Bungō Stray Dogs (2016)
- Season 1 (12 episodes)
- based on a manga
- by Takuya Igarashi
The anime starts with Atsushi Nakajima who has been kicked out of his orphanage. Strange incidents with the sighting of a mystical tiger within the orphanage leads to Atsushi’s expulsion because he was making responsible for it. So he starts wandering through the city until he saves a man named Osamu Dazai from drowning in the river. Dazai turns out to be a supernatural detective (with a weakness for suicide) who is currently investigating the mysterious tiger. Forced to join the agency Atsushi and the other members of the agency start to investigate more and more unusual cases which the police can’t handle.
The story is quite interesting as it is about detectives and mafia members with special abilities. Especially the detective agency uses their abilities to solve different kind of cases. We like how they come to the conclusion. The whole anime is combined with thrilling and many funny elements. It is interesting to see how the mafia and the detective agency interact.
The anime series is filled with many fantasy and science fiction elements as the special abilities play an important role. Especially members from the Detective Agency and Port Mafia are gifted with these abilities. For example Atsushi is able to transform into a white tiger which is very good shown in the anime by the way. Akutagawa, a member of the Mafia has an ability called ‘Rashomon’, which makes him able to control his clothes. Another character is Chuuya (member of the Port Mafia) who can control the gravity. Interesting to see is that there are gifted people who use their abilities to help others whereas others use them for destruction.
A main element are the funny scenes. We like the relation between Dazai and Kunikida (member of the Detective Agency). They work together but don’t get along as Dazai teases him every time. Dazai is the funniest character as he always brings the Agency in trouble such as flirting with the female clients and always looking for a good place or method to commit suicide. A further very funny relation can be seen between Dazai and Chuuya. They used to be comrades but can’t stand each other or rather they literally hate each other. Chuuya is one of Dazai’s favorite ‘victim’ of his teasings as Chuuya always freaks out. These teasings bring many laughter.
Nonetheless, the anime series is also filled with many emotional scenes. Atsushi has suffered a lot in the past as he got abandoned by the orphanage. He was told that he would better be off dead. He had neither friends nor family. These flashbacks are very emotional. Also the past of the Port Mafia member Akutagawa shows some sad scenes. He has always be seen as a weakling no matter what he did. You can see that this bad experience makes him suffering a lot even in the present. On the other hand, it is interesting to see that characters care for each other. For example, Dazai took Atsushi in the Detective Agency because he had nowhere else to go. Also Atsushi has a warm personality as he cares a lot for others and always wants to help them.
We really like the depiction of the characters as they have the names of famous authors and even characters from their works. Also their abilities are mostly called after written works by the authors. Besides the names, their personalities also show interesting elements as they differ from character to character. For example, Atsushi always wants to help others but also has a bit of a naive personality. We love the relation between the characters as they are filled with love, hate and annoyance. The latter brings many enjoyment as it consists of Dazai teasing others.
Chuuya is one of the five executive of the Port Mafia. He is not only arrogant but also likes to show his strength in combats. What he hates the most in Osamu Dazai his former partner. Being so capricious makes him one of Dazai’s main target for his teasings especially when it comes to his height. Even though he likes to kill people, he is not as homicidal as Akutagawa.
Akutagawa has a very dark view on the world as he thinks that weaklings should die. He is filled with extreme hate especially towards Atsushi. He is possessed by one thing: showing a ‘certain person’ that he is strong. Committing crimes for his own goals (not only for the mafia’s) shows that he has a strong will to destroy and kill.
The art of the anime series is very beautiful and colorful. The background is detailed similar to the landscapes. We love that it shows many different places however the setting is mainly placed in Yokohama. The design of the characters are also well depicted and unique. We love the fact that many of them look androgynous. The emotions of the characters are well shown. The music in the anime is fantastic, especially the opening and ending theme. The opening theme ‘Trash Candy’ by Granrodeo (Chuuya’s voice actor is the frontman of the band) and the ending theme ‘Namae wo Yobu you’ by Luck Life are catchy and it is impossible to skip them.
All in all, we totally like the anime as we fell in love with it after the first episode. It combines emotions and fun in an ordinary manner. On one side, you suffer with the characters and on the other side you always have to smile as you know that Dazai is planning an other teasing just to annoy others. We definitely recommend Bungou Stray Dogs and we are excited to see how it goes on in season 2.