Love for the Disease Called Ideals
Typically, when an anime show skips its entire opening credit theme, then the possibility of the episode being great goes up. Fortunately, this episode of Bungo Stray Dogs met the expectations it put upon itself. There is a lot happening in this episode in terms of plot and character progress.
The Azure Messenger, from the previous episode, has planted a bomb in Yokohama City just to simply discredit the detective agency. Time is of the essence in this episode, but not before having a comedic moment between Osamu and Doppo in regards to the latter’s love life. Like in the last episode, we are presented with the question, “Why are they even partners?”
As time gets closer to the bomb going off, we are introduced to the “bomber” that has a special ability of his own; remote attacks. To explain, he gives out a number that appears on the right hand, and every time he attacks you, the number decreases like a countdown clock, and when it reaches zero the victim will die in agony. There is no evading it, at least for most people.
Meanwhile, Osamu and Atsushi are trying to fight off an enormous henchman with not much luck. At this point in the episode, and the series for the matter, we finally learn how these partners tick, and it is awesome when it happens. It turns out that their abilities tend to complement each other better than many would think.
The bigger mystery is who the Azure Messenger is and what connection they have to the Azure King. In the last episode we found out that Doppo originally stopped the Azure King, but essentially casualties happened that made him feel responsible for Rokuzou Taguchi, the son of a fallen comrade. Unfortunately, we find out who the culprit is, and it’s probably not who you would expect as the series never really gives out clues to it in these last two episodes. This made the ending to this story-line a tad too convenient, but given that there is a bigger plot-line happening, it had to end at some point. I just wish that it went on another episode to help tie it up better.
What we learn most of all about this episode is the extent of Doppo’s ability and his obsession with sticking with his ideals. The argument put in place in that the Azure King had his own set of ideals that he once abide by that essentially made him a villain, and that the same fate may happen to Doppo in the future. It was more of a plea that perhaps Doppo needs to live in the moment a bit more as opposed to planning every stage of his life to obsess over.
This was a great episode and it helped gives this series a bit more credibility in my opinion. My only complaint was that the Azure Messenger mystery may have been revealed too early, and that the writers could have had them come back in a later episode. However, if they are sticking true to the original source, that may have never been in the cards anyways. The last two episodes has put the show on a higher level, I just hope that is continues to stay around that level from now on.
Final Score: 4.5/5
Original Air Date: May 19th, 2016; Studio: Bones; Genres: Action, Comedy, Mystery, Supernatural; Duration: 23 min. per episode