Hello, friends! Thanks for stopping by Anime Rants. The following article provides information about the anime character Fyodor from Bungou Stray Dogs. It should serve as a recap for what we know about this character so far, as season 4 of Bungou Stray Dogs begins. (It’s currently January 2023.) Additionally, there will be some information about the historical author, Fyodor Dostoevsky, after whom the anime character was named. This post is not a detailed character analysis, since there’s still a lot I don’t know. Nevertheless, I hope it’s helpful and informative.
Author Information and Anime Connections
Fyodor Dostoevsky was a 19th Century Russian author whose works include Crime and Punishment, The Possessed, and The Brothers Karamazov. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Dostoevsky was also a psychologist interested in the dark and violent tendencies of humans. His works delved deep into human psychology and touched on many topics of philosophy. He is considered one of history’s most important novelists. Even back in his day, Dostoevsky man was well known as an influential writer and thinker. Today, his fame lives on and his books are widely available in multiple languages.
As someone who has not yet read a Dostoevsky novel, I’m sure there is a lot of fascinating information I’m missing that ties together the historical novelist and the anime character. But even from my view, there are definitely some connections. The best example is that the name of Fyodor’s power is “Crime and Punishment,” just like the title of the book by Dostoevsky. (Note: I don’t quite understand this ability, as it wasn’t very well explained in BSD Dead Apple. Hopefully, it will be further explored in season 4.)
That’s not the only connection. Fyodor in BSD is interested in dark psychological topics like death and crime; we also know the author Dostoevsky was attracted to the same subjects. Furthermore, Fyodor is driven by strange concepts of salvation and warped moralism. Similarly, Dostoevsky was a Christian who worried about human salvation and cared greatly about the world’s “decline” into secular thinking. There are also more superficial connections between Dostoevsky and Fyodor from BSD. In season 3, Fyodor made his enemies believe he was hiding in a secret underground bunker. This is probably a reference to the Dostoevsky’s most famous short novella, Notes From Underground.
These connections are certainly interesting, but ultimately, Fyodor from BSD is his own unique character. He’s not literally supposed to be Dostoevsky, despite all the references. With that in mind, let’s review character information about Fyodor. This will be a good refresher if you are starting to watch season 4 of BSD.
Character Information and Recap
Known as “Fyodor The Demon,” this character became extremely significant in BSD season 3. However, he was technically in season 2 as well. We’ll get into the timeline of events, but first, I’ll provide some general information. Fyodor is a clever antagonist who wears an ushanka hat and a long, fur-lined coat. He describes himself as being of poor constitution, and displays no significant physical strength or obvious fighting ability. Despite this, he is feared in the underworld as an unstoppable monster.
We don’t know the details of his super-ability – only that it’s deadly. We saw him use it to kill a young man from the Port Mafia. He appeared to be able to instantly kill him with one touch of his hand over the boy’s face. Besides this mysterious killing ability, Fyodor also seems to be able to build bombs and hack into tech control systems. But perhaps the scariest strength of Fyodor is his brain. He has a sharp intellect, a keenly strategic mind, and excels at psychological manipulation. These are the tools in his arsenal that make him such a threat.
Fyodor’s objective is to cleanse society of people who are Gifted (users of super-abilities). Within the city of Yokohama, his goal is eradicate the Port Mafia and the Armed Detective Agency, the two main groups of Gifted individuals. On a larger scale, Fyodor’s ultimate goal is to obtain a magical book which changes reality according to what is written in it. He will presumably rewrite reality so that the Gifted no longer exist. It’s currently unknown exactly why Fyodor wants to destroy those who are Gifted, but he sees the use of superpowers as crimes that need punishing. It’s also unknown how Fyodor deals with the contradiction that he himself is a Gifted ability user.
In BSD season 2, Fyodor was the one who tried to make the Moby Dick airship crash into Yokohama. The goal of that plan was to take out as many Gifted people as possible from the members of the three organizations who were present (the Guild, the Port Mafia, and the Armed Detective Agency). Apparently, it doesn’t matter how many normal people die, as long as the ability users are eliminated. As we saw at the end of season 2, Atsushi and others from the Armed Detective Agency saved Yokohama by guiding the Moby Dick into the ocean. The Guild was hugely damaged by the crash. As a group, they disbanded after their leader (Francis) was thrown into the ocean. It’s possible that Fyodor planned this outcome to test the abilities of the Armed Detective Agency rather than to actually destroy the whole city.
Fyodor had a big role to play in the 2018 movie, Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple. It takes place between season 2 and season 3. But I have to be honest here. A lot of this movie made no sense to me. There’s still so much I don’t understand. Even when it mentioned Fyodor’s power, “Crime and Punishment,” I did not comprehend how the ability works at all. I apologize for not being able to explain this part satisfactorily. Of course, I could look it up on the wiki, but this could lead me to see spoilers for season 4.
Despite not understanding Fyodor’s ability, I still got the gist of his role in Dead Apple. By teaming up with Shibusawa and Dazai, he was most just seeking entertainment. It was a bonus that a lot of Gifted people died from Shibusawa’s plan. After betraying Dazai, Fyodor helped awaken the true power of Shibusawa. If it had continued, this power would have engulfed the whole world in red fog and killed most of the population. Thankfully, Atsushi and company defeated Shibusawa. Fyodor didn’t seem to care that much about the plan failing. After all, it was only temporary entertainment to him. With that out of the way, he would continue his true quest to find the book that can alter reality.
According to Fyodor’s musings at the end of Dead Apple, it’s likely that the town of Yokohama has some hidden connection to the reality-altering book. That’s why Fyodor came to Yokohama. While here, he decided once again to target the town’s Gifted people. In BSD season 3, Fyodor launched an elaborate plan to assassinate Fukuzawa (president of the Armed Detective Agency) and Ougai (boss of the Port Mafia). The second half of season 3 focuses on this plot. Ultimately, the conspiracy failed. Fukuzawa and Ougai both lived, and Fyodor was captured. He currently being held by the government bureau that deals with Gifted.
That wraps up the rough recap. Somehow, I suspect that this villain will continue to cause trouble in season 4.
Closing Thoughts: Fyodor’s Philosophy
Villains of Fyodor’s type are of great interest to me. They are the ones defined by deadly sociopathy, high intelligence, striking charisma, and smooth manipulation techniques. Some other examples of this type of villain in anime are: Light Yagami from Death Note, Johan Liebert from Monster, and Dio Brando from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. (Fyodor isn’t quite as well-written or impressive as those examples, but he’s only one tier below them, in my opinion.) When it comes to characters like this, I find it intriguing to try to parse out their motivations, philosophies, and other interesting bits of their psyches. Let’s take a moment to do this for Fyodor.
I watched BSD season 3 before Dead Apple, because I mistakenly thought Dead Apple was a side story or some kind of recap. While watching the third season, it seemed to me that Fyodor was motivated by a highly corrupt notion of justice. He seemed almost moralistic about wanting to eliminate the Gifted. However, when I watched Dead Apple, I got a very different impression of Fyodor. He seemed to be flippant, bored, and not invested in any outcome. By his own admission, endangering the city (and indeed the world) with the Dead Apple plan was simply “entertainment.”
At times, Fyodor seems a bit like Light Yagami, who wants to eliminate criminals. But at other points, he seems bored with the world and simply enjoys toying with people, which is more like Johan Liebert. So, which is it? To be honest, I’m not exactly sure yet. However, I imagine it’s a mix of both. A complex villain can easily have a combination of motivations. Hopefully, BSD season 4 will shed light on this issue and provide a better understanding of Fyodor.
Still, there are a few things we can be certain of with regards to Fyodor, including his philosophy of death. Fyodor’s view is that death equals salvation. (This is why he says to Dazai in season 3 that they are two of a kind; they are both enamored with death.) We don’t know what exactly this belief stems from, or how exactly it ties into his quest to eliminate Gifted. But he does seem to view himself as a savior, bringing punishment to a world of crime. It’s not that he hates injustice. Fyodor wishes to bring ultimate salvation to criminals who are considered beyond saving. So, he saves them by killing them, rescuing them from a painful world.
I’d love to go into more detail about Fyodor’s philosophy, but that’s really all we know all this point. There will probably be more to learn and discuss in Bungou Stray Dogs Season 4, so be sure to watch that if you’re interested. That wraps up today’s anime rant.
Thank you for reading~