「紛争の戦略」 (Funsou no Senryaku)
“The Strategy of Conflict”

「ウィル・オブ・タイクーン」 (Wiru Obu Taikuun)
“Will of Tycoon”

I thought there would be more of a game of chicken to see who would attack the other parties first but Ougai has no problems making the first move – on both fronts. By attacking the Guild’s ship, he cuts off their resources and “base” because they really have nowhere else to run to. It was a pity that their ship was so easily destroyed off the bat though. I always assumed the Port Mafia were strong gifted people, but the Guild barely puts up a fight worth watching. In fact, Margaret Mitchell (Nazuka Kaori) is almost killed immediately after her introduction (her powers being rather… mediocre anyway) and Nathaniel Hawthrone (Shingaki Tarusuke) was mildly entertaining. One of the issues that I have with these character introductions is how they all seem rather stereotypical and gimmicky without any real reason for their personalities and quirks. Margaret acts like high-and-mighty princess of sorts and Nathaniel is a priest that mirrors Ryunnosuke’s powers but just one notch weaker. I found myself cheering on the Port Mafia instead of the Guild; simply because I don’t really care too much for the Guild of these characters at all. At least I know Ryunnosuke a bit more and I sympathize with him and his situation. This probably isn’t the last time we’re going to see Nathaniel though, after all, we didn’t see a body and we know the rule regarding anime and bodies.

On the other front, Ougai also initiates another confrontation between the Guild and the Agency by sending them to each other (knowing it’s a trap). We meet two new Guild members whom are both way too OP in my opinion. Howard Phillips Lovecraft (Takeuchi Shunsuke) who seems to resemble a squid or octopus – doesn’t die by gunfire and has crazy tentacles. John Steinbeck (Kawanishi Kengo) who is equally as creepy with his ability to hone in on plants’ awareness and use them to his will. He reminds me a lot of Kenji actually because of his village background. Anyway, Doppo and Junichirou barely make it out (if not for the unfortunate help of a wandering driver) and it goes to show just how much stronger the Guild are in this case. Compared to their defensive team on the ship, Howard and John knock it out of the park. I didn’t think that anyone would actually die or get severely injured here, but it’s nice to showcase just what the Agency (and Port Mafia) is up against.

Finally, Ougai takes a stab at the Agency directly by releasing his ultimate weapon – Q (Kudou Haruka) on Atushi and Dazai; not to mention Naomi and Kirako in the process. Q’s real name is Yumeno Kyuusaku (Kudou Haruka) and his powers basically allow him to mentally control people. In this week’s episode, it was especially creepy seeing all the girls’ and Atushi’s eyes bleed while they were being controlled. Q is not only a powerful gifted individual, but he’s crazy! His doll is crazy; his eyes look crazy and it’s no secret why the Port Mafia had him locked up before – even they were scared and incapable of controlling him. *cough All the new characters introduced these days are starting to feel more and more overpowered. It’s getting to the point that I have no idea how the Guild or Port Mafia are ever going to be taken down (if ever). It’s the Agency which is lacking in talent now; especially with Dazai being scouted by Ougai. When I first saw Dazai’s powers in action, I always thought it was a unique gift, but until you find yourself surrounded by others who depend on their powers, you don’t see the value in Dazai’s abilities. Coupled with his fighting abilities, he’s a good adversary against anyone. What a shame that the Port Mafia couldn’t keep him. Have I already mentioned that I love Dazai? He’s clever, funny and overall a good mentor and partner to Atushi.

And just when I thought that was already a lot to take in, we see Kyouka resurface! I wonder where she went… Bones even went as far to show Kouyou’s compliance to work with Dazai in order to ensure Kyouka’s safety. I’m pretty sure at this point that she’s somehow relate to Kyouka herself or a mentor figure for her of some sort. Anyway, I thought Kyouka was probably captured by the Guild but it turns out that she probably ran away on her own. She comes back to save Atushi thought! Honestly speaking, asides from Dazai, I don’t see anyone else that might be able to hold their own against Francis (among the Agency staff). While Kyouka is young, Demon Snow is also very capable of defending Kyouka in battle and killing others, but Francis is also the leader of the Guild. Francis also reminds me this week that he’s the one that initially posted a bounty on Atushi’s head… will we find out why soon?

There’s just so much that happened these few episodes, I swear I didn’t intend this post to be this long… but just one more point I wanted to make! Ango is back! As I expected, but not how I thought it’d end. While it seems like Ango and Dazai are still on good terms, I was genuinely shocked when that car t-boned them head-on. No warning, and no death flags to my knowledge so WHY?! Cliffhangers are seriously the bane of my existance. Just when you think the Agency is going to get a one-up on the Guild, it comes to a full stop.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: It’s another intense episode of #BungouStrayDogs! It’s a game of cat and mouse but with 3 parties and they’re each trying to up one another. Dazai has never felt more bada** to me than now. I appreciate his powers more AND he’s finally being a good senpai. After seeing all these gifted people in action, I do think Doppo & Junichirou are at a disadvantage. Hopefully they’ll live past this season.

6 Comments

  1. We meet two new Guild members whom are both way too OP in my opinion. Howard Phillips Lovecraft (Takeuchi Shunsuke) who seems to resemble a squid or octopus – doesn’t die by gunfire and has crazy tentacles. John Steinbeck (Kawanishi Kengo) who is equally as creepy with his ability to hone in on plants’ awareness and use them to his will.

    Their abilities seem heavily inspired by their authorial namesakes.one draws heavily on Old God mythology and the other is quite literally the grapes of wrath.

    Dave K
    1. Well all of the names for their abilities reflect each author’s magnum opuses (Call of Cthulhu, Scarlet Letter, Grapes of Wrath, Gone with the Wind). That kinda their schtick.

      livevoid
    2. Wait, is this show/story literally the spunky independents VS the (Writer’s) Guild (of America) and the established (writer’s) Port Mafia (of Japan); the later of whom both have government backing?

      Because there’s no subtext there at all

      Dave
  2. http://randomc.net/image/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs%20-%2019%20-%2027.jpg

    Yumeno Kyusaku was the penname of Sugiyama Taido, an early Showa-era Japanese author whose novels mainly featured surreal, avant-garde themes. Dogra Magra was a novel known for typifying surreal gothic literature, which revolved around an amnesiac patient who may have originally been a murderous psycho.

    http://randomc.net/image/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs%20-%2019%20-%2002.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs/Bungou%20Stray%20Dogs%20-%2018%20-%2002.jpg

    The looks of Western author characters like Steinbeck and Mitchell are likely modeled on the main characters of their most famous books. Steinbeck is likely based on poor farmboy Tom Joad, from the Grapes of Wrath, while Mitchell is modeled after wealthy girls of the 1850s
    American South, like Scarlett o Hara from Gone with the Wind.

    These episodes roughly cover the end of Vol 5-beginning of Vol 7 of the manga.

    zztop
  3. So far this season’s doing a lot better than the first season, that’s for sure. 80% of Atsushi’s insecurities are gone, although he has a little bit left in him to overcome in this season, hopefully with the aid of Kyouka. Ango’s reappearance is a welcome sight, it makes the flashback episodes worth it because it connects to the present timeline, although it looks like him and Dazai are in a pinch.

    I appreciate that the series is in high gear, and looks like the rest of the season should be devoted to this three way fight, each episode has been pretty entertaining and action packed. The Grapes of Wrath power is actually pretty neat in terms of creativity. It helps that I know a bit about the english authors so seeing their powers is interesting. Now I’m just waiting for Atsushi and Ryunnosuke to team up and fight the Guild together~

    ChromeNova
  4. I really liked the beginning of the season with Dazais Backstory. But I feared it would keep me from enjoying the present story. And it seems I was right. I don’t like how this develops at all. Dazai is still great, but Atsushi is getting annoying again. At the end of the first season he could do a few things and fight. But now? He gets trashed with little to no resistance, talked over easily and now we even have a mind control guy that can send his insecurities into overdrive. Not a fan.

    Arthur

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