Stop me if you’ve heard this before but this season of Bungo Stray Dogs is just amazing. Everyone, please go by a manga or DVD or something and show the franchise some love. Mama is gonna need a season 4 of this. For this time, and this one time only, I will be mama. This is how much I am loving this season!
Also, this episode looked great. Not that Bungo Stray Dogs is not a generally stylish show with great visuals but the flashback scenes were particularly fun to watch so I more or less created a stop motion of the episode. You can see it HERE, on my blog.
I think someone owes me a round of applause. Remember when I said that Fukuzawa and Mori must have been close at some point? O.k., it wasn’t exactly hard to guess. Still, I’m going to take the credit for this one. Indeed, the two men have a shared history and although it would probably be a stretch to call them friends, they were for a time at least, allies.
We have seen Mori and Fukuzawa share scenes in previous seasons of Bungo Stray Dogs but none of those encounters had the weight and complexity of what we saw in this episode. Mori is a lot of questionable things but he isn’t a troll. What I mean by that is that he doesn’t just throw fake accolades around. When a younger Mori addressed Fukuzawa as Fukuzawa-dono, I believe it was sincere. He really does respect the leader of the Armed Detective Agency.
And although Fukuzawa is as always more restrained and less sociable, he did admit that the two of them have a lot more in common than not. In the end, both are intelligent, powerful men that recognize each other’s talents. Two men with very different visions but the same goal and the same mentor. The uneasy partnership of convenience between the two was wonderful to watch and I would have enjoyed an entire arc on their past adventures. Oh, for those that haven’t seen it, the episode opened on a flashback of Mori and Fukuzawa’s first meeting…
We know that a man named Natsume brought them together as the first protection for their beloved Yokohama. And the foundations for what would become a fragile peace are laid down as Mori wrestles the out of control Port Mafia into his iron grip, the government enforces the Special Ability Department and Fukuzawa founds the Armed Detective Agency to keep the balance.
In time, both men would find someone the would choose as a successor. Fukuzawa saw a lot of himself in the diligent and hardworking Doppo. And he was right. Although Kunikida was close o broken last week, he pulled himself together and managed to think things through. He let his detective skills guide him and realized there was still a chance for Katai. Mori, on the other hand, was drawn to Dazai. Of course, since Dazai is a lot like him he proved unreliable and untrustworthy but that has never particularly bothered Mori. Almost as if it was all part of the plan. And for all his faults, Dazai is resilient as well, having rested long enough, it was time for him to get up and start hunting down some Russians. That’s a weird sentence for me to type.
There is one more generation to go. One more mismatched pair of powerful ability users that represent the ying and yang of Yokohama. The ones that will take up the reigns and march onto the front lines. Of course, that would be Atsushi and Akutagawa. Throughout the episode, we saw each player get ready and each pair come together for the battle ahead.
I also wondered early on in the season if we were finally going to see Natsume Soseki this time. We saw essentially hs outline in season 2 but we do see him clearly in the opening credits. Although as the episodes wore on, I thought that might just be a red herring. Turns out I was wrong! He makes a full unveiled appearance in this episode and does not disappoint. From the little we do see, he seems to be a mix of Mori and Fukuzawa’s personalities, which I’m not complaining about. And he has the best voice. Well second best. Fyodor is still best voice!
To be honest, this felt very much like a penultimate episode. All the main characters are coming together and getting ready for one final confrontation as time is running out. We are introduced to last-minute powerful but ultimately distant characters to shake things up a little. We even met Pushkin who did not look like I thought he would. Ok, ok… I’ll admit this is a bit jerky of me but Bungo Stray Dogs is a bishie banquet, didn’t realize the artists working on this show could even draw a character that was not delicious looking. Turns out they can.
We only really see Pushkin in the last minute or so, as such I don’t have much of a read on the actual character. I did like how he outsmarted Atsushi and Akutagawa, though. The episode ended on a pretty good cliffhanger but ultimately ineffective since we were running out of time anyway.
My best guess is that Dazai and Doppo will join the fight next episode, we saw them getting ready to do so. Atsushi will save someone but I’m not telling you who because spoilers and they will get to Pushkin before the virus runs its course. I don’t think they will kill off either of the bosses and I hope they don’t since I like both characters a lot. On the other hand, the inherent conflict from such a move would hold so much narrative potential!
But another season is absolutely required. For one, Francis is still just hanging out in some high rise building somewhere in town, making money on the stock market. Natsume till needs to be fleshed out and explained. And although they might conceivably catch Pushkin, I really don’t see Fyodor going down that easily. Not in the next episode. There hasn’t been enough set up for it!
To the few of you who are watching this season, I’m happy for us! We are having a great anime time!
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!