Nakajima 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!
Should you watch it?
Try the first episode, if you don't like that type of immature comedy or the way the characters act stupidly then you should just drop it because that is a big part of the anime. However for those that will continue it there are some good action scenes waiting in the later episodes.
In short: good action, decent characters and bad comedy (imo).
The anime doesn't really know what it wants to be between comedy, action or detective show. It seems it tries too much and achieving not much as consequence. The comedy is hit or miss and if it is a miss for you the show will be hard to watch. The action is good but there's not enough of it. It manages to build some intense moments and that are ruined by the ever present comedy. Every episode is quite different and focuses on various aspects but of course the comedy is always present and it drags the show down.
The story is about Nakajima Atsushi joining the Armed Detective Agency that investigates supernatural matters. It follows an episodic formula typical of detective anime with some sort of linearity and connection between the different stand alone episodes or short arcs. However the progress of the story is very slow mainly due to the abundance of comedy or some character development.
Unfortunately the worst part of Bungou Stray Dogs are actually the characters. They all follow the pattern freak/serious with the exception of the MC that is pathetic/serious. They behave like complete immature people or very seriously, they barely have any traits in the middle. I understand this kind of pattern is what in anime is generally considered "cool" and having a character behaving like that would be fine but an overuse of it affects the show negatively. No character is consistent and they go from a 2 in comedic moments to a 7 in serious moments therefore the rating is a rounded 4, however with episode 5 this extremisms narrowed a bit.
For example let's take Osamu Dazai arguably the best character so far. He is obsessed by suicide and continuously talks about how he wants to commit suicide, makes jokes about suicide, makes stupid attempts to commit suicide until it becomes annoying and quite repetitive. Then when serious stuff is going on he changes completely and becomes a respectable character. This back and forth decreases his credibility.
Personal note: suicide jokes are not funny and Naomi is one of the most annoying characters I've ever seen.
The enjoyment of the anime depended on the amount of comedy present in each episode, in some is way too much in others is bearable. It is good to have some comic relief but the type of comedy used in this show is overused and clashes badly with the serious mood that is the good side of the show. The contrast between drama and comedy damaged my enjoyment because the comedy seems out of place. However if you enjoy the comedy you will appreciate more the variety of the episodes that have different structures and elements from each other.
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This review is written after watching the first 4 episodes, mild spoilers of the first episode might appear.
Bungou Stray Dogs is probably one of the most disapointing animes this season and it is well under all of my expectations. When I first heard of the anime I found out that most of the main characters were gonna be named after Japanese authors and their superpowers named after that author's most famous work, making the story amazing for literature geeks. (One of the first characters we meet is Dazai Osamu, who is shown floating head down in a river, while the author with the same name actually drowned himself.)
Positive ~ The story so far is interesting and I hope they keep it up. the character designs are well-made and the animation is above-average. I hope they don't go down hill as the story progresses.
Negative ~ The characters. Once again we have this *useless* protagonist. I guess they have to have one character that doesn't know jack shit so they can explain everything to him and that way explain it to us. I just don't get why the just didn't give a side character that task. And the way show his past to is just so bad and almost impossible to relate to. And the side-characters ; Osamu Dazai is arguably the best character so far. He's obessed with the thought of suicide and always talks about the various ways he wants to do it.
Already after 4 episode we've seen him joke about it atleast 1000 times try it 100. It was funny at first but now it's just repetative and annoying. what makes him a acceptable character is that when he get's in a serious position he becomes a amazing character. And it's kinda the same for all the characters and that decreases their credibility. The comical reliefs feel out of place and are already so over used by the anime world to.
Mystery and comedy don't usually go together, and this show is a mix of both genres.
*May contain minor spoilers*
So, if you strongly dislike comedy, this show is not for you. Why? Because a big part of this show consists of comedic acts. Since Bungou Stray Dogs (BSD) is done by the same production house that did Ouran High School Host Club, it makes sense. Those who have watched Ouran High would be familiar with the gags in BSD.
The storyline of BSD is quite interesting, although at first it seemed simple. Atsushi the MC was kicked out of his orphanage, so he's practically homeless. Then he (reluctantly) saved a man who was indulging in a "leisurely submersion" who turned out to be Dazai, an "Armed Detective". Later, due to certain circumstances Atsushi was taken in by Dazai, and became one of the Armed Detectives. I don't want to spoil beyond this, but I can say that things took quite a dark turn.
It's also easy to watch as the characters would explain what is going on. However, I gotta say that the comedy in this show is quite overdone. At times, the comedic gags seemed inappropriate because it was supposed to be a serious scene, so the tension kind of dissipated. That's all I got to complain, though. Once you overlook those excessive comedic acts, you'll enjoy BSD.
The art is quite pretty; with the sunset and the flowing river (in episode 1) , but it's not really astounding either. The battle scenes are done quite nicely; it was smooth and entertaining.
The VA's did a good job, the OP and ED is befitting for this show. The OP sets the hype, the ED is quite relaxing. I don't really remember the tracks used, soo I guess they're not really memorable.
There weren't many battle scenes (at this point) because the show focuses on some character development, and the characters didn't really feel shallow and superficial. I think that all of the characters (in the detective company at least) had some degree of humor. There's Dazai the Suicide Freak, Kunikida the 'Straight Man' to hit the 'Funny Man', the Great Detective, and many more...But there's more to them than meets the eye, actually. Personally, I can relate with the MC, who sometimes got the feeling of being not good enough.
I really enjoyed watching this show, as it has a twist to it. Just ignore those excessive comedy and you're good to go. This show, for all it's flaws (bad comedy) is definitely worth checking out. Unpredictable storyline, great art, quirky characters, good sound.
I like the story, it seems fresh compared to the slice of life, more fan service animes I've been watching. I have the give the story, which seems unique, a 9.
I like the art at most time. It has a few scenes that I personally enjoy for the detail in art. Some scene shower, use a different style which I don't personally like. I'd give it an 8 in personal opinion, but 9 for detail and beauty.
The music and voice acting is amazing. Point blank. I'll give it a 9, only because one of the character is somewhat monotone (even though he does have emotions)
The character design is my favorite aspect of the show. Some of the characters do look familiar, as I saw people who looked like they were from Blood Blockade Battlefront and Black Butler, but the personalities seem different. The main characters all have their quirks and you'll be sure to have a favorite agent from the Armed Detective Agency (mine are the siblings!)
Overally, I enjoyed the anime. I can't wait for the next episode.
The Spring 2016 anime season will be on us sooner than you realize, and with that comes a whole host of eagerly awaited manga adaptations. If you're not up to date with the latest manga hits, we're here to give you a run down of the most eagerly anticipated manga being adapted next season.