I suppose that the Spring 2016 anime season has an ongoing theme; teams with supernatural abilities. Either that, or I just unknowingly gravitate towards those particular shows. The first episode of Bungo Stray Dogs has a unique set up to say the least, but tends to be a little convenient for a set up.
The episode starts off as Nakajima Atsushi is on the verge of starvation after being thrown out of an orphanage about two weeks prior. Through peculiar circumstances he meets Dazai Osamu soon after saving him from drowning. What Atsushi doesn’t realize is that Dazai is suicidal and is continuously trying to find new ways to die to the dismay of his partner, Doppo Kunikida who is very set to his particular schedule. The comedic part is that Doppo is not very concerned about his suicidal partner, and finds it as more of an annoyance that anything else.
Both men work for a detective agency that takes on cases that the police can’t resolve on their own. In this instance, they are looking for a man eating tiger that has been seen in the city as of recently. Only the animal they are looking for may be closer than they think.
First off, the background colors used in this first episode are beautiful. I was mesmerized by the purple and pink hues in the sky. Second, I did find this episode one of the more humorous ones so far this season. The problem with the episode is that everything came to together way to conveniently for the eventual twist.
In the episode, Atsushi is apparently thrown out due to budgeting reasons, but remembers the people calling him worthless and that he didn’t belong anywhere. The actual reason for his dismissal is something else entirely, and I find it hard to believe that not one of them would mention the real reason why. Perhaps I am being analytical about the first episode, but it just seemed to way convenient for the surprise element they were going for.
Having said that, the main story has to start somewhere and at the very least this episode sets up the detective agency of gifted people well enough to be interested in the powers of the other characters introduced towards the end.
Bungo Stray Dogs is intriguing. The choice to portray the comedy more than the action of drama is a strange choice for this type of series and hopefully it will pay off. As said before, the background animation is engaging and the comedy hits the right notes for the most part. I had to watch this episode twice to make sure that I wasn’t over analyzing the plot of the first episode, and I can honestly say that it had its major fault in the setup, however, that shouldn’t dismay anyone from continuing watching the show further.
Here are some screenshots: