「人を殺して死ねよとて」 (Hito wo Koroshite Shine yo Tote)
“Teaching Them to Kill; Then to Die”
We’re back with another introductory episode for the resident doctor, Yosano Akiko (Shimamura Yuu). Her ability allows her to heal herself (and others) under strenuous circumstances and it’s pretty sadistic to think that she gets enjoyment from it. Although I’m not crazy about her personality and quirks, it’s interesting to see how she deals with the Port Mafia. She’s definitely able to hold her own up in a battle and fighting against Kaiji Motojirou (Hatano Wataru) makes him out to be the weak link in this gang. As it turns out, Motojirou isn’t the most exciting villain and his powers are never even explained that well – does he convert lemons into bombs? Either way, I wasn’t too attached to either character. Good or evil, I felt that Motojirou was bad for the sake of being a Port Mafia member and Akiko just didn’t die.
The other character we meet this week is an orphan named Izumi Kyouka (Morohoshi Sumire) whose powers are activated with a cell phone call. Her ability is called Demon Snow and it’s this spirit that emerges from Kyouka and basically assassinates those around her. It wasn’t too much of a surprise to see that Kyouka wasn’t as murderous as she appeared and she actually doesn’t want to kill all these people. She’s simply triggered by the cell phone (with Ryuunosuke on the other line), and she can’t control her ability (much like Atsushi). Her backstory felt a bit rushed and I wasn’t feeling the empathy for her as much as I’d like. However, I’m eager to see how she behaves as a part of the Agency rather than the Port Mafia. Her date with Atsushi will be cute – typical Ferris Wheel scenes ;). This part of the episode was better than the other half featuring Akiko in my opinion.
As for the events of the episode, I was refreshing to see Atsushi and Akiko team up together against two new villains. I feel like it’s an easy way to introduce the audience to a wider range of characters without being too overwhelming. When you’re getting to know more than 3 people at once – it gets to be very busy. I’m not particularly fond of any of the new characters (except maybe Kyouka), although I can see the appeal in Akiko’s personality. Atsushi transforming only his arm – what’s up with that? That wasn’t explained very well because I swear he couldn’t control his powers (yet); and even HE looks surprised. Dazai’s disappearance was also so easily written off by the Agency even though we know at the end that something’s up. At what point would anyone go looking for him? It doesn’t seem like he’s in any immediate danger, because I’m sure Dazai can hold his own up against other supernatural beings.
Overall, I find that while production and show quality is still high, I don’t find a huge urgency to watch Bungou Stray Dogs anymore. I’m not sure if that’s due to the source material and its build-up or the actual adaptation’s portrayal of it. As we’re getting near the end of the season, I’m still waiting for that one episode that really stands out and asides from Episode 3 (which feels like eons ago), there hasn’t been any. I love the characters (well, mainly Dazai) and I still think the series has potential to do well, but it’s taking more than a while for it to build up. I would expect the cour to end off with at least one major arc completed but now… it may just be a cliffhanger until the fall season.