Yeah, if saw guy had been left out I think it would have been tighter.
I completely agree that there was already evidence of brainwashing going on, so I am totally okay with it being used, I just think the way DR3 did it was sloppy and detracted from the lore.
Maybe if it hadn’t been instantaneous and we got some scenes of the 77th Class trying to resist it or something I would’ve been more okay with it, but even in that post-anime interview, Kodaka’s attitude seemed to be “yeah, Junko just brainwashed ‘em and that’s that” which seems a little anticlimactic and not in an intentional, haha Modernism way.
I really like the idea of peddling a cure and duping people through their own desperate desires, because like I said, that happens ALL the time in real life and I think fiction teaching the audience how to recognize when they’re being played is a good thing.
With the Despair Novel in particular, I personally like the sort of King in Yellow-type vibe it gives off. The first chapter of DRT3 compares its creation with that of Victor Frankenstein–it’s an unexpected complication to an ambitious (and in Kibougamine’s case, well-meaning) plan where humanity reaches too far beyond its limits. I like the parallel that runs with the Kamukura Project and how it highlights that the school has lost sight of what the founding principles presumably were (and why I can’t see Naegi reopening the school in Kibou-hen as anything other than history repeating itself).
If you aren’t a fan of brainwashing in general I can see why it would bother you in either case, but for me there’s a huge difference between “mysterious, powerful object of nebulous origin revealed to be a product of man’s hubris” and “this one guy made this OP thing.”
So I guess it’s a matter of scale–I am fine with the Kamukura Project because it’s years of intensive work by many people at the top of their fields. The Shinsekai Program uses talents from at least 3 students. Monaka utilized the robo dev depatment of her family’s conglomerate. Junko steals and tweaks these huge, cooperative projects but isn’t making them by herself from scratch (even the original killing game might very well have been lifted from the Committee’s past Duel Noir system, and it required the help of at least two other people to pull off).