Bungou Stray Dogs – 1

Bones has certainly been busy this season.

…Wait, didn’t we watch this show already? It was called Hamatora, right? With the group of detectives that have supernatural abilities but work together to ultimately cover one another’s shortcomings? Or is it To aru majutsu no index, where the main character can nullify any magical ability with his hand or finger?

All kidding aside, Bungou Stray Dogs is it’s own beast (no pun intended). Enter Osamu Dazai, apparent leader (?) of the Armed Detective Company who was actually trying to kill himself (Hello, Itoshiki). He was saved by an orphan Atsushi, who had been kicked out of his orphanage for reasons he believed was because “They no longer could afford to feed him” but we eventually learn the real reason is “He turns into a giant wolf at night”. Yeah, generally fair grounds for being kicked out of a communal home.

Osamu is wise to this though and is prepared to defeat him, not soon after offering him admission to the Armed Detective Company.

It’s worth noting that Bungou Stray Dogs has a distinct feeling from Hamatora, with the former with more industrial overtones and the latter more modern and at least superficially more goofy. That is not to say that Bungou is not goofy at times, but there is a distinct air of morbid oppression in Bungou that is not present overall in Hamatora. As of right now I couldn’t possibly say that Hamatora doesn’t have darker themes though – child experimentation, underground societies, or the character Morale as a whole.

Kunikida I had pegged as the character who would “keep the episode on track” but it seems Osamu is quite perceptive and serious beneath his exterior. No doubt they are the classic foils for one another and I’m sure we’ll see more of that to come.

I expect to see a few episodic detective stories with small hints of overarching plot and for the plot to explode somewhere near the 9th episode into the finale. That would be the formula, but will Bungou break free of that? I don’t think they necessarily have to if they can execute it well.

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