No problem then :D though before I offer my own opinions, one question: Are you planning on reading DR0 and watching the anime? DR0 isn't necessary, but it's a pretty good book (yes, it's a novel. There is only a fan translation but fan translations tend to do a great job so the only issue would be finding it :P) and DR3 shows the fate of the remaining cast of DR1 and 2.
If you're going to watch the anime, remember the order. First episode of Side:Future, then first episode of Side:Despair, and so on until you finish both sides. Then Side:Hope is the ending.
Sorry if I'm being a broken record and repeating things over and over ^^; I guess I care too much about this series
Twogami (the fandom's nickname for him): if Byakuya was like this in the first game I would've liked him. He still is condescending, but considering his real talent, that's just an act. He was thorough and kept his word, even to the end. I respect that. Also, my like for him might also be because of his portrayal in the anime. There's also a kind sad/funny quote where he mentions that the only thing you can trust in this world are carbs. The Ultimate Imposter never had an identity and was always on the run, so its possible he developed an eating disorder from the stress. Same with Mikan, I like it when there are serious reasons given as to why a certain character looks/acts like they do.
Teruteru: Random trivia corner! Did you know his original design was a bishonen? That means he was supposed to look like one of those hot anime dudes. Of course, I think that's why they changed it. If he wasn't in such a cartoony style, people might've taken his creepiness even worse, so they basically made him full on cartoon relief. (Up until the end of his trial, when he shared his story) However, same with almost every character in this series, there is some sort of redemption for him. I dimly remember his FTE's, but I think it was along the lines of rediscovering what cooking meant for him. (Strangely sweet. "Mama" is brought back up again) Also, the ending of his trial sorta established him as a tragic character, just before his death, probably to give the player a reason to feel sorry for a character who (up to this point) was just creepy and weird. As for my personal opinion on him, neutral. He never "gets" anything, someone's there to stop Sonia from agreeing, it's definitely creepy but nothing ever happened from his endeavors so there's no deed to condemn him.
Mahiru: I think a lot of people (probably guys) disliked Mahiru because her first words to Hajime didn't give the best out of her personality. Once again, FTE's provide some clarification. I'm fairly neutral to her, I definitely don't hate her, but she isn't really a favorite of mine.
Peko: Most of my first impressions are from appearances, and I liked her design so I took more notice of her. It helped that the Let's player I was watching did an FTE of hers before her trial, so I got to see the Peko and hamster scene (which I found great). The whole "I'm just a tool" spiel kind of got tiring to me after a while, but considering her motivation that repetitiveness would make sense. I always like a good bond between two characters, whether it be romantic, sibling, or parent and child.
Ibuki: I feel like Ibuki is probably the only character who's happy 24/7 (at least, untroubled by significant matters, maybe a little down one day because of something minor). No way a bad thing, I found her great! Her antics were always fun for me to watch, seeing her end up being a victim depressed me. Even more so since she wasn't in her right mind at the time so we couldn't get to see the familiar Ibuki one last time before her death. Not the saddest I've felt at a death -- all of those are in V3 -- but she was something special.
Hiyoko: I hated her much more before than I do now (DR3 anime helped a bit). She was really nasty to the others and her insults weren't really imaginative or hard-hitting. Also, she targeted Mikan, who was already so emotionally weak. I guess her design also contributed in my hate at the time; I found it common for "cute"/"loli" characters to be exempt from their actions just because they were cute. I find that a fair amount of people like her. I will admit that she has a reason for acting the way she does (FTEs yet again) but I still can't really stand her bratty actions. Adding on: I couldn't really see the "change" that the game claimed. It wasn't until the DR3 anime. There was a certain scene where Hiyoko (post-growth spurt) was actually nice to Mikan for a brief second.
Mikan: I feel bad for her. I probably was more forgiving of Mikan's craziness because, again, FTEs. The Let's player I was watching finished all of Mikan's FTEs before her trial, giving me more insight into her character. The game's main story simply writes her off as a fan service character, and while she doesn't act much different in her FTEs, those moments are meant to be odd and disturbing rather than humorous. Mikan suffered from physical, emotional, and even sexual abuse, which is how she ended up the way she did. She became the Ultimate Nurse because she had to learn how to patch herself up, over and over again. She grew an unhealthy mindset; being bullied was better than being ignored, she thought to herself. I've seen some people speculate that when she "fell down", she did it on purpose so that people would notice her. All in all, a very damaged character. She was the weakest, mentally, so it's possible that Junko converted her to despair very easily. Also, Mikan's beloved was Junko. The Remembrance disease made her remember that she was Ultimate Despair. Stuff like this is why I dislike Junko as a human being. As a character, she's a great villain that makes you either hate her or love her. I wish she didn't reappear though, that kind of makes her redundant. I also feel like she's too powerful of a character and that she's involved in everything
Nekomaru: Dad friend indeed. He had his share of both comical and serious moments. Another winning point about him was his ability to accept and adapt. When Gundham came to kill him, he understood quickly and was prepared to do the same. No matter who died in that tower, as long as the rest are able to keep on living, their goal was accomplished. FTE's will strike once again! I think it sort of explains why he became a manager instead of an athlete.
Gundham: Fuahahahaha! I see you too have joined the da-- *cough* Great fan of him, though I can also understand why some might dislike him. He has on a persona constantly, so if you dislike the whole occult mystery vibe he has then he gets grating really fast. Not a problem for me though! Even through the main storyline, you can see his character underneath his mask. There was a point (I think) where Gundham remarked on how animals wouldn't judge you. His backstory is further elaborated in his FTEs, albeit obscured by his facade talk. The bromance between Hajime and Gundham at the end is so precious too! Gundham finally opens up, and it's to a person who accepts him as who he is.
Nagito: He's meh to me, honestly. The Let's player I watched didn't like him, I knew he had an overwhelming amount of fans, but I didn't lean to any particular side. I just couldn't get interested in him for some reason. Maybe it's because I have a certain V3 character on my mind who was called the "Nagito 2.0". I found him much more interesting than Nagito, so maybe I did have an opinion on Nagito once but it's been completely overshadowed by the new character.
Chiaki: I agree, she's almost too good to be true. It might also be the fact that she's a gamer, which made her slightly more relatable as the people playing the game are probably gamers themselves. Not to mention that she's probably voiced the player's thoughts more than once. There's a moment where she goes "Can you be quiet for a second, Nagito?" Which is probably what the player is thinking at the time. Out of all the Danganronpa characters, she gets the worst fate I think. Not just her AI self; the real Chiaki Nanami too.
Hajime: After Makoto's blank slate self, Hajime was so much more alive. He had more sass, more conflicts, more flaws, and one can see the emotions he feels (especially towards the end of the game). I think it's a nice touch how they changed the "sound" for the cut-ins during Chiaki's trial: he was either silent, or he said something like " but even so...!" Seeing him have a tearful sprite also helped, as Makoto was barely expressive at all. His reaction during the final trial was also something new. We see the same things as the last game; Makoto parading around with his Hope propaganda. However, we're not Makoto this time. This time, Makoto's an outsider who's pushing at the ones who will lose something either way.
Soda: Good boy indeed! Sonia's probably not the one for him though, as sad as it is. It's also interesting to find out that he has a reason for his odd appearance. (FTEs strike again). Seeing him excited about machines is another's plus for him in my book; I also love it when characters are able to do what they love to do, and all of Danganronpa's characters have a talent that they're passionate about so it happens much more often than in other series.
Fuyuhiko: One of the greatest 180 developements I've seen in this series. He went from a hated boy to a best boy. FTEs are super cute, especially the last one, new bromance in the making. He was a great help in the trials, and -- although he still had his language -- he was genuinely trying to work together with everyone. An example of this is when Hajime proved that the broken drumstick was just a diversion, he went "I can't believe I fell for that" instead of being grumbly that he was proven wrong. (A rarity. Most people would be more like "ok then" and move on) I kinda expected him to live to the end because of Peko's sacrifice, but I can sacrifice surprise for a good ending for him.
Sonia: She was so nice, almost unnaturally so. Her patience and willingness to forgive were so admirable. If the world was full of Sonias it would literally be heaven because it'd full of angels. I like how she had a nerdy side too, a classic prim and proper princess would've been too boring. Her chemistry with Gundham and how well they click together is my main reason for shipping her and Gundham over her and Soda. I don't want her to completely shun out Soda though, maybe just friends.
Akane: FTEs strike yet again! It doesn't change her character, but it shows why she has the mindset that she has and why she became the way she did. It's the magic of the FTE, where the characters show their most developed side. Some characters might get tossed to the side in the main story, but in their FTEs, it's just them and the player.
Sorry for the wall of text! Just a lot I wanted to get out ^^;