Bungou Stray Dogs has always been a particularly particular work. A work that is not always easy to make sense of. Kafka Asagiri’s ingenuity becomes a double-bladed edge for a story. As its name suggests, always seems to wander under the figure of a stray dog. In search of a home, walking without stopping.
At least this is how I have always seen a work that takes the epic by the hand to make it dance along with the detective mystery, the most human introspection, and the own tone that Asagiri introduces into the mix with the label of “secret ingredient”, thus achieving a cocktail as strange as it is imposing. A narrative that many dismiss as incoherent and that, without wanting to take away their reason altogether, ends up shining with its own disparity.
Proof of this is the result of a third season that is divided into all possible blocks for the short space it represents. Unlike the rest of the installments, Bungou Stray Dogs 3 separates all its fronts in a series of arcs that test the moral aspect of all its characters in a succession of small plot spaces capable of giving life to the emotional conflicts of the protagonist team.
In this sense, I feel that it is “ Dazai, Chuuya, 15 years old ” —the introduction. As revealed by the first impressions of the season, one of the novels of the Asagiri series. The maximum exponent of an emotional context that not only seeks to interpose the past of its actors. And actresses to give a new value to their future. But also is proposed as the main attraction, I insist, of the season.
His act serves once again as the origin and circulation of endless conflict. Two stray dogs. Two great promises who see their destinies intertwined to end up under the supervision of the Port Mafia in search of a place to call home. It does not matter from which point it is observed. The play struggles to humanize its characters over and over again. The betrayal of Chuuya’s fidelity or the intention to live in Dazai —who carries the classic “ Unworthy of being human ” by the homonymous Japanese writer, with all its meaning imprinted on his character— are some of the examples that are superimposed on the wheel of fate from ” Osamu Dazai and the dark ages “making a constant reference to the narrative game that is created between Dazai, Ango, and Oda.
Beyond why Dazai and Chuuya ended up being part of the Port Mafia, their history tells us who Dazai is. Who is Chuuya? Even who is Mori, under the background of one of the most mysterious characters in the play. A master move, which takes the intricacies of the series to make a network on which the full weight of its argument rests.
But that’s not all, because although Dazai and Chuuya are two of the most charismatic characters in the play. Its third season does not treat its actors and actresses with an air of favoritism. The conflict between the Detective Agency and the Port Mafia takes on a new turn.
However, he does so with special calm. Remember, once again, that his characters are human and attend to it with all his might. Kunikida has its own introspective space to be incapable of saving a child from a horrible death – a narrative game that connects directly to the OVA, serving, on the one hand, to distinguish once again his conviction for justice and, secondly, Fyodor’s ability to override the Agency’s plans and dismantle its power with uncanny skill.
Atsushi, despite being brief, has perhaps the most powerful of his bows. The one about the death of the only father she’s ever known. The loss, a factor that is practically foreign to the stray dog, who wanders without knowing his own origin or a hand to take care of him. Despite his agonizing childhood, it is everything the boy had lived through. Everything he had lost in a reunion that could have meant the end of the nightmares that haunt his mind.
However, I insist, it gives the feeling that his bow ends before it begins. Minimum space for a redemption that could turn the workaround and that is repeated on several occasions. Lucy has so little space that she is barely remembered, being one of the most charismatic actresses that the play has released and having an important evolutionary arc that goes almost as unnoticed as those of the rest of the Guild members, counting on the appearances stellar Francis and Louisa in restoring their society
In the end, and after several turns in his script we have a decisive and parallel arc to that of ” Dazai, Chuuya, 15 years old ” starring Yukichi and Mori under the idea of ”Cannibalism” that ends up diverting his attention – despite showing us, I insist, that vision of the past of both members and how they take the reins of both organizations — to the conflict between the Port Mafia and the Detective Agency, showing in metaphorical prose the idea that one and the other, perhaps, are not as different as they think. A point that, while entering the climax of the season, is more enhanced by the conflict between both sides than by the duality of its leaders.
All in all, Bungou Stray Dogs once again lives up to its convictions in its latest installment. It’s a cyclical formula and we’ve seen it before, but that’s why it works so well. Because it represents, once again, the continuous twist of his plot motivations. In turn, the beginning of an end that he has been citing throughout its length.
Because his end is much more than Akutagawa and Atsushi showing off their powers. It is also much more than Dazai’s protégés fighting side by side. It is a metaphorical sense. Dazai’s deepest desire in the idea, in the conviction, that the cycle of violence may one day end. Not only is it the recurring ” Dazai, Chuuya, 15 años ” with other actors. But it also represents an evolution of the same narrative fragment to show us the path that the play has been seeking so far.
Fyodor serves to offer Asagiri’s good taste for narrative. The tension of the drama that always comes together in its lines. Playing the viewer’s senses and mutating its plot to shape the script twists that Bones accompanies so well with a remarkable style that brings to life all of Asagiri and Harukawa’s proposals. But even so, it is its most emotional sense that shapes a work that is not tied to the stereotypes of the genre it represents.
” A member of the mafia does not kill, eh? Just like us »
The victory of Bungou Stray Dogs 3 is a bitter victory. And I cannot help feeling that this new season has had little cohesion between its many parts. However, it is difficult to forget Dazai’s words at the end. A toast to the stray dogs. For the end of the conflict. To see everything that the work has in store for us in the future.