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Bungou Stray Dogs – 09 »« Bungou Stray Dogs – 07

Bungou Stray Dogs – 08

「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.

 

Preview

May 27, 2016 at 5:18 pm
4 comments »
  • May 27, 2016 at 8:47 pmzztop

    http://randomc.net/image/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2021.jpg

    The real Motojiro Kajii wrote a short story called ‘Lemon’ in 1924, which revolved around a tuberculosis patient humourously daydreaming about using a lemon as a bomb to blow up a store. The real Kajii had tuberculosis, which claimed his life at 31 years.
    Anime Kajii’s lemon bombs are a direct reference to this work.

    http://randomc.net/image/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2007.jpg

    Anime Yosano’s ruthlessness is a direct reference to the real Yosano’s feminist writings. She portrayed a sexually-active free and strong woman as a good thing – a sort of emancipation from the conservative “honest silent wife’ stereotype and her writing goes against the basis of conservative closed-off Japanese societal beliefs.So its only fitting that her character is extremely brutal in portrayal defying the stereotype of “Japanese woman” – a character who refuses to go down or accept defeat. Someone who has a strong presence in the scenes she is in.

    • May 28, 2016 at 3:40 amichigo

      zztop, after reading your comment here, I went searching for all the other comments you may have noted Japanese literary references in previous episodes. Thank you for providing the aforementioned comments! Reading them gave me a different perspective on the series so far.

  • May 27, 2016 at 10:29 pmhaseo0408

    Free and strong woman of course but let me tell you that she´s a doctor I don´t to visit no matter how bad I am! That woman looks more like a serial killer than a doctor for pete´s sake!.

    In other news, Atsushi found something close to self-esteem and a girlfriend candidate for the looks of it, all in just one episode, not bad for a kid that didn´t even care for his own life back in episode one. It´s horrible to imagine that Kyouka is what Atsushi could have been if was found by the Port Mafia instead of the Agency; the two kids come from orphanages, they have next to zero self-esteem, they possess very powerful supernatural abilities but when Atsuhsi was rescued by nice people (crazy but nice) poor Kyouka was manipulated by the worst scum that has ever walked the earth, poor little girl.

  • May 28, 2016 at 12:45 ammiyu

    My favourite episode thus far; Akiko is a wonderful character, badassery, quirks, questionable tendencies and all. She needs more screentime. Being a manga reader, I think the anime will pick up from the next episode…and I’m anticipating every moment of it.

    The humour was quite subdued this episode, but I actually enjoyed it better: the bit about the empty office with a confused Atsushi facing Akiko and the casual dismissal of Dazai’s disappearance were both tastefully done, I thought.