First, let’s get the important stuff out of the way, Bugo Stray Dogs is in fact a split cour!!! YAY! At least in practice. They are calling it a new season but as it stands, Bungo Stray Dogs 5 will start airing in July 2023. That makes me very very happy. Because this is so far my favourite arc and it just keeps getting better.
Also, what a way to end things! Man plans, and God laughs!
What a gift! What an absolutely terrifying gift. The ability to control the aging of herself and all those she touches. That has to be the scariest thing we’ve seen in Bungo Stray Dogs, right? And it’s also such a cool sort of idea for a torturer. Not direct pain or mind reading or anything like that, but the ability to mess with the actual structure of your body in such a delicate way. It sends shudders down my spine.
I also liked that they made an attempt to fix the small plot hole created by the Hunting Dogs regarding gifts in BSD. Now, to be clear, the way the gifted are in Bungo Stray Dogs is rather inconsistent already and you just have to go with it a lot of the time. There’s stuff that doesn’t make much sense. I’ve talked about it before. It’s a messy magic system. But one of the things that we have been able to count on so far, is that people can only have one gift. I’m not sure if it’s ever been said out loud but it’s been true for every superhuman we’ve met. Or else the balancing would be horrendous.
However, the Hunting Dogs seemed just ridiculously overpowered. Let’s take Ookura here as an example. We just found out she can manipulate people’s age. OK, but last week she stopped a plane with her bare hands. It looked like she could essentially Hulk out. So which is it? Well, it’s both, kind of. Her gift is to manipulate people’s ages, but just like the other Hunting Dogs, she’s been surgically altered to go beyond the physical capabilities of normal people. And just like the other Hunting Dogs, that’s going to take a huge toll on her body. Cool, now we know why they are all in another league.
I’m not sure I’m seeing the superhuman thing in Tachihara so much. Maybe he hasn’t undergone all the surgeries yet since he’s been undercover for so long?
On Crunchyroll, they have it set up so the Dead Apple movie is like the last season of the show. Which means that it starts playing whenever I let the end credits roll for too long. That’s how I noticed that Shibusawa looks a heck of a lot like Sigma. I’m not trying to start a conspiracy theory, they are clearly different characters. I just never noticed the design overlap until today!
So Sigma is not only a mediocre man, he’s a man who isn’t there. You know, like the man on the stairs… You know how I said it was a messy magic system, well the book is a great example of that messiness. Still, the idea that a whole person could be just a literary device is cool. Especially since, on a meta-level, Sigma is just a character. They all are! But he’s also a character brought to life within the confines of the story. I like it!
I’m not sure why Fyodor thinks this will give him some type of huge advantage though. I understand that desperation can make monsters out of ordinary men. I just don’t know why he thinks Sigma would be any more desperate than the members of the Detective Agency. For most of them, the Agency is all they have as well so that evens out the playing ground. This said, I’m not as smart as Fyodor so I’m sure there’s something I’m missing. besides, the guy likes to play it close to the vest. We’re bound to get new information!
The Decay of the Angel have no issues with cutting out their operatives once they are no longer useful. That’s not very surprising. In fact, the opposite would be more surprising. But considering we know there are five members, getting rid of two so quickly seems a little excessive. then again…
I really liked the use of Ann’s room in this episode. I always thought this power was extremely situation but in the right circumstances, it’s one of the best out there. And did you guys remember the big puppet and prison room? We haven’t seen them since the beginning of season 2. I’m glad we got the chance to see them again.
Ango is a little bit of a drama queen, isn’t he? I understand that the plan was to get Sigma to talk and with Sigma apparently dead, their best lead is gone BUT – it’s not like they had any guarantee he would talk anyway and Dazai is going to have a plan B. That guy always has a plan B, through Z… and probably some symbols after that.
Speaking of Dazai! Fyodor and Dazai are set up as mirrors of each other. Essentially the same character on different sides of the issue. It’s a good way to remind us that Dazai is not a good guy. Not even remotely. He’s basically with the Agency because the Mafia pissed him off, not because he ever had any moral or ethical issues with what they were doing.
But we’re starting to see a bit of divergence in the way they think. The they here being Dazai and Fyodor in case that wasn’t clear. I realize that when I write in stream of consciousness like this, somet imes I forget you guys aren’t in my head with me. This is going to become more important later.
For now, we know that Fyodor added a simple line to the Page that basically says that anyone who comes across any message that would claim that the Detective Agency is innocent, would dismiss that message without even considering it. In fact, we see Tachihara do exactly that. That seems like a huge hurdle, right!?!
I love the way the episode set it all up. In the last few minutes, it basically turned everything on its head with almost no exposition and gave us something huge to look forward to in July!
Here’s the thing, the big difference between Dazai and Fyodor is that Fyodor neither understands nor cares about people. You could even sort of see that in the silly little game, they’ve been playing all season. Fyodor’s questions were all about ideas and procedures while Dazai only wanted to know about seducing waitresses. Fyodor actually thinks the most powerful man is one that isn’t really a person in a way. Fyodor thinks of people as pawns. He’s very smart and usually right, but the thing is, pawns don’t think for themselves now do they. It’s sort of the main thing pawns are known for. So what happens to his plans when pawns start to think?
The book needs narrative consistency to work. So the line stating that people will dismiss claims of the Agency’s innocence is going to work on most people but not on those who fundamentally wouldn’t believe the Agency to be terrorists in the first place. Because you would have to overwrite that person’s preexisting bias to do so and there definitely isn’t enough space on a single page to do that. So Mori, a man of logic who has known the Agency since it’s inception and Fukuzawa even before that, isn’t likely to be affected. And Tachihara, who at some point became an actual member of the Port Mafia in his heart, also won’t be affected too long. Oooops. Well, that changes things. And if the Hunting Dogs have doubts, the distribution of power just went through a huge shift!
It’s not only those pawns though. I just said the Decay of the Angel sees its members as disposable. And a lot of that is according to Fyodor’s plans. But that doesn’t mean that those individual members see themselves as quite so immediately disposable. Are we looking at mutiny! I’m not saying the the Agency is in the clear, not by a long shot, but things are about to get even more stirred up!
I was already looking forward to this summer. Now I can’t wait!
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 38 – In the Begining
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 39 – Fools
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 40 – Curry Rice
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 41 – The Great Detective
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 42 – The Rise of the Angels
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 43 – The Fall
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 44 – Releasing the Hounds
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 45 – Masterminds
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 46 – War
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 47 – A Good Day
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 48 – A Closed Room
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 49 – A Mediocre Man