「理想という病を愛す」 (Risou to Iu Yamai wo Aisu)
“Love for the Disease called Ideals”
Doppo’s story ends abruptly this week following the reveal of the Azure Messenger as none other than Sasaki Nobuko. And oddly enough – I was not expecting it. I trusted Nobuko because after Googling that the real Doppo had an em>actual wife by the name of Nobuko, I thought she would be his future wife (even though they divorced in real life). Unfortunately that’s not the case in Bungou Stray Dogs and not only is she the Azure Messenger, but she dies by the hands of Rokuzou. I don’t want to say that it’s totally original, but I do feel that the case fell a little flat as all the characters we met in a 2-episode span, all disappear like it never happened. The knot is too neatly tied in this scenario and it would’ve been nice to see these character reappear later on or have more of an impact to the larger story. This also means that the Port Mafia plotline sits on the backburner this time.
But the past two episodes haven’t been for nothing. We do see a bit more about Doppo’s ideals and how that contrasts with Dazai’s. There’s also a good scene with Doppo and Dazai fighting as partners which demonstrates as in sync they are despite their differences. Not only was it a very visually appealing scene, but you know that Doppo and Dazai can depend on one another during hard times and that’s what partners do (Side Note: Did Doppo remind anyone of Shizuo from Durarara!!?). What was probably the most exciting part of the episode though was when Dazai brings together Doppo, Nobuko and Rokuzou. Dazai has a different way of dealing with these difficult situations compared to Doppo and he can see that if Doppo continues down this idealistic path, he will turn into someone like the Azure King. Someone that sees the loopholes and faults of “the system” and turns into a vigilante which will ultimately be the end of him. In his own way, I think Dazai is trying to show Doppo the truth of what he’s striving of which isn’t going to be a happy ending for any of them. It reminds me so much of Dexter and even Death Parade when people try and take actions into their own hands when “the system” isn’t doing “the right thing”. There’s no real answer as to who is right or wrong in this case, but I give props to Dazai for being so bold to prove a point. It makes him appear as someone more heartless though.
Although the episode had a general message and point to make, it still lacked impact until the end there. That ending is definitely something that answers a lot of questions but it doesn’t feel like a satisfying way to complete the arc. It felt like the scene got cut halfway through their debate and now I’m left hanging… well then… On the other hand, my favorite scene was seeing Atsushi, Doppo and Dazai all answer their phones at the same time in the car. I thought it was going to end up as comedic relief, but hey – it was a nice touch to see how the case came together. The return of Ranpo was also a nice touch because who wouldn’t use such a powerful source in your agency? Which brings us to another member of the agency who will be expanded on next week. I don’t think it’s much of a secret what her ability is – “Thou Shalt Not Die”; pretty obvious there. I’m more curious as to what her deal is.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Wow so I totally called the wrong queues for Nobuko and Rokuzou. They were pivotal characters alright… but just for Doppo’s arc. I was expecting this long arc which fully fleshes out Doppo and didn’t really get that in the past 2 episodes. A bit let down. #BungouSD