The massive high school towers over the surrounding buildings, even in this urban area...
For decades, Hope's Peak Academy has been the pinnacle of education around the world. Every year, highly talented students from around the world are scouted to be invited into this school, where they will develop their talents to create a brighter future for the world. These two things are where the school gets its name.
Many people, including those who are highly talented themselves, dream of being selected to attend this school. They also dream of being like the many alumni who have become leaders in various industries after they graduate. It is often said that anyone who graduates from Hope's Peak Academy will be set for life, and these alumni are proof that this is true. Getting to attend Hope's Peak Academy and finding success later in life is a dream many people have held, but only a select few will ever get the chance to achieve this dream.
But out of everyone who dreams of attending Hope's Peak Academy, there are none that dream bigger than the young man who is standing at the entrance of this school, at least in his eyes. That young man's name is Hajime Hinata.
Hajime Hinata - Ultimate ???
Ever since he was young, Hajime has dreamed of attending Hope's Peak Academy, just like many people. He had a great admiration of the school and the people who graduated from it. It was this admiration that caught the attention of this school, and for that reason, he was invited to attend the school.
Or at least, that's how he remembered it. The truth is, the way he got into Hope's Peak Academy was a bit...different than how most people got into the school. How did he even get into Hope's Peak Academy? Well, Hajime doesn't know. All he knows is that Hope's Peak invited him one day and he accepted the offer without question. But that's a story for another time.
Hajime looked up at the school building as it towers over him, admiring how large Hope's Peak Academy is despite having so few students compared to other schools that are of similar size. He felt like he was an ant compared to the school, but that's to be expected. This is the most prestigious school in the world, after all. It's supposed to be large. After taking a look at the size of the building, Hajime took in a deep breath as he prepares to enter the school.
It's alright, Hajime, he thought to himself. You got this. Today is the day when your life in Hope's Peak begins. There's no need to fear.
With the confidence needed to enter Hope's Peak Academy, Hajime begins his first steps towards the main entrance of the building. Before he could get far, though, he heard a voice coming from behind him.
"Hey, you must be the new student, right?"
Hajime stopped where he was when he heard that voice. It sounded like a girl was talking to him. He wondered who it is. He turned around and saw...a girl who is around his age. Her hair is short and red, her eyes are olive green, and there are freckles across her cheeks if one looks close enough. She wears a white shirt with short sleeves, a red and white plaid tie, and a red pleated skirt. Her legs are covered with black socks that end below the knees, and her shoes are black as well. She has a digital camera near her right hips, which is attached to a strap that hangs from her left shoulder. Aside from her camera, there's no remarkable things to say about her.
Hajime thought about what to say in response to the girl's question. He had never met this girl before, but he tried his best to say something to her. "Uh...yeah," he said. "I'm...new here..."
The girl nodded as she heard the response. "I see..." she replied. "Well, I'm also new to this school. I was just scouted out by Hope's Peak Academy."
"For what?" Hajime asked. "And...who are you?"
The girl grabbed her camera and snapped a photo of Hajime, much to his surprise. She then pulled her camera away from her face. "I'm Mahiru Koizumi," she introduced herself. "The Ultimate Photographer. Nice to meet you."
Mahiru Koizumi - Ultimate Photographer
Hajime stared at Mahiru for a moment, unsure of what to say.
Mahiru grew curious about Hajime. "What about you?" she asked. "What's your name?"
Hajime hesitated for a moment to introduce himself. "I'm...Hajime Hinata..." he said.
Mahiru stared at Hajime for a moment, expecting him to say something else. "What? That's it?" she said. "Is that all you have to say about yourself? Just your name? What about your talent? You must have one since you're in Hope's Peak Academy. Do you remember why Hope's Peak Academy invited you?"
Hajime tried his best to remember how he got to Hope's Peak Academy in the first place. He knows that he had a great admiration of the school, but he felt like there's another reason why he's here. But no matter how hard he tried, his mind ended up blank. He was unable to give a response about why he was invited to attend this school.
Mahiru sighed after not hearing a response from Hajime for a few seconds. "It looks like you don't remember your talent," she said. "That's fine. I'm sure you'll remember your talent eventually, Hinata..." She paused for a moment after saying that name. "Actually, that name sounds quite feminine, and it feels...weird to call a man by a feminine name."
"Well, that is my family name..." Hajime replied. "It's not like I had a choice..."
"I know..." Mahiru replied. She thought about a solution to this minor issue for a moment and came up with one. She doesn't appear comfortable with the solution, though. "I'm not sure if I'm okay with this, but is it okay if I refer to you by your given name? You know...your first name?"
"Uh...sure?" Hajime replied. "I guess..."
"Good," Mahiru said. "Well, enough talk. We've spent enough time introducing ourselves. Let's get moving and get to our class. I'm sure our classmates are waiting for us. Come on."
Hajime and Mahiru began to walk towards the front doors of Hope's Peak Academy. They open the doors together and stepped inside, beginning their life inside the most prestigious school in the world.
But when Hajime and Mahiru entered the building, something strange happened. Instead of an entrance hall like what they had expected, they entered what seems to be a classroom filled with students. The students in the classroom turn their heads towards them as soon as they heard the door open.
"Uh...what?" Hajime said in reaction.
"Huh? That's strange," Mahiru said. "Why are we in a classroom all of a sudden? We were just outside."
Then, one of the students spoke up. "Um...are you two feeling alright?" a girl with long blonde hair asked. "You two look pale. Is there something wrong?"
Hajime and Mahiru were too confused to come up with a response. There was something about this classroom that felt...off to them, and they don't know why they're feeling this way.
Another person then spoke up. This person looks a bit older than the other students. In fact, she might not be a student. She looks more like she's their teacher. The woman has long, orange hair and is wearing an apron over her light blue dress.
"Ah! You're finally here!" the woman said in a cheerful tone. "I was wondering when you two will show up. Excellent! With those two now here, we now have 14 students in this classroom!"
"But...aren't there sixteen desks in this classroom?" a pink haired girl said. She appears to be playing a game on a handheld console.
"Yeah, we're missing two students," a boy in a yellow jumpsuit said. "By the way, who are we missing?"
The orange-haired woman looked at the list of students. "Hmm...I don't know," she said. "There's enough space on this list for sixteen names, yet I can only see fourteen. I'm not sure who we're missing." The woman studied the list for a few more moments. "Oh well. I guess they'll be missing out on class. How about we just move on?"
There's a man standing next to the orange-haired woman. His hair is white and his suit is white. He let out a sigh. "Finally..." he said.
Hajime and Mahiru looked around the classroom to see who their classmates are. Aside from the people who spoke, there's a busty girl with a red athletic jacket wrapped around her waist; a man wearing a long jacket and scarf, accompanied by hamsters which are on his shoulders; a short girl in a kimono; a girl that's dressed like a punk, with black hair that has blue, pink, and white streaks on it; a girl with choppy looking hair wearing a nurse's outfit; a sickly looking boy with white hair that is colored on the tips; a big, muscular man that's even taller than the man in white; a timid looking boy who looks like he didn't get enough sleep; and a short boy with a pompadour wearing an apron.
In total, there are sixteen people in the classroom: fourteen students and two adults. Well, the large, muscular man looks like an adult, but he might be younger than he looks.
As he looked around the classroom, Hajime can't help but feel that something...off had happened. "I...I don't understand," he said as he scratched his head. "How did we get to this classroom? I mean, we were just outside the school building a moment ago, and then we walked through some doors and end up here. What's going on here?"
"Oh, that's simple to explain!" the orange-haired woman replied. "You entered this classroom through the hallway!"
"The hallway?" Mahiru said. "What hallway? I don't remember walking through a hallway to get to this classroom."
The man in white stared at Hajime and Mahiru. "...Did you two forget how you get into this classroom?" he asked.
Hajime and Mahiru have nothing to say, as their minds end up blank.
"...Just as I thought," the man in white said. "You two are just like the rest of us."
"The rest of you guys?" Hajime said, looking puzzled. "What do you mean?"
"We were all outside the school building," the man in white began to explain. "We all remembered seeing the school building from outside. But the moment we entered the front doors, our minds went blank. And then, we found ourselves here in this classroom with no memory of how we got here."
"I must say, that is strange," the orange-haired woman added. "Almost as strange as the fact that we're missing two students and don't know who they are."
"Everyone getting blank minds as soon as they enter this school," the pompadour boy said. "Something tells me that this can't just be a coincidence..."
"So, you're saying that you think someone is responsible for this?" the blonde girl asked.
"But who could be responsible for this?" the muscular man asked.
The kimono girl turned towards the nurse girl and pointed a finger towards her. "I'll say that it must be her who's responsible!" she said. "She's the one to blame!"
The nurse girl cowered in fear. "Eek!" she shrieked. "Please! D-Don't blame me! It's not my fault!"
"Saionji! Knock it off!" the orange-haired woman scolded. "I expect you to treat your classmates better this time. Understand?"
Several pairs of eyes turn on the girl named Saionji, as if they disapproved of her actions. Saionji doesn't seem to care, however.
"So we have no idea of who's responsible for this," the boy in a jumpsuit said. "Great. So what now? Is there anything we can do?"
Suddenly, the timid boy realized something. "W-Wait...hold on," he said. "Can we...get out?"
Everyone's eyes then turn on the timid boy, which made him even more anxious. This made the timid boy attempt to get out of the classroom. He ran towards the door and tried to slid it open, but for some reason the door wouldn't budge.
"C-Come on!" the timid boy said as he tried to open the door. "Open up! Please! Get me out of here!"
"Hey, step outta my way," the busty girl said as she moved the timid boy away from the door. "You're clearly not strong enough to do that. Let me handle this!" She then attempted to open the door, but it wouldn't budge as well. "Damn door! Why won't you open?!"
Everyone then realized that they're trapped in this classroom with no way of escaping it.
"What? The door is locked?" the orange-haired woman said. "Impossible! I don't remember locking that door after the last two students entered this classroom."
"Aw shit!" the muscular man shouted. "I really wanted to take a shit!"
"T-This is bad!" the nurse girl said. "W-What if someone gets injured? W-We would have no way of t-treating the injuries..."
"M-My project!" the timid boy cried. "What about my project? I-I really need to work on it. It has a deadline!"
"Oh, don't worry about it," the punk girl said in a cheerful tone, oddly enough. "I'm sure you'll find an opportunity to work on that project of yours soon."
Mahiru watched as the busty girl continued to try to force the door open. She began to feel irritated at the sight of the locked door. "This doesn't make any sense!" she shouted. "We just went through that door and it opened up just fine! How did it even get locked in the first place?!"
At this point, the busty girl gave up trying to open the door. "Ugh, I can't do this," she said. "It felt like my arms were breaking faster than that door."
Everyone then went into silence for several seconds as a dreadful feeling began to fill the room.
"So...what's going on here?" Hajime asked. "Why are we trapped inside this classroom?"
"Maybe this is some cruel prank someone decided to pull on us," Saionji suggested. "It must be that girl because she looks suspicious."
"Eek!" the nurse girl cried. "Why me?"
The orange-haired woman let out a frustrated sigh as she shook her head. "Oh Saionji..." she said. "When will you change?"
"M-Maybe...something is happening outside, forcing us to remain trapped in this classroom," the boy in a jumpsuit suggested.
"My extraordinary senses don't detect any disturbances beyond the walls of this room," the boy with hamsters said.
The man in white looked out the windows of the classroom. "I don't see anything outside of these windows," he said. "All I see is a white light."
Mahiru then began to ponder about the reason behind their imprisonment. "So if it's neither of those things," she said, "then what is it? Why are we stuck inside this classroom?"
The sickly boy then spoke up. "Perhaps...this must be...the entrance exam," he suggested.
Everyone then turned towards the sickly boy with baffled looks on their faces.
"...An entrance exam?" the blonde girl asked.
"Impossible!" the orange-haired woman said in dismissal. "There's no way that this is an entrance exam. Everyone knows that Hope's Peak doesn't have any entrance exams. Every student that comes to this school was scouted out and then invited. That's how this school works!"
"Even if this really is an entrance exam," Mahiru added, "how would you consider this an entrance exam? Is this Hope's Peak Academy's idea of what an entrance exam really is?"
"Maybe..." the sickly boy replied. "It's possible that this is actually a special entrance exam, made specifically for us to participate in."
"No, that's wrong!" a new voice exclaimed. "This is not an entrance exam!"
Everyone jumped as soon as they heard the new voice.
"Huh?" the orange-haired woman said as she looked back and forth around the classroom. "Who said that?"
"It's me!" the new voice replied.
Everyone jumped upon hearing the new voice again.
"It's that voice again," the man in white said. His body then began to tense up. "Where is it coming from?"
"I'm right here!" the new voice said.
"That voice..." the orange-haired woman said. "It sounded so loud, as if it is right next to me..."
The gamer girl then looked towards the orange-haired woman. "It sounded like...the voice is coming from the teacher's desk," she said.
The orange-haired woman then turned towards the girl who said that. "What?" she said. "The teacher's desk?"
Suddenly, a whirlwind of sparkles began to form above the teacher's desk, right in front of the orange-haired woman. Everyone was startled at the sight of the sparkles. The man in white drew out his sword, ready to attack whoever shows up. Then, the whirlwind of sparkles forms into a rabbit, which lands on the teacher's desk. The rabbit is white and is standing on two legs. It wears a pink bib, a gold necklace, a bow on one of the ears, and a pink and white frilly skirt. On its hands is a staff topped with two hearts and a pair of wings.
Everyone was bewildered upon seeing this strange rabbit. They are having so many questions about this.
"W-What...is that...?" the blonde girl asked in shock.
"Looks like a stuffed animal to me," Saionji replied.
"That's right," the rabbit said in a baby-like tone. "I'm a soft stuffed animal, who happens to be alive. Go ahead. Squeeze me as hard as you want! I won't be hurt at all!"
The orange-haired woman raised an eyebrow as she looked at the rabbit in front of her. "Ahem, excuse me," she said. "Who are you?"
The man in white tightened his grip on his sword. "What are you doing here?" he asked threateningly. "How did you get here? You'd better not do anything to us!"
"Please, calm down," the rabbit ordered. "I do not mean to cause any harm to you. I'm Magical Miracle Girl Usami! You can just call me Usami if you want."
The man in white stared at the rabbit for a few more moments, wondering if she really is harmless as she said. He then put his sword away, storing it in its sheath.
"Okay, so you're just some strange stuffed rabbit," the orange-haired woman said. "You don't intend to cause any harm to anyone, so that's good. But, I have one question to ask you: why are you here?"
"Oh, that's easy!" Usami replied. "I'm the teacher of this classroom!"
"Excuse me?!" the orange-haired woman gasped. "Are you trying to take my role from me? I'm the teacher of this class, not you!"
Everyone watched as Usami and the orange-haired woman argued against each other over which one of them is the teacher of this class. They can't help but feel like something strange is going on with that rabbit.
"Uh...am I hallucinating?" the pompadour boy asked. "Am I the only one who's seeing that rabbit?"
"Nah, I saw it too," the boy in a jumpsuit said.
"Me three!" the punk girl added.
"S-So...it's definitely not an hallucination..." the nurse girl said.
"What's up with that talking chihuahua?" the busty girl asked.
The boy with hamsters turned towards the busty girl with a disapproving look. "A chihuahua?" he asked in bewilderment. "What happened to your sensors that caused you to mistake a rabbit for a chihuahua?"
The muscular man stared at the busty girl and facepalmed over her mistake.
"W-What kind of s-stuffed animal is that thing?" the timid boy asked. "H-How is it able to move on it's own?"
"Maybe it's some kind of remote control toy," the sickly boy suggested.
"You think so?" the boy in a jumpsuit replied. "I...doubt that it's really a toy. The movements look too lifelike."
As the students continued to talk among themselves, the man in white spoke to the orange-haired woman. "Any luck?" he asked.
The orange-haired woman let out a frustrated sigh. "It's no use..." she said. "That rabbit refuses to accept that I'm the teacher of this class, not her."
"Aw, that's okay," Usami replied. "You can be the chaperone of this school trip!"
Everyone stopped talking as soon as Usami mentioned that there's going to be a school trip.
"...School trip?" the man in white asked. "What do you mean there's a school trip?"
"That's strange," the orange-haired woman said. "I don't remember Hope's Peak Academy organizing a school trip for us to take."
"Trust me," Usami said. "We are going on a school trip!"
"To where?" the orange-haired woman asked.
"Oh, you'll see when we get there," Usami replied. "Now, before we go, let me check who's in this classroom. Let's see, there are thirteen students in this classroom and three adults."
"Thirteen?" the orange-haired woman gasped. "What do you mean there's thirteen students in this classroom? The last time I checked, there are fourteen students!"
The muscular man raised his hand. "I'm a student," he said. "I might not look like it, but I'm the same age as the rest of my classmates!"
"You look a bit old to be a high school student," Mahiru remarked.
"Ah, so that man is not an adult!" Usami said. "He's really a high school student! My bad! Okay, so there are fourteen students in this classroom and two adults. That looks great! Okay, get ready everyone, because we're ready to depart for the school trip!"
Before anyone could say anything, Usami waved her wand in the air, creating a trail of sparkles. As she waved her wand, the entire classroom began to vibrate, as if an earthquake was happening. Wait, this doesn't look like an earthquake, as the ceiling looked like it was about to open up. Then, like a box, the classroom walls and ceiling opened up, revealing a tropical paradise. The group found themselves in a beach, surrounded by palm trees, an ocean on one side, and some rocky terrain on the other. It...was a bizarre experience to put it lightly.
"What...the hell is this?" Hajime said.
"Huh? What happened?" Mahiru gasped. "What's going on here?"
"Ugh, there's sand all over my sandals!" Saionji complained. "I hate sand!"
"This doesn't make any sense!" the orange-haired woman shouted. "What are we doing here in the middle of a beach? The last time I checked, we were in Hope's Peak Academy!"
"I don't understand what's going on," the man in white said. "What just happened? How did this classroom turn into a beach?"
"Everyone, calm down," Usami ordered. "There's no need to panic. This is our destination for our school trip! Feast your eyes on the beautiful ocean! The waves washing in and out will make your heart feel cleaner."
"W-Wait, hold on," the timid boy said as he began to shiver. "W-Where...are we?"
The boy in a jumpsuit stared out into the ocean trying to find land. "I don't see anything on the horizon," he said. "Just some clouds and the ocean."
"W-Wait, does that mean...?" the timid boy began to ask.
"Yep! We're on a group of islands in the middle of an ocean!" Usami answered.
The timid boy then let out a horrified scream.
"Hey, what's with all the screaming, little guy?" the busty girl asked. "We're only on some islands."
"What about my work?!" the timid boy cried. "I-I have so many projects I haven't finished!"
The blonde girl then became concerned about something. "I...I don't understand..." she said. "We were just at the school a moment ago...and now we're here by the sea... This is impossible... How did we even get here?"
"Yeah, why are we on a school trip all of a sudden?" the punk girl asked. "Why didn't we take a boat or a plane to get on these islands? What happened between us being at Hope's Peak Academy and us being here in the middle of an ocean?!"
"Well..." Usami said before being quiet for a few moments. "I know that you're concerned about Hope's Peak Academy, but please forget about that school for now. We're on a school trip! We're here to relax?"
"Relax?" the orange-hair woman questioned. "You took us from a school all the way to these islands! Why would we relax?"
The man in white drew his sword and pointed it at Usami. "Explain to me, you silly little rabbit," he said. "What are you planning to do with us? Are you scheming something?"
"Hwah?!" Usami gasped upon seeing the sword. "Please, put that sword down! I promise! I do not intend to cause harm to anyone! I'm only doing this for everyone's sake! I'm praying from the bottom of my heart that hope will grow within everyone's heart!"
The sickly boy raised an eyebrow. "...Hope?" he quietly asked.
"I promise, there's nothing dangerous on these islands," Usami said. "You're all safe here. There's nothing to worry about while you're on this wonderful school trip!"
"...Are you sure about that?" the sickly boy asked.
"Of course I'm sure!" Usami replied. "I made sure that there's no hazards to be found anywhere on these islands! As long as you are careful, you should be okay! Just as a reminder, causing violence or inflicting pain is a big no-no on these islands."
"But what if I wanna fight someone?" the busty girl asked. "I like to challenge others into a fight!"
"I'm sorry, but it's best if you avoid trying to cause any big fights," Usami advised. "I don't want to see anyone getting hurt."
The busty girl sulked in disappointment.
"Okay, everyone!" Usami began to announce. "It's time for this school trip to officially be started! While you all relax on this paradise, I expect you to get along and strengthen your bonds with your classmates! That is the main purpose of this heart-throbbing school trip!"
The two adults looked shocked upon hearing the purpose of the school trip, as well as the name Usami decided to give to this school trip.
"Heart-throbbing school trip...?" the man in white asked. "What?"
"That's...a strange name to give to a school trip..." the orange-haired woman remarked.
"Now then," Usami continued. "Let the heart-throbbing school trip begin!"
"So what's the current status of the program?"
"So far, everything is working as intended. Nothing bad is happening."
"Good. The last thing I want is to see another killing game happening again. We've already been though enough pain already. I don't want to see anyone suffer in the same way we did..."
"Are you sure that my classmates and my former teacher will be fine?"
"They're going to be fine, brother. Just trust our coworkers. They know what they're doing."
"I know. It's just...we're responsible for making sure a Future Foundation official...our boss...is safe as well. The Future Foundation is putting heavy pressure on us to make this program a success. If we fail...we would have nowhere else to go..."
"Young master, there's no need to worry. As long as we have each other, nothing will stop us."
"I can't believe the Ultimate Despair has a spy hidden in the Future Foundation for so long."
"We should be lucky that we caught the spy before they could cause any more damage. If we didn't, then...one of us might not be in this room with us..."
"I still have nightmares about that woman who's about to kill me... I really hope she gets cured like the others..."
*sigh* "If only they had heard my warnings... We could've prevented our boss from being corrupted by despair..."
"It's a real shame. We were so busy trying to fight against the Ultimate Despair that we didn't realize that one of us is a member of that group..."
"Look, let's not lament that we didn't prevent this sooner. There's still time for us to cure these patients of despair. If nothing goes wrong, these people will be free from despair and the world will return to normal in a few years."
"But what if something did go wrong? What if something happens to these patients that we didn't expect?"
"...Let's not let anything go wrong, okay?"