A nice, simple start laced with great gags and an amazing potential running mystery; is how Bungo Stray Dogs decided to begin this episode. The suicide gag that Dazai runs is especially on point this time around, causing me to audibly express my amusement, amplified greatly in the reality of which I exist. I LOL’d. You’d think jokes about ending one’s own life might be a put off, but I actually find it quite morbidly refreshing, and the way the jokes are delivered is so expertly written and timed that even though I know it’s a running gag, I still don’t see it coming. It’s fantastic, and never too similar to a joke previously made, so I would ever grow tired of it. Hopefully that continues, as well as all the other eccentric antics that this group seems to go through on a daily basis.
Before we move on from the opening scene, an intriguing mystery arises as the agency decides to let Atsushi in on their little game. It’s a guessing game, one where the members of the agency try to infer what every other member did for living before joining the team. The enigma that emerges from this is one that I thought they would run in the long haul, although I could see them revealing it at the end of the current episode as well. No one can figure out what Dazai was before the agency, and so now there’s a huge cash prize for anyone who can come up with the answer. And the answer is good, but more on that later.
From there the group gets a call alerting them of a new client. What comes from this scene is a mission, an antagonist, and another Dazai suicide joke. The client has a problem with smugglers and needs the help of the agency to scope it out/take it down. Meanwhile, it is explained to Atsushi-kun (and the audience) that there is a big bad mafia, and special people within it that you should avoid at all cost. This of course leads to Atsushi meeting said person. But before that we get a scene of that evildoer doing heinously evil things to a police station in an attempt to hammer in the sense that you should not fuck with this person. Other than that, I felt the moment was a little unneeded, but cool all the same.
Probably the worst part of this episode was how bluntly the trap was produced. The client leads them to an alley and reveals she’s with the mafia. Okay. She pulls out an Uzi and guns down the sister. Not okay. Then Junichirou reveals his special ability which is kinda cool, I guess. Ryuunosuke shows up and takes him down, slaps his partner in her face because she failed, and reveals that they wanted the weretiger all along. Then they fight and Dazai shows up just to save the day. Turns out he planted a wire on the chick, which was pretty smart. Although, he did wait until two of his comrades were down, which wasn’t pretty smart. But this whole situation where the group gets trapped fairly easily wasn’t very smart either.
What was smart, however, was Dazai’s previous occupation being revealed. If you were expecting that answer then maybe you felt differently, but I sure as hell didn’t see it coming and therefore thought it was awesome. And I still think this show is very awesome, despite its lackluster trap this episode. Hopefully they move away from the straight forward action setups to something a little more unexpected and cerebral, as I felt that these characters aren’t so dense as to fall for a simple alley way ambush.
+ Suicide jokes on point
+ Great ending ties with deceivingly simple beginning
– Reliance on crappy action tropes
– Completely un-clever ruse