A link symbol  Originally written on December 22, 2020

I wish more people knew about personality disorders, because, while I see lots of things for characters in Danganronpa being coded with different types of disabilities and disorders, I haven't seen many people talk about how Mondo has insanely obvious BPD (borderline personality disorder). So, I'm here to deliver on the meta analysis literally nobody but me asked for!

Please note that all information on BPD provided is from my own experiences as a person with BPD, and what I know from my extensive psychology research!

1. Compulsive behavior, impulsivity, and lack of restraint

Mondo's impulsivity when he's angered is one of his more notable character traits, made obvious as early on, in-game, as the prologue, where he tells Monokuma he doesn't know what he is, but, either way, he'll "rip (him) to fuckin' shreds!" Him threatening violence is actually really common throughout the game, but that was the example that immediately came to mind, due to it being very early on.

Then again, we also know that they aren't just empty threats, either, because he does end up punching Makoto and knocking him out. However; in the anime, at least; he later apologizes to Makoto, once he's calmed down.

That's what having BPD is a lot about; you get angry fast, act faster, but feel really guilty once you're calm.

We also see his impulsivity in the fact that he is a blackened, and how his murder played out. He did not plan out hurting Chihiro, like Celeste and Sayaka had. It was an impulse decision that he later regretted, like punching Makoto had been.

2. Hostility and irritability

Because Mondo's impulsive behaviors actually link directly to his hostility, and because his issues with anger is one of his more notable character traits, I do not feel a need to dive too deeply into this one. But it goes without saying that Mondo acts like a stereotypical gang leader and delinquent, which means he curses a lot, and is rude and irritable.

Notably, Makoto, when meeting Mondo, picked up on this character trait, realizing Mondo could become easily aggressive, so he kept their conversation short, noting, 'I'd better be careful around him. One wrong word and I could wake up at the bottom of the sea...' Obviously, when introducing a character, you want to introduce their main character traits, and Mondo's hostility and quickness to anger being what is immediately pointed out about him (along with his Ultimate) shows how important it is.

3. Insecurity and feelings of worthlessness/emptiness

The reason that Mondo ended up killing Chihiro was that, when Chihiro was talking poorly about herself, saying that she was weak, Mondo thought that she was mocking him by saying all the things he thought about himself. It's talked about, during the trial, how Mondo feels responsible for his brother's death; even thinking of himself as his brother's murderer, if Monokuma's phrasing is to be believed, instead of the clear accident that it was; and how he has a severe complex with weakness, which he represses by constantly telling himself that he is strong.

In his free time events, he also talks about how he feels like he deserves to be punished for just doing whatever he felt like, and how he feels like he's 'maxed out', and is now 'empty'. 'Empty', in particular, is an interesting choice of words, as 'chronic feelings of emptiness' is one of the nine DSM-5 criteria for borderline personality disorder.

4. A shifting and/or distorted sense of self

Like I mentioned , Mondo has a weakness complex, and he represses it by telling himself he's strong. He goes from worrying he's weak, to reassuring himself he's strong, over and over; it's on display very clearly in the trial.

4. Risk-taking behaviors

I mean... He's in a GANG.

Half-jokes aside. I've already talked about Mondo's tendency to threaten violence, and start fights, and that all applies here, too. We'll also go into this a little bit more in 'favorite people'.

4. Splitting

'Splitting' is a term for the subconscious coping mechanism in people with BPD to protect themselves from intense negative feelings. When they're hurt, they can tell themselves the other person is just cruel and bad, rather than accepting that they believe that they are being rejected. This leads to people with BPD getting very angry, very quickly, at people who they think are rejecting them. It's essentially, "You're doing something that hurts me, intentionally or not? Then you're terrible, and have always been terrible, so I don't have to feel bad about it." (Although, again, this is subconscious, and often not something that someone with BPD can stop when they're aware of it.)

I'll talk more about examples of this with Mondo in 'favorite people', but I think that, when Chihiro talks about getting stronger, and Mondo gets very mad very quickly at her, he's splitting. He thinks that Chihiro is mocking him by intentionally bringing up his weakness (making Chihiro a 'bad person'), instead of accepting that she had unintentionally mentioned something Mondo was insecure about. "You hurt me, so you're obviously mocking me, so you're terrible and I don't have to feel bad about myself; I'm still strong, you're just bad." And even, in the heat of the moment, "I don't have to feel bad about killing you."

I believe Mondo's lines, 'I felt like I could hear something starting to... Creak. Something... Inside my head,' is Mondo actively describing how splitting feels for him. "Creaking" implies that something is shifting. Something shifting inside his head; that's what splitting feels like, from firsthand experience.

5. Favorite people

Although it seems to be a community-chosen term, 'favorite person' (often shortened to FP) is a misleading turn of phrase. A BPD person's favorite person is not necessarily their favorite person. It is a phrase that describes the person they have an intense attachment to. People with BPD often experience intense attachment to a person, with that person's opinion often determining that person's mood, identity, or worth. They also tend to be the person that someone with BPD splits on the most. They tend to deeply idolize this person.

I'm sure you already know where I'm going with this, but I think that Daiya was Mondo's favorite person. Monokuma describes Mondo as holding nothing but respect for his older brother, and the only one Mondo felt like he could trust; 'the epitome of the starry-eyed kid brother'. It was because of Daiya that Mondo was interested in biking in the first place. This is the idolizing that I mentioned. However, the splitting I also mentioned is also talked about by Monokuma, when he states that Daiya's greatness started to gnaw on Mondo. The race Mondo challenged Daiya to was not only something impulsive and risk-taking, which are two other symptoms, but I also believe it likely took place when Mondo was splitting on his brother.

I think we even have a second example of Mondo having a FP; Taka.

It makes sense that Taka grows extremely attached to Mondo very quickly; he hasn't had any friends before. But it makes less sense for Mondo, who has a whole gang behind him. I think it's because Taka became Mondo's FP over the night they spent together.

6. Dissociation or memory disturbances

People with BPD sometimes suffer from dissociation, and/or having disturbances in their memory. This would explain one of, what I think to be, more odd things about Mondo's recollection of Chihiro's murder; that he can't recall the actual murder itself. He says he doesn't remember anything in between proclaiming he's stronger than Daiya and seeing Chihiro at his feet. This is, in my opinion, probably due to dissociation, or just his BPD causing him memory issues..

Again, I feel like if personality disorder symptoms were more common knowledge, this would be treated as semi-canon by the DR fanbase, or at least more people would talk about how he's BPD-coded. But it's not! So please consider this me trying to make this more common knowledge.