Review: Bungou Stray Dogs – E.01

This first episode is a bit of a burn. It’s used to introduce the world and put our characters together while not really doing anything at the same time. It doesn’t set up the plot for the series and we’re hammered with the main character’s backstory the entire episode. I for one wish anime and manga would find a balance between the two types of main characters that dominate these “I reluctantly have powers” storylines. They’re either bold and unstoppable with a heart of gold or frightened and clueless, but all powerful. I personally have grown tired of them being frightened and clueless. It’s just a cheat to have them no nothing and so everyone has to explain everything to the character which in turn explains it to the audience. Find a better way. There’s smarter ways. That’s some low hanging fruit there.

Bungou-Stray-Dogs-newOur main character is dying of starvation after being kicked out of an orphanage. He looks twenty, but whatever. He decides he’s going to jump the next person he sees and that becomes a comedic gag. One that I enjoyed as it let me know that this series wasn’t going to be serious. Eventually he finds a dude trying to kill himself. Why? He’s quirky and that’s what makes him different.

Long story short, the kid turns into a white tiger when the moon is full or just out… or just convenient to the story. Eventually this is revealed along with the rest of the team’s powers. They’re an agency of some kind, which basically means they don’t have to worry about money and can take on weird cases. That’s really it.

The animation is actually really good. The character designs are pretty average for the most part. Sure they’re distinct, but they’re distinct in a way that’s trying really hard to be so. Like, he’s the guy with bandages on his arm. He’s the one with his hair too long on one side and wears high waters. Etc, etc.

My main thing is that this seems like a watered-down version of Blood Blockade Battfront, minus Nighttow’s art design. Also I mean the manga not the anime which was subpar to the book. It’s okay, but this first episode is completely pointless. It’s just a set up and not a true window into what the series will do or even be about. You could skip this episode and start with the second and I’m sure you’ll be fine, that’s how pointless this episode is to the overall story. With that said, I’ll give it one more, but I didn’t find it funny enough to struggle through the lack of plot just to hear jokes.

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Bungou Stray Dogs – E.01 Official Website