I feel so bad for you. Nowadays whenever a friend who's into Danganronpa says they want to watch 3, I immediately try to talk them out of it and tell them it's totally unnecessary to enjoying the series. It is just total nonsense and fails to be entertaining or satisfying on so many levels.
For various reasons I've watched it three fucking times now, subbed and dubbed, so I guess
I'll try to jot down a few of my thoughts with as few spoilers as possible. And that way I can just link this to people next time this show comes up.
Also, disclaimer: Don't let anything about 3 colour your impressions of V3. V3 is actually pretty fuckin' great.
The Future Arc is insanely plodding with tons of mindless posturing and Anime Fights that don't drive the story and don't contribute anything, it simultaneously manages to be confusing while also saying nothing. And dropping class trials, in favour of having people meander around hallways of all things, is just terrible. Just absolutely no good.
And yeah, there's a fakeout death that seems at this point to have only existed to create more fanservice.
And THIS SHIT, yes. There are so many stupid little fakeouts and scenes that seem like they're going somewhere only to fail to do anything more than tease. Worse still, you haven't even seen the dumbest iteration of these fakeouts yet.
... I honestly have nothing else to say about Future Arc because it's either total blandness or spoilers. The whole thing feels like a kid smashing his action figures together.
The Despair Arc is a little better, but also far worse in some ways! Even setting aside minor quibbles like how most of the Class 77 kids spend most of the series just standing in the background doing nothing (everyone aside from Nagito, Chiaki and Hajime might as well not be there) it still has some of the most astonishingly stupid plot holes I've ever seen in a show. And I'm usually good at missing those, so they'd have to be really obvious for me to pick up on them. We're talking like slapping-your-forehead-while-screaming-at-your-screen-level plot holes.
It also skips over what could have been two of its best fight scenes, just so they could have more totally pointless clashes between characters I completely do not care about in the Future Arc. It's bizarre how much the effort and budget was misproportioned here.
There's pretty much no way to view the events of the Despair Arc positively. The Tragedy works better as a mythological, almost fairy tale-like event, and trying to show how it happened step by step was just way too difficult for the people writing this show. They buckled under the pressure... and if you actually accept what happens in the show as canon then it retroactively cheapens what we're told in 2.
There is literally no reason to watch the Despair Arc when Danganronpa Zero exists. It covers basically the same events without unnecessary fantastical plot devices, and it's concise, fun, well-written and has great new characters like Ryoko and Matsuda. I can even hook you up with a copy if you want.
I also made a chart about this exact topic a while ago! It illustrates some of the show's problems pretty clearly:
In conclusion, the worst thing is that the whole story is just utterly pointless: anyone who's played Danganronpa 2 can confirm the story has a bittersweet ending that's quite effective in its own way. But there's nothing we "need" in this. It's not like in MGS4 where they were basically forced to tie up all the loose ends and ending up making something 'not so great' just because of all the baggage... this show just creates loose ends so it can tie them up again! I like giving the example of it being like if after Dawn of the Dead ends they had a sequel where they landed the helicopter somewhere and it was just two hours of them building a house and talking about how they're safe from zombies now. It's enough to know they escaped into a fucked-up world, we really don't need more than that.
The character designs are nice.
I will say I am surprised, and a little happy, that the anime didn't ruin Nagito. That seems like it would have been very easy to do but his character remains intact and he even gets to do some cool stuff.
The scenes that both arcs build towards for the climaxes are genuinely pretty good... but the sacrifices taken to actually get there are just horrifying.
Juzo is the SHSL Baller.
(Sorry for coming back to the forums just to autism about Danganronpa 3 but holy shit I hate this show)
((goddamn I meant to just type a little and I ended up going way overboard))