Chapter 4 of DR:AE convinces me that Touko Fukawa and Genocider Syo are becoming much more like one person. The fact that they share not only knowledge but also their feelings (something that we didn’t know in the first Danganronpa) reveals that despite their contrasting personalities, they both have people whom they love and whom they’d go to any lengths for.
Take the scene after Touko and Komaru’s (literal) fight. When Komaeda provokes Genocider Syo, the latter immediately slashes at Komaeda instead of Komaru—because Touko, after the fight, wanted Komaru to run away like she wanted without a backward glance. At that point, Genocider was getting ready to kill Komaeda. Like, literally kill even though she promised Byakuya-sama that she would never take another human life. Touko’s feelings for Komaru is shared by Genocider Syo, who was prepared to break her promise to her most loved one—not to mention relinquishing any chance of being an official Future Foundation member—in order to save Komaru.
Komaeda registers this as well, and curiously questions why a serial killer—someone who selfishly takes lives for the sake of sexual pleasure!—would have an actual friend whom she would sacrifice things for?
Well, as I’ve mentioned in the beginning, Touko and Genocider share feelings. They share their emotions but have different personalities—different people often use different ways to express their emotions, and this split personality girl does not differ.
Syo often cackles maliciously, aims sexual jibes at others, and generally demonstrates outrageous and mind-spinning behavior. I’m betting that most people before DR:AE regarded Genocider mostly as a comic relief character, or just someone entertaining, or some useless red herring designed to add more confusion to the second trial.
But then the God of All (Read: Kodaka) released possibly the best game in the series involving character development, showing that there’s so much more to Genocider Syo than a perverted serial killer with no conscience. She herself has feelings as well—but like her other personality, she has difficulty expressing them. Thus, she opts to kill to demonstrate her love (or rather sexual infatuation) for the many men, Touko being unable to do so due to previous heartbreak.
Touko Fukawa did not have any friends. By transition, nor has Genocider Syo—but I bet most (including I) have not thought of this, have believed that Genocider Syo does not care for friends since—as Komaeda mentioned—she’s a murderer.
However, Chapter 4 has proven that wrong. Touko struggles with feelings of loneliness—due to her family’s neglect and abuse of her, due to boys and men playing around with her heart, and due to the fact that no one ever believed in her because of the serial killer harboring inside her. Those feelings, as we now know, are inside Genocider, too.
Yup, Genocider Syo is a lonely person. It’s pretty funny, saying it out loud, but it’s true.
Back to the DR:AE scene. After Komaeda went on about how it’s rather strange that a serial killer involves herself in camaraderie, Genocider begins to giggle, then laugh in her usual loud way. Nothing strange, right? She laughs at the fact that Komaeda believed she and Komaru to be friends, in a what is clearly “that’s so fucking ridiculous I’m gonna snort” manner.
But then she snatches Komaeda’s hair, rejects the notion coldly, and furiously snarls, “Who the hell are you calling friends?”
Funnily enough, we never, or barely ever saw Genocider Syo, a serial killer, angry. All the men she killed were probably killed with a smile worn on her face, since she kills for pleasure. But now—she’s legitimately pissed, pissed at the fact that Komaeda is picking on her loneliness and the fact that she betrayed Komaru but is still called her friend. Genocider Syo hated it as much as Touko did—hated betraying the first ever person who trusted them and believed in them despite Touko’s perverted habits and Genocider being a serial killer.
That loud cackle, then… was probably Genocider’s way of concealing her true feelings. Like how Touko was saying terrible things to Komaru so that Komaru didn’t have to worry about her anymore.
Komaru then stops Syo from killing Komaeda and declares that she is going to stay with her. Genocider is visibly shocked by this, asking why Komaru even thought of doing such a thing when she was moaning about wanting to leave this whole time. (Touko would later do the same thing in the epilogue.) Syo couldn’t fathom any reason why Komaru would want to stay, because in fact, she was concerned for Komaru, and she desperately wanted Komaru to escape because that’s what Komaru originally wanted to do. Touko believed that her betrayal of Komaru would be the final straw that would cause the latter to leave her forever, but at the moment that hardly mattered, since she wanted to save Komaru. Those feelings carry over to Syo so that, for the first time in quite a long while, the two personalities agree on the same goal.
Komaru then says that she knows Touko and Syo are scared and lonely, that she can’t just run away and leave her by herself. Syo… just doesn’t get it, and if Touko were in her place, she wouldn’t have either—they wouldn’t understand that this declaration of Komaru’s is a declaration of friendship and loyalty. Neither Syo nor Touko have ever felt true friendship—thus, neither recognized that Komaru was still sticking with them despite the betrayal, because she understood them, and their inner emotions.
Genocider thrusts a pair of scissors at Komaru’s throat and tells her in plain terms, “I betrayed you.” It’s like—why didn’t she understand? I betrayed her, so this is the part where they would leave me without regrets, right? She’s wondering, why on earth would Komaru still stick with her? I believe that she thrusted the pair of scissors at her to scare her off even further, so that Komaru would know the true reality of things—the fact that Touko and Syo have backstabbed her.
But Komaru takes Syo’s hands in hers and that she understood that she had no choice, and that she wants to do what a friend would do for a friend—and that is to help her, even if Syo wouldn’t like it. Syo then makes a “tch!” noise and begins rambling about how Komaru’s speech was full of broad niceties and how anyone can say things they don’t mean, all in a “whatever” tone of voice. This is preeetttyy much tsundere behavior in a nutshell.
But the words really got to Syo. Indeed, she says that there’s no way she would ever dislike Komaru’s wanting to help—instead, she expresses her gratitude with her first ever “thank you” in her life. Despite everything she told Komaru, despite her betrayal and wanting Komaru to leave her, she was very much relieved, and incredibly grateful, that Komaru wasn’t going to abandon her after all. She was stammering and being really awkward and flustered, very much like Touko and not at all like her usual self. Then, she sneezes, and Touko appears, blushing like mad and tapping her fingers together, claiming that she heard everything.
I’m not sure if that’s really the case—I’m more inclined to believe that the overwhelming emotions Genocider Syo felt during their conversation were transferred to Touko. Their love for Komaru allowed them to work together for once—and the revelation of their shared feelings revealed that Syo has affection for Komaru too, contrary to what her usual behavior might suggest.
I am just so grateful towards DR:AE for developing Touko and Genocider—they’re truly great characters and their growth is the thing I treasure most out of the entire Danganronpa franchise.