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|“||I am the god of this new world... and the headmaster of the Ultimate Academy! The one, the only... Monokuma!||„|
|“||Every human has regrets, has things they'd like to go back and change. But I don't! 'Cause I'm a bear.||„|
|“||Listen. From this moment on, this school is your home, your life, your world. Got it? And you can kill as much as you wanna kill! So go ahead, go on a kill-kill-killing spree!||„|
Monokuma, also known as Monobear or The Headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy, is the central antagonist of the Danganronpa franchise.
He is a strange teddy bear that initiates a life of mutual killing amongst the students. He is both the most recurring antagonist and the mascot of the entire Danganronpa franchise, appearing in almost every installment of the Danganronpa main series.
In the Japanese version, he was formerly voiced by Nobuyo Ōyama and is currently voiced by Tarako, with the former also did the voice of Doraemon in the long-running Doraemon series. In the English dubbed version, he was voiced by Brian Beacock in the games and by Greg Ayres in the anime.
Monokuma appears in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and its sequel Super Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. He is a model of an animatronic bear used as an avatar to interact with the students by the mastermind. There are seemingly infinite copies of Monokuma, and he seems to have the ability to teleport. He is Usami's "brother" who had adopted her and later renamed her as "Monomi". He was created by Monaca Towa as a part of a series of large killing machines for Junko. He returns in Danganronpa 3 and Danganronpa V3 as the main villain, in the former of which a computer virus is using him as an avatar while the latter was used by an obsessive fangirl of the original mastermind who wanted to recreate the killing game.
Monokuma's entire face and body splits equally down the center into two sides. It resembles the Yin-Yang symbol of which there is a balance between two opposites in a way similar to a "flow". On some occasions, Monokuma would show his humorous side in regular conversation, but would turn to his sadistic side at any other time, unless he's asleep where he will give life advice to random and ridiculous props.
His left side is white in color and has the classic teddy bear expression. His right side shows a more sinister look, being black in color with a red slash for an eye with a camera visible within and an evil, stretched grin. Although he is entirely split into two opposite sides, the only parts of Monokuma that are unaffected by the split is his muzzle and belly area, which both remain white. He also has a large and obvious belly button on the lower part of his belly. His bulging navel has an X mark on it.
Monokuma has amassed a number of victims throughout the franchise. Names in bold are deceased.
- Jin Kirigiri: Executed so that Monokuma could usurp his position as headmaster.
- Mukuro Ikusaba (disguised as Junko Enoshima): Executed under the pretext of violating the "no violence against Monokuma" clause.
- Leon Kuwata: Executed for being found guilty of Sayaka Maizono's murder. (Although before Sayaka was murdered, she originally planned to killed Leon and frame it on Makoto Naegi).
- Mondo Owada: Executed for being found guilty of Chihiro Fujisaki's murder. (But he only did it out of envy).
- Celestia Ludenberg: Executed for being found guilty of Kiyotaka Ishimaru and Hifumi Yamada's murders. (But she did it only for her dream).
- Alter Ego: Executed for hacking into Monokuma's systems.
- Makoto Naegi: Executed for being framed and found guilty of Mukuro Ikusaba's murder, but he survived the execution. (In a non-canon ending, Kyoko Kirigiri is executed instead.)
- Teruteru Hanamura: Executed for being found guilty of "Byakuya Togami"'s murder. (In reality, both Teruteru and "Byakuya Togami" are still alive.)
- Peko Pekoyama: Executed for being found guilty of Mahiru Koizumi's murder. (In reality, both Peko and Mahiru are still alive.)
- Akane Owari and Nekomaru Nidai: Twice attempted to execute Akane for violating the "no violence against Monokuma" clause, but Nekomaru shielded her from both attacks.
- Mikan Tsumiki: Executed for being found guilty of Ibuki Mioda and Hiyoko Saionji's murders. (In reality, all three are still alive.)
- Gundham Tanaka: Executed for being found guilty of Nekomaru Nidai's murder. (In reality, both Gundham and Nekomaru are still alive.)
- Chiaki Nanami: Executed for being found guilty of Nagito Komaeda's murder. (In reality, Nagito is still alive. But Chiaki was already dead in "Despair Arc")
- Kaede Akamatsu: Murdered for nosiness and staged to appear as an execution for Rantaro Amami's murder.
- Kirumi Tojo: Executed for being found guilty of Ryoma Hoshi's murder.
- Korekiyo Shinguji: Executed for being found guilty of Angie Yonaga and Tenko Chabashira's murders.
- Gonta Gokuhara: Executed for being found guilty of Miu Iruma's murder.
- Kaito Momota: Executed for Kokichi Oma's death, but succumbed to his illness before it was completed.
Although Monokuma wasn't directly involved in the Final Killing Game, the following victims were executed in his name:
- Himself: Executed in a pre-recorded video insert for laughing.
- Daisaku Bandai: Executed for witnessing violence by another player of the game.
- Sonosuke Izayoi: Executed for putting food into his mouth.
- Koichi Kizakura: Executed for opening his left hand.
- Kyoko Kirigiri: Executed for allowing Makoto Naegi to survive the fourth time limit, but she survived the execution.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School
Danagnronpa V3: Killing Harmony
- The namesake of Monokuma ("bear person/thing") is a play on words towards his black and white color (monochrome).
- Monokuma bears many similarities to John Kramer/Billy the Puppet from the Saw series.
- They both act as the avatars to the masterminds behind games that revolve around people being captured into situations that involve violence and killing.
- They both have color schemes that consist of black, white, and red.
- They both are known for giving their victims limited time for survival before eventually killing them themselves (although Billy tends to be more genuine about doing so than Monokuma).
- They both make use of elaborate traps meant to inflict grisly, ironic deaths on their victims. With Monokuma's being the executions he performs once a student is found guilty while Billy on the other hand doesn't outright kill his victims but rather throws them into deadly tests to see who will die and who will survive.
- Monokuma’s birthday is October 19, which, according to the Japanese calendar, is the "month of the Gods". Which matches Monokuma's belief of him being the master of the game.
- The number 9 on the other hand, represents bad luck in Japan and means "Pain". Fitting Monokuma's love of causing such emotion.
- Kazutaka Kodaka's favorite character to write in the Danganronpa series is Monokuma because of how simple he is to write due to his status as the games' general major antagonist.
- Monokuma possesses the ability to teleport in many parts of the academy, something that is only shared by him with Monomi the Monokubs.
- The creation Monokuma's final design was what solidified the game's dark and humorous tone as well as the series' now iconic art style as a whole.
- His design was partially inspired by 3-D models of the human body with one half of the body showcasing it's bones and organs as opposed to the other half which was simply skin.
- It took 5 minutes for Monokuma's final design to be completed, as opposed to many of the other characters from the first game who's took much longer to finish.