Saturday, October 15, 2016

10 Second Anime - Bungou Stray Dogs - Episode 13

Fall Season continuation starts with a flashback to Dazai's days in the Port Mafia. His friend Oda is tasked with finding their other friend Ango who went missing.

Episode 13 - "The Dark Age"


This flashback to four years ago from the events of last episode starts off right with Dazai in bar called Lupin.

Dazai always needed a straight man. Oda fit the bill perfectly for a Port Mafia enforcer.

Their other friend Ango played the other kind of straight man Dazai needed for his brand of comedy. A little bit prissy but still assertive, which fit his job as intelligence officer within the crime gang.

Halfway through this show's run and we finally learned the meaning of the title. These three Port Mafia friends called themselves the Stray Dogs. I suppose this extended flashback dealing with how Ango disappeared led to Dazai leaving the gang.

Ougai Mori was in charge back then too and it looks like his creepy relationship with Elise hasn't changed either. Also, it doesn't look like Elise had aged at all during these last four years.

I always get a kick from seeing how deferential the lower gang members like Hirotsu were to Dazai. Even Ougai thought that Dazai would be dethroning him as the Boss within 4 to 5 years. Maybe Dazai is still on schedule?


If one were binge-watching episodes, the jump from 12 to 13 would have been an extreme transition. The hiatus of three months actually helped the narrative with starting this extended flashback. These are Dazai's days in the Port Mafia, so even though we did get glints of his playfulness, this is a hardboiled crime story following his friend Oda.

Previously, we had grown accustomed to this world through the neophyte eyes of Atsushi, but there are no bright colors in this cynical and violent world. This is good art direction and just good overall direction for the narrative.

Our three main characters for this story, Dazai, Sakunosuke Oda and Ango Sakaguchi, were all real life contemporary writers grouped in a trio called Buraiha, literally "hoodlums," by conservative critics. Their stories were mainly about anti-heroes with aimless lives, matching a hopeless view of post WWII Japan. Oda's most famous work was about a sweets shop in Osaka owned by a married couple with a terrible relationship.

Sakaguchi is mainly known for his essay Discourse on Decadence, which examined how the Japanese code of chivalry, bushido, should be applied, if at all, to post WWII Japan. Matched with Dazai's stories about suicide, it's clear to see that these "Stray Dogs" of literature were not a happy bunch. That's the title of this show, you know. Bungou Stray Dogs.

Ango's power in the show matched the title of the author's book, but I'm not sure what Oda's Flawless power of prescience is referencing. Perhaps his essay The Literature of Possibility?

This is a pretty interesting mystery story right now with Ango's disappearance and how it's related to this opposing group Mimic carrying old German guns. Ango's room looked like it was left exactly that way for Oda to find clues. I'm curious to see if there's any significance to Ango leaving a book on his sofa with the title Fermat's Complete Correspondence on Light. Maybe it was just a hint at Ango's analytical character. We shall see.

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