Danganronpa & Shingeki no Kyojin: Surviving


There’s one thing in common about Danganronpa: Kibou no Gakuen to Zetsubou no Koukousei and Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) – they’re both about human survival. Both anime have different settings, different set of character types and yet, human survival instincts that present within these two anime are very similar. Human fear deaths. Their will to fight is a direct result of desperation to stay alive or in some cases, making sure their loved ones get to see another day.


In Dangranronpa, we see 16 talented high students thrown into a tightly closed building that is Hope’s Peak Academy. Their only way to get out from the academy is to kill someone and get away with it. On the other hand, in Shingeki no Kyojin, we see residents living behind high walls attacked by giants, sparking chaos across the land. Young children lost their parents to unknown mutants and adults stood helplessly, not knowing how to defeat the enemy they know very little about.

These two anime series showed an array of emotions associating with human survival. In my opinion, both series captured very well the sense of helplessness as well as determination, but especially in Shingeki no Kyojin. Hannes was helpless and chose to run when he knew he couldn’t beat the giant in front of him. After losing his mother in front his eyes, Eren felt helpless and then was determined to take down the enemies who stripped away everything he once held dear to.

Now, watching these two series, it makes one wonder – in the moment of desperation, what would one do in order to live? Will the person forgo all his/her reasoning and ethics just so he/she could live?

eren and mikasa

In both series, when human survival instincts kick in, the characters would do anything to stay alive. Even if that means to kill. For example, in Danganronpa, Maizono Sayaka was ready to kill in order get out of the creepy school she unknowingly enrolled into. Similarly in Shigeki no Kyojin, Mikasa and Eren killed the robbers at only nine years of age because they wanted to live. Mikasa, who initially was trembling with fear, took a step of courage, plunged into a living being and took the life out of him. All of these because she wanted to live and she never looked back since.

So back to my original questions, what does it say about us? We live our lives everyday like any other day. I’d like to think we are peaceful people who have no ill intentions. And yet, if we’re in their situations, what are we capable of? Are we willing take lives of others in our own defense? It’s not something we ponder on everyday because it isn’t a place we want to go. But watching these two series, how they turned from ordinary, good citizens to the people they are now, it’s a question worth thinking no?

In the end, human is made up of complex emotions that it’s hard to tell which will be the more prominent in time of crisis. I’d love to think I’m still able to think rationally and react based on correct deductions. But I won’t know for sure until the day arrives. What do you think? I’d love to know.

P.S. This is such a late post especially when considering how long these two series had ended. But…it’s better late than never!

6 thoughts on “Danganronpa & Shingeki no Kyojin: Surviving

  1. In a real crisis it’s best to stay away from other humans, certain horrormovies taught us this XD.
    Not much is needed for humans to become monsters, who forget social rules and moral.

    Well, Eren and Misaka were attacked by these thugs, there was not much of a choice.
    Growing up in a cruel world often has bad side effects.

    I want to see my myself a peaceful person, but I think in a wrong situation I can build up enough anger to commit stupid things. But I could not do cruel things without any good reason.
    I’m not the villain type after all.

    I haven’t watched Danganronpa actually.

    • Haha, very true. The best option is to stay away from people, but we might not have the luxury. It’s a bit scary to think how sometimes it seemingly kind person can turn into someone with murderous intent during such times.

      That’s my point, actually. What will we do in certain critical, dangerous situations? I’m sure none of us would do something we’ll regret later on purpose. But what if it’s one way or another? It’s either you or the other survives. What will we do at those times.

  2. Well it’s really hard to answer this question. Just like what you’ve said, we never know what we really are capable of doing in this kind of situations since we haven’t experienced it firsthand… and I wouldn’t like to experience it.


    Are we willing take lives of others in our own defense?

    I’m not so sure if I’m not willing because it really depends (don’t look at me like that!). If someone is after my head and all that’s left for me to survive is to defend myself, then most probably I’ll hurt someone (again, if it’s the only way to defend my life). This is pretty much the case with Mikasa and Eren. They became murderers by chance (um is this the right word choice?) since the situation calls for it.

    In the case of danganronpa, they became murderers by choice. If I will be put in the same kind of situation, most probably I wouldn’t kill anyone. I’m more afraid of the Monobear Executions afterall… No, really, I’m not that bad to kill others just because I want to especially if there are a lot of other alternatives.

    Oh well… this is enough. Nice post by the way 🙂

    • Haha, I believe it’s a question we all struggle with so nah, I don’t look at you any differently. I question my own actions too during crucial times like that.

      It’s true that the characters in Danganronpa kill by choice. But say, if they’re not hold up in such a despair situation & ordered to kill, I’d like to think they would never thought about killing anyone in the first place. There’s a sense of desperation in their actions, although they certainly have the room not to.

      Why, thank you. I appreciate that. =)

  3. Funny how I also posted something about survival in my blog too.

    Like you said, this is difficult to answer since it’s not like we are in the similar life-and-death situations that the characters are facing, but I would like to bet that in such a situation, I would ditch all my ethics and become a murderer if it means my life will be saved.

    Anime like Dangan Ronpa and Shingeki no Kyojin (and a lot others) really does question our sense of morality. Shows like those really do show us superheroes, with the ability to save everyone, is just fiction^^” Also an ongoing theme for a number of series.

    • Maybe cuz it’s the theme of late?

      I suppose most of us will do what it takes to live. But I’m not sure how that’s gonna feel during the aftermath. That’s also something none of us want to find out…

      Yeah, some of the shows with “pure” characters, while they’re nice to watch, we know people with such characters are few. This is not to say they don’t exist, but it’s really, REALLY, hard to find.

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