Following the conclusion of the three-way organizational war, government bureaucrat Ango Sakaguchi recalls an event that transpired years ago, after the death of the former Port Mafia boss. Osamu Dazai, still a new recruit at the time, was tasked with investigating rumors related to a mysterious explosion that decimated part of the city years ago—and its connection to the alleged reappearance of the former boss.
Due to circumstances out of his control, he is partnered with Chuuya Nakahara, the gifted yet impulsive leader of a rival clan known as the ''Sheep,'' to uncover the truth behind the case and shine a light on the myth of Arahabaki—the god of fire who might just lead Dazai to the case's solution.
Meanwhile, in the present day, it is business as usual once again for the Armed Detective Agency. Their peaceful break will not last for long, however, as enemies old and new gather their strength and prepare for another face-off.
I'm just gonna say it again, this is so underrated.
Bungou Stray Dogs (3) builds on its solid foundation of characters, continue to weave its finest action and comedic blend for all viewers. Their fate continues to entangle and untwine, with third season zooming closer to them rather than their bombastic gifts, capturing the little moments that made up their characteristics.
The charm and one of the specialties of Bones Studio is, the facial expression of the characters. It’s like watching children react to a movie with sad, delightful, shocking and horrifying scene. They are depicted accordingly to that situation, much like a child genuinely having the
times on their lives in that moment. And these are infectious, especially Dazai who seems to be having the most fun expressing his immaturity that could tickle your bones. We could feel the chemistry they have while teasing each other and we’ll want to join in as well. Adding some spice on the witty dialogue, these comedic scenes could be pulled in to ease your nerves and show you the soft and gentle side of them. A relaxed atmosphere on heart-warming interaction.
The suspenseful scenes, can grasp our breath and choke us to our limit. Rather than just focusing on building the ambience with its color palette and ticking the time limit, the menacing look from both the good and the bad sides increase it even further. With a single smirk and the sudden change of tone intensity of voice actors that seems to be unable to hold their rage or excitement, you’ll be brought right into the situation they are in. At that single moment when their pupils dilate, eyes widened and frozen expression of stunned surprise, the screen cuts to black and you know s*it is about to get real. These are the amazing power of a single look that could foreshadow the epic fight scenes and lit it up when it really does happen. This make us root for them, whether they are right or wrong, just because of how brilliance the set-up is.
Third season cherished the return of the lethal frenemy Port Mafia, badass Armed Detective Agency and rising of The Guild, all while witnessing the rise of the strongest one-man mastermind they’ve ever encountered – Fyodor.
Fyodor, is depicted to be a criminal mastermind, one which excel in mental attacks and a smart strategist that made his debut in Dead Apple. One that might even beat Ranpo. Ever since first season, ADA and Port Mafia have always held a fundamental rivalry towards each other despite them having worked together several times in overcoming crisis, such as the deal with The Guild. The prime example would be the formidable Agutakawa and sensitive Atsushi. But this season plays on closer to this blurry state they are in, risking to destroy the harmony built and erupting a fight between these two organizations that could split them apart eternally. In the face of imminent danger, they are to choose to either fight or fall together. And as they gets closer to the thin line that separates them, they will eventually learn the truth behind the bedrock of their organizations.
Besides, Bungou Stray Dogs has its own way of storytelling. Its core of the twist resides in the way the groundworks of a situation is laid out, with each specification detailed on. It initially portrays a wreckage that seems to be impossible to be fixed, then it shows you how it can be fixed. However, this does not steal all the spotlight. The characters are the crucial element that enhance the story. Dazai, is the vital connection of them all, not only because he’s always managed to slip between two organizations but he because he is always 1000 steps ahead. He always seems to be hiding an agenda behind his little actions, as if trying to trick the world that he’s not Kira. And as such, he’s the most efficient character in drawing the best and the worst out of others.
Main highlight of the premise has always been how much each character cares for other in their own way. Their diverse personalities enforced their unique way of interacting, not only amongst the Armed Detective Agency members and Port Mafia, but also between them. They have faith in their team member, and they back each other up in a way that none would get killed. Despite being enemy, their first option would always be exempted from killing each other, however, this doesn’t draw back the life-or-death vibe. Their relationship, is their strength that ties them up and their weakness that holds them down. It all comes to how they are portrayed to utilize that, and it’s worth every seconds to watch it unfolds. There are also more and more insights given on old characters, while adding some new characters, such as a specialist in IT. One of the insights being how Kyoka and Atsushi face their past with their parents, overcoming the inner demons that had been slowly haunting them and eating them away without them realizing it. It ends with a beautiful touch.
The art, is by Bones too.
The songs are quite wonderful, but it is the opening and ending scenes that are synchronized with them that brought the amazement and excitement level high up in sky. The ED is simply the best of all seasons, with the song "Lily" by Luck Life that is simply stunning as it brings back the shounen feelings from previous two season filled with regrets, pain and cheerful moments they’ve all been through. I could even say that it’s almost like a perfect recap but is still refreshing to watch how far they’ve gone from their initial start. One of the endings that I wouldn’t even skip for the sake of it.
Overall, this season has been thrilling and emotional with its consistent quality in each episode. It strikes our heart when we least expected it, and continues to read us their supernatural tales with its dynamic visuals and vibrant characters. It gives closure to their past, as it opens up a new path to the future of unknown threats, heart-warming moments and everything in between. And with that, their adventure is ignited once again.
Nowadays, it seems any anime announcement is possible. From My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU getting a third season to old classic remakes such as Dororo, almost any anime has a chance of getting a surprise announcement. Bungou Stray Dogs Season 3 announcement came to me as a big surprise as I thought the anime franchise would be done for sure after the movie. What the franchise brings together is a collective group of detectives with supernatural abilities. With the announcement of the third season, I was more than excited to once again jump back into the world of this literary extraordinaire.
The first two seasons
captivated me with its ability to blend literature with a thrill of mystery and action. Having read the manga, it also seems the show itself has enough material to continue from where it picks off from the previous seasons. However, what did surprise me at first is the third season choosing to adapt a spinoff novel. Nonetheless, fans should be prepared as the first two episodes focuses on Osamu Dazai, the former executive of Port Mafia. We are also reintroduced to Chuuya Nakahara as the season decides to focus on their relationship. As Dazai’s former partner, we get an insight scoop of their characters that we didn’t get to see much of before. It can be a bit wonky at first but remains important. As partners, the two shares a charismatic chemistry between each other. Bungou Stray Dogs is well known for its character interactions and season 3 surely keeps its momentum. Don’t be alarmed if the first few episodes starts off differently. The pacing does soon jump back into the present story.
Directed by Takuya Igarashi, he continues to pour his talent as season 3 focuses on the familiar version of storytelling tone. With the present timeline, we are also reintroduced to the Armed Detective Agency with core members such as Atsushi Nakajima, Doopo Kunikida, Kyouka Izumi, Kenji Miyazawa, Akiko Yosano, and among others. Port Mafia members such as Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Kouyou Ozaki, and Ichiyou Higuchi should be no strangers for returning fans. Even former Guild member Lucy remerges with a new role. Season 3 brings in these characters again as the storytelling unfolds while establishing renewed rivalries. Indeed, Port Mafia is still a prominent organization with their reputation and even their current membership roster. Ryuunosuke hasn’t lost his touch from the previous seasons as one of the most dangerous characters to step foot into their world. Soon after, both the Port Mafia and Armed Detective Agency is thrown into a feud again with much higher stakes on the line. With that, season 3 brings back the thrilling sensation I had anticipated for. Characters such as Kyouka has to once again face their past while showing how much they’ve changed. It’s these type of character evolution that Bungou Stray Dogs pulls off very well.
Bungou Stray Dogs is a rare breed of modern anime that is inspired from literature writers and books. Characters are based off of famous literary figures from the real world. Assuming you’re a fan of The Great Gatsby, Moby Dick, or E.A. Poe’s series, some of the character names in the show may feel familiar. Port Mafia member Ryunosuke Akutagawa is based on the real life Japanese writer, often regarded as “Father of the Japanese short story”. From his personality and abilities, Ryunosuke is no doubt regarded as a morbid figure. His actions speaks louder than words with his commitments often brings trouble wherever he goes. The show retains its darker side of the underworld this season so do pay attention for small details going on behind the scenes. The Guild also makes a return despite not having their full roster anymore. Most prominently, we find out just how much Fitzgerald lost but after an event with Louisa May Alcott, he regains his will to reestablish the Guild. Nonetheless, don’t expect The Guild to truly be a powerhouse as they were from the past seasons. Season 3 establishes The Guild as an organization reborn rather than striving to become number one.
Speaking of organizations, there’s also one known as The Rats in the House of the Dead. As I mentioned before, Bungou Stray Dogs is known for its deeper mysteries and this group is one of them. Not much is known about this group although it’s shown that their leader, Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a dangerous manipulator. He doesn’t fear death and is armed with an intelligent and cunning mind. With a God-like complex, he is one of the dark horse antagonists to keep an eye on this season. It's also one of the other key factors that makes Bungou Stray Dogs flow so well: the ability to make meaningful antagonists. With its ever expanding cast and personalities. Bungou Stray Dogs continues to keep the series fresh.
Once again produced by studio Bones, the show returns with its luster art style. The streets, cities, and architecture of season 3 remains adamant to bring a degree of realism. Character designs are unique for every character. More noticeably are their abilities as each is refined by their unique traits and style. The battle cinematics also remains fluid with carefully crafted body languages. And similar to the previous seasons, you can also expect a healthy dose of comedy. Character expressions adds on more effect to this with some of their exaggerated reactions. As for the main reasons people wants to see the third season, the humor, violence, mystery, and style all returns full fold.
In this timeline, Bungou Stray Dogs once again proves itself to be able to carry the torch of the first two seasons. When the third season got announced, I also questioned if it can live up to its expectations. To be honest, I think the first season set the bar while the second season managed to expand its growing story and character roster. The third season further enhanced the franchise with its important background storytelling by adding in more intriguing characters while staying in touch with its themes. What an excellent comeback.
If you enjoyed the previous seasons of this anime, then you might as well also enjoy this third season, just dont get your hopes up and expect something extraordinary. In my case, I thought the previous seasons of Bungou Stray Dogs were just alright, but somewhere deep inside me I was just hoping for something "more" from this season and that left me a tad-bit dissapointed in the end. Dont get me wrong, this season isnt bad, but I also just dont understand the massive hype that revolves around it, as it just isnt anything
out of the ordinary.
In my opinion, the story of this season was one of my least favorite from the three (which I find quite shocking as this one has the highest score on MAL). It is simply mediocre at most. I was honestly way more immersed in the previous 2 seasons and I also enjoyed them way more than this third one, though that may just be me and my shit-taste for quality anime.
In the end, I'm giving the 3rd season of Bungou Stray Dogs a solid 6/10. <3
You know for a series based entirely on books and famous bits of literature, there is surprisingly little coherence this time around. A bit weird but not a deal breaker fortunately.
Much of Season 3's story can be summed up as: an extension of the story about the gifted in the city of Yokohama. I say this not just to avoid any amount of spoilers for the season, but because the structure of the series is a lot less coherent and fluid as I initially expected the show to be. In a way, Season 3 starts both after the fight on the Moby Dick against the
Guild and...not. The season this time around can be split into two distinct and clean chunks where the first half ties up character backstories and setup, and the second half focuses solely on the 'Cannibalism' arc where we're introduced to yet another faction hellbent on breaking up the city's peace.
Because of this, a lot of Season 3's beginning feels both disjointed and thrown together as backstories and separate points in time are put side by side in episode number. As a result, the timeline of events feels disjointed and at times sloppily put together as the viewer is thrown around to watch not only different points in time, but different perspectives in order to build up the necessary setup for the 'Cannibalism' arc. Maybe a half episode for Atsushi, a gag half for a new character, three episodes for Chuuya, etc, etc. Because of this, I feel like the series for once rushes itself to get these mini character arcs out there as soon as possible, failing to really polish up these stories since they fall between a range of half an episode to three episodes and achieve varying quality.
This is also the area of the series that has the most comedy, as it serves more as down time and lets the more comedic portions of the show shine in the way I both wanted and expected them too. I honestly wish they did more of these because it's the few points in the series where things aren't taken so seriously, and really help give an air of brevity. Mostly because much of the first half has members of opposing factions dick around together instead of attempting to kill one another while causing massive amounts of property damage. It's always a grand time seeing that.
Thankfully the payoff for the series comes at a head during the reveal of the 'Cannibalism' arc, which reveals a new faction known as the 'Rats in the House of the Dead' (bit of a mouthful there), a mysterious faction that compared to the Guild...is not really one I'm a fan of. Much of this arc is centered around the actions of the faction more so than the faction's goal, as much of the intrigue comes from the conflict's problem and how both the members of the Armed Detective Agency and the Port Mafia attempt to resolve this concurrent problem that they both share. It's what grabs the audience this time around, which is aided by more of Dazai's mysterious nature and a whole lot of lore regarding Yokohama and the history of much of its older cast. While I don't really find the Rats all that interesting by comparison, they do help flesh out the 'main' factions of the series, which I think is a better direction overall, though unfortunate for them.
The writing for Stray Dogs's story really makes it difficult to assess characters by themselves aside from a faction by faction basis, which is usually why I abstain from commenting on individual characters for this series. This issue is clear in regards to the Armed Detective Agency where really only a few of its members (mainly Atsushi and Kyouka) get any time dedicated to themselves. Dazai of course still manages to wrench some time for himself due to his largely mysterious nature, but on the whole, Season 3 doesn't really focus on them, which is both a shame but not an unwelcome direction.
I see this as more of a nonissue mostly because the Port Mafia gets largely similar treatment. Individual arcs given to a small number of its key members in addition to participating in the 'Cannibalism' Arc's main conflict is all we really see aside from maybe an extra episode or two in order to give perspective to the Rats. Instead, the series puts more emphasis on the relationship these two groups have with each other instead of their identities as individual entities, which I think is a much more interesting direction to be taking because the dynamics and dichotomy I think is way more interesting than backstory because it builds on the here and now. That being said, part of me still thinks the Port Mafia got the lion's share of the screentime this time around, which I actually think is an interesting direction despite the most cryptic member of the series currently belonging to the Armed Detective Agency.
As for the Rats, personally I see them less of a faction and more of just 'the conflict'. Fyodor and his cryptic plan of what I assume is essentially just breaking and segmenting the strength and power of each of the two factions of Gifted is...not really clear. The series definitely tries to be coy with his mysterious nature and constantly asks what his goal even is. But because the series doesn't really give us any answers, I see the Rats as more of an intriguing conflict compared to the air power and overwhelming wealth of the Guild since the carefully laid out plans to thwart every loophole and idea the Armed Detective Agency and Port Mafia can come up with give this amazing sense of helplessness as we watch the factions dance in the palm of Fyodor's hand.
Interestingly enough, the show even goes to the extent of giving a little afterstory to the Guild and its members, something that I actually didn't expect given how the Moby Dick got knocked out of the air last season. They're mostly just little character moments rather than an entire character arc and a single episode, but definitely something I appreciate nonetheless. Especially since I assume they'll come back some time later in the series full force without a brief ceasefire getting in the way.
Bones does not disappoint with Stray Dogs and I'm bloody elated that this series gets the amount of love it does. The art stays consistent with the sort of grim color palette where even the brightest of colors have a drab, muted look to them. Not only that, but the bolded and thick outlines of the characters during things like comedy moments and a fluid style that switches from comedy to serious in a flash is something I can get behind. Stylistically, I just love the art and I'm just glad it's back.
A few other things to note is the constant usage of the page graphic whenever one of the Gifted uses their powers (since everyone's based on a book and all) and just how nice it looks, something I don't think I ever took the time to really appreciate. I do think however the art style can look a bit derpy at times. There're a number of closeups that the series does to make the one character who takes up the frame look like they're facing two different directions instead of just looking horrified. They do this semi-regularly, and I both find it weird and oddly hilarious despite the psychological element being poured into the specific moment.
Not only that, but the series commonly cuts a few corners in the animation department, where background characters are given no movement whatsoever since the audience's focus is only supposed to be on the person in the center of the screen. There're also missing faces on not just the background characters, but also on a number of distance with important members of the cast. It's just kind of weird to me to see someone like Dazai or Atsushi just not have a face and they do this weirdly semi-regularly.
For soundtrack, we're treated to "Setsuna no Ai" by GRANRODEO and "Lily" by Luck Life. The OP in my opinion sounds scarily similar in style to how the OPs for previous seasons have sounded. It sports this serious rock aesthetic that fits extremely well with the setting of a supernatural mob anime which is great and all, but not really something that I find amazingly memorable. I still genuinely like the song, but for some reason I don't really find it all that memorable.
The ED by comparison has this more energetic rock tone that's a lot mellower and calmer to its OP counterpart which I find to be a nice contrast. Similarly, like its OP sister, I think the song is great on its own and definitely fits with the show, especially with how all of these factions function more like one big family instead of being just a massive crime organization that controls the city. But really, I don't find it all that memorable and I really don't know why. Just not something I would put on repeat.
I definitely think that Season 3 missed more than a couple story beats here. Coming from how concise and focused Season 2 was in its buildup to the big showdown with the Guild, Season 3 by comparison feels looser and a lot less tight than its predecessors.
The first half is really only held together by how innately interesting and interconnected a lot of its cast members are coupled with seeds of interest that're sown the moment the 'Cannibalism' arc begins. This really isn't much of a complaint than it is an observation, but its noticeable effect comes with how the series decided to put an end to some of the protagonists' arcs, something that I think really could've been handled better given how rushed and short they felt. They are literally the main characters of the series! Why is Atsushi given less than ten minutes to finish his deep seated issues in the orphanage?!
Well, beyond minor complaints, I still found Season 3 to be a great experience all around. Despite some pacing and structuring issues, it's still a solid show that doesn't stop grabbing my interest due to its interesting characters, constant action mixed with comedy, and conflicts striking the personal rather than something like 'the fate of the world'. A personal boon for me is just being able to see Koyo get way more screentime and development than she did in Season 2. I love Ami Koshimizu, and just seeing her character get more time devoted to her is just great overall, especially since Koyo really needed the time after her introduction in regards to Kyouka.
I highly recommend this show mostly on the grounds of just how solid it is all around. I don't really have many complaints cause so much about Bungou Stray Dogs manages to impress despite me not completely showering them with praise. Characters are interesting, plot is driven by personal conflict, art is consistent, soundtrack's kickass; there are hardly any aspects of this show that I can really say drag it down, and that to me is one of Bungou Stray Dogs's high points. I still think previous seasons are a bit better, but that point is kinda moot when it's overall just really good. My only real concern is when Season 4's happening, because this fucking train needs to keep going.