|“|| I honestly believed that as long as you kept chasing your dreams, someday they had to come true. But to that, you can't take off your eyes off of your dream, not even for a second.
Sayaka Maizono (舞園 さやか), 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. Her title is the Ultimate Pop Sensation (超高校級の「アイドル」 lit. Super High School Level Idol).
Sayaka was raised solely by her father, as her mother had passed away. Because her father worked long hours every day, Sayaka spent a lot of time alone at home. The only thing that kept her from feeling lonely was the idol live show she watched on television. The idol girls' smiles were a source of strength for her, and she became determined to become an idol herself so that she could give that same strength to others. However, it is noted that she was so determined to achieve her dream that she made multiple sacrifices and did bad things to follow through and do so.
Sayaka and Makoto Naegi both went to Sixth Black Root Middle School, though were unaware of each other's character because they weren't in the same classes and social groups. On one occasion, Sayaka saw Makoto nurse an injured crane back to health after it got lost and stuck in the school pool. This action touched Sayaka, and, after that incident, she wanted to get to know Makoto more. Unfortunately, they ended up graduating middle school without interacting with each other, and then went to different high schools.
Sayaka was later scouted for Hope's Peak Academy's Class 78th, where she met Makoto once again.
Prior To The Tragedy
It is shown that Sayaka posed for an idol photobook on at least one occasion, which was revealed when a copy was traded to Teruteru Hanamura by Nagito Komaeda. It appears to contain photos of her in revealing outfits, and is likely to be one of the "bad things" that Sayaka did to achieve her dream.
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. Sayaka is seen talking with Makoto as the rest of the students begin to seal the school. After Makoto trips over a piece of paper, she tells him to be careful, as it would be extremely hard to help him should he get injured. Makoto assures her that the Tragedy would be over soon, to which she agrees. The students lived peacefully inside the school building for a year without knowing that the Ultimate Despair members were already in their midst.
- Main article: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Sayaka was among those who were chosen to attend Hope's Peak Academy as part of Class 78th. Her, along with her fellow classmates, ended up being trapped inside the school, completely unaware that at the time that they had already been memory-wiped of their two years of school life together.
After losing their memories, Sayaka and Makoto were the only two students who still remembered each other since they attended the same middle school. Due to their previous familiarity they became close, and Sayaka assigned herself as an assistant to Makoto.
The students soon became forced into the mutual killing incident, in which the only way to escape was to kill a fellow student. As an incentive to murder, the students were each given a DVD featuring a video from Monokuma which implied that their loved ones were in danger. Sayaka's DVD showed the other members of her band apparently either dead or unconscious.
The DVD deeply traumatized Sayaka, and she began devising a plan to murder Leon Kuwata and make it appear that Makoto was responsible for his death. She had Makoto promise he would do anything it took to help her escape, and he took an ornamental golden sword from outside the gym and kept it in his room for defense. In the evening, Sayaka knocked on Makoto's door, appearing visibly frightened, claiming that someone had tried to get into her room. Because she felt unsafe in her own room, Makoto agreed to switch rooms with her, and the pair traded room keys.
Unknown to Makoto, Sayaka then switched the name plates on their dorm room doors. She wrote a note on Makoto's notepad, claiming she'd found a way to escape, and slipped a note under Leon's door. Later, when Leon arrived, Sayaka attacked him with a knife she had taken from the kitchen earlier in the day. Leon grabbed the ornamental sword on Makoto's shelf and used it to defend himself, breaking Sayaka's wrist in the process and causing her to drop the knife. Sayaka fled into the bathroom and closed the door behind her. Not realizing that Makoto's bathroom door was broken and needed to be lifted in order to open, Leon believed the door was locked, and left to go and retrieve his school-issued tool kit in order to break in. After breaking into the bathroom, Leon then stabbed Sayaka in the stomach. With the last of her strength, Sayaka wrote Leon's name (appearing upside down as 11037) in her own blood. Later after the class trial had concluded, Kyoko Kirigiri stated that this was likely Sayaka trying to make amends to Makoto.
Post-Killing School Life
- Main article: Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair
Makoto, who later joined the Future Foundation, used Sayaka's dying message "11037" as the password to the abandoned Hope's Peak Academy building on Jabberwock Island. Makoto told Hajime Hinata that the reason he set 11037 as the password because "a certain person", which is Sayaka, had once left that number behind to save him from trouble.
Sayaka appears when Makoto attempts to test out a theory made by Kyoko, who had died recently. However, Makoto is brainwashed after watching a short video on a monitor, leading to him having a hallucination.
Sayaka appears in Makoto's hallucination first, alongside Kyoko. Sayaka taunts Makoto, reminding him that he failed to keep his promise to her, and asking why he's still alive. As their classmates appear behind her and Kyoko, Sayaka is shown with blood dripping from her mouth and staining her clothing, reminiscent of her death. Makoto grabs a knife to kill himself, and Sayaka tells Makoto to come join them, as she and Kyoko urge him to continue. However, Juzo Sakakura interferes and stopped Makoto from committing suicide.
Nagito's Illusory World
- Main article: Danganronpa 2.5: Nagito Komaeda and the World Vanquisher
Sayaka appeared as an illusion in Nagito Komaeda's imaginary world following his death in the Neo World Program. Her illusion's personality appears to be based on a generic shoujo manga protagonist. Much like Sayaka's real-life counterpart, she is cheerful, sweet, and has a supporting personality.
Sayaka was worried of being late to school and began running hurriedly down the path while simultaneously holding a piece of toast in her mouth. She accidentally bumped into Nagito, pushing him into a moving truck and sending him flying into the nearby shrub where he experienced a number of unlucky circumstances. As a result of Nagito's bad luck, Sayaka received good luck, and was helped to stand back up by Makoto Naegi. Makoto represented himself in a far more confident and cool way and Sayaka was impressed by this, and they share a romantic moment. Later, Sayaka held Makoto by the arm as they walked together happily, showing Nagito how happiness can still be created without talent.
Creation and Development
Sayaka was not originally developed to be an idol, but instead be a graceful princess-type. She was planned to be the protagonist's childhood friend. At one point in the initial design stages she was a plump character. The character designer, Rui Komatsuzaki, calls Sayaka's design "the most orthodox" out of all the characters. Her design turned out to be a "basic cute young girl". In Komatsuzaki's opinion, her expressions characterize her rather than her design.
Leon and Sayaka were both used as the game's base male and female characters, respectively, to establish a base body type and height. They were both used as stand-ins during many stages of development, and their character designs are very recognizable as early as the scrapped project DISTRUST. As a result of both of their designs being relatively unchanged from the early design stages, the development team grew tired of them and so they were the first characters to be killed in the final published game. The team also got the idea of making a character who seemed like the deuteragonist actually be the first victim from the movie Psycho (1960 film) by Alfred Hitchcock.
Sayaka's Birthday, July 7, coincides with Tanabata, also known as The feast of the Stars. The Japanese festival Tanabata celebrates the annual reunion of the mythical lovers Princess Orihime and cowherd Hikoboshi, who were separated across the heavenly river Amanogawa by Orihime's father, Emperor Tentei. It's likely this date was chosen to parallel the relationship between the famous idol Sayaka and the plain boy Makoto being reunited.
舞園 (Maizono) uses the Kanji 舞 mai - "dance" and 園 sono - "garden", referencing her love for performance. Her first name is written in hiragana as 'さやか', making it strictly phonetic. There are many existent kanji spellings for "Sayaka", the most common translating as "bright", with other possible spellings meaning "blossom", "crystal" and "lovely".
Due to her name being in hiragana, the Chinese translation lists her first name in the Chinese characters "沙耶香". Despite these characters having individual meanings, they are used in a purely phonetic sense and don't have a cohesive meaning (with the meanings of "sand", a question particle, and "fragrant", respectively).
|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. Sayaka's execution is called Maizono Sayaka's Final Performance and described as the following:
- "Maizono is placed on a stage, with the form of a giant beartrap along its edge. She is required to sing in order to fill the a score meter until it's full. However, just as the meter is about to reach the highest score, Monokuma destroys it, triggering the 'Failure' condition. This causes the giant beartrap to slam shut, killing Maizono instantly."
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 Sayaka's ending, she tells Makoto that she will talk to her bandmates and decide what to do next, but that even if she can't perform with them anymore, they'll always be her precious friends. She tells Makoto that as long as she's fighting beside him, there's nothing they can't do.
Danganronpa IF, is a what-if scenario light novel in which Sayaka doesn't die. Sayaka's scheme to frame Makoto was interrupted by Makoto fainting, and was therefore never carried out. Very concerned and worried, Sayaka took him to the infirmary, intending to watch over him until she was interrupted by Mukuro Ikusaba. Later, when pressured about it by Monokuma, she appears nervous and unhappy, vowing to tell her friends what she had almost done when the crisis is over. Sayaka ultimately escapes Hope's Peak alive with the rest of her classmates before the Mutual Killing Game properly begins.
In the demo version of the main game, Yasuhiro Hagakure was the murder victim in place of Sayaka, thus she is able to participate in the ensuing Class Trial along with Mukuro Ikusaba (disguised as Junko), who was also killed before the first trial began.
At the beginning of the Killing School Life in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Sayaka appears to be young high school-aged teenager, but due to the memory loss she is two years older than she believed.
Sayaka is a slim girl of average height with a pale complexion. She has long, dark blue hair flowing past her waist, the hair framing her face cut shorter at elbow-length, with bangs swept to the right. Two thin hairclips can be found pinned on her bangs to her right, another pinned on the left side of her face. Her eyes are round and dark blue, likely enhanced by makeup. Sayaka is considered very attractive, Makoto mentioning that she has a near doll-like beauty.
She wears a white seifuku school uniform with a blue sailor collar and sleeve cuffs, both striped with two white lines. With this, she wears a light pink ribbon tied in a large bow at her collar and a short, pleated, blue-green plaid skirt. Her legwear consists of navy thigh-high socks, the edges striped with a white line, and dark brown Mary Janes with silver buckles. Her school crest can be found printed in gold on her collar flap and her left sleeve.
In her official illustration art, Sayaka wears a lolita-style, sleeveless, sparkly, pink idol dress with a white collar and ruffles at her waist, hem, and front placket, a pink ribbon tied in a bow at her collar, with white knee-high boots. Her accessories consist of a pink headband adorned with a right-centered large pink bow decorated with white lace and ribbons, a translucent, ruffled black armband on her right arm, a studded white armband on her left, a fluffy white wristband on her right wrist, and thin, sparkly, white hairclips positioned the same as worn in her school years, the first clip on the left adorned with a star. Her hair is styled into low twintails held in place with white hair ties.
Sayaka's idol appearance in Danganronpa 1 consisted of a u-necked white cropped top with ruffles trimming her collar and lace trimming her sleeves and hem, a small white bow sewn to the front of her collar, with a mid-thigh length white skirt, two layers of ruffles at her waist, secured with a black belt buckled with gold. With this, she wore knee-high white boots, small white bows at the front. Her accessories consisted of three thin white clips positioned the same as worn in her school years, a white headband with a left-centered pink bow, a black choker adorned with white daisies, a thick white wristband on her right arm, and a thinner black wristband on her left.
During her school years, she wore inexpensive, pink panties with a lacy bow.
Sayaka has a cheerful, sweet, lighthearted, and supporting personality, expressing a kind demeanor and pleasant disposition, although it is unknown if this is only because of her status as an idol.
Sayaka develops a bond with Makoto Naegi, whom she considers her friend, assisting him on every occasion in Chapter 1. However, she tends to hide her feelings when she is under great pressure by putting on her public persona. She cares greatly for her band members, and would not hesitate to do something if anything were to happen to one of them, including things that could hurt others. When pushed to her limit, Sayaka will do anything to achieve the goals she sets out, however risky her actions may be. After she watched Killing Among Loved Ones, she only thinks of how she could escape from the academy, even planning to betray Makoto.
Sayaka mentions that she often finds herself focused on a particular person, but pushes these thoughts out of her mind to commit herself further to her idol career. She has an amazing intuition, as she can easily tell what people are thinking. She often joked about being psychic, only to admit that she was kidding later on.
She enjoys cooking, reading and playing Othello.
Talent and Abilities
Ultimate Pop Sensation
As the Ultimate Pop Sensation, Sayaka is said to have a mesmerizing voice, exceptional performance and amazing dancing skills. Because of this, she has gained over 100 million fans and admirers all over the world who call themselves Sayakers. This is actually what led Hope's Peak Academy to approach her.
In other languages
|Ultimate Pop Sensation official translations in other languages|
|Japanese||超高校級の「アイドル」||Super High School Level Idol|
|Chinese (Trad)||超高校級的“偶像”||Super High School Level Idol|
|Chinese (Simp)||超高校级的“偶像”||Super High School Level Idol|
|French||L'Idol Ultime||The Ultimate Idol|
|Italian||Super Idol Liceale||Super High School Level Idol|
|Spanish||Super Estudiante de Instituto Nivel: Idol||Super High School Student Level: Idol|
|Polish||Super Gwiazda||Super Star|
|Spanish (Mexico)||Super Estudiante Ídolo||Super Student Idol|
|Portuguese||Ídolo - Supercolegial||Super High School - Idol|
Sayaka has amazing intuition, and often knows what people are thinking, even when it isn't obvious. She claimed this was due to psychic powers she joked about having. During Sayaka's School Mode ending, Makoto has flashes of events from the main story involving him and Sayaka, who also seems to remember said events. This seems to imply that Sayaka really does have a limited amount of psychic ability.
Her father is the only family Sayaka has left, however, Sayaka states that her father was never really around the house much, due to him staying late at work. Because of this, Sayaka was often lonely, and didn't know her father very well.
Her Idol Group
Sayaka is very close to the girls in her idol group, as they are the ones who helped her achieve her dreams. They are the people she cares about most which are confirmed by the fact that they became her Captives. When seeing the motive video, Sayaka tried to devise a plan to frame Makoto for murdering Leon Kuwata because she assumed they were dead. Satomi Aoba and Ayaka Haneyama are two of the girls in Sayaka's idol group and very good friends of hers. So far, out of the four girls in Sayaka's idol group, only their names have been revealed.
Before the events of the first game, Sayaka and Makoto went to the same middle school but never talked to each other due to being in different social circles. However, she became interested in Makoto after seeing him nurse an injured crane when it got lost and stuck in the pool at their school. She wanted to get to know him more, but unfortunately, both of them ended up graduating without ever contacting each other.
In the game, Sayaka eventually had a chance to talk with Makoto and befriended him. Mutual attraction formed between the two and several parts in the game hinted that she actually has feelings for him, even going so far as to act as his "assistant." However, after she received her "Motivational DVD" from Monokuma, she fell into despair. Makoto tried to comfort Sayaka and switched rooms with her when she was scared. This move was later revealed to be part of Sayaka's attempt to frame Makoto for the murder of Leon. However, her plan backfired, and she ended up being killed by Leon in the process.
Before dying, Sayaka wrote Leon's name (read as 11037) as a hint for the culprit. This was what helped prove Makoto's innocence, and led him to identify the real killer. Kyoko told Makoto that Sayaka must have been thinking about him when she wrote the message, in order to save him. But Makoto wondered whether she had simply written it to get revenge on the person who killed her. Whatever the reason, there was no way to find out, as Sayaka was now dead. But ultimately, Makoto chose to believe that Sayaka was looking out for him in the end. The manga adaptation explicitly demonstrates that Sayaka wrote Leon's name in a deliberate attempt to save Makoto from suspicion.
In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Makoto explains to Hajime that he set 11037 as the code to save the remaining students because it was a number left by someone who saved him when he was in trouble.
Sayaka's Japanese voice actress, Makiko Ōmoto, said in an interview (in Danganronpa THE ANIMATION Official Complete Book) that Sayaka's character song, 'Monochrome Answer', might hint at her relationship with Makoto before the Killing School Life. Ōmoto also mentioned that when Sayaka's "ghost" appeared to Makoto in Danganronpa 3, she was told not to speak in a scary voice, as she was supposed to represent "a guy thinking of his first love right before his death". Makoto's crush on Sayaka is also confirmed in the first anime's relationship chart. The chart does not mention her liking him back and it has not been explicitly stated that she returned his romantic feelings, however, it is heavily implied in one of Sayaka's Free Time Events. She tells Makoto that she is interested in someone, while the latter notes that she was looking intently at him while lightly blushing, but follows up by stating she is unable to act on her feelings due to wanting to escape the school first. In the Danganronpa V3 bonus mode Ultimate Talent Development Plan, Sayaka cooks a dish for Makoto, which he enjoys. They then talk about the old days and want to spend more time together.
Though the two are not seen interacting much during the killing game, as a womanizer, Leon quickly developed a strong interest in Sayaka and apparently planned to approach her at some point. In relationship charts featured in the art book, Leon admires how cute she is and considers her a "pure-hearted girl", which is a type he is into. Sayaka takes a note of that she is his type with a slight smile and blush.
When put under the pressure of the Motivational Video, Sayaka chose Leon as her murder victim and planned to frame Makoto, possibly because she was aware of his attraction towards her. In the end, her plan backfired as Leon was able to defend himself, which led her to flee to the bathroom. Though he claimed it was only self-defense, Leon made a conscious decision to counter attack and murdered the girl.
In the non-canonical manga adaptation, Sayaka and Leon's relationship is quite different. They developed a friendship after Leon decided he wanted to be friends with her because of his ambition to change his talent from Ultimate Baseball Star to Ultimate Musician. Leon found Sayaka had the same passion he did, so he wanted to get closer to her. In this version, Sayaka chose Leon as her victim because he respects Sayaka the most, so she could kill him easily. After Sayaka had run away from Leon upon his counter attack Leon decided to follow Sayaka to the bathroom so he could calm her down. In the end, Leon ended up murdering Sayaka by accident.
Free Time Events & Bonus Mode Guides
The links below are full transcripts and indepth guides for Sayaka Maizono's relationship routes in Free Time Events, School Mode, and Ultimate Talent Development Plan including her MonoMono Machine Present preferences and most effective dialogue options.
|Free Time Events||School Mode||Ultimate Talent|
List of Appearances
- DISTRUST (scrapped)
- Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: Major
- Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair: Mentioned
- Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls: Mentioned
- Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: Cosplay & Bonus Mode Character
- Danganronpa: Unlimited Battle: Major
- Cyber Danganronpa VR The Class Trial: Cameo
The link below lists all official licensed merchandise featuring Sayaka Maizono:
- Sayaka says in her Free Time Events, in response to Makoto's answer 'crane', that she's the crane he rescued at that time during middle school and that she wants to weave clothes for him. This is actually a reference to a popular Japanese folktale, Tsuru no Ongaeshi or "The Crane's Return of Favor". In the story, a crane which was saved by a man disguised itself as a woman and devoted herself to help him make a living by weaving beautiful fabric for him to sell. However once the man realized that it was the crane who sustained him, she was already gone. The story is somewhat similar to chapter 1, where Makoto learns only during the class trial that in her dying moments, Sayaka used whatever power she had left to clear him of suspicion.
- In the original game, Sayaka is the one who discovers that the kitchen is restocked every day by Monokuma, however, in the anime adaptation, it was changed to Chihiro.
- A younger sister of Sayaka's was planned to be introduced as part of the Warriors of Hope's Hit List in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. This idea, however, was scrapped once the game's developers realized that Sayaka having siblings would be inconsistent with her back story mentioned in the original game.
- Sayaka's English voice actress, Dorothy Elias-Fahn, also voices Chihiro Fujisaki and Alter Ego, as well as Tsumugi Shirogane in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
- In a series of tweets from Kazutaka Kodaka during Valentine's Day of February 2013, he tweeted "in-character" as several of the Danganronpa cast, including Sayaka. The tweet translates into this: “I brought cookies! They’re handmade! …Hmm? Did I make any for anyone else? Of course not, you. That was a silly thing to ask.”
- Sayaka appears in Crypt of the NecroDancer as a skin for Dove, a character who is incapable of attacking enemies directly.
- Sayaka appears as a playable skin in Crypt of the NecroDancer.
- Sayaka appears in the Danganronpa 1.2 Reload x Divine Gate collaboration event as a Four and Five Star rank character.
- Sayaka along with Makoto and Monokuma appear promotion for the Blu-Ray and DVD release of Danganronpa: The Animation and Ted.