|“|| When Monaca talks, everyone freezes... When Monaca smiles, everyone stops smiling... For Monaca, the outsider, the eyesore, to survive in that house, she did what she had to do.
Monaca Towa (塔和 最中; usually spelled as モナカ Monaka), leads the "Mage" Class as a member of the Warriors of Hope and is one of the instigators of Demon Hunting featured in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. Her title is the Li'l Ultimate Homeroom (超小学生級の「学活の時間」 lit. Super Elementary School Level Homeroom Period).
Creation and Development
Monaca was designed to be a character the players would loathe. In the past, many dangerous characters in the series were cool and likable in a way, so Monaca was developed to be a dangerous character whose perfection made for a character that one would loathe. The creators stated that a rather unpopular character would feel nice.
She was established as being charismatic due to her talent as the Li'l Ultimate Homeroom, though the creators were conscious about giving her that talent, but not so much about the Mage status. She was given a "cute yet frightening" appearance, with her eyes having a sharp lateral expression to them and a split between strangeness and cuteness. The creators wanted to give her eyes symbols that would make her different from all the other characters. Furthermore, the spine embroidery on her dress from a glimpse can be seen as very neat and clean for a girl, but as a matter of fact the back of it is very strange indeed.
In early development, Monaca did not have a wheelchair, but once the idea came up it was adopted by majority. Yōichirō Koizumi was the one that suggested the scenario for Monaca to be in a wheelchair, and for her to have a "standing up" scene.
It was decided that Haiji and Monaca would be blood relatives, but not in a way that would be easily noticed. At first, they were going to have the same hair color as siblings, but instead their hair colors were kept separate to establish that both of them have nothing in common.
Monaca is an elementary school-aged girl. She has short green hair tied with a red ribbon and matching eyes with a distinct manji pattern as the iris. She wears a knee-length black dress with a decal of a pelvis and spine on its back. Monaca wears the silver Warriors of Hope badge on the collar of her dress.
Her legs are incapacitated, so she uses an electric wheelchair - though, it is later revealed that she was only faking it and she can actually walk. The footrest bears the emblem of the "Mage" class. She also wears black knee highs and white shoes.
In Danganronpa 3 - Future Arc, she is slightly older and dressed just like Junko. She is seen using a wheelchair and it's possible that her legs were incapacitated for real, due to the damage sustained at the end of Danganronpa Another Episode. This is further implied in Future Arc #07, as she is never seen standing, not even while having a seemingly important speech - she is only seen sitting and lying down.
Monaca is seemingly very amiable and caring. She appears very cheerful and has a childish way of talking, sometimes meowing and almost exclusively referring to herself in the third person.
Because of her charming personality, all of the Warriors love her and try their best to keep her happy and go along with what she wants. However, it's slowly revealed that she is actually manipulative and cunning behind her friendly facade. Her 'true' personality resembles that of Junko's. She is also mentioned to be very intelligent for her age and very skilled with robots.
When things are not going her way, Monaca will manipulate the situation by any means necessary, such as throwing fits or causing the Warriors to turn on each other. She ultimately has very little regard for their well-being, knowingly using their traumatic pasts against them and not feeling any sympathy nor sorrow for them nor anyone else. She greatly admires Junko, who seems to be the only person she ever cared about, and she hates the idea of Junko being disappointed in her.
Despite her cheerful front, Monaca has suffered from suicidal thoughts in her past and present, though she claims it's all just a joke.
According to Monaca's voice actress, Aya Hirano, "Monaca-chan, just based on appearance, gives you the feeling that she has some special circumstance about her, but in reality, it is not at that level… She is a terrible little girl. She can be angelic, and she can also be a demon." Hirano also commented that Monaca's outer skin crumbles away to reveal her true character as the various mysteries in the game become clear. "She is truly villainous."
In Danganronpa 3, Monaca has the same manipulative and somewhat childish personality. She considers Makoto a loser, because he needs the help of friends, especially since he is a boy and the said friends are girls. In the end, it's revealed that The Servant's constant ramblings about hope and despair made her feel bored and embarrassed about the whole thing. She claims she became an adult in a sense, as she turned more cynical, lazy and apathetic, not really caring about anything. She gives up on despair, knowing that it's all too complicated for her and hope would win in the end, seemingly ending her villainous days.
Skills and Abilities
Li'l Ultimate Homeroom
Monaca has a strong ability to manipulate and deceive others, often by exploiting their own character flaws or past traumas. Her guise of childish innocence is strong enough to fool even her fellow Warriors of Hope except for Kotoko.
In other languages
Monaca's talent as it appears in official translations of Danganronpa material.
|Japanese||超小学生級の「学活の時間」||Super Elementary School Level Homeroom Period|
|Chinese (Trad)||超小學生級的班級活動||Super Elementary Students' Level Class Activity|
|Korean||초 초등학생 급 HR 시간||Super Elementary Class Homeroom Time|
Monaca is extremely talented at developing and programming robots, allowing her to take charge of the Towa Group's Robotics Branch, despite her young age. Some of her biggest successes include the Monokuma Units and Miaya Gekkogahara's robotic doppelganger, but it is also implied that she built the mecha used by the Warriors of Hope themselves.
Mage Robot: Black Suspirian
Monaca's main weapon in a direct fight is her personal mecha, a large machine with six arms, four spider-like legs, and a face resembling Monokuma's own. Five of its arms carry weapons from the mecha used by the other Warriors of Hope; Masaru Daimon's drills, Jataro Kemuri's missile launcher, Kotoko Utsugi's ax, and Nagisa Shingetsu's rifle. The sixth arm holds a large staff, with a built-in chair for Monaca to sit in as she controls the mecha with the same control box that her fellow Warriors used.
Unlike the other four mecha, Black Suspirian apparently requires Kurokuma's assistance to operate, which he does by entering a secondary cockpit on the robot's lower body. As powerful as it is, the mecha can malfunction if certain weak spots on its joints are targeted, forcing it to temporarily eject Kurokuma and leave itself vulnerable.
Prior to the Tragedy
Monaca was born an unwanted child by both her father, the president of the Towa Group and her mother, his lover out of wedlock. Monaca's mother was supposed to take care of her but instead abandoned the child soon after her birth. Because of all her actions, Monaca saw her mother as a completely selfish and pathetic person.
Monaca's father thought of giving her to an orphanage but instead took her into his family. However, Monaca was always unwanted and everyone else felt uncomfortable around her. Every time Monaca smiled or joked, the others looked at her coldly, as if she didn't deserve to laugh. Every time she spoke, the others turned silent. Her older half-brother thought of her as an alien, not part of the family. Everything Monaca did made Haiji feel sick. He had a bad feeling about her and he was quite sure that Monaca would end up destroying his family.
Though Monaca was happy and childish on the outside, she felt like dying. It's implied that she was physically abused, too, and one time she pretended to be badly wounded as a result. She started to pretend to be paraplegic because she was finally treated with some kindness and she could have more control over people. Believing that they caused it, her father and brother felt pity for her.
Even though Monaca was disliked in the family, she had a genius intellect and became a chief executive of Towa Group robotics branch, even surpassing Haiji.
Monaca also attended Hope's Peak Elementary School and was part of the "trouble-makers class" along with Nagisa, Masaru, Jataro, and Kotoko. She loved homeroom period where she would share and exchange opinions. Along with her fellow abused classmates, she planned a group suicide; however, Monaca never had any plans to commit suicide in the first place and was planning to let the others die as a prank. The group suicide was stopped by Junko, who took the kids in and manipulated them by treating them with kindness and love.
Monaca then helped Junko (knowing fully well that Junko was trying to use her) mass produce Monokumas for the Tragedy by using her position as a representative of the Towa Group. She lied to her father and the other adults in order to produce the Monokumas, telling them that she wanted to create futuristic robots that could be domestic helpers and emergency aid workers. Due to her separation from the family and her genius, her family decided to give her leg room to do what she wanted as long as she brought in profits to the company, and didn't delve too deeply into her plans.
During the Tragedy
The Monokuma Units created by the Towa Group were used as killing machines during the Tragedy. Monaca also began manufacturing Monokuma-themed helmets that could brainwash their wearers into obedient slaves for her plans - by giving these to various children, she created the Monokuma Kids.
When her father learned of the Monokumas' true use, he tried to stop production. However, Monaca blackmailed him to let her continue, warning that if he stopped her, she would tell Junko to spread the fact that the ones who made the murderous Monokumas was, in fact, the Towa Group.
Monaca also gave her father the idea to make both Monokumas and weapons against them. As a result, Towa Group made even more money and looked like heroes to the public, but was forced to work together with Ultimate Despair. Towa Group gained money, honor, and protection from their alliance with Ultimate Despair, and in the end, Tokuichi Towa was corrupted and became a big supporter of Junko Enoshima, Ultimate Despair, and the Tragedy.
After the death of Junko, her influence grew weaker and weaker and Future Foundation became more powerful. Tokuichi simply said that it's all over, gave up and ended his alliance with Ultimate Despair. He was later murdered by a group of Monokumas and his throat was torn out at the command of his daughter, to prevent him from interfering with her plans. The murder was witnessed by Haiji, who escaped and decided to destroy all Monokumas to avenge his father.
Nagisa, Masaru, Jataro, and Kotoko didn't know what to do after Junko's death. Junko had taught them that they should create a peaceful paradise for children and kill all the adults - "the Demons". Monaca told them that they shouldn't give up on hope and they should continue fulfilling Junko's wishes. She manipulated them even further, telling them that the dirty Demons killed their "big sis Junko".
However, Monaca's true goal was neither paradise nor revenge. She planned to create a successor to her idol ("Junko Enoshima II") and cause a huge war, an idea she originally seemed to get from Kurokuma. Monaca was also the one who came up with the idea of the massacre game known as the Demon Hunting. The whole thing was just a game for the kids, who started to call themselves the Warriors of Hope.
When the Warriors of Hope captured and forced Nagito Komaeda to be their slave, Monaca decided to work with him despite their different goals. She asked Nagito (now operating under the name "Servant") to guide Komaru through their Demon Hunting game and bring her to their secret stronghold, a building called Towa Hills - Monaca found a certain amusing irony in making Makoto Naegi's sister the next Junko Enoshima. The Servant then made a deal with Toko, promising to release the captured Byakuya Togami if she escorts Komaru safely to the stronghold.
Prologue - The Warriors of Hope
Monaca first appears in the news reporting room with the other Warriors of Hope warning any survivors that they intend to kill all adults and that they should remember them. She then says goodbye and cuts the news report.
Monaca appeared again as the Warriors of Hope welcomed and introduced themselves to Komaru Naegi in their airship, the Excalibur. She cheerfully explains her status as "L'il Ultimate Homeroom" and self-proclaimed "life of the party" of the group. She reveals the Warriors' plan to make "a paradise of children, for children, by children". Not long after the Servant arrives and set the Monokuma Bracelet to Komaru, Monaca and the other Warriors of Hope open a trap door, resulting in Komaru falling through and back down into Towa City.
Chapter 2 - Legend of the Revolution
After Masaru had been supposedly killed, Monaca, Kotoko, and Jataro made a shrine for him and mourn his death. However, Monaca was only fake crying.
Nagisa didn't mourn Masaru's death because his current fate was still unknown. Monaca turned angry until Nagisa agreed with her and manipulated him, using both his trauma and his crush on her against him. Monaca then decided to elevate Nagisa from vice-leader to the Warriors' new leader in place of Masaru, and later left the other Warriors of Hope because she had "some business to take care of".
Chapter 3 - Cute Girl's Battlefield
After the supposed death of Jataro, Monaca manipulated Kotoko as well, cruelly using her trauma to punish her for disagreeing with her.
Chapter 4 - The Way We Live
Monaca reveals her true goal to horrify Nagisa. She then kisses him in order to enforce the authority she knows she has over him, then degrades him by implying he is a pervert. Monaca implies she will do more 'favors' for him in exchange for a now scarred Nagisa's cooperation. Once literally backed into a corner, he slaps her repeatedly and screams for her to stop but she continues to mentally wear him down. She tells Nagisa that she has never expected a thing from him to begin with because he is just a child who isn't worth placing any expectations on, which clashes with everything he has been told his entire life. In his mental distress, she kisses him and throws him into despair.
Before the end, Monaca appeared and expected that Nagisa should have been defeated already by Komaru and Toko. Then, she began to finish her preparations for the climax.
Chapter 5 - Absolute Despair Girl
Komaru, Toko, and Haiji confront Monaca in the airship Excalibur. After revealing that her legs were not disabled as previously thought, Monaca and Kurokuma summoned their battle robot, which appeared to be a combination of the robots used by the other Warriors of Hope. Komaru and Toko were able to defeat them, leading to Kurokuma having his head sent flying off his body, through the window, and falling down to the ground.
Monaca then gave Komaru the Monokuma controller, which controlled all the Monokumas, for her to destroy and shut them down. However, Kotoko appeared and warned them not to break the controller, saying that it would blow up the helmets of the Monokuma Kids, killing them all. Komaru wasn't sure what to do, and Monaca showed her a video of Komaru's parents dead, in a torture room. Komaru was in complete despair, and Monaca then revealed that her true goal was to turn Komaru into "Junko Enoshima II" by despairing her and making her kill all the Monokuma Kids. The killing of the Monokuma Kids would also cause a war between Future Foundation and Towa City.
Suddenly, Toko took the controller from Komaru to prevent her from breaking it. Monaca questioned why she did that, saying it's her duty to Byakuya and the Future Foundation to eliminate all despair. Toko agreed but added that she also doesn't want to let despair spread to Komaru, the Monokuma Kids, or anywhere else. Haiji then got angry at her for refusing to destroy the controller to save the adults, even if it means killing all the kids (since they were the ones trying to kill them). But Kotoko attacked Haiji in order to help Toko.
The giant Big Bang Monokuma then began attacking the ship. Monaca claimed that it is being controlled by someone (being Shirokuma) to try and kill them all. In a panic, Haiji, Kotoko, and Toko (who dragged the despaired Komaru with her) escaped the crumbling room. Monaca, however, remained in the room and smiled insanely as the Big Bang Monokuma attacked her.
In the end, Monaca was trapped under rubble, and everyone mostly ignored her and left. Monaca was frustrated at the ending which is neither hope nor despair and she felt great despair as the ceiling started to crumble more.
Epilogue - The Changing World We Made
After her plans failed and she was trapped, Monaca was rescued and carried away by the Servant. The Servant suggests that Monaca herself should become Junko Enoshima II and he offers his help for some amount of time, deciding to raise Monaca to be Junko's copy and even better than the original Junko.
After Juzo Sakakura attacked Miaya, she fell to the ground unresponsive, cutting to a scene showing Monaca trying to reboot "it", revealing that she is controlling a robot doppelganger of Miaya.
After successfully recovering Miaya from Juzo's attack and catching up to Makoto and Aoi Asahina, Monaca is seen using a joystick to control Miaya's actions. Using Miaya, she knocked out Seiko Kimura with her wheelchair's missiles.
Seeing Makoto in a state of despair, Monaca (who was eating some sweets behind the screen) decided to use Miaya to give a rousing speech to Makoto and Aoi about not giving up. She then claims how much of a loser Makoto is for letting the girls help him with his situation. She finds it unbelievable how someone with an empty head like him could've beaten Junko.
At the beginning of the episode, Monaca is seen crying about how hope keeps beating despair in front of several Monokumas. However, she tells them she will continue to show the world how wonderful despair is.
It was later revealed that she is based near the outskirts of Towa City. Monaca was then seen watching Komaru and Toko, who were tasked by Byakuya to locate her whereabouts, enter her base claiming how friendship and hope disgust her, wondering how people risk their lives on those ideas. After seeing the actions of the two girls she begins wondering whether or not the world is rejecting her claiming her only choice is to run away from the Earth or destroy the world and has already made her decision in regards to it.
Komaru and Toko later found a room filled with the mechas they previously fought. Monaca greeted the two, appearing on a screen, and tells them that despair will beat hope and activates the robots along with some Monokuma before immediately giving up; blowing up her base of operations in the process.
Lying in the ruins, Komaru and Toko find a van where Monaca is staying in; living in a very cluttered situation. She tells the two that she isn't the mastermind of the Final Killing Game and only intended to join to observe Makoto up close. She also confirmed the fact that she indeed killed Miaya. She also states that due to her old pranking habits, she was the one who faked Aoi's death (even acknowledging the fact the prank didn't land well).
She claimed that she has given up trying side with either hope or despair claiming that the Servant's attempt at making her the second Junko Enoshima made her instead give up on it.
When asked who is the real mastermind, Monaca claimed she doesn't know, but told the two that a survivor of the Killing School Life will most certainly die because of Makoto's actions, and she decided to keep it a secret. She then called for four Monokumas, using their rockets, to blast her van up to space and tells Komaru and Toko that she has decided to become a NEET in space.
While blasting off into space, Monaca decided that she will finally stop thinking about hope and despair.
Monaca's prophecy became "true" as Kyoko Kirigiri was poisoned after violating her own NG Code, 'Passing the 4th time Limit with Makoto Naegi Alive'. Monaca was able to predict her imminent fate since her robot Miaya contained a PDA that showed every player's NG Code.
Monaca is seen watching Ryota Mitarai's hope brainwashing video, from her TV screen within her van in space.
After Ryota canceled his brainwashing video, Monaca returned to her normal self and continues to live in space.
Monaca appears as a cameo in the OVA, was shown having fun with members of Warriors of Hope.
Haiji always hated his half-sister, even when she was still very, very young. He never wanted Monaca to be part of his family, and only viewed her as an "alien" and "mistake". He hated when Monaca called him her big brother and everything she did made him feel sick. From the start, he had a bad feeling about her and he was quite sure that Monaca would end up destroying his family.
Because of the way she was treated, Monaca began to have suicidal thoughts. It's heavily implied that Haiji used to be physically abusive towards Monaca, but he felt at least some pity for her when he thought he had permanently paralyzed her by accident.
- Ultimate Despair Members:
Monaca sees Junko as her savior and idol. Junko appears to be the only person Monaca genuinely cared about. She was the only Warrior of Hope who knew that Junko was just using them and didn't really care about them, but she didn't care, as she was so grateful for Junko for "shining light into her boring world".
Monaca also has many pictures of Junko in her secret room. One main photo depicts her with a younger looking Junko holding onto her wheelchair. Despite their closeness, Monaca didn't seem to fully trust Junko as even she didn't seem to know that Monaca was only faking her disability, seen in the way her AI appears genuinely surprised to learn this fact.
Not wanting Junko's legacy to end, Monaca's main goal was to create a second-generation Junko Enoshima. She planned to become her successor herself based on the Servant's advice but ended up giving up on this goal after she realized that she didn't want to become like him, completely obsessed with hope and despair.
When Nagito Komaeda was captured by the Warriors of Hope and became their Servant, Monaca seemed to be the only one aware of his true identity. Secretly, they became allies despite their different goals, and the Servant aided Monaca with her own goals. However, Monaca didn't share all of her information with him, as she didn't trust him completely.
Monaca was amused by the Servant's strange behavior and contradicting beliefs and appeared to be somewhat annoyed with him at the times, as she once ordered the other Warriors of Hope to draw on his face. Even she was confused by his motives at times, not being sure which side he is on. She also found his strange conflicting obsession with Junko disgusting. However, the two appeared to at least seemingly respect each other in some way, as they treated each other somewhat formally as allies.
The Servant planned on leaving and Monaca let him, believing that they will never see each other again. However, after Monaca was trapped under rubble, he appeared again and rescued her because he was disappointed with the situation's outcome and the neutral ending. He told her to become Junko Enoshima's successor and that he could raise her to become more like her than even she herself was. Monaca seemed to agree with this goal, but the Servant's constant rambling about hope and despair made Monaca bored and feel embarrassed about the whole thing. She claims he made her adult in a way, as she turned more adult in a mental sense and became more cynical and apathetic, not really caring about anything.
In the end, Monaca found Nagito creepy and annoying, but she also appeared to get closer to him during their time together—while originally calling him just "Mister Servant", she later refers to him as "Big Bro" in Danganronpa 3.
- Warriors of Hope Members:
Kurokuma was Monaca's Advisor and they shared secret plans together.
Kurokuma was the one who gave Monaca the idea of Junko Enoshima II. He also assisted her in her final battle with Komaru and Toko, using his AI to help her control their complicated battle robot.
Monaca, at least, seemed to like Kurokuma, but also found his constant talking a little annoying at times. She sometimes ordered him to enter "silent mode" when his ranting got out of hand.
The Warriors of Hope are extremely fond of Monaca, always caring for her well-being and hurrying to calm her down whenever she enters one of her pouting fits. The others often even called her their "princess". Monaca appears to use her delicious cookies as an incentive for her comrades to work harder.
Although the care the other kids express for her seems genuine, the treatment Monaca receives is also due to practical reasons, since it is her "magic" which allows the Warriors to control the Monokuma robots.
Ultimately, Monaca is revealed to not actually care about her fellow members; she is shown to sexually assault, badmouth, and even blackmail her fellow members into doing what she says. She isn't truly saddened by their supposed deaths and often pretends to forget their names, even when allegedly "avenging" them in her battle with Komaru.
Monaca appears to take joy in watching Komaru, even giving her the title Onee-chan (Big Sister).
At the game's climax, it is revealed that Monaca's plan to create Junko Enoshima II involves not herself, but Komaru - Monaca herself claims that she chose Komaru because her brother was responsible for Junko's defeat and execution. To do this, she attempted to drive Komaru into despair by forcing her to choose between the lives of the brainwashed children and the increasingly-savage Adult Resistance, nearly succeeding before Toko Fukawa's intervention.
While Monaca hasn't directly interacted with Toko, she appears to enjoy blackmailing her, as seen towards the end of the game, and she appears bored by Toko's speech about friendship. Toko in return sees Monaca as the worst brat of them all and ultimately foils her plan by taking the Monokuma controller away from Komaru before she could break it in a fit of despair.
- Future Foundation Members:
Under the guise of "Miaya", she and Aoi were barely interacting. After Aoi escaped with Makoto, Miaya helps the two escape, but when Aoi tried to pat Miaya on the head, she flinches away. However, Aoi stated that she was worried about Miaya before she flinched away. After being barricaded in the room by Great Gozu, Miaya, and Aoi grew closer as Miaya (through Usami) freaked out over Aoi's supposed death.
When Makoto, Aoi and Miaya leave the room, Aoi agreed with Miaya when she called them "Soul Mates" and both her and Miaya run ahead so Makoto could easily reach the Monitoring Room. The two later hide together from Seiko.
As Miaya is actually Monaca, she doesn't really feel any friendship with Aoi.
Under the guise of "Miaya", she was one of the few people in Future Foundation to be neutral on whether Makoto should be executed or not. After Makoto is selected as the attacker, Monaca, through the Miaya-puppet, helps him escape, along with Great Gozu and Aoi. After they escape, Miaya hides in the room with everyone.
After they revealed their NG Codes to each other, Miaya, via Usami, states that Makoto, Aoi and her were now like soul mates and Miaya helps Makoto with his plan. However, Miaya lied about her own NG Code.
As Miaya is actually Monaca, she doesn't really feel any friendship with Makoto. Instead, she was just there to be able to observe him, and bring despair upon Makoto if possible; to that end, she pranked Makoto and Aoi by faking Aoi's death. After seeing his performance, she wondered how he is able to bring down Junko, believing him to be an airhead.
- "Towa" (塔和) means "broad harmony".
- "Monaca" (最中) is a type of Japanese sweet made of azuki bean jam filling between two thin wafers made of mochi, like a cookie. Her name can also be read as 最中 saichuu, which literally means "in the midst of."
- It should be noted that unlike the rest of the Warriors of Hope and despite sounding Japanese, Monaca's name is written in katakana - which is almost never used to write Japanese names and words. The main purposes of katakana are to write foreign names, terms, and loanwords, as well as made up names (e.g. Monokuma). The creators have confirmed that they did this to make her name sound cuter.
- Monaca's birthday, April 1, coincides with April Fools Day.
- Other characters who also speak in the third person within the series besides Monaca are Ibuki Mioda, Gonta Gokuhara, Angie Yonaga, and Tenko Chabashira (the latter two in Japanese only).