Bungo Stray Dogs IV – Episode 2

I will say that I was really confused for a hot moment before I recognized some of the characters and realized that we’re currently watching the play that the actors we spoke to in the last episode are putting up. It looks like they’re a persecuted group of fallen angels who are being hunted down. Ranpo is about as confused as I am, so that helps. While this is happening, Fukuzawa spots something fishy but is quickly distracted by Ranpo spoiling the ending. Welcome back to another weekly discussion of Bungo Stray Dogs by the way. I’ve been looking forward to this show, even though I am watching way too many anime this season and still have several hours of content worth of backlog. I really should reconsider watching some of the shows I’m watching. My anime tracker says I’m actively watching 31 shows which is kind of insane. I don’t think I’ve ever watched this many, let alone during a time of my life where I actually have responsibilities outside of laying in bed watching anime. But none of that is important now, so let’s go back to the episode at hand. 

Come on Ranpo, no spoilers.

Let’s start off by taking a moment to unpack what Ranpo is saying here. He feels like there’s something he’s missing that everyone else understands. As someone who has autism, which I’m pretty sure Ranpo’s character is based around, that feels familiar. There’s a lot of things that are extremely normal in today’s society that just don’t make sense to me at all. This can range from social interactions to interpersonal communication and even seeps into the way society works and functions. It’s scary to be on the outside and never quite feel like you belong with everyone else. It’s scary to wake up with anxiety for things that shouldn’t cause anxiety. I feel for a character like Ranpo because I know what it’s like to feel like the odd one out and be the only one who doesn’t get it. But with all of Ranpo’s insecurities does come a talent.

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies

Ranpo’s observation skills are off the charts, as he’s already demonstrated. Fukuzawa explains to him what his talents are. Unfortunately for me, I’m not a special talent like Ranpo is, I just get the anxiety part and the feeling of not belonging. Fukuzawa explains to Ranpo that he’s not the only one who’s special, but that most people are not particularly special. Of course people seem like monsters if you don’t understand them. Fukuzawa uses his lvl 100 speech skills to convince Ranpo of his talents by giving him some cheap glasses. I suppose a kid that age would love to be tricked into being less anxious. It’s basically cognitive behavioral therapy in mere moments.
When Ranpo switches the way he thinks of things the world becomes colorful for him. The moment this happens, the anime goes from black and white to color.

I’m not sure that’s quite what he meant, but we’ll let it slide

I thought it was gray before to signal it being from Fukuzawa’s perspective and color came in when we were looking through Ranpo’s eyes, but I guess I was wrong in that observation. Now that Ranpo can see the world clearly, all the colors have appeared. I feel like I don’t quite understand the leap from one to another but I like the fact that we’re going to start seeing some color now. I feel like the grayscale would have gotten old pretty fast. Ranpo is going to quickly solve the murder now that he sees everything clearly. We jump into the opening from here on out.

This is totally unrelated to the rest of this review, but I got some organic, made from damaged apples 0% apple cider. I thought all cider would be made from leftover apples, but I guess I was wrong. It’s really good though. I’m not big on alcoholic drinks in general, but cider seems to be one of the rare exceptions. But it’s only the afternoon right now, so I don’t think someone like me who doesn’t really drink should drink something alcoholic suddenly, so the 0% one is a great alternative. Moving on.

That’s a lot of blood, I don’t think it’s supposed to come out of your body.

The play continues and the lead character dies a beautifully tragic death. Except it’s not a part of the script. Something strange is definitely going on here. Ranpo promised he would prevent the murder, and the guy is still dead. There has to be more to this than meets the eye. It’s up to Fukuzawa to figure out why an audience member disappeared. Low and behold, it was the man that piqued his interest before. While we were walking around, Ranpo has figured out there were two murderers. From his convoluted explanation I believe he let one murder fly so they could catch the bigger fish? I’m not quite sure but I’m definitely intrigued. I do like that all the characters in this show have super powers and Ranpo’s superpower is just autism. I feel justified in my existence. His acting skills aren’t particularly great though and the audience kind of cringes at his initial act. Once he starts explaining what is going on, they get a lot more enthralled. 

Hiroshi Kamiya delivers these lines wonderfully

And there’s the big reveal. The lead actor wasn’t actually dead. He was just faking his death. It’s a pretty convoluted plot but it’s smart in a fantasy story. Use something to make your pulse seem gone and use your own drawn blood to  trick forensics. Sounds pretty cool. Unfortunately Ranpo was too smart for your ploys and figured everything out. He wanted to play death itself and he seems to have succeeded in his attempts although the result was not what he expected. He jumps off of the stage. I don’t know how high that stage is supposed to be so I’m unsure if he just killed himself or just hurt his ankle. He was low on blood, so he was probably not doing too hot. 

Now the show is done, I hope you had a, gut-trembling, or something resembling fun.

I like that Ranpo has concluded that he’d rather have a super power than just be highly observant. Even if it means tricking himself. No one who’s that clever doesn’t see through a ploy that simple. My question about the lead actor gets answered pretty quickly. He’s just arrested. He wasn’t the mastermind that wanted the man in the front seat dead. It was the stageright who planned everything. It turns out this stageright got murdered in his locked room. And suddenly we end on a shot of the police officer with a very cunning look on his face. That can’t be good for Ranpo.

Look, I know it’s a prequel but I’m still worried for Ranpo. He’s just a little kid here, only 14 years old.

I enjoyed this episode and it flew by super fast, but I can’t say I fully understand what exactly is going on with the story. Who is murdering who for what reason? This is long before some of the other parts of the story that we already know, and it’s been such a long time since I watched those so it’s no wonder I feel a bit confused at times. Maybe I should read the manga, that seems like it might be fun. But for now, these are my thoughts on the second episode of Bungo Stray Dogs, I hope you enjoyed watching it alongside me and hope to see you all here again next week for the next episode. Thanks for reading!

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