Let’s start this final episode review with a trend that I’ve been noticing for quite a while now: Terrible cold opens. They’re not funny, cute, or interesting in anyway shape or form. There’s nothing of value in it from an entertainment standpoint. So why do some shows insist on having them? Using this show as an example: Atsushi wakes up, smells food and notices Kyouka. Then he says “Huh?”…and that’s it. What purpose did that serve? After the opening theme plays we learn that Kyouka is staying with Atsushi, a fact that was completely meaningless to the episode as a whole. Even if it was something important to acknowledge for next season, which I can almost guarantee it’s not, they could’ve made that point with one sentence. Instead, Bungo Stray Dogs decides to waste our time with the most innocuous shit, like a sharing a room with a cute girl.
And from there we move on to the American business deal thingy, or whatever you want to call it. These guys want the Agency’s permit for gifted people or something, then the dude outright explains what it is to the person he’s trying to buy it from. The exposition could be important to the audience, but it makes no sense as to why a character in his position would say that.
Luckily, aside from the unneeded cold open and stupid business transaction, I can’t say I had too many gripes with this episode. For the first time all season I found a villain who actually seems cool. Starting from that great elevator scene, she immediately comes off as the most mysterious and menacing character this show has ever seen. We find out her power has something to do with making people disappear, and we don’t learn anything else about it until Atsushi and the others find themselves the victim. So I guess I’d call that a very good way to keep me intrigued throughout the episode.
Moving on to the dimension that this villain created, I must say I’m quite pleased with the subtlety of the approach here. From a busy intersection to an isolated nightmare world in less than a second, there is no obnoxious plotting or exposition to get to this point. Now, there are a few lapse in logic here, like why would she decide to give them a fighting chance? And how did that whole door mirage thing work if he still got sucked into it? But if you just ignore that, it’s a pretty good time. There’s a cool fight, and they mentioned orphans without bringing up the flashback! And the villain herself seems like an interesting character with just the right amount of depth to keep me interested and not sick of her.
There’s also that twist at the end…and it’s fine, I guess. It showed that this episode was not an end to the season whatsoever, and seems to make this season feel like it just existed to set up the next. And I think I’ll save what I have left to say for my final, overall review. So stay tuned for that. And thanks for reading.
+ Cool villain
+ Great elevator moment
– Useless Cold Open
– Blunt exposition for no apparent reason