Bungou Stray Dogs has fine action in store still – as the Agency tries to defend itself from the Guild’s coming attempts to take control of the city, it is the Mafia which seems well in control strategically.
While Hawthorne and Mitchell are busy preparing their Zelda liner, Ougai sends a trap named Kajii. They think he’s a mere bomber, but an easy target once caught. Yet it was all planned, as his capture was just a way of buying time until the “convoy” drops dozens of bombs on the boat. The two main antagonists manage to escape. However, they’ve read Ougai’s letter. They know they’re the next two targets.
It seems the Mafia’s boss isn’t fooling around, either. He already sends Akutagawa. The fights are intense, making the previous scenes feel like a warm-up. This is where Bungou shines: as a pleasant action series that drops all intellectual pretensions. We see Akutagawa and Hawthorne dropping everything they have, the former even fighting through the injuries. Though he looks in a bad position a couple of times, he has the upper hand for the most part. While it was mostly satisfying, Mitchell proved a disappointing foe, already sacrificing herself to let Hawthorne survive despite her ramblings about her pride and such. In the end, the fight is put on hold.
But don’t think this is the end of the Mafia’s moves. They’re the only organization with a proactive approach so far. Naomi and Haruno are monitoring everyone’s moves in an isolated place… what an easy target. What’s more, the Agency’s headquarters are already located for Nakahara to pay a visit. He could easily rampage everything, but that’s not his goal. He’s come with yet another trap.
They’ve baited Steinbeck and Lovecraft, and want to inform Fukuzawa of where these two will next appear. Sounds too good to be true, right? And it is. The story is all real – but the bait is none other than Naomi and Haruno. Both parties know it’s a trap, but they must go. The Agency’s leader tells everyone to evacuate, and orders Kunikida to go… head-to-head with the Guild. Everyone knows how fearsome they are, but what they stand to lose is simply far too great to ignore.
And with this, the Mafia can hope to amusedly watch the two organizations harm one another (an especially good plan when the Mafia are the warring party with the greatest strength in number).
Though the last episode somewhat lacked excitement, and we’re disappointed not to hear from Kyouka, this was a much better spectacle. The reason for this is simple: it is filled with intense action scenes. When Bungou does this, it is an exciting series to watch. The stakes are higher than ever, and the Mafia’s terribly effective tactics makes us worried about the future of our protagonists. What’s more, Naomi’s uncertain future brings back nagging memories of the first season. The promise of a crucial fight next episode raises the bar for excitement once again. We’re certainly impatient to watch it unfold – and witness all three parties’ next moves, as surely none will come out unscathed. Bungou Stray Dogs has certainly improved on its original run so far.
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