Bungo Stray Dogs : Yokohama Gangster Paradise

Episode 3

Yokohama Gangster Paradise (ヨコハマギャングスタアパラダヰス)

Well its officially Atsushi’s first day on the job so how does he do?

He’s given one piece of advice from Kunikida which was “if you run into this man *points a finger at Ryunosuke Akutagawa* then run.”

He DOES end up running into Akutagawa… In a alley… Where he can’t run… So he has to fight…

That is getting a little ahead of ourselves though. The episode actually starts with a lovely moment where Atsushi gets to spend some time with his new colleagues. Whilst Tanizaki apologises and Atsushi gets told not to think too much about his and Naomi’s relationship, Atsushi also finds out that its a game to them to figure out what everyone’s former jobs were. Tanizaki and Naomi were students, whilst he was almost correct guessing Kunikida’s job which turned out to be a maths teacher. Yes I also can see him being a maths teacher too!

Its Dazai’s job that no one can guess, there is even a whole bunch of money on it as well.

Their client tells them about smugglers so they go with her to find out what is going on, turns out that she works with Akutagawa in the Port Mafia. We learn how dangerous Akutagawa is right away as we see him enter a police station, kill the police officers and leave a bomb. So when Atsushi, Tanizaki and Naomi are left in a alley with Higuchi who called Akutagawa then you knew they were in trouble. Turns out there is a bounty on Atsushi’s head and they are only after him, they don’t need survivors though so they shoot down Naomi and Tanizaki.

We get to see Tanizaki’s ability which is called Light Snow. He basically creates a area where he can mess around with the people inside the areas perception, making him invisible to Higuchi leaving her vulnerable to him. Just as we think he’s going to kill her Akutagawa turns up and puts a end to it.

I loved all the scene in the alleyway and how they cut from the really serious situation to Dazai and Kunikida just being themselves. I also think it was one of my favourite moments from anime so far this year when Dazai stepped out between Akutagawa and Atsushi to stop the fight, this was after Atsushi transformed into the Tiger to save them. I loved how well they choreographed the whole fight sequence, how it let you see how each uses their powers. Also its a lesson in finding out what you CAN do. Tanizaki says that his ability isn’t a combat one yet if it hadn’t been for Akutagawa he would have taken out Higuchi on his own. The fact that someone harming his sister brings out such a monster that could strangle someone is a bit worrying but they do keep telling us that there is something not quite right about them all.

You see some people don’t like the fact it can go from serious to crazy in seconds. Its something I notice people don’t like in a lot of things but for me it heightens the drama and makes the jokes even more funny. Taking you away from the drama makes it worse, giving you crazy characters who go from doing something crazy to being in trouble makes you worry more and then it forces you to laugh in the face of this fear. Personally I think the series has a proper balance and it works in its favour both ways.

It was also lovely to see Atsushi bond so fast with his team that he’s already able to work seamlessly with them.

At the end of the episode you find out that Dazai used to be part of the Mafia, something I guess none of them will end up guessing, or maybe someone will jokingly stumble on it.

It was another brilliant episode.

One thing I really like about the series is that it hasn’t bothered to lay off the action. It didn’t take three or four episodes to introduce people and let you get to know them. The situations just keep flying at Atsushi so he hasn’t had time to sit back and let the fact that they WANT him there and they care about him in their own way sink in yet. He’s just running from situation to situation being hit all the time with strange things. He’s taking it like a champ but it doesn’t give anyone time to really take it in. I love it. It makes such a change to having everything have to play out slowly. Its like a baptism of fire.

With a bounty on his head though I doubt its going to be any easier for Atsushi.

Its Dazai’s hopeless enthusiasm for everything that makes me love the show though. I just love Dazai. He’s my baby and I love him.

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