Bungo Stray Dogs 3 – ep 10: A Strange Time To Burry Hatchets

This season of Bungo Stray Dogs is just knocking it out of the park as far as I’m concerned. The only thing I can seriously fault it for is that there are only two episodes left which means we are definitely not resolving the greater arc. The Rats n the House of the Dead will live to dance another day. 

Don’t worry, I’m going to give you all my deep thoughts and insights on this week’s episode (that should buy me a dozen words or so), but if you would also like some visual aids, the full screencap gallery of this week’s episode can be found HERE, on my blog. Also as this is an episode review, there will be spoilers.

Bungo Stray Dogs season 3 ep 10 (3)
essentially my life’s moto

Thing’s were looking grim last week. When we left off, the Armed Detective Agency had failed to find the gifted virus wielder and were gearing up for plan B. Said plan being an all-out bloody confrontation with the Port Mafia, in order to murder their ailing leader. And of course, the Mafia was getting ready to do the exact same thing on their end. Pretty much the exact thing both leaders were desperately trying to avoid.

However, Ranpo still allowed room for one small contingency. Sure, it may seem like the only viable option left for the Detectives was to take matters in their own hands and then strangle them. But just in case there was still a small chance for peace, he did send Atsushi off to see if Katai had any leads. Deeply traumatized from having failed to save a small child right in front of him, Kunikida also decides to avoid battle and joins Atsushi.

For me, Kunikida’s little breakdown was just a touch too dramatic, although perfectly justified, but I was happy to go along with it because Hosoya, Yoshimasa (Doppo’s voice actor), really went all out this episode. He’s always good but he outdid himself. His performance as a man undone going from uncontrolled emotion to stoically restrained guilt and pain was impressive. It brought a lot of depth to a generally bland character. (I still like Kunikida though, sometimes you want vanilla).

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but if you don’t it will be a boring episode, you have to have priorities

From here, the episode splits between the two groups. Atsushi and Kunikida go to Katai’s home only to find it empty. A black box reveals that Fyodor has gotten to him first but if Dostoyevsky bothered to make a move, then Katai must have been onto something.

This is where the patient structuring of this season starts to pay off. That carefree episode 5, where we were first introduced to Katai and his one-sided crush was more than mere filler. By presenting the character outside the strict confines of the current story, it humanized and gave him an existence beyond a mere plot element. Bungo Stray Dogs was patient, taking an entire episode to set him up slowly. The gave us all this background and flavour that wasn’t really needed for us to understand what’s going on but we sneakily got a little connected to the character.

At least I did. I was really surprised by how affected I was to find he had been “erased”. Not that many series can make me care this much about a character. Certainly not one we’ve only seen in a handful of scenes. Something makes me think Katai will be back though. Maybe how prominent he is in the opening credits.

Bungo Stray Dogs season 3 ep 10 (4)
I have a feeling this is how I’ll go too

while this is happening, the rest f the Agency detectives are going in for a head-on attack of the Port Mafia headquarters. Gunfire and superpowers are just spraying all over the place. I thought to myself, I shouldn’t like this. Bungo Stray Dogs has carefully nurtured particularly affable villain personas for the Port Mafia members and as such I don’t really want to see either side get hurt. On top of that, seeing these two organizations fight is kind of lame. 

I mean it’s a throwback to season 1. We’ve already been there, done that. Without Mori and Dazai or Fukuawa on the other side to escalate the stakes, it’s just a series of skirmishes that don’t add much more than noise and fury. It’s so expected, like a worn out shonen trope. And oh my was it fun. Why? I’ not sure. It wasn’t happy or funny. I couldn’t quite root for anyone clearly. But it was engrossing and energizing. I wanted it to go on. I’ve been talking about the framing of visuals this season, but the direction of the action is also stellar.

And then we got to our second payoff. Adorable Kyouka, trying to get to Mori on her own, finds herself in a one on one combat against her former….mentor? Akutagawa. As I mentioned previously, up until episode 6 of this season, Kyouka was pretty much limited to being a trope. A pleasant one but still, the show had not bothered to develop her beyond the standard stereotypes of her role. But another seemingly fillerish episode managed to give her a rich complex backstory and a very interesting emotional upheaval to deal with in just a few brief minutes. This went a long way to making her conversation with Akutagawa so much more meaningful now. The same scene even managed to give Akutagawa some depth at the same time. It was an odd moment to make peace, and a little pretty as well.

Bungo Stray Dogs season 3 ep 10 (31)
he means it as a compliment

I’m just going to mention that in the meantime, Ranpo and Chuuya have managed to get themselves stuck in one of Poe’s books. I hope we see their adventure because they seem like a hilarious match up.

The Final act of the episode had the two organization patriarchs take matters into their own hands. In many ways, they are quite similar. And as they naturally came together n this stunning abandoned house to kill each other, I couldn’t help but think they must have been good friends at some point. They just know each other so well.

I skipped over a few things, I talk about the visuals on my gallery post. There was also a good payoff scene with Lucy’s character as well and a cryptic line from Dazai is hinting at yet another setup. We saw that in a twisted way Akutagawa sees himself in Kyouya and was trying to save her as his own “mentor” had saved him. In short, everything is coming together quite well. Even in an action-heavy episode, the plot is tightening its strings. I should really look into the writing team. If you are one of the few that are following along, how do you feel about the fact that the season is almost over? 


Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!


Bungo Stray Dogs 3 – ep 9: Not Playing Fair

I tell you, Friday could not come soon enough this week. Well, that’s true of pretty much every week but this week had the added thrill of me looking forward to Bungo Stray Dogs with bated breath. Not only did last week’s episode end on a pretty great cliffhanger but I’ve also been listening to the fantastic ED all week. It’s Lily by Luck Life. Turns out the band is behind most of Bungo Stray Dogs’ EDs and they’re all very good. I recommend you give them a listen.

And before we start, for those of you who are more picture type people than word type people, you can find my gallery of screencaps for this week’s episode over HERE, on my blog.

For those of you who don’t remember, or unknown reason Fyodor has maneuvered another gifted to use his power to infect both Fukuzawa and Mori with a virus that will kill both of them unless one dies first. When episode 8 left off, the Mafia was getting ready to invade Fukuzawa’s hospital room and destroy the Agency members standing in their way.

So far I have only recapped episode 8 a bit for context but now we are getting into the disturbingly named Cannibalism pt1 episode and there will be spoilers. All the spoilers! I’m just going to describe everything that happened! Ok, not EVERYTHING. But close.

Bungo Stray Dogs s3 ep9 (14)
you have been warned

and so, the Mafia members are gearing up for the attack when Psych! Turns out it was all an illusion of Tanazaki’s Light Snow. All the other actual Agency detectives(?) actually managed to escape with Fukuzawa through the world’s quietest gaping hole in a concrete wall. Of course, Ranpo has a full proof plan and that plan is to leave Tanizaki behind as a hostage and security, buying the rest of them time to find the virus gift user and neutralize him. Poor Tanizaki, he seems to get a lot of these thankless jobs. In season 1 he was constantly put in harms way over the flimsiest reason and in season 2 he barely made an appearance. Once again here he is, being a pawn. It’s a little mean.

The Agency team split up, leaving Doppo and Atsushi to hunt down Pushkin n the city slums. Oh boy…Pushkin! Dostoyevsky is one thing but Puskin is a whole other bag of worms. Before you think I’m being dismissive, let me make this clear, Fydor Dostoyevsky, both the author and the character is tremendous and more than just a little frightening. An excellent choice for an antagonist. However, Pushkin just fits in so well with the Japanese authors. His writing is no dissimilar to Doppo’s earlier works before his switch to naturalism. As for his life, well let’s just say there are a few tragic patterns that come up disturbingly often if you read the biographies of the Port Mafia and Armed detective Agency namesakes. And Pushkin’s own pattern is quite similar. Just a touch more Russian.

We also hear the name of Fydor’s organization, if you could call it that. Fyodor doesn’t strike me as a man who has partners or associates. He doesn’t quite have the personality to even have lackeys. But it does seem like he did at least use a few other gifted and bring them together under the name The Rats in The House of the Dead. I think we may have heard the name before but it’s the first time I paid attention to it and I loved it! For those who may not know The House of the Dead is an autobiographical novel by Dostoyevsky, which makes this name just so whimsical. I wish it was the name of my high school band.

Oh boy, we are barely 5 minutes into the episode. Am I getting worse at this? Ok…Top Speedo! Doppo and Atsushi find Pushkin quickly but it turns out the dude has a horde of little brothers and sisters armed to the teeth, who are all protecting him. Good news: little kids can’t aim automatic weapons at all! Star trooper levels of firearm proficiency. Bad News: shooting little kids makes you feel kinda bad about yourself.

Bungo Stray Dogs s3 ep9 (27)
at least it’s what the show leads you to believe, I have no proof

We also get our first glimpse of Dostoyevsky’s powers when Doppo and Atsushi come across a little girl in a tunnel, wearing grenades as jewellery and ready to blow herself up to stop them. Doppo stays behind to talk the girl down as Atsushi races ahead to catch up with Pushkin. As Doppo and the girl talk we see her have a vision of Fydor, or maybe a memory, urging her to protect her brother. It’s still rather vague but it would seem that Fyodor has some mind control or manipulation power. Maybe some memory alteration as well. I’m not entirely sure all those kids were really related. Whatever the details though, the true threat lies in his prodigious strategist skills. At one point, Ranpo states that going against him is like what it would be to go against Dazai. Scary.

I slowed down again! Uhhh…o.k…there’s some tragedy, some sad, this creepy cello music that really suits the mood and gets extra points when it turns out it’s actually being played by Fyodor. The bam! Atsushi catches up to Pushkin except it turns out it isn’t Pushkin and they have all been royally played. With time running to and their backs against the wall, they have no other choice but to give up on Pushkin for the moment and try to retrieve Tanizaki unharmed. Well reasonably harmed. Poor Tanizaki.

This is where the episode switches to his point of view and makes me eat my words. I’ve always seen Tanizaki as one of the more docile members of the Agency and for lack of a better word, one of the weaker ones, at least in combat. He’s more of an infiltration guy not so much of a warrior. And boy did I eat my words. It was great to see Tanazaki finally get some glory. The fight scenes were fun and lively and his gift was finally shown as the powerful tool it is. I was cheering for him.

All the way to Mori’s room. I was conflicted as he stood over one of my favourite characters. Mori lying there helpless in that big bed with a knife poised over him. Perfectly mirroring the scene of the end of the last Port Mafia boss that we’ve seen so many times by now. Fortunately for Mori, a bit of Koyou ex machina saved his hide. Less fortunately for Tanizaki and I’m just going to say that at this point, the Armed Detective Agency members are getting suspiciously resilient.

Bungo Stray Dogs s3 ep9 (6)Tanzaki
don’t worry, you’re fine, somehow

However, the show said I see your Koyou ex Machina and I raise you a Kyouka ex machina! Yay, everybody’s saved well not really. Tanizaki is seriously hurt, Dazai is still in the hospital, both Mori and Fukuzawa are still set to die in about a day and I think Doppo might not be ok at all… My yay may have been premature!

We close out on Fyodor and Shousaku Katsura who he has taken hostage for some reason. That was the kid with the huge grudge against Doppo who put the bombs in the subway. And this guy asks Fyodr what we all want to know “What is your goal?”.

Despite my occasionally snippy comments, I did like this episode. It was fast-paced and unnerving. Hearing that child cry was very affecting and I am more attached to the characters and eager to see what comes next. I do wonder why we bothered with that fantastic return episode for Francis if we’re just not going to see him again. It really feels like BSD is just banking big time on a season 4.

Narratively, this was one of the weaker episodes. There were some holes in there, a few things got seriously glossed over and it just seemed sloppier than what we’ve seen s far. But it was still very fun to watch. Hopefully, this will be the case again next week!


Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Bungo Stray Dogs 3 – ep 8: This is Bad For My Heart

This week has been pretty crazy for me. I’ve hardly had time to watch any anime at all. In fact, I haven’t watched anything since Monday. I was a little anime starved and as I have been enjoying Bungo Stray Dogs so much lately, I was really looking forward to this episode for many reasons. You should know, there’s going to be spoilers, I can’t avoid it. Lot’s happened!

As I said last week, I am loving the solid build up we’ve been seeing but I worry with the season being only 12 episodes, we will either get a very rushed conclusion or, more likely, no conclusion at all. That’s really the only thing that I can fault the season with. If it was 26 episodes I would be happily watching also without a care in the world. That’s also the only reason I’ve been urging the plot to start in earnest. 

However, as soon as I saw the opening scenes, I changed my mind. It was Fukuzawa. Aside from Mori, Fukuawa has to be my favourite character. At least potentially. We really know next to nothing about the man and I have been desperate to now more ever since the first season. It should be noted that Fukuzawa Yukichi, the real-life inspiration for the character was also a fascinating and admirable figure. I really need to write about the actual authors someday…

Bungo Stray Dogs ep33 (3)
the mullet conspiracy strikes again

As I was saying, Mori and Fukuzawa are my favourites. I’ve been lucky to catch up with Mori a bit this season so the thought of spending an episode with Fukuzawa, to even things out, was wonderful. If they can make his as entertaining as Fitz was last week, this will be one to remember.

Yeah, that was not fun to watch. It seems someone is dispatching gifted (sounds like a certain Dead Apples movie) and Fukuzawa has just become the next victim. For a second I almost dropped everything and went on google to make sure he survives but I resisted the urge. Fukuzawa does, in fact, survive the initial attack, but he’s left in critical condition with an array of unexplained symptoms.

What struck me in these scenes was how calm Doppo was. Everyone else is understandably frazzled, while Ranpo is downright devastated but Kunikida is thinking things through, as rationally as possible. He’s stepping up to his role as second in command of the Armed Detective Agency quite admirably.

Bungo Stray Dogs ep33 (7)
do you think he just copied his boss’ hairstyle?

I was a little bummed about this turn of events. Thankfully I got Mori just in time to distract me with his scruffy bumbling act. Dishevelled Mori is best Mori. When that explosion happened I almost gave up. But of course, Mori was fine. It was all part of the plan. How could I think that Mori would be taken in so easily…

I got my hopes up. We know that the two bosses have a shared history but we’ve never really delved into it. This would be the episode that showed us where it all started. Mori would hunt down the gifted killer as Fukuzawa was fighting for his life and at the last second, the Port Mafia would share some crucial information to save the life of the Agency president. The episode would be intercut with flashbacks of when the two were best friends and how they had a falling out.

In case you think I have some insight, I’m making all of this up. It’s quite possible that Fukuzawa and Mori were never friends at all. Nevertheless, that was the split second headcanon I created while watching Elise drop Mori on his hiney in the middle of the street.

Bungo Stray Dogs ep33 (14)
sometimes anime has some odd camera angles. Not this time though

And then it all came crashing down. Not just Mori. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Fyodor as a character. He is an envigorating villain that has revitalized the franchise. As much as I am enjoying Demon Slayer and Kibutsuji in particular, Fyodor is my pick for the top antagonist of the season. His delivery is just so chilling to me. At first, I thought his open attack on Mori seemed just a little too plain for such a character but on second thought, it fits him so well, especially when you find out the twist.

At this point, we finally see the return of Dazai. This season did something weird with who was arguably the main character or at least deuteragonist of the franchise. Unlike everyone else, the third season of Bungo Stray Dogs set about dehumanizing Dazai in the opening arc by really insisting on the more unpleasant and unsettling aspects of his personality, and then help him back in all subsequent episodes. As a result, I feel like I know this Dazai less than I did before and I’m never sure if I can trust him at all.

This makes for a much more interesting character. Rather than the smart mouth anti-hero archetype we see everywhere, we now have a viable compromised hero. Someone who can keep the audience on their toes and has enough history to make a heel turn completely believable. As much as I want Dazai to be a good guy, he just isn’t. And that’s kind of amazing.

Bungo Stray Dogs ep33 (26)
and then maybe I’ll tell them, maybe I won’t

What followed was one of those genius on genius conversations that are so hard to write without ending up sounding quite stupid. This one was o.k. as far as they go. The discussion itself wasn’t special but it was elevated by Fydor’s consistently spectacular voice acting and one really great twist.

It seems that the actual plan was to infect both Mori and Fukuzawa with a gifted parasite. An invader that incubated within a host for 8 hours then kills them. But this parasite is actually linked. It needs two hosts and if one of the hosts dies, the parasite dies as well, leaving the other host home free. In other words, for Fukuzawa to live Mori must die or vice versa.

And now, both the Armed Detective Agency and the Port Mafia know this!

See, it’s a great twist. Simple enough for me to explain with a few sentences. It has the potential to create a huge conflict but at the same time completely changes the nature of the two entities’ relationship. They are at each other’s throats more than ever but are also in the exact same situation and sympathize with one another like never before.

And just as everything was coming to ahead, that fantastic opening riff of the ED rang through. Man, I love that song. I’m not sure how my heart made it through this rollercoaster. I’ve absolutely no clue how I’m supposed to wait an entire week to find out what happens!

One quick side note, Chuuya seems to be second in command for the Port Mafia. Considering how badly his last leadership role went, I wonder if he’s really up to it…

Bungo Stray Dogs ep33 (44)

My screencap addiction may actually be starting to pay off. I’m picking up on things in the stills I would never have seen otherwise. You can see for yourself  HERE if you like.  

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Bungo Stray Dogs 3 – ep 7: Francis the Frugal

Although I did enjoy the second season of Bungo Stray Dogs, I always felt that the Guild was a bit of a let down as a villain. None of their members really lived up to the Port Mafia and Francis himself just couldn’t hold a candle to Mori. Of course, I have a marked weak spot for Mori. Probably because I fell on my head a lot as a child.

Bungo Stray Dogs ep32 (30)
don’t agree with me now!

Then again, just like a lot of characters in Bungo Stray Dogs, maybe I just never got to know him properly. This season is a real exercise in character redemption. It seems the great Francis, leader of the Guild, survived his swan dive from the Moby and we even have a decently logical explanation for it. Ever since he’s been living homeless and penniless in one of the surprisingly numerous slums of Yokohama.

We catch up with the broken man as the ever faithful Louisa has tracked him down to convince him to take up the mantle of leadership once again.

Like I said, I never really cared for Francis. He was just never that interesting a character to me. This is why I was surprised when I got just a little emotional at seeing him so defeated. He was always a personification of boisterous greed and bravado, now an unkept hollow shell of a man, who seems to have lost way more than his fortune. I was just a tiny bit sorry for him.

Bungo Stray Dogs ep32 (4)
nevermind, I take it back

And it’s not just that he was boring, I also always thought the Great Fitgerald was kind of a stupid gift. It was uninspired and didn’t have much resonance with the rest of the narrative. However, the ability to transfer wealth into physical power takes on a whole new meaning and importance when you’re poor. When using your power may mean you have to go hungry. Now that’s almost poetic. Just like that, they manage to breathe some life into this lacklustre gift.

I realize that both these points become moot before the end of the episode. First Louisa manages to get Francis out of his funk and he soon regains his bluster. Was he always this fun? I know he had a big personality (like Mori but not as good…what’s wrong with me?), however, thrifty penny-pinching Francis was downright fun! And seeing him try to rebuild something with all sorts of obstacles in his way was simply more inspiring than seeing him tear down something seemingly effortlessly. For me, this character works way better as an overconfident underdog. He’s his own person now instead of just discount Mori. I should stop doing that, Mori wasn’t even in the episode.

Step one in what is probably a super complicated plan was to get a genius programmer falsely accused of murder off the hook while acquiring a security company through highly questionable stock market manipulation. This may sound like super convoluted nonsense but it actually came together pretty well and was a genuinely fun watch.

Bungo Stray Dogs ep32 (14)
sounds like my last evaluation – also this season is fast becoming a gallery of window framed scenes and I’m not complaining!

If the last two episodes felt like character building foundational work with a bit of narrative filler, this one gives you the impression that we are starting the main arc. Although there were still a lot of shenanigans, Francis’ larger plans and this face recognition technology will surely both become important elements this season.

Besides that, we also got some glimpses of the larger cast. Poe paid his old pal and rival Ranpo a visit over at the Armed Detective Agency. I was pretty excited about that. Poe’s second season episode was one of my favourites. Also, I just like Ranpo a lot and wish we would see more of him. From the little I know of the real-life authors, Ranpo just seemed like a lot of fun. Which is more than I can say for some…

All in all, I had a lot of fun with this episode. Francis’ Pheonix Wright moment made me giggle out loud. Seeing Atsushi and Kyoka grab dessert together was cute. The editing and blocking were once more really well done and the pacing made me lose track of time and get surprised by the delightful ED song yet again. Although it was a blink and you’ll miss it appearance, just that peep of Fyodor was enough to spark my attention and get me excited for the rest of the season.

Of course, everything could still go south. For one, I’m really nervous that the story seems to have rarely started at episode 7 of 12. However, I’ve enjoyed the writing and the production a lot so far and I’m hopeful for the rest.

Bungo Stray Dogs ep32 (15)
It’s not even close!

Just like last week, I overdid it on the screenshots and squirrelled them all away in a gallery over HERE. You are more than welcomed to visit. Pictures are fun.

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Bungo Stray Dogs 3 – ep 6: Father’s Day

I don’t know what’s going on this week. I’ve watched a few anime that I’ve really enjoyed but also made me cry. It’s been a very bittersweet sort of week. And Bungo Stray Dogs fits right in!

me too!

This week it seems we are continuing on the foundational work of developing characters which really should have been better established in earlier seasons. More specifically, we are looking at Kyouka and Atsushi with a little side of Lucy.

On paper this worries me. I have nothing against Kyouka But I always figured she was the token gap more character. The adorable lethal girl with the lethal skills for those that enjoy that sort of thing. Through 2 season and a movie she’s pretty much only been an attractive archetype with nothing much to bring other than a slight twist on the damsel in distress. The bad**s in distress, I suppose. 

As for Atsushi, in many ways I feel he’s the weak link in the series. He’s sort of dull and annoyingly emotional. If he has to makepeace with his gift and accept the tiger one more time, I might need some Pepto. I know it sounds harsh but the only two modes this kid has is expositional wallflower or super angsty weretiger. It gets grating, or worse, boring.

Bungo Stray Dogs s3 ep6 (5)
I should have used that crying screencap again

How am I doing selling this episode so far?

Maybe I’m just predisposed to this season, but I think there’s been a net improvement in Atsushi’s character. I’m not about to call him my favourite or anything but we’ve been focusing on him for two episodes now and I’ve yet t be annoyed by him. He got a bit emotional in the second half of this one, but it was pretty justified.

We start off by being reintroduced to Lucy and neatly tying off a loose end from season 2 in the process. Well done guys! Lucy is a great choice as a character to bring back. She’s shifty enough that her allegiances could go either way. Her gift is powerful but inconvenient. I might have prefered to see a little more of Twain or Poe, but she’s a solid choice.

The arc then quickly shifts to show us finally what happened to Kyouka’s parents and it’s not exactly what we’ve been led to believe. In fact, it was considerably more interesting in my opinion. And it fundamentally changes a lot of what Kyouka has held as truth and has been influenced by all her life. She must now figure out how to shift her anger and her guilt. This revelation changes everything.

But by far the best part, was how this revelation came to light. There are still people in this world that love Kyouka very much. I teared up a little.

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I’m not ashamed!

The second half tok yet another stab at Atsushi’s les misérable orphanage past but for the first time we get a bit of moderation. It’s still awful but with space and perspective it becomes nuanced. People do terrible things with the best of intentions.

We don’t get that much in the way of new information but the episode did tell us one very important things. Atsushi led a difficult and painful childhood. One that was unfair and that no child deserves. But he was also loved. And the man who raised him, truly did want him to grow up to be a good and happy man. That’s a gift that cannot be overestimated. 

It throws your whole world astray. When you believed yourself to have been completely alone and reviled your entire life, to suddenly find out that someone out there was trying their best for you. And then to just as quickly find out that that person is now gone. That’s a pretty trying emotional roller coaster for anyone o put up with. Especially little Atsushi.

Bungo Stray Dogs s3 ep6 (75)
 I did, a lot

So what are we left with after having our two young heroes face their mommy and daddy issues and completely upend their understanding of the world. Well, we do have two important but so far very flat characters finally gain some depth. It was also smart to keep the stories fairly short. No time for overblown melodrama or annoying contrivances.

It was probably the weakest episode of the season when taken by itself but you can tell that it’s foundational and I appreciate seeing that effort is being put into the groundwork. It’s a good sign.

I’m looking forward to the next episode and I’m starting to miss Fyodor just a smidge.

As usual, in order not to clutter Karandi’s media library I’ve stored the rest of the screencaps on my blog. If you’d like, you can go see them HERE .

Bungo Stray Dogs s3 ep6 (37)
what is she looking at?

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Bungo Stray Dogs 3 – ep 5: The Girl With The Flowing Black Hair

Every Friday after I finish the latest episode of Bungo Stray Dogs’ season 3, I think the exact same thing to myself: Gowsh – I can’t wait to see the next one! This should give you a clue about how this review is going to go!

Bungo Stray Dogs S3 ep 5 (29)

Let me just say right off the bat, the writing this season has gone up a considerable notch! You hear about animation boosts as budgets get increased for later seasons of popular shows, well this time we have a narration boost and it is hugely welcomed.

The episode starts off by catching us up with the Armed Detective Agency. This is pure nostalgia fanservice but I have to admit, I got a huge kick out of seeing them all together again. Even Atsushi was great and I usually find him rather dull. We got some friendly and fun little banter in a coffee shop that established a much lighter mood than we’ve seen so far and reminded us that BSD is often a comedy. But a shadow was lurking, dum dum DUM.

One scene later that lovely café where they had enjoyed such a pleasant afternoon, lay in tatters and the owner was holding an injured hand with his fingernails ripped off. As I looked at our heroes’ horrified faces I though, whoa – they are wasting no time. Attacking straight on the agency’s home turf and violently at that. This is epic. Does Fyodor really move that fast? why? The scene was such a 108 from the previous one, it made me dizzy in the best way.

Bungo Stray Dogs S3 ep 5 (8)
stuff just got realz!

We quickly find out it was the doing of some new criminal organization called the Park but their affiliations are uncertain. At this point I thought to myself, well this is a little weak. The new leader was carefully detailing the organization and flexing in what was a rather ungraceful straightforward info dump. Not to mention that yet another criminal organization in this occasionally overstuffed plot seemed lazy. Dostoyevsky is much more interesting as a lone gunman villain and brings something new. If we wash him down with some two bit gang, the character loses some of his appeal and mystic.

And I should really learn some patience some day. Not only did the Armed Detective Agency track down this supposedly uncatchable group in seconds, they also disposed of them in roughly the same span of time. We even got to see Akiko have some fun which is always a reat. Not only that but the next intant the café was back in sparkling form and the apparently unharmed owner seemed no worse for wear.

the entire opening act was one big slapstick subversion of every trope we’ve come to expect from the show. It was wry, funny with just a bit of bite and reintroduced us to the characters in the best way possible. I don’t think past seasons managed this level of charm or wits in the writing and it set the bar rather high, in a season that has been impressive on that front.

Bungo Stray Dogs S3 ep 5 (12)
you know what, I say just run

The rest of the episode took a turn as it split focus between Atsushi and Doppo trying to get help from a former Armed Detective Agency member called Katai Tayama and Higuchi trying to figure out what Akutagawa is up to.

Katai has a gift which allows him to control computers and Doppo is hoping this will help them figure out something about the microchip that almost caused the Moby Dick to crash into the city last season. Unfortunately the man is lovestruck, having fallen for an elegant black haired beauty, and currently useless until he can track down the lady and confess.

Meanwhile, Higuchi accidentally runs into Akutagawa outside Mafia headquarters for once but he is with an elegant black haired beauty, which leads Higuchi to fear the worst. Namely that he has gotten himself a girlfriend! Hilarity and hijinks abound as the two groups cross paths and rce to find out the truth. I,m not gonna tell you what it is. There’s a few good twists. You should watch this episode!

Bungo Stray Dogs S3 ep 5 (34)
stalking shows you care!

The second half unfold like a lighthearted romantic comedy. Complete with misunderstandings and comical overreaction but that smart writing still come through. First it’s just plain fun but mostly, it sets up a lot of things without making obvious at all.

Throughout the episode we are reminded of the season two finale and they are starting to tie both season’s together, making a larger arc rather than throwing out past seasons like a lot of shonen. Second, the episode served as a huge character development (even a touch of backfill) for a lot of important players.

Most notably the stoic Higuchi just became my favourite character, showing an adorably hopeless side and just plain fun personality. But we also got a lot of background information and establishment on important Port Mafia characters we hardly saw in the episode. Not to mention that it was a pretty in depth introduction for Katai which might turn out to be a major player (or sacrificial pawn) this season.

Bungo Stray Dogs S3 ep 5 (52)

If this keeps up, season 3 is set to eclipse the previous ones in my mind and I’m already a little bummed out that it only gets 12 episodes. This story had potential to grow and it seems to be in the hands of a very skilled team. This will likely be the season that finally pushes me to buy all the manga.

As a side note, I’m really enjoying both the OP and ED. The OP is fun with a good beat to and great animation to get you in the mood, while the ED is a smooth wind down after the excitement of the episode with just a hint of melancholy in the imagery. I think I like the visuals of the OP a little better and the song of the ED a bit more. Do you have a preference?

Since Karandi doesn’t have unlimited storage space, I’ve dumped all the screencaps on my blog so you can go see them HERE if you like. Yes there is an unreasonable number of them.

Bungo Stray Dogs S3 ep 5 (54)

Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

In Case You Missed it 2019 #4

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cute Moment

Here we are at the end of week 4 and things couldn’t be hotter (both for the Winter anime season and the general weather in Australia). As always, here is my weekly round up of anime related content from the community and from my blog this week. Please send me a link if you find a post that you feel needs a shout out, I always love finding new content to read.

Posts from the Community

Ya Boy Jack has an interesting post this week about politics in anime. This one isn’t preaching but is more just looking at why everything is political and yet why that shouldn’t stop people from enjoying what they enjoy or being part of the anime community. Definitely one to check out this week.

LynLynSays takes a look at how Goblin Slayer addresses trauma, specifically in episode 9 with the Sword Maiden. There’s definitely spoilers for the episode if you haven’t watched it and are concerned about it, but it is a great look at one of the more grounded fears in Goblin Slayer and the idea of living with trauma.

Goblin Slayer Episode 9 Goblin Slayer and Sword Maiden

Sakura Sunrise has a review of the first couple in a series of short anime films by Bones that I’ve never even heard of but after reading this review I’m certainly going to try and find it to watch. Towa no Quon’s first two stories are reviewed here and while the review isn’t glowing this certainly made me interested in finding out more about these stories.

Arthifis is starting to run out his impressions posts for the season as episode 3’s are watched. Here we have his thoughts on Boogiepop wa Warawanai. If you are still picking a watch list or were waiting to see what was worth the effort, Arthifis is doing an excellent job of taste testing and I’m certain his season guide when he finishes it will be well worth the read.

Boogiepop wa Warawanai Episode 1 Boogiepop

LofZOdyssey reviewed Skeleton Bookseller Honda San from last season and looks at the context and pace of jokes as well as character designs and voice acting. For a brief review it hits the needed points and clearly they had fun with this anime. If you were curious about Honda San last season this one might be a post to check out.

Lyn Sheridan shares their thoughts on Conception with a series review. Conveniently this came out the same day as my own review of Conception and now I’m wondering who enjoyed the show less. If you want to know what went wrong with Conception check out the reviews.

Conception Episode 9 Itsuki mad at Mana

Irina gives us 5 life lessons learned from blogging. A fun little list of things to remember when blogging that can be applied to your everyday life. Who doesn’t like a post that makes them feel good about themselves and also potentially gives them a pointer they can use?

From Atelier Emily we have a nice breakdown of the use of camera in The Promised Neverland over the first three episodes. Yes there are some spoilers here if you’ve not started watching it, but for those who have it is a really great post to read to sink your teeth into just why it feels so nicely put together at times.

The Promised Neverland Episode 2 - Norman and Emma

PeregrinePrincess has another fantastic Natsume post, this week looking at Natori’s introduction and the relationship that forms between Natsume and Natori during Natori’s first appearance. It’s a really great discussion about the episode and the motives behind the characters though it does spoil the episode if you’ve never seen it and want to go in cold. Still, a definite read for Natsume fans and if you are just curious about what makes the show great this series of posts have been a pretty fantastic in highlighting why the series speaks to so many people.

Pick of the Week

There Goes My Kokoro managed to really get my attention this week when they revisited and finished Re:Zero but amazingly found Subaru still an unlikable idiot. The number of people who have told me I should go back and give that anime more time because it gets better is more or less uncountable at this point in time and yet no matter what the plot might do later, the main reason I’ve never made it beyond the double opening episode is a deep seated irritation with every single thing Subaru does. After reading this post I’m finally crossing Re:Zero off my watch list for good because clearly I will not like watching any more. This post does a great job of breaking down Subaru’s flaws as a character and even though I didn’t watch far this post really did speak to me.

Karandi’s Posts

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