a cunning and collected girl who is mostly pragmatic. She is able to manipulate people on her whims, and with such bluffing skills, she managed to win a lot of money in the underground gambling world, for a dream of 'living in a castle surrounded with handsome servants dressing like vampires'. She is also ruthless to a degree and has no regards to human lives, if they would serve as pawns to be manipulated and disposed for her sake, so be it. She tends to categorize people with 'rankings', with ranking 'D' being mostly everyone, 'F' being the lowest and would make her send assassins to kill such people. In the game, by going through her Free Time events, only the protagonist Makoto Naegi managed to reach rank 'C', and for Celes, that's about as equal as 'being her Knight/bodyguard'.
Celes is capable of hiding her surprisingly short temper. If her patience was pushed, she'd drop her calm and manipulative facade and start screaming angrily.
Celes was born in a rural country as a plain girl named Taeko Yasuhiro. She took a liking of the normal food gyoza and cannot hide the fact that she liked the food. Once she later discovered her talents in gambling and lying, she took the stage persona 'Celestia Ludenberg' and becomes involved in many underground gambling joint, embracing the ruthless persona wholeheartedly. The manga of Dangan Ronpa seemed to imply that this was because as the plain Taeko Yasuhiro, she was suffering of being ignored and unloved for her plainness.
She attended to Hope Peak's Academy and eventually agreed to stay in the school per the request of the previous headmaster. However, soon after the 'Most Despair-Inducing Event In Human History' occurred and Celes lost her memory.
High School of Mutual Killing
Celes later woke up from a blackout and found herself trapped in the Academy with Monokuma declaring that all students would not be allowed to leave unless they commit a perfect murder. Celes suggests that they just adapt to the new living environment and not killing each other. However, deep down she was infuriated that she could not continue pursuing her dream and desperately wanted to get out.
Celes provided help and insight towards the students inside when two murders occur, helping them survive. However, as if they picked the wrong murderer, everyone would be killed.
Monokuma would usually give a 'motive' for everyone to murder each other, first was 'doing something horrible to a dear person of a student', the second was 'exposing one nasty secret of a student'. Celes was unfazed with all those. However, for the third time, Monokuma offered a large sum of money for the one who graduated. This was the push for Celes to give in to her own greed to pursue her dream, the money from Monokuma and the money generated from her gambling activities would be enough to buy a castle with servants. Furthermore, seeing that the other students were crazed over the AI Alter Ego, created by the recently deceased Chihiro Fujisaki, and speaking with it like a new human being, while Celes could not see it as nothing more than an AI, finally made her decide that the students are not worth saving and can just be killed for her dreams like usual.
For that, Celes instigated a grand plan. First she would hide Alter Ego to a locker, causing a rift between Kiyotaka Ishimaru and Hifumi Yamada. With that, Celes approached Yamada and manipulated him to become her accomplice, saying that Ishimaru hid Alter Ego and forced Celes to confess to the crime or else she would be sexually assaulted. Yamada agreed to kill Ishimaru and they decided to put Yasuhiro Hagakure as a scapegoat, drugging him and putting him into the clunky 'Justice Robo' suit to make it look like he kidnapped Yamada.
Celes then took the other students into a goose-chase party while Yamada killed Ishimaru and made it look like he is also 'killed' by the mysterious assailant. However, Celes soon turned her back against Yamada and killed him without remorse (although the manga implied that she did have a tingle bit of remorse, but decided to ignore it).
As the Classroom Trial begun, Makoto Naegi managed to piece the information that Hagakure was innocent and eventually suspected Celes, from various blunders she made throughout the case. This is where Celes' facade drops and she starts screaming madly trying to 'defend' her innocence. However, Naegi pushed on and eventually Celes realized that she lost the case, and decided to accept her punishment with grace instead of squirming out. After handing down the key she used to hide Alter Ego to Kyouko Kirigiri, she bid the student farewell and hopes that they'll meet again in another life.
Celes' execution, titled "Versailes Style Witch Hunt Stake", had her standing on a stake to be burnt like a witch. This was the kind of romantic death she wanted. However, shortly after, a fire truck ran in blazing speed, headed towards the stake and crushed Celes to death, ruining the 'romantic' death she wanted.
Dangan Ronpa IF
In an alternate, non-canon story where Makoto Naegi found an escape switch and ended up saving the life of Mukuro Ikusaba at cost of his health, Monokuma's games were thrown off the rails and as a result, Celes managed to keep the hope within her to stay with her friends instead of sacrificing them for her selfish dream, helping them to face the mastermind Junko Enoshima. As a result, she would survive the High School of Mutual Killing and escaped Hope Peak's Academy with the whole students.
- Celestia states that her dream is to live in an opulent mansion and be waited on by handsome young men dressed as vampires.
- Celestia admits that she once managed to accumulate over ten billion yen through gambling.
- Despite wanting to be a cultured person, Celestia admits that she likes gyoza.
- Her first name comes from the word "celestial", meaning "pertaining to the sky or visible heaven, or to the universe beyond the earth’s atmosphere".
- In some Free-Time Events, she makes references to a few gambling series:
- She states that she played mahjong against a "crazy rich old man" and a "silver-haired boy", referencing the manga series Akagi.
- She won a tournament of shogi against an "unusual maid", referencing the manga series 81diver.
- She claims the most dangerous situation she ever found herself in was the The Liar King, in which she played against an unusual pair consisting of a "foolishly-honest girl" and a "master con artist", referencing the manga series Liar Game.
- Celestia Ludenberg on the Heroes Wiki