Things can never be that easy, now can they?
BSD is generally not a dramatic show. It’s not a everything is hopeless sort of series and yet here we are.
I feel like this is going to apply or every single episode this season. This post will be full of spoilers. We learn big things every time we get a new episode and if you like the show, I think you’re going to want to see them for yourselves. Then come back! Don’t forget to come back! That’s a really important part of the whole experience!
I have said this before, reviewing this very show in fact. Geniuses are very hard to write. Because unless you’re a genius, and the same type of genius, then it’s almost impossible to pull off. I was talking about Ranpo at the time. And I said that he works for the most part because he always explains his deductions and they are generally very simple and down to earth. Sure his perception skills are off the charts but it sounds possible. And that makes the character very fun.
The thing is, Bungo Stray Dogs has two genius characters in the main cast. And Dazai’s genius is the ineffable type that can just seem to be magic at times. It partly works because of the sheer charm of the character and partly because the stories are so much fun it’s easy to give his unbelievable intuition a pass. But man, he outdid himself this time…kind of.
See Dazai knew that Fyodor would put the Agency in a very difficult situation. He actually groomed Atsushi to be the most likely lone action hero to save the agency when push came to shove. So it’s not a big stretch that he would be in a dire situation at some point. He also set up Akutagawa to help him in that moment when he spots a smoke signal, most likely because the two have strangely compatible gifts. So far, a lot of what seems to be Dazai predicting the future is actually him setting it up. Just before he goes to prison he warns Akutagawa that the time draws near and he gives Ranpo the setup about the smoke signals since it seems he can communicate with Ranpo from prison and there, that’s not quite so impossible as it seems at first glance.
And you know, with Dazai’s personality, for him this might not even be about saving the agency. He might just be enjoying the high-stakes game with Fyodor. Wouldn’t put it past him and that’s sort of what makes the character works!
I’m not separating my images out very well but I will say, I enjoyed seeing Akutagawa and Atsushi start working together. Once they set their differences to the ide, they really do make a pretty good team. And the plan they came up with in a few minutes and in such a high-pressure situation was pretty good. A little basic and naive but considering that they are both used to simply executing plans rather than coming up with them, I think they did quite well here.
Ok, so I want to talk about images here because the scene where Atsushi and Akutagawa run into Fukuchi is wonderful visual storytelling. I really loved it and I didn’t get that from the manga so it was a thrill.
First of all, that screencap up top sort of tells you everything you need to know about Fukuchi. It’s weeks’ worth of character development in a few seconds and the animation sells it even better. First, he was just sitting there obviously knowing exactly what they were going to do. Because, at the end of the day, there is no substitute for experience. And if there’s one thing we’ve been told over and over again is that this man is a veteran. No one knows war better than him and this is war.
Second, he’s completely relaxed and smoking a cigarette but there’s no sign of arrogance or even satisfaction at all. Maybe I’m imagining it but if anything to me he looked a little tired. Like someone grabbing a smoke break before returning for their second shift at a job, they don’t like but pays the bills. This was not the demeanor of a guy who thinks he’s above everyone. Atsushi may have called him a god of war but I don’t think that’s how Fukuchi sees himself. This is a guy who has a job to do. And one that he doesn’t necessarily enjoy but feels is important. And that’s the first image…
I’m not going to do this for all of them, don’t worry. I could but that would be ridiculous. So I’m only going to talk about the second one, the establishing long shot. It’s a great shot taken from way up high behind the clock tower. It would make perfect sense to do a shot like that before a fight scene in order to establish exactly what the terrain is like, where the limits of the field are, and where the characters are in relation to each other. That makes the fighting choreography that’s about to come a lot easier to follow. It’s the type of shot you see often in fighting shonen although maybe not quite from that far away. In any case, it’s a very normal shot. One most viewers won’t notice at all at first watch. It’s also a huge and just beautiful piece of foreshadowing. I actually squealed with glee when I saw it. Now that’s some good adaptation right there!
Doesn’t Akutagawa look like a natural hunting dog? I think the uniform just suits him perfectly.
Where do I start? This scene was the perfect rollercoaster. From the greatest high of seeing Akutagawa and Atsushi actually becoming so in sync as to read each other’s thoughts and trust each other completely. It was just plain touchin’ and that’s not something I can say often about Buno Stray Dogs. And it worked! Of course it would, it was perfect!
To the greatest low of realizing that you just might be up against an undefeatable enemy. At least in combat. Man oh man…
And I really like the combination of Fukuchi’s power and the sword. Basically, Fukuchi can make any weapon he wields 1000 times more powerful which is a frightening ability in and of itself but still, in the end, it’s basically a strength buff. Simple. But when you combine it with a sword that also has an ability, it also enhances the sword’s ability. Making this ceremonial sword able to cut through a few inches and a few seconds, suddenly an almost unbeatable ace in the hole. How is anyone supposed to fight against that? No, I’m asking!
You know what the implication is though. Fukuchi isn’t unbeatable. In fact, he’s likely died a lot. And that must be horrible. Im sure I’ll get a chance to delve deeper into this in future episodes. But guys, are you psyched? I can’t wait to see the next episode.
- 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
- Bungo Stray Dogs 5 ep. 52 – Clear Sailing