Random Curiosity

Bungou Stray Dogs – 05 »« Bungou Stray Dogs – 01

Bungou Stray Dogs – 02, 03, 04

「或る爆弾」 (Aru Bakudan )
“A Certain Bomb”

「ヨコハマギャングスタアパラダヰス」 (Yokohama Gyandasutaa Parudasu)
“Yokohama Gangster Paradise “

「運命論者の悲み」 (Unmeironsha no Himi)
“The Tragedy of the Fatalist”

When I first started Bungou Stray Dogs, I thought the premiere was solid but nothing special in terms of plot or execution. It was beautifully animated (and still is) but didn’t really stand out at all besides all the hype around it. Having seen the first 4 episodes now, I definitely recommend that anyone in the same boat I was, give the series the 3-episode test. It certainly has its quirks and uniqueness, but it’s simply a very enjoyable series with a great cast of characters, setting for the series and brings action every week. Honestly, episode 3 was really what sold it for me so go go go!

I’m not the typical audience for this type of series, but I still find myself very drawn to Atsushi, Osamu and Doppo (especially Osamu) regardless. Along with Tanizaki Junichirou (Toyonaga Toshiyuki) and Yosano Akiko (Shimamura Yuu), the dynamics within the Armed Detective Company are fun to watch and feel lighthearted; but deceivingly so. While the first few episodes (and the latest episode 4) demonstrate that the agency has a great cast of characters that can hang out and look out for one another, there’s a deeper story beneath the surface. I like how there’s an underlying issue or conflict between the Port Mafia and the Agency that isn’t simply bad vs. good – that’s like your traditional gangster mob movie with superpowers. No – I like how Bungou Stray Dogs still tries to be different and even though it’s not entirely groundbreaking and extraordinary, it still pulls me in and makes the story very inviting to watch. The characters are not extremely stupid or lazy or calm and aloof, they actually do stuff that makes sense. They’re not stereotypes for the sake of being stereotypes or acting as a catalyst for the story, they are a lot more relatable and behave like humans would. Of course, it’s anime so you’ll get the comedy and supernatural elements that naturally occur with the medium but I haven’t found a well-rounded cast that I’ve liked this much in a while.

Speaking of the comedy, I’ve heard a lot of yays or nays about it and I for one, am on the yay side. I can see how and why it might turn people off but comedy is very subjective so you can’t please everyone. I enjoy seeing the over-exaggerated scenes of happiness and sadness coming from Atsushi and Osamu’s jokes (even if they’re about suicide) and even the sarcasm isn’t bad. In all honesty, as long as the scenes isn’t badly timed, I enjoy seeing the brief moments of humor. The action is just as good as I’d expect from Bones and it doesn’t disappoint. I love the character designs, the animation and the fluidity of the scenes – it doesn’t miss a beat. Episode 3 really captures my attention from the introduction of Akutagawa Ryuunosuke (Ono Kensho) to the ending when Atsushi transforms and everything in between. I love seeing these types of stories unfold that give you all the information you need at the time and then spinning it around for a plot twist. Hence why seeing Osamu appear at the end was no surprise but then they reveal his big secret. Like I said – it’s not jaw-dropping, but the delivery of it was so on point. SO! This series passes the 3-episode test.

Episode 4 turned out to be quite anticlimactic at the end and a much more toned down episode. With a follow-up to episode 3, I was expecting something more interesting or more explanations in general. However, we see more of what’s going inside Atsushi’s head and usually when the MC goes through this inner struggle of running away or staying and contemplating life’s dilemmas, it can takes many episodes to get over. I thought this episode handled it nicely without being overly the top angst and emo but still made it fun with a bit of comedy. With a name like “Black Lizard” and the reputation that they hold, it’s kind of sad to see them taken down so easily when it was a raid that they orchestrated. Thus why I thought the episode ended fairly tame but that’s alright, I’m sure the Black Lizard will be back. Meanwhile though, there’s still a lot going on in the background to set the story up for future episodes so there’s bound to be more happening on the horizon. I also want to point out that I really really love when the ED crossfades with the ending of an episode. I wish anime would insert more songs into their scenes as it really sets a mood and can make it a lot more memorable. Especially in this case when Bungou Stray Dogs has a more ballad ending. Need I say, it looks like Akutagawa, Atsushi and Osamu are more connected than meets the eye in this ED?

I’d like to thank Enzo for blogging the first episode of Bungou Stray Dogs. I know this post is beyond late so I apologize for the delay but it took us a while to iron out the blogging schedule. But we’re back on track and I’ll be taking over this season of Bungou Stray Dogs! Thanks for everyone’s patience and I hope you all enjoy the series as much as I do.

 

Preview

April 29, 2016 at 12:03 pm
15 comments »
  • April 29, 2016 at 12:31 pmMi-Chan

    I love love love love this show =)

    Episode 4 had me fooled, the blonde lady’s face had me up for some action and loss and the fact how that cigarette dude was so scary. I think the impression gave me that the police are helpless in their world, and port mafia have it all and I was really worried that the agency would fall, but then all that climax had me dropping jaws like Atsushi, and I was wondering omg, where’s Dazai san when the worst will be unveiled!

    I love the comedic quirks and the story so far, I look forward to it every week.

    Thanks for your review! M.

    • April 29, 2016 at 12:35 pmCherrie

      I think you mentioned before that you had a crush on one of the characters? Is it Dazai?? ;)
      My first crush on an anime character was when I was 12… man, that feels so long ago lol.

      • April 29, 2016 at 1:02 pmMi-Chan

        that being? At least you were 12, I think I was around 6 or 7 -.-’ (that feels messed up)

  • April 29, 2016 at 2:05 pmWarriorsHeart

    Episode 3 was absolutely fantastic. The humour has been hit and miss for me. It can get a bit too lame.

  • April 29, 2016 at 4:51 pmGuile

    Episode 3 confused the hell out of me.

    If Danzai knew she was on Port Mafia’s payroll from the start, why did he send her with the kids at all?
    Why did he not seem to care that all the kids got gunned down by a Port Mafia hitwoman?
    Why did he turn off Atsushi’s beast mode and let the villain walk instead of turning off the villain’s power and letting him get eaten by a supernatural wall-running tiger?

    It just seemed… stupid. Danzai didn’t come off as cool, it made me want to punch him right in his smug mouth.

    • April 29, 2016 at 5:57 pmHanabira.Kage

      - Maybe he wasn’t actually sure, and listened in just to be certain.
      - Either he’s a dick, or he just had that much faith in their resident doctor.
      - Probably because Akutogawa would kill Atsushi if he got serious. Plus Atsushi is a mindless beast while transformed, and might end up getting killed by getting baited into performing certain actions.

      • April 29, 2016 at 9:34 pmGuile

        Would Akutogawa kill Atsushi if Danzai turned off his weird spirit body power first? Because Danzai had the perfect chance there, cloaked by the ginger kid’s Clean Snow (or whatever it’s called).

        Maybe Danzai’s ‘turn off power’ power doesn’t work on Akutogawa for some reason, in which case at least the reason he didn’t avert a lot of misery down the road is author fiat instead of Danzai being a huge dick.

  • April 29, 2016 at 6:58 pmMei Mei

    I can’t stop listening to the ED song after watching the 4th episode. The ED makes me feel really sad/sorry for Akutogawa but I really like the relationship Dazai and Atsushi has.

    Here’s a link to the full MV if you’re hooked like me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g6MYL5lOZs
    Wish I knew the lyrics/meaning of the song

    • April 30, 2016 at 8:53 amMi-Chan

      I agree too, I never once skipped the ending song. I think it is very beautiful

  • April 29, 2016 at 9:04 pmzztop

    http://randomc.net/image/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs%20-%2002%20-%2029.jpg

    Tanizaki Junichiro’s (1886-1965) works mainly revolved around the conflict between traditional Japanese values and glitzy Western modernity. Other themes included destructive sexual obsessions and the dominance of women over men in relationships.
    Anime Tanizaki wears more modern Western clothes compared to the others, likely referring to Tanizaki’s early years as a Westernophile. Light Snowfall/Sasameyuki is the title of his most famous novel, revolving around the lives of 4 sisters from the wealthy but declining Makioka family of Osaka.

    Tanizaki Naomi is named after another Tanizaki novel, Naomi. The story revolved around a Westernophile Japanese man who falls in love with the titular Naomi, a 15 year old working class waitress, for her European-like face. He decides to take her in and raise her to become his ideal Western woman and wife, teaching her Western dance, how to speak English, etc.
    He later becomes disillusioned with Naomi’s spoilt shallowness, but remains sexually obsessed with her. She in turn realizes this and asserts her dominance over him, refusing sex with him and reducing him to a figurehead of the relationship. Anime Naomi’s straightforward, aggressive brocon-ness reflects the sexual dominance of the novel Naomi.

  • April 29, 2016 at 11:34 pmzztop

    Bungou’s directed by the same person who directed the Ouran High School Host Club anime – a lot of the humour and visual comedy’s exactly the same.

    • May 2, 2016 at 9:51 amCherrie

      That would explain a lot. I love it! =D

  • April 30, 2016 at 2:40 amMai

    I love Ouran, so I guess it’s no surprise that this works very well for me. Hope the plot moves along, though; Akutagawa looks like the real deal and it would be a waste if they focus too much on the comedic aspect. Looks like his past association with Dazai will come to the fore in episodes to come.

    That aside, this show has lovely character designs, possibly my favourite this season; Yosano Akiko’s is my favourite, though we’ve seen little of her so far.

    Thx for picking this up!!

  • May 1, 2016 at 7:17 pmjoestar

    Favorite show of the season. I was really confused to not see it being blogged by randomc but glad to see that’s changed.

    Are there any plans to blog Tanaka? The first episode was really tame but I’ve found the subsequent ones to be spectacular.