Huh, huh!!!??!! Yeah!!??!!
Look, I don’t know how you guys feel but when I had this reveal for the first time my jaw was on the floor. I just really really like this turn of events. And we don’t have all the details yet but I also happen to like the motivation a hell of a lot here. It’s not exactly original but there’s an earnestness about it. It fits the entire mood of BSD and rejoins a lot of the themes explored in the story.
Also, if you haven’t seen the episode stop. Just stop. Go and watch it. I rarely bother about spoilers in episode reviews so when I do you know I mean it. You should see it for yourself!
But before we get to any paradigm shifts, let’s talk about Ranpo! The strongest man indeed. I have a huge soft spot in my heart about the idea that half the police force managed to break out of the page’s spell. Now I realize that the show is encouraging law enforcement to “go with their gut” and “act on instinct/feeling” and I’m not quite sure how to feel about that. But within the context of BSD, I like it a lot. And I just like the power of the page.
I also really love that the Armed Detective Agency is slowly getting reunited. They were actually all separated back at the beginning of the last season but I think that because it was a split cour, that aspect loses a bit of impact. It feels like barely anytime has passed because we’re just at episode 2 but in fact, it’s been a dozen episodes or so. I hope this makes sense to you guys, it makes sense in my head.
This said, there’s a way to go. A lot of folks are still missing. And although Ranpo is my favourite, Kenji is also my favourite. I have a pretty tenous grasp on the concept of favourite.
Fukuchi is quite the character, isn’t he? Just such a great balance. He is imposing and a little intimidating. You can absolutely believe that this man is a war hero capable of bringing down a dangerous cell of super-powered terrorists while barely breaking a sweat. Yet, the character is just as natural being completely hung over during an important meeting. It’s not easy to write a character like that. I have to admit, I loved his movie poster as well. Maybe that’s what swayed me actually.
As for the scene with Ranpo, I’d like to bring two things to your attention. That shot of them sitting in chairs opposite each other with those three large windows in the background, that’s classic BSD framing and I love it! Just to drive the point home, here’s a slideshow just of the pics I had on hand…
As for what was actually happening in the scene. It’s sort of a theme that Ranpo trusts the president. In fact, it’s a bit of a psychological lifeline for him. And BSD has always nurtured that. Ranpo’s loyalty is endearing and has always been presented as one of his strengths. He is the strongest man after all. It’s what makes the scene so resonant and genuine when you first see it. Of course, this is how it would play out and of course, it would be convincing. I was convinced.
And boy is it just the best setup!
This is where everything picks up, right? The gang is reunited, well almost. It’s only a matter of time. The Agency finally has a way to fight back against the power of the page. It might be unreliable and only partly effective but it’s leagues better than the position they were in before. And now, they have an incredibly powerful ally who has the approval of the president itself. Things are finally looking up. It seems like they might get out of this one! Great right?
and Atsushi doesn’t have to grow up after all. He won’t need to face those demons that were rearing their ugly heads in season 4. He can once again comfortably settle down and just rely on the rest of the agency to make decisions and tell him what to think and how to feel. That really was a close one!
I love this reveal so much. All of it. I love that Ranpo knew all along but didn’t want to know. Remember folks, he isn’t actually gifted. I love that it caught me completely by surprise but I really should have seen it coming from a mile away. I love that things seem more dire than they have ever been before and yet.. there’s still a glimmer of hope, isn’t there.
After all, the Agency is still slowly reuniting its people. The page isn’t all powerful and they do only seem to have one page and not the entire book. And finally, Akutagawa is here. This has been a slow play by Dazai. The setup of Akutagawa and Atsushi teaming up has been foreshadowed and actually foretold since season 2. And it was always for this moment. So maybe Ranpo screwed up but are things still going according to Dazai’s plan? Glimmer…
I don’t know if I told you guys about this before. There’s a random bit of flavour about Akutagawa’s character that I really like. It’s that he doesn’t know the word jabot. Normally I wouldn’t blame him or anything. It’s a French word and from what I can tell doesn’t have an English equivalent. It’s probably also jabot in Japanese. I feel like tons of people don’t know the word jabot. But he wears one every single day (it’s the thing around his neck). He even has it on in his janitor’s costume. And like people have told him what it’s called but he never bothers to remember it. He actively does not want to learn the word jabot. For some reason, I like that. It never comes up in the story at all but as a bit of background info, I always thought it was wonderful.
- 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
- Bungo Stray Dogs 4 ep. 50 – The Best Laid Plans
- Bungo Stray Dogs 5 ep. 51 – The Strongest Man