Thursday, June 09, 2016

10 Second Anime - Bungou Stray Dogs - Episode 10

Chuuya interrogates Dazai. Atsushi battles Akutagawa for Kyouka's sake.

Episode 10 - "Rashoumon and the Tiger"


Chuuya asked the most important question of Dazai: "Why did you let yourself get captured?"

And then he hit him in the face!

Their conversation let drop some interesting tidbits about Dazai's past with the Port Mafia. Like how he was the youngest executive ever and that he numbered among the highest ranks.

Of course Dazai had a plan. He may be suicidal, but he's not crazy. Er, wait.

Let's just say that Dazai is specifically suicidal these days. When we first met him, he was trying to kill himself almost every day. We saw him dunked in a river, caught in a trashcan, dunked in the bay, etc., but these days he wants a double suicide with a beautiful lady. Why the change?

Chuuya says he'll help him out, in his best ojou-sama voice.

Dazai said he let himself get captured to find out who set the large figure for Atsushi and why. As part of his leverage against whoever tried to take advantage of him if he couldn't escape the cell without being noticed, he sent a letter to the five person board in charge of the Port Mafia. He used to be one of those guys.

Dazai sent this letter a while ago, accurately predicting that he would be picked up at some point. He also leveraged his value as a high ranking traitor to ensure his life too. Pretty clever guy, this Dazai.

The set piece of the episode was the battle between Atsushi and Akutagawa.

I thought the Agency's boat was going to be more impressive. It probably just has modest looks, but appeared to be very fast and I'm sure it has hidden improvements and modifications.

Atsushi picked up on Akutagawa's intense hatred for him, which wasn't there the last time he saw him. Thankfully, this was a well-choreographed fight that let the characters test each others' powers and do some character development at the same time.

Akutagawa's boiling hatred came from jealousy and what Dazai said about Atsushi last episode. Akutagawa's flashback showed Dazai training him, but with a condescending detachment that rankled Akutagawa's need for praise or some kind of bond.

He was picked up as a "stray dog from the slums," which explains his survival mentality and the title of the show.

I think Dazai saw in Atsushi so much potential and talent for using his power when that fully-formed tiger jumped at him in the first episode. In contrast, Akutagawa needed a lot of training and his power, while very strong, has a time-limit of sorts.

I'm kind of meh about Kunikida trying to get Atsushi to stop being a hero, but I guess it was okay since it was a necessary moment for Atsushi's maturity.

I'm less okay with the Japanese convention of a character using a specific moment as a reason for doing something. It makes you sound like a crazy person to the other guy when you say you're rescuing the girl because she thought crepes were delicious. How does the other guy know what that means? Be quiet, crazy person, and take your beating.

Anyway, that kind of thing is more for the audience to unpack instead of the opponent in a fight. No wonder there's always a derisive snort of dismissal followed by some kind of roar. The bad guy is thinking, "Gah! I need to shut this crazy person up!"

Atsushi talks like a real hero when he has his confidence up. That was a nice line: "You're quite the talker today." Some other crazy person needs to shut up and take his beating too.

Akutagawa's very punchable face got punched out!

After all that, it was Kyouka who rescued Atsushi. Of course.

Last week, I figured there were other criminal organizations making a play for Atsushi and we got the confirmation this week with Dazai's infiltration and the introduction of a new bad guy.

I didn't have to look anything up for this great author. Francis F. with "The Great Gatsby" power! Since F. Scott Fitzgerald is taught in American high school literature classes, my sense that all these Japanese authors are the canon that's taught for Japanese high school literature was correct.

I'm looking forward to finding out what the "Great Gatsby" power does and what makes "The Gifted Organization" so, uh, gifted. Well, I'm still waiting for the president of the Agency to show what his power does, so I guess I can be patient about the big boss of another gang.

Next time, some fun interludes before the finale of this split cour show.

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