Theory time: Komaeda is Tengan’s other “project”
Hi, yes, hello, I am here with a wild theory that might be proven totally wrong, but makes total sense to me, so FOLLOW ALONG.
First of all, there’s this scene from episode 5 of Mirai Hen. Tengan told Munakata that he was wrong to think that killing all of the Despairs would birth hope. For that end, “they” began "the project”. Munakata interprets what he says as the Kamukura Project, but then Tengan replies with “Yes, there’s that” as if there were some other project. I’m sure people have noticed this before.
In English it’s not very obvious. For clarification, what he says is “そんなものもあったな” which does indeed imply that there’s something besides the Kamukura Project. A clearer way of wording his line would’ve been “Well, there’s that too.”
Now, since it hasn’t been clear up until now what that other project might be, I’m here to propose the idea that Komaeda was involved.
“Komaeda?” you say. “But there’s no way he’ll come back! There are only a couple episodes left!”
It wouldn’t be a twist if you could catch it that easily.
Ah, hm, you know… Wasn’t this whole episode kind of weird? There were a lot of things in it that made me think that we would see a resolution to Komaeda’s character eventually. For instance, when Yukizome slaps him and says he isn’t trash, it made me think that we’d see the moment when he finally realizes he isn’t trash. Likewise, there was the scene where he ran into the big dog that had once been a small dog, something that was the opposite of his stated beliefs about the world. Not to mention, there was also the part at the end where Yukizome told the class to give him a warm welcome when he returned - which they have not yet. All of these scenes are unresolved as they are. They were meant to push Komaeda forward, but they haven’t yet.
On a related note…
That scene where Yukizome spoke to Komaeda was very visually similar to this scene between Hinata and Nanami in the previous episode. As we already know, Nanami’s words weren’t able to prevent Hinata from joining the Kamukura Project. I wonder if Yukizome’s words were able to stop Komaeda from making a similar decision… NOW THEN, CARRYING ON.
Now here’s where things get really interesting. Kirigiri Jin was always the one who most strongly supported the random selection of a “lucky” student. We know this from the novel “Naegi Makoto’s Worst Day Ever” (which Kodaka insisted that everyone read for some reason before this episode…) Jin had to struggle to get the school committee (you know, those creepy guys who sat around in a dark room awaiting Hinata’s decision) to select another lucky student for the 78th class (Naegi). However… He convinced them by bringing up Komaeda.
Yeah… Komaeda. The one who they wanted to expel, apparently.
Why would they change their minds and agree to accepting another lucky student after being reminded of the guy who could’ve blown up the whole school? Furthermore, they sounded intimidated by him. As soon as he was mentioned, they stopped talking. Mind you, Jin was using Komaeda as a selling point to them. That sounds like some strange logic to me. If I were him, I would’ve wanted to make sure everyone forgot about that incident.
Jin reminded them of Komaeda - a danger to himself and everyone around him - and yet that made them agree to having another lucky student despite their intimidation. These were men who thought luck was a totally useless “talent”, but suddenly they changed their minds when they remembered its immense and destructive capabilities.
This might just be me overthinking things here. The word he says here is “shuubousha” (首謀者) but the word the series usually uses for “mastermind” is “kuromaku” (黒幕). They both mean the same thing, though. I do think that Tengan was the mastermind of the DR3 killing game, but this line still made me go “Wait, what?”
Kizakura said “Luck is scary, ain’t it?” and there was this very slow zoom in on Komaeda’s profile image as if it were something significant that we were supposed to focus on and think about. Insert shots are important like that. That kind of line combined with that kind of shot would have been more likely to be seen before Komaeda did something “scary”. So what else is there?
I’ll also point out that Komaeda’s picture is cast in shadow. People have mentioned this about other shots in the show relating to the Despairs.
This insert shot of Komaeda’s class profile picture reminded me a lot of…
This shot of Hinata’s. (Which is very bright. I wonder if that’s significant?)
Following his suspension, Komaeda was missing for six months.
So was Hinata - because Hinata was involved in the Kamukura Project.
There’s just too much suspicion surrounding Komaeda’s absence. I ended up writing an entire story about it and I realized that everything that happens - from Komaeda being on a plane when he’s terrified of planes to his inexplicable knowledge when he returns to school - can be explained if you assume that he was a part of the Kamukura Project or some similar project. You know, like that other one that Tengan didn’t mention by name.
Throughout the series, I’ve wondered what Hope’s Peak’s fascination with luck was about. Hope and despair are nebulous ideas, but they’re treated like physical things with tangible power in the DR universe. Luck is treated the exact same way. Remember, Komaeda introduces himself in SDR2 by saying “I am Luck.” His SHSL title is literally “Ultimate (Good) Luck”, which sounds very similar to Ultimate Despair and Ultimate Hope.
Wouldn’t it be something if that other project was based around luck instead of hope?
Like, really think about it with me for a second here. Kamukura is probably NOT what the original founder of Hope’s Peak had envisioned when he created the academy for the purpose of cultivating a “perfect genius”. Kamukura is an emotionless killing machine.
And then there’s Komaeda, who appears to be capable of doing anything as long as his luck permits. Hmm… If only they could harness that somehow… That sure sounds like something the committee (and most likely Tengan) would have been interested in.
By the way, as a neato note, Tengan mentioned the other project in episode 5 of Mirai Hen. That came directly after Komaeda blew up the gym in episode 4 of Zetsubou Hen. As we know, whatever happens in one episode is relevant to the one after it.
One last thing…
What Komaeda said here was “君は…？” That could have been “Who are you?” like the subs assumed, but when I first watched it raw, I interpreted it as “You’re…?” In other words, the line is just ambiguous enough to let you assume that he may have recognized him.
Oh, and if you’re worried about Komaeda still being a Despair or a bad guy now…
Here’s another insert shot from episode 7 that vouches for his innocence.
Yeah, Saionji. I wonder what he was doing.