Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5) Episode 3: Hot on the heels of last week’s major plot twist, the third episode of the fifth season of Bungo Stray Dogs continues the action-packed events and breakneck pacing that viewers have come to expect from the anime. Focusing on Atsushi’s and Akutagawa’s fight against Fukuchi, as well as more revelations about Fukuchi, this is a strong episode that ends with a somewhat predictable cliffhanger. That does nevertheless ensure that fans of the series will return next week for what is sure to be a pivotal episode.

Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5) Episode 3 “Hero vs Criminal” Recap:

Opening with a flashback, the first scene is set about two weeks before current events, before the Decay of Angels plot had started. Akutagawa is summoned by Dazai in secret to a place only they know, where he is requested by Dazai to be his eyes and ears but not get involved with upcoming events. He alludes to Fyodor Dostoevsky’s plan to destroy the world, the Armed Detective Agency, and Atsushi and asks Akutagawa to help him save the three. Akutagawa immediately refuses, but Dazai gives him a knowing smile, saying that Akutagawa will help anyway.

In the present, Fukuchi issues a threat towards Atsushi, and Akutagawa appears, warning Fukuchi that Atsushi becomes a more troublesome enemy every time he is injured and comes back. Atsushi is both angered and surprised by Akutagawa’s unexpected arrival. Akutagawa goes on to disclose that he was instructed by Dazai to remain in the shadows unless he received a smoke signal, which was foreseen by Ranpo, hence the flare. As for Fukuchi, he is more irritated than anything since an annoying ability user has appeared, while Akutagawa reveals that he has destroyed the engine room to isolate Fukuchi and prevent backup. He reveals his intentions to kill him on the spot.

Subsequently, Akutagawa reminisces about his encounter with Dazai in the forest during his childhood. At that time, Dazai had extended an invitation for Akutagawa to join the Port Mafia, promising him a purpose in life. Later, he also wants him to collaborate with Atsushi in creating a formidable weapon to counter Fyodor’s schemes. Dazai’s aspiration was to form a new generation of Double Black, the legendary partnership between him and Chuya. Now, with this memory in mind, Akutagawa is determined to lend his assistance, even if it entails rescuing Atsushi.

Confidently launching an attack, Akutagawa faces Fukuchi, but the latter wields a simple railing as a weapon, causing part of the ship to be cut into two. Fukuchi proves to be too powerful and overwhelms Akutagawa with his strength. As Fukuchi prepares for a fatal strike, Atsushi intervenes, pulling Akutagawa away, and they flee together. Inside the ship, Akutagawa expresses his frustration at their escape, as his mission is to eliminate Fukuchi. Atsushi is puzzled by Akutagawa’s determination to kill him, unable to comprehend the reason behind it. Akutagawa reveals that he believes his worth to Dazai hinges on successfully carrying out this task. He feels that Atsushi has already taken his place in Dazai’s eyes, and perhaps this confrontation with Fukuchi is a test that Akutagawa must overcome to earn Dazai’s approval.

Suddenly, their encounter is interrupted by a guard who appears to surrender but then attempts to shoot them. Easily stopping the bullets, Akutagawa grabs the official by the neck while Atsushi tries to prevent him from delivering a fatal blow. In the end, the man is left alive but unconscious, and Atsushi is surprised by the fact that Akutagawa honored his earlier promise to not kill anyone for the next six months. While they continue to run, Atsushi ponders their next course of action. Akutagawa, on the other hand, had already foreseen Dazai’s strategy and suggested that they combine their powers to unleash Kokko Zessou, a combined attack, just as they did when they fought Fyodor. However, Akutagawa warns that if Fukuchi strikes before they can, he will be the first to perish, followed by Atsushi. To counter this, they devise a plan to lead Fukuchi to follow an unmanned submarine, taking advantage of Kokko Zessou’s greater range underwater.

Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5) Episode 3
A still from Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5) Episode 3

Their attempt to reach the submarine is thwarted as Fukuchi stands before it, smoking casually. To better understand the man, Atsushi questions Fukuchi’s intentions, wondering if his desire to destroy the world stems from what he experienced on the battlefield. Fukuchi candidly admits to it, expressing doubt about the concept of justice. He reveals that despite enduring numerous hardships, it is the lack of acknowledgment of it that is behind his anger. As Akutagawa and Atsushi launch a joint attack, Fukuchi easily overpowers them, proudly boasting about how he defeated a hundred gifted users all on his own. Undeterred, Akutagawa refuses to yield, using his own ability to force his broken bones back into place. This determination only serves to motivate Atsushi, as he is determined not to reveal any sign of weakness to him.

Fukuchi proves himself prepared for the confrontation, wielding Amenogozen, forged by ability users fifteen hundred years ago. This legendary blade possesses the remarkable ability to transport its strikes through portals to different places and times. With no movement, he easily stabs Akutagawa and Atsushi from behind. As they crumple to the ground, Fukuchi divulges that the duo could have indeed overcome him by combining Atsushi’s offensive tiger attack with Akutagawa’s Rashomon attack from an unexpected angle – behind him.

Regret fills Atsushi as he realizes his hesitation led to this situation, understanding that he should have trusted Akutagawa’s ability to execute the ambush successfully. Akutagawa manages a laugh directed at Fukuchi, who is impressed by Akutagawa’s refusal to accept defeat. He offers a proposition to Akutagawa – if he agrees to kill Atsushi, Fukuchi will take him under his wing as a mentor, given all his knowledge, power, and experience with ability users. Fukuchi declares that he will deliver Akutagawa back to Dazai at his most powerful. Attempting to reason with Akutagawa, Atsushi argues that killing Akutagawa will not serve any purpose. Fukuchi, however, points out that Akutagawa’s motivations are deeply connected to Dazai, not to saving the world. Therefore, there is no reason for Akutagawa to be killed by him.

Akutagawa reveals a troubling truth – he suffers from lung disease and is running out of time to earn Dazai’s approval. He charges forward, determined to make the most of the situation. Suddenly, Atsushi realizes that if Dazai learns of Akutagawa’s betrayal of Atsushi, he will never grant his approval, effectively preventing Akutagawa from ever betraying him. Fuelled by this realization, Atsushi charges alongside Akutagawa, and they merge their powers to unleash the Kokko Zessou attack. With a swift strike, they defeat Fukuchi and secure the reality-altering page.

Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5) Episode 3 Ending Explained:

How Does Fukuchi Survive His Death?

As Atsushi observes the blade, he senses something amiss—the weapon is broken in two, with the second half missing. Suddenly, time reverses, and just as Kokko Zessou is about to be unleashed, Fukuchi sends his blade into the past, splitting the attack in two. This action alters the future, resulting in Fukuchi remaining unharmed; they never succeed in defeating him as his blade can literally travel back in time, the power of which is only enhanced by Fukuchi’s ability.

In a final confrontation, Fukuchi taunts them, asking if they have any last words. Akutagawa responds resolutely, stating that actions speak louder than words. He skilfully manipulates his shirt, using it as a weapon to cut through the floor and retrieve a fire extinguisher. Unleashing its contents, a fog engulfs the area, and Akutagawa and Atsushi vanish from sight. However, Fukuchi employs the blade’s time-bending power once more, severing the fire extinguisher into two parts. He cruelly mocks Akutagawa’s final words and proceeds to slit his throat, leaving Atsushi to scream in horror as the episode ends.

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Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5), Episodes 3 Links: IMDb
Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5), Episodes 3 Cast: Mamoru Miyano, Yûto Uemura, Yoshimasa Hosoya
Where to watch Bungo Stray Dogs

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