Bungo Stray Dogs 3 Episodes 5 + 6: Thoughts

Episode 5: Slap the Stick and Addict

It’s a bit odd to me that I am absolutely loving Bungo Stray Dogs‘ third season when I didn’t consider myself a true fan of the first two seasons until recently. Honestly, that was only because I didn’t pay enough attention while watching, so I missed some important things; also, I was into other types of shows at the time. Now, I love the series and I’m rewatching it! Not that it really matters much, but fyi, this post isn’t a structured review. It’s just my impressions and thoughts. Warning: there may be spoilers! Here goes!

(You’ve been warned!)

My first thought going into this episode was that it’s probably going to take quite some time for the story to connect back to Fyodor Dostoyevsky. However, we did see him already in one shot, and we were pretty much, if we didn’t know already, that it was him who hijacked the Moby Dick at the end of season 2. When I started watching the episode, I was overwhelmed with happiness at seeing all the old familiar faces again. I also kept wondering what Dazai might be thinking at this point in his life, and I noticed how he’s still fascinated with death. He looks pretty happy when he and the gang get to go kill the team that attacked the coffee shop.

(You smug, handsome SOB)

Speaking of which, I thought that little gang of baddies early in the episode were going to be recurring characters. They were annoying, and humorously bad at being serious villains. So I was glad the Armed Detective Agency took them out quickly. The humor was purposeful, of course, I realized. Speaking of which, comedy is abundant in this episode, and often self-aware. My favorite moments were the lines of and scenes with Higuchi obsessing over Akutagawa, and Katai the hikkikomori. Let’s not forget Yoshiko, the memorable… futon.

(Yes, I also have a super power I can only use from inside my bedding)

Lucy came back and we met Katai and found out who Gin is. I love Kunikida and I’m glad to see him again. It was a bit sad that there was no Kyouka. Back to Gin, I must say I wasn’t really that surprised. I’ve always had “him” tagged in my mind as someone who could end up being a guy or a girl once unmasked. What’s interesting though is that she’s Akutagawa’s sister, and younger sis at that. I wonder if that will lead to any interesting character development for him? (No, dirty mind, I’m not talking about siscon garbage. By development, I mean I wonder if we’ll see a tender side to the usually savage Akutagawa as he protects his little sister or something.)

Naturally, after how intense the last 4 episodes were, it’s a bit jarring to jump to the relatively peaceful future, and a bit disappointing that there’s no major action yet. I’ll be patient, though. I’m sure it will be awesome once things get rolling. The animation and art are still great in my opinion, though I did notice this episode maybe wasn’t quite as fancy as the previous ones. The music was highly entertaining, and often comical and fun. I love the OP, “Season of Love” as well as the ED, “Lily.” It’s to say which I prefer.

(Doppo Kunikida played by Yoshimasa Hosoya)

The seiyuu I want to draw attention to this time are Asami Seto, voice of Higuchi, and Yoshimasa Hosoya, voice of Kunikida. Miss Seto was/is Mai in Rascal Doesn’t Dream, Raphtalia in Shield Hero, Chihaya in Chihayafuru, and Chiyuki in Death Parade. Mr. Hosoya played Fumikage in Hero Academia, Welf in DanMachi, Shichika in Katanagatari, Reiner in AoT, and many more. Both seiyuu did great jobs this episode, but I was especially impressed with Asami Seto during the scene where she faces off with Kunikida and ends up asking him for help. Her screaming over Katai’s love issues was well done, too.

(This is how I react to school romance anime tropes)

Episode 6: Herurisu/ Portrait of a Father

This was a heavy episode. Wow. We covered a lot of ground, with emotional history character reveals and information. Due to low energy and lack of caffeine, my mind is foggy and I’m going to make this overview quick. This seemed mostly like a character development episode, but it still passed for a pretty good midseason episode.

Kyouka is back, and as scary and cute as ever! Lucy seems to like Atsushi and is mad at him because he didn’t come to see after the Moby Dick landed in season 2. Atsushi obviously likes Kyouka, so I believe we have a love triangle here. Rampo and Tanizaki (Junichirou) made brief appearances, but nothing much from Kinukida or the Port Mafia. Ango the informant from the government also showed up for a bit.

Kyouka thought her ability, Demon Snow, acted on its own and killed her parents. However, the truth was a little different. Her parents, who worked for the government, were attacked by a Gifted individual with a score to settle. One of them had an ability that let them use their blood for mind control. Under the influence of that control, Kyouka’s parents could tell they were being forced to kill their daughter. Rather than letting that happen, the mother ordered Demon Snow to kill her husband and then herself.

At the time, Demon Snow was the mother’s ability. She passed it on to Kyouka, but it could only be controlled by using her cell phone. It was that redheaded woman, Kyouka’s Aunt?, who arranged for her to know the truth. I think her name was Ozaki and she works for the Port Mafia. Speaking of Kyouka, her seiyuu Sumire Moroshoshi did a great– and heart-wrenching– job of screaming at the scene where her parents were killed. Moroshoshi-san played Emma in last season’s Yakusoku no Neverland.

We didn’t get to see a lot of Dazai, but he showed up for a bit at the end to give some insight. Episode 6, however, did have a lot to do with Atsushi, and I’ve always liked him as a main character and have sympathy for his personal struggles. It turns out the headmaster of the orphanage where Atsushi grew up died in a car accident. As you probably remember, he was abusive to Atsushi and made him spend most of his time locked up in a cell in chains. So when Atsushi heard that the headmaster was dead, he was overwhelmed with mixed emotions.

Now that he knows he used to transform into the tiger without remembering it, Atsushi, to some extent, understands the headmaster’s actions. He was trying to protect the other kids in the orphanage from the tiger and trying to keep the existence of the tiger secret from everyone including Atsushi. Though at first he says he’s happy the headmaster is dead, Atsushi does seem to feel sadness too. He says he’ll never forgive the man for being cruel, and Dazai agrees and tells him that’s justified. In addition, as he walks away, Dazai notes that “people usually cry when their father dies.” Atsushi’s tears begin to flow seconds later.

As you can see, an interesting theme in this episode was parents’ love for their children. In the case of Atsushi, he learned that his surrogate “father” had reasons for some of his cruelty. In the case of Kyouka, she was probably overwhelmed to learn that her parents died out of love for her, and were not killed because of her and her ability going out-of-control.

For me, Bungo Stray Dogs 3 is so far 8.6/10, well into the Excellent category, with magnificently done characters, visuals, and audio, and an overall great story. It’s my favorite of spring 2019, with Sarazanmai close behind. I definitely recommend this anime!

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