Bungou Stray Dogs Season 2 : Nowhere to Return

Episode 2/14

“Modorenai Basho” (戻れない場所)

The glimpse into the past of Dazai continues as we follow Oda on his search for Ango.

Oda is such a interesting character unfortunately that feeling that something bad was going to happen to him turned out to be true and we learn that even with a ability called “Flawless” there are always flaws that can be used against someone.

These two episodes were much more a look at Oda, a character who maybe helped shape Dazai to be the person he is. Oda is the only member of the Mafia who refuses to kill, we learn in this episode that he takes care of a group of orphans and he seems to be pretty smart but also very willing to believe his friends. His trust in Ando puts him in jeopardy as he goes in to “save” Ando believing that he’s worked out that his friend is actually working for the Mafia, infiltrating the group called Mimic.

If anything is going to make Dazai decide to leave the organisation it is the death of Oda mixed in with his acknowledgement that the Mafia doesn’t seem to deal with anything but death. When he trapped a group from Mimic to get details of their plans he shows up just to find them all killed by Ryuunosuke. Of course Ryuunosuke doesn’t seem to realise the lesson he’s being taught but that unnerving part of Dazai is once again shown as part of the lesson, the lesson about using power to defend instead of kill, meant Dazai had to shoot at Ryuunosuke who had already been put on the back foot with a punch. I guess it goes a long way to show the attitude problem Ryuunosuke has and why he probably hates Atsushi as much as he does.

I love the more subdued and calm opening to this season. Don’t get me wrong I loved the first season but this is just so much more gripping. Its so well put together with some really interesting characters and the comedy in the background, contrast to the in your face comedy and over the top moments that sometimes made episodes in the first season jar. This look into Dazai is just so interesting, I haven’t read the material its based off of, only just getting up to date with the main manga itself, so its interesting to see how just watching him in these episodes already make his actions in season one so different. He plays the bafoon so much that it is easy to forget that he’s actually really dangerous and the Mafia itself is extremely dangerous. Its a serious problem I guess with the Mafia in general that I didn’t realise was a problem until I saw this. Even Mori with his weird ways is just so threatening in his tiny appearance in this series with the comedy of his eccentricities only a moments joke and the rest being so serious. The threat of the Mafia to anyone who hasn’t read the manga or indeed this part of the story is now going to be drilled into their mind. They had spent so much time being defeated and made to look silly in the first season that going forward they just wouldn’t look like a threat.

Ando is interesting. I had forgotten when reviewing the first episode that Ando is indeed already known to us from his work with the government. How many twists is this guy going to go through? His character helps with what I said above. Whilst the world of BSD never seemed tiny it just followed Atsushi and his problem of not being able to shrug off his past around. These two episodes have blown the world open. So what a WareTiger is having problems? Look at the life that Dazai and Ando both led, look at how dangerous their jobs are and the people who fell with real actual moral stances in the world (unlike Atsushi’s I quite like the look of that girl so will forgive all she’s ever done AND SO SHOULD EVERYONE ELSE!)  and look at how seriously cool Dazai looks when standing next to a hit squad killing people…

I could honestly stick with this story, even go further back into the flashback (a flashback within a flashback) and never return to the present. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the story of BSD but its just such a nice pace and wonderfully animated that I could watch it forever.

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2 thoughts on “Bungou Stray Dogs Season 2 : Nowhere to Return”

  1. I agree that I could stay with this flashback forever rather than returning. It’s just hitting a much more consistent tone and it is so interesting.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Completely. Loved the first season but it felt very all over the place at times. I love the change in the general tone and the story being told.

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