Bungou Stray Dogs : Borne Back Ceaselessly into the Past [END]

Episode 12

Taemanaku Kako e Oshimodosare nagara (たえまなく過去へ押し戻されながら)

I said I’d get to the end of the three anime’s we did follow last season and this is the final one.

Everything is poised to explode, Dazai being captured by the Mafia means he’s found out who was behind trying to capture Atsushi. Will the mysterious Guild make their presence felt?

Personally, as someone who has managed to get up to date with the manga, I feel they ended the season in the wrong place. I guess it ended there for the final moment, when we finally meet the leader of the Mafia and he pretty much spells out there will be a war between the Agency, the Mafia and the Guild. I guess there were two natural endings for this season but this one possibly was meant to be the strongest.

I would have waited to fully introduce the Guild in the second season but then the Mafia leaders “this is war” speech wouldn’t have had such a impact. A difficult one to pick from.

As it is we meet Fitzgerald who tries to buy the most important thing the Agency has, their permit to allow them to work as a group of Gifted. Obviously the President doesn’t hand it over which is when the Guild decide to take their stand. But what are the Guild?! Well they are a secret organisation from America full of rich and powerful members ran by Fitzgerald. Obviously to him money is no object so seeing the Agency turn down his offer semi-surprised him but angered him more then anything.

We also learn something a little more important.

They use Lucy Maud Montgomery who gives us an important insight into the Guild itself. All three organisations seem to take in… Well… Stray Dogs as it is, with gifts, and give them a purpose. The Agency tries to give back to the community, the Mafia uses their powers to take back from the community and the Guild. Well in the Guild according to Lucy there is no room for weakness so your staying power in the Guild correlates to just how useful you are to them.

Lucy’s ability makes people disappear. She traps them in a world where they have the option to play tag with her doll Anne or to be locked up forever. After kidnapping Kenji and Naomi both Atsushi and Junichirou get sucked in too with a middle aged guy who doesn’t seem to be all that important. The game of tag with Anne is a useless endeavour, Junichirou is caught right off the bat and no matter what Atsushi does it just isn’t good enough, plus the key doesn’t actually do anything either when he finally gets to the door. Its the middle aged nameless guy that helps Atsushi, telling him to basically just attack straight on. When Atsushi does so he manages to drag Lucy to the door with him and gives her the ultimatum of being dragged into the abyss as well or letting everyone go.

Atsushi continues to be Mr I-Want-To-Save-Everyone by running over to Lucy after she had transported everyone back to the real world and asking if he can help at all.

I loved Lucy’s ability, it was so weird and so well animated. It was just one of my favourite parts of the anime. One of the greatest strengths of the anime, something I’ll write in my final write up of it, is that you end up caring about characters in such a short period of time. It is actually probably its biggest weakness too because in doing so there is a lot of talking and you can feel like you’ve missed something if you turn your brain off for two seconds. Lucy basically gives you her life story and why it is so very important for her to win, it makes you feel for her, as Atsushi does, kinda also makes you hate the Guild that little bit more then you already have the feeling you will because whilst the Agency brought Atsushi in and gave him purpose and is even doing the same with Kyouka the Guild, like the Mafia, are bringing in vulnerable people and just using them. The difference between the two is that I’ve always kind of got the feeling from everyone in the Mafia that they are well looked after and failure is just failure. There are a few moments that make me feel a little different about it but overall they seem like a family just like the Agency but going in the opposite direction.

With the Guild it really seems to be your useless if you fail which puts so much pressure on their members but also just seems really harsh. I’ve always had the feeling Kyouka or Dazai could walk right back into the Mafia, and whilst some might not like it, they’d get on with life happily. Lucy’s reaction to losing tells me that when she returns to the Guild it won’t be a happy time for her.

All this just means one thing.

I don’t want to wait for the second season I WANT IT NOW!

I keep saying I will start reviewing the manga, and I will (if you haven’t noticed I haven’t done any Manga reviews in a few weeks!) because I can’t live that long without another dose of this. Even though I began by saying I wouldn’t have ended the first season there I have to say I adored the whole episode. It was just as good as I remembered it from the manga. Leaves you wanting more.

The final review will be out later today! Can’t wait for season 2!

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