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|“||I know it might be hard for youngsters like you to understand, but when you're old and don't have much time left, like me... Hope is having young people who you can entrust the future to. The students of Hope's Peak Academy, the place I dedicated my life to... They represent my hope. They have grown into fine people, who now form the pillars of the Future Foundation. These pillars of hope, and guides for humanity... If they were to betray, deceive and kill each other... I cannot imagine anything that would cause more despair. The thought of seeing you all crying and shedding blood, twisted by despair... It really makes me deeply and incredibly sad... which is why I ended up doing it!||„|
|~ Tengan posthumously revealing his true nature in his video recording|
Kazuo Tengan (天願 和夫 Tengan Kazuo) is the main antagonist of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School's Future Arc. He is the former headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy, being succeeded by Jin Kirigiri, as well as the school's advisor after his retirement. He is also the founder and chairman of the Future Foundation and the leader of its 1st Division. However, he was later brainwashed by Ultimate Despair, thus becoming Junko Enoshima's mole inside the Future Foundation and the mastermind of the Final Killing Game.
He was voiced by Hidekatsu Shibata in the original Japanese version, and Mark Stoddard in the English dub.
At the beginning of the Future Arc, Kazuo Tengan, with the other Future Foundation heads, is forced to participate in the Final Killing Game. His forbidden action is "answering a question with a lie". He is the fourth person to be killed in the Monokuma Hunter Game, killed by Kyosuke Munakata after telling him the identity of the attacker and injuring one of his eyes.
However, it was revealed later that Kazuo was the true Mastermind of the Final Killing Game after he was brainwashed by Ultimate Despair. He became delusional and immoral towards his goal of bringing hope and wiping out despair, even convincing Ryota Mitarai to use the Hope Video to brainwash all of humanity into eternal hope, thus creating a false utopia.
In the Hope Arc, the disillusioned Mitarai decided to spread the Hope Video across the globe, just as Kazuo commanded him through his video tape posthumously, but he was stopped by the awakened and redeemed Remnants of Despair, who had decided to atone for their previous actions. After embracing Mitarai and forgiving him, Hajime Hinata managed to convince Mitarai into cancelling the launch of said video. By the end of Hope Arc, on his way to Jabberwock Island, Mitarai threw Kazuo's smartphone into the sea, finally ending Kazuo's insane plan once and for all.
Before being revealed as the Mastermind, Kazuo was initially presented as a very peaceful, good-natured man who hated any conflict. He was renowned for being a pacifist, as he believed that violence is wrong. He showed sadness over Ultimate Despair's crimes, trying to create a peaceful world without strife. Despite his peaceful demeanor, he could become a skilled and intimidating fighter when needed.
However, during the events of Danganronpa Gaiden: Killer Killer, it's revealed that he was completely brainwashed and became a member of Ultimate Despair after watching the Despair Video given to him by an already-brainwashed Chisa Yukizome.
It was also revealed in the finale of the Future Arc that, like Chisa, Kazuo cleverly hid his Ultimate Despair persona from the rest of his colleagues. The now-brainwashed Kazuo becomes far more sadistic and extreme than he initially seemed, even eclipsing Kyosuke at his worst. His friendly and gentle behavior was a mere facade that hid a ruthless pragmatist behind it, willing to brainwash all of humanity in the name of hope. After being brainwashed, he stated that he would go as far as to murder someone in order to grasp hope and the future. To achieve his goal, he was even willing to kill the entire Future Foundation (including himself) except for Ryota in order to achieve this goal.
- The reveal of Kazuo being the main antagonist of Danganronpa 3 was universally panned by fans, who criticized Kazuo's lethal combination of inconsistent characterization, nonsensical motivations and having an absolutely terrible "plan". This led to a sharp drop in his popularity within the Danganronpa fandom, with many fans now regarding him as the worst character in the entire franchise.
- Even Kazutaka Kodaka, the creator of the Danganronpa franchise, was angered by the anime's writing that turned Kazuo into the Mastermind.
Mutual Killing Game Participants
Danganronpa Gaiden: Killer Killer