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|“|| No matter how intensely the stormy seas may batter me, I will not fall as long as my feet are firmly planted! And if you can't do it alone, just find someone to support you, and you can support them back! That's how you can overcome any storm!
Kiyotaka Ishimaru (石丸 清多夏), also known as Taka, is a student in Hope's Peak Academy's Class 78th, and a participant of the Killing School Life featured in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. His title is the Ultimate Moral Compass (超高校級の「風紀委員」 lit. Super High School Level Public Morals Committee Member).
- 1 History
- 2 Creation and Development
- 3 Alternate Fates
- 4 Appearance
- 5 Personality
- 6 Talent and Abilities
- 7 Quotes
- 8 List of Appearances
- 9 Trivia
- 10 References
- 11 Navigation
During Kiyotaka's early life, his grandfather, Toranosuke Ishimaru, was once Prime Minister of Japan; a title Kiyotaka believed he gained through his own natural genius rather than any hard work.
After only a few months in office, the public opinion of Toranosuke changed from high praise to widespread criticism due to a disastrous scandal, and he was forced to step down. After that, his business collapsed and the Ishimaru Family was left mistrusted and in huge debts which Kiyotaka has stated “Still have not been paid off, and continue to trouble my family to this day” and “My family is middle-class... No, we are below even that...” His family name shamed, Kiyotaka's grandfather allegedly spent the last years of his life in shamed silence.
Kiyotaka gained a deep resentment for his grandfather and the label of “genius” that was associated with him, though he simultaneously seemed to feel sorry for him and believed that his grandfather's tragedy was an important lesson for him. He swore to restore honor to his family name by gaining his success through hard work rather than natural talent, sacrificing hobbies, and most of his social interactions for study sessions and good grades, even going as far to tell Makoto he never played video games or watched TV due to his dedication. Because of this, his social skills suffered and he didn't have any friends. He was a model student in his middle school, known for participating in its morals committee (disciplinary committee in the original Japanese game).
- Main article: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
During the Tragedy, Jin Kirigiri, the Headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy, planned to seal the school building and let the students live forever inside the Academy in order to protect them from the destruction. The class agreed to his plan, and they sealed the building together. The students lived peacefully inside the school building for a year without knowing that the Ultimate Despair members were already in their midst.
After Monokuma first appeared to make his announcement about the Killing School Life, Kiyotaka assigned himself as a de-facto leader to the students and organized the morning meeting where the students would meet in the cafeteria to discuss trying to escape the school.
Later, as an incentive to murder in order to escape, the students were each given a DVD featuring a video from Monokuma which implied that their loved ones were in danger. Kiyotaka's father, Takaaki Ishimaru, was captured by Ultimate Despair for this motive.
The negative relationship between Kiyotaka and Mondo Owada came to a head in a "Stamina Contest" between the two of them after arguments. The Stamina Contest was in the sauna, and who could have survived the longest in it as the heat was turned up. Makoto was set to judge, only to be chased away and leaving the pair alone for the night.
The next day, animosity now put aside, Kiyotaka and Mondo became very close, even calling each other "brother" to indicate their sudden deep friendship. Makoto tries to bring up their previous rivalry, only to be shut down by Mondo and Kiyotaka.
In the Class Trial of Chihiro's murder, Kiyotaka became horrified when Mondo was identified as the culprit by Makoto. He refused to believe it and even came to Mondo's defense. This proved fruitless as Mondo was indeed revealed as the Blackened, and when it came time to vote, he did not vote for Mondo and instead voted for himself. Afterward, he broke down into tears and wailed in despair over losing his close friend.
The culmination of the second trial traumatized Kiyotaka to a point that he was rendered completely mute and near-catatonic, not responding to anyone.
After he received news about Alter Ego (whom he mistook as Chihiro Fujisaki's spirit) and their discovery from the other remaining students, he immediately went to Makoto's room and asked him to guide him to Alter Ego, since he wanted to apologize to Chihiro for what Mondo had done.
When Kiyotaka and Alter Ego finally met, Alter Ego tried to console Kiyotaka by mimicking Mondo's voice, personality, and changing their avatar to Mondo's face. Because of the shock of seeing his "bro" alive again, Kiyotaka's grief manifests into a merge of his personality, and Mondo's personality, and became "Kiyondo".
He then became very overprotective of Alter Ego, thinking they were his deceased "bro" Mondo, and because of this, he began a sudden bitter rivalry with Hifumi Yamada for the artificial intelligence's attention, which accumulated into Kiyotaka's eventual fate.
Kiyotaka was manipulated into going into the Science Lab Storage Room with a claim of an escape route found in the school by Hifumi, who in turn was manipulated by Celestia Ludenberg, as a part of a murder plot set up by her. He was bludgeoned in the back of the head by Hifumi with Justice Hammer #4, killing him instantly, then his corpse was brought to the Art Room Storage by Hifumi who was eventually killed as well.
Post-Killing School Life
Kiyotaka is seen alongside his deceased classmates in Makoto's hallucination. He is first standing next to Celestia Ludenberg, which then morphs into him bleeding from the head reflecting how he, along with the other deceased members of the 78th Class, had died.
In Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, it is alleged by the mastermind Tsumugi Shirogane that the entire Danganronpa franchise is fictional in-universe; a series of games, anime, and later live-action dramas performed actors. In particular, Tsumugi, who is the Ultimate Cosplayer, claims she is only able to cosplay fictional characters (breaking out into a bright pink rash whenever she tries to cosplay a real person), and the fact she is able to cosplay as the whole cast of Danganronpa characters including Kiyotaka Ishimaru is used as evidence to support her claim that all of the cast are fictional. However, due to a number of holes in Tsumugi's story which make her an unreliable narrator, whether or not she was telling the truth is deliberately left up to the player's interpretation; as a result, it is up to the player whether they believe Kiyotaka's story within the Danganronpa series was real, or a fictional story written by Team Danganronpa and performed by an actor.
Creation and Development
Kiyotaka was first set up as a hot-blooded exceptional student. His role as a hall monitor came later, but the basic plan stayed the same.
The character designer, Rui Komatsuzaki, was asked to depict him as "enthusiastic to the point of being mad", with black googly round eyes. At first, Kiyotaka's hair was longer and stuck up. To highlight his madness, his design was made military-based, and he was given a school uniform and short hair. Slowly, he began to look much more like a soldier.
Since Kiyotaka is a character-rich in expression, Komatsuzaki had fun drawing the many face patterns his sprites required, he describes it as:
- "Ishimaru overreacts to everything, but more than anything I tried giving everything I had when drawing his crying expressions."
In an interview with Kazutaka Kodaka, creator and writer of the Danganronpa series, it was stated that they were originally planning to elaborate on Kiyotaka's middle school life but “it looked like it [was] going to turn dark, [so] we stopped”.
Kiyotaka's birthday, August 31, is the last day of summer vacation before the continuation of the school year in Japan, and the beginning of the new school year in many countries around the world - somewhat fitting Kiyotaka's unmatched dedication to his studies.
In DISTRUST, a prototype murder mystery novel that was later developed into Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Kiyotaka's full name was originally Kiyotaka Ishiru.
The kanji for "Kiyotaka" (清多夏) translates into "a myriad pure summers". The kanji for "Ishimaru" (石丸) is composed of the kanji characters 石 ishi - stone, and 丸 maru, which among other things means both "circle" and "perfection". The last name could be meant to reflect Kiyotaka's stern personality, his perfectionism, and his strong sense of justice.
In the English localization, he has a shortened version of his name as a nickname: "Taka".
The name “Ishida” (石田), which he takes after “fusing” with Mondo's soul, comes from the first kanji from Kiyotaka's family name (石) and last kanji from Mondo's family name (田).
In the English localization, his name is changed to "Kiyondo" which combines Kiyotaka and Mondo's first names, instead of family names, without the use of any kanji from either name.
Free Time Events & Bonus Mode Guides
The links below are full transcripts and in-depth guides for Kiyotaka Ishimaru's relationship routes in Free Time Events, School Mode, and Ultimate Talent Development Plan including his MonoMono Machine Present preferences and most effective dialogue options.
|Free Time Events||School Mode||Ultimate Talent|
School Mode and Ultimate Talent Development Plan exist in two separate alternate universes where Kiyotaka still attends Hope's Peak Academy, but no students are in peril. As they are alternate universes, these events are non-canonical, but because Kiyotaka's personality in unchanged, backstory information shared by him in these events is considered questionably or dubiously canonical rather than fully non-canonical.
Free Time Events are also considered somewhat questionably canonical due to the nature of how Free Time Events are accessed (in that some characters' Free Time Events cannot be fully completed during the course of the canon game storyline due to limitations on the number of interactions you can have with them during one playthrough, and thus can only be accessed after they have canonically died either through a second playthrough or via School Mode). However, due to Free Time Events being largely experienced during the canon game storyline, Free Time Events are more grounded in canon than School Mode and Ultimate Talent Development Plan and are largely considered canon by the majority of players.
|The section below is based on non-localized content only available in Japanese.
As such, this information is based on fan-contributed translation.
In the Danganronpa Visual Fanbook, there is a description of executions for all of the characters who did not have one. Kiyotaka's execution is called Prime Minister Ishimaru Kiyotaka's Inaugural Parade and described as the following:
- "Ishimaru sits on a vehicle and answers people's cheers in the middle of a huge, gorgeous parade. The crowd has posters that say things such as “Hooray for Prime Minister Ishimaru”. In the next moment, Monokuma pops up resembling Golgo 13 and kills him with a shot through the heart."
Other Alternate Fates
The Danganronpa 3 box set included a feature detailing an alternate ending of Danganronpa called Danganronpa Another End which ultimately never made it out of the development phase. In this ending, all of the students escape, at the cost of giving up their talent forever. In Kiyotaka's ending, claims he will become a farmer, and attempt to lead his country from an "agricultural viewpoint".
Kiyotaka also escapes Hope's Peak in the novel Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc IF, but in this version all his classmates survived.
At the beginning of the Killing School Life, Kiyotaka appears to be a high school-aged teenager but, due to the memory loss, he is two years older than he believed. He has short, spiky black hair, large and long matching eyebrows, and intense red eyes.
He wears a military-style white Japanese school male uniform with five golden buttons on each sleeve and five on his chest, a red and bronze medal above his right breast pocket featuring his Former High School symbol, yellow epaulettes, a red, black, and white armband with the kanji 風紀 fūki (meaning "Public Morals"), and knee-high black lace-up boots.
The kanji character adorning the collar of his uniform, 参, actually represents a verb read as 参る mairu which can mean either "to be defeated", "to be annoyed", "to be madly in love" or "to visit a shrine/grave".
As Kiyondo, his appearance is mostly the same but his hair is pure white and his eyes have a glowing red aura to them, however given his corpse has his black hair it's unknown if the drastic change in appearance happened in reality or was metaphorical.
Befitting of the Ultimate Moral Compass, Kiyotaka is righteous and values order and rules above all else. He takes his role as a student very seriously, shown when he gets upset that there are currently no classes going on during the Killing School Life. He also states he has 10 sets of his uniform so he never runs out and so he is able to wear one every day of the year, even on holidays or days off from school. He is shown to be very polite and respectful, as in original Japanese release, he addresses people, even girls with "-kun" honorifics.
Because of his grandfather's tragedy, he considers effort most important and he is a hard worker, believing that one can achieve anything through it. He views his grandfather with bitterness, but also pity, as considers genius's fate a tragedy and he considers geniuses his enemies because they don't understand the true value of effort. He also believes that people who are easily provoked to violence are cowards. Described as "enthusiastic to the point of being mad", Kiyotaka believes that every action must have a purpose and he absolutely hates wasting time.
Fitting his talent, Kiyotaka often takes up and views himself as a leader, as seen when he organizes the morning meeting for the other students. However, he often isn't taken very seriously—due to his extreme dedication to studying and proper conduct, he could not even hold a "normal" conversation with another person, which becomes clear very soon if someone spends free time with him. Furthermore, he is very expressive and intense in his manner of speech and is almost constantly shouting. Due to his lack of social skills, he often bursts out the first thing that comes to his mind and forces his values and beliefs on others, which he's aware of and feels guilty about. Possibly because of the lack of social interaction in his life, he can also be insensitive toward another at times, as evidenced at the beginning of Chapter 2, when he said that Makoto would not feel too comfortable sleeping in the same room with Sayaka Maizono's corpse.
Nevertheless, Kiyotaka truly cares about his classmates. He is willing to take pragmatic approaches to avoid murder, such as offering to have everyone, starting with himself, reveal their secrets to avoid Monokuma's second incentive and naively thinking during the first trial the killer would raise their hand and reveal themselves to avoid said trial. In the non-canon Free Time Events, he even dubs Makoto "Professor", much to the latter's discomfort.
Though he acts confidently and is quick to take the role of leadership, he suffers from low-self esteem at times and he is quite sensitive, sometimes crying very easily if he is shocked or touched by something. Inside, he wishes he could make friends and have someone to talk to, but he feels that he might be a nuisance to others, as he is stated to overreact to everything. Some of his other weaknesses appear to be his slight naivety and slow-wittedness, as he sometimes figures things out slower than the most other students, and tricking him seems to be rather easy.
One of his unique traits is also his belief that "when the body is naked, so is the soul", meaning that showing each other their naked bodies helps two men form mutual trust. Overall, Kiyotaka values bonds between men, and during his Free Time Event, he asks Makoto to bathe with him in an attempt to become closer friends with him.
In the end, the death of his first and best friend, Mondo, renders him in a state of shock and he becomes almost completely speechless and unresponsive. He only comes out of this state when seeing Alter Ego, to whom he apologies to for Mondo's actions. When Alter Ego impersonates Mondo to try to help Kiyotaka, he adopts personality of "Kiyondo" and becomes more aggressive as well as very protective of Alter Ego, whom he sees as his "Bro". He uses more aggressive language, though refuses to use vulgar language (though he does so in the Japanese version). However, he still sees himself as the Ultimate Moral Compass, mentioning himself that he wouldn't perform criminal activities.
Talent and Abilities
Ultimate Moral Compass
As the Ultimate Moral Compass, Kiyotaka has a strong sense of morality and duty. Even during the Killing School Life, he doesn't forget his rigorous beliefs about right and wrong. Kiyotaka often takes up the role of a leader and tries his best to lead his fellow classmates on the right path, much to their annoyance.
|Ultimate Moral Compass official translations in other languages|
|Japanese||超高校級の「風紀委員」||Super High School Level Public Morals Committee Member|
|Chinese (Trad)||超高校級的“風紀股長”||Super High School Level Discipline Monitor|
|Chinese (Simp)||超高校级的“风纪股长”||Super High School Level Discipline Monitor|
|French||Le Compas Moral Ultime||The Ultimate Moral Compass|
|Le Préfet Ultime||The Ultimate Prefect|
|Italian||Super Addetto Disciplinare Liceale||Super High School Level Discipline Monitor|
|Spanish (Spain)||Super Estudiante de Instituto Nivel: Prefecto||Super High School Student Level: Prefect|
|Supermonitor de bachillerato||Super High School Monitor|
|Spanish (Mexico)||Súper estudiante vigilante de pasillo||Super Hall Monitor Student|
|Spanish (Argentina)||Súper disciplinario de secundaria||Super High School Disciplinarian|
|Polish||Super Porządkowy||Super Rule-Abiding|
|Portuguese||Monitor Supercolegial||Super High School Monitor|
Differences Between Talents
In the original Japanese version of the game, Kiyotaka's title is "Super High School Level Public Morals Committee Member" (超高校級の「風紀委員」). The "public morals committee", also known as the "disciplinary committee", is a student committee dedicated to the preservation of a proper learning atmosphere and enforcement of the rules around the school (two duties Kiyotaka is very dedicated to fulfilling) that is commonplace in Japanese high schools. It is apparently characteristic for disciplinary committee members to wear uniform armbands.
Due to the concept of disciplinary committees being relatively obscure in North America and Europe, the official English translation of the game came to translate Kiyotaka's title metaphorically as "Moral Compass".
List of Appearances
- Kiyotaka's former high school, Kaiseidan High School (開成灘高校), is a reference to two real-world schools that are two of Japan's top academic schools: 開成高校 (Kaisei Koukou) and 灘高校 (Nada Koukou). The Kanji 開成 (Kaisei) and 灘 (Nada) are combined to make 開成灘 (Kaiseidan).
- Kiyotaka's English voice actor Sean Chiplock is also the voice of Monotaro in the English version of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
- Kiyotaka shares his birthday with Yui Samidare.
- Kiyotaka was voted the third most popular character in the Japanese fandom.
- Kiyotaka is the only character in the series to never stand next to anyone during a Class Trial - the two students beside him, Sayaka and Mukuro, are already dead by the first Trial.