Character Analysis: Dangan Ronpa! (Touko Fukawa)

 

I had been planning this for a bit especially because while I was reading the Let’s Play for the first game, I was putting down, mentally, my own character analysis. While some of my own personal head canon is correct, I still need a place to put my thoughts on this blog for personal reference and I can just unload myself because, lol, I need it right about now and I have more important things to store in my brain.

Just so you know this post will have major, major, major spoilers for the entire game. If you have not read the entirety of the Let’s Play! or played the game somewhere, I would absolutely recommend for you not to read it. A lot of the commentary is based on what had already happened, why they did what they did, and what could have been or will be.

Last warning: Major spoilers for the first game of Dangan Ronpa! Turn back now if you have not read the Let’s Play! or played the game.

The entire cast of Dangan Ronpa!

The entire cast of Dangan Ronpa!

At the very beginning, I had a feeling I was going to over think the hell out of this series because of how the characters – by themselves – are based on stereotypes. Even though they’ve tried to hide what Kirigiri’s talent actually was, she still played into the stereotype of her role as a detective.

I’m going to go through each individual character from the roster of the original Let’s Play! thread & that’s the order I’m sticking with. I’ve decided that I’m going to wait until the second game is finished on the Something Awful thread so I could gather my thoughts about the characters and what I’ve learned about them. Well then. Let’s just start the analysis.

Super High School Level Literary Girl: Touko Fukawa

Super High School Level Literary Girl: Touko Fukawa

How can I start on her? Where? I think the most obvious place is her books. She’s known as a romantic writer that apparently wrote a romance novel, entitled Before the Sea’s Scent Fades Away, involving a fisherman that was so successful that it actually made fisherman pretty popular for a while. Even so, she continued to win several writing awards despite her young age.

And she’s actually among the survivors.

Honestly, it’s quite surprising since she had a persecution complex and constantly talked ill about herself and others, but mostly herself, to a point it has irritated some of the main cast but I’ll talk about that in a bit. I want to talk about her clothing. Her clothing consists of an almost black uniform whose skirt is longer than almost all the other girls attending. It actually reminds me of the Sukeban uniforms.

According to this blog, Anicoma Diary:

Sukeban — “suke” means female, while “ban” means boss – were girl gangs, known in Japan for committing such acts of violence and shoplifting. Sukeban gangs first began to appear in the [19]60s, inspired by the gangs of boys known as “Bancho”.

Always seen in their sailor uniforms, they would wear pleated skirts that went down to their feet, and would custom embroider their uniforms. The common signifiers ofsukeban (described by the Japanese police in 1980s pamphlets as “omens of downfall”) include brightly-dyed or permed hair, and modifications of the school uniform such as wearing colored socks, rolling up the sleeves and lengthening the skirt.

There is a lot more information about the sukeban groups on the blog but the point is that Touko doesn’t shorten her skirt or wear hers any differently unlike the other girls. In fact, her uniform seems altered – or least just the skirt part.  This picture of sukeban actually reminds me a bit of how she dresses. I make it a point about the way she dresses because Touko is certainly unlike anyone. She actually doesn’t like Naegi – or anyone besides Togami, really – and once the game progresses further and further, both Touko and Togami isolate themselves from the main cast.

Almost forming a gang of just them two alone.

There are a lot of posts out there that argue about the relationship the two of them has and they both have valid points. First of all, Togami has verbally abused Touko, insulted her, and degraded her. I’ve even seen a post where they have likened her to a possible abuse victim.

The other side argues that Fukawa is just as bad as Togami as far as arrogance and how absurd it can get. Of course, they didn’t excuse his behavior by any means – they just meant that Touko really is just as bad as Togami in terms of egos.

If there’s anything both sides can agree on, it’s that Touko has dissociation identity disorder. What is dissociation identity disorder? According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness):

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), previously referred to as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a dissociative disorder involving a disturbance of identity in which two or more separate and distinct personality states (or identities) control the individual’s behavior at different times. When under the control of one identity, the person is usually unable to remember some of the events that occurred while other personalities were in control. The different identities, referred to as alters, may exhibit differences in speech, mannerisms, attitudes, thoughts, or gender orientation. The alters may even differ in “physical” properties such as allergies, right-or-left handedness, or the need for eyeglass prescriptions. These differences between alters are often quite striking.

And indeed they are on Touko.

However, according to the page, it is possible that Genocider Syo was created as a defense mechanism. The person who said that Touko is possibly a survivor abuse (be it physical, mental, and/or sexual) had stated this possibility for Syo to be born. Syo was born to be a killer but, the difference is that: Syo killed the men Touko has a crush on or harbored romantic feelings for. The only reason why Syo didn’t kill Togami was pretty obvious – if Togami were to mysteriously die, they would instantly know who to blame. She didn’t want to get herself killed!

I have tried to do research on the matter but as of this post, it is inconclusive that DID is hereditary because it had been hinted that something happened to Touko’s mother. She had referred to her mother in plural form which makes one wonder what was Touko’s family home life before Hope’s Peak Academy. It sure is quite possible that her mother has the same mental condition as Touko does but probably under different circumstances.

I would like to think that Touko was not abused but Syo is still used as a coping mechanism.

Super High School Level Murderer: Genocider Syo

Super High School Level Murderer: Genocider Syo

What I mean by that is that, Touko, as I mentioned before, has a problem with her ego. She mentions to Naegi how she didn’t want people to talk to her even when he tries to make friends with her. Despite her arrogance, she is alone. She has a persecution complex that alienated herself (on purpose?) from the rest of people.

It’s possible that Touko created Syo from the frustrations only being able to write fantasy romance stories about the men she has either has a crush on or is in actually love – but her ego and arrogance won’t allow her. Her persecution complex doesn’t allow her either.

I think she’s more convinced that other people are not worthy of her time simply because she’s this amazing writer. Syo is created as a means to live out her anger and frustrations on the men who possibly have rejected her or she had thought they were going to reject her because she thought they wouldn’t think she was good enough. Plus, Syo murdered a 35-year-old man, if I’m remembering correctly so frustration that she couldn’t act on her romantic fantasies was probably too much for her ego to bear.

The fear and inner conflict could have been so strong that she took it in as a passive-aggressive thing and rechanneled it into her complex. While inside her mind, Syo was her way of expressing her frustrations, her fantasies.

I actually think that Touko and Syo are part of a dual S&M relationship of the mind.

According to the NCSF (or National Coalition for Sexual Freedom), this is how a S&M relationship is defined as:

SM is a sexual orientation or behavior among two or more adult partners. The behavior may include, but is not limited to, the use of physical and/or psychological stiumulation to produce sexual arousal and satisfaction. Usually one partner will take an active role (top or dominant) and the other will take a passive role (bottom or submissive). SM practitioners can be heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, transgendered or intersex individuals.

Touko would be the submissive role while Syo would be the dominant role. While the two are aware of each other, they’re both complete opposites of each other but they are still significantly similar. Other than the physical similarities, the arrogance, the ego, and the need for Togami’s opinion of her (whether or not that’s healthy will always be a debate) are one in the same.

Syo normally would just laugh at Togami’s insults and thinks that she could do better – but does listen to him anyway and considers her ego’s equal although she does acknowledge that he’s probably as good as it’s going to get in the situation. Not only that, Togami doesn’t take crap from Syo while most people would, understandably, cower in fear of the serial killer – Togami knew that if he were to die, the blame would instantly go to Syo.

And she’s not stupid either. She knew what situation her host body was in and did her best not to actually murder Togami. It seemed that Syo even let him live for the sake of her host. Perhaps that Touko is in love with the heir? Most likely.

After all, he is her sadist to his masochist. Not only that, Togami is Touko’s constant. Her mind is constantly switching back and forth whenever she sees blood or if she gets knocked on the head hard enough or something else. Syo doesn’t really care – she just likes to murder. I mean, that’s really it. Syo is a sadist – especially with her MO being what it is?

Although, how Touko/Syo managed to survive is actually quite amazing. Both Syo and Touko insult Asahina’s breasts and Touko did hurt Sakura in chapter 4, despite everything Sakura said she wasn’t going to do (besides the mole thing). The only reason why it’s possible that no one else killed Syo/Touko is that the suspect would be too obvious (Togami, simply because he’s made it quite clear that he really dislikes them and only uses them when he needs a punching bag).

Second of all, they didn’t want to be involved in the mutual killings anymore. After Sakura’s suicide, it seemed they’ve agreed not to do it anymore as it was pointless and as it was getting down to the needle that they needed to figure out who was behind Monobear, why did they do this, and how? And if there was a way to get out.

Apparently, Syo says that the Most Despairing Thing happened outside in the world but couldn’t remember what exactly happened. She doesn’t exactly gives a shit though so there wasn’t any point really.

When the game ended, it wasn’t clear what happened to the students afterwards. All I could infer from there was that possibly Touko had more control over her ego (Syo) from coming out or she was letting Syo take more control. Touko seemed to start having enough of Syo taking over her body but who really knows?

I honestly find Touko and Syo extremely interesting, as I mentioned before, simply because they are involved in a S&M relationship of the mind. They loved Togami because Touko craved the balance that she didn’t have and saw Togami as possibly her rock. Syo only liked Togami because she’s a fujioshi acting on a possible strong sexual drive that’s being overridden and wires have been crossed straight with frustration because of an abundance of arrogance of being a Literary Girl Writer with a persecution complex.

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