Anime Club: Bungou Stray Dogs (S2)

Hello everybody! This week we have our review of Season 2 of Bungou Stray Dogs.

BUNGOU STRAY DOGS (SEASON 2)

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CREATED BY: Takuya Igarashi

NO. OF EPISODES: 12 episodes (2nd Season)

GENRE: Action

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: Japan

Here you can check out our review of Season 1.

maxresdefault-4Nakajima Atsushi was kicked out of his orphanage, and now he has no place to go and no food. While he is standing by a river, on the brink of starvation, he rescues a man whimsically attempting suicide. That man is Dazai Osamu, and he and his partner Kunikida are members of a very special detective agency. They have supernatural powers and deal with cases that are too dangerous for the police or the military. They’re tracking down a tiger that has appeared in the area recently, around the time Atsushi came to the area. The tiger seems to have a connection to Atsushi, and by the time the case is solved, it is clear that Atsushi’s future will involve much more of Dazai and the rest of the detectives!

Studio Bones decided for this second season that it was time to take a dive in their budget. The animation quality is such a beautiful improvement, it’s like watching a beautiful painting constantly being made in front of my eyes. You can SEE the improvement in their budget when it comes to their animation. A spectrum of vivid colors being brought together so beautifully. The OP and ED’s do not disappoint for this factor, either. When a sinister air reeks onto the battlefield, the animation matches the intensity so well. The atmosphere, comparing the two seasons, it is like the second season came from an absolutely different studios. It invokes what this season was trying to display and it is magnificent. The OP has a very excited pace, in which they display each one of the groups within the story. I personally loved looking at the opening.

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It kicks off with a prequel focused on Dazai and has a more dark and consistent tone despite Dazai being the silliest character of the series. Yet, even this gets tiring after a couple episodes. For some reason, the arc stops focusing on Dazai, the fan-favorite of the series, and instead moves the spotlight to a guy who’s name I don’t know, because he wasn’t even in the first season. Who the hell’s this guy? Why should I care about him? He’s not particularly interesting beyond having one of the coolest powers of the series: a premonition-based power that activates when he’s about to die so that he can avoid it. The way Studio Bones visualizes it is entrancing. But the guy himself isn’t worth cheering for, because you know exactly how the arc is going to end. The point is that Dazai leaves the Port Mafia due to the events in this arc. A little clarification is nice to have for Dazai’s past, but did it need last a third of the season?

PROS:

  • Beautiful animation.
  • Great cast of over the top characters.
  • Fantastic opening.

CONS:

  • Prequel arc.

SCORE: 9.5 / 10

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Anime Club: Bungou Stray Dogs (Pt. 1)

BUNGOU STRAY DOGS (PT. 1)

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CREATED BY: Takuya Igarashi

NO. OF EPISODES: 12 + 1 OVA

GENRE: Action

YEAR: 2016

COUNTRY: Japan

The story centers on individuals who are gifted with super natural powers and use them for different purposes including holding a business, solving mysteries, and carrying out missions assigned by the mafia. The story mainly follows the members of the “Armed Detective Agency” and their everyday lives.

bungou-stray-dogs-02-18-1280x720Most characters in the series are named after famous literary authors and/or characters in their works, including Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Yukito Ayatsuji, Dan Brown, Agatha Christie, Osamu Dazai, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Rampo Edogawa, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Natsuhiko Kyogoku, Kenji Miyazawa, Doppo Kunikida, and Akiko Yosano.

Do you need yet another action anime to satisfy your needs this next anime season? I present to you…Bungou Stray Dogs. Now I know what you are thinking, and it actually has nothing to do with cute adorable dogs. The characters are incredibly well-written, especially our main protagonist’s senpai Dazai. Dazai is obsessed with suicide, even constantly trying to end his life in rather hilarious and convenient ways. Dazai, why are you so damn hilarious? These characters are absolutely amazing and over the top…just like true anime.

maxresdefault-16Despite this, Bungou Stray Dogs suffers from a rather weak story and un-deserving character motivations. For example, the main antagonist Akutagawa’s hatred for the Agency isn’t completely explained, as well as our protagonist’s increasing skill-set. Also, while their abilities are rather unique in different ways, they aren’t anything we haven’t seen before. Just simply go over and check out A Certain Magical Index and you can see the same skills.

PROS:

  • Solid action anime.
  • Great cast of characters.
  • Semi-addicting opening.

CONS:

  • Weak story.
  • Lack of character motivations.
  • Over-used tropes.

SCORE: 7 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

Remember: Like Media In Review @ Facebook Follow Media in Review on Twitter.

All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.