「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.