Waifu Wednesday: Chiaki Nanami (Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair)

Much like how I touched back on Kuroko’s Basketball for this week’s Hump Day Husbando, today’s Waifu Wednesday is another darling from the Danganronpa series. Since Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is my favourite title in the franchise it should be no surprise that most of my favourite characters come from this exact instalment – and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have the confidence to defend my obsession for Nagito in a respectful enough manner one day.

But today is not that day because it’s Chiaki Nanami’s time. So while I’ve mentioned this top tier heroine once before here at Rice Digital, it feels wrong to have yet to put her in the spotlight for an article dedicated to solely her. Let’s change that, shall we?

This article is spoiler-free.

Who is Chiaki Nanami?

Danganronpa’s “Ultimate Gamer” is one hell of a waifu, but that goes without saying if you are already familiar enough with the game or her character. For a franchise all about dangling the notion of hope and despair and pitting it against its hard-pressed characters, Chiaki would absolutely be the mascot of representing hope. Chiaki makes up one half of a dynamic duo alongside Hajime, the player character, a relationship that parallels the one between Makoto and Kyoko in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc.

Chiaki becomes increasingly more narratively significant considering her unique position in this instalment. She not only functions as the game’s deuteragonist, but she is the reason for Hajime to press onwards when he feels engulfed by despair, time and time again. She never stops coming in clutch, especially during the final confrontation with its Big Bad. But I’m getting ahead of myself now.

Why we love her

It probably would be easier to answer why you would not love her, but then this article would be blank. That’s because there’s a good many reasons as to why she is so beloved and dear to Danganronpa’s fanbase. For a character who always tends to top its popularity poll charts, Chiaki was always going to be a hit with one look of her introduction.

Firstly, she’s a gamer girl. She may or may not reference a genre or two like dungeon crawling RPGs or murder mystery games when it comes to certain situations where her unique problem solving and deduction skills save the day. She also is as cool as a cucumber and even steps up when keeping those around her in line in a calm and collected manner – even if it’s by planting a slap onto Akane’s beautiful face.

While Chiaki is a massive help to Hajime during investigations and class trails, quickly becoming his most trustworthy ally, she’s also one to show a more endearingly vulnerable side during its quieter moments, such as being prone to fall asleep since she’s spending all of her time and energy gaming. I’m also a massive fan of the fact that I could educate her on dating sims since that’s the only genre she’s no good at.

Why you will love her

So she’s a delightful character but how she goes the extra mile in looking out for everyone around her is why she is so impactful. For how incredible of a game Danganronpa 2 is, Chiaki plays a massive part in not only making it as entertaining as it was but also for making it as memorable as it is. Her character represents some of the most uncommonly good traits a character could possibly hope to have as a part of Danganronpa.

She is a patient person, barely ever getting agitated with others. She is always kind hearted, evidently showing compassion to everyone around her despite the amount of aversion she faces. She’s also quite simply completely and absolutely selfless as can be seen by her numerous acts of heroic sacrifices. This ditsy airhead quickly became a staple character of Danganronpa and it’s no shock as to why that is the case. She does not only guide Hajime, and therefore the player through the most complex and troubling of situations in Goodbye Despair, but her true identity is an isolating one.

The truth to her character will go unspoiled in this write-up but let’s just say for how much oppression and despair Chiaki continuously faces, she never gives up. Due to the simple, single drive in wanting to protect her friends, Chiaki makes for an incredible, honourable and ideal heroine who will quickly take up a special place in your heart.

Not convinced yet? Give the game a go yourself.

Lilia Hellal
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