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branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Okay, now we see why this season of Bungo Stray Dogs spent the first handful of episodes with a flashback to Dazai’s past with the Port Mafia. Because, with this episode, that history comes to the fore and settles into its prepared context: Dazai is not a good guy, which, honestly, was already relatively evident but is now absolutely inescapable. Dazai is an epic adrenaline addict who loves fighting in deadly danger and has deep, deep ties to the people who could keep up and fight alongside him.

For serious, I thought he was going to stop Nakahara’s rampage by kissing him. That’s how Old Married Couple they were acting.

Though, given his gift, I’m fascinated by how clearly Dazai is not the voice of restraint in any way, shape, or form. He clearly /is/ the control or safety (indeed, the “sheath”) for the whole Port Mafia, as far as gifts go, and now the way he was training Akutagawa also makes more sense. Dazai was fulfilling his function, training Akutagawa to have control, possibly while doing his best not to get attached in case Akutagawa couldn’t do it. In which case, given what else we’ve seen, I suspect it would have fallen to Dazai to kill him. But that function is not in line with Dazai’s basic nature, which is to be a smartmouth asshole who lives to tempt deadly fate and ride the combat high.

So now the ground is prepared for us to appreciate the conflict Dazai is about to find himself in, between the life and fellows (student, partner) he spent so long in and clearly enjoyed so much, and the new, less to his taste, life he’s created in the name of his lost friend (and possibly the new example of how to live it he may have found in Atsushi).

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