I love Poe so much. And having Poe fanboy over his own namesake is awesome somehow. This is my best attempt at a Poe avatar. I took some creative license, especially when it comes to Karl, but I think the spirit, if not the image, of the characters, comes through!
Didn’t I tell you guys this was going to be a great season! The only bad thing I can think of is that there are only 9 episodes left now…
Before we get to the eponymous great detective, let’s talk a bit about the new opening sequence. Did you like it? It’s the same song, I believe, but the animation is completely different. And it’s great. Admittedly, I have foresight on the story so I was able to appreciate how all those images fit together but I think that even without that, it’s just so much fun. The colours! Every time BSD is off air for a while, I forget just how much the show does with colours! That sunset is such a great metaphor.
My favourite image was Atsushi running over the bridge with the title card above him. It’s the 3rd screencap above. It’s ok as a still image but it was really impressive in movement. Since the character goes from one side of the screen to the other, it really emphasizes the blocking of the image and makes it seem extra super widescreen, as if you suddenly switched to a panoramic screen.
A short scene but a very well-balanced one that sets the tone for the season to come. It’s kind of ridiculous. Having a character in a giant teddy bear costume deliver such a gritty speech. Even after we find out it’s Ranpo, it’s still very silly. Yet that doesn’t take away from how emotionally charged and heavy the scene is.
It’s not easy to strike that balance. Either the silliness would be annoying and feel out of place. Or the seriousness would seem melodramatic and undercut. But both coexist together perfectly here. It’s rather impressive!
I’m suddenly realizing just how many screencaps I took this week. A very unreasonable amount I must say. It’s not my fault. For one, I find Bungo Stray Dogs a very pretty show. Second, the art style goes through subtle changes all the time making similar images distinct enough to seem interesting to me. But lastly, I was really into the story of the episode and some screencaps are here just because I thought the dialogue was important. I’m trying to make people who haven’t seen it almost feel like they have. However, if you have Crunchyroll, just watch it instead. Trust me!
I was talking about silliness and what better way to embody that than to put Poe on the screen. He’s one of these characters that’s probably too eccentric and particular to carry much of a story but when used sparingly, he just elevates every scene he’s in. Like a spice…he’s a spice boy…
After Fukuzawa, Poe is probably the best pairing for Ranpo. They might even be tied. They both create excellent foils for Edogawa but in different ways. And I have to agree, seeing Ranpo exasperated is worth any price!
Poe is sort of a difficult character to pin down. He’s sort of silly and often ends up being the but of the joke but he is quite powerful and as we learned, he’s a very important member of The Guild which counts for something. Moreover, Poe is nice. As in he’s an actually kind guy. He’s often attentive to others, caring, and tends to be helpful. Even when the Guild and the Detective Agency were at odds, Poe mostly stayed out of it. He dislikes hurting people and tries to avoid it whenever possible. He’s just a generally good dude, all things considered.
As for the mystery being set up. I remember when I was first reading about this author getting murdered. Sure it was kind of interesting but since we’re getting everything secondhand, and we know Ranpo is going to immediately spell it all out, I just didn’t think much of it. I was a little disappointed since the chapter was called a perfect murder and all. I didn’t realize that the murder hadn’t happened yet!
The thing about murders is that they’re a lot like chips. You can’t have just one.
I can’t believe I just wrote that. Aside from the fact that it’s almost complete gibberish, I’m also about to get on some pretty closely observed watch lists. I have no one to blame but myself.
We didn’t get to see it too much but I think attentive watchers noticed that Poe is in fact also a rather good detective. It’s just that when we see him in Bungo Stray Dogs usually, he’s always paired with Ranpo and well you know… Ranpo is a tough act to follow. Or just be around, really.
This gets a little more interesting, right? A man was pushed off the top of a tower but with his shoes switched. That’s odd. We got an explanation for it but it’s not great. Why bother with it, especially when we know what happens next. Why bother with the face. How was it done exactly?
Another thing I keep forgetting about Bungo Stray Dogs is that it’s taking place in modern times. Maybe even just slightly futuristic ones. The costumes and characters give off the feel of a period piece but Bungo Stray Dogs has always had very modern technology. It’s something that’s unusual in superpower stories because you don’t want to trivialize the characters’ special gifts. You know, a bit like the meme that 90% of the characters in MHA can be taken out by an average guy with a gun. But BSD has guns and technology and stakes. So you need to make the problem something to requires more than brute force to solve. Like a mystery!
How are we liking Mr. Perfect Criminal? Now “Perfect Crime” is one hell of a gift. One of my favourite random superpowers in general. Fantastic right? Imagine the possibilities. I hope that other franchises pick up on this. I would love to see how different writers in different settings could use a skill like that. I love the creativity of it.
It’s also way overpowered. Even for a show like Bungo Stray Dogs. Of course, there are some attempts to balance it out. He’s spent at least some time locked up by the port mafia. He didn’t look like he had too hard a time of it but it’s not like he could just use his power at his discretion or anything. Considering how untroubled he seemed by the whole situation, I have a feeling he’s pretty used to this sort of thing. He’s probably had to deal with scary people trying to use him on a regular basis.
I was also thrilled to find out that I know Ranpo better than Poe knows him. Arguably I’ve spent more time with him. I figured that Ranpo wouldn’t fall apart just because he couldn’t instantly solve a murder. Just because evidence of the murder disappeared doesn’t mean the other questions are unsolvable. Like why can’t he find the murderer for instance? Also, Ranpo’s whole personality doesn’t hinge on him being a great detective. It hinges on him being surrounded by fools he must protect! We know that!
This said I didn’t expect him to snap back quite so quickly. It was perfect!
There was a lot of arm flailing in this episode. Like an old snoopy cartoon. I really liked it. I can’t explain why. All the arm-flailing scenes made me smile.
What a last scene! We know Ranpo and we now know the limits of perfect crime. It erases all evidence of the crime but not the context around it. Not the little inconsistencies that aren’t directly related to the crime. And Ranpo has always been a deduction-based detective rather than an evidence base one. Those inconsistencies might as well be clues.
But what now?
I’ll tell you one thing because I don’t believe it will spoil anything. This episode was called A Perfect Murder and Murderer (Part 1). The manga chapter has the same title. In the manga there’s a part 2 and a part 3 so I think we should have at least two more episodes trying to solve this. And they get more and more interesting.
I leave you on a great shot of Atsushi’s eyes from the new ED! Did I mention the colours?