Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5), Episodes 1 & 2: Bungo Stray Dogs is an action anime on the surface, but dig a little deeper and you will find out that it is heavily influenced by literature from countries such as Japan, America, and Russia, amongst others. These influences manifest themselves in the characters’ names and their superpowers or special abilities, and sometimes in their personality and behaviour as well. Now in its fifth season, the anime resumes with our protagonists, The Armed Detective Agency, trying to clear their name after being framed for terrorism whilst avoiding The Hunting Dogs hell bent on capturing them. These two opening episodes feature high octane action and see the Agency start to fight back after their defeat last season, alongside a major reveal and plot twist at the end of the second episode.
Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5), Episode 1 “The Strongest Man” Recap:
When an explosion in the United States is believed to have been triggered by counterfeit currency, just like that used in the Sky Casino in season four, the country declares a state of emergency. Watching this on television is Kunikida, chained to his bed and in the custody of the Hunting Dogs, who is visited by Jono. Jono keeps asking Kunikida about the Detective Agency’s involvement in such crimes, and then tries to convince him to leave the Agency and join the Hunting Dogs, but in vain as Kunikida declines the offer. Jono then says he understands, as Kunikida will be unable to use his ability without being operated on, since he no longer has his arms.
In Anne’s Room (Lucy’s ability which creates an alternate space), Lucy asks Kyoka, Atsushi and Ango about their next move, given their plan failed. Atsushi claims that they could solve the problem if all the Agency members were together, but he then sees a brief vision of Dazai who tells him not to complain and make do with what he has. This motivates Atsushi, and as he tries to motivate the others, he collapses.
Back in Kunikida’s room, Jono tells him to rethink his offer, also telling him that Yosano will be executed that very day. He then tosses Kunikida’s notebook, now cut in two, onto the bed and mocks Kunikida for the fact that his ideals are now worthless as he could not save his friends. Jono leaves and Kunikida lets out a scream of despair, while outside on a nearby building, a sniper is seen aiming at Kunikida.
Elsewhere, Sigma regains consciousness with Nikolai Gogol next to him, who tells him that he saved him using his ability in the aftermath of his fall from the sky. Confused, Sigma initially asks Gogol why he saved him but rephrases his question to why Gogol is alive in the first place, as he was assumed dead during the hostage situation (early on in season four). In response, Gogol says he used his ability to create an illusion and create the illusion of his death, but Sigma asks why he did so, given that their plan required him to actually die.
Gogol confesses that he did plan on doing so at first, especially as his goal of verifying the existence of true free will wasn’t grasped by anyone else with the exception of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky was Gogol’s sole friend in the world, and he feels he shall be freed from emotions upon killing him – to that end, he tells Sigma to discover Dostoevsky’s ability using his own.
As Atsushi has yet to regain consciousness in Anne’s Room, Kyoka and Lucy are understandably concerned, while Ango is worried that Atsushi might have been infected by Pushkin’s cannibalism. He further theorizes that Atsushi is being taken hostage against the general population of Yokohama, which is part of Pushkin’s ability where only one of them can survive. Ango prepares himself to shoot the two girls, who would choose Atsushi over everyone else, but before he can do anything else Atsushi regains consciousness. Atsushi reveals that he knows where the page they are searching for is: with Kamui, the leader of the Decay of the Angel and the one behind everything. This was revealed to him via Sigma’s ability.
Kunikida, in the meantime, has spotted the sniper in the building across his room, and takes cover while the sniper shoots the electronic lock in the door. Still in chains and unable to move much, Kunikida sees a man enter the room, and he introduces himself as Kamui before throwing a canister containing knockout gas.
Atsushi, Ango, Kyoka and Lucy have a humorous discussion on how to locate Kamui, but Atsushi somehow feels killing intent from the information Sigma gave him and suggests leaving, since Kamui is trying to kill the Agency members at that moment.
Yosano is being escorted to her execution in a military vehicle with armed escorts, but an explosion ahead of them leaves the guards searching the area. To their shock, the vehicle vanishes a few minutes later.
Wrapped in his futon in his apartment, Katai is under house arrest owing to his prior association with the Agency and is refused any access to electronics lest he use his ability. He suddenly notices a cell phone in his room, uses it and screams and his guard is stunned to see that Katai has vanished.
Meanwhile, Fukuzawa, the President of the Agency, is led by Kamui and Kamui’s comrade out of his cell whilst wearing a hood, and when the hood is removed, Fukuzawa sees he is on a rooftop. Assuming that they plan to kill him by throwing him off, Fukuzawa tells Kamui that he knows who they are.
In prison, Dazai and Dostoevsky are playing a number guessing game with each other, and the latter is curious as to Dazai’s laidback appearance, since the Agency members still might be killed. Dazai responds that he does not need to do anything except keep an eye on Dostoevsky so that the Agency’s strongest person, Ranpo, can act as needed.
At this point, Kamui on the rooftop reveals himself to be Ranpo and tells Fukuzawa that he has stopped the killings of Kunikida, Yosano and Katai. Ranpo also reveals how he saved each of them as well as escaping himself, all of which highlights his genius. His comrade is revealed to be Edgar Allen Poe.
Later, at a press conference for something else, many journalists are gathered and a female journalist present says she would rather cover the Armed Detective Agency terrorist case. Her wish is granted when Ranpo suddenly appears on stage and his mere presence causes fear, panic and chaos. However, she gathers her courage and asks Ranpo why the Agency carried out their acts of terrorism.
In response, Ranpo then shows them the initial video of them allegedly taking hostages, and then presents a document containing evidence that proves the Agency’s innocence in the matter. The journalist asks why he did not show the evidence before, but Ranpo says that they would not have believed him anyway, as written on the page (by Kamui). He also deduces, correctly, that such documents, while sent to each legal enforcement organisation, would already have been thrown away.
Just then, the military police arrive and surround Ranpo, who tells the police that they should think using their souls. Watching on TV at the police station and moved by Ranpo’s words, Detective Minoura finds the evidence documents in the trash and leaves.
Ranpo then poses a question to the police: he has helped them solve cases for the past twelve years, even saving many of their lives, so how can a great detective such as himself make the simple mistake of getting caught if he were a terrorist? The episode ends with this question.
Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5), Episode 2 “Toward the Complete Answer” Recap:
Opening in the aftermath of Ranpo’s speech, this episode has the great detective in custody and being taken away in a police car. Suddenly, spikes are thrown on the road, puncturing the tires and it is revealed that Detective Minoura is the one behind it. He rescues Ranpo from the car, and they flee on foot. Minoura admits to Ranpo that while some of the police in their country are fools, not all of them are, as those who followed their soul as per Ranpo’s advice realised that he was right and that he was innocent.
Armed police surround the two of them, but then a significant portion of the police turn against the others, allowing Minoura and Ranpo to escape again. As the former chides the latter for causing divisions in the force, Ranpo corrects him by saying he has split them into the correct ones and the misguided ones. Stunned, Minoura asks him if he was sure that the plan would work, and Ranpo admits he was not sure if it would work.
Later, many of the Armed Detective Agency members reunite in Anne’s Room, and Atsushi in particular is thrilled to see them again. He hugs Kunikida, as Kyoka tells Lucy she is holding herself back. Atsushi is distraught upon seeing Kunikida’s amputated hands, but is reminded that each of the Agency members have their own strengths, and are even stronger together – Yosano can heal any injuries and Ranpo can come up with the perfect strategy to save all of them and deduce their enemy’s strategies too. Ranpo then tells Yosano and Kunikida to find the members who are not there, Kenji and Tanizaki.
Elsewhere, in Fukuchi’s office the United Nations Chairman is pleading with Fukuchi to form an anti – terrorist organisation to defeat the Armed Detective Agency. However, Fukuchi is responding only with silence, and the men wonder if they’ve somehow offended him. In a comical turn of events, it is revealed that Fukuchi is in fact hungover and Tetcho of the Hunting Dogs has given him a hangover cure made with frog eggs, causing Fukuchi to vomit again.
Once he has recovered sufficiently, the UN representatives beg him to form their anti – terror organisation which has the entire world under their jurisdiction, and to lead it as well. Fukuchi hears them out, but will accept only on the condition that the goal of this organisation is changed, as he does not believe the Agency is guilty of terrorism.
Time passes, and at the Standard Mechanical Island, the United Nations chairman proposes the formation of this organisation to all the countries gathered there, but they are dismissive of it for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, he continues talking, and introduces Fukuchi as the commander of this new force.
Everyone present is star struck by Fukuchi, seeing him as a legendary samurai who has saved the world from different calamities numerous times. They ask for pictures and autographs, following which Fukuchi makes a speech, opening with a few light-hearted remarks yet suddenly switching to a serious tone and serious subject matter. He convinces all those present of the need of such an organisation with an inspiring speech, completely changing their sceptical demeanour into one of joy. The organisation is renamed Army of Mankind, and their goal is to take down the Decay of the Angel.
Fukuchi heads to his office, only to find Ranpo waiting for him, and Ranpo casually greets him. Fukuchi spots Ranpo and decides to grant him a five-minute window before he calls security. Memories rush back as he recalls their last encounter during the founding ceremony of the Armed Detective Agency. Ranpo, on the other hand, remembers a tipsy friend of Fukuzawa causing a commotion during that event. Despite that incident, President Fukuzawa expressed his trust in Fukuchi and sympathised with the loneliness he might feel now that Fukuzawa has chosen a different path.
Continuing their conversation, Ranpo requests Fukuchi’s assistance in retrieving a reality-altering page from Kamui using his universal army. Fukuchi is disappointed with the simplicity of Ranpo’s argument. However, Ranpo explains that he could have easily manipulated Fukuchi into helping, but he refrained from doing so because of the trust Fukuzawa has in him. Moved by Ranpo’s sincerity, Fukuchi is convinced of his noble intentions. Ranpo kneels before Fukuchi, affirming that this trust is mutual, and his doubts vanish.
Their strategy to escape entails departing the island using the VIP Guest Ship Boswellian. Atsushi, in disguise and on board, is deeply impressed by Fukuchi, whom he associates with global justice, albeit not at the same level at the UN. Recognizing Fukuchi’s crucial role in the plan, Atsushi resolves never to upset the man, as the success or failure of the Agency hinges on his involvement. Suddenly, Ranpo is taken aback when he spots Fukuchi and Atsushi kneeling on the floor to hide.
Despite Ranpo mocking Fukuchi as a dull middle-aged man, he still decides to join them. The two begin arguing in a comical manner, with Fukuchi believing that Ranpo is envious of his friendship with Fukuzawa, and Atsushi tries to mediate and prevent the situation from escalating. As the ship sets sail, Atsushi persuades Ranpo with a bottled drink to utilise his glasses and unleash his extraordinary deduction skills to uncover Kamui’s true identity.
Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5), Episode 2 “Toward the Complete Answer” Ending, Explained:
What is Kamui’s secret identity?
Ranpo agrees, leaving Fukuchi puzzled by their unusual interaction. As Ranpo uses his glasses and contemplates, he comes to the realisation that Kamui possesses enough charisma to sway both Fyodor and Nikolai, holds a significant connection with the Agency, and has profited considerably from the attacks. These clues all seem to point towards Fukuchi as the likely suspect, shocking Ranpo. In that moment, Fukuchi also understands that Ranpo has uncovered the truth, and the detective only has a few seconds to make a crucial decision.
Ranpo regrets placing his trust in Fukuchi and promptly sets off a smoke flare. Apologising to Atsushi for the confusion and his mistake, Ranpo urges him to flee, just as Fukuchi attempts to attack with his sword. In the nick of time, Ranpo activates Poe’s detective novel, using it to escape the perilous situation. Quick on his feet, Atsushi seizes the opportunity and pockets the novel.
Aware of Kamui’s dangerous ability to amplify any weapon’s power to an overwhelming extent, Atsushi realises that neither running nor fighting seems like a favourable choice. Despite the odds, he chooses to stand his ground and confront the threat head-on, realising that a victory could be the key to saving the agency.
Unveiling his true identity as Kamui, Fukuchi confirms that he possesses the reality-altering page, luring Atsushi into attempting to take it from him. However, before Atsushi can react, he is stunned to find his leg sliced in two, bewildered by Fukuchi’s blinding speed and precision.
As Atsushi’s leg begins to heal, Fukuchi contemplates whether his head would also regenerate if severed. However, amidst this unsettling situation, Atsushi has a sudden realisation — he is not afraid of the physical pain, but of the prospect of being alone. Reflecting on his past experiences, he recalls the times when the Agency split up, but he always had Kyoka, Francis, Ango, and Lucy by his side. Now, faced with the absence of his companions, Atsushi acknowledges that he is genuinely alone and overwhelmed by the sense of isolation. In a moment of vulnerability, he internally pleads for someone to come to his aid and offer the support he desperately needs.
Nearby, the passengers are curious about the smoke flare and its origin. Among them, one individual decides to remove his cap, and it is Akutagawa. He is taken aback by the realisation that an utterly improbable prediction has actually become a reality and the episode ends.
Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5), Episodes 1 & 2 Links: IMDb
Bungo Stray Dogs (Season 5), Episodes 1 & 2 Cast: Mamoru Miyano, Yûto Uemura, Yoshimasa Hosoya