「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.