Monday, June 06, 2016

10 Second Anime - Bungou Stray Dogs - Episode 9

The Port Mafia uses Kyouka to capture Atsushi. The President makes Atsushi's retrieval the Agency's top priority.

Episode 9 - "The beauty is quiet like a stone statue."


At the very least, we know that Kyouka is not a cheap date.

Kyouka reaffirmed the details of her life to Kunikida, how she was taken in by the Port Mafia after she was orphaned so they could use her special power which is only activated by instructions over a cell phone. Her main puppet master was Akutagawa.

I wonder if that was the same plan for Atsushi, but the bounty makes it more likely that he is to be used by the larger mafia organization that the Port Mafia is allied with.

Even though Atsushi is a good kid, it's not too hard to imagine evil ways that strong criminal types can use to motivate him to do their bidding. Kyouka is a good example of that.

Kunikida wants Atsushi to make sure she gets turned over to the police. His argument, informed by his Ideals, is that each person has a boat that can fit only one and if that person tries to rescue another too big for the boat, they would both sink. The vague way Kunikida describes "the one" is his roundabout way of cautioning Atsushi that he either needs to expand his idea of what "the one" is, be it a pair, a family, an organization, or he needs to get a bigger boat, be that financial means or a network of relationships. He's not telling Atsushi not to protect Kyouka, who appears to be someone who has been exploited, but to realize the enormity and importance of his decision.

Well, before he can make that decision, why not postpone it with a date? No, wait! Not really a date! Just seeing date spots!

Lucky for Atsushi, Kyouka wants to see date spots.

Meanwhile, let's check in Dazai. We saw last episode that Kyouka was involved in his capture by the Port Mafia. It appears to me that he let that happen.

What we learned about Dazai's past with the Port Mafia is that wherever he goes, people want to punch him in the face.

Some tantalizing details of his defection to the Armed Detective Agency are that he disappeared during a certain mission, only to reappear as an Agent. He was one of the high muckety-mucks within the Mafia and that he doesn't have a high opinion of Akutagawa's special ability since he can negate it with his own. Obviously Dazai has other skills if he was a Mafioso and he had to deal with people who didn't have special powers.

His old partner Chuuya Nakahura showed up to taunt him too. His power is "For the Tainted Sorrow." The real life Chuuya Nakahura was a surrealist poet who was unappreciated contemporaneously, but nowadays is taught in Japanese literature classes for how he altered haiku and tanka forms to fit musical beats. His most famous poem is titled "Sorrow Already Spoiled," which I suppose is what the name of the fictional character's power is named after.

The interlude with Dazai let us put the focus on how temporary the nice little date with Kyouka was going to be. She took Atsushi to all the tourist spots in Yokohama, which he hadn't seen yet because he's a new transplant and he's been kind of busy trying not to get killed or captured.

I liked the detail of how she knew about those many spots with government services on the inside because she had to know their locations from maps and interiors from blueprints. She kept reminding us that she had killed 35 people. Which is why their last date spot was the police station. She took that decision away from Atsushi.

The Port Mafia isn't stupid. They used the tracker implanted on her to make another attempt on Atsushi and this time Dazai wasn't there to stop it. Was his capture part of this backup plan to the train bombing?

Atsushi has been captured and without Dazai there to bully people into the right course of action, there was a lot of dithering between Ranpo's logical prioritizing of the Agency's cases and Kunikida's Ideals for placing the customers first. Naomi pulled the trump card. Tattle on them to the President!

One of their own had been captured. They needed to go get him. Everything else was secondary. Duh!

We saw Tanizaki and the younger ones getting more and more agitated that their superiors were actually contemplating letting Atsushi get sold. The President has a good grasp on the role his Agency plays in the city. Having an inferior gang hurt their own power gang would result in a huge loss of deterrent power. Uh, I mean, hey! We gotta rescue one of our own!

Ranpo still wasn't sold on the logic of going after Atsushi, so the President offered him some stunning motivation.

Ranpo's assumptions that he would be offered a raise or promotion showed where he lacks in his understanding of human needs. The President laid down his trump card. Praise!

And then Ranpo used his fake special ability, complete with fake supernatural lighting. The first time we saw this, I thought that all the swirling effects were coming from Dazai trying to negate his power, so now I don't know what this is, except perhaps it's showing Ranpo's imagination.

Atsushi is on a boat. Dazai is who-knows-where, but the Agency is not concerned with his disappearance at all. Next time, it's Akutagawa vs. Atsushi Round Two. Akutagawa had already been poked by Dazai that Atsushi was "better" than he was. I'm expecting some extra rage in the brawl to come.

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