Bungo Stray Dogs IV – Episode 1

It’s time for another season of Bungo Stray Dogs. I’ve read some of the novels and the first volume of the manga for this one, and I’m still hoping to dive into the entire story one day but for now let’s just have a look at what this new season of anime brings us. I’m going to be covering this show weekly so follow or like if that’s something you’re interested in. Let’s get to it.

Ranpo here looks like he should be voiced by Fukuyama Jun, but maybe that’s just the glasses.

The opening True Story by Screen Mode isn’t familiar to me, but it sounds alright. The animation and style of the opening kind of reminds me of the Monogatari series. Perhaps that’s just because it feels kind of abstract. We start off this season with a younger looking Fukuzawa who, to remind everyone, is the leader of the detective agency in the story we’ve seen so far. It does seem like he’s working alone at this point. His words, not mine. He’s on his way to a crime scene where someone allegedly got pushed out of a window. 

Listening to the opening again as I’m gathering screenshots to put here, I do actually really love the vocalist’s voice. It’s the song that doesn’t quite do it for me though.

After talking with one of the investigators he comes face to face with Oda Sakunosuke, the presumed assassin. We know Oda from the second season where he, Dazai and a man named Ango would come together at a bar. The second Bungo Stray Dogs novel; Osamu Dazai and the dark era covers that story as well and is told from Oda’s perspective. Out of the two novels I’ve read, that was definitely the better one, Oda was a great character.

What a clash. Things went from 0 to 100 so fast.

We have a new character enter the room who immediately turns everything on its head. He calls out the secretary for being the murderer and Fukuzawa for not figuring it out quicker. That’s Ranpo right? It’s been a while since I last watched this show because it’s been a while since it last aired. And that’s Hiroshi Kamiya’s voice right? His voice is instantly recognizable yet he does manage to make a lot of the characters he voices sound unique. To make matters more complicated, Oda has had enough of being locked up on a chair so he decides to free himself and grab his guns again. He mercilessly kills the secretary that hired him and subsequently betrayed him if Ranpo’s story is right. And Ranpo is always right. 

And just like that the murderer gets murdered. Ranpo is unfazed by all of this, which should be a red flag.

I remember now how fun of a character Ranpo was. He’s basically L from death note if he never listened to an MCR album. Hiroshi Kamiya adds all the flair he needs to it. It turns out Ranpo has no parents and got kicked out of school for being a whistleblower so Fukuzawa does eventually offer him his business card. The cheeky bugger then walks to the nearest phone he can find and immediately calls him to help him out with his lack of work or place to stay. I remember why I liked this show already. Quick sidenote, is it really a thing in Japan that you can store a phone or something in the sleeve of a yukata? I think that’s a yukata, I’m uneducated on this kind of stuff, I just know they look comfortable.

Cheeky bugger

If you haven’t picked up on it by now, maybe you have that type of colorblindness that doesn’t let you see any colors, or maybe you’re a dog pretending to be a human and you can only see gray tones. This show so far is more or less in black and white. There’s a little bit of color here and there but it’s mostly grayscale. I wonder if that’s going to persist through the entire season. I have no idea what this story is going to be about, contrary to the last two anime I followed along with. Fukuzawa has decided to drag Ranpo along for the day, which he must already be regretting. Just because you’re right, doesn’t mean you’re likable. Ranpo is extremely direct to the point that it’s kind of mean. 

Hello well dressed lady with glasses 🙂

If we’re going to talk about annoying characters, a pretentious actor might be right up on the list. Although his idea of what’s boring and what isn’t is something I can respect. If the audience doesn’t like it, then it’s probably not good. The rest of the actors seem to be a bit more sociable.
The girl  that Ranpo ends up talking to is a lot friendlier though which makes her suspicious in my opinion. Chekhov’s gun and all that. To put into perspective, a lot of the characters in this show are named after famous authors. The writer knows their stuff about writing. 

Now that I’m looking at her again, she looks familiar. Is she a character we already know from a previous season?

Fukuzawa is quickly starting to realize that Ranpo isn’t just some wisecracking kid, he’s just genuinely super smart. Not only that, he somehow thinks that other people grasp the same concepts. Also, weirdly enough the flashbacks to earlier in the episode are in color. Since we’re following along with Fukuzawa, maybe this is to signify that Fukuzawa isn’t seeing the full picture, hence the lack of color. When he thinks back on things with more information given to him by Ranpo, the full picture starts to form and we see color. Maybe those literature classes weren’t wasted after all? Who am I kidding, they definitely were. Moving on.

I see your true colors shining through.

With just spending half a day with Fukuzawa, Ranpo manages to figure out his entire backstory. Fukuzawa is angry, but he was the one that asked the question. This is the first time Ranpo is shaken. Rightfully so, a grown man just yelled at him out of nowhere. And right as they agree to work  together, the doors to the theater open and the performance starts. I suppose this is the start of their detective agency. All in all a very solid first episode. I liked the way it was presented to us with limited color and seeing these characters again was definitely a good time.

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