Nagito Komaeda (Japanese: 狛枝凪斗, Hepburn: Komaeda Nagito), also known as Servant (召使い, Meshitsukai), is a fictional character featured in the 2012 adventure game Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair based on the visual novel by Spike Chunsoft.
Nagito is a high school student at Hope’s Peak Academy, which gave him the title of “Lucky” for his supernatural luck.
He first appears at the very beginning of the game, when he meets the protagonist Hajime Hinata, when both of them and several other students are trapped on a number of tropical islands. Initially, Nagito shows a caring nature, but when the bear robot Monokuma orders the students to take part in the killing game if they want to leave the islands, Nagito encourages the killing game to go ahead and offers to help the “blackened” assassins, showing an obsession with the ideals of hope, creating havoc under the idea, that true hope can only be realized through the achievement of despair.
Servant returns in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls as a secondary antagonist and organizer of Monaka Tova and the Warriors of Hope.
Kazutaka Kodaka designed Nagito as Hajime’s rival as well as the successor to previous Danganronpa hero Makoto Naegi, and his design by Rui Komatsuzaki was to mark him as Hajime’s opposite. To reinforce the similarities between Nagito and Makoto, Kodaka asked that they be voiced in the same voices: Megumi Ogata and Bryce Peipenbrook, with their names being anagrams of each other.
However, despite the similarities, Nagito and Makoto are not related in any way in character, and Kodaka claims that these allusions were made up for the “Goodbye Despair” commercial.
Critics have been positive about Nagito’s character, given his ambiguous character in Goodbye Despair, where he often changes his personality, as well as his more comical portrayal in the anime prequel Danganronpa 3: End of Hope’s Peak School. His role as Hajime’s rival and antagonist has also led to him being considered one of the best characters in the Danganronpa series.
Nagito was created as Hajime Hinata’s “ultimate rival” and Kazutaka Kodaka described their relationship as similar to that of the Joker and Batman. Komaeda’s characterization was intended to give players a confusing idea of Nagito’s true nature based on the morally dubious and controversial actions he performed throughout the game.
Japanese actress Megumi Ogata had difficulty voicing Nagito because she couldn’t understand him.
Komaeda was introduced with the same lucky talent as Makoto Naegi. However, the staff considered them opposites based on their ideals of “hope”. In regards to his design, Hajime was the character’s earliest author, which created a significant contrast between his white clothing and Nagito’s dark clothing. Nagito was written to have a big impact on the game, despite not being the main character or antagonist, symbolizing well-known themes of hope and despair through his actions.
To surprise gamers and suggest that the characters are potentially the same person, both Makoto and Nagito are voiced by the same actress, Ogata.
His given name, “Nagito Komaeda”, was intended as an anagram for “Naegi Makoto da” (“I am Makoto Naegi”) to suggest that it is a potential pseudonym; in the third chapter, Nagito states that it is an alias. Localization member Robert Shiotis felt that finding a voice actor for the latter proved too difficult, as he must go against Makoto’s ideals. In the end, Peipenbrook voiced both characters, making the connection between them more interesting, according to the localization staff. In 2020, Kodaka revealed that the anagram was used to attract Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc fans due to the lack of pre-release promotional materials for the original version of Goodbye Despair in its release year.
This surprised Ogata, as the anagram was kept secret from the other members of the game’s development, including Ogata herself.
When developing the Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School anime prequel, Kodaka aimed to write the younger Nagito as an unpredictable character that fans of the game would still recognize, and to make it obvious that his luck often helps him in reality only occasionally way compared to the specific nature of the Neo World program.
His character design was intended to preserve the “flame-like flickering” present in their servants’ designs, which Kodaka asked the designer to adapt accordingly. Kodaka was pleased with how Nagito was written in the anime, comparing his high school life and luck to the “Rub Goldberg” segment of the educational television program Pythagoras Switch.
In the original Japanese series, there is a scene in the ending where Nagito happily talks while holding hands with Makoto, whom he declares to be his idol for their similar talents, but he is taken away by his friends before he can finish their conversation. The actor added a line for Nagito that looks comically homoerotic and stated that he had fun making his two characters talk.
In the stage production of the series, the role of Nagito was played by Hiroki Suzuki.
Danganronpa Video Games
In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Nagito is an outwardly optimistic, submissive student who was accepted into Hope’s Peak Academy through a lottery and later earned the title “Ultimate Lucky Student, 超高校級の「幸運」, Chō -kōkō-kyū no “Kōun”, literally “Super High School Level Luck”).
On the outside, he appears to be a friendly, cheerful, slightly meek young man, but his true demeanor, revealed after the start of Monokuma’s game of killing, shows that he is completely insane in his pursuit of hope, regarding it as the ultimate boon that can be achieved only his talented classmates willing to lead to great despair in order to create the greatest of hopes.
Due to his beliefs, he is completely willing to let his talented classmates step over him, considering himself inferior to them, while maintaining a cheerful, optimistic attitude and often referring to himself as “a stepping stone for [their] hope.” He is extremely unstable and suicidal, as his cycle’s bad luck leads to disasters in his life that he considers inevitable, leading him to manipulate Teruteru Hanamura into killing Byakuya Togami to start the killing game.
He remains cheerful and cheerful even in dire situations where someone has died, leading his classmates to fear him and consider him creepy.
This is exacerbated by the fact that during the free time events it is revealed that he has a degenerative brain disease slowly destroying his ability to think rationally, which could kill him at any moment. He also has a deep self-hatred due to the fact that his talent, in his opinion, has nothing to do with the talents of his classmates, considering himself not a real “Ultimate” compared to those around him, and at the same time expressing contempt for “normal” people like himself.
Although he hates himself, Nagito still considers himself superior to ordinary people and has a strong hatred for the Reserve Course, believing them to be mediocre parasites that feed off the academy.
In order to rid the island of the other students, he sets a trap for the others by playing out the scenario that he committed suicide, but in fact tricks Future Foundation traitor Chiaki Nanami into accidentally killing him with poison, hoping it will lead to execute all the other students, including himself, and only Chiaki will save. However, Hajime realizes what really happened and Chiaki takes responsibility for Nagito’s death, saving the rest of the students.
After receiving a series of recorded messages from Nagito and going to Hope’s Peak Academy, Hajime learns that Nagito, himself, and the rest of the students are actually computer avatars of a terrorist group known as the “Remnants of Ultimate Despair”, existing in virtual reality, created by the program “Neo World”, And “Hajime” himself is their leader Izuru Kamukura.
The group’s memory was erased by an offshoot of Makoto Naegi’s Future Foundation in the hope of redeeming them, despite being responsible for the deaths of millions of people. The real Nagito is revealed to have implanted Junko Enoshima’s hand into his body after her death, showing a romantic interest in Hajime’s former Izuru, and agreed to hand himself over to the Future Foundation in order to allow Junko’s copy’s artificial intelligence to inhabit his body. Nagito’s computer avatar, having learned the truth about their reality and motives, staged his own death to kill everyone except Chiaki, inadvertently fulfilling his true self’s wishes.
In Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, Nagito appears as a Servant (召使い Meshitsukai) serving the Warriors of Hope who captured him.
The Warriors of Hope often mocked him, although he accepted it all with a smile. He is later revealed to be manipulating the Warriors of Hope to allow Komaru Naegi to grow up and defeat despair with her power of hope, and then fall and become “Enoshima’s second generation Junko”. Even though Ultra Despair Girls was set during Class 77’s tenure as Ultimate Despair, Servant was unique in that he still pursued hope in his actions, while the others fought only despair. After the defeat of the Warriors of Hope, Monaka Towa is carried off by the Servant, informing her that he will raise her as the “Second Generation Junko Enoshima” after Komaru was unable to accept the title.
In the “Despair” arc of the Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School anime, Nagito attends Hope’s Peak High School but gets suspended for an explosion in the school gym to postpone his exams. When he returns, Nagito finds out about Junko Enoshima’s plans and tries to shoot her with a gun. However, Izuru Kamukura, who, like Nagito, was instilled with a talent for luck, easily prevents the attempt and shoots him. Although Nagito survives, he and his class are forced to watch the death of Chiaki Nanami and are thus brainwashed into becoming Junko’s loyal members of Ultimate Despair.
He then comes to the conclusion that the best way to give the world hope is to drive it to its deepest despair, which defines his role in Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls as a Servant and later in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.
The Servant appears at the beginning of the “Future” arc, helping to bring discord with the other Remnants of Despair after Junko’s martyrdom, in his case serving the Warriors of Hope. In “Ultra Despair Girls”, Monaca Towa reveals that while the Servant successfully “made her an adult” and a copy of Junko, he also made her miss both hope and despair, which led to her becoming a NEET.
In the “Hope” arc in Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope’s Peak High School, Nagito and the former Remnants of Despair wake up from their coma in the Neo World program and deal with the forces of the Future Foundation’s new organizer, Ryota Mitarai. They convince him to join them in spreading despair around the world in the name of hope under the leadership of Izuru Kamukura, when in reality the group exiles themselves to atone for their deeds and prevent the Future Foundation’s collapse by acting as scapegoats.
Before leaving, Nagito expresses his excitement about having a brief face-to-face meeting with “Ultimate Hope” Makoto Naegi, after which he is carried away by Nekomaru Nidai.
An original video animation of “Nagito Komaeda and the Destroyer of Worlds” was also released, in which Nagito’s alternate computer avatar is trapped in a new virtual world created by his mind to deal with the traumatic death in “Game of Killing” that left him in a comatose state . Yi Yi, the Destroyer of Worlds, goes into the world to destroy his illusory classmates, which ultimately results in the destruction of the false reality. Nagito is then informed that the world was created as a reflection of his own desires, which he finds shameful as they are in direct conflict with his beliefs.
With all his memories, Nagito leaves Jabberwock Island with Hajime and the other students, making their cameo appearance in the “Hope” arc.
In the poll “Anime! Anime!” Nagito was voted as the fourth most popular character voiced by Megumi Ogata. In the franchise’s popularity poll for the Trigger Happy Havoc and Goodbye Despair compilation release, Nagito placed first, behind Makoto Naegi. In honor of this, Rui Komatsuzaki made an illustration of the top five, which was presented in the re-release of the games called Reload.
In 2019, Nintendo named Nagito the 25th most popular video game character in a Tumblr poll. Along with Hajime, merchandise based on this character was released.
Analyzing the manga Goodbye Despair, Anime UK News stated that while Hajime should be the main character of the story, Nagito is more suited to the role based on his behavior, which makes him look “crazier than most” and also highlights how different he is from his predecessor, Makoto. Siliconera described Nagito upon first meeting as “the opposite of Hajime, as an eccentric character” and that he is “hopeful, even though both of them are in a hopeless situation”.
Koi-Nya stated that his early traits shown in the game may make previous gamers feel nostalgic due to his caring nature like Makoto.
However, the revelation of his dark nature and ability to solve murders in class trials led the reviewer to state that Nagito might be the most mysterious character in the entire game. Touch Arcade considers Nagito and Ibuki the best characters in the game. Manga News considers Nagito to be an ambiguously evil person based on how often he tries to commit murders, most notably in the first trial when he confesses that he wanted to kill Byakuya Togami but remains innocent as Teruteru performed the act instead of him. Anime News Network praised the character for being “stands out” within the franchise, highlighting his resemblance to Makoto and how different they are at the same time.
The reviewer liked the character’s actions not only in the game, but also in the anime Despair Arc from the franchise, as despite his kind behavior, his comments make Hajime mess up throughout the story.
Both The Fandom Post Manga. Tokyo praised the numerous types of comedy that takes place in Despair Arc due to Nagito’s lucky talent, such as how he takes drugs and causes his two classmates, Seiko and Ruruka, to accidentally use a laxative in their food, and felt that Nagito’s actions are like a parallel with a famous light novel character named Haruhi Suzumiya. In a later review, the same author from Manga. Tokyo named Nagito as one of their favorite characters, considering his calm demeanor and distinctive design to be an interesting parallel to Junko Enoshima. He also compared Nagito to Hajime’s alter ego, Izuru, due to both of them having many similarities, mainly their talents, and wondered if they would fight.
Anime News Network liked the meeting between Nagito and Izuru based on the same ideas as Manga. Tokyo, but they felt it was a form of fanservice that players of Goodbye Despair would enjoy, as the two briefly interacted in Chapter 0 of the game.
Comic Book Resources named Nagito as the 6th most intelligent Danganronpa character based on the many facets of his personality, as well as the fact that he solves cases before Hajime and the rest of the Goodbye Despair players, and instead of solving challenges, he decides to leave them clues. The same website also considered his role as the antagonist one of the game’s biggest strengths, stating that he is “complex and does not hide the fact that he is not as mentally healthy as the rest of the players.
Rice Digital named Nagito as their favorite character in the franchise based on his actions that led to his own death in the virtual world, where he often threatens his comrades with the possibility of destroying the establishment in order to orchestrate his own death later, further shocking viewers and actors when it was revealed that Nagito faked his own suicide to show that Chiaki Nanami was his real killer.