Bungo no Stray Dogs: Season 1/ Episode 1 “Fortune Is Unpredictable and Mutable” [Series Premiere] – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Episode Overview

A young orphan learns that a rumored detective agency is real and that they may be his ticket out of poverty.

Episode Rating:
Stick Around

Review Summary

I don’t know why everything makes me think of Kekkai Sensen, but there is something about Bungou Stray Dogs which sort of fills the gap that Kekkai Sensen left. It features a diverse set of eccentric characters with superpowers who investigate others with powers; our lead has been an orphan all his life, and has some issues thanks to that; and while the first case isn’t complex, it does present itself in such a way that if you pay attention it’ll make you pop yourself in the head and say, “Duh, dummy.” But, mind you, while the show is mostly positive, it does stumble just a little bit.

Main Plot (with Commentary)

Poor little Atsushi, a recently released child from an orphanage, has spent the last few days starving and by the time we meet him it seems he is ready to pass out and die. However, with his last bit of strength, he decides he is going to become a criminal and just steal a wallet rather than starve to death. Unfortunately for him, though, everyone which passes him by does not present themselves as an easy mark. So, his last bit of energy is used fishing a body out of the river. Said body belongs to Armed Detective Agency agent Dazai. An as weird as they come suicide obsessed agent who doesn’t thank Atsushi for rescuing him since he is semi-serious about his suicide attempts, but due to being a burden he has his very anal and skittish partner Kunikida feed the boy.

Thus leading to us learning about the current case Dazai and Kunikida are working on. Which surprisingly Atsushi just so happens to be aware of.

Things To Note

  • Yosano Akiki: Thou Shalt Not Die (Sort of stuck up, possibly bloodthirsty, but well-dressed lady)
  • Edogawa Rampo: Ultra-Deduction (Guy who dresses like he is in Olive Twist, who may have a slight ego)
  • Miyazawa Kenji: Be Not Defeated by the Rain (A sweet, possible kid, who looks like he lives out in the country)
  • Kunikida Doppo: Doppo Poet (Anal partner to Dazai who seems to like to do things by the book)
  • Dazai Osamu: No Longer Human (Odd ball who switched from weird suicidal person to almost leadership material)
  • Nakajima Atsushi: Beast Beneath the Moonlight (Orphan Atsushi whose personality basically isn’t shown in full since he is just happy for a meal)

Low Points

They really beat it into your head Atsushi was an orphan kicked out of his orphanage and the people there were mean to him all his life. This was either done to push the idea that he had an ability and his caretakers knew, to make you feel sorry for him, to help you understand why Dazai felt sorry for him, or all of the above.

On The Fence

  • While each character of the Armed Detective Agency is surely eccentric, the problem with this is that we aren’t sure if they are just going to be weird to be weird, or if there maybe depth to them. A lot of anime have weird characters simply for comic effect and that is it. Which there isn’t anything wrong with, but I do feel it is kind of getting old for zany characters to be zany just because.
  • With the show focused on this detective agency which deals with supernatural beings, it makes you wonder how good future cases will be. I’ll give the first one a pass for it was to introduce the cast and Atsushi, but I must admit I’m worried where this could go. Now, the preview makes it seem the next one is a hostage situation, which is always exciting, but with any show which has to up its ante, there is going to come a time it plateaus and it is all downhill from there. Add on that there likely will be no end to their cases, and it makes it so if a really good villain isn’t introduced, or we get an appealing arc, this maybe become tiresome to watch.
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What's Your Take?

Author: Amari Sali

New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.

2 thoughts on “Bungo no Stray Dogs: Season 1/ Episode 1 “Fortune Is Unpredictable and Mutable” [Series Premiere] – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

  1. They really do beat that orphanage flash back into your head. Over and over again. I’m really tempted to rewatch season 1 of this just to count how many times we flash back to that. It’s definitely a problem for the series because it seems like they have no other way to give Atsushi any actual character depth other than waving the ‘hey, remember I was an orphan’ flag.

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