To be continued…
Wow, that was not an ending. This episode was the beginning to something cool and it literally ends with To be continued and now I can’t tell whether I’m happy or disappointed. I really hate it when shows end their anime like this. Yes, I know in these days when manga get an anime adaptation it’s usually to promote the original source so people can start buying it. After this cliffhanger ending, people who haven’t read the manga are definitely going to want to read it. With Bungou Stray Dogs, I’ve noticed that this series doesn’t have one big plot, but mini ones in their own little arcs. We finally meet some of the members of The Guild, so I’m guessing this next arc is called “The Guild” arc. But the anime just teased us with it, so that disappoints me. That is, it would disappoint me if there was no announcement of a second season, but there is! So…okay, hurray! I’m just disappointed that I have to wait. :’D
What a loser, this guy seriously says old sport like Gatsby does. I have no idea if the real Fitzgerald said old sport or not, but this is hilarious. This animu Fitzgerald is the perfect personification of the real Fitzgerald’s characters in his stories: filthy rich people who are assholes and I hate them all. He uses money to get what he wants, he has a custom-made watch, and he showed off his knowledge of fine china, like anyone gives a crap about that. But even though he’s a guy who I’d love to beat up and sell that watch of his, he’s the leader of The Guild and he means business. He arrives at the Agency on his helicopter (lol) and speaks with the president. the Guild being an underground group and not official, animu Fitzgerald wants to buy the president off for their permit. Without the permit, they’re nothing. Of course the president refuses and Fitzgerald-san leaves a vague warning at the end. He and the two people that accompanied him are led to the elevator by Kenji. The red-haired girl compliments his hat and the next thing we know, Kenji suddenly disappears from the elevator while the girl is wearing his hat. The next morning, they see that an entire building disappeared somehow. Of course that was the work of The Guild.
Lucy…is really cool. Her ability is so creepy and weird and I love it. She’s a creepy girl herself. Her ability is like a storybook gone wrong because her alternate world is all colorful and fun but it’s twisted with a giant evil doll named Anne kidnapping people and locking them up. Naomi gets captured, and then Tanizaki. Only Atsushi and some random physician man are left but Lucy is more interested in Atsushi, since her boss is after him. I’m still not really sure how I feel about Atsushi. I can understand why he’s a little cowardly but I’ve seen that he’s changed just a little bit. After his bold behavior towards Akutagawa, I was a little surprised and disappointed that he was running away from the fight and hoped Dazai and the others would help. I thought at this point he would continue in a fight no matter what, especially for the group of people that he cares about. So I feel like he’s a little inconsistent. I don’t think he needed the “physician’s” reminder to save them like they had saved him. Also, I’m surprised at that moment Atsushi didn’t get a lightbulb and ask how the hell he knew about what happened to him, because that’s when I started getting suspicious of the guy.
Also it didn’t help that he suddenly scared Lucy frozen. The fight was very cool. I’m glad they saved some budget for this scene, you can tell they did because this was probably the best animated fight we’ve gotten. The colors, the facial expressions, it just didn’t look ugly like in some parts of the Atsushi vs. Akutagawa battle. It was exciting, and like I said I really liked Lucy’s ability. We learned a little bit about her, like she’s an orphan like Atsushi, and that she’ll be thrown aside like garbage if she messes up her mission. Seeing as how she did in the end, I wonder what’s going to happen to her.
And holy crap, the hot physician is actually the Port Mafia boss. B-Bishies everywhere…I mean I was suspicious of the guy from the start, what with him presenting the picture of the creepy blonde girl from the previous episode, him saying things to Atsushi that no random stranger should know, and that weird aura in Anne’s playroom. I couldn’t make a guess to who he really was, but when the Port Mafia people lowered their heads and bent down, that’s when I knew…Ah, this guy is the boss. Ah. Well damn they can’t just introduce this guy to us for nothing, that means big things are going to happen! Now we have a Guild vs. Agency vs. Port Mafia thing going on which is going to get real ugly real soon as he ends the episode with some scary words.
I’m glad this show started to pick up in the middle. This is really a nice series. The abilities are fun and unique and there are some character relationships that are good. But can I say that I loved this show? Not really, because it had its issues. This was a huge concern in the beginning, but when it got into the middle, it cooled down. The inappropriate comedy really became grating.
I didn’t mind it at first, I also didn’t mind it in a couple more episodes, but then after awhile it really was getting in the way of the show’s seriousness and it didn’t work at all. It became really irritating and just makes the characters seem dumb and I think that’s what really drew people away from the show. Some of the characters drive off of this comedy, like Dazai, so people may not like him, or maybe you do depending on who you are. But the comedy bits really took away from the serious parts of the show, which were great. As people have told me that the irritating comedy is anime-only, then that makes me wonder what the manga is like, but since I’m not an avid manga reader I don’t know if I’ll read it, but I’m sure I would enjoy this series more if I would read it. There just wasn’t any balance! You can have serious and comedy in the same show, the secret to success is that it has to balance each other out. Don’t bring in the comedy at inappropriate moments.
As for characters, I’m not sure I can say if I like some of them. I don’t necessarily hate any of them, but I find that I’m indifferent towards most of them, or I like them and I would like to learn more about them. I feel like we didn’t get to get too close to any of the characters. Atsushi is a cute and sweet guy who only wants to belong somewhere and not be a burden, and I really do root for him, but for some reason I don’t love him? You know what I mean? Like yeah I see you Atsushi, I got you…but that’s it. Nothing more than that. Same with others. And the few characters I’ve said that I love, we haven’t seen much of them. I can’t say I know anything about any of the characters, so that makes them seem a little flat to me. But I guess the good thing is that I don’t hate any of them.
Going to the plot, there really isn’t one. It’s just the Armed Detective Agency taking on cases. We had mini arcs like the Kunikida one, even though that wasn’t from the manga, and the one with Kyouka. But we also had other episodes that were episodic, and in the beginning the show was more episodic, and that’s definitely when it was its weakest. But when we actually get into an arc, the show turns really really good. The serious part of the series that I wanted appears and it made me excited. Though I do wish Bungou Stray Dogs had an actual plot because I tend to like shows like that than episodic ones.
Animation wise, it was good. When it was great, it looked great. Some fight scenes looked amazing, like the finale. But there was a moment when the animation was flat out lazy, where the faces and mouths weren’t even drawn and it looked so awkward and weird. Studio BONES is a great studio and they’re known for great animation, but they’re taking on so many shows this year! So…many…shows. This show is getting another season, Boku no Hero Academia was announced to get another season, and just…a lot, there’s a lot. So of course, some of their shows had to get some budget cuts in order to use more money on their bigger shows, again, Academia and others. I’m not watching all of their shows, but it looked like Stray Dogs got the short end of the stick. Of course the animation wasn’t awful, thank god, but there were times it was so ugly and lazy that it became distracting and ridiculous.
The music was really good and GRANRODEO never disappoints me, but I do think this is their weakest song yet. I don’t dislike it, but it’s not a song I’d play over and over. The ending wasn’t my favorite either and I usually skipped it, but the visuals were pretty.
All in all, this show had a rocky start but it picked up speed and saved itself from blowing up. I was losing faith in it early on but it consistently got better that I found myself enjoying it again. There’s a lot of good things in this show and the cliffhanger we got was a set up for greater events, so I’m very excited to see it. I hope with the second cour, it’ll keep up the momentum it’s been having. No more exagerrated comedy, please. But if the directors still want to keep it, at least tone it down? Yes? Okay. I’m looking forward to what’s next and I’ll see you guys then when the second half finally airs.