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YMMV / Bungo Stray Dogs

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  • Abandon Shipping: Gin/Tachihara used to have a small following. Then chapter 68 rolled along.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Trash Candy" by Granrodeo, the first season's opening theme, is overflowing with coolness, starting off with a dark and heavy riff which builds up to the energetic chorus.
    • "Namae wo Yobu yo" by Luck Life, the first season's ending theme, is a pop-rock ballad full of emotion.
    • "Reason Living" by Screen Mode, the second season's opening theme. The quiet first few seconds soon give way to an explosion of energy. It also gets used for a Theme Music Power-Up in Bungo Stray Dogs Dead Apple's final fight and helps elevate that scene into an amazing Moment of Awesome.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Naomi can be this. Naysayers view her BroCon as sexual harassment/Rape as Comedy, while others think her brother consents to her behaviour and view her as a feminist role model due to her forward personality.
    • Interestingly, Dazai can also be this. While there's a certain part of the fandom who absolutely loves his quirky character and thinks his past is interesting, they are often blamed for negating certain...other parts of his character. note  Another part of the fandom doesn't think that he deserves sympathy and paints him as a Manipulative Bastard, a Sociopathic Hero or a very, very hardened practicer of Tough Love. They also accuse him of being abusive to Akutagawa, and by the time it is brought up we'll have to resort to the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment.
  • Broken Base: The anime has become this for many manga fans:
    • The heavily increased emphasis on comedy. Some are okay with it, while others feel it's an irreconcilable distraction from the serious and action-packed nature of the manga storyline.
    • The decision for the first cour to adapt the Port Mafia arc, basically stretching the first twelve chapters to a cours worth of material (in fairness, this is in part because of when the production decision for the anime was made). Episodes 6 and 7 were especially contentious, as they were an adaptation of a prequel light novel that was awkwardly rewritten to work with the present-day story. Fans of the anime were unfazed, while manga readers were irritated by the obvious Padding that delayed the introduction of Kyouka and Chuuya to the series.
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    • The second season's inclusion of the second light novel, which is a prequel covering the incident that led to Dazai quitting the Mafia. It's a faithful adaptation of a fan-favorite storyline and clearly the most lovingly-adapted part of the second season, but it's an awkward non-sequitur that starts off the season, and its inclusion meant the plot-heavy Guild arc had to be heavily compressed, with a lot of important moments and character beats either clumsily executed or outright left out.
  • "Common Knowledge": It's a widespread misconception that Christie and Dostoyevsky are members of The Guild. In reality, both are leaders of their own separate factions that were collaborating with The Guild.
    • Due to the sheer amount of Artistic Age involved, there's a lot of misinformation in regards to character ages. Kunikida (22 but looks 30, not helped by a claim that he was a former math teacher that was later retconned) and Kyouka (looks like a Token Mini-Moe but at 14 is only a few years younger that Atsushi) are the most frequent victims. Ranpo and Kouyou are both 26, but Ranpo is Older Than He Looks while Kouyou is Younger than She Looks.
    • Akutagawa isn't an executive. Mori (who is also the boss), Kouyou, Chuuya are. There are two other places that A and Dazai filled, and the latter is kept reserved for Dazai. In the intro of Dead Apple, he's referred as such erreneously, leading to a lot of people assuming he's an executive. He's the leader of an assassin squad but he's not an executive.
  • Continuity Lockout: Along with the original manga, there are also several prequel light novels, an OVA, and a movie all in canon. While the manga is able to stand on its own, much characterization and nuance is lost without reading and watching the rest of the material, and it makes the timeline harder to follow.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Throughout chapters 10-12, Atsushi goes way out of his way to be nice to Kyouka, from saving her from the Mafia to taking her places to let her have fun, even though he knows that, since she's a criminal (Though not by choice), he has to turn her in. When she puts her life on the line to protect him and everyone else, Atsushi is told to leave her behind, but he refuses and goes to save her. Why? Because, like Kyouka, Atsushi was an orphan who lived a terrible life, constantly being told he was worthless, but in his case, the ADA helped him and didn't abandon him, and he'll be damned to hell if he's going to abandon her in her hour of need. So he goes Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right! and goes in to save her. Awwwwww.
  • Designated Hero: While it is a stated theme that the Armed Detective Agency are Not So Different from the enemies they fight, and not all of them fall under this classification, there are still a couple that seem to only be heroes because they are fighting for the heroic side. Most notably, Ranpo, who is an overconfident, arrogant braggart who only takes jobs for the protagonists' side because it amuses him. Yosano also falls under this, as a Torture Technician who just happens to be The Medic as well. Even Dazai may be considered this; while he is The Atoner, he has a bloodstained past to rival and possibly surpass Akutagawa's. Tanizaki finally addresses this in the Rats arc, stating that the only way the Agency can protect people is by hurting yet other people, and they just have to deal with it.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Akutagawa. Much of Port Mafia gets this to some degree, but many fans are prone to completely ignoring that he's often a violent maniac and far from a typical rival character just so they can ship him with Atsushi.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Lucy is fairly popular for someone who's only had a few appearances of note.
    • Chuuya is a big target of this, so much that the most common picks for series merchandise are Atsushi (for obvious reasons), Dazai (fan favourite), Akutagawa (see above) and him. It helps that Dazai and him were former partners and, through this, have a ready-made ship name (Soukoku, or Double Black). He's a rare case in that he was intended to be this.
    • Edgar Allan Poe is quickly gaining a small fanbase thanks to his sympathetic personality and interesting design.
    • Everyone loves Karl, the resident Ridiculously Cute Critter.
  • Evil Is Cool:
  • Fanfic Fuel: Given the setting uses characters named after after famous Eastern and Western authors with powers referencing their works, fans have a wide variety of names and powers to pick.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • The anime's tendency of Padding by adapting prequel light novels started all the way in the first season, where the action of the Port Mafia arc was put on hold for a prequel adaptation in the middle of the series. The thing is, this was a Necessary Weasel because the Mafia arc wasn't long enough to fill 12 episodes and something had to be put there. The second season started with another prequel adaptation; although it put the focus on a fan-favorite plot, a lot of fans were miffed about the way it caused a lot of the info of the Guild arc to be cut out. But by the time the third season came, adapting a prequel LN into three episodes, then expanding a couple backstory manga chapters into four more, leaving the Rats arc with only five episodes in which to tell its story, most were not pleased.
    • Characters were seemingly dying only to be okay as soon as the first arc, with Dazai's failed suicide attempts, but those were entirely played for comedy. Later on, Kyouka pulled the same thing, but her rescue was forgivable as it not only was her character introduction, but a way to show Atsushi's guiding philosophies as well. However, this trend extended to other characters and by the time of the Rats arc, nearly every single named character has had a brush with death only to be safe and sound at the end of the arc.
  • Foe Yay: Chuuya and Dazai is the most prominent example, being former partners turned enemies.
    • Atsushi and Akutagawa.
    • Even Mori and Fukuzawa get this from time to time, fans saying they are the progenitors of 'Soukoku'.
    • Poe and Ranpo can be considered this as well, although much lighter and friendlier than the two examples above. Ranpo acknowledges Poe as a Worthy Rival and even invites him over to a post-battle party at the agency.
  • Genius Bonus: A major obstacle for many western viewers is in the numerous, precise references to Japanese authors whom the majority of the Western audience knows nothing about. Of course, the series later introduces a good number of Western authors that the Japanese readers are likely to be unfamiliar with, so it goes both ways.
  • Growing the Beard: While BSD had fans before, it was the Guild Arc that really saw the series take off.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Dazai falling from a skyscraper in the first season's opening has become this since the publication of BEAST. At the end of the light novel (which is set in an alternate universe), he successfully commits suicide that way.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Akutagawa wouldn't be the only time Kensho Ono voiced a teenaged mafioso with a Fighting Spirit.
  • Iron Woobie: Kyouka Izumi. Orphan (later it is revealed that her parents were killed by the demon invoked by her ability), trained by the mafia to kill people. Now that she's left the mafia, she is wanted both by them and the police. Yet, she takes it quite stoically for a 14-year old girl.
    • Atsushi too, since he got kicked out of an orphanage, almost starved and told he was useless on many an occasion (which got to him a lot). Add to that the way he gets cut up a lot because of his healing factor and how he's wanted by the mafia (for reasons unknown, although it's heavily hinted the reason is his ability). However, Atsushi just keeps soldiering on like nothing ever happened to him.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Atsushi, who is most commonly paired with Kyouka, Lucy, Dazai, and Akutagawa.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Mori and Fitzgerald play a game of Xanatos Speed Chess throughout the entirety of the Guild Arc, but Dazai manages to be at least five moves ahead at all times. Then Fyodor comes along, whose plotting is convoluted enough to frustrate even Ranpo.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moe: You have to admit, Atsushi can be pretty adorable.
    • Kyouka, definitely. She even uses her cuteness to convince Fukuzawa to let her into the ADA...and it works!
  • No Yay: The original Dark Era Light Novel had some Subtext between Oda and Gide. For example, when they first meet, Oda describes Gide as handsome, Dazai proposes their wedding, and the final duel is held at an old-fashoned ball room, and terminology like 'twirling half a turn' are used. On top of that, their Abilities work in such a way that they're completely synchronised. When the two come at a standstill (by holding hands, if not in the conventional way), it's described as 'miraculous'. The anime doesn't include most of it, but interestingly leaves most of the subtext at the end in it. (as in that the fight is animated like a dance)
  • Older Than They Think: This isn't the first time Kana Hanazawa has voiced an Ax-Crazy psycho mad woman.
  • Periphery Demographic: Despite being published in a seinen magazine, the series has a sizable female fanbase, probably due in part to the many biseinens and non-sexualized female characters. The series likely would not have become the Cash Cow Franchise that it is without the female and fujoshi fanbase.
  • The Scrappy: Aya from the Hitori Ayumu OVA, an annoying Tagalong Kid who basically bullies Kunikida into taking her along with him with a Mistaken For Pervert accusation, then promptly gets herself captured and used as a hostage. Absolutely no one wants to see her in the main series itself.
  • They Changed Him, Now It Sucks!: The characterization of Randou/Rimbaud was very differently in the anime than in the Novel. For example, in the Novel (that came first), he is actually apologizing during the fight and not at all revelling in it.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The Port Mafia and Guild are both hugely popular bad guys, so it wasn't a surprise that the Rats fell into this. While Dostoyevsky is well-liked, the rest of the Rats are considered poorly-developed or just plain unlikeable by the fanbase. (barring Mushitarou, who has an entire arc to himself detailing his past and motivations)
  • Unexpected Character: Readers suspected that the fifth member of the Hunting Dogs would be someone they already knew, and tried to guess who it would be. Having quite some experience with Asagiri's writing style, people started guessing characters like Tanizaki and even Kenji. Very few expected the actual fifth member, Tachihara.
  • Wangst: Atsushi's frequent mental breakdowns over getting kicked out of the orphanage can easily fall into this. Yes, he was treated terribly and has bad mental scars because of it, but it doesn't help that every time he seemingly gets over it and saves the day, he falls right back into self-loathing as soon as the next arc starts.

Alternative Title(s): Bungou Stray Dogs


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