Analysis · Anime · Manga · Seinen

Bungou Stray Dogs

I won’t say that this is perfect by any means, it takes quite a while for it to be really addictive. But this is a series that gets better as time passes, with the people who worked on it being able to direct the story in a better direction.

There are a lot of characters in the story, not all of them are good. But enough for me to really grow to a few of them, and like them. My personal favourites will probably be Dazai and Ranpo. The former because he is just plain interesting to read, keeping a straight face while screwing with everyone. The latter because he is rather childish and incredibly intelligent, but with a right mix of those that it doesn’t become an annoyance instead it makes him feel fresh.

Other mentions are Yosano, who has creepy faces despite looking like an average woman. I mean it, which was something that was hilarious to watch.

This is a series that had pretty solid comedy, which I was laughing for most part.

It doesn’t do so well on the main story arcs, for most part. Fights for most part were quick, but only a handful of them were really memorable. Abilities were really interesting and unique, albeit sometimes it just tilted too heavily to one side.

Which brings me to my next point, Atsushi has a incredibly powerful ability. Which makes him boring by all means. Dazai’s is a double edged sword, he can fend off anything that is an ability no matter how ridiculous it is, but if he is injured, nothing can really be done. As for Ranpo, he is simply a genius, period. Except that he lies to himself and says that he is an ability user.

Atsushi can fight, can withstand horrifying wounds that will almost mean knockout, simply because his is extremely good. Combine it with a bland personality and you see the problem. He is wholly unsuited to really carry the story, since he never really grows learns or display anything really interesting.

The best chapter he has is probably the time when he learned the man who neglected him but also protected him as a child died, the bittersweet memory and also conflicted feelings. I feel that it was what he is, balancing the trauma he had suffered in the orphanage and with his character.

And after a while, he isn’t really plot relevant. And so are many of the characters. The story arcs don’t tie quite a number of them apart from a few to the main story. And introducing new villains who are discarded quite quickly, as well as making old enemies turn to be allies without really giving them proper development.

It will have been nice to know more about Ranpo and his past, and what made him this insanely intelligent but ignorant genius (he doesn’t even bother to learn the train system). The rivalry between him and Poe could have had more elements to flesh out his back story. As for Kenji, there is Finnian from Black Butler, end of story.

As for Kunikida, he has his moments. Although more about what kept him to follow the ideals he had will have been a good idea.

So, in large when it gets good it is good. But one thing that doesn’t make this the masterpiece is probably the fact that the arcs are chosen without ever really developing the side characters. And the plot at times doesn’t know how to make the best use of the characters other than giving them a job to do. But still it made me care intensely about the


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