Many anime bloggers are writing seasonal anime reviews episode-by-episode as they air. I decided to try to a variation of this myself and see if I enjoy it. I’ve decided to waited for the first 3 episodes of seasonal anime to air, so I can conduct reviews of the first fourth of Spring 2019. One anime I’ve chosen to watch is Bungou Stray Dogs season 3. I was impatient and couldn’t wait another week for episode 3 in this case. That’s why the first 2 episodes are reviewed herein.
Enjoyment: 8/10 Excellent
I’m not the biggest fan of Bungou Stray Dogs compared to some screaming fans, but hey, I don’t have time to be super-passionate about every recent anime. At any rate, I liked the first season and wanted sequels. I’m pleased to finally be watching the third season of Bungou Stray Dogs, and for episode 1, my enjoyment ranked high. I liked the art and the action sequences, plus the character development Dazai and Chuyya are getting so far.
I also have a huge fascination with Mori from fifteen years ago. He seriously scares me, even just by talking or smiling, and that, well, turns me on. His seiyuu, Miyato Mitsuru, is one I absolutely love and I associate him with hot but terrifying roles like the child-killing teacher in Erased.
Sound: 8/10 Excellent
Speaking of voice acting, several favorite voices of mine are back again! Dazai is played by Mamoru Miyano, who has appeared in hundreds of anime, but who is known for roles like Light Yagami (Death Note), Tsukishima Shou (Tokyo Ghoul), and Okabe Rintarou (Steins;gate). Taniyama Kishou, who voices Sheep King Chuuya, also played Jean in Attack on Titan. I already mentioned the voice of Mori Ogai. I’ll cover more of the seiyuu in subsequent episode reviews.
In the topic of auditory factors, the music and songs in Bungou Stray dogs are sheer joy to listen to. The opening song is catchy, and I love the style, though I’m not sure what to call it. The vocalist is impressive to. The OP is “Setsuna no Ai” by Granrodeo. “Lily” by Luck Life is the ED and it’s gorgeous. So far, nothing really sticks out at me about the instrumental music, but it seems ok.
Story 8/10 Excellent
What we know of the story so far is exciting and complex! We’re years 15 years in the past, and Dazai is only 15, working for the Port Mafia under the leadership of Mori Ougai. (Squeeeeaaalll!!! Mori is so frickin hot and so scary!!!) Chuuya is only a kid, too, but he’s leading an aggressive group called the Sheep. According to Chuuya, there are rumors of the return of Arahabaki, a mysterious entity or power (not sure which) capable of destroying cities. Other strange things are afoot. The previous boss, killed by Mori, has come back to life seeking vengeance.
Episode 1 of a one cour anime should give us three important things: something exciting or interesting that hooks us, something about the overarching plot of the series, and introduction to some of the lead characters. Bungou 3 gave us a great fight scene, explained a little about Arahabaki, and showed Dazai and Chuuya starting a mission for the Port Mafia. Episode 2 should continue with the action and plot, but also focus on characters. Again, Bungou 3 delivered. Not only did we get a decent fight scene right off the bat, but we also soon learned about the dangerous beast that destroyed Randou’s squad and much of the city with its black flames.
We also saw in episode 2 a nice element of mystery as characters try to figure out the truth about the god of fire, Arahabaki, and if he really brought Port Mafia’s old boss back to life. I won’t tell you what was discovered at the end because for this anime I’m going to try to avoid giving any significant spoilers beyond the first episode. But let me tell you, it’s getting exciting!
Characters: 8/10 Excellent
It was great to see the series characters return to the screen. It’s too early to tell, though, how the character development and growth will go in this series. My rating is based on characterization from past seasons, plus the promising bits of character development for Dazai and Chuuya. The 2nd episode showed them getting to know each other becoming “friends,” of sorts. Chuuya chose to go with Dazai and to solve the Arahabaki mystery, rather than fighting Port Mafia, even after his friends the hostages were released. Dazai, even as a 15 year old, is fascinated with death and seeks the ideal way to die. We saw him kill his first man.
Art 9/10 Magificent
Besides my weird new obsession with Mori, things I also loved were the art-style and animation. It’s great. The fight scenes. The colors. The special effects. The backgrounds. The character designs. The detail in all scenes. Everything about the visuals is superb. The amazing quality of this studio Bones production is to die for! (But don’t go Dazai on me, now.)
Overall Score So Far: 8.2/10 Excellent
This is an incredible number for only the two-episode mark. I mostly rate things in the 7s until more episodes come out. Hopefully, Bungou Stray Dogs 3 will continue to be fantastic.