Takuya Igarashi and Yoji Enokido (Together on Ouran Highschool Host Club, Star Driver: Takuto Of The Radiance) let the dogs out once again in Bungou Stray Dogs. Yes, that joke wasn’t funny back in spring either, but someone has to do it. And that someone is always me.
As mysterious as ever, episode 1 puts the focus on Osamu Dazai and his past in the Port Mafia. Right off the bat, season 1’s plot doesn’t continue, but instead we are thrown into a promising arc about the Detective Agency’s most suicidal sweetheart.
We’re introduced to Oda Sakunosuke and Sakaguchi Ango, Dazai’s drinking buddies and fellow members of the Port Mafia. But shortly after, Ango disappears, and due to his knowledge of important secrets, Oda is ordered to find him. Enter Mimic, an organization clad in mystery that attacks the Mafia and seems to have some connection to Ango. Now it is upon Dazai and Oda to unveil the truth and prove their friend’s innocence. Or find out about the motives behind his betrayal.
Dazai’s past isn’t very flashy in Bungou Stray Dogs
Instead, it’s toned down, seemingly in a melancholic light, which very likely fits to Dazai’s memories of that time. The visuals are just as crisp as in season 1 though, with the animators at Studio Bones (with their in-house animators, and freelancers) doing their usual good and thorough job. The common Igarashi-faces are as good as ever, and the outlines with differing thickness make the amazing character designs quite lovely once again.
Going for a more dramatic angle, action is missing almost completely. But as mentioned prior, the melancholic atmosphere doesn’t need any breathtaking movement to it. The visual direction doesn’t stand out either, with just few imposing, grand shots like we’re used from Ikuhara‘s fletchling.
But, while also very toned down, the humour stands out a lot this time around. Sometimes, less is more, and Bungou Stray Dogs gives us the usual amount of jokes from Dazai, but nothing else. That’s great, because the serious atmosphere is held intact, despite the show not losing a single drop of charm.
While Bungou Stray Dogs certainly came back as Bungou Stray Dogs this season, it returned with more strength. At this point, it feels like the earlier conflict was only a build-up to this preceeding story, instead of what was foreshadowed earlier. It’s the start to a compelling, but short mafia-drama, and I’m honestly excited for it to continue!