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.
Cheers, to the stray dogs!