Reviews

Jun 28, 2019
Stark700 (All reviews)
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.