English Dub Review: Bungo Stray Dogs “ECHO”

 

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Pushkin A. runs from Atsushi and Akutagawa, but their chase is stopped by Fyodor’s assistant, Ivan Goncharov. Ivan’s ability allows him to manipulate the earth in the mine, creating a giant golem to block their path and making them sink into the floor. Even worse, Atsushi is infected with the virus too, meaning his life is now on the lie as well. It’s only by him and Akutagawa combining their abilities are they able to beat Ivan and continue their chase, though Pushkin is stopped at the exit by the also combined forces of the Port Mafia and Armed Detective Agency, forcing him to undo the virus and saving all involved.

That just leaves catching Fyodor, only he was never in the base they entered, having sent his orders through coded messages by radio. However, Dazai manages to catch him at a café with the help of Fitzgerald, with the Military Police apprehending the villain. The day is saved and everyone celebrates, though while Atsushi and Akutagawa have come to a better understanding, they still plan on facing each other in combat once more in six months time.

OUR TAKE

That wraps up Bungo Stray Dogs’ third season, which felt like a pretty satisfying conclusion to the story arc started a few episodes ago. It certainly felt like the proper sort of story to end the season on a good note, with a race against a clock with the stability of the city’s power structure hanging in the balance and giving just about every character a chance to shine and seemingly plenty to look forward to in a future season. Though looking at how many chapters of the original manga it took to get here, it looks like that next season might not be happening for quite some time.

And even though I’m basing a lot of my impressions on incomplete knowledge, the final fight against Ivan was a pretty solid way of showing how the rivalry between Atsushi and Akutagawa both drove them to great heights in strength and will (as any good anime rivalry should), but I couldn’t help but feel like throwing in someone like Ivan was a bit last minute. I mean, I’m pretty sure this fight was more about the two protagonists working together than their relationship with their opponent, but I guess I just prefer fights that can provide development for everyone involved. Ivan feels like a pretty one-note mini-boss, seeming almost lobotomized in his devotion to Fyodor, which doesn’t relate to much of anything going on with either Atsushi or Akutagawa. Maybe there could have been something worked out in how the two of them are fiercely loyal to their own bosses, but all that got resolved last time anyway. I dunno. This fight was fine, but there was definitely enough material to work with to make it better, I think.

This also doesn’t feel like the end of Fyodor, as he is WAY too Heath Ledger Joker to let himself simply be captured and have that be it for his plans. The fact that he was able to get as close as he was to causing such damage is a sign that he is not someone to be underestimated, even in defeat. But perhaps going over the season overall will help us piece together his next move as we cover the Season Review next week.

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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