In the time I’ve spent watching anime, I’ve come across the various types of villains that you would see in specific types of anime within the medium; your action-fantasies, your isekais, your rom-coms, your mechas, and your psychological thrillers. In the spectrum of villainhood there are three types that can range from intellectually challenged, to god-tier terrifying. The first of which is your Simple Villains; your Saturday Morning Cartoon troupe kind of villains (Ginyu Force and King Dedede types). The second is your God Complex Villains; where mortal rules don’t apply and they can pass judgement on whomever they want (Goku Black and Light types). The third and perhaps most dangerous one of them all, is your Sympathetic Villains. How are they the worst? We can see a part of our selves in their actions, ideologies, and personalities.
One sympathetic villain in particular caused the whole world to fall into world-ending despair. Many are still in disbelief that this ‘Early 2000’s High School Cheerleader Valley Girl’ type of girl with a ‘Harley Quinn’ complex, is the reason the world went bat-crap crazy. Its also the reason why Danganronpa fans simp over her. She’s the Queen of Despair, Junko Enoshima.
Some time in 2018 I stumbled upon this series through Youtube, which is where I spend most of my time watching anime these days. I watched all of Danganronpa: The Animation and came to the conclusion of…why I don’t like Junko Enoshima that much. Its like you wanna punch her in the face the moment she opens her mouth; which is what my initial first impression of her was after watching the show. As the years went by this toe fungus of a woman started growing on me, which might explain why I’m even doing a One-2-One on her to begin with. The creator even stated that Junko doesn’t even have a reason to do what she does; she had no trauma-filled childhood, no abusive parents, and no negative experiences to shape who she became around her. She’s just bad because she is – and there’s not much else to it! Yeah, I know! (It’s even more crazy because of the fact that she was born on Christmas Eve.)
Junko Enoshima represents the worst of humanity, while Makoto Naegi represents the best of humanity. Its a Ying-Yang situation as the two of them clashed at the end of the series; with Junko losing, but not before committing suicide instead of surrendering to hope. I know many don’t like to think of this as a deep series, but with the psychological themes of hope and despair behind it, it’s hard not to.
Part 1: Who is The Ultimate Despair?
Okay, so I know that there are certain differences between Game Junko and Anime Junko, but for this One-2-One I’ll be focusing more on Anime Junko (but add a few elements from Game Junko). So Junko’s childhood (along with her sister) was abject to say the least, and was even homeless at one point. Her taste for despair may have started in elementary school with her friend Yasuke Matsuda; where she built a sandcastle as people watched her work, played in the school playground for a bit, then came back to find out that the sandcastle was destroyed. Upon hearing her cries Yasuke looked around for the person responsible and found no one, then while he was sitting on the bench Junko ran up to him and told him that she was the one who did it by accident (though we know that ain’t true).
As the years went by Junko was planning on something big; something that would change the whole world, and NOT for the better. She got a modeling career and was featured in all of the latest magazines and became an idol due to her extravagant tastes. Eventually she got accepted into Hope’s Peak Academy as a part of the 78th Class, and the rest was history.
Part 2: Junko Enoshima: The Ultimate Despair!
Junko Enoshima during her first appearance is pretty much like Aqua; only with a successful modeling career and NOT a useless goddess. However…her true personality is far more cryptic and unpleasant. She’s apathetic and easily bored to an unhealthy degree, and somehow got Multiple Personality Disorder in the process. Junko’s not one to keep just one ‘appearance’ for long; which makes her mentally and emotionally unpredictable, and anxiety-inducing when having a conversation with her. She values despair above anything else and wishes to ‘paint the whole world’ in it, as she believes its the great unknown, and unpredictable. As mentioned before; she has no reason to do the things she does, but she does them because that’s who she is.
Although she doesn’t look it, Junko is rather highly intelligent. (Yeah, we can’t believe it either.) She’s also cunning, violent, manipulative, impulsive, toxic as hell, and cruel. She’s also mentally and emotionally abusive to her sister and anyone associated with her. Junko even manipulates people into committing crimes and then turns around and blames them for even doing it in the first place – even though SHE’S THE REASON WHY THEY DID IT IN THE FIRST PLACE! (Yeah, I really didn’t like her when I first saw her.) Basically when it comes to despair; even if she loses, she wins. Her skills on the other hand are exactly what I aforementioned before; her analytical talent in predicting the latest fashion trends, mathematical problems, subliminal messaging, and more. Because she’s able to predict what a person will do before they do it, it lead to her boredom and why she chose despair because of its unpredictability. Also due to the fact that she’s the Ultimate Despair, she uses her talent to exploit their weaknesses and manipulate them to do whatever she commands.
I’m also gonna point out she has no physical fighting capabilities whatsoever, but if she had Goku Black’s fighting prowess she would’ve been even MORE dangerous than she is now. (*laughs*)
Part 3: The Legacy of Despair!
Junko Enoshima is the embodiment and amalgamation of despair, and what it can do to people’s lives and how they feel. She’s everything you may despise about others and even yourself, and the corruption and sorrow that takes place in our world (even today); all wrapped up in the form of a ditzy high school cheerleader-looking anime antichrist. She may not have Goku Black’s power level or ‘god ki’, or even share the same philosophy that Light has (but then again, it might be on a more ‘complex’ level only she understands), but as a sympathetic villain she has the power to turn people against one another and bring out their absolute worst. Junko has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and doesn’t believe she is even at fault for how The Tragedy turned out – because it went just the way she wanted it to go.
While I may have a love/hate relationship with this character, I kinda feel bad for her. She could’ve been anything, but she was made to be the embodiment of despair. It’s all she knows and its her destiny. Junko will probably never be anything more than what she is because that’s all she is; a person who manipulates people to do her bidding, causing people to fall in love with despair (and her), and falling deeper and deeper into the abyss of despair with no hope of returning. She’s a character that you both want to feel sorry for, but glad she ‘punished’ herself in the name of despair.
May you rot in hell you disgustingly loveable THOT! (I really don’t like this girl very much, do I? XP)